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Creation-evolution controversy

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The creation-evolution controversy is an on-going cultural controversy about origins, essentially between those who hold to a biblical view of origins and those who hold to a naturalistic view. Therefore the controversy is about more than just the evolution of living things, and encompasses the age of the Earth, etc., cosmology, geology, and more. The controversy is over the evolutionary worldview. In the field of biological evolution particularly, the controversy is not just between creationists and evolutionists, but between "darwin dissenters" (those that reject either biological evolution itself, generally creationists, or naturalistic aspects of evolution, such as proponents of Intelligent Design) and supporters of evolution.

The controversy is notable in having leading evolution defenders using various self-serving and logically fallacious arguments, including abusive ad hominem arguments, and simply false arguments, rather than just engage in fair debate; see the section below. The controversy is carried out in various forums, although rarely with different sides using the same forums.

On the other hand, creationists are accused—usually falsely—of quote mining and of making other false arguments. For example, creationists would sometimes quote out of context a remark of Charles Darwin's in which he seemed to say that the idea of the human eye evolving was an absurd one. It was this and other arguments that prompted the leading creationist group, Creation Ministries International, to make a list of arguments that creationists should not use.[1]

The controversy—which is part of a larger and longer battle between Christians and atheists—has been going on in some form for at least two centuries.

Contents

Scope and positions

Despite popularly being known as creation vs. evolution, the controversy concerns more than just the creation or evolution of living things. It includes the ages of rock formations, the Earth itself, astronomical bodies, the entire universe, and much more, as well as the causes of many of the same things. At one end of the spectrum are the Biblical creationists who believe that nothing is older than the Biblically-derived age of about 6,000 years, while at the other end are the mainstream views that the universe is about 14 thousand million years old, the Earth is about four thousand million years old, and so on. Similarly, Biblical creationists argue that most of the rock formations on Earth were formed during the year of Noah's Flood, while the mainstream view is that they were formed over millions of years.

The controversy is really one of whether a supernatural being (God) created everything, or whether it can all be explained naturalistically. It is largely a controversy between conservative Christianity and secularism, notwithstanding that there are more than just these two groups taking sides on the issue.

Although there are only two main views (supernatural vs. natural), there are also combinations of these views. The following table summarises the main broad positions.

Group Position on Cause Position on age Position on evolution
Mainstream views Causes are all natural old It occurred naturalistically
Biblical creation God is the cause young It didn't occur: God created during creation week
Progressive creation God is the cause old It didn't occur: God created in stages over millions of years.
Theistic evolution God is the ultimate cause old Evolution was God's means of creation
Gap theory God is the cause old, except perhaps for life It didn't occur; God created
Intelligent Design (unspecified) intelligent being or beings no formal position, although old Earth generally assumed Perhaps some occurred, but not without intelligent input

The controversy over biological evolution is over the origin of the diversity of life. It is not, as popularly believed, over whether or not living things change and adapt, whether new species are formed, or the existence of natural selection.

Participants

Participants in this controversy include scientists, Christians, atheists, agnostics, journalists, and members of Internet forums. Followers of other religions, except Muslims to some extent, generally do not take part in the controversy. Numerous organisations have weighed into the controversy, including many that have been set up specifically to promote one view or the other.

As much of the debate of the controversy takes part in Internet discussion forums, much of it is done by people who are not experts in the different views.

Creationist organisations

Some of the main organisations which have been formed to promote the creationist viewpoint are as follows:

The Creation Research Society (CRS) was founded in the United States in 1963 by Henry Morris and others. It produces the CRS Quarterly, a peer-reviewed journal. Unlike most of the other creationist groups listed here, it is a membership organisation, with voting members required to have an earned postgraduate degree in a recognized area of science.

The Institute for Creation Research (ICR) was founded in the United States in 1970 by Henry Morris. It has speakers who give talks in churches and other places, produces a regular free newsletter, takes part in debates, and operates a Graduate School. It has a number of scientists on staff.

Creation Ministries International (CMI) was formed in Australia in 1979/80 from the amalgamation of two other fledgling creationist groups. Known for many years as the Creation Science Foundation, then Answers in Genesis, the current name was adopted in 2006. CMI has expanded to have sister organisations in New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, and Singapore. It employs scientists who write articles and speak in churches and other places, publishes the magazine Creation and the peer-reviewed journal Journal of Creation, and has an active web-site with thousands of articles, including most of the articles from back issues of its publications and responses to feedback. It claims to have more scientists on staff than any other Christian ministry, and liaises with many others.

Answers in Genesis (AiG) was founded in 1994 in the United States by Ken Ham. It was originally a sister organisation of CMI, but separated from that organisation in 2005/06. AiG also has a sister organisation with the same name in the United Kingdom. AiG produces the magazine Answers, has an active web-site with thousands of articles, publishes a peer-reviewed journal Answers Research Journal on the web, and provides speakers for churches and other meetings. It also runs the Creation Museum. It has several scientists on staff and many others it can call on.

Individual creationists

Some well-known creationists are either not associated with any of the leading creationist organisations, or have started their own organisation which comprises little more than themselves and perhaps family members. These mavericks are generally not endorsed by the main creationist groups.

One of the best known creationist speakers is Kent Hovind. Hovind, also known as "Dr. Dino", has been a popular speaker on the subject in the United States, and is the founder of Creation Science Evangelism, now run by family members, and a now-closed small theme park, Dinosaur Adventure Land, in Pensacola, Florida. Hovind also opposed the government's right to have him pay tax on his employees, and in 2006 was convicted of various charges related to not paying taxes and sentenced to ten years in prison.

Carl Baugh runs his Creation Evidences Museum in Glen Rose, Texas, the star exhibit of which is claimed fossil human footprints in the same rock layers as dinosaur footprints of the nearby Paluxy River. The "Paluxy man tracks" are not regarded as good evidence in support of creationism by leading creationists.

Walt Brown has published multiple editions of his book In the Beginning: Compelling Evidence for Creation and the Flood, and runs the Center for Scientific Creation.

Evolutionist organisations

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) was formed in the United States in 1982 specifically to oppose creationism. It publishes Reports of the National Center for Science Education six times per year and gives talks in universities and at other venues.

