Kevin Lea's Report on the Austin/Brown Mediation on Grand Lake

Is the Institute For Creation Research (ICR) and Answers In Genesis (AiG) Helping Or Hindering the Creation Movement?


Updated Sept 4, 2018


By Pastor Kevin Lea (

(Original Posting - August 10, 2009)


Reason for Sept 4, 2018 Update – where changes are highlighted in yellow:


This update links our website’s posting to Bob Enyart’s Real Science Radio interviews with Bryan Nickel about the Origin of the Grand Canyon (, and specifically to the episode that dealt with Steve Austin’s plagiarism of Walt Brown’s discovery (  ­For the past decade, this posting was deliberately hard to find on our website.  I was waiting for Austin and ICR to correct their errors on their own (as Jesus commands them to do), which would have negated the need for a more public posting. 

This update also adds a letter I wrote to Henry Morris III on December 31, 2017, as a final appeal to ICR to correct the wrongs they have committed.  Since Morris III did not respond to my letter, I have decided it is time to make this information more available so the public can know the truth.  I am thankful to Bob Enyart of Real Science Radio for his independent desire to help me in this effort.


In summary, the following very lengthy written record of events shows that in the late 1980’s, Steve Austin plagiarized Brown’s discoveries on the formation of the Grand Canyon.  Then he and ICR proceeded to slander Brown by claiming that Brown plagiarized Austin.  They also slandered Brown by spreading the lie to other creation organization leaders that Brown threatened to (or did) sue ICR.  These lies have continued to this day.


A man who bears false witness against his neighbor is like a club, a sword, and a sharp arrow.  (Proverbs 25:18) NKJV


A lying tongue hates those who are crushed by it, and a flattering mouth works ruin. (Prov 26:28) NKJV

Austin’s (and others’) plagiarism and hateful smears on Dr. Brown’s character have caused many to reject Brown’s contribution to the creation science movement.  In so doing, they have harmed the creation science movement by preventing the Christian community at–large from learning about Brown’s valuable apologetic and scientific contributions.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to Bob Enyart (and all those willing to carefully read the documentation at the links below) for helping to get the truth out.


Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. (Matt 18:15-17) NKJV


End of reason for 2018 Update


Aug 2009 version of posting:


The facts show that AiG and ICR are hindering rather than helping the creation movement in various ways, one of which relates to the origin of the Grand Canyon.


For example, one person (Dr. Walt Brown) discovered a scientifically viable explanation for how the Grand Canyon was formed, centuries after Noah’s flood, when a now extinct lake breached its dam and carved the Grand Canyon in weeks.  His 38-page explanation is very popular with secular and Christian audiences [currently the second Google hit (out of hundreds-of-thousands) when searching on {origin “Grand Canyon”}] 2018 update – ranked first out of 1.6 million


However, you will not hear a word about Dr. Brown’s discovery in the AiG museum, or in their monthly book-selling newsletter.  You will also not hear a thing about Dr. Brown’s science out of ICR, their Acts and Facts newsletter, or in their book-selling efforts. 


I believe this is because ICR and AiG have made false statements and tried to marginalize Dr. Brown and his work for decades (documented in the Part 1 and Part 2 postings).  It would be very painful for them to admit this wrong now, so it appears they would rather continue this practice even if it harms the creation science movement. Promoting their organizations is seemingly more important than promoting creation and the flood.


Spreading false information about another scientist’s work and marginalizing his contribution to the creation science effort is bad enough, but this Part 3 posting exposes an even greater problem within ICR and AiG.  It documents how AiG and ICR have chosen to use plagiarism and bad science in their museum and book-selling efforts rather than pointing people to Dr. Brown’s discoveries on the origin of the Grand Canyon, even after they have been given proof of plagiarism and bad science.


For example, one extinct lake now has two names: Grand Lake (the name given by the person who discovered it) and Canyonlands Lake (the name given by a plagiarizer, Dr. Steve Austin, and featured in Ken Ham’s AiG museum, and in ICR/AiG books and materials).  I don’t know of another discovery (secular or Christian) that has two competing names, along with all the confusion it creates.  My concerns are not about who gets credit for naming a lake, it is about preventing confusion, telling the truth, and allowing people to learn all the information that is available about creation topics. 


