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THE

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AMERICAN ATHEIST
A Journal of Atheist News and Thought

(VoI.2S, No.3) March, 1983

1983

1963

****.***.***** _ *
AMERICAN ATHEISTS
is a non-profit, non-political, educational organization, dedicated to the complete and absolute separation of
state and church. We accept the explanation of Thomas Jefferson that the "First Amendment" to the
Constitution of the United States was meant to create a "wall of separation" between state and church.
American Atheists are organized to stimulate and promote freedom of thought and inquiry concerning
religious beliefs, creeds, dogmas, tenets, rituals and practices;
to collect and disseminate information, data and literature on all religions and promote a more thorough
understanding of them, their origins and histories;
to encourage the development and public acceptance of a human ethical system, stressing the mutual
sympathy, understanding
and interdependence
of all people and the corresponding responsibility of each
individual in relation to society;
to develop and propagate a culture in which man is the central figure who alone must be the source of
strength, progress and ideals for the well-being and happiness of humanity;
to promote the study of the arts and sciences and of all problems affecting the maintenance,
perpetuation and enrichment of human (and other) life;
to engage in such social, educational, legal and cultural activity as will be useful and beneficial to
members of American Atheists and to society as a whole.
Atheism may be defined as the mental attitude which unreservedly accepts the supremacy of reason and
aims at establishing a lifestyle and ethical outlook verifiable by experience and the scientific method,
independent of all arbitrary assumptions of authority and creeds.
Materialism declares that the cosmos is devoid of immanent conscious purpose; that it is governed by its own
inherent, immutable and impersonal laws; that there is no supernatural interference in human life; that man finding his resources within himself - can and must create his own destiny. Materialism restores to man his.
dignity and his intellectual integrity. It teaches that we must prize our life on earth and strive always to improve
it. It holds that man is capable of creating a social system based on reason and justice. Materialism's "faith" is in
man and man's ability to transform the world culture by his own efforts. This is a commitment which is in very
essence life asserting. It considers the struggle for progress as a moral obligation and impossible without noble
ideas that inspire man to bold creative works. Materialism holds that humankind's potential for good and for an
outreach to more fulfilling cultural development is, for all practical purposes, unlimited .

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ATHEISTS

P.O.BOX 2117

AUSTIN,

TX 78768-2117

Send $40 for one year's membership. You will receive our "Insider's Newsletter" monthly,
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ON THE COVER

(VoI.2S, No.3) March, 1983


REGULAR FEATURES
Editorial
American

Atheist Radio Series: Geology and Religion

Dial-An-Atheist

2
18
20

FEATURED COLUMNISTS
The Big Bang Cosmogony

G. Stanley Brown

ISKON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness)


Mimics Christian Propagandists
- Margaret Bhatty

22

ARTICLES
Looking at the End of the World ~ Dyson Carter

10

Censorship of Textbooks
Continues in Texas

13

Mentioning

The New Right: The Movement


- Ben Brodinsky

and Its Impact


25

An Engineer Looks at the Creationist


- John W. Patterson

Editor-in-Chief
Madalyn Murray O'Hair
Managing Editor
Jon G. Murray
Poetry
Robin Murray O'Hair
Angeline Berinett
Gerald Tholen
Production Staff
Art Brenner
BillKight
Richard Smith
Gerald Tholen
Gloria Tholen
Lex Stevens
Non-Resident Staff
G. Stanley Brown
Jeff Frankel
Merrill Holste
Margaret Bhatty
Fred Woodworth
Clayton Powers

Austin, Texas

Evolution

Movement
34

The American Atheist magazine is published monthly at the Gustav Broukal American Atheist Press, 2210 Hancock Dr., Austin, TX 78756, and 1982 by Society of
Separationists, Inc., a non-profit, non-political, educational organization dedicated to
the complete and absolute separation of
state and church. Mailing address: P.O. Box
2117/Austin, TX 78768-2117. A free subscription is provided as an incident of memo
bership in the American Atheists organizetion. Subscriptions are available at $25. for
one year terms only. Manuscripts submitted
must be typed, double-spaced and accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The editors assume no responsibility
for unsolicited manuscripts.

The American Atheist magazine


is indexed in
Monthly Periodical Index
ISSN: 0332-4310

March, 1983

(artwork courtesy of Clayton Powers)


School days, school days. Dear old
"Reagan rule" days! Apparently the first
half of 1983 is going to be a rabid rerun of
the first half of 1982 - you remember,
the episode where Reagan/Helms/
Falwell ministries did everything except
cavort in the nude to have prayer coerced into the public school systems. My
initial reaction to Falwell's infamous
bumper sticker "Kids Need To Pray"
was "Kids Need To Defecate Too - But
Not In Class!" (although the difference,
of course, is that kids really don't need to
pray).
This year Reagan is huffing and puffing
even harder. his prayer "song- anddance" routine willnow be accompanied
by an allied sanction of the sometime
hostile congress: "The Year of The Bible!" Perhaps some of you still think
those three (religious) stooges are kidding when they talk about praying in
America.
Meanwhile, the dream of our founding
fathers, universal free public education is
under attack from religion everywhere.
As Confucius say, "One picture worth
10,000 words." and so it is with our
cover. The rabid christian amidst us,
disguised as a human being, is going to
give the final thumping blows to that
"Little Red Schoolhouse" dream of the
nation.
What is on the agenda, in "The Year of
The Bible?" The introduction of "scientific" creationism, straight out of genesis;
removal of sex education classes, restrictions in the per-student grants of federal
revenue sharing, display of religious artifacts and symbols, censorship of books,
growing restrictions against birth control
availability for teen-agers, prayers, religious instruction, and priests and nuns
heading up the school boards are in store
for the public schools.
And what do the good parochial
schools have coming up? Tuition tax
credits for religious schools, bussing for
religious school students, books for religious schools, teachers for religious
schools, free land for religious schools
and funding for both repair and building
of religious schools.
Perhaps things may never improve if
Atheists do little more than hide-out until
"better times arrive." We caution you
that is equivalent of praying. The religious nut with the gleam in his eye is
going to "do in" our public school system
unless you become active in the fray.
Your education, probably in a public
school, got you to where you are today.
You must stay in the fight to assure a
better, secular, education for your kids
and your grandchildren.
Page 1

JUSTICE &
THE TRICKLE-DOWN
Just a little while ago I received a letter at the American Atheist
Center from Robert Zauner the new Chapter Director of the
Northern Virginia Chapter of American Atheists. Bob is an
attorney and he sent with his note a copy of president Reagan's
remarks at the annual convention of religious broadcasters held at
the Sheraton in Washington DC January 31st, '83. I sat and read
through the text of that speech carefully and Igrew more angry as I
read, line by line.
Over approximately sixty years now, since about the 1920s, the
federal courts and the Supreme Court of the United States have
been arduously laboring over the defining and delimiting of the
"meaning" of the establishment and free exercise clauses of the
First Amendment to the Constitution. The litigation over separation of state and church issues has been long and hard and well
fought by a variety of groups over these many years. The seventhday adventists and the jehovah's witnesses have been more
responsible than any other religious group over the years for trying
to maintain separation of state and church. These two groups
have sponsored numerous cases on the free exercise question.
The jews and the baptists have been much less active - although
more active than some of the rest of the denominations. One case
has built up upon the other to form a set of guidelines for the lower
courts by the United States Supreme Court and federal Appellate
courts for what is and is not "constitutional" when it comes to
religion and the First Amendment. Considering all the circumstances and the complexity of the fact-situations of the various
cases over the years, the Supreme and Appellate Courts have
done a pretty good job in establishing those guidelines so far.
During allof this legal process the religious leaders of our nation,
and the politicians sympathetic to them, have been eroding those
judicial guidelines in terms of the practical and logistical applications thereof. A good example of this is the battle over religious
ceremonies in public schools. The Supreme Court in two major
decisions laid down a fine and succinct outline of constitutionally
permissible activity in the public schools only to have that outline
overstepped on the local level over and over again, but politicians
and religionists obfuscate the clear thinking of the courts with
semantic games - such as the redefining of the word "prayer"
with the synonymous terms of "meditation" (silent or transcendental) and "silence" or "thought" (moment of - or secular).
In real terms, then, all of the perspiration and inspiration of the
courts has become functionally advisory in nature. Getting the
local yahoos to heed that advice has been quite a different story.
The moral to the story is that the religious never give up.
Fanaticism, in all of its "glory," is basic to christianity and the
christian ethic. There is little difference between being willingto die
en masse in a crusade or for a Jim Jones and being willingto sink
your teeth into the posterior of a principal or a school board
member until junior has the "right" to be forced to pray or watch
prayer or has the "right" to be free of intelligent reading material.
Religious tenacity and fanaticism make good bedfellows. The
intellectual and scientific set has, on the other hand, traditionally
disdained the "street fighter" image and style, preferring the
Page 2

March,1983

THEORY

Johnny-corne-lately armchair type of combat. In the street they


obviously lose the day.
The blame for the failure of judicial wisdom to trickle down to
the rank and file lies with the court itself. Criminal, as distinct from
civil, law attaches penalty, either monetary or physical, to
noncompliance. Civil law makes it the province, for the most part,
of the injured party to sue again to force compliance on an issue
that has already been decided in an overall manner on the
appellate level. Ifsome teeth could be put into the civillaw, such as
fines or imprisonment, then perhaps civil rights and state/church
separation issues could be more easily and permanently resolved.
Say, for example, that a fine of perhaps $100.00 a day were levied
on a school district or principal where religious ceremonies were
conducted in the schools in violation of standing court decisions.
Would this not help preserve the efforts of the courts which took a
great deal of time and money on both sides in the first place? Teeth
have been put into religiously based law already as we see in the
blue laws. A store owner can actually be fined or jailed in some
states for selling certain items or for being open on Sunday. If the
religious community can have punitive enforcement of blue laws,
why can't First Amendment separation of state and church
guarantees have punitive enforcement as well?
This issue is a central one on which is focused the future of
effective separation litigation. Chief Justice Burger has recently
proposed a division of Supreme Court jurisdiction with a coequal
appellate review court which would handle the many intrastate
disputes now clogging up the Supreme Court docket - a great
number of which are separation cases. The reason so much of the
high court's burden is now separation cases stems from the fact
that no teeth were ever put in their earlier decisions and now they
must handle the state by state religious attempts at circumventing
them. Congress may eventually have to get into the act to resolve
these issues. In order to resolve them properly they would have to
give some of that badly needed bite to judicial review in civil and
civil rights matters. Politicians, being what they are - which is
essentially populists, are not about to vote for the same kind of
enforcement for separation of state and church as they are for,
say, blue laws. Can't you just see congress voting to withhold
federal revenue sharing funds from any county that uses county
school buses to transport parochial school students? How about
fines for teachers who teach biblical creationism in any -public
school science classroom? There have been, and still are, laws to
prevent the teaching of evolution alone, however. The shoe has
never been on the other foot.
How does all of this relate to Reagan's speech before religious
broadcasters? In the course of his remarks Reagan made it
"perfectly clear" (remember that presidential line?) that he would,
as the executive branch of government, fight to his last breath the
putting of that shoe on the other foot when it comes to separation
issues. As I have said earlier, politicians have been classically
receptive to the whining of the religious voter, but never before in
our nation's history to such a degree. Most of the support for
religionist positions have come from congressmen - and more on
The American Atheist

the state level than federal - and executive department heads,


but not so much directly from the white house. Sure, the white
house has approved of the actions of the department heads and
others, even congress as a whole with things such as "In God We
Trust" on the currency. That approval is a far cry, however, from
blatant proselytization for violation of judicial separation standards by the chief executive himself. This is a recent phenomenon.
The religious community has not had the luxury of a chief
executive and many tenured congressmen being willingto openly
and loudly stump for them in past decades. This luxury, particularly during the 80s, is one that we as separationists can ill afford.
Now is the time for congress to become involved in coming to the
aid of the courts by putting those badly needed teeth in the civil
statutes. Instead, during this critical period, congress is gearing up
to fight the courts led by the religious zealots among them. In
addition, we now have a chief executive to fan the fire. Needless to
say, the religious community is taking full advantage of the
situation.
.
Let's take a look at some of what Reagan had to say to his
cheering audience of religious broadcasters. Early on in his speech
Reagan said, "In a time when recession has gripped our land, your
industry, religious broadcasting, has enjoyed phenomenal growth.
Now, there may be some who are frightened by your success, but
I'm not one of them. As far as I'm concerned, the growth of
religious broadcasting is one of the most heartening signs in
America today ....
The American people are hungry for your
message because they are hungry for a spiritual revival in this
country .... they're saying, 'We want the Word of God. We want
to face the future with the Bible.''' He went on then shortly to drop
the bombshell of the entire speech when he said, "Thursday
morning (2/3/83), at the National Prayer Breakfast, I will sign a
proclamation making 1983 the Year of the Bible." (May I ask why
there is a national prayer breakfast at all?) And on 1/29/83 Reagan
has declared May 5th, 1983 a "National Day of Prayer" in an effort
to "bring renewed respect for God."
A small group or two tried to keep Reagan from making that
proclamation through a court injunction. The cases were dismissed. Had they not been, the president needed only to claim
executive privilege to cause their default. American Atheists has
tried to sue prior presidents over separation issues and failed for
the same reason; the president is in and of himself a branch of
government. He can proclaim what he likes. Thus one can see one
of the immediate advantages of having a chief executive on your
side if you happen to be in the religious camp.
The driving force behind Reagan's aid to the religious cause was
not revealed until a little further into the speech when he said, "I've
always believed that this blessed land was set apart in a special
way, that some divine plan placed this great continent here
between the two oceans to be found by people from every corner
of the earth .. ." Holy predestination!, as Batman's sidekick would
say. Obviously he has never heard of continental drift. He missed
completely that the most unique thing about the founding of this
nation was the separation of state and church wording in the
Constitution. A state church had been the foregone conclusion of
government for centuries before our deistic founding fathers made
this "great continent" a special one indeed by making its government free from the hand of the church. The courts have been
recognizing this fact, though reluctantly at times, over these past
.sixty years or so.
The president went on to say, "I happen to believe that the one
way to promote, indeed to preserve, those traditional values we
share is by permitting our children to begin their days the same
way the members of the United States Congress do - with
prayer. The public expression of our faith in God through prayer is
fundamental - as a part of our American heritage and a privilege
which should not be excluded from our schools .... When the
Supreme Court ruled that school prayer was unconstitutional
almost 21 years ago, I believe it ruled wrong. And when a lower
court recently stopped Lubbock, Texas high school students from
Austin, Texas

