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Suppression of dissent against evolution

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Suppression of dissent againt evolution is a widespread tactic of supporters of evolution. Suppression itself denies academic freedom and cases of suppression include denial of earned degrees, loss of careers, refusal to publish in peer reviewed journals, and government bans on even religious schools teaching students about creation or Intelligent Design.



For more information, see Suppression of academic dissent.

Suppression of dissenting views occurs in a number of fields other than evolution, including the Big Bang and Global warming. Suppression includes not just suppression of dissenting views, but discrimination against those holding dissenting views, or even those who are deemed (sometimes incorrectly) to be giving support to dissenting views.

Tactics include vilification, whereby critics of evolution are not merely subject to academic disagreement, but are ridiculed, called names, and compared to groups such as holocaust deniers or fundamentalist Muslims. The effect is to intimidate others from also taking a stand on the issue.

This is … how Darwinists maintain the fiction that the scientific community has reached a freely determined "consensus" in favor of Darwinian evolution and against competing scientific views like intelligent design. The consensus is maintained by intimidation.[1]

Much of the suppression occurs in the education system in the United States, where there has been a long-running controversy over the teaching of evolution and alternatives to it. However, it also occurs in scientific journals and the mass media in various parts of the world. Discrimination is not confined to dissenters against evolution, but includes those associated with the dissenters, such as their lawyers.

A common tactic is to misrepresent the dissent with evolution as purely religious. Fox News, for example, carried a story about a committee of Louisana's education board rejecting calls for the textbooks to include reference to the debate over evolution. In reporting this, it referred to Intelligent Design as a "religious-based concept", even though Intelligent Design avoids religious claims. It also quoted an academic referring to Intelligent Design and creationism as "religion", although nobody had called for religious claims to be included in the textbooks.[2]

Award denied

The Michican Science Teachers' Association unanimously selected David Bolhius, a high school teacher from Hudsonville, Michigan, as the High School Teacher of the Year. The Association said that Bolhuis "creates a very stimulating and exciting classroom environment."[3] As a result of a complaint from the American Civil Liberties Union, the Education Department had already reviewed then approved the classroom presentation used by Bolhuis which presented "the Bible's account of the origin of humans along with the theory of evolution."[3]

Despite both the Education Department's ruling and the ACLU tacitly admitting that Bolhius deserved the award[note 1], the ACLU protested against giving Bolhuis the award . As a result of the subsequent media pressure, the decision to give Bolhuis the award was reversed.[5][4]

Discrimination by peer-reviewed journals, science magazines, and conferences

Peer review is the process by which scientific journals ensure that papers submitted for publication contain legitimate research and argument. However, although it generally works well, the process can be used to suppress unpopular ideas.

The editor of The Lancet, Richard Horton, said,

The mistake, of course, is to have thought that peer review was any more than a crude means of discovering the acceptability—not the validity—of a new finding. Editors and scientists alike insist on the pivotal importance of peer review. We portray peer review to the public as a quasi-sacred process that helps to make science our most objective truth teller. But we know that the system of peer review is biased, unjust, unaccountable, incomplete, easily fixed, often insulting, usually ignorant, occasionally foolish, and frequently wrong.[6]

The way that the peer review process can be manipulated was exposed in the "Climagegate" scandal, when leaked e-mails revealed that the scientists supporting Global warming talked about such manipulation:

I think we have to stop considering Climate Research as a legitimate peer-reviewed journal. ­Perhaps we should encourage our colleagues … to no longer submit to, or cite papers in, this journal. We would also need to consider what we tell or request of our more reasonable colleagues who currently sit on the editorial board.— Michael Mann[7]

Evolutionists have long claimed that creationism and Intelligent Design are not science because they have not been published in peer-reviewed science journals, and indeed this argument is still frequently found in Internet discussions. The National Center for Science Education claims that "intelligent design’s lack of success in science departments is the fault of the flawed and unscientific nature of intelligent design itself, not the result of bias in the scientific community." The Talk Origins Archive says of a particular creationist, for example, that "If he believes what he writes, he should publish it in journals for professional geologists, not for creationists."[8]

The Talk Origins Archive claims that "Creationists face no obstacles [to being published in peer-reviewed journals] that mainstream scientists do not face themselves."[9]

However, material supporting creation and/or Intelligent Design has been published in secular peer-reviewed journals, with the result that critics have objected on the grounds that it's not science.

