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Chapter 15: Continued Attacks on Creation Science

This closing chapter illustrates how some confirmed evolutionists continue to ignore, disparage, misconstrue, or suppress the scientific evidence for creation. Having said this, I nevertheless respect the right of anyone who chooses to accept evolution as his model of origins. This is what democracy is all about. Here we have the right to choose any philosophy—or scientific hypothesis—after having the opportunity to evaluate all the relevant data.

Survey of Creation-Science Literature Yields Questionable Results

In his capacity as Research News Editor of Science magazine, Roger Lewin again attacks creation science in his May 17, 1985, article "Evidence for Scientific Creationism?" (Lewin 1985). The reader will recall my attempt to correct his inaccurate account of my testimony at the Arkansas trial (see Chapter 12). At that time the Letters Editor, Christine Gilbert, replied that the editorial staff of Science had decided not to publish my technical response to his comments on my research. She added that Lewin was unable to include certain details because of his space limitations. My complaint to Science did not question the column space given to my testimony but his garbled and incomplete account. It is interesting to note, however, that Science printed the entire Opinion written by Judge Overton. Evidently, space limitations are no problem when the commentary supports evolution.

This 1985 article by Roger Lewin erroneously portrays to the scientific community that creation science is devoid of published material in the eminent scientific journals of the world. He uses information obtained from a computer survey by Eugenie C. Scott, an anthropologist at the University of Colorado, and Henry P. Cole, a professor in educational psychology at [p. 187] the University of Kentucky. Lewin refers to their article (Cole and Scott 1982) to back up his contention that "so-called creation science" is based on "putative pillars," not genuine evidence documented in the technical literature. He quotes Scott and Cole's conclusion, that "nothing resembling empirical or experimental evidence for scientific creationism was discovered" in their survey of the scientific literature. Lewin re-emphasizes this point in discussing their latest survey (Scott and Cole 1985), when he focuses on their central theme: "why don't the professional scientists among creationists publish empirical, experimental, or theoretical evidence for scientific creationism?"

As soon as I read Lewin's article, I tried unsuccessfully to contact Dr. Scott at the University of Colorado and left word for her to return my call. I was able to reach Dr. Cole, though, at the University of Kentucky. Over the telephone I went into much detail outlining the basic results of my research efforts since the mid-sixties and questioned the conclusions of their recent survey. He replied defensively that Dr. Scott was more familiar with the radiohalos than he and that he would ask her to call me. In particular I asked Cole about their report in The Quarterly Review of Biology and the following statements made therein relative to my research:

. . . Probably the best anomaly in the scientific creationists' arsenal is the existence of polonium halos, a "minor mystery" in Judge Overton's words, of which the scientific creationists are quite proud. Gentry [Gentry 1982] claims that the existence of Po halos in granite, coalified wood, mica, and other substances indicate that such materials were formed suddenly, under cool conditions, an interpretation supporting special creation. These observations, however, have alternative explanations within normal physical science, and are therefore not unambiguous evidences for Special Creation [Dutch 1983 and Hashemi-Nezhad et al. 1979]. (Scott and Cole 1985, 26)

Scott and Cole show their unfamiliarity about my work when they include coalified wood in the category of substances which "formed suddenly." More unfamiliarity is evident by their claim that my observations have alternative explanations within normal science, a claim they support by citing Dutch and Hashemi-Nezhad et al. But these scientists did not do specific research on polonium halos (Gentry 1983b, Gentry 1984a); thus they had no alternative explanations based on demonstrable evidence, only hypothetical solutions. Postulating a hypothetical origin for the polonium halos in granites is something that anyone can do. But for a scientist to truthfully claim he has found a conventional explanation of polonium halos [p. 188] in granites, he must provide demonstrable evidence that his explanation is correct. As I have noted several times, this can be accomplished only by the artificial synthesis of polonium halos in granites (Gentry 1979, Gentry 1980, and Gentry 1984a; Appendix). Such proof of a conventional explanation for these polonium halos has not been demonstrated. I explained this to Dr. Cole, and again he indicated that Dr. Scott was largely responsible for the comments about my work on halos.