even holding voluntary prayer meetings on the campus before or


after class, it ruled wrong, too." The president of the United States
has no business speaking against the US Supreme Court or any
other court in its interpretation of the Constitution of the United
States. That is an area reserved for the courts, and the principle of
separation of powers dictates that interpretation of the Constitution is their province and theirs alone. In the 1940s the Supreme
Court spoke directly to this issue when it said, "The very purpose
of the Bill of Rights was to withdraw certain subjects from the
vicissitudes of political controversy, to place them beyond the
reach of majorities and officials (emphasis added) and to establish
them as legal principles to be applied by the courts. One's right to
life, liberty, property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of
worship and assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be
submitted to vote, they depend on the outcome of no elections."
I cannot believe that we now have a president who is willing to
reshape the entire mechanism of government as it has been
functioning for over 200 years now to serve theological ends. The
power of the office of the president of the United States should not
be used to fulfillthe private special interest of a religious maniac
now occupying that office. The welfare of all the people of the
United States, and that includes Atheists, is paramount.
That is not the worst of it yet. In closing Reagan made it very
clear that he is willingto commit the United States, militarily, to the
enforcement of his values worldwide ifthat means by nuclear force
as well. Listen to what he had to say very carefully. "This year, for
the first time in history, the Voice of America broadcast a religious
service worldwide, Christmas Eve at the National Presbyterian
Church in Washington DC (VOA officials in a Washington Post
interview of 2/4/84 said "VOA is mapping plans to increase its
religious programming into the Soviet Union from the current 45
minutes a week to one hour, with each segment to be repeated six
times a week." Until now only religious "news" was broadcast.
From henceforth full church services will be broadcast.). Now,
these broadcasts are not popular with governments of totalitarian
powers (I wonder who he means?). But make no mistake, we have
a duty to broadcast (Duty for whom?). Alexander Herzen, the
Russian writer, warned, 'To shrink from saying a word in defense
of the oppressed is as bad as any crime.' Well, I pledge to you that
America willstand up, speak out and defend the values we share
(Which values, christian ones?). To those who would crush
religious freedom (Even BillyGraham did not find evidence of that
in the USSR, and he was quickly silenced for saying so.), our
message is plain. You may jail your believers. You may close their
churches, confiscate their Bibles and harass their rabbis and
priests, but you will never destroy the love of God and freedom
(Note the connection; what does one have to do with the other?)
that burns in their hearts. They willtriumph over you. (Shades of
Churchill!). Think of it - the most awesome, military machine in
history (We're not?), but it is no match for the one, single man,
hero, strong yet tender, Prince of Peace. His name alone, jesus,
can liftour hearts, soothe our sorrows, heal our wounds and drive
away our fears. He gave us love and forgiveness. He taught us
truth and left us hope."
Now if that does not sound like the call to armageddon or the
crusades, act V, I don't know what does. All of us, as Atheists, had
better begin to take a long hard reevaluation of our level of
commitment to our cause. If we don't put our differences behind
us and get organized and get moving during the 80s, it may well be
too late for all concerned. We can't afford to let the kamikazes for
christ take the rest of us with them.

March,1983

Page 3

.'

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. b

11-

THE BIG BANG COSMOGONY


. .~ . .'
.
"*::
.
.

This paper is the culmination of a series of papers designed to lay a foundation for presenting the current best
description of events in the very distant past. Those papers discussed topics in relativity, distance determinations, stellar
evolution, and cosmological observations. They appeared in this journal in Volume 23, Numbers 8,11,12 and Volume 24,
Numbers 3,6, and 11. Other writers, Thomas Gurley, William Reynolds, and Ralph Shirley have written papers on the
subject which appeared in Volume 22, Numbers 10 and 12. This paper will discuss the astronomical evidence, give a
history proceeding chronologically backward and deal with theistic implications some individuals find in the physics of the
"Big Bang."

THE COSMOLOGICAL
EXPANSION
Astronomers have methods to estimate the distance to
galaxies of stars (American Atheist, Vol. 23, No. 12, p. 9).
They can also measure the speed of those galaxies (Amencan Atheist, Vol. 24, No. 11, p. 18, "Red Shift"). They find
that in all directions, there are galaxies and clusters of
galaxies and they are moving away from us. The speed of
movement depends directly on distance, so that any galaxy
increases its distance from us by 1%in two hundred million
years. Thus one galaxy which is twice as far away as another
willmove twice as far and twice as fast as the other during
any period of time. The fact that galaxies appear to be

This 1% increase in two hundred million years applies


only to distances between clusters of galaxies. Galaxies and
clusters of galaxies are places where the expansion of the
universe has been halted locally by gravity. The expansion
also does not apply on the scale of terrestrial experience. A
rock does not grow by 1% in two hundred million years.
Let us use some numbers to dramatize this expansion
effect. If we use a realistic situation, we willneed very large
numbers. Keep in mind that a billion (109) is one thousand
(103) times a million (106), and a trillion (1012) is one
thousand (103) times a billion (109). A trillion (1012) is also
one million (106) times a million (106). Now we pick a galaxy
which is 1.00 billion trillion (1021) miles from earth. In two
hundred million years it willbe 1.01 billion trillion (1021) miles
from earth. We pick another galaxy which is 2.00 trillion
billion (1021) miles from earth and after the same time lapse it
willbe 2.02 trillion billion (1021) miles from earth. Ifthe clock
were to run backward long enough and these two galaxies
rush toward us at constant but unequal speeds, they will
arrive here at the same time. That time is approximately
twenty billion years in the past. Other distances could be
selected, such as 4.00 billion trillion (1021) miles, but all
galaxies would arrive here at the same time.
We see a problem in continuing this idea to ever greater
distances. The further away a galaxy is, the faster it must
travel to get here at the same time. Eventually a galaxy far
enough away would have to travel at the speed of light to get

"Astronomers ... find that in all directions, there are galaxies ... moving away from
us. The speed of movement depends directly on distance, so that any galaxy
increases its distance from us by 1%in two hundred million years."
moving away from us does not indicate that we are located
in the center of the universe. Rather, the proportionality of
speed to distance indicates that the same expansion would
be seen by any observer in any galaxy. For example, we can
imagine five equidistant galaxies moving along a line, as
indicated in Figure 1.The view of the inner three is indicated
for each. They see their adjacent neighbors (A) in opposite
directions all receding with the same speed.
Page 4

March,1983

here in twenty billion years. Einstein said that matter cannot


travel as fast as light. This is a problem in special relativity
which has been discussed (American Atheist, Vol. 23, No.
8). The light from the most distant galaxies willbe very weak
and very red. It will not suddenly disappear at some
distance. Rather it will show the effect of the slowing of
clocks at high relative speeds. The apparent speed will
remain less than the speed of light, but apparent time
The American Atheist

Of---+"

o
o

"'--0
Figure

--+

passage rate in the distant galaxy willget slower and slower


with increasing distance. It will never slow to a stop. This
effect explains Olber's paradox (Arnericcn Atheist, Vol. 24,
No. 11, p. 18). The distant galaxies of stars do not make the
night sky bright because their light has been red shifted and
weakened so far it is invisible to the eye.

COSMIC HISTORY
If we consider the universe with time going in reverse,
then we have a contracting universe. It is interesting to
consider the changes that take place in such a world. The
most important change willbe in the density, or amount of
matter per unit volume. As the volume goes down, the
density goes up. An accelerating increase in density is
inevitable, because volume depends on the cube of the
distance. Consider children's building blocks. Eight are
required to assemble a block twice as high, wide, and deep
as a single block. Thus, if the distance between galaxies is
reduced to one half, they will be crammed in a space oneeighth as large, and the density of space will go up by a
factor of eight.

kind. They calculate temperature and the effects of radiation. They use giant multimillion dollar particle accelerating
machines to provide experimental evidence to check their
calculations. They check each other's work and investigate
at ever higher energy levels.
The work so far indicates that hydrogen atoms, the most
abundant element in the universe, were formed between
three hundred thousand and one million years after the
start of the expansion. Prior to this the temperature was so
hot and the radiation so intense that electrons could not
combine with protons to form hydrogen atoms. Such
conditions create strange physics. Before atoms existed the
energy density of radiation was greater than the density of
matter. Radiation effects became a primary consideration.
Prior to the attachment of electrons with protons, the
universe was not transparent. It was a hot fog. The reason is
that when the electrons and-protons are zipping around by
themselves, their electrical charge interferes with light. The
direction and energy of light rays is altered with each
encounter with a charged particle. After electrons and
protons get together and cancel each other's charge, light
can pass on unimpeded. So if we are ever able to peer
deeply enough into space to see far enough back in time to
this atom-forming stage, we willsee this fog. And we willnot
be able to see events at an earlier time because they are
beyond the fog.
An atom is an entity complete with at least one proton
and one electron. These separate components formed at
the earliest phase of the expansion. Within one second
electrons appeared out of the intense radiation field. Within
one millionth of a second from the start of the expansion the
more massive protons and neutrons appeared. The temperature at this time was so high that particles and their
antiparticles were being continuously" created" and annihi-

". . . hydrogen atoms, the most abundant element in the universe, were formed
between three hundred thousand and one million years after the start of the
. "
expansion.
Research indicates that the universe is about twenty
billion years old. So ten billion years ago there was eight
times as much matter in large volumes of the universe. And
fifteen billion years ago there was sixty-four times as much
matter. The present average density of the universe is
approximately one hydrogen atom per cubic meter. The
third power law indicates that if we go back within the first
few decades of the expansion we willfind an average density
as high as the density of air. But other effects invalidate this
estimate. The collapse of space will increase the energy'
density of radiation (light, heat, radio, etc.) and temperature
and pressure will rise dramatically.

lated. We exist today because there was a slight excess of


particles over antiparticles. (Such antiparticles are the same
as "normal" particles except that they have opposite
charge. An electron, for example, has a negative charge,
but its antiparticle, the positron, has a positive charge even
though it has exactly the same weight, dimension, etc. as
the electron.) If ten antiparticles and eleven particles are
created, ten of each will usually get together and turn into
radiant energy, and one particle will remain.
Going back still further, we realize that temperature,
radiation density and gravitational field become ever more
intense. One area of investigation has focused on whether a

"Withinone second electrons appeared out of the intense radiation field. Within one
millionth of a second from the start of the expansion the more massive protons and
neutrons appeared."
Nuclear physicists have a field day when they work on
problems of what was going on in the earliest phases of the
expansion. They calculate when the atoms and elementary
particles appeared and the relative abundances of each
Austin, Texas

sufficiently intense gravitational field could "create" matter


and radiation out of a vacuum. Apparently this is possible, if
the initial expansion proceeds at different rates in different
directions. So our journey backward in time arrives at an

March,1983

PageS

unimaginably intense, chaotically expanding, gravitational


field. In the beginning there was gravity, and chaos.

exactly the amount predicted by the optical red shift. Any


intergalactic dust particles which reddened light would not
redden radio waves. Such particles would have other
SUPPORTING EVIDENCE
effects on light and radio which have not been seen. So
Let us consider the evidence supporting the above ideas. intergalactic matter is a doubtful device to create red light.
The rules of nuclear physics predict that about one minute
Another effect has already been alluded to. In a static
after the expansion starts, protons and neutrons will universe there is no slowing down of clocks due to relative
combine to form deuterium (heavy hydrogen) and helium speed. In an expanding universe this time-dilation effect
(the second chemical element). One helium nucleus should becomes increasingly important at greater distances. The
be formed for every ten hydrogen nuclei (atoms were not expanding relativistic model predicts the actual red shift
yet possible). A much smaller contribution of deuterium is observations within the available accuracy of the data. A
predicted, about one nucleus for every 30,000 light hydro- static model must have other physical principles which
gen nuclei. These ratios are dependent on the power of predict exactly how much light willbe reddened or tired as a
turbulence and gravitational force during the first millionth function of distance. The physics we know today does not
of a second. We have assumed environmental conditions provide those principles. Also, a static universe would be
which willgenerate the ratios found in nature today.
expected to collapse due to the mutual gravitational

"The significance of the low temperature thermal radiation field seen in all
directions lies in the fact that the expanding model (of the universe) predicts it."
It may be objected that the ratios found today do not
represent Big Bang production. Rather perhaps deuterium
and helium formed in stars since the initial time. The papers
on stellar evolution (American Atheist, Vol. 24, Nos. 3 and
6) explain how to discriminate between young and old stars.
An old star contains the primordial (Big Bang) abundance
ratio in its atmosphere, free of contamination by helium
formed in its core. The observed ratio is what is predicted
by our interpretation of the initial conditions. Deuterium
cannot be made in stars or supernovae because it will be
destroyed almost immediately by high core temperatures
lasting too long. But these temperatures are so transient in
the initial expansion that the observed abundance could
have been produced, remaining the same for billions of
years to the present.
The significance of the low temperature thermal radiation
seen in all directions (American Atheist, Vol. 24, No. 11, p.
19) lies in the fact that the expanding model predicts it. After
atoms had formed, the radiation field assumed a form
(distribution) relating intensity to frequency in the manner
seen for all high density matter. As time passed, the

attractions of the galaxies, yet we see no evidence for


contraction. Opposition to the concept of the expanding
universe is not based on physical principles.
Another objection may be raised. If the universe was so
dense initially, perhaps it should have collapsed into a black
hole. Black holes can exist when enough matter is concentrated into a small enough space. Gravitational forces then
become so strong that even light is trapped in the hole. This
idea is attractive because it suggests that the hot dense
infant universe could have a particular location, just as a
star has a location. But the universe, at the beginning, will
not collapse into one big black hole. Rather, the theorists
have found that within the first one thousandth of a second
mini black holes were formed. They were formed out of
parts of a highly chaotic and inhomogenous universe.
At this early time clear distinction should be made
between two kinds of universe: the universe and a visible
universe. The universe is all there is, but a visible universe
expands at the speed of light starting at the time of the
expansion. Thus, two visible universes separated by ten
light years will intersect five years after the expansion

"... a static universe would be expected to collapse due to the mutual gravitational
attractions of the galaxies, yet we see no evidence for contraction."
distribution shifted as would be expected for;an expanding
space and exists in a form today which matches the
observations.