The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI) was formed in the United States in 1976 to debunk claims of the paranormal, and has extended to scepticism of what it considers fringe science and pseudoscience. It was apparently formed at a meeting of the American Humanists Association[2] and is a member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union.[3]

TalkOrigins Archive is a web-site which started as a convenient access to some of the posts on the talk.origins usenet group.

In Australia, the main anti-creationist group is the Australian Skeptics, an association of local Skeptic groups taking after the American Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has long opposed creationism in the American education system.

Science magazines Scientific American and New Scientist have both run editorials and articles criticising creationism.

The British Centre for Science Education (BCSE) was formed in 2006 specifically to oppose creationism and Intelligent Design. Despite supposedly being concerned with science education, none of its leaders were educators and only one was a scientist. It is actually a very small group of people more concerned with fighting Christianity than with science.[4] However, it has been endorsed by CSI.[5]

Individual evolutionists

The following individuals are all recommended by other prominent evolutionists and evolutionary organisations and publications.

The late Stephen Jay Gould was a well-known and highly-regarded scientist, historian of science, and Marxist, who is frequently quoted by creationists because of statements that he made regarding the fossil record and other matters, but who was also outspoken against creationists.

Atheist scientist Richard Dawkins is a popular author, speaker, and debater, and has spoken and written against creationism numerous times, although he refuses to debate creationists.

Michael Ruse testified at the Arkansas creationism court case, and has written numerous articles and books on the topic of evolution and creation. He has been involved in the debate for over 30 years.

P. Z. Myers is a biologist and associate professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris who runs the well known "Pharyngula" blog.

Professor Ian Plimer is an Australian geologist who for a while in the 1990s became well-known for his attacks on creationism, including publishing the book, "Telling Lies for God".

James Lippard has written numerous articles attacking creationist arguments, but also criticising fellow anti-creationists, Ian Plimer in particular, for some of their tactics.

Jerry Coyne is a biologist and professor at the University of Chicago who has written a book Why Evolution is True and runs a blog of the same name. He is also a member of the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation.

Larry Moran is a biochemist and professor at the University of Toronto. He runs the Sandwalk blog and defends the use of insults in opposing creationists and IDers.

Donald Prothero is a palaeontologist and author who rejects claims of a lack of transitional forms.

Intelligent Design organisations

Intelligent Design (ID) proponents disagree with naturalistic evolution, but generally agree that evolution has occurred in some form, but with intelligent input. Although most (but not all) ID proponents would have religious (generally Christian) views, ID itself is an attempt to look at the design argument from a purely scientific viewpoint, rejecting the use of historical (e.g. biblical) evidence. As such, ID does not attempt to identify the intelligent designer, pointing out that, as far as ID itself can tell, it could be a supernatural creator or an intelligent alien species.

The best-known organisation promoting Intelligent Design is the Discovery Institute in Seattle. Its interest in intelligent design is at least in part motivated by theism.[note 1]

Progressive creation organisations

The best-known progressive creation organisation is Reasons to Believe, founded by Hugh Ross in the United States.

Theistic evolution organisations

Biologos was founded by Frances Collins, the former director of the Human Genome Project, in 2007. It rejects the historicity of Adam and Eve.[7]

The Institute for the Study of Christianity in an age of Science and Technology (ISCAST) is an Australian theistic evolution group.

Qualifications and demographics

Questioning credentials and argumentum ad populum

Anti-creationists frequently used to question the credentials of creationists, claiming that there were no scientists who were creationists, claiming that their qualifications were from a diploma mill, or claiming that they were speaking outside their area of expertise. Such claims are easily refuted, and leading anti-creationists have generally stopped using such arguments so blatantly, but have done little to stop other anti-creationists using them, and continue to use more subtle but similar tactics, such as downplaying or subtly questioning credentials.

For example, the web-site of the British Centre for Science Education puts quote marks around the word "scientist" in references to scientists who work for Creation Ministries International, falsely implying that they are not really scientists.[8]

Still common is to refer to "scientists" or the "scientific community" as opposed to "creationists", as though the two groups are mutually exclusive, and to speak as though essentially all scientists agree on evolution, despite a small but significant minority of scientists (more than 100,000) disagreeing with at least some aspect of it.[note 2] TalkOrigins Archive's 'An Index to Creationist Claims',[9] for example, says that it "attempts, as much as possible, to make it easy to find rebuttals and references from the scientific community to any and all of the various creationist claims".

And from the American National Academy of Sciences: "...there is no debate within the scientific community over whether evolution occurred...",[10] yet scientists involved in the debate—both creationary scientists and anti-creationist scientists—are part of the scientific community.

Claiming that there is no debate

NCSE executive director Eugenie Scott claimed on Australian ABC radio in an interview with host Robyn Williams that there is no controversy over evolution.

In a March 2003 broadcast of The Science Show on Radio National, a radio station of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, presenter Robyn Williams and Eugenie Scott openly admitted, on the pretence that evolution is true, that creationists do not warrant equal time.

Robyn Williams: And the old question of science having two sides - and this is a journalistic thing where some of us still, especially if you go to television, are supposed to display conflict, you know, one side and the other side as if there is this continuing argument.
Eugenie Scott: Well Robyn, you put your finger exactly on the issue. When there is a controversy, responsible journalists will present both or all sides and give a fair opportunity for all sides to be heard. If you were doing a show on anthrax you would not feel compelled to put a Christian scientist[note 3] who denied the germ theory of disease on the show to balance the program, because the germ theory of disease in medicine is a done deal, we are not debating whether germs cause disease. Similarly, if you are discussing an issue like what topics should be taught in science education at the pre-college level, which is a continuing controversy in the United States, you don't debate whether to teach evolution, because evolution is state of the art science and it should be taught. You don't debate whether to teach evidence against evolution or some sort of creationism because scientists don't accept these arguments, there is no body of evidence against evolution. And this is what the theory of biological evolution is all about.[11]

However, Eugenie Scott herself is the Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education, a group with the prime goal of countering the influence of creationists.[12]

Former Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Bill Allen claimed, in a blog with a prejudicial title, that there was no debate among "reputable" scientists, begging the question of what he meant by "reputable"[13]

The American National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine said, "There is no scientific controversy about the basic facts of evolution."[14] in a statement containing their view on the controversy, one of many similar statements by scientific bodies opposed to creationism.

