Chances are, if you’ve been in the same house or apartment for many years, you’ve probably accumulated stuff that you don’t need. NCSE is like that, so before I retired, I promised to return to help sort out archival materials—helping to decide what to keep and what we no longer need. This is turning out to be a rather fun project as I am going through old files that neither I or anyone else has looked at for a long time. From time to time I’ll share gems with you.
In one e-mail from the early 2000s, a correspondent reported that he had recently returned from a raft trip down Grand Canyon with a university group. “I discovered that one of the boatmen had been a ‘swamper’ [slang for the assistant boatman] on the latest ICR-[Steve] Austin expeditions. He noted that three times a day, the ICR people held hour-long prayer devotionals at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. He and the other boatmen and swampers were a little miffed that the ICR crew did not allow the boatmen and swampers to bring beer along for their personal use.”
We also have occasionally asked our boatmen if they ever have crewed for a creationist trip, and from those who have, we usually receive a diplomatic smile in reply. As employees in a service industry, Colorado River boatmen are careful not to sound critical of customers. Swampers, on the other hand, tend to be short-timers, so maybe feel they can speak more freely. In any event, the report to our correspondent from those many years back had a familiar ring.
So let me assure you: in addition to learning actual science, which you are unlikely to experience on a creationist trip, there are two additional advantages to rafting with NCSE: we have no objection to your bringing beer, and prayer is optional.
Two excellent reasons to raft with us.