Editor’s note: Recently Paul Taylor has been busy participating in media interviews concerning the newest controversy in the United Kingdom over creation/evolution in British schools. This included a prime spot on BBC1–TV, Sunday morning, where he debated famous evolutionist Prof. Steve Jones (who, in a TV debate many years ago, stated that Ken Ham, AiG–USA president, was someone who told lies and was “stupid”), and also the main Tuesday evening news program on SKY News (the UK equivalent of FOX News in America).
Recent weeks have seen a flurry of activity in the UK media on the subject of creation and evolution. I have been asked to do a number of interviews and discussions on behalf of Answers in Genesis (UK/Europe). Sources have also told me that a number of creationists from other organisations have also been contacted for interviews. All this activity comes after years—decades even—of creation being almost totally ignored by the British media.
Here is the background to the latest media buzz.
Well-known Professor Steve Jones was asked by The Royal Society1 to give a lecture entitled “Why Creationism is Wrong and Evolution is Right,” in conjunction with an official statement by the Society, which bitterly criticised creationism. (Both Professor Jones and The Royal Society will be introduced below; one has to ask, though: why did The Royal Society feel the need to stage such a talk?) They presumably are starting to worry that those in the general public are beginning to notice that their precious evolutionary theory is crumbling.
The Royal Society is one of the world’s oldest scientific institutions. It was founded on November 28, 1660 by a group of scientists who had been meeting to discuss ideas. A list of past presidents of The Royal Society reads like a “Who’s Who” of the history of science—including names such as Sir Isaac Newton, Joseph Lister and Lord Kelvin. Other prominent Royal Society members have included Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, and Michael Faraday. One thing that all these illustrious scientists shared was a belief that the world was created in six days, a few thousand years ago, just as it says in the book of Genesis. One wonders what these eminent men would have made of The Royal Society’s recent anti-creation statement (more about that statement later).
Professor Steve Jones is an atheist evolutionist, and we have commented on his views before (see “British Tour Puts AiG ‘on the Map’”). He described Ken Ham as “stupid” in a TV discussion on BBC–TV’s flagship NewsNight programme. It was not very surprising that shortly after this encounter with Ken, in which others reported that Jones fared poorly and was perceived as arrogant, Professor Jones, and his friend the arch anti-creationist/atheist Professor Richard Dawkins, announced that they would no longer debate creationists. We understand that Professor Jones has been withdrawing from media discussions when he has heard that creationists are taking part.
This background makes it all the more surprising that he remained put for a discussion with me on BBC1–TV on Sunday, April 9, 2006. This is the BBC’s flagship religious programme, The Heaven and Earth Show. The discussion, on the subject of Professor Jones’ lecture, included a liberal theistic evolutionist and me. Amazingly, Prof. Jones used similar negative tactics, and with similar negative effects! One interviewer asked him to comment on the recent BBC opinion poll showing that 44% of the British public wanted creationism taught in school science lessons. Professor Jones replied that stupidity is on the increase. This gave me the opportunity to point out that Prof. Jones believes 44% of the British public are stupid—an opinion, I pointed out, which I didn’t share.
The media, it should be mentioned, have been confusing two stories in recent times. One news story brewing was the re-statement of the longstanding opposition by the National Union of Teachers to “faith-based” schools. When I was a schoolteacher, I was a member of the NUT, serving as a union “shop steward” during the early 1990s. The NUT general secretary himself confused the issues, referring to “religious fundamentalists” in his speech. Yet such “voluntary-aided”2 faith schools recruit many members for the NUT. In any case, teaching unions’ views have been largely ignored by successive British governments since the teachers’ strikes of the mid-1980s.
I voiced strong objection to the supposed neutrality of the idea of keeping God out of the classroom.
This confusion of issues surfaced during another televised interview on SKY News on April 11, 2006. Sticking to the issue of science education, I voiced strong objection to the supposed neutrality of the idea of keeping God out of the classroom, and offered a creationist explanation of the fossil record.
Later the same evening, Prof. Jones delivered his Royal Society lecture, and the Society published an amazing statement. It included the comment that the “creationist” claim that “all species on Earth have always existed in their present form is not consistent with the wealth of evidence for evolution, such as the fossil record.” [Editor’s note: Actually AiG and many other creationists say no such thing about species always existing in their present form. See “Arguments to Avoid” and Get Answers: Speciation.] The statement presumably owes much to Prof. Jones’ input. When Prof. Jones offered “salmon speciation” as an example of molecules-to-man evolution during his NewsNight TV debate with Ken Ham in 2000, Ken “pointed out that the salmon ten years later are still salmon, and continue to produce just more salmon, and that creationists believe in speciation anyway.”3
It is now becoming more understandable why evolutionists are seemingly afraid of debating creationists. In six years, Professor Jones has used the same tired, old arguments and the same tired, old insults. Time and time again, evolutionists have little new to offer, despite the claims of new “missing links” like the Arctic fish fossil which recently got worldwide press attention.
Evolutionists have become so bankrupt of ideas, they are worried that the British public have seen through them. We have news for them—the British public have indeed begun to see through them, for, after all, they are not stupid.