Table of Contents:

Introduction to my Creation/Evolution Site

I have been studying "creation science" (AKA "scientific creationism") since 1981 and discussing it since around 1986, starting on CompuServe. I started this, my creation/evolution site, on AOL in 1997 for the dual purpose of practicing HTML and of reposting articles I had posted on CompuServe. Since then I added more pages to the site, mostly analysis of creationist claims, as well as links I have found to other resources. In 2008, AOL abruptly left the web hosting business, so I got this new domain in 2011 and reconstructed my site here. I recently discovered that my old AOL site still exists on an archive site, which has caused readers some confusion; I have no control over the old site and cannot make any corrections to it. Sorry.

After having started studying "creation science" in 1981, I started discussing it a few years later, first with a creationist acquaintance at work and then online on CompuServe. Back in 1990, a creationist on CompuServe asked me why I oppose "creation science", so I responded with an essay telling the story of how I got started and my early experiences; I reposted that here on my site: Why I Oppose Creation Science (or, How I got to Here from There). For that matter, I created my first web site for the dual purpose of learning and practicing HTML and reposting the essays I had written and posted on CompuServe. They are listed in the first section of my links page.

This index page has gone through several iterations over the years. At first it was just a quick-and-dirty page to tie the rest of my site together, but then I started receiving vicious emails from "good Christians". Almost every one of those emails was extremely hostile, SHOUTING AT ME and threatening me with the fires of Hell. But that wasn't the problem. The problem was that they all accused me of saying things that I never said! IOW, while claiming to be responding to my site, nothing that they ranted against bore any resemblence at all to anything on any of my pages. I would respond to them, asking them to please tell me which of my many pages they were "responding" to as well as what I had supposedly said on that page to light them off like that. Then I would explain my position and my experiences to them. I almost never got a response back and the few responses I would get just contained more and worse hostility. I've posted one here as an example.

In response, I tried to explain my position here, which never seemed to make any difference in the vicious feedback, so I tried to explain it all more completely and clearly. Of course, that made the page just grow completely out of bounds and made it unmanageable, full of far too much content that should be spun off elsewhere on other pages. I keep trying to get it right but am never satisfied with the results.

I hope that this iteration comes closer to the desired balance.

Basically, I first encountered young-earth claims in 1970 through my "fellow traveler" association with the Jesus Freak Movement which was getting started at that time. Mostly there were just vague claims of evidence for a young earth and Noah's Flood, but I did encounter two more specific claims, both of which were wrong just on their face (bad radiocarbon age for a living clam due to the "reservoir effect" and the infamously bogus NASA computer story), so I just dismissed them out-of-hand and didn't take any more notice of them. But then in 1981 a creationist, Dr. Duane Gish of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), gave a presentation at the local university. Surprised that they were still around, I assumed that maybe there was something to it after all and I decided to see what their evidence was. That started my study of "creation science" which I have continued for over 35 years into the present.

From the very start, I found that their claims were false and invalid. I would verify one after another and each and every time the claim would fail. Despite their claims of having "mountains of evidence for creation", no creationist could ever produce any of that alleged evidence. More than three decades later, that has not changed and in all that time I have yet to find a single creationist claim that has not proven to be false and/or invalid. Not a single one.

I started out naïvely believing that creationists just didn't realize that their claims were false and that they would want to have their claims corrected so that they weren't using falsehoods to support and promote their faith -- after all, since they were serving the "God of Truth", then they should have a vested interest in adhering to the truth. That has proven to be far from what actually happens. Much to my dismay, I kept encountering dishonest and even hostile behavior by creationists. I have even witnessed instances where a creationist would have to admit that a claim was wrong, only to continue to use it with others when he thought we weren't looking. IOW, I have witnessed numerous instances of creationists deliberately lying contrary to Christian doctrine.

From my earlier experience as a Jesus Freak Movement "fellow traveler", I realized that they base their faith so much on biblical literalism and inerrancy that if they were to find even a single error in the Bible then they should throw it in the trash and become atheists (that is quite literally what multiple fundamentalists have adamantly insisted upon). That same rule extends to their belief in a young earth, that should the earth prove to be older than 6,000 to 10,000 years or should Noah's Flood never have happened, then Scripture would have not meaning and ... well, you know the rest.

John Morris, now President of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR):
"If the earth is more than 10,000 years old then Scripture has no meaning."

This makes creationists very strongly motivated to defend their YEC beliefs by any means necessary, including lies and deception.

I started encountering stories of and by former creationists who either suffered crises of faith or even lost their faith because of creationism and its false claims. These include:

Over the decades, I have collected those stories and contacts, several of which I post both on my quotes page and on my links page (scroll down).

From the start, my approach has been to examine and critique creationist claims. My position is that:

I never attack religious belief, but rather warn against using lies and deception to support and defend religious belief. Over the decades, I have received vicious emails denouncing me for attacking the Bible. Nothing could be further from the truth, since I almost never even mention the Bible. Rather, I oppose the use of false and deceptive claims and arguments to support or promote a religion. Nor do I oppose belief in Divine Creation, but rather "creation science" which is a deliberately crafted legal deception which escaped the petri dish and has infected the Body of Christ. In short, using falsehoods and deception as the basis for your faith and as a means to defend your faith and proselytize to others can only be counter-productive at best and self-destructive at worst.

If you think that I do attack religion, then please point it out to me by identifying the page you find it on and quoting the offending sentence. If all you do is to flame me, then I will know that you did not find anything and had never even tried to read what I had written.

Please read my quotes of creationists Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and Dr. Don Batten of Answers in Genesis. You will see that they both agree with me about the dangers of using false and deceptive creationist claims and have warned their readers about that.

I have long wondered how creationists (who are usually hyper-Christian) could possibly reconcile their actions with their avowed doctrine, but all of my attempts to discuss it with them have not ended well. Without proper input from them, all I can do is to observe their conduct and form hypotheses from that. That analysis formed a large chunk of the content of former versions of this index page, so I've taken that out to be spun off as its own page at a future date.

This section is a synopsis of my site and of my experiences which have shaped my opinions, attitude, and contents of this site.

I feel very strongly against "creation science" -- if you need to know what I mean by "creation science", then please read the abstract below. I have also developed a very negative opinion of creationists based on repeated and consistently bad experiences -- very bad experiences -- with creationists for more than three decades. In this section I describe the reasons for that along with my concerns about the effects that "creation science" has on those who believe in it.

If you think that I am being too biased and opinionated about creationists, then do please educate me. For example, I had started an analysis of creationists, but the problem with that analysis is that it is all untested hypotheses -- rather good hypotheses, but hypotheses nonetheless and untested to boot. As I see it, the problem is that we only encounter a very few particular types of creationists, because they are the only ones who place themselves in situations where we can encounter them. And they tend to be the really nasty ones, the worst of the worst with belligerent intentions and who are always defensive and who practice lies and deception.

I am quite certain that there are many creationists, most creationists even, who are actually quite nice and given to frank discussion. But we never see the nice ones, because they never come out to play. Though I have a hypothesis that even the extremely nasty creationists that we encounter used to be nice, but it is exposure to the truth, to the fact that the claims that they use to support their faith are actually false, that turns them to the Dark Side. I believe that that should not be necessary, but nobody will talk about it. Actually, in my A Few Basic Facts section below I present a number of ideas that you might want to discuss with me.

Yes, that is correct! One of the things that I'm looking for is the chance to have a frank discussion with a creationist. All the creationists that I encounter, the really nasty ones, are too defensive to even understand the simplest of ideas presented to them and are always on the attack, which makes any discussion with them virtually impossible. So I need to meet some of the nice creationists. Like I just said, if you think that my opinion of creationists is wrong, then please educate me though your own shining example.


What This Site Is

The objectives of this, my creation/evolution web site, and my approach here are:

Please note that neither religion nor religious beliefs have anything to do with my site, except for how it affects and motivates creationists to embrace and propagate false claims.

Your theology may well require you to hold young-earth creationist (YEC) beliefs (eg, biblical literalism, young earth, Noah's Flood). That is not my concern and I take no issue with those religious beliefs on my site, though you do have my condolences. The problems they will cause you is something that you will need to work out for yourself and I sincerely wish you the best of luck with it.