As a columnist wrote:

Note the circularity: Critics of ID have long argued that the theory was unscientific because it had not been put forward in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. Now that it has, they argue that it shouldn't have been because it's unscientific.[10]

Chemistry in Australia

The April 2007 edition of Chemistry in Australia, published by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute, featured an opinion article by John Ashton, a research chemist and creationist, giving the creationist view of Intelligent Design.

The journal received many complaints about the article, including from the president of the Australasian Evolution Society. The objections included claims that the article's claims had been refuted many times before, but they failed to provide examples of such refutations. Instead, they concentrated on the "harm" that the article would do to the journal and the Institute.

The complaints resulted in the National Executive of the Institute responding by removing reference to the feature article from their web-site.[11]

Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington

In August 2004 the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington published a paper by Stephen Meyer[12] which gave an overview of intelligent design arguments.

The outcry that followed from people opposed to Intelligent Design included false[13] claims that the paper had not been peer reviewed.

The Biological Society of Washington issued a statement that they would not publish any further papers in favour of Intelligent Design. This was not on the basis of the merit of such papers, but in line with the position of the American Association for the Advancement of Science that Intelligent Design is not science.[14][15]

See also Richard Sternberg, below.

Science letters to editor

In May 1985 Roger Lewin published an article in Science attacking creation science. Robert Gentry and Russell Humphreys, both scientists, wrote letters to Science in response, but they were not published. When Humphreys asked the letters editor if his letter was not published because it supported creationism, she agreed that "It is true that we are not likely to publish letters supporting creationism". This was despite the journal having in place a policy to include "the presentation of minority or conflicting points of view".[16]

Australasian Science

The January/February 2001 issue of Australasian Science[17] carried an article by Professor Ian Plimer titled "Creation Science: Neither Science nor Religion", which included "defamatory statements about two persons by name and questioned the personal integrity of all creationists at a number of points."[18] Don Batten, a creationary biologist, wrote to the editor asking for the right of reply, but this was denied.[18]


In May 1992 Dr. Russell Humphreys submitted a paper, Compton scattering and the cosmic microwave background bumps, to the leading science journal Nature. Knowing Humphreys' creationist views, the editorial staff didn't want to send it for review, let alone publish it. Six months later, they published an article on the same topic and reaching the same conclusion, but by another author.[19]

Applied Mathematics Letters and Mathematical Intelligencer

University of Texas, El Paso, mathematics professor Granville Sewell submitted a paper to the journal Applied Mathematics Letters which was critical of neo-Darwinism. The journal had the paper peer-reviewed, and it was then accepted for publication. But after a blogger wrote to the editor of the journal, the editor decided to not publish it after all, contrary to the journal's own rules. The journal subsequently apologised to Sewell and paid $10,000 in legal fees, but still did not publish the paper.[20]

Despite the paper not being published by the journal, another journal, Mathematical Intelligencer published a rebuttal to Sewell's paper. Mathematical Intelligencer says that "Disagreement and controversy are welcome", yet they refused to publish a letter from Sewell responding to the rebuttal.[21]

2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting

The abstract of a presentation made at the 2012 Western Pacific Geophysics Meeting in Singapore in August 2012 that demonstrated the existence of 14C in dinosaur bones was removed from the conference's web-site, initially without explanation.[22] The explanation, when it was subsequently given, was that "there is obviously an error in these data", although they had not asked to see the data nor shown anything wrong with it.[23]

Biological Information: New Perspectives conference

The organisers of a conference titled Biological Information: New Perspectives entered into a contract with science publisher Springer to publish the proceedings of the conference. When the book was almost ready to print, and just after Springer had advertised the book on their web-site, Nick Matzke, formerly of the National Center for Science Education, launched a successful campaign to stop Springer publishing the book, even though he had not read the book. Springer caved in, despite this being in breach of their contract with the conference organisers. The book was later published by another publisher.[24]