In contrast, Larry Moran rejects claims of there being no controversy:

There IS a controversy. Ignoring it isn’t going to make it go away. … Yoy (sic) can pretend all you want that there isn’t a SCIENTIFIC controversy but that only works if you adopt a very narrow definition of science.[15]

Politeness and honesty

Two-faced arguments

Some anti-creationists will claim to be religiously neutral, or even Christian, despite demonstrating a bias against religion or Christianity. The NCSE, for example, says that it has no religious position,[16] yet the they have been linked to humanist organisations and have many atheists and humanists among their supporters.[17] And Professor Ian Plimer claimed to be a Christian and claimed to be concerned that creationism leads people to atheism, yet was a member of the Humanist Society of Victoria, even being awarded the title "Humanist of the Year" in 1995.[18]

The American National Academy of Sciences claimed in their 1998 publication Teaching Evolution and the Nature of Science that "accepting evolution as an accurate description of the history of life on earth does not mean rejecting religion…" and later that "Religious and scientific ways of knowing have played, and will continue to play, significant roles in human history. ... Whether God exists or not is a question about which science is neutral."[19] Yet in a paper also published by the National Academy, the author argues on supposedly-scientific grounds (but actually materialistic grounds) that free will—a central tenet of Christianity—does not exist, and describes religion as "nonsensical".[20]

Double standards

Evolutionists frequently attempt to apply standards to their critics that they do not apply to themselves, in particular focusing on the supposed motives of critics of evolution whilst ignoring the motives of evolutionists.

Peter Hearty, a member of the National Secular Society in Britain, said in a radio show on Intelligent Design that he thinks "motive is actually very important in this.". He was referring to the motives of Christians wanting to prove God's involvement.[21]

Similarly, Judge Jones in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District rejected inclusion of mention of Intelligent Design on the grounds of the religious motives of its supporters. The atheistic motives of leading proponents of evolution such as Richard Dawkins and Eugenie Scott are ignored.

The Revisionaries is a documentary about science standards in Texas broadcast on America's Public Broadcasting Service and endorsed by the National Center for Science Education. The New York Times described it as being "admirably evenhanded", yet it scrutinised the motives, qualifications, and errors of sceptics of evolution whilst ignoring the motives, qualifications, and errors of supporters of evolution.[22]

The film is largely dedicated to making ad hominem attacks against the motives (and the personal creationist beliefs) of Darwin-skeptics on the Texas State Board of Education. Meanwhile, it does nothing to scrutinize the motives of leading evolutionists featured in the film …Casey Luskin

Another example of double standards is showing support for evolution by scientists of all types, and non-scientists also, such as teachers, yet trying to undermine support for creation by claiming that most creationary scientists do not work in a relevant field. For example, Wikipedia's article "Level of support for evolution" adds the following caveat to mention of a list of scientists supporting creation: "Also, of the scientists listed above, only Linnaeus and Pasteur were trained in and worked in a field relevant to biology.". It also cites a reported claim that "One 1987 estimate found that '700 scientists ... (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) ... give credence to creation-science'." (despite nothing being known about the methodology of this "estimate") ahead of reporting on an actual scientific poll showing that about 5% of scientists support a creationary view, which is itself qualified by pointing out that the poll included those with training outside biology. Many other anti-creationist sources also quote the "1987 estimate" as though only the opinion of selected scientists are relevant, such as a web page[23] by a Robert Williams on a site connected with John Stear of the Australian Skeptics.

However, anti-creationists are happy to include scientists from all fields when showing support for evolution. The NCSE's Project Steve allowed any scientist with a Steve-related name to register their support for evolution. The organisation also publishes a book[24] and maintains a large list of organisations which have expressed support for the creationary view, including scientific organisations not related to biology, such as the American Astronomical Society[25] and the American Association of Physics Teachers.[26]

Another aspect of this is the dismissal of "religious" views, yet citing the views of Christians who support evolution. The NCSE's lists of support for evolution include religious organisations.[27]

Labelling and misleading inferences

Evolutionists regularly claim that Intelligent Design is merely repackaged creationism,[28] despite both biblical creationists[29] and intelligent design advocates[30] rejecting this claim, and despite numerous differences between ID and creationism.

"Intelligent design creationism" is not a neutral description of intelligent design theory. It is a polemical label created for rhetorical purposes.[30]

Ian Plimer had attacked the Creation Science Foundation (CSF, now CMI) for several years when he took Noah's Ark searcher Allen Roberts to court, following Roberts taking him to court.[31] He had the media claiming that this was a battle between science and creation, failing to mention that Roberts was not associated with CSF nor any other creationist organisation.[32]

Publicity for the documentary The Revisionaries (see above) included images representing Noah's ark, despite the science standards being scrutinised making no mention of Noah's Ark, the flood, or even creationism.[22]

Ridicule and vilification

For more information, see Suppression of academic dissent#Vilification.

Rather than stick to debating the issues, some anti-creationists will resort to abusive ad hominem arguments.

Finnish philosopher Tapio Puolimatka said, "Naturalism is today propagated dogmatically. The alternative idea that God has created the universe is excluded by ridicule, which is hardly scientific."[33]

Phil Plait, former president of sceptical society the James Randi Educational Foundation, said that "Instead of relying on the merits of the arguments, which is what critical thinking is really all about—what evidence-based reasoning is all about, it seems that vitriol and venom are on the rise."[34]

Some examples are:

  • Steve Jones said that "They think that 2 + 2 = 5; or, at a push, as a compromise, 4.1."[35]
  • Richard Dawkins said that "It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I'd rather not consider that).".[36][note 4]
  • Isaac Asimov said that all "creationists are stupid, lying people who are not to be trusted in any way." and that all of their "points are equally stupid, except where the creationists are outrightly lying."[38]

Forums

Much of the debate about creation and evolution is carried out by each side presenting their own arguments in whatever venues and forums are available to them. Relatively little of it takes place as true back-and-forth debate, except in Internet-based discussion forums, although a number of formal debates have taken place over the years, particularly in the United States. A number of Internet forums either cater specifically for the debate, or for Christianity or religion in general, and include discussion on this controversy. One of the earliest such forums was TalkOrigins, a Usenet discussion forum, moderated by evolutionists. A lot of debate takes place on the discussion pages of Wikis, such as Wikipedia and A Storehouse of Knowledge.

