Saturday, June 27, 2009

Creation Ministries UK Deceives Scientists

The BBC has a story on a film coming out shortly called The Voyage that Shook the World, about the life of Charles Darwin that has some scientists hopping mad:
Professor Peter Bowler, the author of a biography of Charles Darwin and many other books on the history of evolution, said he was interviewed for the The Voyage That Shook The World without realising that the film was being made by a Creationist group.

Professor Bowler, who has spent most of his academic career at Queen's University, Belfast, researching Darwinism, says he is unhappy to be appearing in what he regards as an "anti-Darwinian" film which offers an historically distorted portrait of Darwin. He claims that the film's narrative implies that Darwin's theory led him towards racism, whereas recent historical work by James Moore and Adrian Desmond shows that Darwin's scientific work was partly motivated by the naturalist's passionate opposition to racism.
The deception took the same form as that of Ben Stein's Expelled! and Bill Maher's Religulous:
Phil Bell, CEO of Creation Ministries UK, acknoweged that his organisation established a "front company" called Fathom Media, because they were concerned that experts such as Peter Bowler would not agree to take part in the film if they realised it was an "overtly Creationist" production. "At the end of the day," he said, "[when] people see 'Creationist', instantly the shutters go up and that would have shut us off from talking to the sort of experts, such as Professor Bowler, that we wanted to get to."
Gee, I can't imagine why that would be? Now here's the real kicker:
I asked Phil Bell if this method of securing an interview was "deceptive". He said: "Well, it could be called deceptive. But I think, at the end of the day, I would say that more people are concerned about how we've made a documentary, that's a world-class documentary, clearly with wonderful footage, with excellent interviews, and balanced open discussion."
In other words, it doesn't matter that he lied to people about why he was interviewing them, or that he lied about what the content of the film would be and therefore he feels justified in using deceptive tactics. How is God glorified in any of this??? How can it be a balanced, open discussion when the people doing the interviewing have a hidden agenda? This is exactly why creationists are vilified by scientists and why they will never get the legitimacy that they so long for and will never have.

Donald Prothero, in his introduction to the special transitional fossils issue of Evolution Education and Outreach puts it this way in his description of young earth creationists:
As discussed in my recent book (Prothero 2007), their tactics consisted of taking quotations out context (“quote mining”), citing old outdated sources or oversimplified trade books (and even children’s books), and misinterpreting what little bit of real science they did cite correctly. In no case was their “research” based on actual study and interpretation of real outcrops or fossils, since none of these creationist authors has any appropriate qualifications or training in paleontology or geology.
This just makes Christianity look deceptive and devious. We seek to show the truth of Christ to the world. I am increasingly coming to the conclusion that young earth creationism is extremely harmful to the cause of Christ.

Hat tip to LGF.

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