Discrimination in the classroom

In 1925 John Scopes, a teacher at Dayton High School in Tennesee, was convicted of breaking the "Butler Act", which forbade teaching that humans were the result of evolution. Scopes' attorney, Dudley Field Moore, argued in his closing statement:

For God’s sake, let the children have their minds kept open – close no doors to their knowledge; shut no doors from them. Make the distinction between theology and science. Let them have both. Let them both be taught. Let them both live. Let them be revered.[25]

Now, however, that the evolutionists have their view taught in schools, they have rejected the sentiments of allowing students to hear both sides, and do everything they can to suppress the creationary view in the education system.

The Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution was intended to prevent the United States Goverment from establishing an official religious organisation, as was (and still is) the case in Britain where the Church of England is the official church with the monarch as the head of the church. However, activist judges have turned this into a ban on the government doing anything which might be seen to promote non-atheistic religions (whilst permitting things that promote atheistic religions). As a result, evolution, the origins account intended to explain living things without invoking God, is taught in government schools, whilst biblical creation and Intelligent Design are excluded on the grounds of supporting religion.

In Australia and Britain, no such constitutional restrictions apply, but some education authorities nevertheless ban the teaching of either view not only in government schools, but in some cases disallow even Christian schools to teach biblical creation or Intelligent Design, even in religious education classes.

School districts and education departments

Cobb County

Evolutionists demonstrated in Cobb County, Georgia, that any attempt to question their views will be met with opposition. Following more than 2,300 complaints from parents about the teaching of evolution, the Cobb County school district decided in 2002 to place stickers in the front of their biology text books stating,

This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully, and critically considered.

The school district was taken to court and ordered to remove the stickers, on the grounds of it violating the Establishment Clause, even though the judge said that the stickers had a secular purpose and the school district had secular reasons for adopting the stickers.[26]


For more information, see Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District.

The Dover Area School District in York County, Pennsylvania, decided that from January 2005 teachers at Dover High School would be required to read to the ninth-grade biology class a statement that Darwin's theory of evolution was not a fact, and that Intelligent Design was another explanation. The statement further said that the book Of Pandas and People was available to students who were interested in studying this further. The students were still taught evolution and were tested on evolution.

The American Civil Liberties Union took the matter to court on behalf of some parents who objected to the decision. Although evolution is promoted by people with atheistic motives, the court ruled that the statement supporting Intelligent Design was religious—and therefore violated the Establishment Clause—on the basis that Intelligent Design proponents have religious motives.

New South Wales

In June 2009 the New South Wales Board of Studies issued an official notice to science teachers that with any teaching of creationism and Intelligent Design the students must be told that the two "are not scientific, nor evidence-based", and will not be included in assessments nor examined. This policy was supposedly developed with consultion with "experts in the field" and was claimed to be "consistent with accepted scientific knowledge and understanding".[27] This notice applied not just to government schools, but to all schools in New South Wales, including Christian schools. Non-government schools cater for almost 40% of secondary students in New South Wales.[28]

The Australian Association of Christian Schools responded by pointing out various problems with the policy, including the "loose authority" of "accepted scientific knowledge and understanding", is anti-scientific in declaring some science correct by authority, and is opposed to a number of goals of the syllabus such as promoting a society that values diversity, wanting students to use information from a variety of sources, and providing opportunities for students to be independent learners.[28]

South Australia

In December 2009 the South Australian Non-Government Schools Registration Board issued a policy to "effectively ban the teaching of creationism" in Christian schools.[29]

CrISIS campaign (United Kingdom)

A coalition of anti-creationists in the United Kingdom have called for creationism to be censored not just from science classes, but from religious education classes. The coalition comprised the anti-creationist lobby group, the British Centre for Science Education, Ekklesia, a theologically-liberal Christian think tank with ties to humanists, and the National Secular Society. A petition and campaign—titled "CrISIS" (Creationism In Schools Isn't Science)—started by the groups implied that creationary scientist Philip Bell was not really a scientist, and instead described him as an "Evangelical preacher".[30] In fact his qualifications are scientific and educational, not theological.[31] Responding to the petition's claim that "Creationism is known, and officially acknowledged, to be contrary to scientific fact", Creation Ministries International pointed out that "Science has incidentally advanced historically through debate and dialogue without appeals to special authority, and such dictatorial statements are a poor reflection of the true nature of science.".[32]