Evolutionists promote evolution and criticise creation in the mainstream media, science magazines, journals, the education system, and blogs, among other places. They often cite the research of evolutionists in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

They also specifically discuss the controversy. For example, the journal Foundations of Science carried a paper by Maarten Boudry et. al. titled How not to attack Intelligent Design Creationism: Philosophical misconceptions about Methodological Naturalism.[39]

Biblical creationists generally spread their message by means of church meetings, creationist-published magazines and peer-reviewed journals, web-sites, books, and DVDs.

Debates

Many formal debates have been held between evolutionists and those that question evolution (both creationists and Intelligent Design advocates), although evolutionists have increasingly refused to take part in such debates.

Starting probably in the 1970s, many debates between creationists and evolutionists were arranged in the United States. In 1983, Marvin Lubenow documented 164 debates[note 5] in the United States in which creationists Henry Morris and/or Duane Gish participated.[40] In 1982 science journalist Robert Schadewald admitted that the creationists were generally winning the debates, so the evolutionists had decided to organise their efforts better, and hoped to change that.[41]

A significant debate was that which occurred at Oxford University in February 1986, with Arthur Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews on the creationist side and Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith on the evolutionist side. The debate included a vote at the end. During the debate, Dawkins implored those attending (mostly students from the university) to not give one vote to the creationists. Despite this, there were at least 115 votes for the creationist side (vs. 198 for the evolutionist side). After this, Dawkins refused to ever again debate creationists, although he continues to criticise their views.

Other evolutionists have also refused to debate those critical of evolution—i.e. creationists and intelligent design proponents—despite continuing to publish criticisms of those positions.[note 6] Evolutionists encourage each other to avoid such debates, with one of the main excuses being the question-begging excuse that they don't want to give the creationists "the oxygen of respectability in the world of real science", to quote Richard Dawkins.[43]

A related answer evolutionists give to avoid debates is to liken debating a creationist with debating "whether the earth goes around the sun, whether the earth is spherical or flat, or whether humans have 46 chromosomes".[44] However, unlike creationism, none of those other supposed issues have large numbers of people (including scientists), let alone multiple organisations, opposing the mainstream view.

Arguments relating to the definition and limits of science

Equating views about the unobservable past with scientific observations

Evolution is primarily a claim about the past, which is unobservable and untestable. This contrasts with most other science which observes and tests things in the present.

Yet anti-creationists will frequently equate evolution with other scientific endeavours which can be directly studied and measured. Richard Dawkins is quoted as saying:

Now this is a belief that the Earth is only 6000 years old ... is equivalent to someone believing, despite the evidence, that the width of North America from one coast to the other is only 7.8 yards.[45]

Whilst making a valid point about some creationists who claim that evolution is "only a theory" (a claim specifically rejected by mainstream creationists[46]), TalkOrigins Archive equates observable, testable, theories such as gravity with largely unobservable, untestable, evolution:

If "only a theory" were a real objection, creationists would also be issuing disclaimers complaining about the theory of gravity, atomic theory, the germ theory of disease, and the theory of limits (on which calculus is based). The theory of evolution is no less valid than any of these.[47]

Claiming that creationists reject science itself

It is common for anti-creationists to claim or imply that creationists reject all of science, and even that they hypocritically accept the benefits of science whilst rejecting the basis of those benefits. This charge is both false and ironic, given that a Christian/creationist worldview is the basis of science,[48] that many creationists are scientists,[49] and that creationists such as Louis Pasteur (developer of germ theory) and Raymond Damadian (inventor of Magnetic Resonance Imaging) have provided some of those benefits.

For example, Ian Plimer wrote:

...if creationist 'science' was correct, then we would have no television (and no cars, telephones, aeroplane travel, etc.).[50]

Chris Conner, in a YouTube video[51] made or endorsed by the NCSE, refers to Intelligent Design (which she refers to as creationism) as "anti-science".[52]

Despite Eugenie Scott, the CEO of NCSE, admitting that many creationists have legitimate scientific qualifications, the NCSE refers to people opposing evolution as "science deniers".[53]

Claiming that disputes between evolutionists are about details

Almost any scientific theory will have details which are disputed by opposing groups of scientists, and of course evolution is no exception. But in the case of evolution, there have been and continue to be disputes about some of its fundamental points. Creationists use these disputes to highlight that evolution is not the settled science that it is often portrayed as. Anti-creationists try and dismiss these disputes as being about details.

The creationists take advantage of the fact that evolutionary biology is a living science containing disagreements about certain details of the evolutionary process by taking quotations about such details out of context in an attempt to support the creationists' antievolutionary stand.[54]

Some of these "details" include whether evolution happened slowly and gradually or via Punctuated Equilibrium, whether birds evolved from dinosaurs or not,[55] and whether or not natural selection is a significant factor in evolution.[56]

Disputes relating to science

Although anti-creationists criticise creationists for arguing from the Bible, both sides use both theological and scientific arguments in support of their point of view. Both sides use a wide range of arguments, but some arguments are more heavily used than others.

Definitions

Conflating concepts

Evolutionists frequently use evidence that is not in dispute in order to argue for views that are in dispute. For example, they will cite examples of natural selection as evidence that evolution occurs, despite natural selection not being in dispute and only being a claimed mechanism of evolution, not evolution itself. They will cite examples of loss of features or variations within genetic limits as evidence of evolution occurring, despite these phenomena being consistent with a creationary model and not providing evidence of the origin of new features.[57] They will also cite antibiotic and pesticide resistance as evidence of evolution,[58] even though such cases do not demonstrate the sort of changes required by amoeba-to-man evolution.[59]

Strawman arguments

Anti-creationists frequently create straw man arguments about creationism then knock them down, making it look like the creationists' arguments don't stand up to scrutiny. With typical Internet debate-forum participants, this is often due to being largely ignorant of what creationists do believe, but such arguments are also used by leading anti-creationists.

Plimer, in his book "Telling Lies for God", for example, claims that Noah's ark would have had an aquarium to hold two whales,[60] despite no creationist claiming that there were whales on the ark.[note 7]

Scientific American, in its 2002 article "15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense", included at least five straw-man arguments, including three which CMI lists as ones that creationists should not use.[61] Whilst these arguments probably are used by non-experts on Internet discussion forums, Scientific American gave no hint that some of the "creationist arguments" they were refuting were rejected by leading creationists.

