All members of the Creation Research Society must sign a statement of faith. This statement does not restrict itself to religious issues, but covers scientific ones as well. Here is the text taken from their membership application:
1. The Bible is the written word of God, and because we believe it to be inspired throughout, all of its assertions are historically and scientifically true in all the original autographs. To the students of nature, this means that the account of origins in Genesis is a factual presentation of simple historical truths.Henry Morris has an interesting account of the founding of the CRS (in which he figured along with several other members bolting the more moderate American Scientific Affiliation) in his book History of Modern Creationism, Master Book Publishers, 1984.
2. All basic types of living things, including man, were made by direct creative acts of God during Creation Week as described in Genesis. Whatever biological changes have occurred since Creation have accomplished only changes within the original created kinds.
3. The great Flood described in Genesis, commonly referred to as the Noachian Deluge, was an historical event, worldwide in its extent and effect.
4. Finally, we are an organization of Christian men of science, who accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The account of the special creation of Adam and Eve as one man and one woman, and their subsequent fall into sin, is the basis for our belief in the necessity of a Savior for all mankind. Therefore, salvation can come only through accepting Jesus Christ as Savior.
Both Morris and Walter Lammerts (the later being the dominant figure in the founding and early years of the society) were distressed at the fact of the American Scientific Affiliation's "drift" towards tolerance of evolution and acceptance of the theory by many of its members. (The ASA is an organization of evangelical Christians with scientific backgrounds founded in 1941 and still in existence.)
Morris discusses the various creationist organizations which appeared in the period between the time of the Scopes trial and the emergence of today's "creation science" during and after the sixties. A major theme in his treatment is that every group which did not formally establish a clear and irrevocable commitment to "strict biblical creationism" eventually failed. They either disbanded entirely (often due to internal disagreements or infighting), or ended up accepting evolution (or at least conventional geology) in some substantial degree.
I think that Morris makes his case fairly well. He certainly demonstrated to my satisfaction that "creation science" cannot flourish in an atmosphere of free inquiry. "Creation science" apparently only works when it is settled up-front what "scientific conclusions" are biblically acceptable, and which are verboten.
In giving his account of the meeting (in 1963) at which the CRS was organized, Morris writes that: "The most important decision was to set forth a firmly creationist statement of faith to which all members must subscribe and which could never be changed." (p.186) This is exactly what was done, and Morris notes approvingly that: "At this writing (1984), the Society has continued for over 20 years as a strong creationist organization, which is in itself a clear testimony to the wisdom of this initial action." (p.187)
Morris, however, could not be present at this meeting. Believe it not (and those familiar with Morris will have no trouble believing it) Morris found the doctrinal statement above not to be strict enough!
"Because of my experiences with the Creation-Deluge Society and the American Scientific Affiliation, as well as all of our contacts, studies, and feed back in connection with The Genesis Flood, both John Whitcomb and I had hoped that the new Society would take a clear and firm stand on the recent literal six-day creation of all things, as well as flood geology. We were disappointed when these were not spelled out more clearly in the statement of faith adopted at Midland. Nevertheless, the statement as adopted at least implied these truths and was a tremendous improvement over anything previously used by any similar organization." (pp. 191-92)
[John Whitcomb co-authored The Genesis Flood (Baker Books, 1961) with Morris. This book is generally seen as heralding and stimulating the modern revival of young earth flood geology among fundamentalists.]
At the first board meeting he did attend (in 1965), Morris tried to have the statement amended, but was foiled by the constitutional provision specifying that the statement could never be changed.
"I was still very sensitive," Morris writes, "to the dangers of leaving these vital issues open to future accommodationist 'interpretations.' Finally, the Board did go on record with an understanding (one that would remain unwritten, however) that no publication of the Society, including articles published in the Quarterly, would ever advocate the 'old earth,' geological-ages position. Of course, this unwritten understanding will probably maintain this doctrinal integrity just as long as the Society president and Quarterly editor agree with it. So far, this has been the case (as of 1984)." (p.192)