British schools

A funding model for schools in Britain introduced in 2012 effectively bans the teaching of the creationary viewpoint in schools approved by the Department of Education, which includes Christian schools. The ban applies to all classes, including in religious education classes.[33]


Philip Bishop

Philip Bishop is a tenured professor at the University of Alabama. He has published over 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference publications, and has such an outstanding record that he was recommended for early tenure. However, Bishop did spend a couple of minutes each semester saying to his classes that his own research provided abundant evidence for Intelligent Design. Further, he offered an optional lecture, which he did on his own time, titled "Evidence of God in Human Physiology".

His university ordered him to stop mentioning his "religious" beliefs in class, so Bishop took his university to court to defend his academic freedom. The District Court mostly ruled in favour of Bishop, but the university appealed to the Circuit Court, wich reversed the decision (although agreeing to the statements of fact of the earlier court), effectively granting academic freedom to the university, not its professors. The university did not stop any other teacher from mentioning their personal beliefs.[34]

Frank Manheim

The case of Frank Manheim is one where an ideological difference was clearly the basis for the discrimination. Manheim was a student at Harvard when his lecturer stressed two themes: evolution, and challenging authority. Manheim, although an evolutionist, chose to follow the theme of challenging authority, and wrote a term paper which challenged evolution. Manheim generally got grades of "B+", but having worked hard on the paper, he was hoping for an "A". He was therefore surprised when he received a "C" grade for the term and a "D-" for the paper itself.

In discussing his paper with his lecturer, he happened to mention that he didn't personally doubt evolution. Realising then that the student had merely taken a debater's position rather than actually doubting evolution, the lecture changed his grade on the spot to "A".

This incident led to Manheim being "chagrined by the arrogance and vituperation with which the creationists have been treated" and added that "intolerance and absolutism—no matter how sure we are of our case—are not really consistent with the scientific method and give science a bad image".[35]

Roger DeHart

Evolutionists don't simply oppose creationism and Intelligent Design. They oppose anything which might cause the credibility of evolution to be undermined. Roger DeHart had been a teacher of biology and environmental chemistry in rural Burlington-Edison, north of Seattle, for ten years when, in July 1997, the ACLU filed a complaint against him for teaching Intelligent Design in his class.

DeHart had a two-week section of the class which looked at origins, and he used this to illustrate different interpretations of evidence. Right at the end of the two-week section, he would list the five strongest arguments for evolution as listed by textbook, and also list the five strongest arguments used by scientists who disagree with evolution. He would also hand out a section of a chapter from the book, Of Pandas and People, and ask the students to write a paper about the three best evidences each way, or take part in a debate. He never mentioned God or the Bible, and tried to maintain neutrality.

The superintendent of the school district investigated the ACLU complaint, instigated by the parents of one of the students, and found no evidence of impropriety. But the ACLU had made up its mind, and both it and the NCSE pressured the school district and the ACLU threatened a lawsuit and instigated a trial by media over the following years, despite DeHart having the unanimous support of the school board and his students.

Eventually the school board succumbed to the pressure and required DeHart to submit all his materials for review. However, the board unanimously approved the materials.

The following year, a new district superintendent took a harder line, and this time DeHart was required to submit his materials not to the board, but to a "curriculum committee" dominated by two ACLU members who sought their positions so that they could review DeHart's materials. The committee rejected all of DeHart's materials, including articles from Scientific American, The Scientist, and Nature. DeHart was required to only use the biology textbook, to the exclusion of articles from prestigious secular scientific journals which showed the textbook to be wrong in places, because they showed evolutionary claims to be incorrect at times. Nancy Pearcey subsequently wrote that the school was condoning the teaching of "false or misleading information" as long as it supported evolution.[36]