Rather, where I do get involved is when you claim that the real world must be different than it actually is and that you have scientific evidence to support those claims. And again, the reason for my involvement is not because of your religious beliefs, but rather because of the great mischief you wish to cause by promoting false claims. That great mischief includes inappropriate and unethical proselytizing (ie, using lies and deception to deceive your targets into converting as well as sneaking your proselytizing efforts into the public school classroom under the deceptive guise of "balanced treatment"), destroying the faith of believers by making their faith directly dependent on false teachings, and endeavoring to subvert and destroy science education. That great mischief has already caused far too much damage.

At the very least, if you insist on using such claims then you must ensure that you only use the ones that are both valid and true. The only way to ensure that is for you to test all of your claims and to eliminate those that fail the test and ensure that you never use them again. That is the testing service that I offer.


Links to Site Contents

Creation/Evolution Site Abstract:

The focus of this web site is "creation science" (AKA "scientific creationism") in the USA. The existence of "creation science" in other countries are primarily due to the export of "creation science" from the USA.

In the USA, the most common discussions about creationism are within the context of a very narrowly sectarian set of Christian beliefs about Divine Creation which ignores the beliefs of the majority of Christians about Creation. I have heard many mainstream creationists complain bitterly about the Fundamentalists having usurped the word "creationism". Keeping those objections in mind, for the sake of brevity on this site I will still use "creationism" to refer to fundamentalist Christian creationism, which is primarily what we're talking about anyway.

Basically, creationism is belief in supernatural creation and a creator. Within Christianity it is belief in their God as that Creator. Generally they don't try to get into the details and they accept what science learns about the world and the universe as discovery of the nature of God's Creation. As such, they find no contradiction between science and Christianity.

Fundamentalist Christian creationism is primarily what is called "young-earth creationism" (YEC) and is typically bible-literalist in nature. Basically, YEC insists on a literal interpretation of Genesis, especially of the creation accounts. In so doing, they use their beliefs to dictate how the world and universe must be in order for their religion to be true. When reality ends up being different, which it most often is, they reject reality in favor of their beliefs. That leads them to reject the findings of science that conflict with their beliefs and even to have an attitude that science conflicts with religion to the point that they think science is attacking their beliefs.

The basic tenets of YEC include:

  1. A young earth that was created about 6,000 years ago.

  2. That Noah's Flood literally happened as reported in Genesis.

  3. The fixity of species, such that there is no such thing as evolution.

  4. The origin of Man being completely separate from the origin of other animal species.
See my page,
The Creation Model, for a more complete list of the tenets of YEC as taken from a creationist article. That same creationist article also reveals how they play the game of "Hide the Bible", in that it presents their "two different creation models", one biblical and the other "scientific", side by side such that we can plainly see that they are identical save for very superficial rewording. Well, it was written by a lawyer.

Sadly, a far-too-common YEC belief is that if their claims are not true then the Bible is totally wrong and God does not exist. Of course, their claims are not true, so basically YEC has the unfortunate and unintentional effect of teaching that if the world is really as it actually is, then that disproves God. Therefore, YEC accomplishes what even the most anti-God anti-theist could never accomplish: disproving the existence of God (but only if you accept their false premises).


Basically, "creation science" is a form of YEC that is a deliberately crafted legalistic deception designed in the early 1970's to circumvent the US court system's then-new rules disallowing religious reasons for barring the teaching of evolution in public schools -- basically that killed the "monkey laws" that had been in effect since the 1920's. Since they could no longer use their actual religious reasons for opposing evolution, creationists invented the lie that they were opposing evolution for "purely scientific reasons, nothing religious about it." They created this deception by superficially scrubbing their materials and arguments of all overt religious references (eg, remove Bible quotes), even reducing God to "some unnamed Creator". Critics of this approach have long called it "the Game of 'Hide the Bible.'"

The application of "creation science" is to provide a fake façade of opposing evolution for "purely scientific reasons". This was originally intended to circumvent the Lemon Test which blocks them from basing their opposition to evolution on their actual religious grounds, but they quickly applied it to make appeals to the general public's sense of fairness by calling for "equal time" and "balanced treatment" -- indeed, most creationist state laws and school board policies have been based on "equal time" and "balanced treatment" arguments.

Their intellectual framework is the "Two Model Approach" (TMA) which posits two-and-only-two-mutually-exclusive "models", the "creation model" and the "atheistic evolution model". Even though many rank-and-file creationists have never even heard of the TMA, it does form the basis of almost all "creation science" strategy, tactics, and arguments. The application of the TMA is to make very vague statements about the "creation model" (being very careful to avoid any specifics) and then "prove" it solely by attacking their "evolution model" in order to "disprove" that, thus "proving" "the only alternative" without ever having to present, discussion, support, or defend that "creation model". The TMA has been described by critics as a book consisting of two chapters: Chapter One "Evolution", and Chapter Two "Everything That's Wrong with Chapter One." Evidence of its wide-spread use by creationists is in how many creationist books and debates (especially from the ICR) start out establishing the TMA and then consist almost entirely of attacking the "evolution model"; in debate, creationists are notorious for avoiding their own "creation model" even to the point of adamantly refusing to present it, to discuss it, or to defend it. Indeed, virtually their entire "mountains of evidence for creation" end up being nothing more than attacks against their "evolution model" (which bears almost no resemblence to actual evolution).

The TMA is a form of fallacy called a false dichotomy (AKA "false dilemma"), which is a contrived either-or argument whose sole purpose is to deceive your audience. Its problems are many; here are just a few:

In 1987, the US Supreme Court exposed the "creation science" deception (Edwards v. Aguillard (1987)), thus eliminating its usefulness in court. At that point, creationists quickly adopted a parallel creationist movement, Intelligent Design (ID), in what has been described as a new game of "Hide the Creationism." Now most of the arguments presented to the public are about complexity and there is almost no mention at all of young-earth claims, but among the faithful the same old YEC claims and arguments continue to circulate and be presented. Although ID has been exposed as nothing but a smokescreen for creationism (Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005)), no replacement for ID has appeared yet.



While young-earth creationism is an actual religious belief, it has the unfortunate feature of making strict demands on how the real world must be in order for their faith to survive. Since those demands are contrary-to-fact, that creates serious problems for believers such that they must either keep themselves ignorant or they must engage in serious self-delusion in order to keep their faith. Unfortunately for them, they cannot always succeed in those efforts.

"Creation science" is a deliberately crafted legalistic deception that had been used to deceive the courts, the public, school boards, and state legislatures in order to advance their agenda of removing evolution from the schools (and now other science they don't like, such as climate change). Those efforts continue in the present, albeit under the guise of "Intelligent Design".

This form of creationism depends on false and deceptive claims and on misrepresenting science and evolution and it makes its followers' faith dependent on those false claims. Over the years, I have encountered many ex-creationists, many of whom either lost or nearly lost their faith because of YEC and its false claims. In addition, it presents Christianity as depending on lies and deception, which drives many people away. Use of those false claims are not only counterproductive, but also destructive. It not only does not serve their cause, but it also works against it.


A Brief History

For a more complete history, refer to the handout I wrote for my presentation at church, DWise1's Early-Bird Presentation.

Even though most churches had made their peace with evolution by the end of the 19th century, the general public first encountered evolution through their children's biology textbooks in the public high school system that was growing rapidly in the early 20th century. Shocked that their children were being taught something that seemed to conflict with their religious beliefs, they banded together into a populist anti-evolution movement which grew in size and lobbying power into the 1920's. A result of their efforts led to pressure on state and local school boards to remove evolution from the curriculum, pressure on textbook publishers to omit evolution, and the passing of "monkey laws" that would punish public school teachers for even saying the "e-word" in class.