OBJECTIONS TO EXPANSION
While the red shift (American Atheist, Vol. 24, No. 11, p.
18) is a fact, some ideas other than racing away from us have
been proposed to explain it. A popular alternative is "tired
light." Suppose that in crossing the vastness of space
between galaxies light is weakened by some unknown effect
and this manifests itself as the red shift. Light traveling
greater distances should be more weakened and more
reddened, as is observed. So the galaxies are not moving,
their light is tired.
Radio astronomy is a help here. Radio waves from distant
galaxies have been measured and they are red shifted in
Page 6

March,1983

begins. The mini black holes can be "created" only within


their visible universes and only from large density fluctuations which bring enough matter into a small enough space.
One objection, often heard in connection with biological
evolution, also applies to the larger physical universe. The
objection is an attempt to apply a well founded physical
principle, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, and refute
evolution. The law, loosely stated, says that the amount of
disorder in the universe must increase with time. Some
readers interpret this to mean that human beings cannot
have evolved from elementary lifeforms because this would
represent a reduction in disorder. As applied to cosmogony, the argument would say that since there was chaos in
the beginning, and there were no heavy atoms and complex
molecules, then an increase in the disorder of the chaos
certainly does not produce the world we see today.
The American Atheist

A more careful reading of the Second Law of Thermodynamics informs us that there are two kinds of energy _The
first is ordered and is available to do useful work. The
second is disordered and cannot be applied to create order.
The sum of the two is constant in an isolated system, with
the disordered part always increasing with time. But the
ordered part can be applied to create more complex
systems. There is so much energy available in the universe
that we can use a lot to create more order, and ignore the
even greater amount of energy put to useless disorder
during our efforts.

our universe with the condensed situation seen in a black


hole. But a black hole is surrounded by both space and time.
There is an outside and a past to a black hole's existence.
But initial cosmic expansion was not surrounded by space
and time. Rather space and time were "created" with the
expansion. There was no space to grow into, no time to
mark a birthdate.
How well do we know how much time has passed since
the Big Bang? There is some hope of a common sense
answer to this question. Measuring the speed and distance
of receding galaxies is not all that is involved in estimating

"... a clear distinction should be made between two kinds of universe: the universe
and the visible universe. The universe is all there is, but a visible universe expands at
the speed of light starting at the time of expansion."
The formation of elementary particles represents an
increase in order, which was accompanied by energy
becoming unavailable to create particles. The formation of
galaxies was an increase in order, accompanied by still
more energy becoming disordered and unusable to make
anything. The sun converts mass to usable and unusable
energy. Ifthe earth were isolated from the sun, things would
get more disorganized here quite rapidly. But the sun keeps
pumping usable energy to us, and we use some of it to get
more organized, while simultaneously converting some of it
to permanently unusable disorder.
OBVIOUS QUESTIONS
The foregoing has been a discussion of what is now
known about what preceded the present. Astronomical
data, given the best available interpretation, indicates that
the universe is expanding. By reversing the process in our
minds, we find a very hot dense universe. So what preceded
this inhospitable phase? Science has yet to provide the
answer. Trying to give an answer to this question is
somewhat like trying to say what is north of the North Pole.
Our universe in both space and time had a beginning and
that beginning is the Big Bang. Ifthere was a prior universe,
all information about it was obliterated during the extreme
conditions which have been described.

the age of our universe. Although the far, farther, and


farthest galaxies we can see started their journey at the
same time, we are not seeing galaxies with the same age.
The far galaxies are old, but the farthest galaxies we see are
young. The light from them left on its journey to us soon
after they condensed. Young galaxies, due to stellar
evolution, may be brighter than old galaxies. If we do not
allow for this, we may assume distant galaxies are closer
than they actually are. Underestimating distance decreases
the age of the universe. If distant galaxies are dimmed by
matter between us and them, the opposite error will be
made. We will think the distant galaxies are more distant,
and the calculated age of the universe will be too large.
Even gravity contributes to the problem. The expansion
of the universe is retarded by gravity. Gravity has been
pulling on the far galaxy for a longer time than it has on what
we see as the farthest galaxy. Thus the closer and brighter
appearing of the two has been decelerated, that is, it moves
slower than would be expected from its distance. The
slower speed indicates too great an age of our universe. The
farthest galaxy is a better indicator, but its faintness makes
it difficult to determine its distance, and with the velocity, its
age. If the deceleration effect were accurately known, it
could be corrected for. But this result of gravity depends on
the mass of galaxies and ultimately on the density of the

"The formation of elementary particles represents an increase in order, which was


accompanied by energy becoming unavailable to create particles. The formation of
galaxies was an increase in order, accompanied by still more energy becoming
disordered ... the sun keeps pumping usable energy to us, and we use some of it to get
more organized, while converting some of it to permanently unusable disorder."
If our universe had a super condensed phase, then
perhaps it can be known where in the present larger
universe the smaller universe once was. But this is not so.
Densities can be given for matter in space at various times.
But no boundaries have been given for that space. You
cannot say where something is if you cannot identify its
boundaries. Our visible universe has boundaries which
recede as our technology improves and we see to fainter
levels. But our larger universe need never have boundaries.
At most it could be finite and unbounded, like the surface of
a ball.
It is tempting to compare the early condensed phase of
Austin, Texas

universe. Much research effort has been spent trying to


determine the density of the universe.
This leads to another obvious question. Will the expansion continue forever? It willifthere is not enough density to
provide enough gravity to stop it. Then space willbe infinite
and unbounded. Current research points to this situation.
Some of the evidence rests on efforts to measure the mass
of galaxies and the abundances of deuterium. Massive
galaxies mean a higher density. Plenty of deuterium means
a lower density during the first minute and a lower density
now. More effort will be expended on this problem when
NASA launches the space telescope in a year or so. Its 2.4

March, 1983

Page 7

meter mirror, freed of atmosphericallimitations,


will multiply the volume of our observable universe by 350_ You will
be reading a lot of reports on the results obtained with this
telescope.

IMPLICATIONS
Scientists use mathematics as an aid in their research into
our world. With it they can create mathematical models of
phenomena. On a most basic level, the sequence of real
numbers suggests a model for physical reality. Figure 2
provides a few of the numbers near zero. We see that it is
always possible to add 1 to any number and progress
toward positive infinity. Likewise, the numbers permit

NEGATIVE
INFINITY
I

-3

-2

,
-1

POSITIVE
INFINITY

I
1

Figure

I
3

BIG
DGO
PAST

present

-.;-.;,------~I---.....;~~~~
FUTURE

TWO ASTRONOMERS

BANG
Figure

poorly, and vice versa. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle


says that there must be a trade-off in these two bits of
information, and we cannot be very sure about both at the
same time. His Principle violates common sense, yet it has
been as successful as Einstein's Relativity to date.
The urge to apply common sense to time and the Big
Bang has led a few technically competent
professional
astronomers
to find parallels between the earliest events
science has discerned and the scenario in the book of
genesis. That scenario states that there was a beginning of
the physical world, and adds a concept to precede it. The
English bible attaches the name "god" to that concept. We
can consider the concept and apply the physics of the Big
Bang to it. Figure 3 is a plot of time with a negative infinity, as
a concession
to common sense. Time is assumed
to
progress to the right with the present occurring after the Big
Bang. To the left we have the biblical concept, named by
three letters, and the letters are given in alphabetical order.
The discussion in this paper has clearly stated that the Big
Bang is a barrier to information. It prevents information
from passing through to us from DGO. Continuing to apply
common sense, we can say that the barrier also prevents
DGO from having any influence on the other side, our side.
If information cannot pass, neither can influence. The Big
Bang has severed all interaction between the two sides.
Under such circumstances,
thinking about DGO is idle
speculation.

subtracting 1 and going from 1 to 0 to -1 and -2, etc. There is


a negative infinity. In the world of life we are led by
experience to expect a similar situation. Every event is a
contributor (motivator, cause) to subsequent events, which
contribute to another generation of events, etc. Considering the process in reverse, we can expect to find events
preceding any particular event and investigate successive
generations of events, with no expectation of a terminal
event. There is no limit to how far backward we can go in
time. There is always land or water over the horizon
wherever we go, so we expect this to be true wherever we
have not been.

In a book copyrighted
in 1978, Robert Jastrow,
a
professional astronomer, has described the research leading to confirmation of the expansion and Big Bang. He
writes that he is fascinated by parallels between the recent
scientific findings and the old theological assertion: specifically, both say there was a beginning. Jastrow highlights the
reluctance of world renowned physicists to accept a denial
of an infinite past. In contrast, he asserts, theologians have
expected this development and therefore are ahead of the
scientists.
It is true that scientists developed an alternative theory to
fit both an infinite past and an expanding universe. Support
for that theory has now been relinquished by astronomers
due to progress in research. It is true that theologians have
anticipated
a beginning, but here the similarity stops.

"Theologians never expected their beginning to be a barrier. Scientists say it is a


barrier."
This common sense approach to problems of time and
space has been shown to fail twice in this series of papers.
Albert Einstein used mathematics to suggest a limit on the
speed that is possible (American Atheist, vol. 23, No.8, p.
7). Observations and experiments have supported the limit.
Yet it violates common sense. Common sense suggests
that we can build a scale model of any physical situation. Yet
Einstein (American Atheist, Vol. 24, No. 11, p. 21) via
general relativity suggested that this is not so. As a third
example, a German physicist named Werner Heisenberg
developed a theory named after him which is equally
peculiar. It states that if we know the position of an
elementary particle very well, we will know its velocity very

Theologians never expected their beginning to be a barrier.


Scientists say it is a barrier.
Jastrow's writing has unfortunately been incorporated in
a book which has been editorially designed to cater to
emotional aspirations. Following his text, there are seven
color photographs
of astronomical
objects. Presumably,
these make the reader more awe-struck and suggestible.
Next is an essay by another professional astronomer, John
O'Keefe. He chose to describe his emotions by saying that
he finds evidence for the creation to be "very moving."
Following the lead of Mr. Thomas Aquinas, he asserts that
not only has the work of science led to creation, but also "to
the Creator."

March,1983

The American Atheist

Page 8

"Who made all this?

Believers are often seen grasping at the physical world of


science to support their cherished values. They will use
science where it helps them and ignore science where it
goes against them. They say a creator is inferred by
creation, as a watchmaker is inferred by a watch. However,
the physical necessity of the complex watch requiring a
watchmaker is not allowed to put a requirement on the
watchmaker that (s)he have parents. Some people do not
want the creator to have its own creator. Too bad. If the
creation must have a creator, as the watch a watchmaker,
then the watchmaker must have parents, or the creator is a
bastard.

"..

"Believers are often seen grasping at the


physical world of science to support their
cherished values. They will use science
where it helps them and' ignore science
where it goes against them."
Another example of the believer's selective adoption of
physical reality is found in a rebuttal to Figure 3. The Big
Bang is said to be no barrier to a spiritual god, who
transcends physical limitations. But that same god is
supposed to interact with the physical world to prevent
harm from coming to the believer. Does this mean that the
god can penetrate underground to a trapped miner and also
be able to stop when he gets to the miner? Does this mean
that the god can throw a rope to a drowning believer, and
when the believer pulls on the rope, the rope willnot pull on
god? These questions illustrate physical problems and
appear foolish to the believer. This is because the believer's
primary interest is in defending his "reality," rather than
investigating it. The believer does not see a need to
consistently deal with physical considerations.
The Big Bang idea has been enormously enhanced by
intensive application of scientific methodology. The productivity of this technique suggests that it continue to be
applied with increasing vigor. Selective application is not
suggested by its success rate.
So what can you say when you get the question "Who
made all this?" I answer "Gravity and Chaos made all this.
Gravity was born north of the north pole and Chaos was
born south of the south pole. They both grew up, fellin love,
and the sparks of their love making can be seen in a clear
sky every night."

* * * * * * * * *

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gravity and Chaos


made all this. Gravity was born north of the
north pole and Chaos was born south of the
south pole. They both grew up, fell in love,
and the sparks of their love-making can be
seen in a clear sky every night."
Austin, Texas

REFERENCES
The Big Bang, by Joseph Silk, W.H. Freeman & Co. 1980.
Cosmology <L, compiled from Scientific American, published by
W.H. Freeman & Co. 1977.
God and the Astronomers, by Robert Jastrow (and others),
Warner Books. 1978.
Note: The author cannot answer all of his mail. Any questions
directed to him must be specific.

March,1983

~
Page 9

by Dyson Carter
Those who had voted for Reagan's promised sweeping
changes had not even imagined that "the good old days' he
talked about included horrifying new weapons never
before seen on our planet.
What about prosperity?
What about lower taxes?
What about full employment?
These features of bygone times the new White House
didn't recognize.

When Ronald Reagan swept into the presidency, millions


of those who voted for him believed that he had the ability,
and determination, somehow to bring back "the good old
days". The former Hollywood western star seemed to be
the ideal leader to restore those fondly remembered times
of cowboys, good guys and bad guys.
After he took over the White House, USA economic
policies were turned back to older forms of free enterprise,
in the hope of regaining lost prosperity.
Then, in world affairs the recent policy of detente with
the Soviet Union gave way to confrontations of the cold war
variety.
The new president "threw his weight around" vigorously,
threatening even his allies if they didn't fall in line with his
new program.
Toback up his demands Reagan announced an unprecedented military build-up, including a "rapid deployment force" which could be rushed into action anywhere in
the world, simply at Washington's command.
"There are things more important than peace!" we,
were told.
"A nuclear war could be won."
As for the USSR and its allies, they were unceremoniously told they could either get out of socialism, or be
doomed to all-out nuclear holocaust (with USA winning).
Intelligent people everywhere greeted these astonishing
ideas with skepticism, then real alarm.
The people of the US did not count on Mr. Reagan's
"backwards" program leading the nation into an arms race
of unbelievable proportions and cost. "There are things
more important than peace." Such as what? Exterminating
humanity, laying waste to all the Earth in a nuclear war?
Wiping out both the US and USSR?
Page 10

March,1983

Reagan's "tough" attitude towards West Germany,


France, Italy, Japan, Britain and Canada took the form of
ordering them to line up behind his new program - or else.
Or else what? This dictatorial attitude proved shockingly
stupid. All these allies insisted on policies drawn up not
inside the White House but by mutual agreement. And they
were strong enough to give their views power enough to
get attention.
Where it counts heavily - in economics, in production
and finance - the major countries closest to the USA now
wield tremendous resources. They rival the USA in world
trade. In technology, Japan, West Germany and Britain are
competing successfully against Washington in several
fields.
Business Week (July 12, '82) went so far as to say "The
US will be facing danger less from confrontations
with
the Soviets than from those with its allies and friends."
Who wants to give up immensely profitable trade with
socialism?
Our media try to distort the "quarrel" between the USA
and other NATO countries, by making out that the USA
wants to weaken the USSR, in the interests of all concerned; whereas the allies by trading with the Soviets, are
strengthening the enemy for the sake of making a fast buck.
But the allies have quite a different tale to tell.
For years, the USA has been weakening them. By
drastic economic attacks, such as sky-high interest, inflation, prohibiting free trade by heavy customs charges on
imports, etc.