Douglas Oliver

As a Ph.D. student at the University of Georgia, Douglas Oliver was "dumped" as a Ph.D. student by his professor, a well-known evolutionary biologist, after he saw Oliver's bumper sticker indicating that he was a Christian. His second professor apparently only accepted him because the professor's brother, a petroleum geologist, was also a biblical creationist, and realised that it was possible to be a creationist and a scientist.[37]

Stanley Wilson

Stanley Wilson is a teacher at Amarillo College in Texas. The college gave approval for Wilson to run a course titled "Evolution vs. Intelligent Design". This was not a science course, not a required course, not available for credit, and was not for the normal students, but part of their adult continuing education program. However, the founder of the local atheist group, the "Freethought Oasis", who was also a part-time employee of the college, objected to the course being taught and complained to the college, in a manner that they considered "very intense" and "verbally aggressive". The college, saying that they were worried about "disruption" in the class, decided to cancel it.[38]

Discrimination in granting accreditation

Institute for Creation Research Graduate School

The Institute for Creation Research started a Graduate School (ICRGS) in California in 1981, to provide science education from a creationist perspective.[39] The state of California gave approval for ICRGS to grant degrees, and this approval was repeated in 1988.[40] However, the State's education department wouldn't accept the approval, and first pressured one of the assessment committee to change his mind, then sent in another team stacked with known anti-creationists. The ICR school only remained open by taking the Department of Education to court.[41][42]

In 2007 ICR moved the school to Texas, and applied there for a Certificate of Approval to grant degrees. Despite the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) Site Evaluation Team and Advisory Committee both recommending that the certificate be granted, the THECB commissioner decided to not grant the certificate.[43] The ICRGS has filed suit against the THECB.[44]

Discrimination in examinations and granting qualifications

Bryan Leonard

Bryan Leonard was a high school biology teacher and doctoral student in Ohio who called, in his own time after school, for students to learn of the problems with evolution. Leonard was already a respected teacher, and had been appointed to Ohio's curriculum-writing committee. He had completed a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in microbiology, and had finished the course work for his PhD in science education. He had also published six papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals, including one in which he was the lead author.

However, three scientists wrote a letter accusing Leonard's dissertation committee of not being properly constituted, and accusing Leonard of conducting "unethical human-subject experimentation", by which they meant the classes he taught his students, approved by the state of Ohio. The ensuing controversy indefinitely delayed Leonard's qualification. The dissertation committee was properly constituted, but that didn't stop Leonard's critics of going after them also, with two of them being described as "parasitic ticks hiding in the university's scalp".[45]

Bowling Green State University

Dr. Jerry Bergman relates that when teaching at Bowling Green State University several of his colleagues told him that they would fail any student that they discovered to be a creationist. He was shown a paper submitted by a student titled "My Philosophy of Teaching", in which the student explained his religious motivations for becoming a teacher. The teacher admitted that the paper was well written, but failed the student because the paper revealed his religious orientation.[46]

Michael Dini

Professor Michael Dini at Texas Tech University made it a requirement of him agreeing to write letters of recommendation for his students in the biomedical sciences that they must "truthfully and forthrightly affirm a scientific answer to [the] question", "How do you think the human species originated?".[47] Knowing and understanding the topic were not enough, he required his students to believe in it also. Several doctors have said that evolution plays no part in medicine.[48]

Discrimination in employment

Forrest Mims

Forest Mims was a science writer with 20 years' experience, more than 500 articles published in 62 magazines and newspapers, including secular science magazines, and 70 books. He had also developed an infrared eyeglass travel aid for blind people, which had won an award.

Mims applied to Scientific American to write 'The Amateur Scientist' column of the magazine. He was asked to submit three trial articles in 1989, with the expectation that if the articles were satisfactory they would lead to a full-time job.

The editor of Scientific American told Mims that his articles were "first rate", and they were published in 1990. However, after Mims mentioned that he also wrote for some Christian publications, the editor questioned him about his beliefs about evolution. Mims told him that he was a creationist. Consequently, he was denied further work.