The ACLU wanted to get a "monkey law" test case to the US Supreme Court, so in 1925 they recruited PE teacher John Scopes to teach evolution in the biology class, thus violating Tennessee's "monkey law." In the resultant Scopes Trial, Scopes was found guilty, but his conviction was overturned by the state supreme court for a procedural violation (the judge had levied the fine instead of the jury) while upholding the law. The ACLU didn't get the test case they wanted. It wouldn't be until 1968 that a "monkey law" case would finally make it to the US Supreme Court in a decision that would devastate the anti-evolution movement's work and lead to the modern creationist movement.

After the Scopes Trial, the anti-evolution movement faded from sight, but still exerted a lot of power. Their disappearance is blamed on a number of factors such as the death of their leader, William Jennings Bryan, shortly after the trial, the humiliation of the publicity that they had received because of the trial, and the simple fact that they had won and their anti-evolution measures were firmly in place and working as intended. For the next four decades, teachers, school boards, and textbook publishers continue to submit to anti-evolution pressure and the "monkey laws" remained in effect.

The beginning of the end of anti-evolution power came with the launching of Sputnik on 04 October 1957. Part of the US' panicked attempts to "close the science gap" was to enact educational programs to improve our math and science skills. That included biology, for which the Biological Sciences Curriculum Study (BSCS) developed a series of new high school biology textbooks written by professional biologists. Because professional biologists viewed evolution as the cornerstone of modern biology, their books reflected that same view and presented evolution in a prominent and straightforward way. The BSCS books appeared in 1963 and were widely adopted. Students were again being taught evolution and a new generation of parents found their concerns rising. History was about to repeat itself.

Arkansas had enacted its "monkey law" in 1928. Part of that law forbade the use of textbooks that teach evolution and required the dismissal of any teacher violating that law. In 1965, the BSCS books were adopted in Little Rock, Arkansas, forcing biology teachers to either get disciplined or fired for refusing to use the adopted textbook or get dismissed for violating the "monkey law" (I seem to recall at least one "monkey law" also called for the revoking of the violater's teaching credential). Biology teacher Susan Epperson and the Arkansas Education Association filed suit against the 1928 law. They won their case, but the state supreme court upheld the law, so a "monkey law" test case, Epperson v. Arkansas (1968), finally made it to the US Supreme Court.

The Arkansas "monkey law" was found to be unconstitutional and was overturned. Then in quick succession the other "monkey laws" were either overturned or repealed along with other anti-evolution measures. Rudely awakened by the sudden loss of their bulwark against evolution, the long-dormant anti-evolution movement went into action only to get yet another rude awakening: they could no longer go to court using their actual religious reasons for opposing the teaching of evolution. In lawsuit after lawsuit in the early 70's, the anti-evolutionists kept using their old tried-and-true arguments in court and they lost every time because their arguments violated all three prongs of the new Lemon Test (1971):

  1. The statute must have a secular legislative purpose. (Also known as the Purpose Prong)
  2. The principal or primary effect of the statute must neither advance nor inhibit religion. (Also known as the Effect Prong)
  3. The statute must not result in an "excessive government entanglement" with religion. (Also known as the Entanglement Prong)
The anti-evolutionists had to change their tactics or else continue to lose. They chose to hide their religious purpose by creating "creation science".

For example, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) was founded in 1970 and quickly became the leading creationist organization what wrote the book. They were the leading supplier of creationist educational materials which they intended for public schools. In creating "creation science", they literally just scrubbed Bible verses from their materials and replaced explicit Christian wording with vague wording (eg, "God" became "an unnamed Creator"). They contrived their "Two Model Approach" (TMA), which they used in their presentations to the public and in their infamous creation/evolution debates, as well as in their "public school edition" creationist educational materials.

For example, Judge Overton in his decision on the 1981 Arkansas "balanced treatment" creationism law (more on that below), described a teacher who was tasked with developing the curriculum for that creationist course. There was simply no acceptable materials available:

Ms. Wilson worked with a committee of science teachers appointed from the District. They reviewed practically all of the creationist literature. Ms. Wilson and the committee members reached the unanimous conclusion that creationism is not science; it is religion. They so reported to the Board. The Board ignored the recommendation and insisted that a curriculum guide be prepared.

In researching the subject, Ms. Wilson sought the assistance of Mr. Fisher who initiated the Board action and asked professors in the science departments of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and the University of Central Arkansas (30) for reference material and assistance, and attended a workshop conducted at Central Baptist College by Dr. Richard Bliss of the ICR staff. Act 590 became law during the course of her work so she used Section 4(a) as a format for her curriculum guide.

Ms. Wilson found all available creationists' materials unacceptable because they were permeated with religious references and reliance upon religious beliefs.

It is easy to understand why Ms. Wilson and other educators find the creationists's textbook material and teaching guides unacceptable. The materials misstate the theory of evolution in the same fashion as Section 4(b) of the Act, with emphasis on the alternative mutually exclusive nature of creationism and evolution. Students are constantly encouraged to compare and make a choice between the two models, and the material is not presented in an accurate manner.

The California Science Framework, 1990, contains an anti-dogmatism statement which states in part:
Nothing in science or in any other field of knowledge shall be taught dogmatically. Dogma is a system of beliefs that is not subject to scientific test and refutation. Compelling belief is inconsistent with the goal of education; the goal is to encourage understanding.

To be fully informed citizens, students do not have to accept everything that is taught in the natural science curriculum, but they do have to understand the major strands of scientific thought, including its methods, facts, hypotheses, theories, and laws.

. . .

Ultimately, students should be made aware of the difference between understanding, which is the goal of education, and subscribing to ideas.

By constantly urging students to make a choice between their contrived "creation" and "atheistic evolution" models, the creationist materials demonstrate that they conflict with proper educational goals and are unsuitable for classroom use. Instead, they reveal themselves as nothing but tools for proselytizing. There are documented cases of students, even elementary-grade students, having chosen atheism when so forced to by these creationist materials (see, also).

One of the tools of the resurrected anti-evolution movement was the use of "creation science" debates. Not only did those debates prove very useful for getting their message out, but the creationists' reputation for winning those debates also gave creationism the appearance of respectability. The 1970's were the heyday of the creationist debates until the tables started to turn around 1980 when their opponents were able to organize and present a proper defense.

This is described more fully on my page about creation/evolution debates. Basically, a creationist organization would have a number of trained debaters; the ICR debaters were the most famous ones at the time, especially Drs. Henry Morris and Duane Gish, then President and Vice-President, respectively, of the ICR -- Dr. Gish would employ a tactic that was named after him, the Gish Gallop. A local church or creationist group or club would sponsor the debate, inviting a professional creationist debater and recruiting a local scientist or teacher as the "evolutionist" opponent; the creationist would usually also give a presentation separate from the debate for the sponsor -- it was just such an event at the local university that had first made me away of "creation science". Especially as opponents became more aware of creationist tactics, sponsors would sometimes have to trick them into a debate by first offering up a local amateur creationist only to bring in a professional at the last minute in a bait-and-switch -- eg, I Was Suckered into a Debate and Survived!.

The creationists' success in these debates depended on a few factors:

  • The creationist would be trained and experienced and have a well-polished presentation. For example, Kent Hovind has his "slides" in a massive PowerPoint file, such that he can call any one up on the spur of the moment; his approach has been called "death by a thousand PowerPoint slides." Thus the creationist would know the timing of his presentation and how to keep it interesting for the audience and would appear more confident.

    His opponent would have had more limited experience in debates and possibly also in public speaking, so he would likely look less confident. His presentation would have been assembled in a hurry, if at all. He may not have practiced his presentation enough, if at all, though that wouldn't have done him much good since he didn't know what was about to hit him.

    The creationist would come off looking better, which unfortunately is all that matters in winning most debates.

  • Especially in the beginning, the opponent would have no idea what he was getting himself into. He would go in thinking that this was a scientific debate and discover to his dismay that it was something entirely different, kind of like going in for a chess match and finding yourself in a mixed-martial-arts match. Especially in the beginning, the opponent would have never even heard of "creation science" before and wouldn't know how to respond to its claims -- almost all creationist claims are easily refuted if you have access to their sources, which is not something available to you during a debate, nor would you have time to do the research. The opponent couldn't even effectively counter the claims that he knew immediately to be wrong, since explaining that would take at least the better part of an hour to explain to an audience who probably didn't have the background to understand the explanation, never mind that the debate format didn't allow enough time to do that (plus you didn't have a whiteboard to draw the necessary graphics on).

