Secularist Intolerance Against Scientific Paper That Briefly Mentions Creator

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Intolerance against Christians’ freedom to express their Christian worldview is increasing from a minority of secularists who are in positions of authority in education, research, and so on.

What happens when you briefly reference the Creator (without even specifically explaining who this Creator is) in a scientific paper for a secular publication? Well, watch out, for intolerant secularists will become incensed and get the paper censored.

Four scientists, three from China and one from Massachusetts, recently published an article entitled “Biomechanical Characteristics of Hand Coordination in Grasping Activities of Daily Living” in the journal PLOS ONE. In their article they mentioned that “our study can improve the understanding of the human hand and confirm that the mechanical architecture is the proper design by the Creator for dexterous performance of numerous functions following the evolutionary remodeling of the ancestral hand for millions of years” (emphasis mine). Near the end of the paper, the researchers added, “Hand coordination should indicate the mystery of the Creator’s invention.” Now it’s even possible that the authors meant that nature (or evolution) was the Creator! Some people use such wording about nature/evolution.

When it became known that the word Creator was used, the outrage on the Internet and social media was swift and fierce. People bemoaned the “unacceptable,” “harmful disgrace,” “absolute joke,” and “sloppy job” of the editors and their journal for allowing this word to go through. Some secularists threatened to boycott the open-access journal, and some editors declared that they would resign if the article wasn’t retracted. The intolerance shown by the secularists over the use of the word Creator in the article was astonishing. The very idea that there could be an intelligence behind life was so unacceptable and was expressed with such anger that it only exposed how passionate secularists are in defending their religion of humanism and naturalism.

The lead author of the paper, after he was contacted about the firestorm it was creating, reportedly said, “We are not native speakers of English, and entirely lost the connotations of some words such as ‘Creator.’ I am so sorry for that.” After discussion and thought, the journal decided to retract the article. We are not told what the authors were intending to communicate by their word choice of “Creator.”

It’s ironic that creationists are frequently accused of not being “real” scientists because they ”don’t publish in peer-reviewed journals” (of course by this common accusation they mean secular peer-reviewed journals), but this recent episode is a perfect example of why this doesn’t happen! In their paper, these scientists made very brief mentions of a “Creator’s” design—in the same sentence mentioning evolution and millions of years—yet there was a very vocal demand that if this paper were not retracted, a boycott might be called. So it doesn’t matter how sound and well-researched your observational science is or how technical the paper might be, if it even dares to mention a word like Creator, it will be censored. There is such a massive intolerance in the scientific community today against anything that could possibly hint at life not arising by natural processes!

This is one reason that we need our Answers Research Journal, one of several technical, peer-reviewed journals where creationists can submit their articles to be possibly published. Many creationists are not allowed to publish in secular journals, regardless of the quality or soundness of their research and the author’s credentials, simply because what they write isn’t based on the religion of naturalism! It would immediately be declared “wrong”—regardless of the quality of the research—simply because it may be influenced by the Christian worldview instead of evolutionary naturalism.

Now this isn’t to say that creationists never publish in secular, peer-reviewed journals. Many of the scientists here at Answers in Genesis, such as Dr. Danny Faulkner, Dr. Nathaniel Jeanson, Dr. David Menton, Dr. Georgia Purdom, and Dr. Andrew Snelling have all been published in secular journals because they do solid observational science. But in their articles they aren’t permitted to mention the Creator or that their starting point is God’s Word because their work would automatically be thrown out—regardless of the high quality observational science they present.

The intense prejudice and intolerance continually on display by secularists is almost unbelievable.

The intense prejudice and intolerance continually on display by secularists is almost unbelievable. And sadly it’s only increasing. They become up in arms about anything that mentions a creator and will immediately throw it out. And we see this attitude in our personal lives and the culture as a whole. Anyone who dares to think biblically about origins, the nature of marriage, or the sanctity of life is often treated with intolerance, anger, and prejudice, and faces ad hominem attacks—just for starting with God’s Word! And sadly, as our culture moves farther and farther from a biblical worldview, we can only expect this intolerance to continue.

We also saw a similar intolerance regarding the debate I had with Bill Nye “The Science Guy” in 2014. Many secularists openly admitted that they were against the debate because they didn’t want creationists to be able to present our teachings to the public. It’s the same reason atheist groups constantly attack the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter: they can’t tolerate Christians having such a public presence to present their message in a world where so many people have been brainwashed by the religion of naturalism. Secularists don’t want their monopoly on education and research being broken, and thus they resort to censorship.

Really, this outrage directed against PLOS ONE for printing this paper shows how utterly intolerant secularists are to anything even remotely Christian. They don’t want people to even hear any possibility of something that might support creation. They immediately resort to becoming censors. Now, something is wrong with your worldview if you have to censor other views and not even let people hear the alternatives! Whatever happened to freedom of speech and freedom of religion? Secularists ultimately don’t want freedom of religion; they want freedom from Christianity.

As I wrote earlier, evolution is a religion. It’s a religion of naturalism and atheism (both of which are totally unprovable from an observational scientific standpoint, yet are held to ardently within much of academia by blind faith). According to secular, evolutionary thinking, if anything even hints at a creator, it must be thrown out because obviously there’s something wrong with it. This attitude boils down to what their starting point is—they start with the assumption that there is no creator and that everything happened by naturalistic processes, so it doesn’t matter what the quality of the research is; if it in any way supports a Creator God (and it doesn’t even seem to matter which creator; it doesn’t even have to be the God of the Bible), they throw it out. It’s not surprising, then, that public school science textbooks often define science as only having to do with natural processes—no supernatural is allowed. In other words, the religion of naturalism (which is in essence atheism) is being imposed on generations of students in government-run schools.

If secularists were to be honest, they would fully acknowledge that from their perspective, when they die, that’s it—they’re dead. Then why do they even fight so vehemently against God? Why do they care if someone mentions a creator in a research paper? What is it that irks them so much about this? Well, the bottom line is that they know that if there is a God who created them, and if He is the God of the Bible, then He owns them, He sets the rules, and they are accountable to Him. It means, for example, that marriage is one man for one woman, that abortion is murder, and so on.

Because the human heart does not want to submit to Christ, secularists actively suppress the truth in unrighteousness (Romans 1:18). Romans 1 makes it clear that God is clearly seen through what He has made (Romans 1:20). But instead of submitting to Him, people reject that truth and do everything they can to ignore His witness in nature and through His Word. Ultimately, it comes down to a heart issue!

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. (Romans 1:18–23)

Editor’s note: This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.


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