The decision was criticised by the American Civil Liberties Union, a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a former associate editor of Scientific American, and others.[49]

Ironically, Scientific American later praised another invention of Mims', even mentioning that Mims had written for the magazine, but failing to mention that they had refused to hire him.[50]

Richard Sternberg

Richard Sternberg was the managing editor of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington in 2004 when a paper was submitted by Stephen C. Meyer, an Intelligent Design scientist. Per normal practice, Sternberg sent the paper for peer review, and received reviews supporting publication. He also discussed the paper with a member of the Council of the Biological Society of Washington, who encouraged him to publish the paper. This he did in August 2004.

However, reaction from people opposed to Intelligent Design included efforts to have him fired, investigation into his religious and political beliefs, public smearing of his reputation, and a hostile work environment.[51]

(See also under Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, above.)

Guillermo Gonzalez

Guillermo Gonzales was an assistant professor at Iowa State University in 2007 when he was denied tenure and promotion to Associate Professor for his belief in the intelligent design of the universe.

One of the main requirements to become tenured in the Department of Physics and Astronomy was to have a good publication record. Gonzales' record in that regard was outstanding. The tenure policy said that "For promotion to associate professor, excellence sufficient to lead to a national or international reputation is required and would ordinarily be shown by the publication of approximately fifteen papers of good quality in refereed journals."[52] Gonzalos had 68 peer-reviewed papers, including 21 while he was at ISU. Not only did he have a high number of published papers, but those papers also had a high number of citations, with one having 153 citations and another having 139.[53]

The University claimed that his ID views were a not a big factor in his tenure denial.[54] However, e-mails subsequently showed that Gonzalez' ID views were a significant factor.[55]

Robert Gentry

Robert Gentry is a physicist who has published in a variety of scientific journals, including Nature and Science. He became the leading expert on "radiohalos", spherical discoloration of rock caused by elements undergoing radioactive decay. He was a creationist, and was asked to testify on how his research provided evidence for creation.

In 1981 Arkansas introduced a law requiring "balanced treatment" of creation and evolution in schools. The American Civil Liberties Union challenged the law in court, and Gentry was one of the scientists called on to testify at the trial. Although afraid of losing friends and position, he agreed. Other scientists testified that there was no evidence for creation, so he was interested to see how they would react to his evidence from radiohalos. He wanted to see if they could answer its challenge. Instead, they dismissed it as a "tiny mystery" and expressed the view that one day they would be able to answer it.

With his creationist views now well known, Gentry lost any further funding for his research, and his contract with Oak Ridge National Laboratories was cancelled.[56][57][58]

Roger Paull

Roger Paull was a substitute teacher at a school in Arizona who was offered a permanent position, and was praised by the school principal. One day he showed a video provided by the regular teacher to a science class he was taking, and was concerned that the video contained a mixture of science and anti-Christian propaganda. After the video he dicussed the content with the students, and asked if they had heard of Intelligent Design. Most hadn't, so he suggested that they could look it up on the Internet. The next day he was suspended, and was effectively barred from teaching in any district. He said that he felt that he "was viewed almost the same way a potential pedophile would be".[59]

Michael Reiss

Michael Reiss, an evolutionist, was the director of education at Britain's Royal Society when, in September 2008 he suggested that students should learn about creationism, so that they would be aware of what it was all about.[60] The ensuing outcry, including abuse and misrepresentation of what he actually said, forced Reiss to resign from his part-time job with the Royal Society.[61]

Gavriel Avital

Dr. Gavriel Avital was the chief scientist for the Israeli education ministry, but was dismissed in October 2010 partly because of his views on evolution. The other factor was his views on global warming. Like many others who are discriminated against, Avital was not calling for a stop to the teaching of evolution, but that other views be allowed also. His critics, however, accused him of undermining "the standing and importance of science", although not explaining how having a contrary opinion on evolution is anti-scientific.[62]

Censorship of public information

Giant's Causeway

The Giant's Causeway is a geological formation in Northern Ireland comprising tighly-packed basalt columns.[63]. A local group of creationists proposed that the new visitor's centre should include a creationary explanation of the formation.[64][63] But anti-creationists objected, insisting that only their veiw be made available to visitors.[65][66] The National Trust decided to include the creationary view (without endorsing it),[67] but the opposition continued, leading to the National Trust saying that they "have decided to review the interpretive materials in this section".[68]