    This alone allowed the creationists to chew up their opponents piece-meal and make mince-meat out of them. Until their victims started studying up on "creation science", sharing their experiences with other victims, and organizing and developing an effective defense.

  • The format of the debate itself would naturally favor the creationist. This may vary slightly from one debate to another, but both sides would have an opening statement, then a rebuttal to each other's opening statement, then a response to the rebuttal, all followed by questions from the audience to which you may or may not be allowed to respond to your opponent's answer. There would be time limits for each stage of the debate. Also, the debate moderator is most often a creationist.

    This is where the infamous Gish Gallop arose:

    The Gish gallop is a technique used during debating that focuses on overwhelming an opponent with as many arguments as possible, without regard for accuracy or strength of the arguments.

    During a Gish gallop, a debater confronts an opponent with a rapid series of many specious arguments, half-truths, and misrepresentations in a short space of time, which makes it impossible for the opponent to refute all of them within the format of a formal debate. In practice, each point raised by the "Gish galloper" takes considerably more time to refute or fact-check than it did to state in the first place. The technique wastes an opponent's time and may cast doubt on the opponent's debating ability for an audience unfamiliar with the technique, especially if no independent fact-checking is involved or if the audience has limited knowledge of the topics.

    Fred Edwords devised an effective approach to debating a creationist, especially if you are already familiar with him. Because the professional creationist's presentation is so well-prepared and well-polished, he will always present it come hell or high water -- this was especially true of Morris and Gish. So he collected all of his creationist opponent's claims and arguments used in past debates and wrote each one down on a separate notebook page along with his response to it, then put them all in a loose-leaf notebook. Every time the creationist used one of those arguments he would pull that page out. Then when it came time for his rebuttal, he went through each and every one of the creationist's arguments and responded to each and every one. It was so effective that the creationist ended up demanding more time to rebut Edwords' rebuttal.

    The format of the debate is so important that creationists will insist upon it. For example, a local "creation science" activist with whom I had a long email correspondence loves to organize debates and boasts that he will debate anyone anywhere in any format. He kept pressuring me into one and I kept refusing, explaining why as I am in the midst of explaining it to you now. When he promised that I could set the format, I accepted and chose a written format since that would allow time to fact-check each other and would disable any Gish Gallop he might attempt. He refused and when I insisted he immediately ran away. Since then, every time I would bring it back up, he would again immediately run away. That was a couple decades ago and he is still terrified of having an honest debate with me.

  • The format of the debate includes the subject being debated. Creationists keep the subject general so that they have plenty room in which to side-step and to "move the goal posts". Whenever they are offered a specific topic (eg, the accuracy of specific radiometric dating methods), they refuse to debate. That is even true of the top professional debaters.

    For one thing, it is to their advantage to draw their opponent into less familiar topics and to keep him away from his own area of expertise. For another, their opponent is bound to the truth and to providing truthful and accurate statements about the facts, whereas "creation science" claims depend on misrepresenting the facts. It is much easier to lie and look confident while lying than for their opponent to stick to the truth and have to qualify his statements (which looks less confident). And for yet another, creationists cannot afford to get pinned down on one topic because that would expose them as the frauds that they are.

  • The creationist side followed the standard "Two Model Approach" (TMA). The creationist would start his opening statement by establishing the TMA which included a very vague mention of his "creation model" and then the rest of his presentation would consist solely of attacking his "atheistic evolution model". He would never describe, discuss, nor defend his "creation model". The only way that the "creation model" would ever be presented was for his opponent to present it, whereupon the creationist would steadfastly refuse to address it at all. One notable exception was when Dr. Morris justified refusing to discuss or defend his "creation model" because "doing so would inject religion into a scientific discussion." Sounds like a confession to me.

  • Usually, the creationist would have a friendly audience and the "evolutionist" a unfriendly audience. The reason for this is that the debate sponsor would usually stack the audience with creationists, even if unintentionally. Because of limited resources, they advertise the debate where they're sure there'll be interest, like in the churches and the Christian schools, but little gets out to the general public. It's better now with the Internet, but back in the day you had to use your advertising money more wisely. As a result, more people would show up who already sided with creationism. If a vote is taken at the end of the debate as to who won, then the results of that vote will be skewed by the strong creationist bias of the audience going into the debate, hiding an actual creationist loss.

    For example, back in the early 1980's I read a report about a debate in Redlands, CA. Right before the debate started, the opposition did a survey of the parking lot for Christian car ornaments and bumper stickers, plus buses from Christian schools, in order to come up with an estimate of how many sided with creationism coming into the debate. They came up with an estimate of 90% of the audience. The creationist's opponent was effective, but at the end of the debate the audience vote for the creationist was 66%. The creationists declared a victory, but in reality they had lost a quarter of the audience that had come in already creationist.

  • The old traditional business model of the snake-oil salesman was to come into town where nobody knows about you, make your sales pitch and play your con games, and then skip out of town before anybody has figured out they had been swindled. Then you'd go to the next town (or skip a town for safety's sake) where nobody knows you and you repeat your con. Even if you do get discovered in a town, word won't get out about you to the other towns where you'd be safe to play your con game.

    The creationist debate circuit worked that same way, but with a not very subtle twist. Unlike snake-oil salesmen, the creationists needed publicity. That was the whole idea behind the debates. Since the regular press wouldn't report on creationist debates to a national audience, that became the job of the creationist press. Creationist magazines and newsletters, such as the ICR's Acts & Facts, would include reports on debates that would invariably give glowing accounts of yet another creationist victory. When the creationist did lose, they would either not report on it or they would falsely claim yet another victory; either way, their readership would never learn of those defeats. It took other newsletters by their opponents, the state-wide Committees of Correspondence and later their national-level clearinghouse, the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), to correct that situation.

    For example, there are the 1981/1982 Tampa debates (that link describes both debates in some detail along with several other debates), the first of which the ICR claimed as victories even though it was a resounding defeat and the second appears to have not been reported on at all. When Dr. Kenneth R. Miller debated Dr. Morris in Tampa, FL, on 19 September 1981, the local schools had already mandated the teaching of creationism in a "multimodel" approach. Even though the ICR's Acts & Facts reported that the outcome of the debate "seemed to materially strengthen the creationist position in the Tampa area", the reverse was true. Even the local creationists knew that Morris had been beaten, the school board put a hold on implementing the creation-science curriculum, and local teachers informed Dr. Miller of how great an impact his debate with Morris had in helping them in their efforts to combat creationism. So that means that the creationist press issued a false report to its readership.

    Dr. Miller's second Tampa debate was with Dr. Duane Gish, the ICR's master debater, on 21 March 1982. Gish fared no better and there's no mention of any report in Acts & Facts. So again, the ICR's readership never learned what had actually happened.


The inevitable outcome of the creationist debates was that their opponents walked away from their rude awakening and experience resolved to counter this threat to science education. They contacted their colleagues who had gone through the same thing and exchanged and discussed their experiences. They started studying "creation science" and researching their claims and sharing their research with each other. They formed informal state-wide "committees of correspondence" named after similar networks in the American Revolution. First they published their findings in state newsletters and then in a national newsletter, Creation/Evolution Newsletter, which in 1983 was incorporated into the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). The NCSE website is a major source of news about evolution and now climate change education, including new creationist laws on the state and local level.

The immediate effect the Committees of Correspondence had was the training and equipping of debaters who know how to deal with creationists in debate. By 1980, the tide had turned and creationists were losing many of the debates. Though there are still debates, many organized on the local level, where many of the old creationist tricks still work.

Around 1980, the new frontier was state-level "equal time/balanced treatment laws" based on "creation science's" "Two Model Approach". Of particular note was a model state bill written by a respiratory therapist, Paul Ellwanger, which he sent to legislators of several states. This model bill was based on the "Two Model Approach" and defined the "creation model" and "evolution model" in the same manner as the ICR. It mandated that whenever evolution was taught in the classroom, then an equal amount of classroom time must be given to teaching "creation science", but if evolution was not being taught, then you didn't have to teach creationism. Note that this means that the bill's purpose was not to insert creationism into the public schools, but rather to impose such an unacceptable requirement as to force the removal of evolution. I know of only two states that actually passed laws based on this model bill, both of which proved significant.