An article in Scientific American in June 2009 falsely claimed that creationists argue that speciation has never been observed. The article supported this claim by quoting not a creationist, but an Intelligent Design proponent, who actually said that "this sort of speciation has never been observed" (emphasis added), referring to the evolutionary family tree.[62] In fact creationists have long agreed that speciation does occur,[63] and even the ID proponent quoted in Scientific American has previously said that speciation was not a problem.[64]

Arguments by creationists

Creationists stress the philosophical aspects of evolution, in particular it being based on naturalism, or the rejection of the supernatural. In support of this they say that most of the leading evolutionists have been and are atheists,[65] who will not accept the possibility of a supernatural explanation, adding that even those who do believe in God often will not consider the supernatural as a possible explanation.

The creationist argument is that this is really a debate about worldviews, and that creation and evolution are both scientific explanations based on the respective worldviews.

Creationists have long used the design argument, that nature shows evidence of having been designed. This aspect is now the main argument of the Intelligent Design Movement, which seeks to concentrate on this aspect to the exclusion of other arguments.

The lack of the transitional forms expected by evolution is another key argument used by creationists, and in this they have made considerable use of quotes from palaeontologists admitting to a lack of transitional fossils.

Creationists dispute the long ages claimed by evolutionists and uniformitarian geology by citing evidence of the unreliability and inconsistency of dating methods.

In addition to arguing against the existence of evolution, creationists also publish arguments on the consequences of believing evolution, such as the case of a pygmy displayed in a zoo in American as an example of an evolutionarily-inferior race.[66]

Arguments by intelligent design proponents

Michael Behe uses irreducible complexity as evidence that evolution doesn't always occur as there are "large gaps" in the knowledge of biochemistry.[Citation Needed]

William Dembski has used mathematics in the form of complex specified information in search algorithms to attempt to discredit evolution.[Citation Needed]

Stephen Meyer uses an argument based on information but in an old-earth time frame.[Citation Needed]

Arguments by evolutionists

Evolutionary biologists cite a variety of evidence in support of evolution, including morphological similarities in living organisms and fossils, the sequence of the fossil record, biogeography, and DNA similarities. Anti-creationists will frequently cite various pieces of evidence for an origin of the universe about 14.5 billion years ago, including radiometric dating and distant starlight.

Anti-creationists argue that creationism is a merely descriptive program incapable of generating testable hypothesis because it is predicated on the existence of an untestable entity (the Christian god). Evolutionists claim that the evidence in favor of evolution is overwhelming and that the scientific community is in agreement on it.

Ever since Darwin, evolution has been supported with theological arguments, and this continues today. Dawkins, for instance, has argued that the human eye is wired backwards, something that a good engineer would not do.[67] In doing so, he is making an argument about what an intelligent designer would or would not do. It is a theological argument, not a scientific one.

Strategies

Proponents of each of the different views each have their own ways of promoting their views, ranging from producing technical arguments to employing logical fallacies including abusive ad hominem arguments.

Whilst it is normal for fallible people to use mistaken or outdated arguments at times, the use of logical fallacies and incorrect arguments should generally not occur, or at least be quickly corrected, when used by people who make themselves accountable to others, such as by spokesmen for organisations. It is therefore notable that the creationist groups Creation Ministries International and Answers in Genesis have published a list of arguments that creationists should not use,[1] whereas there is no known such equivalent list published by the evolutionist side.[note 8]

Creationist strategies

Creationist groups in America initially tried to get their message out by arguing their case at an academic level, including holding talks and debates on college campuses. They therefore concentrated on the scientific arguments and avoided introducing Biblical arguments. Later creationist groups such as CMI and AiG instead concentrated on getting the message to Christians,[note 9] as decades of evolutionary indoctrination had led many Christians to compromise their Christian beliefs with secular views. This also meant that the creationist groups could introduce Biblical arguments that would not be accepted in other forums.

In America, many Christians have tried to persuade their district school boards to provide more balance, such as by giving equal time to creationist or Intelligent Design scientific arguments. Meanwhile, creationist organisations such as CMI and AiG have warned against forcing teachers to teach creationary views, although supporting the principle that teachers who feel able to do so should be allowed to without recrimination.[70]

As far as actual arguments are concerned, creationists have two main approaches. The first is to argue that science is not the objective and unbiased process that it is supposed to be when it makes pronouncements about the unobservable and untestable past, and that evidence such as fossils is seen in the light of one's presuppositions. The debate is therefore very much a debate about presuppositions rather than evidence. That is, it is a debate between two different worldviews, not a debate about the evidence.

The second approach is to argue that the evidence itself, properly understood, generally fits better with a creationary model than an evolutionary model. They point out that they are not claiming that the evidence proves one view over the other; merely that it fits better with the creationary view. Some of the main examples of this are in citing cases of radiometric dating that support an age too young for the mainstream view, pointing to a lack of the transitional forms that evolution expects, pointing to evidence from genetic information to argue that an intelligence was required, and using design arguments to argue that there must be a designer.

Creationists make considerable use of quotes from evolutionists in support of their view, such as a quote from Colin Patterson (then senior palaeontologist at the British Museum of Natural History) admitting that he knew of no transitional forms.[71]

Creationists counter the argumentum ad populum claims that evolutionists make to discredit creationism by citing polls about popular support for creationism. For example, in a Journal of Creation article, "The attitude of various populations toward teaching creation and evolution in schools," Bergman cites Gallup poll data about whether Americans are creationists.[72]

Unlike many anti-creationists who resort to ridicule, vilification, and name-calling (see above), creationists behave civilly, as even anti-creationists acknowledge.[73]

Intelligent design strategies

The strategies of the Discovery Institute were outlined in the Wedge Document it produced and which was later leaked. These amounted to a plan to publish intelligent design materials in the peer-reviewed scientific literature to eventually "replace materialistic explanations with the theistic understanding that nature and human beings are created by God."[74] Although many ID proponents believe the designer to be God (which some critics misrepresent as being part of ID), they do not identify a designer in their explanations.

Evolutionist strategies

As evolution has become a ruling paradigm in science, evolutionists enjoy the power of the education system, the mainstream media, and science journals to promote their views. They also publish various books and newsletters and have set up web-sites opposing both creationism and Intelligent Design.