Grand Canyon: A Different View

Tom Vail, a tourist guide at the Grand Canyon, published Grand Canyon: A Different View, a coffee-table book about the Canyon with commentary from various creationary scientists and other creationists, including geologists who have given presentations at secular scientific conferences. The book is sold in bookstores within the Grand Canyon National Park.[69]

A group of seven leaders of geological societies wrote to the Superintendent of the Grand Canyon National Park demanding that the book be withdrawn from sale in their shops. The letter included false claims that creationism is anti-science and that the book was not about geology, as well as claims that it presented a "narrow" religious view. They argued that having the book on sale provides implicit endorsement of it by the National Park Service.[69]

The censorship attempt failed, thanks to "public indignation at their heavy-handed tactics", with the National Park Service receiving more than 7000 letters in support of the book. However, another attempt was made by Jeff Ruch of the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) in 2006,[70] which included bogus claims that the Bush government had pressured the Grand Canyon National Park into not providing enquirers with an official estimate of the age of the canyon.[71]

Mass Media

Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation has exhibited bias against creationists on numerous occasions.[72] Some examples follow.

In October 1994, the ABC TV current affairs program Four Corners featured Ian Plimer "debunking" a claimed site for Noah's Ark, despite the site having been debunked by the Creation Science Foundation (CSF, now CMI) two years earlier, and despite this information having been supplied to the ABC.[73]

In 1996 the ABC's radio program Lateline included Alex Ritchie, Paul Davies, and Richard Dawkins discussing creationism, but no creationist was included. The ABC, responding to complaints, said that CSF had refused to be interviewed. In fact, the ABC had contacted CSF to ask some questions, which CSF said that they would answer by fax or live on air, to avoid being misreprested as had happened before. At this point, the ABC lost interest, and there was never any hint of being invited onto the program.[74]

A 1997 episode of ABC TV program Quantum featured anti-creationist Professor Ian Plimer and the creation-evolution debate. Of the 28 minutes of program, 20 were dedicated to evolution, including 13 to Plimer himself, seven minutes to creation ("little more than set ups for the evolution side of the debate"[75]), and one minute neutral. Plimer and evolution were spoken of in a positive light, with language such as "professor for 30 years", "passionate advocate of analytical research", "tried and proved", whilst the language use of creationists and creationism included "a small group", "scientific blasphemy", "are not using good evidence", etc. Horn describes the biased imagery:

The respective imagery was straight out of the propagandist's handbook. We were treated to the swashbuckling Plimer alone on a rocky outcrop. There was the romantic Plimer walking hand-in-hand with his wife on the seashore at sunset. There was the professorial Plimer excitedly chalking scrawls on a blackboard. There was the selfless crusader Plimer running the gauntlet at an Alan Roberts meeting. There was the stoic Plimer braving the media after his court loss to Roberts. Meanwhile, almost all images of creationists were shot in church, accompanied by excruciatingly out-of-tune singing. Creationists were repeatedly associated with the collection of money. The only outdoor shots of creationists resulted from the ABC unit staking out the home of Peter and Cathy Sparrow, whose 'Creation Ministry Bus' was then 'buzzed' by the tv crew at high speed on the open highway.[75]

This time, CSF representatives were invited onto the show, but the ABC did not accept their conditions which were designed to ensure that their comments not be misrepresented.[76]

In 2003 ABC's radio program The Science Show, hosted by atheist Robyn Williams, had Eugenie Scott of the anti-creationist National Center for Science Education try to justify presenting only a pro-evolutionary view. She begged the question of whether evolution was true in her justification of journalists not discussing the issue:

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 2] 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.[77]


Following the decision by the Kansas state school board to de-emphasise evolution in its curriculum, Time magazine repeatedly falsely claimed that evolution had been removed from the guidelines, despite being advised of the error.[78]