Arkansas Act 590, "Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act", was signed into law on 19 March 1981. It was based directly on Paul Ellwanger's model bill. Trial ran from 07 to 17 December 1981 and Judge Overton delivered his decision on 05 January 1982 striking down the law in large part because he found it to be religious in purpose. Arkansas decided not to appeal the decision, so that's as far as the case went. The definition of the "creation model", which was included in the text of the law, played a role in Overton's decision, a fact that was not lost on the legislators in Louisiana. See McLean v. Arkansas on Wikipedia, the Decision of the Court, and the McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project.

The Lousiana "Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act" had not been passed yet when the Arkansas law had gone to trial, so the legislators knew that the explicit definition of the "creation model" in their bill would cause them problems, so they removed it from their version of the Ellwanger model bill. When that law was also overturned, Louisiana appealed that decision and so the case worked its way up to the US Supreme Court. In Edwards v. Aguillard (1987), the court upheld the lower court decision and the Lousiana law was overturned as unconstitutional since its purpose was to promote the religious doctrine of "creation science". And in the process, that created the legal definition of "creation science" as being religious, thus finally exposing the legalistic deception of "creation science" for what it really is and has been all this time. From this point forward, the "creation science" deception could no longer be used in any law or court case. See Edwards v. Aguillard on Wikipedia, the Decision of the Court.

For the creationists, it was déjà vu all over again. They had lost their principal tool again, like losing the "monkey laws" back in 1968. They needed to come up with a new deception. They found one.

Some years prior, another anti-evolution movement was growing. This one did not adhere to young-earth creationism nor directly to biblical creationism, but rather just didn't like evolution "for philosophical reasons." It was the Intelligent Design Movement. They greatly downplay any religious motives, though they do come out when speaking to religious groups; eg, co-founder lawyer Phillip Johnson has stated that he opposes evolution because "it leaves God with nothing to do." One of their greater strengths is that they do not associate themselves with a young-earth, which is one of the greater weaknesses of "creation science". Also, instead of pontificating on subjects that they know nothing about as creationists typically do, ID practitioners try to stick to their own areas of expertise as much as possible, plus they use as much obtuse mathematics as they can. They incorrectly think that science uses philosophical materialism (ie, "matter is all that there is") instead of methodological materialism (ie, "we cannot work with the supernatural, therefore we don't"), so they want to reform science to include "God" as a factor (I have absolutely no idea how that is supposed to actually work). Their agenda to completely reform science and society is outlined in their manifesto, The Wedge Document.

Right after Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) was handed down, creationists switched to new buzzwords like "abrupt appearance theory" and "intelligent design theory" (ID). Critics observed that creationists had switched from the game of "Hide the Bible" to a new game of "Hide the Creationism." Now creationists stick with ID-style claims involving appeals to complexity ("this is too complex to have evolved"), disregarding the fact that evolutionary processes are notorious for producing designs of great complexity. They also now avoid young-earth claims as much as possible; a devoutly young-earth creationist with whom I had had a correspondence for about 20 years never once presented a young-earth claim to me, not even when I directly asked him to.

Evidence that this new ID game is just a cover for the same old creationism that used to hide behind the old "creation science" deception came out in the trial, Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District (2005). The lawsuit involved the proposed use of a creationist book, Of Pandas and People, which the defendents denied was creationist, but rather ID. It turns out that the book had started out as a "creation science" book that was being written on a word processor. When the decision for Edwards v. Aguillard (1987) came down and they couldn't use "creation science" any more, they used the word processor to find and change every instance of "creationists" to "design proponents". However, in one case the find-and-replace didn't work right such that the beginning and end of the original word "creationists" were retained, so that "creationists" became "cdesign proponentsists". That was the smoking gun that showed that "intelligent design" as it's being practiced is just another smokescreen for creationism. The decision found that the ID policy violated the Establishment Clause. The defendents did not appeal the decision, so it's not a test case for the US Supreme Court.

And that is basically where we find ourselves at present.


A Few Sample Quotes

"As said in the original Don’t Use page, the harm is in using something which is not true, because the cause of the one who is ‘the truth’ cannot be helped thereby. And your own recent experience reinforces something else we said—that using discredited arguments can backfire on the user. So our aim was to help Christians to avoid arguments that are likely to backfire, and return their focus to the Word of God not ‘evidence’."


"But more and more over the last few years, we have noticed tens of thousands of Christians excitedly using arguments over the Web, for instance, that are a plain embarrassment to those with scientific training. It was like watching your brother enter the ring thinking he had a killer punch, and watching him get cut to ribbons. Further, and most importantly, it had escalated to the point where it was a hindrance to soul winning, since it gave the hearers a ‘legitimate’ excuse to reject Christ. And all we did at that point was to publish an ‘advice’ article. The only time it became relevant to a specific creationist was when Kent [Hovind] himself decided to align himself publicly with a justification of false arguments. If it had been one or two minor points of disagreement, OK, but when it reinforces some of the most blatant fallacies, and even defends fraud, at what point does one NOT face one's responsibilities to the innocents being ‘slaughtered’ in the belief that they are getting sound ammunition?"


" ... , we actually do know people who say they almost gave the faith away when they found out that a particular argument was fallacious, and who say that finding Christians with the integrity to avoid falsehood, no matter what the cost, helped restore it. Also, in the last day or so, a leading atheistic anti-creationist organization said that while they disagreed with almost everything we stand for, they said we were ‘admirable’ and ‘showed integrity’ in trying to persuade other creationists not to use bad arguments. Who knows what sort of witness this could be? We know of many people, outside and inside of the church, who will no longer even look at or consider the authority of the Bible in Genesis, in its history, cosmology, etc. because of bad experiences with blatant pseudo-arguments applied by enthusiasts who had been fed creationist non-arguments."

(Dr Jonathan Sarfati of Answers In Genesis (AiG) in AiG Negative Feedback, 02 December 2002 (link broken))

Muddying the water?

It is sad that Carl Baugh will 'muddy the water' for many Christians and non-Christians. Some Christians will try to use Baugh's 'evidences' in witnessing and get 'shot down' by someone who is scientifically literate. The ones witnessed to will thereafter be wary of all creation evidences and even more inclined to dismiss Christians as nut cases not worth listening to.

Also, the Christian is likely to be less apt to witness, even perhaps tempted to doubt their own faith (wondering what other misinformation they have gullibly believed from Christian teachers). CSF ministers to strengthen the faith of Christians and equip them for the work of evangelism and, sadly, the long term effect of Carl Baugh's efforts will be detrimental to both.

We would much rather be spending all our time positively encouraging and equipping rather than countering the well-intentioned but misguided efforts of some like Carl Baugh, but we cannot stand idly by knowing people are being misled. Truth sets people free, not error!

(Dr Don Batten of Answers In Genesis (AiG) from his What About Carl Baugh?)

"We know that ignorance doesn't work, because we've already tried it!"
(The Governor of Mississippi explaining why he was campaigning so hard for education reform in his state, quoted from memory from NPR circa 1990)

"I still hold some anger because I believe the evangelical Christian community did not properly prepare me for the creation/evolution debate. They gave me a gun loaded with blanks, and sent me out. I was creamed."
(Scott Rauch, a former young-earth creationist)

Sun Tzu, Scroll III (Offensive Strategy):

  1. Therefore I say: "Know the enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril.
  2. When you are ignorant of the enemy but know yourself, your chances of winning or losing are equal.
  3. If ignorant both of your enemy and of yourself, you are certain in every battle to be in peril."
(Sun Tzu The Art of War, translation by Samuel B. Griffith, Oxford University Press, 1963)

A Few Basic Facts:

These are a few basic facts that I will develop here on my creation/evolution site.