Although leading anti-creationists cannot be held responsible for every anti-creationist argument, such as by inexpert anti-creationists inhabiting Internet forums, leading anti-creationists themselves often use logically-fallacious arguments and demonstrate a willingness to endorse the shoddy or false arguments of other anti-creationists. For example, Professor Ian Plimer's book "Telling Lies for God" contained such blatant errors that it was criticised by various anti-creationists,[note 10] but was nevertheless enthusiastically promoted by other anti-creationists.

Contradictory arguments

Anti-creationists argue both that creationism is inherently unscientific because it is unfalsifiable, and that it has been falsified. For example, Judge Overton, in the Arkansas creation case, ruled that creation science was not science partly on the grounds of it being unfalsifiable. Michael Ruse, in commenting on this, said that testimony showed that evolution does "make falsifiable claims" and added that "This argument succeeded in court — the judge accepted that evolutionary thinking is falsifiable. Conversely, he accepted that Creation Science is never truly open to check".[77]Yet many anticreationists claim that many of the claims of creationism have been proved wrong, which is impossible if they are not falsifiable.

Philosopher P. Quinn wrote:

In a recent collection of essays, Stephen Jay Gould claims that “‘Scientific creationism’ is a self-contradictory phrase precisely because it cannot be falsified”…Ironically, in the next sentence Gould goes on to contradict himself by asserting that “the individual claims are easy enough to refute with a bit of research.” Indeed, some of them are! But since they are so easily refuted by research, they are after all falsifiable and, hence, testable. This glaring inconsistency is the tip-off to the fact that talk about testability and falsifiability functions as verbal abuse and not as a serious objection in Gould’s anti-creationist polemics.[78]

Donald Prothero wrote:[79]

Scientists don't exclude God from their hypotheses because they are inherently atheistic or unwilling to consider the existence of God; they simply cannot consider supernatural events in their hypotheses. Why not? because... once you introduce the supernatural to a scientific hypothesis, there is no way to falsify or test it.

Yet in the very next paragraph, he added:

In fact, there have been many scientific tests of supernatural and paranormal explanations of things, including parapsychology, ESP, divination, prophecy, and astrology. All of these nonscientific ideas have been falsified when subjected to the scrutiny of scientific investigation.

Lawrence Krauss claimed that "teaching creationism is child abuse", because "if you withhold knowledge ... it's child abuse".[80]

Claims of "quote mining"

Anti-creationists frequently accuse creationists of "quote mining", which seems to simply be another name for quoting out of context, yet quite often, their accusations don't stand up to scrutiny. For example, TalkOrigins Archive has a short-lived on-line magazine, Cretinism or Evilution which in its third issue[81] purported to "examine one or more quotations that appear in The Revised Quote Book, not merely for accuracy of reproduction, but in order to determine their scientific significance and context to see if what each quotation says is what creationists think it says", yet failed to show that any out of context quoting had occurred.[82]

Claims of false dichotomies

Anti-creationists accuse creationists of creating false dichotomies by claiming or implying that evolution or creation are the only two choices.

National Center for Science Education:

[It is a] false dichotomy [that] "There are only two models for the origin of humans: evolution and creation"…[83]

This claim has some legitimacy, depending on how the positions are described. For example, life being created by Yahweh and life occurring naturalistally are not the only two options. Perhaps life was created by intelligent aliens.

However, the positions can also be described in terms in which there is no third alternative. For example, life either arose naturalistically or it didn't. A functional equivalent of that is that life arise naturalistically or it arose by design.

In practice, though, as long as the two positions are not described too narrowly, it is widely recognised that there are really only two main choices. Indeed, evolutionists have always used arguments against creation as arguments for evolution.

The belief that all organisms are related by descent and have diverged through a natural, historical process has only one main competitor, creation theory…Colin Patterson[84]

Indeed, the only competing explanation for the order we all see in the biological world is the notion of Special Creation.Niles Eldridge[85]

Creation and evolution, between them, exhaust the possible explanations for the origin of living things. Organisms either appeared on the earth fully developed or they did not. If they did not, they must have developed from preexisting species by some process of modification. If they did appear in a fully developed state, they must indeed have been created by some omnipotent intelligence.Douglas Futuyma[86]

"Evolutionist"

Anti-creationists sometimes take issue with the use of the word "evolutionist".

There are no more "evolutionists" among biologists than there are "round-earthers" or "heliocentrists" among astronomers, "Einsteinians" among physicists, or "antiphlogistonists" among chemists. We may say of a person that he or she is right-handed because there are many who are left-handed, but we would never say of someone that he or she is "one-headed" simply because to say he or she is a person implies as much. So too, to say a person is a scientist encompasses the fact that he or she is an evolutionist. In scientific circles the term is redundant and is, therefore, never used.— J. B. Gough[87]

Yet the word was/is used by Darwin, by anti-creationists, by leading science journals, and by evolutionists of themselves.[88]

Suppression by authority

For more information, see Suppression of dissent against evolution.

In America, anti-creationists have used the courts to protect their views. When creationists or Intelligent Design supporters have tried to get school boards to provide even minimal balance, anti-creationists have brought legal action to protect their views from being challenged. When the Cobb County school district in Georgia placed stickers in textbooks informing the students that evolution was a theory, not a fact, and that they should study it with an open mind, evolutionists brought court action to stop even that.[89]

In other Western countries, rulings by governments or their education departments has been used to stop creationary views being taught, in some cases even in Christian schools.

The Council of Europe has passed a resolution urging its member governments to "firmly oppose" efforts to teach a creationary view as science.[90]

Teachers have been denied tenure, sacked, and even blackballed for daring to question evolution in any way. One teacher was prevented from giving his students copies of articles from leading science journals because the articles, written by well-known evolutionists such as Stephen Jay Gould, pointed out problems in the evolutionary hypothesis. One employer admitted that they it was illegal to fire staff members because of their creationist views, but did it anyway, because they could get away with it.[91]

Students have had qualifications and marks withheld because they expressed support for creation or intelligent design.

