The British newspaper the Independent took the evolutionary party line when it profiled Answers in Genesis on Sunday, March 26 with a major, rather negative, article. It appeared after an 8-day speaking tour of England and Wales by AiG executive director Ken Ham.
This London paper highlighted the influence that AiG has had in America, and also in Great Britain through its affiliate ministry based in Leicester. The newspaper chose to take an alarmist view of AiG’s impact, and therefore overstated the influence of AiG (and we chose not to be flattered). For example:
- AiG was given credit for many of the inroads made in Kansas, Kentucky, and Oklahoma to downplay the teaching of evolution in their public schools, when AiG actually was not involved in these efforts. Some of the school board members did read AiG’s book Refuting Evolution, which was presented to them by concerned Kansans, but that was the extent of AiG’s “involvement.” (See the new book The Kansas Tornado for the real story.)
- In the case of Kansas, the paper incorrectly reported that “Kansas agreed to delete the teaching of the theory of evolution from its school curriculum.” This was printed despite AiG carefully pointing out to the reporter that evolution remains in the science standards approved by Kansas last August.
- AiG does not receive “at least 10 invitations a day to lecture at secular colleges,” as was reported in an alarming tone. Actually, there may be days when AiG receives 10 invitations to lecture, but they generally come from churches and only from an occasional university (we would like to receive more university invitations, however, such as the one that came from Harvard last November).
- The Independent claimed that “the fact that Darwin is part of the science curriculum in British schools horrifies Ham.” While AiG is certainly concerned that evolution is being taught as fact in most British schools, we are not in favor of eliminating it from the curriculum. AiG believes that students should be exposed to the teachings of evolution; it is, after all, such a prevalent worldview today. But we also argue that students should be exposed to the scientific problems with macro-evolution and be aware of alternative views in this question of life’s origins.
- The paper claims that AiG is “planning to rival Disney” in building a major creation museum in the Cincinnati area (it is mockingly referred to as a “theme park” and its future exhibits are called “kitsch”). AiG has no such grandiose plans (and this will certainly be no amusement park!). Even one ride at a Disney theme park can easily cost more to build than it would to construct the entire AiG museum!
These exaggerated claims were obviously intended to frighten readers into believing that AiG has the clout to take evolution out of schools and to threaten “serious science.” The article also resorted to mocking creationists, calling Ken Ham “the high priest of Creationism.” It even made fun of his “lurid” dinosaur tie and polyester trousers, and also wrote of his “steely blue” eyes narrowing into “slits” as he spoke.
One would have thought that a paper called Independent would have endeavored to take a fresher approach in its reporting on the creation/evolution controversy. Instead, it resorted to the same tired arguments and mocking so typical of the secular press today.