The American Atheist

The new demand - to cut trade with the USSR - is


seen in Europe for what it really is: a way to worsen still
more the economic crisis afflicting the USA's main rivals.
"Punishing the Soviets" is only a propaganda ploy to
disguise the real economic attack Washington is pressing
against its "partners."
However, in the case of the much publicized gas-pipeline
deal, not only money is involved.
Reagan openly offered West Europe supplies of USA
coal, ifonly they'd cancel their orders for Soviet natural gas.
Fair exchange? On the contrary. Importing vast amounts
of coal all the way from the USA would edge the allies closer
to bankruptcy, raising their production costs out of sight,
eliminating them as rivals for USA industry on world
markets.
Most menacing of all: depending on coal from the USA,
the entire economics of the "partners" would be at the
mercy of White House decisions.
Our world is not a western movie.
Nobody willbe able to get up and go out and walk home,
after a nuclear war starts.
Consider a "secret" National Security Council memorandum released by the Reagan administration.
New York Times called this program of Reagan's "War
to Death."
This "new" program is intended to run from 1984 to 1988.
Make no mistake, the Times said it like it is: war to the death
between the USA (and its allies) and the USSR.
Ronald Reagan's goal is to make the Soviet Union give
up socialism and come over to capitalism, or be wiped
out.
According to Mr. Reagan's doctrine, the only way
humanity can be secure is to change over much of the world
(USSR) especially) so that it fits into the economic, political
and social system of the USA. This means, specifically, that
the socialist system must go.
And on an even broader scale, hundreds of millions of
people, who are committed to various forms of national
liberation, must give up their aims and get on with building
capitalism in their countries. Then the world's security will
not be threatened. Really?
Suppose we look back.
When nuclear weapons were new, and poorly developed,
it was the USSR that proposed both sides destroy all
stocks and make no more. The USA prevented such an
agreement from passing in the United Nations. From then
on, the USA "pioneered' in making deadly nuclear submarines, round-the-clock bombers, nuclear aircraft carriers, missiles that carried multiple nuclear bombs, nuclear
weapons flown on "cruise aircraft," and ~eutron bombs
deathly for human beings.
.
These threats to world security came first in the USA,
and only later, in self-defence, in the USSR. Ronald Reagan
has probably made more alarming speeches than any other
president of the USA. Hardly a month passes without him
dropping some kind of propaganda bombshell.
You may be inclined, to say that so long as he drops
"bombshells," and not real nuclear bombs, then talk is
preferable to deeds.
However, it is sensible to recall the view of Leonid
Brezhnev, first expressed to the Paris paper Le Monde
back in 1977:
"The ideological struggle must not develop into a
Austin, Texas

'psychological war,' must not be used as a means of


interfering in the internal affairs of states and nations,
or lead to political and military confrontation."
This warning has turned out to be gravely prophetic.
Reagan first made "speeches" to Britain, West Germany,
France and Canada, telling them to layoff deals with the
USSR. From speeches he went on to political confrontation, with grave results for the USA's alliance.
Consider Lebanon. Endless talk damning the Palestinians came from Israel for years. The talk then suddenly went
on to military confrontation, with terrible results which may
well end up in final disaster for Israel.
It seems clear that hostile talk by the USA or any other
leaders must not, in this nuclear age, develop into threats of
hostile action.
As matters stand now, the only limit to Washington's
hostility towards Moscow seems to be the refusal of all
other capitals to take the president's threats seriously.
But after Israel launched its all-out attack on Lebanon,
the USA's allies clearly became conscious of the need to
return to sanity.
Can the world wait two more years for Reagan's term to
end?
<, , \
I
r

It seems odd, but the "philosophy" of Ronald Reagan was


most clearly expressed for him by the unloved character
who preceded him in the White House, Richard Nixon.
"It may seem melodramatic," said the pardoned'
leader of the Watergate crimes, in his book The Real
War, "to treat the twin poles of human experience as
represented by the United States and the Soviet
Union, as the equivalent of Good and Evil, Light and
Darkness, God and the Devil; yet ifwe allow ourselves
to think of them in that way ... ifwe determine so, ifwe
resolve to accept no substitute for victory, then
victory becomes possible. Then the spirit gives edge
to the sword, the sword preserves the spirit, and
freedom will prevail. "
Pretty words? Unfortunately for Washington, the rest of
the world - capitalist, socialist, and Third World - does
not view the USA as god and the Soviet Union as Evil. Even
the USA's close allies do not believe that the only future lies
in a USA military victory over the USSR, since then, not
"freedom" but extermination of both sides will prevail.
Mankind can be saved.
It may seem a great distance separates you, personally,
from mankind.
Actually, mankind is the people who are right next to you.
Don't simply hope for the best for yourself, personally.
ACT to help others see that this bright hope is our
future.
~

March,1983

Page 11

DARWIN REVISITED
For many years now Charles Darwin has been intellectually indicted for allegedly taking a position inferring direct
descendance of modern humans from the monkeys and/or apes which are familiar to us today. Darwin never made any
such claims at all! His position regarding evolution was - all species are simply evolutionary descendants of previously
existing more primitive ancestors. This, of course, would include present-day "apes and monkeys" as well. Modern
humans and other modern-day primates may, or may not have had a "common ancestral" link in the mammalian class.
Anthropological researchers must eventually make such determinations.
It does seem rather strange, however, that modern man - with his "magnificent brain" - would revert back to a
"desired" position of "sheep" in the quest for ongoing religious mythology.
Perhaps christian cultists never really bridged the evolutionary gap!
- Gerald Tholen

Page 12

March,1983

The American Atheist

CENSORSHIP OF TEXTBOOKS MENTIONING


EVOLUTION CONTINUES IN TEXAS
from the Texas Council for Science Education

Recent textbook adoptions by the Texas State Textbook


Committee continue the state's suppression of the topic of
evolution in science textbooks. On September 8,1982, the
Textbook Committee refused to adopt the top-rated world
geography textbook Land and People (Scott, Foresman &
Co.) because it contained the following sentence: "Biologists believe that human beings, as members of the animal
kingdom, have adjusted to their environment through
biological adaptation." The book also contained many
passages stating that the earth and its features were millions
of years old and that the universe began in the way stated by
the Big Bang theory. These items were heavily criticized by

world geography textbook were that "Most people do not


consider themselves animals," "Many people, including
scientists, do not believe the earth is millions of years old,"
and "The text is biased in favor of evolution. By not
including other theories, the text implies that evolution is
the only credible one ... Many people, including scientists,
believe that the mammals were created, not 'developed.' ...
The text contains evolutionary speculations presented as
fact [and] violates [Section] 1.3 of the [Texas Textbook]
Proclamation." During the Textbook Committee's discussion, a member from Longview and one other spoke against
the book, claiming it overemphasized the Big Bang theory,
the theory of evolution, and violated the Proclamation
dealing with evolution. He said the book was the most
"controversial" book on the entire list and that "we willbe in
trouble all around Texas ifwe put it on the [adoption] list."
Because of the attack by religious fundamentalists, the
book failed to be adopted, despite its high quality. The other
world geography textbooks, all adopted, were mostly
inferior to the Scott, Foresman book, but they did not make
the mistake of saying something about evolution and the Big
Bang theory. Michael Hudson, representing an anti-moralmajority group, was present at the Textbook Committee
meeting and made the following observation: "It seemed
apparent to all in the room - especially the publishers that the treatment of evolution had condemned an otherwise excellent book to be sole casualty of the seven books
that were bid."
The Texas Textbook Proclamation contains the rules
that textbooks must follow ifthey wish to be adopted by the
State of Texas. Texas is the second largest purchaser of
textbooks in the country. Its centralized book-buying policy
controls 8% of the total school textbook market in America
and it spends $60 milliona year to buy textbooks for Texas's
1150 school districts. Since only a few titles of each subject
are selected at six year intervals, publishers vie ferociously
to get their textbooks on the adoption list, and since the
Texas adoption choices can make or break a publisher, the
publishers bend over backwards to comply with the Proclamation. Furthermore, the textbook designed for the

"... The textbook designed for the lucrative Texas market is used throughout the
country, so the enormous influence of Texas shapes the contents of America's
textbooks."
a religious, fundamentalist, creationist husband-and-wife
team whose sole business is reviewing textbooks. This
couple is known in education circles throughout the nation
as the most effective textbook censors in the country. They
have been promoting their narrow fundamentalist views for
over twenty years by criticizing and influencing the removal
of textbooks that contain material opposed to their views.
Some of the Gabler's objections to the Scott, Foresma~
Austin, Texas

lucrative Texas market is used throughout the country, so


the enormous economic influence of Texas shapes the
contents of America's textbooks. Concerning evolution,
the only scientific topic the state feels compelled to regulate
at present, the Proclamation states the following:
"1.3 Textbooks that treat the theory of evolution
should identify it as only one of several explanations of
the origins of humankind and avoid limiting young

March, 1983

Page 13

people in their search for meanings of their human


existence.
"(1) Textbooks presented for adoption which treat
the subject of evolution substantively in explaining the
historical origins of humankind shall be edited, if
necessary, to clarify that the treatment is theoretical
rather than factually verifiable. Furthermore, each
textbook must carry a statement on an introductory
page that any material on evolution included in the
book is clearly presented as theory rather than fact.
"(2) Textbooks presented for adoption which do
not treat evolution substantively as an instructional
topic, but make reference to evolution, indirectly or
by implication, must be modified, if necessary, to
ensure that the reference is clearly to a theory and not
a verified fact. These books will not need to carry a
statement on the introductory page.
"(3) The presentation of the theory of evolution
should be done in a manner which is not detrimental
to other theories of origin."
A geologist (and evolutionary paleontologist) has repeatedly criticized this adoption policy in letters to the members
of the State Board of Education and in statements to the
press. As President of the Texas Council for Science
Education he has stated that Section 1.3 is a "misrepresentation of science," is "unconstitutional" and "a disgrace to
Texas," and "conflicts with the State Board of Education's
own criteria for the proper content of acceptable biology
textbooks." These criteria include that a biology textbook
"shall present an inquiry approach to basic concepts in
biology" and present "important discoveries of the past and
the relationship of these activities to modern biological
advancements." He points out that omitting or suppressing
the fact of evolution, as Section 1.3 requires, willact against
these stated criteria. In numerous articles and speeches, he
has demonstrated that:
1. The occurrence of evolution is a scientific fact; its
mechanism is a theory. Therefore, Section 1.3 misrepresents scientific knowledge.

J
9

Biology II
reasoned empirical inquiry and weight of evidence.
4. The stipulation that textbooks must present evolution as theoretical rather than factually verifiable is
educationally misguided for two reasons: first, evolution can and should be presented as both factual and
theoretical; second, even evolutionary theory is subject to testing and verification and should not therefore be presented as being devoid of factual content,
as does Section 1.3. In the context of the Proclamation, the scientific concept of "theory" is presented in
the nonscientific sense of "speculation" or "guess,"
and this again is a misrepresentation of science.
5. The notion that a science textbook will be "edited"
or "modified" to conform to the desired treatment of

"... Other popular explanations for the origin of humankind, such as creationism, are
myths, are not scientific .... Requiring the treatment of other explanations in public
school textbooks is not only another misrepresentation of science, it is an
unconstitutional establishment of religion."
2. Evolution is the only currently held scientific
explanation for the origins of plants and animals,
including humankind. Other popular explanations for
the origin of humankind, such as creationism, are
myths, are not scientific, and therefore should not be
presented in science textbooks as legitimate scientific
theories. Requiring the treatment of other explanations in public school textbooks is not only another
misrepresentation of science, it is an unconstitutional
establishment of religion, since the other explanations
are religious in content and origin.
3. Teaching the fact of evolution cannot possibly limit
young people in their search for meanings of their
human existence, although it willundoubtedly conflict
with any creationist explanation of human existence
that requires acceptance by faith rather than by
Page 14

March,1983

evolution, and that a statement must be carried on an


introductory page that the book does indeed conform
to the specified requirements, are both devices of
censorship that smack of authoritarian suppression
similar to that of the roman catholic index, are insults
to science writers and science teachers, and have no
place in either modern science or modern education.
6. The requirement that evolution should not be
presented in a manner detrimental to other theories of
origin is grossly unscientific, since such overweening
neutrality is methodologically improper and unnecessary, unfair to science writers and teachers, and
impossible to accomplish in practice, since teaching
evolution will invariably conflict with the "theory" of
creationism. Of course, the intent of this requirement
is to inhibit the teaching of evolution altogether.
The American Atheist

Furthermore, this requirement is again unconstitutional, since its inclusion was motivated by religious
concern rather than any secular purpose, its intent is
to promote the doctrine of creation by suppressing
the teaching of evolution, and it excessively entangles
the State of Texas in religious affairs, specifically,
belief in creationism.
The president of the Texas Council for Science Education has stated that "No scientific theory has ever needed
legislation, resolutions, lobbying, or state agency regulation
to make it acceptable as good science which deserves to be
taught to students. If a theory has this need, as does
creationism, this is evidence that it is not legitimate science
and thus should not be taught in school science classrooms." He states that he is convinced that Section 1.3 was
promulgated for religious reasons, is a violation of churchstate separation and is therefore unconstitutional. He is
convinced of this because he talked to some of the State
Board of Education members who were responsible for
writing and passing Section 1.3. Former Board member
Johnnie Marie Grimes believes that evolution is "a powerful
force against the spiritual dimension of man," and that ifwe
teach it as a demonstrated scientific fact, then our public
schools will be a "barrier" to the christian and jewish
religions. Board member William Kemp calls scientists
"narrow-minded and bigoted" for preferring to accept
evolution rather than believe creationism. He made these
remarks to the president of the Texas Council for Science
Education when the latter suggested that Section 1.3 was a
misrepresentation of science. He also threatened that
scientists "willonly get something worse ifyou try to change
the current regulation." Board Chairman Joe Kelly Butler
says that scientific knowledge is only the "opinions" of
scientists and that such opinions are "irrelevant" to how the
State Board should treat the topic of evolution. He maintains that the present policy is "about as good as we can
do." He was not interested in a statement signed by
scientists protesting' Section 1.3, saying that the "opinion"
of scientists would not change his mind; however, a
statement signed by the regents of the University of Texas
and Rice University against the Proclamation might cause
him to alter his view. Presumably, the other Board members
share these fundamentalist anti-scientific sentiments.
The most important evidence for the religious intent
behind Section 1.3, however, is the history of its adoption in
early 1974. The facts of the origin of Section 1.3 were
recently discovered by the Texas Council for Science
Education during research into the history of the Texas
Textbook Proclamation and textbook adoption policy. It
was discovered that Section 1.3 was adopted largely in-its
present form at the urging of the couple from Longview! In
their letter to the Commissioner of Education, dated
August 10, 1973, the couple protested the teaching of
evolution in the State's schools. They complained that the
biology textbooks taught evolution as a fact, not a theory,
and omitted any reference to creation. They asserted that
"textbooks completely censor the fact that there is more
scientific evidence against than for evolution. THIS DENIES STUDENTS THEIR ACADEMIC FREEDOM TO
LEARN ... Strictly speaking, evolution is not a science
because it cannot be proven - it must be accepted on
FAITH as a philosophy or as a religion. . . Textbooks
include evolutionary DOGMA with none of the important
Austin, Texas

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evidence for special creation. WHY? ... At present all


evidence and assumptions are directed toward evolution
being the only explanation for life. But the theory of special
creation is just as scientific and requires equal treatment. ..
EITHER include equal space for scientific evidence FOR
special creation, OR delete all evolutionary dogma!"
Ironically, the letter justified their demand for equal time
by asking for "fairness and objectivity" and for teaching "all
the facts" about evolution, including" all the bad" facts. This
justification directly conflicts with all the well-known couple's demands to remove the "bad" from textbooks dealing
with other topics and present only the viewpoint favorable
to their desires. Their remarkable letter reveals that they
are not above arguing for presenting two opposing topics in
one instance and for eliminating certain opposing topics in
another, depending on which argument suits their purposes. Perhaps the most ironic example of this in their letter
is their analogy of the treatment of evolution and the history
of the United States. They say that "We're often told that
students must be given the bad about our country, so let's
do the same about evolution and discontinue the present
DOUBLE STANDARD ...
Supposedly, students who
reach college without having been told 'all the bad' about
our country are so disillusioned to find the 'truth' that their
confidence is shaken. Let's begin telling them 'all the bad'
about evolution if we want to be fair." During the August,
1982 textbook adoption hearing, the couple from Longview
objected to a Scott, Foresman civics text because it
presented the United States "in a bad light, criticizing the
American system and slighting American achievement." If
their opinion about fair play and equal time for topics in
American history has changed during the past nine years,
why hasn't it changed for topics in biology as well? The

