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Prior to joining Answers in Genesis (AiG), the authors’ letters to newspapers and TV stations would be ignored whenever we would respond to various articles or programmes that dealt with the origins issue. Trying to get the media to present the creation message—the other side of the story—has been frustrating.
Since December of 2005, God has provided many opportunities for Answers in Genesis-UK to appear on television and radio.
Beginning in December 2005, things changed. Since then, we have appeared at least four times on UK secular television channels and have had various radio interviews. A number of Christian TV stations which broadcast via the Astra satellite, including Revelation TV (Sky Channel 765 in the UK), recently broadcast interviews with both of us authors, as well as with Ken Ham, founder of AiG-US.
At that same time, the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) broadcast Robert Winston’s three-part BBC series entitled “The Story of God,” even though the series title betrays Lord Winston’s presuppositional bias. These films, (see website review1), took the view that our ideas about God had evolved over time, from primitive animism (the belief that spirits inhabit natural objects), through more developed religions, to monotheism, to the “enlightened” theistic evolutionary views of Winston himself.
Professor Richard Dawkins then took up the baton on Channel 4 with a two-part documentary entitled “The Root of All Evil?”2 Unlike Winston, Dawkins is a full-blown atheist, and his thesis was more than simply telling people his views. He proposed that religion is evil (and by religion, Dawkins really meant biblical Christianity) and that anyone of intelligence ought to be an atheist.
In the second of Dawkins’ documentaries, he addressed education, criticising the teaching of creationism in science lessons. Paul Taylor was asked to take part in a radio programme on BBC Radio Leeds with Dawkins. Meanwhile, Monty White was filmed at one of his talks so that excerpts could be used in a documentary series by novelist and broadcaster Melvyn Bragg. While the series, “Twelve Books that Changed the World,” featured Darwin’s The Origin of Species, the producers were interested in Monty’s point of view on how the book has done damage, particularly in the fields of racism and law and order.
On April 9, Paul appeared on BBC 1’s flagship religious programme, The Heaven and Earth Show. During the show, he debated another atheist evolutionist, Professor Steve Jones of University College London. Professor Jones was unable to find better evidence for evolution than citing antibiotic resistance in bacteria and comparing evolution to gravity, which were easy points to refute.
Professor Richard Pike of the Royal Society of Chemistry issued a statement that creationism should not be taught in public schools. On the morning of April 22, Paul was asked to debate Pike on BBC Radio 5Live. He challenged him to give an example of an observed mutation that causes an increase in genetic information. Professor Pike was unable to do so and floundered in his attempt to respond.
Other appearances by Paul Taylor include a discussion on education on Sky News (April 11, 2006) and a ten-minute interview on GMTV3 (April 30, 2006), which came about because so many viewers had complained about the one-sided presentation previously given by Steve Jones. This was our first successful right-of-reply broadcast.
We are thankful for every opportunity to publicly present the truth of God’s word.
Is the UK media suddenly becoming cosy and cuddly toward biblical Christianity? Maybe the increasingly high profile of Answers in Genesis on both sides of the Atlantic has forced the media to take notice. Nevertheless, we are sufficiently cynical not to trust the good intentions of the media, while still taking every opportunity publicly to present the truth of God’s Word.
Possibly the media see us as eccentric fairground freaks who provide an element of viewer interest to discussions. Often, the media express concern that these “strange creationists” are taking over our schools and that creationists want to ban the teaching of science (erroneously equating evolution with science). In a political environment in which many argue that our freedoms of speech are being removed, the media interest in creationism could be a prelude to legislation banning creationism in science lessons. Yet the National Curriculum currently requires the teaching of all sides of scientific controversies, citing Darwinian evolution as an example.
Perhaps the increase in media interest in the UK heralds a new era of presenting the gospel through the secular media. Whether you take the optimistic or the pessimistic view, we must recognise that God is in control. We need to prayerfully grasp the nettle of the opportunities currently provided by the media and pray that severe editing by television producers will not hinder the important message we bring. We have never heard of anyone saved by watching the BBC’s six o’clock news, but God is still into the business of performing miracles.