My advice to both creationists and non-creationists

It might be easier if I first give you a bad example that you must not follow and describe what not to do: the typical creationist "scholar". While we can find a few exceptions to this rule, the vast portion of creationist "scholarship" is very shoddy.

So in light of those bad examples, here is what I would advise:

  • Never believe what a creationist tells you. Always verify it.
  • Creationists are not in the game for the truth nor for learning something new. They want to convince you and also themselves (to assuage those nagging doubts). Their methods are also dodgy. And most of the time they're just copying from what some other creationist once said -- most of the creationists I'd encounter on-line were just repeating what they had heard and had no understanding of their claim, so they'd always react with anger whenever I'd take any of their claims seriously and try to discuss it with them.

    But also, as I have mentioned above, the best first step in refuting a creationist claim is to look up the sources that he cites. For example, a creationist presenting a polystrate fossil claim on CompuServe quoted ICR geologist Dr. Steve Austin as describing tree roots extending into a coal seam as per a particular scientific article (Broadhurst, F. M., 1964, Some aspects of the paleoecology of non-marine fauas and rates of sedimentation in the Lancashire coal measures: American Journal of Science, vol. 262, pp.858-869, Q1.A5), but when I read that particular article it actually said that those tree roots did not extend into the coal seams. Had Dr. Austin actually ever read that article? I do not know. Either he hadn't read it, or couldn't understand plain English, or lied about what it said.

    This admonition also applies to creationists. Think like a scientist for a moment. As a scientist, you are going to work on some research which is based on another scientist's research. Since your research depends on his research, wouldn't you want to know that his research was sound? Wouldn't you want to have tested it out before relying on it? That is the basis for the culture of scientific research where everybody is constantly testing and retesting everybody else's research. The moment the first papers on cold fusion were FAX'd out, physicists everywhere were eagerly awaiting them in order to test the theory. And they found it to be wrong and abandoned the idea. That is how science works, by testing what others claim. Contrast that with how creationism works, where any crazy idea is given credence so long as it appears to oppose evolution and sounds convincing. Two entirely different cultures.

    Another aspect of verifying a claim is that if the claim involves a calculation, then do the math yourself! A prime example is a Kent Hovind claim about how much mass the sun is losing as it "burns its fuel" (ie, loses mass through hydrogen fusion). The moment he gave the rate of mass loss (5 million tons per second, which is somewhat correct), he immediately switched to waving his hands as he predicted that the sun 5 billion years ago would have been so incredibly massive that it would have "sucked the earth in." Well, I did do the math and the ancient sun's mass would have only been marginally greater than it is now thus "sucking the earth in" about 40,000 miles. Before you do the math and while you're distracted by his hand-waving, Hovind's claim sounds convincing. Then you do the math and realize the truth. Makes a big difference.

    So assuming that you are a creationist who is dedicated to the truth, wouldn't you want to only use those claims which prove to be true? If a claim proved to be false, would you want to use it anyway? Well, duh, if you're a creationist who doesn't care for the truth but only wants the convincing-sound "ammo" to use for proselytizing, then you wouldn't give it a second thought. You'd be ready and eager to use whatever lie or deception you can in order to serve your god. We see your kind all the time and that is one of the reasons why we reject your false religion.

    Actually, it's a good idea to approach non-creationist claims with the same skepticism. It's just that decades of experience has taught us that the creationist claim is almost always guaranteed to be bogus.

  • Practice good scholarship.
  • Cite your actual sources. Do not just copy what your source says his source was, because he was probably lying about that too (very common of creationists). When a source is cited, then go to that actual source and verify what it says. That is especially important when verifying a creationist's claim; in many cases, the first and only necessary step in decisively refuting a creationist claim has been to read his purported source. When you quote a source either directly or indirectly, do so accurately. Do not misrepresent what your source says.

    Be mindful of the difference between primary and secondary sources. A primary source is the actual original source. A secondary source is a source that references the primary source. If you quote a primary source through a secondary source, then mark your quote accordingly and identify both the primary source and the secondary -- eg, "<primary source> as quoted by "<secondary source>". If it is at all possible, go to, read, and use the primary source. If that is not possible and you have to use a secondary source, then at least be honest about it.

    Give your readers enough information for them to look up your sources themselves. After all, why wouldn't they want to read your sources to verify what you have said?

  • Learn all you can about science.
  • That is a tall order, but necessary. So many creationist claims are based on a misunderstanding of the science, such that just knowing something about the science purportedly behind a claim can alert you to what's wrong with that claim.

    One of the benefits of researching creationist claims is that you do learn a lot about science along the way.

  • Learn all you can about evolution.
  • Creationists' main stock-in-trade is misunderstanding and misrepresenting evolution and all their claims "refuting" evolution are based on those misunderstandings and misrepresentations. A few examples are "So why are there still monkeys?" (I have actually observed that one personally in the wild on at least three occasions; one case was a caller to a radio show that creationist Duane Gish was on and it was Gish who had to explain the problem with it to the caller), "But they're still MOTHS!!!", "To summarize [punctuated equilibria] a snake laid an egg and a bird came out." (actual quote from a creationist "teaching [us] about [our] theory"). There's also a "chicken or the egg" argument a local creationist uses in which a newly evolved chicken and her mate both had to have completely re-evolved their entire reproductive systems, something that makes absolutely no sense if you know anything about evolution, but must somehow seem to make sense according to his own bizarre misunderstanding of evolution.

    The better you understand what evolution really is, the less you will be deceived by those creationist arguments. And, if you are a creationist who wants to fight evolution, then by understanding what evolution really is you will know to avoid using those false arguments and fighting those strawman caricatures, and instead be able to concentrate your efforts on actually addressing evolution itself and addressing its real problems, not the fake BS other creationists waste their time and efforts dishing out. Why waste your time and effort? Do something meaningful!

  • Learn all you can about "creation science"
  • This also cuts both ways. For the non-creationist who wants to fight "creation science", you have to know all you can about "creation science". The opposition to "creation science" was built by scientists and teachers who in the 1970's had been suckered into a "creation/evolution debate", the creationists' standard travelling snake-oil show, in which they were chewed up piece-meal and spat out. The problem was that they didn't know what they'd be up against, but rather thought the debate would be about science. They could immediately identify their creationist opponent's statements to be complete nonsense, but they didn't know how to explain that fact to the audience in the very limited time the debate format offered them. Plus, many creationist claims lie about what a scientific source says, so they'd have to be able to look up that source in order to show that was not what it actually said, again something that cannot be done in a debate format. But in a few years after having learned about "creation science" and its claims, those scientists and teachers were more than capable of refuting those creationist claims in a debate.

    By knowing those claims, you won't be deceived by them and you will know how to respond to them.

    Similarly, if you are a creationist then you do need to know all you can about "creation science". Most of its claims have been around for decades and each one has a history, which includes its having been refuted and how it was refuted. Almost no creationist has any sense of that history, because none of his creationist sources will tell him about it. They even think that those decades-old claims are brand-new. I have actually seen many creationists present a list of old often refuted claims confidently claiming that they "remain unanswered by the evolutionist" (an actual quote from a creationist site that he continues to claim years after learning otherwise), only to be utterly dumbfounded as he watched every single claim get ripped to shreds. For example, at an amateur-night debate I witnessed a young creationist get completely blown away when he got up and announced a "brand-new scientific discovery that will blow you evolutionists away", which turned out to be a then-decade-old claim that was refuted as soon as it was published (Setterfield's claim that the speed of light has been slowing down) and the "evolutionist" half of the audience burst out into uncontrollable laughter while at the same time trying to explain to him why that claim is bogus. It was the young creationist who found himself "completely blown away" by the truth.

    The main problem for creationists is that their camp and its literature won't tell them the truth about their claims and certainly not those claims' histories. Creationist books are filled with bogus claims that were soundly refuted decades ago and each new generation of creationists picks up those books thinking that that is the latest and greatest information. Then they go out and try to use those claims and they get shot down in flames -- even Answers in Genesis creationists Dr. Jonathan Sarfati and Dr. Don Batten warn of the disasterous effects that can have on a creationist and on his faith.