Issues relating to religion

Claiming that religion and evolution are compatible

A common tactic is to point out that religion and evolution are compatible, which is correct as a general statement, but does not address the point that a straightforward reading of the Bible is not compatible with evolution.[note 11]

Newspaper and television stories sometimes make it seem as though evolution and religion are incompatible, but that is not true.[14]

Similarly, anti-creationists will often quote the claims of prominent Christians, such as the Pope,[note 12] that there is no conflict between a belief in Christ and a belief in evolution. Again, while a person might believe in evolution and still be a Christian, this argument also neglects to address the incompatibility between a straightforward reading of the Bible and evolution.[note 13]

There are other anti-creationists who do acknowledge the incompatibility between the Bible and evolution, sometimes expressing it more broadly as an incompatibility between evolution and religion in general.

The most devastating thing though that biology did to Christianity was the discovery of biological evolution. Now that we know that Adam and Eve never were real people the central myth of Christianity is destroyed. If there never was an Adam and Eve there never was an original sin. If there never was an original sin there is no need of salvation. If there is no need of salvation there is no need of a saviour. And I submit that puts Jesus, historical or otherwise into the ranks of the unemployed. I think that evolution is absolutely the death knell of Christianity.— Frank Zindler[93]

Jerry Coyne:

...as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict. But their main evidence--the existence of religious scientists--is wearing thin as scientists grow ever more vociferous about their lack of faith. ... Attempts to reconcile God and evolution keep rolling off the intellectual assembly line. It never stops, because the reconciliation never works.[94]

William Provine, an atheist professor at Cornell:

One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.[95]

Claiming that the battle is between science and religion

Creation and evolution are competing claims about (pre)historical events. Creation is based on a biblical worldview, and evolution on a naturalistic worldview. Both sides use scientific arguments to support their view of (pre)history, but both are based on presuppositions which are not scientifically testable.

Creationist Jonathan Sarfati wrote, "It is completely useless to try to portray the debate as “science vs. religion”, when it is the science invoked to support one religion vs. the science of another."[96] Anti-creationist Michael Ruse, in his book "The Evolution-Creation Struggle" agrees that the controversy is not one of science vs. religion, but religion vs. religion.[note 14] Science historian Peter Bowler said that "It's not religion versus science. It's religion versus the materialistic worldview that is seen to stem from the science."[99]

Yet anti-creationists frequently characterise the battle as being between science and religion, as though evolution was a totally-objective scientific look at history and creation had no scientific content.

TalkOrigins Archive:

Q. Doesn't evolution contradict religion? Not always. Certainly it contradicts a literal interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis, but evolution is a scientific principle, like gravity or electricity.[100]

National Centre for Science Education:

Evolution Weekend makes it clear that those claiming that people must choose between religion and science are creating a false dichotomy.[101]

Enlisting theistic evolutionists

A number of atheist and agnostic evolutionists try and involve theistic evolutionists to their cause in fighting the creationists. Atheist Eugenie Scott of the NCSE said, "In the controversy to keep evolution in the schools and keep creationism out of science class, my best allies are members of the mainstream clergy groups (who don’t want to see biblical literalism — they don’t believe in it — presented as science)."[102]

Jerry Coyne is blunter:

This disharmony [between science and religion] is a dirty little secret in scientific circles. It is in our personal and professional interest to proclaim that science and religion are perfectly harmonious. After all, we want our grants funded by the government, and our schoolchildren exposed to real science instead of creationism. Liberal religious people have been important allies in our struggle against creationism, and it is not pleasant to alienate them by declaring how we feel. This is why, as a tactical matter, groups such as the National Academy of Sciences claim that religion and science do not conflict.[94]

History

The history of the controversy includes the origins and philosophy of science, and a new, secular, philosophy that required "deep time".

Origin of science

For more information, see Science.

Science was developed by Christians, based on their Christian beliefs. It was based on a philosophy that said that because God was a law-making God, we could expect God created laws for His creation to follow, and because we were made in His image and had dominion over His creation, we had the right and duty to study His creation. Further, because God was a consistent God (not prone to changing things on a whim, for example, as the Greek gods were prone to do), the laws of nature would be consistent, and it was not a waste of time to discover what they were.

Science was a method for studying God's creation that involved observation, theorising, measuring and testing, and repeatability, i.e. repeating experiments and measurements to rule out alternative explanations for the observations being made.

Science vs. history

As such, science is concerned with learning about how things are. How they came to be as they are is a matter of history, i.e. a study of past events. The Bible provides a partial history of the world, from creation until the first century A.D. and combined with other historical sources, we are therefore able to construct a timeline of history from creation until now. Science can be a valuable tool in the study of history, but because science is unable to observe the past, let alone repeat it or measure it, its role is limited, and the prime sources of history are still documents from the time, that recorded events as observed by eyewitnesses.

Hutton and Lyell

This philosophy of science dominated academia, so that prior to the late 18th century, although there were those who rejected Christianity, and those who thought that the universe came about naturalistically, there was no real academic support for a naturalistic view.

This situation began to change with people such as James Hutton and Charles Lyell, who proposed naturalistic explanations for geology. Lyell specifically wanted to remove the biblical narrative as a basis for science. Hutton proposed a new philosophy for the study of geology. He said that we could study how the world came to be by observing current processes, and assume that those same processes were what shaped the world. This principle is known today as the present is the key to the past. In proposing this, he was ruling out past catastrophic events such as a global flood.

The important point in this is that he was not using science to disprove the Bible, but using a new philosophy on which to base science so that it could be used to explain the past. Because present processes could not have formed the world's vast rock formations in only a few thousand years, this view required much longer periods of time than the biblical history allowed for, and supporters of this view concluded that the world was millions of years old, not merely a few thousand. This movement was opposed by the "Scriptural geologists" of the late 18th and early 19th century, but the idea was keenly adopted by those wanting reason to disregard the Bible.

Darwin and evolution

Charles Darwin, whose influences included Lyell, then formulated and published his ideas on evolution in the middle of the 19th century, and the idea gradually became well accepted, despite objections from scientists and Christians.

In 1828 Washington Irving had written The Life and Voyages of Christopher Columbus, a novel about Columbus that, although based on much scholarship, invented the idea that there was controversy between Columbus, who almost alone believed the Earth was round, and everyone else who believed it to be flat. (In fact all believed it to be round; the controversy was actually over the size of the Earth, and Columbus mistakenly thought it was much smaller than it is. See Flat earth.) Many people had taken Irving's account as accurate, but it still didn't have a scholarly foundation until 1874 when two anti-Christian scholars, chemist John William Draper and Cornell University founder Andrew Dickson White, with an agenda to discredit those who rejected Darwin's views by portraying them as "flat Earthers",[103] wrote History of the Conflict between Religion and Science and incorporated the false claim that belief in a flat Earth had been widespread, and a result of Christian teaching.

