15 Answers to John Rennie and Scientific American’s Nonsense (By section)
||Bert Thompson, Ph.D.
Brad Harrub, Ph.D.
[NOTE FROM APOLOGETICS PRESS: Our monthly journal on Christian evidences, Reason & Revelation, normally is published according to a pre-arranged syllabus. Article topics are selected months in advance, and appear in a pre-determined order. The September 2002 issue, however, represented an exception. And we felt that an explanation was in order for our subscribers, and those who visit our Web site.
During the months preceding September 2002, the controversy in the United States over the teaching of creation and/or evolution became increasingly public, and increasingly hard-fought. As state legislatures, boards of education, and others in positions of authority have ventured into the fray by expressing their willingness to consider options to the teaching of organic evolution as the sole explanation for the origin of the Universe and life in that Universe, the battle over what should, or should not, be taught in public schools heightened considerably.
As of July 2002, however, evolutionists took that battle to an entirely different level. In that month’s issue of Scientific American, editor in chief John Rennie published what he intended to be a stinging rebuke of creationism, titled “15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense.” With a variant of vitriol and dogmatism rarely seen in the scientific arena, Mr. Rennie leveled a sustained attack on both creationism and creationists that echoed throughout the halls of academia—and far beyond. A few short weeks later, U.S. News & World Report followed suit by devoting its front cover (and a lengthy accompanying article—“The New Reality of Evolution”—by staff writer Thomas Hayden) to an in-depth defense of the “factuality” of evolution. Neither journal left any doubt about its intent, which was to caricature the concept of creationism so effectively, and to defend the concept of evolution so astutely, that the average reader would go away thinking, “Only the intellectually challenged would dare doubt the scientific validity of evolution; and only an idiot would dare defend belief in creation.”
Enough is enough! No amount of pejorative terminology on the part of editors and journalists is going to make the scientific evidence supporting creation somehow “disappear.” And no amount of intellectual snobbery on the part of materialistic scientists is going to make the woefully weak case for evolution somehow “stronger.” A significant segment of our work at Apologetics Press is devoted to the proclamation of biblical and scientific truth. And a similarly significant segment is devoted to the defense of that truth.
We therefore produced a special issue of Reason & Revelation—“Creationists Fight Back!”—that was intended to do both. The misinformation presented by the editors of Scientific American and U.S. News & World Report, as well as the erroneous conclusions that misinformation was intended to convey, need to be exposed and refuted. And the truth of the matter needs to be heard.
Our responses to these two journals, which originally appeared in the September 2002 issue of Reason & Revelation, were, by necessity, abbreviated due to severe space limitations. This article is the unabbreviated edition of our response to the Scientific American article. The unabbreviated version of our response to the U.S. News & World Report article (“Creationists Fight Back: A Review of U.S. News & World Report’s Cover Story on Evolution”) also is available. We invite your close attention to both.]
The Council for Media Integrity was established June 20, 1996, and is comprised of a network of distinguished international scientists, academicians, and members of the media whose job is to serve as a “watchdog” regarding a balanced portrayal by various media outlets concerning matters related to science (see “Council for Media Integrity”). The purpose of this organization is to monitor the media for unfounded scientific claims and/or misinformation. While this association may sound like a legitimate group of noble individuals concerned about scientific truth, the fact is, it is nothing more than a group of people committed to furthering evolutionary theory and propagating media bias. One of the members of that committee is John Rennie, who, since 1994, has served as editor of Scientific American. In the July 2002, issue of that journal, Mr. Rennie—who is supposed to be monitoring unfounded claims and misinformation about science—penned an article titled “15 Ways to Expose Creationist Nonsense” (2002). The title alone speaks volumes concerning Mr. Rennie’s biased views about creationism. His belligerent attitude of scientific elitism can be seen quite clearly in an editor’s letter that appeared at the beginning of the issue, stating: “Readers of Scientific American are well placed to expose ignorance and combat antiscientific thought. We hope that this article, and a new resource center for defending evolution at www.sciam.com, will assist them in doing so” (see “Bad Science and False Facts,” 287:10). Rennie previously had observed that he works primarily as a journalist, not a scientist (see “Scientific American: The Legacy Continues for 150 Years”)—and it does not take long to realize that this self-professed “journalist” is long on verbiage, but short on facts!
While Rennie’s article has been refuted and discredited by several creationists (see Hoesch, 2002; Oktar, 2002; Sarfati, 2002a), we felt our readers deserved to hear our response to this “nonsense.” We invite you to consider the following observations regarding Mr. Rennie’s article. Now, more than ever, we want our readers to be exposed to the truth regarding this matter. Furthermore, we want evolutionists to know that we can (and will!), answer their arguments—point by point. The time has now come for their “nonsense” to be exposed! Below, in bold type, are the “nonsensical” arguments that Mr. Rennie suggests creationists make. Our response follows.