March,1983

Page 15

president of the Texas Council of Science Education says


that he "will believe (the couple from Longview) are not
hypocrites when they state that free enterprise and communism deserve equal treatment out of fairness and
objectivity, in the same way that evolution and creation
deserve equal treatment." In its letter, the couple says,
"Let's practice what had been told us for years, 'Students
have the right to know the truth even ifwe don't agree with
what they are taught.' " If the couple truly believes this
sentence it wrote, it would have retired from their textbook
protesting business in 1973_

that it could escape notice by both scientists and educators


for so long."
The impact on textbooks brought about by the couple's
complaint and the Texas State Board of Education's action
was dramatic The post-Sputnik increase in quality of the
biology textbooks was halted and reversed in 1974_Since
then, many biology textbooks have been revised to reduce
the amount of space devoted to evolution and to present
the subject in more tentative terms. Almost all pre-college
science textbooks preface any sentence mentioning evolution with the words "Scientists believe" (this is the least

"The impact on textbooks brought about by the Texas State Board of Education's
action was dramatic. The post-Sputnik increase in quality of the biology textbooks
was halted and reversed in '74.Since then, many biology textbooks have been revised
to reduce the amount of space devoted to evolution and to present the subject in
more tentative terms."
The letter was convincing enough to the State Board of
Education that they adopted what is now Section 1.3 of the
Proclamation on May 11, 1974. Although the couple from
Longview had asked that either equal space for scientific
creation be included in textbooks or evolutionary dogma be
deleted. the State Board found that, because of prior
decisions, they couldn't do this. Therefore, the current
wording was chosen by the Priorities Committee to come as
close as possible to the couple's demands without violating,
in their estimation, case law. The official State Board of
Education Minutes for May, 1974 reported that because of
the changes in the 1974Textbook Proclamation, the couple
"had withdrawn the complaint" and the new policy "was
satisfactory" to them. Paragraph (3) of Section 1.3 was
added to the Proclamation in 1977 by William Kemp. Why
this was thought necessary is not known, but Kemp's wellknown anti-evolution prejudices suggest that he thought a
further inhibiting factor was necessary to insure that public
school students were protected from the pernicious dogma
of evolution.

objectionable way to make a statement theoretical rather


than factual). The word "evolution" is rarely used today;
euphemisms are employed, such as "adaptation," "development," or simply "change." The 1977 edition of Otto and
Towle's Modern Biology reduced word coverage of evolution by a third over the 1973 edition. Several texts mention
creation, such as textbooks by Smallwood and Green,
Houghton-Mifflin, Prentice-Hall, and Burgess Publishing
Company, without characterizing it as a supernatural
explanation that is outside the domain of science. An
executive with Doubleday's Laidlaw Brothers says that
"You're not going to find the word 'evolution' " in his
company's new biology textbook. "The reason for selfcensorship is to avoid the publicity that would be involved in
a controversy over a textbook. We'd like to sell thousands
of copies." Many editors admit that they try to satisfy both
the scientific and creationist camps, a seemingly impossible
task. Editors today may rewrite biology and geology
textbooks to suppress the evolution content, sometimes
over the authors' objections. An example of this is Hough-

"... Since publishers have written their pre-college science textbooks to comply with
the Texas Proclamation, the educational results have been uniformly regrettable.
Textbooks include equivocations and misrepresentations about evolution, have
reduced coverage of evolution, ... and even include pro-creationist statements."
The president of the Texas Council for Science Education maintains that the arguments used by the couple from.
Longview in their letter to the Commissioner of Education
were fallacious and misguided. He claims that it is plain from
their letter that they "know nothing about science and that
their motives are due purely to their fundamentalist religion." He further maintains that the State Board acted
irresponsibly in writing the anti-evolution section of the
Proclamation to appease the couple. He laments that "of all
the mischievous influence (they) have had on textbooks in
the United States, their scientifically ignorant letter has had
by far the greatest negative impact on science education in
the entire country during the past nine years. It is absolutely
incredible that such a misadventure could take place in the
United States in the latter half of the twentieth century, and
Page 16

March,1983

ton Mifflin's Investigating the Earth, a team-written textbook sponsored by the American Geological Institute.
Some biology textbook writers have received letters from
their publishers asking them to leave the topic of evolution
out of their books.
.
Allof these science textbooks are being used throughout
the country, and all were written to conform to the Texas
Textbook Proclamation. The Texas Council for Science
Education finds Section 1.3 to be a violation of academic
freedom, a device of state censorship, a misrepresentation
of science, an unconstitutional regulation, a disgrace to
Texas, and a tragedy for science education in the United
States. It says: "Since publishers have written their precollege science textbooks to comply with the Texas Proclamation, the educational results have been uniformly regretThe American Atheist

table. Textbooks include equivocations and misrepresentations about evolution, have reduced coverage of evolution
to a couple of pages or nothing, omit any connection
between evolution and other biological phenomena, and
even include pro-creationist statements. The result has
been that high school graduates have received a censored,
second-rate biology education in most schools in the
country. It is regrettable that a state agency can unilaterally
regulate the content of science textbooks; it is tragic that
this censorship has had a dramatic and pejorative effect on
the quality of biology and geology education for students all
over the United States." Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel
Laureate and Professor of Physics at the University of
Texas, stated in an interview with the University magazine,

UTMost, that the textbook publishers have behaved like


"whores" in their rush to put profit before scientific
integrity. The Texas Council for Science Education asks, "If
we can describe the textbook publishers as whores, what
term can we use to describe those individuals on the Texas
Board of Education that have forced the publishers to act in
so immoral a fashion? Both the publishers and the Board
members should have some respect for scientific integrity.
The scientific method places extraordinarily high demands
on an individual's moral integrity and respect for truth, an
attitude which desirably should find its way into science
textbooks. It is a pity that this attitude is not reflected in
most of today's biology textbooks due to a few persons'
intransigent religious attitude toward evolution."

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March,1983

Page 17

Dr. Madalyn Murray Q'Hair

GEOLOGY AND RELIGION


Program No. 88 - March 16th, 1970
Among the philosophers of Greece we find, even at the
very earliest period, germs of geological truths. These were
transmitted to Roman thought and a period of fruitful
human observation seemed sure to begin. And, then, came
christianity. As this religion took control of the western
world, there came a great change. The earliest attitude of
the church toward geology and its kindred sciences was
indifferent, and even contemptuous. But, the "great"
church fathers prevailed, Lactantius and Augustine heaped
scorn on the ideas. All reasoning upon the subject was
fettered by theology. Jerome insisted that the broken and
twisted crust of the earth exhibited the wrath of god against
sin and Tertullian asserted that fossils resulted from the
flood of noah.
So, Augustine began an effort to develop something
which would be sacred and safe. With this intent he
prepared his great commentary on the work of creation, as
depicted in genesis - and we are plagued with it yet today.
Once engaged in the work he gave himself earnestly to it.
He did not use actual observations or reasoning upon
observation. The keynote of his whole method is seen in his
famous phrase:
"Nothing is to be accepted save on the authority of
scripture, since greater is that authority than all the
powers of the human mind."
His entire thought was given to studying the letter of the
sacred text and to making it explain natural phenomena by
methods purely theological.
I was recently in a heartbreaking debate with a principled
and earnest man, Carl McIntire, who used this same
principle. He was warm and good and impelled by a love of
ideas and a love of man. I went home quite shattered by the
enormous fraud of this one book and what it had done to
this good man.
Mr. Augustine, in his error, gave direction to the main
current of thought of western Europe, catholic and protestant, and to the continents of North and South America for
nearly thirteen centuries, and everywhere his thought is
extant in persons like the good Carl McIntire.
In the ages immediately followinghim, the vast majority of
prominent scholars followed him implicitly. Even so strong a
man as pope gregory the "great" yielded to his influence,
and such leaders of thought as Isodore, the venerable Bede,
extended their conclusions upon lines he had laid down.
In the christian church phrasemaking was substituted for
investigation. In the Arabian schools thought was less
fettered by the letter of the koran and they began to explore
various aspects of science. To them goes the credit of first
announcing substantially the modern geological theory of
changes in the earth's surface. It was in the eleventh century
and the credit belongs to Avicenna.
Page 18

March,1983

The direct influence of the Reformation was at first


unfavorable to scientific progress, in this or any area, for
nothing could be more at variance with any scientific theory
of the development of the universe than the ideas of the
protestant leaders. Luther and Melanchthon denounced
any idea which did not give strict adherence to the text of
the scriptures. The dominant spirit of the reformers is
shown by the declaration of Peter Martyr to the effect that,
if a wrong opinion should obtain regarding the creation as
described in genesis, "all the promises of christ fall into
nothing, and all the life of our religion would be lost."
In the times immediately following the Reformation
matters went from bad to worse. Under Luther and
Melanchthon there was some very little freedom of speculation but under their successors there was none. To
question any interpretation of Luther came to be thought
almost as wicked as to question the literal interpretation of
the scriptures themselves.
It is hard to believe that in Lubeck, the center of the
Hanseatic League, at the close of the seventeenth century,
Pfeiffer, the bishop of those parts, in his Pansophia Mosaica
insisted that in the strict text of genesis alone was contained
all wisdom and knowledge, human and divine. Even in
England up through 1685 books were published by the
greatest and most renowned sages that the strictest
devotion to a theory of creation laid down in the scripture
was essential and that no knowledge regarding the earth's
origin and structure could be drawn from any other source.
Today, we have the great state of California reintroducing this as a required course in the schools of that state.
The very idea staggers the mind, that we are still in the
embraces (deadly as they are) of such thinking.
Everywhere man broke through. But the religious community would go to any length to suppress scientific
investigation. In the seventeenth century at the University
of Paris, offending treatises were destroyed, their authors
were banished from Paris and forbade to live in towns at all
or to enter places of public resort. For awhile champions of
the science of geology labored in Italy. But, let us look for a
moment at France. In the middle of the eighteenth century
Buffon made an attempt to state simple geological truths,
and the faculty at the Sorbonne dragged him from his high
position, forced him to recant ignominiously, and to print
his recantation. It runs as follows:
"I declare that I had no intention to contradict the text
of scripture; that I believe most firmly all therein
related about the creation, both as to order of time
and matter of fact. I abandon everything in my book
respecting the formation of the earth, and generally all
which may be contrary to the narrative of moses."
This humiliating document reminds us painfully of that
The American Atheist

forced upon Galileo a hundred years before.


What was it that Buffon had to repudiate? The earth's
rotation upon its axis! One hundred and fifty years were
required to secure for this idea even a fair hearing - for the
prevailing doctrine of the church was that all "things were
made at the beginning of the world" and to say that stones
and fossils were made before or since the "beginning" is
contrary to scripture.
Strange as it may seem, the theological war against a
scientific method in geology was waged more fiercely in
protestant countries than in catholic. The older, roman
catholic, church was beginning to learn by her costly
mistakes, especially in the cases of Copernicus and Galileo,
what dangers to her claim of infallibilitylay in meddling with
a growing science. So, in Italy some progress was made with
Geology while in England the most fierce opposition to this
science was made.

way hurt one another," that "the spider was then as


harmless as the fly and did not then lie in wait for blood."
The only results of John Wesley entering this argument
was to put the force of the purpose of these men's lives and
influence against the thrust of science. Those who would
have found faith in the observation and investigation of
natural phenomena were thrown back to solving all problems by phrases deduced from theology. At the close of the
eighteenth century the English opponents of geology - on
the basis of biblical grounds - were so entrenched that the
science could go nowhere. The threat that the earth was
over 6,000 years old was too great to be handled by christian
theologians and therefore had to be suppressed. The
charge was that such researches led to infidelity and
Atheism, and are nothing less than an effort to depose the
"almighty creator of the universe" from his office.
The church had to compromise simply because it was

"The church had to compromise simply because it was overwhelmed by the


evidence of science."
Generally speaking there are three periods or phases in a
theological attack upon any science. These are:
....that the first is marked by the general use of scriptural
texts and statements against the new scientific doctrine,
....the second or intermediate period between is frequent1ymarked by the pitting against science of some great
doctrine in theology,
....the third by attempts at compromise by means of
far-fetched reconciliations of textual statements with
ascertained fact.
In England John Wesley came to the "rescue" of the bible
in the quarrel. He followed Augustine, Bede and Peter
Lombard. He insisted that death entered the world by sin,
by the first transgression of adam and eve. In his book,
Cause and Cure of Earthquakes he asserts that no one who
believes the scriptures can deny that "sin is the moral cause
of earthquakes, whatever their natural cause may be." He
elaborates, "earthquakes are the effect of that curse which
was brought upon the earth by the original transgression" of
adam and eve. He turns to paul and says that "the whole
creation groaneth and travaileth together in pain until now"
and finds additional scriptural proof that the earthquakes

overwhelmed by the evidence of science. The compromise


is curious. The first crack in the wall came when the church
admitted that fossils may exist because of the deluge of
noah. But the steady work of science went on, and nothing
could stop it. The foundations of theological theory began
to crumple away. The immediate fiat of the "almighty" was
made to account for the only two things which had affected
our earth: the "creation" and the "deluge." The battle
continued up through 1830, when Charles Lyell published in
that year his Principles of Geology.
In America it was not until 1841 that Dr. Samuel Turner,
Professor of Biblical Literature, of the protestant episcopal
church somewhat accepted the new view, and published a
modified summary of the proofs from geology, astronomy,
and zoology that the "deluge of noah" was not universal. In
France this same admission came in 1856 and again in 1875.
In the Russian Orthodox churches the admission came in
1869 and in the Greek churches in 1876. It was finally
accepted in Britain in 1872, in Germany in 1876.
Do you hear what I hear? This is 1970. And, the churches
were fighting the science of geology up to 1880 - which is
just 90 years ago. Yet, Mr. Gladstone, a powerful British
statesman, took time out from his labors and cares in the

"There were, and there are perhaps still, two modes of reconciliation of scripture and
science, which have been each in their day attempted, and each has totally failed."
were the result of adam's fall. He declares in his sermon on
God's Approbation of his Works that "before the sin of
adam there were no agitations within the bowels of the
earth, no violent convulsions, no concussions of the earth,
no earthquakes, but all was unmoved as the pillars of
heaven. There were then no such things as eruptions of fire;
no volcanoes or burning mountains." He goes further and
insists that earthquakes are "god's strange works of
judgment, the proper effect and punishment of sin." Wesley
took this same attitude about death and pain, even as these
appertain to animals. In his Fall of Man he says of birds,
beasts and insects that before sin entered the world by
adam's fall, "none of these attempted to devour or in any
Austin, Texas

Parliament of that nation to take the field against the science


of geology and to support, as he could, the account of
genesis.
But nothing could suppress the findings of Charles Lyell
finally. In the memorial sermon after the funeral of this man,
the dean of Westminster, Arthur Stanley, was forced to say:
"It is now clear to diligent students of the bible that
the first and second chapters of genesis contain two
narratives of the creation side by side, differing from
each other in almost every particular of time and place
and order."
This is obvious to us all today. He continues:
"It is well known that, when the science of geology

March,1983

Page 19

first arose, it was involved in endless schemes of


attempted reconciliation with the letter of scripture.
There were, there are perhaps still, two modes of
reconciliation of scripture and science, which have
been each in their day attempted, and each has totally
and deservedly failed. One is the endeavor to wrest
the words of the bible from their natural meaning and
force it to speak the language of science. It has been
followed in later times by the various efforts which
have been made to twist the earlier chapters of the

book of genesis into apparent agreement with the last


results of geology - representing days not to be days,
morning and evening not to be morning and evening,
the deluge not to be the deluge and the ark not to be
the ark."
Those persons who are religious and honest must admit
that the bible fails. Geology is here to stay, and we will get
back to a finer delimitation of the arguments in respect to
genesis on another program.