Dr. Brown discovered the now extinct lake that breached and carved the Grand Canyon.  He named it Grand Lake.  Dr. Steven A. Austin, while working at ICR (now the head of the Geology Department at ICR and given the title of Lead Researcher – 2018 update – he no longer works for ICR), plagiarized Dr. Brown’s lake name, elevation, and breach point (details in letter linked below).  When confronted by Dr. Brown, Dr. Austin claimed for a year that he came up with the name and those other details independently.  After those claims were shown to be false, Austin changed the name of the lake to Canyonlands Lake, which is causing confusion and preventing thousands of people from learning a simple and compelling case for the origin of the Grand Canyon.


For example, Dr. Brown’s discovery only provides a scientifically sound explanation when it is inextricably tied to his Hydroplate Theory.  Dr. Steven Austin worked for ICR which, along with Ken Ham’s AiG, have spent decades spreading false information about Dr. Brown and the Hydroplate Theory.  Therefore, Austin could only plagiarize the name, breach point, and elevation of Grand Lake, but he could not use the related Hydroplate Theory information which makes the breached dam explanation scientifically viable.  As a result, Dr. Austin was forced to twist his plagiarized information into the bad science now featured in Ken Ham’s AiG’s museum. 


The museum has a video animation of Grand Lake (falsely called Canyonlands lake in the museum) breaching and carving the Grand Canyon.  The video does not (cannot) explain how the lake breached the 30-mile wide, 2,000-foot high Kaibab limestone up-warp that stands in the way.  In many ways, Austin’s/AiG’s breached dam animation lacks a viable scientific explanation; Dr. Brown’s explanation does not.


In March of 2008, I provided Dr. Austin, AiG, and ICR with documented proof of Austin’s plagiarism and poor science in the AiG museum and requested that they either show me where my information was wrong or correct the museum displays.  They chose to ignore my letter.


Other correspondence was sent to those who were parties to Austin’s plagiarism asking them to provide any documented evidence which could correct what I had written.  Finally, in July/August of 2009 I posted my letter to AiG with links to related documents.


The following is a link to the 32 pages of documentation, with related discussion and explanation.  2018 update - Be sure to read the two attachments which were part of the documentation that I sent AiG: 


Documentation of Plagiarism and Bad Science at the AiG Museum – July 6, 2009


The following are links to the letters I sent to the interested parties, their responses (if any), and my responses to their letters to me:


Correspondence history with Dr. Larry Vardiman (former ICR CEO) - (ADDED 10/28/09)


Correspondence history with Dr. Steven A. Austin – UPDATED 10/28/09 with details of Pastor Kevin’s face-to-face meeting with Dr. Austin on October 10, 2009.


Correspondence history with Dr. Henry Morris III (CEO of ICR) – UPDATED 8/10/09 – See additional correspondence link below


Correspondence history with Answers in Genesis (AiG) – UPDATED 9/9/09


Correspondence history with Dr. Ed Holroyd – ADDED 9/9/09


Correspondence history with Lawrence Ford (ICR) – ADDED 9/9/09


Correspondence history with Peter Robinson (Lead Mediator) – ADDED 9/9/09


Correspondence history with Dr. Whitmore – ADDED 9/9/09


Correspondence history with Dr. John Morris (ICR) – ADDED 9/9/09


Correspondence history with Dr. Henry Morris III – ADDED 9/1/09 – Morris did not respond


In summary, it appears that AiG, and ICR would rather feature and sell plagiarism and erroneous science than to acknowledge Dr. Brown’s work and discoveries.  It is my prayer that those who take the time to read this documentation will do two things:


            1.         Point out any errors that you may find by calling me at 360-876-7288. (Please only

                        call if you are notifying me about an error.)


            2.         Join me in my efforts to encourage AiG and ICR to do what is biblically, morally,

                        and ethically required pertaining to this matter.




Kevin Lea

Pastor, Calvary Church of Port Orchard