BBC—Noah's Ark

The British Broadcasting Corporation, funded by taxpayers but self-admittedly biased,[79] produced a television program and web article[80] about Noah's Ark in 2004. The article contained numerous inaccuracies regarding the biblical account (some subsequently corrected)[81] and straw-man arguments, such as claiming that there would have needed to be 30 million creatures on the ark, a claim that has long been denied by biblical creationists, and that there is no geological evidence of Noah's Flood, despite the existence of massive sedimentary rock formations containing fossils, just as would be expected from a global flood.[81] The television program used as an expert anti-creationist atheist Ian Plimer, who has a track record of making questionable and clearly false claims about biblical creation and creationists.[82]

Sydney Morning Herald

In 1997 Sydney Morning Herald reporter Leigh Dayton wrote a one-sided article on a court case involving humanist geologist Ian Plimer and Noah's Ark searcher Allen Roberts. Despite contacting Creation Ministries International (then Creation Science Foundation, CSF) for comment, she "ignored virtually all [their] points. In contrast, she printed just what the sceptics told her, as if it was ‘gospel’."[83] CMI had informed Dayton that Roberts was not a creation scientist nor a part of the 'creation science' movement, yet she portrayed the court case as "science once again going head-to-head with creationism".[83] CMI had also told Dayton that they published an article refuting Robert's ark site in 1992, yet Dayton gave the impression that this was a recent backflip when she wrote that Carl Wieland "has taken pains to distance the CSF from the Roberts case ever since it was revealed last November by the Herald."

The article included numerous other errors of fact and one-sided reporting.

Attempts to prevent creationists being heard

Opponents of alternatives to evolution do all they can to prevent those alternative views being heard. This includes what amounts to denials of free speech.

A reporter for The Sydney Morning Herald wondered out loud about this prior to interviewing creationists at one of their seminars in 1990:

Why is it when the Herald prints a letter defending all sorts of vile things—Nazism, apartheid ... the letter itself gets flak but the paper doesn't get attacked for publishing it, yet over the years, whenever we print something on creation science, the paper itself gets abused for having printed it?[84]

Werner Gitt

Dr. Werner Gitt was invited to speak to a group at Leibniz University in Hannover in Germany in October 2008. Prior to the talk pressure was applied to the university administration to block the talk, and posters advertising it were torn down. As Gitt was about to begin talking, a number of students unfurled a banner with offensive language including the word "homophobe", and another which said "Creationists, go to hell". The protesting students, numbering about 40, started chanting and blowing whistles. They refused to stop even when two, then three more, police officers arrived. Only when about 20 more police officers arrived were the protestors escorted out and Gitt was able to begin his talk, an hour late.[85]

University of Southern Queensland in Hervey Bay

The Hervey Bay campus of the University of Southern Queensland invited Creation Ministries International to present a seminar to their community in November 2010 on the topic of creation and evolution.[86] However, pressure, including a possibly-illegal e-mail campaign,[87] led by so-called "freethinkers", led to the university withdrawing the invitation. The excuse for withdrawing the invitation included that the "debate" was not going to be balanced or impartial,[88][89] although the university is happy to be imbalanced and partial in teaching evolution.

Ben Carson

Ben Carson is a highly-respected neurosurgeon who has pioneered new techniques, has been awarded America's highest civilian honour, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in addition to numerous other awards, is a philanthropist, and has had two movies made about his life. In 2010 he was invited to give a speech at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. A number of professors and students appealed to the university administration to have him uninvited because he is also a creationist.[90]

Two years later he was invited to give a speech at Emory University, where he would also be awarded an honorary doctorate. The invitation prompted a letter from four professors, which was subsequently signed by over 500 faculty members and students, objecting to his creationist views and their perception that he had said that people who believe in evolution are not ethical. The letter did not call for him to be uninvited, but was clearly designed to counter any respectability that Carson might give to creationism, despite Carson not speaking on that issue. The reaction from the administration was to say that in future they would more carefully check a speaker's views before inviting them or awarding them honorary degrees.[91]



  1. The Executive Director of ACLU in Michican said, "I'm sure he is a fine science teacher."[4]
  2. 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.


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  50. Anon., 1997?
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  86. University flyer
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