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Chapter 15: Continued Attacks on Creation Science

[p. 190]

Another Response Denied

In Chapter 12 I recounted that Lewin was present throughout my entire four-hour testimony at the Arkansas trial, when published reports of my research on creation were presented in detail to the Court. Why, then, did he choose to remain silent about my publications for creation science instead of completely supporting Scott and Cole's claim that such published evidence was practically nonexistent? In Chapter 7 I showed examples of evolutionists who claim that creation scientists tend to twist the facts and resist unwanted information. I ask: Is Roger Lewin's refusal to report the whole story about published evidences for creation due to his resistance against unwanted information? His journalistic bias for evolution prompted me to send a response to Christine Gilbert, Letters Editor of Science; it was an attempt to present the other side of the story, effectively omitted by Lewin:


Roger Lewin (1) quotes Scott and Cole (2,3) to deny both the existence of recent published evidences for creation and the possibility of censorship. Despite these denials, all three of these evolutionists have omitted discussion of a critical test of the evolution and creation models. This test is derived from my published evidence which implies that polonium halos in Precambrian granites originated with primordial polonium (4). On this basis, these granites must be the primordial Genesis rocks of our planet, having been created rather than having crystallized naturally, as evolutionary geology supposes. If the Precambrian granites, with their polonium halos, are indeed the handiwork of the Creator, then, in my view, it is impossible to duplicate them. On the other hand, if the granites just formed naturally, as evolution assumes, then it should be possible to reproduce a hand-sized piece of granite in a modern scientific laboratory. My first opportunity to present this test to the scientific community came in 1979 (5). There was no response to this challenge; so on every available occasion I have repeated it (6) and focused attention on how clearly the issues are defined: Success in duplicating a granite containing just one 218Po halo would confirm the evolutionary view that both these entities formed by natural processes, and this would falsify my creation model. Failure in this experiment would mean the opposite is true.

Now Scott and Cole (3) say, "It is the nature of scientists to study and debate any scientific fact or finding that challenges existing scientific theories and models. If even one of the creationists' basic assumptions or [p. 191] concepts were supported by empirical evidence from any of the fields of scientific inquiry, scores of scientists would flock to the sites of the evidence and work earnestly to undo or 'falsify' prevailing scientific theories in light of this new evidence." Thus, when these authors were confronted with the falsification test in one of my publications (7), why didn't they issue an urgent call for "scores of scientists" to begin working "earnestly" on it?

A more penetrating question is why Lewin has maintained a deafening silence about this matter for over three years. He was present at the Arkansas trial when I testified about the polonium halo evidence for creation and explained the falsification test in detail. Yet he neglected to mention this decisive test of the two models in his coverage of the trial (8). I attempted to have this glaring omission (and other inaccuracies about my testimony) corrected through a rebuttal letter to Science, but my response was denied publication. Subsequently, I lost my position as a Guest Scientist at a national laboratory, even though shortly before my dismissal some of my latest research efforts (9) came to the favorable attention of the U.S. Senate (10).

How much longer will the scientific basis for creation be suppressed? For six years I have waited for those scientists who oppose creation to publish their results on the experimental challenge described above. Why would they wait interminably to refute what I claim to be unambiguous evidence for creation—except that they face an impossible task!

Robert V. Gentry

  1. R. Lewin, Science 228, 837 (1985).
  2. H. P. Cole and E. C. Scott, Phi Delta Kappan (April 1982), p. 557.
  3. E. C. Scott and H. P. Cole, Quat. Rev. Biol. 60, 21(1985).
  4. R. V. Gentry, et al., Science 194, 315 (1976).
    R. V. Gentry, et al., Nature 252, 564 (1974).
    R. V. Gentry, Science 184, 62 (1974).
    ______, Annual Rev. Nucl. Sci. 23, 347 (1973).
    R. V. Gentry, et al., Nature 244, 282 (1973).
    R. V. Gentry, Science 173, 727 (1971).
    ______, Science 160, 1228 (1968).
    ______, Nature 213, 487 (1967).
  5. R. V. Gentry, EOS 60, 474 (1979).
  6. R. V. Gentry, Proceedings of the 63rd Annual Meeting, Pacific Division, AAAS 1,38 (1984).
    ______, Physics Today (December 1984), p. 92.
    ______, Physics Today (April 1984), p. 108.
    ______, Physics Today (April 1983), p. 13.
    ______, EOS 61, 514 (1980).
  7. R. V. Gentry, Physics Today (October 1982), p. 13.
    [p. 192]
  8. R. Lewin, Science 215, 33(1982);
    Ibid., p. 142 (1982).
  9. R. V. Gentry, et al., Geophys. Res. Lett. 9, 1129 (1982).
    R. V. Gentry, et al., Science 216, 296 (1982).
  10. Congressional Record - Senate 128, 4306 (1982).

