Some Things You Can Do to Learn More About Creationist Lies and Distortions

Revolutionary Worker #1218, November 2, 2003, posted at

1) Continue to look into and find out more about the tremendous amount of actual evidence for evolution, so that you can see for yourself that this is not an untested theory.

This series is hopefully helping you to do this; in addition, libraries and bookstores carry many excellent books which popularly review the evidence for evolution and explain what is wrong with Creationism. Look in the science section for titles by authors such as Ernst Mayr, Niles Eldredge, Doug Futuyma, Stephen Jay Gould and Robert T. Pennock, among others (just watch out for Creationist books masquerading as science in those sections; some of them are made to "look" like regular science books -- especially the ones written by the Intelligent Design Creationists--even though they consist mainly of promoting religious beliefs and anti-scientific methods and should properly be placed in the religion section of bookstores). The more you learn about the evidence for evolution and the method of the Creationists, the more you should be able to spot these pseudoscientific impostors, and not be taken in by them.

The multi-part PBS series Evolution is an excellent and fun introduction to the subject and is available on video; the PBS web site ( also posts useful summaries and teacher and student study guides as companions to this televised series; the National Center for Science Education ( NCSE ) does an excellent job of promoting the teaching of evolution, answering the evolution-related questions of teachers and the general public, recommending materials to read, and generally not only watch-dogging but actively countering with actual scientific information the anti-scientific Creationists' every move. They publish a newsletter and their website is

2) Learn to recognize what's wrong with the Creationists' METHODS.

This is very important. It's not enough to learn to recognize what's wrong with each individual Creationist argument, because they will just keep coming up with more. It is necessary to grapple with what's wrong with their underlying method --the same unscientific approach to things that runs through every single one of their anti-evolution positions. It has often been said that nobody can really expect to successfully "debate" a Creationist (no matter how much you know about evolution) simply because they don't base themselves on fact-based evidence as they go about zealously promoting their blind-faith beliefs. Plus, they hardly ever argue "for" their own theory; they mainly concentrate on arguing "against" the theory of evolution. So the Creationist idea of a "debate" is basically to pepper evolutionists with a seemingly endless and constantly changing series of supposed "challenges," which always boil down to claiming the evolutionists just don't have enough proof that evolution happened (regardless of how much proof has actually been presented by the evolutionists!), while at the same time insisting that it's OK for them (the Creationists) not to provide any proof for their own theory of divine creation, since of course by definition "you're not supposed to be able to prove the existence of god or any of god's actions anyway."

If you familiarize yourself with what's wrong with at least a handful of specific Creationist "arguments" against evolution and also learn to recognize the pattern of what's wrong with the kinds of methods they use to attack evolution, then you should be able to better recognize any non-scientific religious belief pretending to be science, no matter what new garb it may be dressed up in (including in Creationism's latest incarnation--"intelligent design theory"--more on this later in this series). The Creationist arguments will keep changing as fast as the evolutionists answer them, but their wrong methods (methods which can't possibly get at the actual truth of things) always seem to stay pretty much the same . So once you understand what's wrong about their methods , it will be easier to see through their lies and deceptions even when they wrap them up in new "scientific-sounding" words and ideas.

3) Understand that so-called "scientific Creationism" is not science; it is religion.

In his 1981 article "Evolution as Fact and Theory" the well-known paleontologist and evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould quoted Duane Gish, one of the most well known lobbyists for the teaching of "creation-science" and representative of the Institute for Creation Research, as saying:

"By creation we mean the bringing into being by a supernatural Creator of the basic kinds of plants and animals by the process of sudden, or fiat, creation. We do not know how the Creator created, what processes He used, for he used processes which are not now operating anywhere in the natural universe (Gish's italics). This is why we refer to creation as special creation. We cannot discover by scientific investigations anything about the creative processes used by the Creator."

Can anyone have any doubt at all that Creationism is an expression of a particular set of religious beliefs and has nothing to do with science? As Stephen Jay Gould put it: "Pray tell Dr. Gish, in the light of your last sentence, what then is `scientific' creationism?"

4) Educate yourself about the broader political and ideological objectives of the Creationists and about the kind of reactionary political forces they are allied with and supported by.

Check out the money connections, and most importantly look into the general politics and social programs of the kind of people who try to get local schoolboards to smuggle Creationism into the science classrooms or try to get Congress or the Supreme Court to mandate the teaching of anti-evolution Creationism throughout the whole country. It is no accident that the Creationists also frequently rail against feminists, homosexuals, "minorities," and immigrants, for example, and that they can be counted on to promote the most reactionary "traditional values" around just about every dividing-line social question.