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CHAPTERS OF AMERICAN

DIAL- TH E-ATH EIST


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Page 20

March,1983

The American Atheist

Page 21
March, 1983
Austin, Texas

ISKON
(INTERNATIONAL

SOCIETY FOR KRISHNA CONSCIOUSNESS)

MIMICS CHRISTIAN PROPAGANDISTS


by Margaret Bhatty

[Author's preface: Following the example of maharishi


mahesh all the Indian godmen with a vast following abroad
now bring in westerners with high-sounding scientific
degrees from well-known universities. These people write
erudite pieces in the English press and make it seem as
though the ancient hindus knew all long, before anyone else
ever did, what modern science is now discovering to its
"astonishment." Nothing flatters the racially-minded Indian
more than to see these white witless morons flat on their
faces at the feet of gurus and godmen. Prabhupad simply
"had to be right" if even Einstein, quoted out of context,
"supports" his view. Perhaps Eccles, Wigner and Wald
might be surprised to know that they are making a valuable
contribution to the idea of "atmagyan," (the "science" of the
soul), simply by talking about consciousness.]
The international society for krishna consciousness,
iskon, that money-spinning religious multinational corporation thought up by his "divine grace," the late AC.
bhaktivedanta prabhupad (The last two words are not really
proper names, but mere religious titles equivalent to "holy
book-believing worshipper of the feet of the lord."), "incarnation" of the hindu god krishna, has a flourishing center in
Bombay. The research and education wing is the bhaktivedanta institute, whose director is the 45-year old bhaktisvarup Damodar swami. In an interview for a Bombay
weekly, he explained the institute's purpose to propogate
"atmagyan,' or "the science of the sou!."

vedic hinduism to a world of modern scientific technology,


since scientific-sounding explanations for religious phenomena are more compellingly attractive in convincing the
younger generation of today, according to bhaktisvarup
Damodar.
How was the idea first conceived? Back in 1970, when
director bhaktisvarup Damodar was working for his doctorate, he met the iskon founder, AC. prabhupad, and
sometimes went on morning walks with him in Los Angeles.
A prominent evolutionist, Stanley Miller, held a seminar
called "The Origin of Life" which the young man also
attended. "He was talking of life as a chemical principle,"
said bhaktisvarup Damodar, "There is no god, no creation
- everything comes about by random chemical combinations. In other words, maybe you are familiar with Darwinian evolution? It is completely a material concept of life;
doesn't have any spiritual meaning ... "
This "heresy" so outraged the young scholar that during
the question and answer session he bluntly accosted the
prominent evolutionist and demanded to know why humans with all their know-how had not yet been able to
assemble even the smallest life system in the lab. Ifthey can
synthesize amino acids, DNAs, RNAs, protein molecules,
lipids and other biochemicals, can they not produce the
smallest organism?
This profound question "flummoxed" the eminent evolutionist, who sheepishly answered, "Well, I don't know
whether it's possible or not."
These scientific "heresies" were duly reported by the
earnest young man to his mentor, prabhupad, on their
morning walk. And, said he, "his divine grace was extremely
angry that modern scientists should talk thus in the name of
scientific knowledge.
"It was very harmful for propagating proper knowledge to
the younger generation. Because in a way you are simply
teaching them how to be Materialist, how to be Atheist; you
are simply teaching them there is no creation, or there is no

"Nothing flatters the racially-minded Indian more than to see these white witless
morons flat on their faces at the feet of gurus and godmen."
Bhaktisvarup hails from Manipur in northeast India and
after passing his M.Tech. from Calcutta University, went on
to an M.S. in Chemistry from Canisius College, Buffalo. In
1974 he was awarded a Ph.D. in Physical Organic Chemistry from the University of California. Later he became a
Research Fellow at Emory College, Atlanta. With such an
impressive string of qualifications he manipulatively implies
that it was "inevitable" that he should devote all his
experience to the "science" of religion! The institute was
founded with the "divine" purpose of presenting ancient
Page 22

March,1983

design in cosmic manifestation. So any way it was against


the principles of religiosity, this complete commitment to
material understanding. He (AC. prabhupad) talked very
seriously that in our modern civilization the breakdown of
moral and ethical principles especially in western society
like the United States, the coming of the hippie movement,
the degradation of the quality of life, is due to this sort of
teaching in the colleges and universities (From whom else
do we hear this line?! - Ed.). He felt there was a genuine
necessity of projecting spiritual knowledge, or about the
The American Atheist

science of the self, the science of the soul called 'atmagyan.'


"
This plum job fell to bhaktisvarup Damodar who as a
highly trained scientist could spread "atmagyan" through
the medium of "modern scientific terminology." However,
while he took every opportunity to toss into the interview as
much terminology as possible, the actual science of the soul
was left exactly where he found it - up in the air.
What is the bhaktisvarup's grouse against modern science?

Director bhaktisvarup Damodar says he finds himself in


excellent company. "About the beginning of this year," said
he, "you may have seen, there was an article by Hoyle, the
British astronomer, and Bikram Singe, the Sri Lankan who
is also working in the UK. By their calculations, although
they say they do not believe in the existence of god, but by
their mathematical calculations there must be a god. They
are publishing this in popular science magazines and
journals."
But how can a totally nonmaterial, nonexistent, non-

"He (the hindu godman) talked very seriously that in our modern civilization the
breakdown of moral and ethical principles especially in the western society ... is due
to this (Materialist and Atheist) sort of teaching in the the colleges and universities."
"It doesn't teach us self-reliance - only about atoms and
molecules. And when those atoms and molecules finish, we
also finish." In other words, it ignores the "spiritual"
existence. Scientists study life"superficially," from outside
and ignore the "spiritual spark of the spiritual atom" inside.
This "stupid" refusal on the part of modern science to
discern the non-visible through the microscope, and believe
in the non-existent in the laboratory is its greatest "defect."
Otherwise we would not need bhaktivedanta institutes!
However, the director was prepared to concede that
scientists are "doing a great job. There is nothing wrong
with science. It is a special genius. But all this could be much
more meaningful if they realized that life has a spiritual
element."
At which point does scientific religious research on the
soul really start?
At zero actually, because, according to the bhaktisvarup,
"We first agree that there is a nonphysical entity. This
nonphysical entity is called life. It is nonphysical and
nonchemical, but it interacts with the material and chemical
elements."
On this "unshakable, unverifiable, no-nonsense" foundation rests the entire scientific edifice of "atmagyan." You
simply cannot go wrong once you acquire the genuine
understanding that life is a nonphysical phenomenon and
the spiritual atom or the "atrna" is quite distinct from the
material or physical atom!
In all this woolly pontification, nowhere did the bhaktisvarup reveal exactly what laboratory tests were expected to
prove the science of the soul's existence. But evidently it
takes a particular kind of scientist. "Only that individual
who understands the physical molecule of lifeas well as the
spiritual molecule can see how one complements the other,
how knowledge and material phenomena interact." He then
proceeded to explain how even enzymes display a certain
intelligence. "Say, when you take a protein molecule. In
each stage certain types of special enzymes are required.
These enzymes have to be there at the right time and at the
right place, they can never be replaced by anything else. But
there are innumerable enzymes. How does that selection
take place at that particular time and place and everything
in perfect order, perfect systematic organization? By seeing
that, you can come to the sensible conclusion that there is
an intelligence even in the molecular leve!' What I mean is
that there is some intelligent system that organizes and
directs even in the cellular platform or molecular and
submolecular leve!'''
Austin, Texas

visible entity like the "soul" be set out in a mathematical


calculation? "The thing is we do not need mathematics,"
replied the bhaktisvarup. (In politics this is known as
double-talk.) "We try to understand what life is. Modern
science does not give the answer. So there must be some
spiritual science. This does not have to be understood in
terms of mathematics. So although we use modern techniques, it is not completely a vital element which we must
use. It is because we have to communicate that we have to
speak a similar language."
In short, the scientific bit is just a front to sugar-coat the
same old pill. But the bhaktisvarup is confident he is
working in collaboration with the best scientific brains of the
century. "I want to show you this journal Science Digest,"
he said, "You know about it? Published from the US? I have
the July issue with me. There is an article called 'Scientists

March,1983

Page 23

Searching For The Soul.'! About brilliant scientists, all


Nobel-laureates, like John Eccles, Eugene Wigner, the
quantum physicist. All these scientists are saying that yes,
there is a nonphysical soul within this body." Like George
Wald, he was our guest here in Bombay last year. I met him
3-4 years ago in Rome and he was talking just like an
ordinary scientist saying everything is material. But now
he's changing his view. He is saying there is a nonphysical
consciousness which is the essence of life.3Now there are
many brilliant scientists who think the same. Even the
Nobel-laureate who discovered vitamin C, what is his
name? Eh ... yes, Szent-Gyorgi. He's still alive, he's in the
US. He says after so many years - he is old, must be 90 or
between 85-90. And he says 'In my search for the secret of
life, I ended up with atoms and electrons which have no life
at all. Somewhere along the line, lifehas run out through my
fingers." "
All of this, of course, goes to "prove" that hinduism (but
not judeo-christianity) is true!

+ + + + +
tScience Digest is a singularly bad example of science
journalism. Brought to you by the same people who
invented yellow journalism -the Hearst family, it regularly
suggests that the supernatural might be "real" with questionable trivia elevated into monumental enigmatic "facts"
generously laced with sensationalist graphics. - Ed.
2Abdus Salaam, one of the top theoretical physicists
today and also a recent Nobel prize winner, believes in the
koran so much that when he received his Nobel prize he got
on his knees and praised allah. Yes, folks, if a scientist here
and there makes a fool of himself publicly asserting his
religiosity while other the other timid scientists remain silent
out of fear of the public reaction, you can be sure that his
testimony is "reliable!" - Ed.
31ncludingplants and bacteria? We doubt he said what he
is alleged to have said. - Ed.
4Tsk, tsk, good man. It's not all that bad. - Ed.

-'
~<'C!

).

\!;;e

E!>

Of course we should teach CREATIONISM ..... to think we evolved


lizards is preposterous~

Page 24

March,1983

from common

The American Atheist

THE NEW RIGHT:


THE MOVEMENT AND ITS IMPACT
by Ben Brodinsky
The public schools are under attack from the New Right, says Mr. Brodinsky -

an attack that

threatens their very existence. The author, who has covered American education since the 1950s,
describes the nature of the threat and of the New Right itself.

(Reprinted from the Phi Delta Kappan, 10/82)

waters become so muddy that a word of caution is needed.


It has not helped in the current dilemma that a humanist
organization, calling itself a "religion, "went into Q tax court
and won a victory of tax exemption as a "humanist
religion."
American Atheists thinks that this confusion and obfuscation would disappear if the lines were drawn as they
should be, with all those who are religious on the one side
and all those who are frankly Atheist on the other. The
continuing disguise of "humanist" taken by the Atheist,
combined with the continuing acknowledgment by the
"liberal" religious that their religion is sterile without the
"humanist" value system, puts two ideologically opposed
positions into the same camp. One seeks to give substance
to a defunct idea; the other is afraid to take a stance
without reference to that idea.
Atheists, bold because assured in its position, advise
both camps to quit straddling on "humanism." Dump that,
too, in the past. Our positions need to be clearly defined
and taken. There is only theism and Atheism. There is no
middle ground. The world is in a postreligious era. The
residuals of religion trying to survive in a world in which it
does not belong can only bring tragedy to all. - Ed.

Editor's Preface:
In thid article the author speaks extensively of "secular
humanism." As he explains this, one can see how humanism has been comingled with religionsince its inception
as an idea - with the credit for the same given to Erasmus,
who was a roman catholic.
When the enemy tries to obfuscate the issue and when
those who should be openly Atheists confuse the issue by
hiding behind the "acceptable" term of "humanism," the
Austin, Texas

The frustration grew. The ire accumulated.


During the past two decades - while educators struggled to force ever-shrinking dollars to support an everexpanding world of instruction; while they coped with
mandates on desegregation, busing, prayer, bilingual education, handicapped children, and affirmative action; while
teachers were absorbed with building unions and learning
to use the strike to improve their economic situation; while
researchers and would-be researchers sought federal
grants to support projects significant and insignificant; while
practitioners and theoreticians were busy talking to themselves in their private language about open classrooms,
behavior modification, values clarification, social promotion, performance contracting, and minicourses; while
administrators accepted such nigh impossible tasks as
coping with sex education, drug education, and environmental education; while subject matter specialists debated
endlessly about ways to teach reading, math, science, social
studies; while test scores were going down and apologists
were trying to explain why -:- in sum, while educators' eyes

March,1983

Page 25

were on themselves and on the rush of developments


in
education and in society, large groups of parents and
taxpayers were becoming increasingly disillusioned with
their schools. They began to look at educators and their
doings with mounting distaste.
(The author omits that the roman catholic church, in

The public schools in 1982 are the target of so powerful an


attack that their very existence is in jeopardy. Radicals of
the new right are working toward exactly that end, that is,
the remaking of the public schools in the image of the new
right - or else their destruction.

pursuit of public funding for its parochial schools, has


deliberately, with malice aforethought, mounted both an
overt and covert campaign against universal free public
education beginning immediately after World War II and
continuing now for 40 years. The success of this black
propaganda war against the schools has been so great that
the author himself lists a multitude of "whiles," all of which
were carefully planted in the public mind insidiously by that
church. - Ed.)

Attacks on public education have been commonplace for


a century or more. Are the attacks orchestrated
by the new
right any different? Consider these seven points:
1. The new right leads the president of the United States,
and the president of the United States leads the new right.
Each energizes the other. Ronald Reagan will do just about
anything the new right wants him to do insofar as public
education is concerned. The president has tilted in favor of
creationism, prayer in public schools, and tax exemption
for schools that select their students on the basis of race. He
firmly intends to dismantle the Education Department.
Of
the monstrous Family Protection Act, which most educators believe contains the worst of fundamentalist thinking,
Reagan said, "I'll sign it when it comes to my desk." Seldom
in US history has any cause such as that espoused by the
new right for education had such powerful backing at the
highest level of government.
2. The new right can rely (at least as of this writing) on the
Congress to do much of its work. The Senate is a staunch
advocate of new right causes in education. Its Republican
majority and the senators closest to the president believe
that they can enact the kind of legislation the new right
wants with regard to busing, segregation, prayer, vouchers,
tuition tax credits, aid for christian and other private
schools, and the Education Department.
The House does

Year by year the distaste grew and turned to anger.


Anger turned to rage. And rage spurred many of these
parents and taxpayers to band together for attacks on
education. (The roman catholic church, through John W.

