A Frequent Refrain . . . That Should Be Refrained From

A guest columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer claimed there is “an infinitesimally small number of biologists” who believe in creation or intelligent design.

AiG has noticed similarities in tactics from some of the more active anti-creationists, as they engage in efforts across America to counter the recent surge of interest in creation (and also in the growing Intelligent Design Movement). Many news reporters, syndicated columnists and evolutionists who write guest columns/letters to the editor often seem to be operating out of the same playbook. The same pro-evolution, anti-creation words and phrases turn up time and time again.

The same pro-evolution, anti-creation words and phrases turn up time and time again.

For example, in an editorial in the San Diego Union-Tribune (California, USA), an editorialist confidently declared that few creationists have degrees in biology.1 Over 2,000 miles to the east, a guest columnist for the Cincinnati Enquirer (the major newspaper in AiG-USA’s area) resorted to an even higher degree of hyperbole when he claimed that there is “an infinitesimally small number of biologists” who believe in creation or intelligent design.

Such comments are now a frequent refrain for evolutionists who try to diminish (or deny) the influence of the growing creation and ID movements.

The wild claim in the Enquirer made by the wholly misinformed guest commentator prompted AiG to write a letter to the paper’s editor, which the Enquirer unfortunately decided not to print. (AiG subsequently requested the opportunity to write a guest column, but still has not heard back from the paper . . . after two attempts.) Because such letters to the editor have to be short to meet the paper’s submission guidelines, we concentrated on one aspect of the commentator’s few claims, particularly his contention that there are apparently no scientists in the life sciences who are creationists.

You will read from the unpublished letter that the alleged lack of creation scientists is an easy myth to dispel. We mentioned that right here in AiG’s Cincinnati area, we knew of several such scientists-including three who hold doctorates in the life sciences, and who are not employed by a creationist/religious organization. In addition, there are many hundreds of biologists employed around America, according to the Creation Research Society (and thousands of others in additional science disciplines [see our Creation scientists section for a partial listing]).

Here is the guest column (in its entirety) by the anti-creationist that appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer, followed by our unpublished rebuttal letter.

Your voice [in the Enquirer]

Stick to real biology in teaching biology

Who should decide how our children are taught in school? The Enquirer recently reported results of a survey in which 71 percent of Ohioans strongly favored measures that ensure teachers are experts in their subjects.

By extension, this implies that most people feel that the content of courses should also be decided by experts in that subject. I, for one, know so little about classic literature that I want to have nothing to do with deciding what should be taught in high school literature classes, lest our children get a miserable education.

So why is it that year after year, there is a push (almost exclusively by non-biologists) to force the teaching of creationism (or its pseudonym, “intelligent design”) in high-school biology classes?

I study developmental biology in zebrafish to help find genes which cause disease in humans. My research wouldn’t work if humans weren’t related to fish. I do know something about development and evolution, and I know that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming and increasing while the scientific evidence for creationism/ID is completely non-existent.

I have yet to meet face-to-face another biologist who doubts the fundamental principles of evolution (I know there are a few out there on the lecture circuit, but they might represent about 0.01 percent of biologists). Even John Marburger, scientific adviser to President Bush, recently said “evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology” and “intelligent design is not a scientific concept.”

The idea that we should even teach about the “controversy” of evolution is silly because scientists don’t have any controversy about it-the only controversy comes from non-experts and an infinitesimally small number of biologists largely employed by religious organizations.

So to those who want to teach their children “ID,” I say fine-you can do it at home or do it in church, but until there is actually some scientific evidence for it, or a reasonable percentage of biology experts who believe it even approximates the likelihood of evolution, then it has no place in a science classroom. Otherwise, if I think that Charles Dickens wrote “War and Peace,” do I get to put a sticker in the front of the book pointing out the controversy about who wrote it?

Dr. Thomas Bartman does research with zebrafish to find genes that cause heart malformations in human infants. He lives in Montgomery.

Dear Enquirer editor:

I am offering to facilitate a friendly lunch meeting so that evolutionist Dr. Thomas Bartman can meet creationists who hold PhDs in the life sciences (the number of which he claims is “infinitesimally small”).

Dr. Bartman indicated that he has yet to meet “face to face” with a biologist who doubts evolution. Of course, it begs the question: Is a creationist somehow compelled to mention this upon meeting him (information, by the way, which can be career-endangering)?

I would like to invite Dr. Bartman to have lunch with three creationist Ph.D. biochemists working in Cincinnati, including Drs. Eric Norman and Dudley Eirich. AiG could host the meeting in its own café in Northern Kentucky-this would also afford Dr. Bartman the opportunity to meet AiG’s life science staff (e.g., David Menton, Ph.D., cell biology, and Georgia Purdom, Ph.D., molecular genetics).

I await Dr. Bartman’s call.

[NOTE: Both Dr. Norman and Dr. Eirich have agreed to meet with Dr. Bartman.]


Mark Looy
CCO, Answers in Genesis

In a personal email to Dr. Bartman, AiG also invited him to consider engaging in a public debate on creation vs. evolution. He responded that he did not want to participate in a public circus, and called AiG a fringe group. We’ll let readers judge for themselves whether or not employing 200 staff worldwide (including several full-time Ph.D. scientists), publishing a technical journal, hosting a website with up to 55,000 daily visitors, airing a radio program on more than 750 stations, holding several hundred teaching meetings around the world each year, building a large national center (the Creation Museum), etc., constitutes a fringe group, especially when you also consider that through the grassroots efforts AiG, ICR, CRS and other creation groups, 64% of Americans still manage to favor the teaching of creation with evolution in public schools.2 The apologetics materials distributed by creation organizations throughout America over the years are having a deep and lasting impact.


  1. August 5, 2005, cited by Henry Morris, “Back to Genesis” article # 202, ICR, October 2005.
  2. July 2005 poll by the Pew Research Center; see people-press.org/commentary/display.php3?AnalysisID=118.


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