Soon after our conversation he wrote me a letter, stating that he had reread the article written by Dr. Scott and him along with the pertinent references to my work. He insisted there were, "indeed, other scientists who provide alternative explanations for the existence of Po halos." He ended the letter, assuring me that he would call Dr. Scott and ask her to contact me.

I have yet to hear from Dr. Scott! And obviously my conversation with Dr. Cole had not changed his mind. He was more convinced than ever to uphold what had been written in their article. He was content to let plausibility arguments serve as "alternative explanations [for Po halos] within normal physical science." I suggested that, if in fact he knew of scientists who had demonstrable experimental evidence to refute the results of my work on the halos, they should by all means submit such evidence to the review process in journals like Science or Nature, where it could be critically analyzed along with my response. Published theoretical statements about the origin of the halos, on the other hand, do not and never will constitute an alternative explanation derived by the scientific method.

In Scott and Cole's article in The Quarterly Review of Biology, they quote from my 1974 report in Nature and then comment on the statement as follows:

. . . In an article in Nature [Gentry et al. 1974] he asks "Do Po halos imply that unknown processes were operative during the formative period of the earth?" He makes no statement about special creation here, however, and in fact goes on to posit another kind of explanation: "Is it possible that Po halos in Precambrian rocks represent extinct natural radioactivity and are therefore of cosmological significance?. . ." (Scott and Cole 1985, 27)

Scott and Cole, not being geophysical scientists, misinterpret my conclusions because they do not understand the terminology. They are not aware that connecting polonium halos with "extinct natural radioactivity" is just a technical way of saying the primeval earth formed very rapidly. One of my earliest reports was almost rejected because a referee understood this [p. 189] connection with creation (see Chapters 2 and 3). Thus, Scott and Cole are wrong when they say, I went on "to posit another kind of explanation" about the implications of polonium halos. The terms "special creation" or "creation" were not used in my reports to avoid rejection of the manuscripts.

Their concluding remark about my article is:

. . . Later in the [Gentry's] article (p. 566) another hint is offered: "Just as important as the existence of a new type of lead is the question of whether Po halos which occur in a granitic or pegmatic [sic, pegmatitic] environment . . . can be explained by accepted models of Earth history." . . . Articles of this sort are likely what creationists refer to as "masked" literature. (Scott and Cole 1985, 27)

Scott and Cole imply that there is something masked about the above statement, but actually they easily noticed the implications for creation, which, as Chapter 3 showed, was my intent in putting this statement in my article. But of far more significance is something they did not say: that is, the implications for creation, expressed in my article, have never been rebutted. This fact was carefully "masked" in the report of their survey.

Scott and Cole's final declaration to the scientific community had the effect of a trumpet, sounding the call to battle against creation science:

. . . science teachers are faced with community campaigns for the teaching of scientific creationism by influential persons, some with scientific credentials, who repeatedly claim there is as much, and equally as good, scientific evidence for scientific creationist concepts as there is for evolution. Teachers, school administrators, and lay persons on school boards are hard pressed to deal effectively with these claims. Support from university-level scholars is often crucial to these disputes, but it is not always offered. Objective documentation of the fallaciousness of the scientific creationist claim that their views are based upon scientific evidence provides "ammunition" for these people. We hope the results of our study will be useful for those who directly confront the creationists. (Scott and Cole 1985, 29)

Apparently Roger Lewin wanted to do his part in providing ammunition "for those who directly confront the creationists," for he concluded his May 17, 1985, article in Science by quoting those very words. Unquestionably inveterate evolutionists were inspired with new zeal as they prepared to use his article as a basis for renewed attacks on creation science. Doubtless they thought that Lewin had furnished them with all the relevant facts in his possession. Did he?

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