McCormack of Massachusetts, Speaker of the House,


managed to bottle up federal aid to education in a House
committee for over 20 years, demanding as its ransom
price that roman catholic parochial schools be included in
the largesse. During all of that time the virulent and
unprincipled attack on the public school system was kept in
high gear. The unwary in our culture were turned sour on
our schools, and the schools - not willing to identify any
religion as a villain - blundered and erred. - Ed.) They
looked for and found leaders to voice their hatred for the
goals of modern public education, its methods, its tools and
materials.

"Attacks on public education have been commonplace for a century or more."


(Once soured on the school system, the 75% of our
populace which is not roman catholic had nowhere to turn
to placate their artificially stimulated grievances. And so,
the disgruntled part, protestant and fundamentalist,
looked to their religion,for they knew instinctively that their
concerns against public education had a religious base, a
base of fundamentalism which is, after all, what the roman
catholic church represents. - Ed.)

not seem to know what to do about education; consequently, it is doing little but waiting for signals - from someone.
3. The new right controls and uses potent tools for
propaganda,
promotion, fund raising, and proselytizing.
The mailing list (25 million names!) developed by Richard
Viguerie has become legendary, and rightly so. Through its
use, conservative organizations
have built large memberships and raised millions of dollars.

"The new right controls and uses potent tools for propaganda, promotion, fund
raising, and proselytizing. The mailing list (25 million names!) developed by Richard
Viguerie has become legendary, and rightly so ....
it would be foolhardy to
underestimate the numbers who are reached by new right preachers and evangelists."
The alienated, the disappointed, and the irate gathered
under the banner of an aberrant conservative movement a movement that includes concerned mothers and fathers
but is led by zealots and extremists. Some manifestations of
the movement are rational. But its rabid core, now known
as the "new right," has loosed the dogs of war against the
public schools, using the accumulated ire of some segments
of the population as a justification to wage warfare against
the schools for what they have done and are doing, as well
as for what they are not doing that the zealots wish them to
do.

Even more powerful in these causes is the electronic


church - close to 40 television stations and more than
1,000 radio stations claiming an audience of 40 million. The
last figure is probably bloated, but it would be foolhardy to
underestimate
the numbers who are reached by new right
preachers and evangelists.
The new right produces more than 100 nationally circulated magazines, tabloids, and newsletters on a weekly,
monthly, or quarterly basis. "Let Our Children Pray," a film
aimed at putting prayer in the public schools, is being
distributed through the network of preachers in politics. A

March,1983

The American Atheist

Page 26

number of books have become "standard" because they


emphasize strategy to bend the school and the curriculum
to the conservative
philosophy.
To name three: The
Blackboard Tyranny, by Connaught Marshner; The New
Right - We're Ready to Lead, by Richard Viguerie; and
The Battle for the Mind, by the rev. Timothy LaHaye.
4. The new right creates a new organization about every
30 days on national, state, or local levels. Some die quickly
and are replaced by others. A recent count by the National
Education Association (NEA) showed 67 major national
organizations
promoting ultra-right causes and working
against the public schools. The number of local groups
under the influence of the new right is incalculable. Hundreds, possibly thousands, of" concerned-citizen"
"parentswho-care" groups promote right -wing ideologies for specific
objectives - be it the elimination of a course or the banning
of a book.
"When it comes to getting rid of dirty schoolbooks, every
board of education is a potential ally," said one spokeswoman from the new right. "And remember,
there are
16,000 school boards in this country." (The new right
counts heavily on local school boards to support its
philosophy.)

and the build-up of atomic weapons.


6. The new right uses propaganda skillfully, recklessly,
and irresponsibly. Its leaders know that slogans, sloganeermg; and scapegoats are major ingredients of effective
propaganda.
They use these to the utmost. The French
Revolution had its "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity;" Lenin
had his "Peace, Bread, and Land;" and the new right leaders
have their "Family, Decency, and Pro-Life."
The new right does not lack scapegoats.
There are the
NEA, the public school system, "secular humanists," the
Education Department, and textbook writers, to give only a
few examples. For greater ease in scourging, the new
rightists often attack two or more scapegoats simultaneously.
Thus: "Most of the evils of the world can be traced to
humanism, which has taken over our government, the UN,
education, TV, and most of the influential things in life."Timothy LaHaye, "moral majority" leader.
And this: "If the NEA is given control of the Department
of Education again (sic) after president Reagan leaves the
White House, it will be terrible. I can assure you they will
push to nationalize our local school systems." - Sen.
Roger W. Jepsen (R-Ia.), in .a letter circulated by the

"The new right uses propaganda skillfully, recklessly, and irresponsibly. Its leaders
know that slogans, sloganeering, and scapegoats are major ingredients of effective
propaganda."
5. The new right works on many fronts and seeks to
influence a multitude of publics. Hardly anyone is ignored.
New right leaders aim first at parents and taxpayers, then at
school board members, school administrators,
teachers,
state legislators, and, of course, national lawmakers.
Helping to promote the various causes of the new right is
a network of national, state and local agencies. First, there
are the "think tanks," which develop policy and philosophy
and deliver them to the seats of power - as they did for
Ronald Reagan and the Republican party in the pre-election
and postelection days. Closely following the "think tanks" in
influence and power are the political action committees,
which seek to eliminate liberal members of Congress and
state legislatures by working for the election of conservative
ideologues. Then come a variety of interlocking and mutually supporting organizations, which have as their aims:
*developing and propagating "model" legislation for
states;
*promoting prayer in public schools

*promoting creationism
*censoring textbooks and schools library books;
*ending unionism and union tactics in education;
*promoting the interests of christian schools
*cutting taxes and school expenditures;
*nurturing conservative ideas;
*fighting "secular humanism" in public schools; and
*channeling corporate gifts and funds into colleges
and universities that promote "free enterprise."
Many of these same groups, regardless of their specific
cause, also promote brands of morality, godliness, Americanism, patriotism, and free enterprise. Finally, there are
kindred groups that attack the mass media, consumerism,
and environmentalists
while promoting ownership of guns
Austin, Texas

In this same letter the senator lists the positions the NEA
has taken as he finds them in NEA convention resolutions.
They include, says the letter: legalizing possession
of
marijuana, requiring all public employees to be unionized,
federal financing of abortions, allowing teachers to select
instructional materials without any review by local school
boards, and allowing practicing homosexuals to teach in the
schools.
The new right uses all the classic propaganda techniques:
the big lie, the little lie, the distortion,
the glittering
generality, the innuendo, the smear word, the fanning of
fears, the incitement of passion.

March, 1983

Page 27

7. The attacks from the new right come at a time when


public education is at a low point - ravaged by inflation,
declining enrollments, high operating costs, decreased
public confidence, and diminishing numbers of citizens with
children in school. New right leaders have done their
homework. They know in detail how school boards function, how textbooks are adopted, how to remove courses
from the curriculum. They also know the weaknesses and
mistakes of the public schools - and they exploit them. As
Marshner did in her book, The Blackboard Tyranny, they
list problems that public school educators are coping with
and trying to correct - and then charge the public schools
with "total failure." Among reasons "schools have bungled
their job" Marshner lists lack of discipline, lack of study,
teachers unprepared in subject matter, social promotion
policies, subjective grading systems, and, "in general, too
much pedagogical faddism."

allow anyone to use the appropriations process to. change


the law."
Yet just such efforts will occur during this session of
Congress, and the ones that follow. This approach proved
effective in 1981, a few months after Reagan came to the
White House. Remember the so-called Omnibus Education
Reconciliation Act of 1981? Reagan sent it to Congress
disguised as a money bill.Yet, when enacted by Congress, it
repealed the historic Elementary and Secondary Education
Act; it changed the statutory provisions for aid to college
students, for vocational education, for land-grant colleges,
and for families living in areas affected by federal installations.
By the same token, the 1983 budget, now being shaped in
Congress, does not refer to the Education Department
(ED), an agency still legally alive. In the minds of White
House officials, ED is already dead and has been assigned

"Finally,leaders of the new right


believe that parents and taxpayers can be
stampeded into supporting frontal attacks on school courses, textbooks, and
educational procedures."
Finally, leaders of the new right sense that public
education has lost its way and willeasily fallin line with their
ideas. They also believe that parents and taxpayers can be
stampeded into supporting frontal attacks on school courses, textbooks, and educational procedures.
This fall new right leaders are concentrating their efforts
on Congress, where they hope to gain signal victories, the
biggest being the shackling of the judiciary to prevent courts
and judges from interfering with ultra-right objectives.
In the weeks remaining before the November 1982
elections, conservatives in Congress worked zealously to
push through as much of their social-issues agenda as
possible. Whatever was left undone by November, the
conservatives planned to complete after the elections with, they hoped, a Congress in which they will have
replaced many liberals and middle-of-the-readers with ultraconservatives.
Right-wing legislation on desegregation, busing, prayer,
tuition tax credits, affirmative action, vouchers, the Education Department, tax exemption for private schools, and a
dozen other school-related topics has been piling up in the
House and Senate at an unprecedented rate since Reagan
took office. The bulk of these bills are introduced simply to
show the folks back home that those legislators elected with
conservative help are doing their jobs. Legislators who are
actively involved in the conservative movement do not
expect much from these measures. They take other
approaches. They announce plans for constitutional amendments as a way of gaining publicity. For more practical
results, they seek to tie substantive educational measures
to appropriations or budget bills.
It is this kind of action that makes Sen. Lowell Weiker
(R-Conn.) see red. For many months he has fought virtually
alone against attempts to establish right-wing policy on
school busing and on prayer by tacking amendments to
budget bills. He has filibustered; he has issued angry
statements against such tactics. Other liberal senators, who
are in the minority, often agree with this view. As Sen.
Charles Mathias, Jr. (R-Md.), said recently, "We must not
Page 28

March,1983

the title of Education Foundation in the budget proposal.


This scheme has infuriated educators who have an
interest in the fate of ED - and even those who do not.
Although school board members across the US have little
love for ED, listen to Thomas Shannon, executive director
of the National School Boards Association: "Through this
strategem (using budget bills to change law), the entire
public hearings process will be subverted. Members of
Congress would not have the chance to vote on the merits
of the proposed disestablishment of the Department of
Education. Instead, that issue would be buried deep in a
complex budget bill, and Congress would be required to
vote only once on whole package."
Equally dear to the hearts of conservatives is yet another
legislative strategem. Conservatives want legislation that
will make it impossible for the US Supreme Court, or any
federal court, to assume jurisdiction over programs affecting schools, or for the Justice Department to defend liberal
principles.
Attorney General William French Smith, with Reagan's
support and to the applause of conservatives, has led
attacks on "judicial activism." He has accused "unelected
judges" of substituting "their own policy preferences for the
determination of elected representatives." Smith contends
that federal courts have gone "beyond their proper role" in
cases involving school busing, prayer, desegregation, and
other issues.
And so the Senate produced (early in March) a money bill
for the Justice Department expenses for 1983 that also
serves as "the most sweeping antibusing legislation ever
passed in either House." It contains amendments that, in
effect, tell the federal courts and the Justice Department:
"Hands off. You have no power when it comes to busing for
desegregation purposes." In retaliation, Speaker of the
House Thomas P. O'Neill (D-Mass.) and the chairman of
the House Judiciary Committee, Peter W. Rodino, Jr. (DNJ), have sworn that the Senate amendments willbe killed.
But there are other bills - dealing with prayer, for
The American Atheist

example - and these too seek to bind the hands of the


federal courts and the Justice Department. S. 1742 and S.
481 are designed to enable state courts to sanction voluntary prayer in public schools. They also forbid the Supreme
Court to review state court decisions. Should this legislation ever pass, it would turn the constitutional clock back to
1803, when the principle of federal judicial supremacy in
matters of constitutional interpretation was first established
in Marbury v. Madison.

1.

Secular Humanism

... The term, "secular humanism" is used by the new


right as an all-purpose, all-inclusive charge that covers sins
both real and imaginary, actions committed or not committed. This smear word marks the alleged "humanist" as
an enemy to be eliminated from the educational system.
It may annoy the new moralists that the humanistic
concept antedates the christian era ....
Humanism has inspired such great christians as Erasmus

"... new right leaders are concentrating their efforts on Congress, where they hope
to gain signal victories, the biggest being the shackling of the judiciary."
But such matters do not perturb the gurus of the right,
such as Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah and Sen. John East of
North Carolina, both Republicans. They are now thumping
for legislation that would authorize the reopening of every
segregation case since Brown v. Board of Education. The
original order against segregation in every case since Brown
could be dissolved and judges prohibited from ordering any
new remedies for segregation.
Authorities on constitutional law - law liberal and
conservative alike - describe such legislative proposals as
"astounding" and "shattering." Their view is that the HatchEast plan would overrule the power of the Supreme Court,
killthe concept of judicial supremacy, demolish the system
of checks and balances - and, in consequence, bury the
principles of civil rights built during the past generation.
The new right ideology finds its fullest expression in the
proposed Family Protection Act. First introduced in 1979
by Sen. Paul Laxalt (R-Nev.), friend of the president, it has
since been revised several times. Co-sponsors with Laxalt
of the latest Senate version (S. 1378) are Roger Jepsen
(R-Ia.) and Jake Garn (R-Ut.). In the House, the measure
(H.R. 3955) is sponsored by Albert Lee Smith, Jr. (D-Ala.).
The mammoth bill contains 36 provisions. Nearly all are
an affront to the public school system and an insult to
educators.

and helped bring the "holy" scriptures to the masses.


