The United States experience

(a) Hugh Miller, "creation scientist" (Ohio, USA):

"We have found from our studies of radiocarbon dating that humans and dinosaurs lived together right up to maybe 100 [sic] years ago.

"The records show human and dinosaur footprints together and even in Rome there's a record of a very large dinosaur following one of its armies around which they had to slaughter because it was bothering them. "

Interviewed on Ten O'clock News, BBC Radio 4, 11/3/02

(b) Biology professor on coping with "well-funded purveyors of baloney":

I teach evolutionary biology in Tennessee - about 90 miles from Dayton, location of the infamous Scopes trial. I read with sadness of attempts to introduce British students to creationist buffoonery as an alternative to evidentially well-grounded evolutionary biology. The idea that school children (and teachers) are in a position to judge which theory is better biology is absurd - especially since evangelical creationists have elevated the art of lying for Jesus and Genesis into a science.

If the experience in the US is anything to go by, this attempt by assorted Christian fundamentalist Taliban-wannabees to turn the clock of science back to the Middle Ages will not stop with biology. In the US we are used to undergraduates believing that Noah's Ark was the source of post-flood biodiversity, that the earth is less than 10,000 years old, that humans and dinosaurs lived together (creationism's Fred Flinstone hypothesis) and that the Grand Canyon was scooped out by a tidal wave during the flood. Disney cartoons have lent credence to Biblical tales of talking snakes and donkeys.

The US experience shows that good and sensible people frequently have their voices drowned out by well-funded purveyors of baloney.

[Letter from Prof Niall Shanks, East Tennessee State University, USA, in The Guardian, 19/3/02]

(c) Disclaimers in Textbooks

The National Academy of Sciences is urging its members to lobby the Cobb County, Georgia, school board to remove disclaimers about evolution placed in middle and high school textbooks. The school policy also is the subject of a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union, which is demanding that the disclaimers be removed. The stickers tell students that evolution is a theory, not a fact, and should be looked at with an open mind.

NAS President Bruce Alberts said in a letter to the Academy's Georgia membership that these kinds of actions by school officials are classic ploys to get creationism and "intelligent design" theories into the biology curriculum.

[National Secular Society Newsline 22/9/02]

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Updated 23/5/03