Opposition and accommodation

In the early 20th century, several groups were started to oppose the rise in popularity of evolution, notably the Evolution Protest Movement in England, begun in 1932 and surviving today as the Creation Science Movement, the oldest creationist group in the world.[104]

Seventh Day Adventist member George McCready Price (1870–1963) was one prominent creationist. Harry Rimmer (1890–1952) was a Protestant Christian who also challenged evolution, from a Gap theory point of view.

However, many Christians apparently failed to understand the philosophical basis of Hutton's and Lyell's "deep time", and Darwin's evolution. They therefore tried to incorporate the claims of the secular scientists into their understanding of the Bible. Some incorporated essentially the entire package; these are known as theistic evolutionists. Others rejected evolution, but took on the claims about deep time. Various models were proposed, including the Gap theory and progressive creation.

The popularity of evolution continued to grow, helped by various "discoveries" which seemed to prove it, but which often turned out to be wrong, the most famous of which was the fraudulent Piltdown man fossils in England. However, the teaching of evolution in schools increased markedly as part of a push to increase science education following the Soviet Union taking the lead on launching a man into space in 1961.

The same year, Henry Morris and John Whitcomb published The Genesis Flood,[105] a ground-breaking fresh look at the biblical account of the flood from a scientific perspective. This book is acknowledged by creationists and anti-creationists alike as giving birth to the modern revival in Biblical creation.

Morris went on to be one of the founders of the Creation Research Society in 1963, and then founder of the Institute for Creation Research in 1970. His writings also provided inspiration for what is now Creation Ministries International, begun in Australia in 1979/80, and its former sister organisation, Answers in Genesis.

Along with various groups arising to defend and promote the creationary view, groups have been started to defend the evolutionary view. Perhaps the most prominent is the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), which began in 1981. In 1986 it hired Eugenie Scott as its Executive Director. The same year Robert Schadewald joined the board of the NCSE. Both Schadewald and Scott continued to use the "guilt by association" tactic of linking flat-earthers to creationists, partly on the basis that the former president of the Flat Earth Society claimed to be a Bible believer. Despite the claims of Draper and White having been discredited since the 1920s,[106] the NCSE continues to use this tactic,[107] whilst ignoring that the current leader is an evolutionist.[108]

External links

Biblical creationist

Anti-creationist/anti-intelligent design

Progressive Creationist

Theistic Evolutionist

Intelligent Design

Notes

  1. "Discovery Institute has a special concern for the role that science and technology play in our culture and how they can advance free markets, illuminate public policy and support the theistic foundations of the West."[6]
  2. One American study showed that 5% of scientists believed that God created man, which equates to 100,000 scientists in the U.S. alone rejecting at least that aspect of evolution.
  3. This is according to the official transcript. The audio sounded more like this being a reference to Christian Science than Christian scientists. The Christian Science cult, unlike Christian scientists, denies the germ theory of disease.
  4. Dawkins later argued that the statement was "moderate, almost self-evidently true",[37] and attempted to justify it with more ridicule, by claiming that most creationists were probably just ignorant, and that is "no crime".
  5. The source says 186 debates, including 15 in Canada plus others in other countries. From the list in Appendix 1 of the source it can be seen that the other countries comprise seven debates.
  6. For example, the science journalist who agreed to a debate at Melbourne University in 1992 subsequently withdrew.[42]
  7. This is because the Bible says that land-dwelling creatures were on the ark, plus it's obvious that sea creatures do not need to be saved from a flood.
  8. In response to this point, RationalWiki—hardly an equivalent to CMI or AiG—has produced a list of "Arguments evolution supporters shouldn't use"[68] which, at the time of writing, has three arguments (and a slogan), while maintaining that such a list is not really needed.
  9. We believe that our primary mandate is towards churches, to help and support Christian believers. ... Our aim is to see the church in general (not limited to any one denomination) recover its Biblical roots, and through such reformation once again revive society and see a great resurgence of trust in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.[69]

  10. Jeffrey Shallit wrote, "Plimer's new book is a shoddily-written polemic that, in places, verges on the hysterical."[75]. Ian Hore-Lacy said that Plimer ‘displays a surprising ignorance of nuclear physics’.[76]
  11. For example, the Bible clearly says that the period of time from the creation of the Earth to the creation of man was six days (See Creation week for more on this), whereas evolution postulates billions of years; and the biblical account of the order of creation is incompatible with the order proposed by evolution.
  12. For example, Pope Benedict XVI claimed that the notion of evolution and faith or a role for God are incompatible is an absurdity:

    They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other .... This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.[92]

  13. See Creation week for evidence that the leading experts on Hebrew and the Old Testament are in agreement that the author of the creation account meant it to be understood as taking six ordinary days, a period that is indisputably inconsistent with the evolutionary timescale.
  14. The following are from reviews of Ruse's book.

    In this book, Ruse intends to explain why the creation-evolution conflict is so emotional and so long lasting. Ruse’s answer is very similar to one creationists have given many times before. This conflict is much deeper than a disagreement between two views of facts, and much more complex than merely a war between science and religion. Rather, the creation-evolution conflict is a struggle between two religions.— Lael Weinberger[97]

    The argument between evolutionists and creationists, Michael Ruse says, is not a debate between science and religion, but one between rival religions...— Alan Batten[98]

    His thesis is that the struggle is not one between science and religion, but between two religions...— P. D. Smith[98]

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  2. Committee for Skeptical Inquiry on Wikipedia.
  3. CSI in IHEU membership list
  4. Anderson, David, "BCSE: Revealed" - Welcome
  5. The British Centre for Science Education (BCSE) Mon. 11th December, 2006Mon. December 11th, 2006.
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  12. NCSE's web-site says that the organisation "provides information and advice as the premier institution dedicated to keeping evolution in the science classroom and creationism out."
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  17. Batten, Don, How Religiously Neutral are the Anti-Creationist Organisations?.
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  58. A Statement By The Royal Society On Evolution, Creationism And Intelligent Design
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  75. Shallit, Jeffrey, Book Review
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