    In order to learn about "creation science", a creationist needs to go to the opponents of "creation science". Only by reading the critiques and refutations of creationist claims can a creationist learn about "creation science" and to prepare himself to discuss those claims. Or at the very least to learn which claims to avoid using. This falls under the heading of knowing your enemy and yourself.

  • Don't be afraid to read from both sides
  • Creationists have actually refused my admonition that they need to learn evolution by claiming that that would require them to accept evolution. Absolutely false! That reveals that their view of education is that it's solely for the purpose of indoctrination whereas the actual goal of education is to encourage understanding ideas and concepts instead of compelling belief (California State Board of Education). Certainly when the US Air Force in 1982 instructed me in Marxism and Communism their intent was definitely not to compel me to become a communist, but rather to enable me to know our enemy.

    Creationists, do not be afraid to read what your opponents and critics say. That information can only help you. Non-creationists, do not be afraid to read what creationists say and write. Instead of taking another non-creationist's word for it, read for yourself the actual claims in the creationists' actual words. And creationists, don't take another creationist's word on what science is and teaches, but rather go straight to the source for the truth.

  • Teach your children.
  • This one is directed primarily at creationists. The primary target of the "creation science" political agenda has always been to keep evolution from being taught in the public schools. I believe that that is very misguided and counter-productive for the creationist cause. If you are a "culture warrior" fighting against evolution and you want your children to grow up to be "culture warriors" too, then you would want them to be properly trained and properly armed. But in order to fight evolution, both you and they will need to know all you can possibly know about evolution (ie, know your enemy yet again). If you send them into battle not knowing anything about their enemy, they will surely be defeated and will very likely suffer "spiritual death", i.e. losing their faith. Do you really want that to happen to your children?

    Knowing all they can about what evolution really is can only help your children. They will know which creationist claims and arguments are worthless and hence know not to waste their time with those. They will be able to discover and exploit evolution's real weaknesses and problems which "creation science" knows nothing about because of its misunderstanding and misrepresentation of evolution. And they will be immune from the crises of faith that arise when they discover that you had been lying to them all their lives through "creation science". Remember that even Christian sources place the disaffection rate of youth raised in the faith at 65% to 80%; only one child in five will remain in the faith when they grow up.

    For non-creationists, teaching your children will help to immunize them against being deceived by false creationist claims.

  • Honestly assess how what you discover should affect what you believe.
  • Creationists, this will perhaps be the hardest piece of advice for you to follow, but it is also one of the most necessary. This is because "creation science" is holding your faith hostage in very real and dangerous ways. Creationists will tell you that their claims must be true or else "Scripture will have no meaning" (John Morris, ICR) and will insist that should evolution turn out to be true then you should throw your Bible onto a trash heap and become a hedonistic atheist (a position which I have seen creationists insist on most adamantly). They will even go so far as to claim that if evolution is true then God does not exist, or else is a Liar who does not deserve worship. They make your very faith completely dependent on "creation science", thus holding it hostage.

    Those teachings of "creation science" have caused many creationists to lose their faith. Combined with how it also drives others away from ever considering converting to Christianity as a viable option, "creation science" is perhaps the single greatest contributor to the growth and spread of atheism.

    Consider this thought: you may claim to believe in the Bible, but you don't since you believe instead in a theology. Despite claims that Divine Revelation lies at the center of your theology, all the rest of it, the vast majority of it, is Man-made. Fallible humans trying to understand and make sense of that Revelation and of God and Everything. And, being made by fallible humans, our theologies are also fallible. In fact, you don't even follow your church's theology, but rather you follow your own theology which you have created yourself. Sure, you tried to make it the same as your church's theology, but because you do not understand that theology perfectly you have created an imperfect copy for yourself which is loaded with your own misunderstandings. For that matter, it is impossible for anyone to follow an external theology, but rather all we can ever do is to follow our own imperfect misunderstanding of an external theology.

    Now, while you operate as if your theology were completely correct (which is quite natural), what happens when it turns out to be wrong about something? Your theology has you believing that if you were to find even a single error in the Bible then the whole thing is worthless. So what happens when you find an error in your theology? Is your entire theology now worthless and you should discard the whole misguided mess? Why? Your theology is the imperfect product of a very fallible human. It's inevitable that you would have gotten some things wrong when you created that theology. So what should you do? How's about doing what science does when it discovers an error: correct that error. Rather obvious once you see it, right?

    "Creation science" is a fallible theology. For that matter, it is proven to be riddled with errors. So if they got so much so very wrong, then why should you also believe what they say about what you need to do when you discover an error? Wouldn't you think that maybe they had gotten that wrong too?

    Here's another thought. As a creationist, you believe that God created the universe, right? One devout Christian, a grandfather, referred to Nature as God's First Testament. A creationist once tried to argue that, since Satan had been given dominion over the earth, He had planted all that "false" geological and fossil evidence to make the earth merely appear old. I counter-suggested to him that, since Satan is such a clever devil, instead of doing all that work all he had to do was to create a false theology that taught that if the world were really as it actually is then that disproved God. Then all that Satan would have to do was to give that false theology to some fundamentalist Christians and they would very zealously do all the work for Him. That creationist never responded.

    So then, what is your honest and considered assessment of the consequences of discovering that "creation science" is wrong? That is something that you really do need to work out for yourself.


    So why am I doing this?
    What motivates me to devote so much time and energy to this subject?

    I guess it's mainly disgust and moral outrage, a reaction that I've seen others also have to "creation science" and to the misconduct of creationists

    I had first encountered "creation science" claims in 1970, but had dismissed them out of hand since they were clearly bogus. When in 1981 I learned that "creation science" was still around, I was surprised and assumed that maybe there is something to their claims after all, that they do indeed have evidence for creation. I wanted to learn what that evidence was, so I started researching creationist claims. What I found was not the slightest bit pretty and it keeps getting uglier and uglier the deeper I continue to dig.

    I found that they have no evidence. Rather, they misquote and misrepresent their sources, science, and what evolution actually is and teaches. I have personally seen leading creationists ignore the actual evidence even when it's right there in front of them and I have also witnessed several cases of outright fabrication and lying. I have even seen many creationists go so far as to admit to me that a claim was false and put on the appearance of recanting it and dropping it from use, only for me to catch them later on continuing to use the exact same "recanted" claim on somebody else. That qualifies as deliberate lying.

    I have found that "creation science" is nothing more than a pack of lies and deception, a false theology. Its intended purpose is to stop the teaching of ideas that they do not even understand (eg, evolution, evidence that the earth is old) and to proselytize, to use deception to dupe their victims into converting to their false theology. That includes using the public schools to proselytize. As a result, elementary-grade students have become atheists precisely as instructed to by the "balanced treatment" creationist presentation (see also). And many former creationists have lost their faith because of "creation science."

    And on a personal level, I have found the personal conduct of far too many creationists to be absolutely despicable and contrary to everything that I had ever learned about how a Christian is supposed to behave. I admit that I was naïve when I started out. I honestly thought that creationists just didn't know any better, that they didn't realize that they had gotten the facts wrong and that they would learn and correct themselves as soon as they were shown the truth. Instead, they cling desperately to their lies as if they faith depended on it (which they believe it does) and they will use any foul behavior they can to drive away anyone bringing them the truth (see my discussion, Encounters with Creationists). Their "true Christian" witness lends great truth to the observation that the best and strongest evidence against Christianity are those Christians themselves. They are the "wicked fruit" which proves their theology false via Matthew 7:20 and they are major contributors to the growth and spread of atheism (and not necessarily the good kind of atheism).

    So I maintain this, my creation/evolution site, to address that situation. Yes, I am an atheist (have been for over half a century), but the only way I want to see anybody become an atheist is by outgrowing religion. The last thing I want to see is someone being forced into atheism by bad theology (eg, "creation science"), because they tend to hold onto their old religion's false ideas about atheism which don't do anybody any good. Instead, I would want to see someone keep his faith so long as it is beneficial, though I would want to discuss with him problems that I see it causing him.

    If you were to read my quotes page, you would see that many if not most of my concerns about "creation science" and its claims are also shared by many Christians and even by a few creationists (though mostly concerning the detrimental effects of using false claims). So it's not just atheists who see problems with "creation science."