I was hoping Science would be more open to publishing this response than they were to the one I submitted in 1982. Unfortunately, this rebuttal to Lewin's view of creation science was also rejected with the excuse: "We wish we could print more letters, but space restrictions limit us to a very small fraction of those we receive." I was curious as to whether there may have been other reasons for their refusal to publish my remarks and telephoned the Letters Editor. She informed me that the decision not to publish my response was made by Daniel Koshland, Editor of Science. Subsequently, on June 22, 1985, I wrote to Dr. Koshland, asking for a re- evaluation:

Dear Dr. Koshland:

Today I received a letter from Christine Gilbert indicating that my response to Roger Lewin's write-up would not be published. Space limitations were given as the main reason for rejecting my response.

I have talked to Ms. Gilbert about this decision and have decided to appeal directly to you for publication of my response. I realize my letter contains some potentially embarrassing information about one of Science's staff reporters; but it is information that is nonetheless true, and the scientific community deserves to know what has been going on behind the scenes.

Thanking you in advance for consideration of this appeal to publish my response, I am


/s/ Robert V. Gentry.

I never received a reply from Koshland about this appeal.

In May 1985, Dr. Russell Humphreys of the Sandia National Laboratories also wrote a letter responding to the implications of Lewin's article on Scott and Cole's surveys. His letter was likewise turned down for publication, and on July 30, 1985, he appealed to Christine Gilbert for a second consideration:

Dear Ms. Gilbert:

Thank you for informing me of your decision not to publish my 28 May letter. It is the most courteous rejection I have ever received. I would like to ask you, however, for a few details on why it was rejected. I know that you have very limited space, but there must be some reasons why you filled that space with other letters than mine.

[p. 193]

The reason I am asking is that I have a suspicion the letter was rejected because it supported creationism. My suspicion is based on the fact that in six years, I have seen only one letter in Science which was in favor of creationism. I'm sure you have received many more than that, mine among many others. Even your sister magazine across the Sea, Nature, has published a reasonable number.

I'm sure you can see how this is related to the subject of my letter, which concerns Roger Lewin's claim that creationists don't submit articles to mainstream science journals. If Science does indeed have a hidden policy of suppressing creationist letters, surely Mr. Lewin can see why creationist scientists don't spend the much greater effort of submitting articles. I would appreciate it if you would tell me frankly: Does your journal have such a policy? If it does not, the best way you could prove it is by publishing a competent creationist letter every now and then.

Yours very truly,

/s/ Russ Humphreys

D. Russell Humphreys, Ph.D.
Division 1252
Sandia National Laboratories

On August 30, 1985, she replied to him as follows:

Dear Dr. Humphreys:

Thank you for your letter of 30 July. It is true that we are not likely to publish letters supporting creationism. This is because we decide what to publish on the basis of scientific content.

The letters we received objecting to the study reported by Roger Lewin contained arguments that were largely conjectural or anecdotal. They were therefore not considered acceptable material for Science.

Yours sincerely,

/s/ Christine Gilbert

Christine Gilbert
Letters Editor
(Gilbert 1985; Appendix)

Notice that the excuse given was that the negative comments were "largely conjectural or anecdotal." The readers can decide if my June 1985 response, reprinted earlier in this chapter, fits this description. Note also that Gilbert's admission that Science has a discriminatory policy against publishing creation science letters seems to contradict its own editorial policy stated in every [p. 194] issue—the claim to include "the presentation of minority or conflicting points of view."

In summary, the first intent of my response was to especially focus the attention of the scientific community on Lewin's continued silence about the scientific evidences for creation and the falsification test. The second intent was to emphasize that, in the case of my research, there had been no attempt within the scientific community to "flock to the sites of the evidence and work earnestly to . . . 'falsify' . . . this new evidence" as Scott and Cole assured would be the case if "even one of the creationists' basic assumptions or concepts were supported by empirical evidence . . ."

By refusing to publish my response the editor of Science effectively allied himself with Lewin and decided to stonewall the entire matter. Perhaps he felt secure in believing that his decision would never become known to the scientific community, or if it did, that he would have their full support in taking action to suppress dissent about such an unpopular cause. Whatever the reason, both the editor of Science and Lewin have shown how confirmed evolutionists can use the power of the Establishment to prevent free and open discussion of the published evidences for creation, evidences that most clearly and directly falsify the basic premise of the general theory of evolution.

Part of the Affirmation of Freedom of Inquiry discussed in the Overview says "that the search for knowledge and understanding of the physical universe ... should be conducted under conditions of intellectual freedom ..." and "that freedom of inquiry and dissemination of ideas require that those so engaged be free to search where their inquiry leads, free to travel and free to publish their findings without political censorship and without fear of retribution in consequence of unpopularity of their conclusions." The reader may decide whether the editor of Science followed the principles of this Affirmation.

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