Is Creationism Censored?

Creationists complain that their theory of origins is censored by an entrenched scientific "establishment" which does not permit any deviation from its own established orthodoxy. This complaint is based on the fact that teaching creationism as science in public schools is not permitted.

On the other hand, "permitting" the instruction of creationism in the public schools would force teachers to either teach creationist misinformation that has no scientific support, or be fired. Science teachers generally would not object to discussing creationism in science classes, provided it was done in an objective manner. But science teachers dare not mention the shortcomings of creationism for fear of attack by fundamentalist parents. Creationism claims to only want "balanced treatment," but in fact does not permit an objective evaluation of its shortcomings.

The fact that the scientific community does not accept the creationist model does not constitute censorship. Forcing the scientific community to abandon all that has been learned by science for a pseudo science based on religious dogma would be censorship.

The creationist propaganda effort is, by design, directed towards a public audience which generally lacks a scientific background. Creationists have no restrictions whatever in this effort, and have been extraordinarily successful. Anti-science organizations have produced several prime-time TV programs in recent years, including "Voices for Creation" on PBS, "The Search for Noah's Ark," and "Mysterious Origins of Mankind" on NBC.

The Institute for Creation Research carries out a large scale program of seminars, field trips, and training programs. In this respect, they can rely on the resources of the largest religious denomination of the United States, the Southern Baptist organization. The ICR and other creationist organizations operate large publishing houses with dozens of book titles and other creationist literature. ICR's monthly publication Acts and Facts is mailed free to thousands of recipients. Acts and Facts for February lists under its "Science, Scripture, & Salvation" radio log four programs. Also listed are 13 meetings, seminars, and workshops for the months of February-April, 1997. And that is just for one creationist organization!

The only public outreach organization defending evolution is the National Center for Science Education. Compared to the sum total of creationist organizations, it is minuscule in size. Its facilities are limited to the second floor over a pizza shop. Its staff is only a small fraction of that of creationist organizations. It has no regularly sponsored radio programs and has never produced a TV program pointing out the shortcomings of creationism. In fact, no such program has ever been produced at all at any time! Unlike the creationists, NCSE does not have the organization to schedule dozens of seminars, seminars, and workshops to challenge the other side.

The argument is made that students should have the right to hear both creationist and evolutionist views and judge for themselves which is right. Fair enough. But if that be the case, then both sides of the controversy should be presented. Creationists clearly do not do not support that idea. A review of creationist literature reveals only their side of the picture. Read The Genesis Flood, Scientific Creationism, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth, or Evolution, the Fossils Say No! or any creationist literature. You will encounter nothing but the standard "boiler plate" creationist arguments, all of which have been debunked long ago. No evolution counter argument is ever presented.

Mandating creationism in public school science classes creates a serious problem: how does one maintain objectivity? Do you force a science teacher to teach as equally valid a theory of creationism that has no scientific support? Or do you replace him/her with an instructor who ignores the evidence and teaches the falsehood that evolution has no scientific support and is "only a theory"? I have attended "public" (actually set up so most of the audience consisted of creationism supporters) meetings to hear Duane Gish (once) and John Peloza (three times). I learned that creationists have elevated evasion to an art form. After the presentation, they invite questions from the audience. The trouble is they ramble on for 10-15 minutes for each response, merely repeating what they have already said. There is little opportunity for actual questioning.

After Mr. Peloza carried on for some length about the evils of evolution, I was fortunate enough to be able to ask the following: "Is it fair to condemn a person as immoral, simple because he believes that God created living things through a process of evolution?" Mr. Peloza glibly replied that he doesn't condemn those who believe in evolution. Peloza is a very smooth talker, and the audience failed to see the contradiction.

In the propaganda war, creationists have all the ammunition. So why do they complain of censorship? The answer is simple: They have so far been unable to achieve legislation to force public school science teachers to teach, against their will, religious dogma in science classes. It is ironic that those who complain the loudest about censorship are the very ones who work the hardest to impose it on others.

For additional information refer to Lenny Flank web pages discrimination and creationist falsehoods.