    But there's also a positive aspect to this endeavor. In the process of researching creationist claims, I have learned so much more about science. Learning is a good thing; as it is written in the Pirkei Avot ("Sayings of the Fathers", repeatedly quoted from in the movie, Yentl), "The more learning the more life!"

    On YouTube I have found a series of videos whose premise echoes that learning experience: How Creationism Taught Me Real Science. It is a series of 40 videos by Tony Reed. The general format of each video is that he starts out "encountering" a creationist claim, finds that it sounds convincing, and decides to check it out, to verify it. And of course the claim falls apart under inspection.


    A Short History of This Web Site:

    As I said, I started studying "creation science" in 1981. After half a decade of study, I opened a CompuServe account in 1988 and started discussing "creation science" on-line in the Science & Religion section of the Religion Forum. My discussions led me to writing a few articles which I posted in that section's library. By 1997, CompuServe's massive changes in their interface had rendered their service completely unusable and I had to drop my account.

    In 1997, America On-Line started offering website hosting services to its members. I started my own web site primarily in order to learn HTML, but also to repost my CompuServe library articles. I slowly added more content which I wrote in "my copious spare time" (an engineering inside joke, since we're kept so busy that we have no spare time), which meant during my lunch hour. I also wrote on other subjects which I segregated into a few different AOL screen names as a convenient organizing tool.

    Then on 31 October 2008, AOL abruptly eliminated its web hosting service -- I think I got one or two weeks notice. I would keep all my web content on my own computer and upload it to the web server, so I didn't lose any content, but I had nowhere to post it -- again, very little spare time in which to research my options. After a few years, I found a web hosting service and started putting my site back up on-line. Since I'll be reorganizing it, reverifying links, and making changes I was wanting to make, things will be fragmentary for a while, but we'll eventually get there.

    Where My Name Came From

    Just in case you want to follow Kent Hovind's example and pick a fight with me over "DWise1", read the following information first:

    Over the years, most especially in on-line "creation/evolution" discussions, creationists have often engaged in personal attacks against me just because of my AOL screen name, "DWise1". In fact, one infamous professional creationist, Kent Hovind, went so far as to twice attempt (via email) to pick a fight with me over my screen name in order to avoid answering a very simple question about one of his claims, namely what his source was. I informed him that the story behind that name is really very mundane and has nothing to do with what he was railing against and I presented it to him.

    So then why "DWise1"? Here is the story:

    In every multi-user computer system, there are corporate policies for assigning user names. One common one is to append the first letter of the first name to the beginning of the first n letters of the last name (since there's always a limit to the length of the user name), adding numeric digits if the resultant user name has already been assigned. For example, one Dilbert comic depicted a "Brenda Utthead" complaining about the user name they had assigned her.

    When I went to work at Hughes Aircraft in 1985, that was their policy, so my user name was "dwise". At the same time, they had bought some of the first Macs, non-networked floppy systems which we used to combine text and graphics in our presentation visuals. To identify my data floppy, I labelled it with my user name, "dwise". Then when I had filled that one and start on a second data diskette, I labeled that one "dwise2" and, for symmetry, I relabelled the first one, "dwise1". Then one day a co-worker read the label of the dwise1 diskette and started to laugh. I didn't get the joke until he told me to read it out loud; up until then I had not realized that it sounded like "The Wise One" and we all had a good laugh over the unintentional pun.

    Then when I signed up for AOL several years later, in the middle of the sign-up process I suddenly had to think up a screen name. All I could think of was that accidental pun and so chose "DWise1" as my screen name.

    Well, there you have the story. Nothing at all to it. And others have also chosen that name, albeit on other domains, of course -- in each domain there can be only one of any user name.

    Contact Information:

    Sorry for having led you through a circuitous path getting here. The contact information links on all my creation/evolution pages link to here, eventually. But first I needed you to read through a few things in order to keep you from sending me a hate email out of pure ignorance and religious prejudice.

    Far too often in the past, with sickening regularity, I have received extremely angry emails from creationists ranting against my site, yet no offense that they named ever had anything at all to do with my site nor with my frequently-stated position. They were flaming me (and sounded like they would have literally set me ablaze if they could physically get to me and a wood pile) for what they imagined I might have written, rather than for what I had actually written. To place it in the wording of the Matthew 7:20 Test, their actions are the wicked fruit produced by their theology and by their fruits we do know them all too well, unfortunately for decent folk.

    Out of pure ignorance and blind religious hatred, they projected onto me all their twisted and hateful misconceptions about atheists. Yes, I have been an atheist for the past half century. However, to my knowledge I am have never been anti-theistic, though I can be very critical of "true Christians" who misbehave in an egregiously hypocritical or hateful manner. On my site, I have never attempted to disprove nor attack God, the Bible, Christianity, nor your faith. If anything, I am trying to help you preserve your faith from a very real and present danger. To that end, I will point out that danger by sharing my observations and experience as well as the experiences of people who have either lost or nearly lost their faith because of "creation science." If there is an idea which I believe can be detrimental (eg, the all-too-prevalent creationist belief that if the world is as we actually do find it, then that disproves God), then I will point out that maybe that's not a good idea. I will also examine specific "creation science" claims and expose their falsehood and explain why they are false. Despite what you may believe, exposing the falsehood of false claims does not constitute any attack against your beliefs or faith, but rather it is a most necessary action which should be taken against all false claims. That actually could only be to your benefit, since using false claims can only damage your position and your cause and basing your faith on false claims can only result in you losing your faith and, if you taught others to also base their faith on those false claims, in others losing their faith.

    Now yet again I will tell you what my position is; even though I give it above, bitter experience has taught me that most creationists will have ignored it anyway. But in order for you to respond to my site constructively, you do need to be aware of what my position actually is:

    My position basically boils down to this:
    If you honestly and truly want to fight evolution, then at least do it right! Learn everything you can about evolution and then attack it, not some stupid strawman caricature of it. And do so honestly and truthfully!

    By refusing to fight evolution honestly and truthfully, but rather using "creation science" instead, you are constantly shooting yourself in the foot, dooming your cause (ie, the Cause of Christ) to failure and your followers to losing their faith.

    If you ignore that in any "response" to my position, then you are ignoring my position and are only railing against some demented fantasy that only exists in your own mind. If you truly intend to respond to my position, then respond to my position!

    If you email me regarding my site, rest assured that I will respond to you, even if your email is extremely hateful (in which case I will urge you to make a reasonable response). Therefore, I must demand that you:

    1. Please address what I've actually written rather than what you may wish to imagine to be there.
    2. Please include some kind of reference indicating to which page you are referring to and where in that page. Without that, I will have no idea what you are talking about and will be unable to answer whatever question you may have or to clarify what you may have misunderstood. That would also help me focus on your question, which will keep my response to you much shorter; otherwise, I would have to explain to you yet again what my position is.
    3. Please be sure to give your email a meaningful subject line, one that will tell me that your email is not just spam. So if it looks like spam (ie, with subject lines such as "" (blank), "Hi", "Re:", "Re: your website", etc.), then your email will go straight to the round file (AKA "be deleted without being opened"). Mentioning that it's my creation/evolution website would help. Mentioning the specific page or subject in the subject line would be even better (and absolutely necessary within the message itself).

    And finally, I urge you to have read this page and familiarized yourself with my position and what I am trying to do before emailing me. With that knowledge, you can hopefully write a more informed email which would be far more constructive than you damning me for "crimes against God" which exist only in your own imagination.

    And if you intend to condemn me for my screen name (as Kent Hovind tried to do to me, twice), then I very strongly recommend that before you do that you must first read the preceding section, Where My Name Came From. My response would be to point you there anyway along with including a copy, so since you're going to have to read it eventually you may as well read it first and save us both the bother of you writing an ignorant and pointless email.

    So please think before you send. I always look forward to thoughtful discussion, so I look forward to your thoughtful email.

    E-Mail Address: dwise1@aol.com.

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    First uploaded on 1997 June 26.
    Last updated on 2019 August 06.