Humanism has been compatible with many religions both Oriental and Western - which believe that that which
glorifies humanity glorifies god ....
... In the mid-1970s, while looking for ways of expressing
their (fundamentalist christian) dislike for nonreligious
education, they began using "secular humanism" as a stick
with which to beat the public schools. Then the new
rightists, with their genius for propaganda, made it into a
code word with which to brand offenders - public school
teachers, college instructors, liberals, feminists, Atheists,
civil libertarians, and internationalists.
Next, the new right pushed the view of "secular humanism" as an established religion. Since any religion is
barred from public schools by the Constitution, ran the new
right argument, so must secular humanism be barred. To
make this clear, "moral majority" leader Jerry Falwell said in
a full-page advertisement (25 March 1981): "We strongly
oppose the teaching of the religion of secular humanism in
the public school classroom." This conviction leads new
right adherents to justify demands for textbook censorship,
elimination of courses of study, firing of liberal teachersand reshaping the public schools to fundamentalist ideas.
For hard-core fundamentalists humanism is an evil so
vast as to be the source of most of what is wrong with the

"The ... leaders of the new right ... are ... moving ahead with three approaches that
seem most likely to enable them to achieve their goals: 1. Searching out and
destroying those elements within the public schools that promote the education of
free, inquiring minds .... 2. Limiting and controlling the learning materials in public
school classrooms and libraries through censorship. 3. Injecting into the public
classroom the quintessence of the bible - with creationism as a beginning."
The practical and hard-headed leaders of the new right
know that they cannot achieve all of their objectives in this
century. But they are working at it, moving ahead with three
approaches that seem most likely to enable them to achieve
their goals:
1. Searching out and destroying those elements within
the public schools that promote the education of free,
inquiring minds. The leaders of the new right have named
these elements "secular humanism."
2. Limiting and controlling the learning materials in public
school classrooms and libraries through censorship.
3. Injecting into the public classroom the quintessence of
the bible - with creationism as a beginning.
Austin, Texas

human race. This point of view is clearly expressed in a


pamphlet widely distributed in Ft. Worth, Texas, titled "Is
Humanism Molesting Your Child?" The pamphlet charges
that "humanism denies the deity of god, the inspiration of
the bible, and the divinity of jesus christ ... denies the
existence of the soul, life after death, salvation in heaven,
damnation in hell ... denies the biblical account of creation.
.. believes in equal distribution of America's wealth to
reduce poverty. . . . Humanism is being inculcated in the
elementary and high schools by Pavlov's conditioning
theories .... "
The pamphlet is a product of the Ft. Worth Pro-Family
Forum, whose president, Lottie Beth Hobbs, has said:

March,1983

Page 29

"Humanism is everywhere. It is destructive to our nation,


destructive to the family, destructive to the individual."
Such expressions have the approval of new right leaders.
Timothy LaHaye has said: "We must remove all humanists
from public office and replace them with pro- moral leaders. "
Many mighty guns - legislation, censorship, bigname
leadership, high-powered propaganda - are trained on
secular humanism. From North Carolina comes the news
that students, too, can be allies in the fight against this
despised "religion." Advice circulated to students by a
moral majority-related group contains this list of commandments:
*Don't - discuss the future or future social arrangements of governments in class.
*Don't - discuss values.
*Don't - write a family history.
*Don't - play blindfolded games in class.
*Don't - write an autobiography.
*Don't - take intelligence tests. Write tests only on
your lessons.
*Don't - discuss boy/girl or parent/child relationships in class.
*Don't - confide in teachers, particularly sociology
or social studies or English teachers.
*Don't - join any social action or social work
group.
*Don't - take "social studies" or "future studies."
Demand course definitions: history, geography, civics, French, English, etc.
"Don't - role play or participate in sociodramas.
*Don't - get involved in school-sponsored or
government-sponsored exchange or camping programs that place you in the homes of strangers.
*Don't - submit to psychological testing.
"Don't - get into classroom discussions that begin:
What would you do if ... ?
What if ... ?
Should we ... ?
Do you suppose ... ?
Do you think ... ?
How have educators responded to the charges of "secular humanism"? ...
From most school administrators and from their major
associations - silence. Neither the organized school
superintendents nor the elementary or secondary school
principals have come out swinging against the new right.
Routine convention resolutions endorse academic freedom, deplore censorship, and, in the words of a 1982'
resolution of the American Association of School Administrators, "recognize the increasing volatility of issues on
censorship and academic freedom." Such resolutions have
been part of convention business for decades.
Organized classroom teachers and teachers of English,
science, and social studies stand out among those striking
back at new right tactics. At least, their leaders talk tough.
Teacher union statements against creationism, against the
use of "secular humanism" as a bludgeon, and against book
censorship have been hard and eloquent - though not as
eloquent (nor as widely publicized) as that which came from
a spokesman for higher education.
Page 30

March,1983

September 1981. New Haven, Connecticut. Yale President A. Bartlett Giamatti writes a letter to the freshman
class at Yale. Said Giamatti, in part:
*A self-proclaimed moral majority, and its satellite
or client groups, cunning in the use of a native blend of
old intimidation and new technology, threaten the
values of (freedom and liberal education) ....
*From the maw of this "morality" come those who
presume to know what justice for all is; come those
who presume to know which books are fit to read,
which television programs are fit to watch, what
textbooks will serve for all the young .... From the
maw of this "majority" rise the tax-exempt Savanarolas who who believe they, and they alone, possess the
truth. There is no debate, no discussion, no dissent.
They know. There is only one set of overarching
political and spiritual and social beliefs; whatever view
does not conform to these beliefs is by definition
relativistic, negative, secular, immoral, against the
family, antifree-enterprise, un-American. What nonsense. What dangerous, malicious nonsense ....
Giamatti was safe, behind ivied walls, when he made the
statement (although he was sharply criticized by a few
alumni and in parts of the national press). But consider the
. .. teacher who is in constant danger of being purged from
her teaching job because of her opposition to moral
majority/new right policies ....
2. Censorship

Who is most active in one widespread movement that


serves the purpose of the new right - that is, banning,
removing, sometimes burning materials designed for use by
students? Surprisingly, the list runs as follows, in order of
involvement: 1) parents, 2) school boards, and 3) school
administrators (most often building principals). Behind
these good folks are the new rightists with their schemes
and ploys.
And what are the objects of their attacks? They are:
*textbooks (anything from a preschool primer to a
12th grade science book);
*great works of literature (Romeo and Juliet);
*poems (The New American Poetry, edited by
Donald Allen);
*films (The Lottery);
*school dramatics (Pippin was ordered off stage by
a Delaware school district superintendent);
*records (rock and roll);
"comic books ("Batman");
*magazjnes (Ms.);
*coloring books (recently censored by one school
district was a coloring book from the Environmental
Protection Agency, because it discussed population
growth); and
*reference books (dictionaries, both abridged and
unabridged).
Why do these materials arouse the wrath of the censors?
Most often because they contain one or two or more sexrelated words and discussion of sex or bodily functions that
involve" dirty words." Only in rare cases do the censors or parents and school board members, for that matter consider the merits of the entire work. For most, ifthere are
a few "dirty words," the book is out.
The American Atheist

For many of the censors, the targets are not only


language ("unfit for students") but also concepts of family
life, evolution, race relations, religion, politics, patriotism,
free enterprise, and communism, which this or that protesting group thinks are inadequately or improperly treated.
Agents of the new right are everywhere - frightening
parents, spurring them to leaf through schoolbooks to
search for a dirty word, an offensive paragraph. They are
active on national, state, and local levels. They proclaim
themselves to be christian, patriotic, American. Just as
often, however, they are zealous, bigoted, and given to wild
statements. Here is one: "Textbooks are Soviet propaganda. Textbooks are destroying our children." Its author is the
rev. Jerry Falwell (Kansas City, Missouri, 7 December
1980).

principles of free-market economy, the effectiveness of


American system, the importance of obeying the law of the
land .... " Finally: "Teaching materials must not invade
privacy of pupil, of parents .... " Text of bill received at
headquarters of Association of American (Textbook) Publishers, New York City .... Consternation! ... One textbook
industry official asks: "How can anyone publish a textbook
that willbe approved in Alabama?" That is, ifthe billpasses.
Mr. David, Arizona. The tracts of Phyllis Schlafly's Eagle
Forum appear in the community ....
Many parents are
impressed .... So are school authorities .... Administrators
require that teachers attend a meeting of the Eagle Forum ..
.. Entire school board shows up, too .... Soon afterward, a
textbook censorship committee is created .... The Ginn

"Agents of the new right are everywhere - spurring parents to leaf through
schoolbooks to search for a dirty word, an offensive paragraph."
series of reading books is attacked as "anti-family" and
The censorship issue has prompted hundred upon
subsequently replaced with another series that had not
hundreds of new right statements blasting instructional
A high school principal
materials used by public schools. Similarly, hundreds of been updated since 1958....
incidents in all parts of the US illustrate the work of the new removes all copies of Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men on a
single complaint from a parent. ... Textbook committee
right. Three brief accounts follow.
lists 13 other works "for evaluation," including those by
Denver. February 1982. Bob Stephenson, a Republican
state legislator, asks the 181 Colorado school districts to Conrad, Hardy, Hawthorne, Poe, Twain - and Homer ....
Citizens ask to see evaluation reports. _ .. School board
send him lists of books and films used in public schools ....
His plan: to send the lists to Mel and Norma Gabler for refuses to release them .... Legal action brought to get
evaluations
Many citizens still wonder what's wrong
"evaluation" ... Fifty school districts comply immediately ..
.
. . Stephenson becomes a hero of the new right. . . . with the books
The "most publicized and most significant case of school
Fundamentalists applaud his plans to root out "secular
humanism" in Colorado schools .... Stephenson schedules . censorship on record" began in September 1975 at a
statewide conference of Parents of New York United, a
hearings and announces that he will present his (or the
very conservative group. A couple of school board memGablers'?) findings to the Colorado House of Reprentatives .... He willask that state funding be withheld from bers from the Island Trees Union Free School District
(Long Island, New York), impressed by the presentations,
any school district using instructional materials with" even
hints of humanism" . . . He is chairman of the House
carried home a list of books declared offensive by schoolEducation Committee, carries clout.
Colorado Springs
book censors in other parts of the US.
Education Association hits back.
So does Colorado
Weeks later, the board members entered the school
Interchange Network (an anti-censorship group) .... Says
library at night, searched the school library at night,
Interchange: "We hope school districts willnot comply with searched card catalogs, and emerged with a list of books
Stephenson's request. ... His request violates constituthey decided were "vulgar" and "mentally dangerous."
tional safeguards .... He is abusing his power .... He is Subsequently, the school board ordered that nine books be
attempting to impose censorship of majority by minority."
removed from classrooms and school library shelves.
Follow-up statement by Interchange, supported by private
Moreover, the board decreed that the books could not be
individuals: "Stephenson's crusade poses a far greater
assigned either as required, optional, or suggested reading
threat to American freedoms than any textbook he or the because they were "anti-American, anti-christian, antisemitic, and just plain filthy."
Gablers would seek to remove from local schools .... "

"The censorship issue has prompted hundreds upon hundreds of new right
statements blasting instructional materials used by public schools."
Montgomery, Alabama. January 1982. State senate
receives draft of bill,Textbook Content Standards Act. ...
Contains more than a score of provisions, all demanded by
fundamentalists. . . . Sample: "Before state textbook
adoption agency approves a textbook, its members must be
satisfied that the materials, where appropriate, shall teach
honesty, acceptance of responsibility, respect for those in
authority, importance of the work ethic ....
" Also:
"Textbooks must emphasize importance of family, the
Austin, Texas

The result was an uproar in the community. In January


1977 Steven Pico and four other students challenged the
removal of the books. Legal skirmishes went on for five
years, as the case moved from a federal district court to a
US appeals court. Finally, on 2 March 1982, the US
Supreme Court heard the case.
A cluster of questions faced the justices: Who has
primary jurisdiction to determine subject matter in the
schools? Does a school board have the constitutional right

March, 1983

Page 31

to restrict access to learning materials ifthese materiais are


offensive to some members of the community? Can individual board members be brought to trial on charges that
they violated First Amendment rights? And possibly the
most difficult of constitutional questions, Do students have
First Amendment protection against interference by the
school board in the contents of their libraries and, by
extension, in their learning?
When the High Court issued its ruling in the Pico case on
June 25, it resolved none of these issues clearly and
promulgated no definitive statement of law. The practical
effect of the decision was to remand the Pico case to the US
district court for trial to determine whether the Island Trees
school board was guilty of violating the First Amendment.
When the trial takes place, the emotions and issues, the
arguments and counterarguments of school censorship will
have a replay.
"And book banning in this country willcontinue," said an
attorney representing the libertarian point of view, "regardless of the Supreme Court's decision. In fact, all signs are
that censorship willgrow and grow until the moral climate of
the country changes. And when willthat be?"
....

//

.....

\.

--~~,.

r':.~~

room treatment to evolution and creationism. The ACLU


attorneys wrote a brilliant brief. As a result of this legal
effort, the case heard in Little Rock during December 1981
was no contest. Impartial legal observers noted at the end of
the nine day trial that "the State of Arkansas was listless in
defining its law and hardly seemed to have a case."
The presiding judge, William Overton of the US District
Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, agreed with the
ACLU that the Arkansas law was unconstitutional; that "its
purpose and effect were to advance religion in the public
schools;" that "it was simply and purely an effort to
introduce the biblical version of creation into the public
school curricula."
But nothing that has happened to date will make it any
easier for the public schools and colleges to continue
teaching science or social studies without the intervention
of those who believe, at one extreme, that all the science we
need is in the bible or of those moderates who argue that the
religious belief in the divine creation of the world is at least
as good as the scientific one and that both models should
have a place in the classroom.
As a result of the defeat in Arkansas, creationists have
learned lessons that they claim willaid their cause. They've
learned, for example, not to overstress the religious tenor of
creationism in law or curriculum; they admit that the draft of
the Arkansas law erred in this respect. For the Arkansas
law spoke of "sudden creation of the universe, energy and
life from nothing" and of an explanation of the world's
geology "by catastrophism, including the occurrence of a
worldwide flood." Here were echoes of, if not direct
references to, genesis, and the clauses were vulnerable in
court.
Moderates in the creationist camp have decided that it
will never do to try driving evolutionary theory out of
textbooks and classrooms. A new posture, based on new
propositions, is therefore necessary. The creation science
research center (c.s.r.c.) in San Diego has proposed three
principles for legislation, school board policy, and as a guide
to textbook publishers.
1. Constitutional principle. Congress (or the states) may
not make laws promoting religion; but, by the same token,
the First Amendment also forbids the state to interfere in
the free exercise of religion. Therefore, the state may not
offend the religious faith of citizens by telling them that their
faith is false. The state must be neutral.
2. Principle of balance. Evolution and creation are equally
nonscientific, and they are equally religious. So we have two
groups of believers who gather circumstantial support for
their respective models of origins by selecting information
from the common pool of data from several scientific
disciplines.
3. Principle of science instruction. The central policy of
science and science instruction is that all theories and facts
should be subject to criticism and competition from alternative ideas and facts. If evolution or creation is to be
studied in a science course, both should be examined
critically and the two models of origin put in competition
with each other. Such competition is not only good
scientific thinking but good teaching as well, because it
promotes interest, exploration, and inquiry.

3. Creationism
It is relatively easy for scientists and science educators to
refute the absurdities of creationism as preached by the
dogmatic fundamentalists. They're doing a good job of it in
scientific journals and at conventions of scientists and
science teachers - even though they have to keep doing it
again and again.
It was also relatively easy for the ACLU to shatter the
Arkansas law, Act 590, designed to give balanced class-

These three principles of creationist thinking willbe used


to defend the Louisiana law should it come to trial later this

March,1983

The American Atheist

Page 32

year. (The state ACLU director hopes for a trial by the end
of the year. Although the Louisiana law was to take effect
this fall, the state superintendent of schools has said he will
not implement it until the legal issues are resolved.) With the
aid of these principles, creationists also hope to influence
state legislatures, boards of education, curriculum directors, teachers, and textbook writers and publishers.
In an interview for this article, the following exchange
took place between the author and Robert E. Kofahl,
science coordinator, c.r.s.c.:
Q. Can one teach creationism without a word from
the bible?
A Absolutely. We don't insist that a teacher,
necessarily, bring in genesis in science instruction in
public school classrooms.
Q. Then what are you insisting on?
A What we're saying is, Open science instruction
up. Let's not have science teachers with closed minds.
Q. Do you think that science in public schools is
taught by teachers with closed minds?
A When they teach only one set of principles
geared to evolution and don't admit an examination of
another set of principles geared to divine creation, the
answer is yes.
Q. But wouldn't teaching geared to acts of divinity
be unconstitutional in public. school classrooms?
A No, because such teaching would not necessarily promote religion or belief. It would encourage true
investigation. Every student should have a right to
draw information from a variety of data pools. The
data pool developed by creationists is as good, or as
valid, as that developed by evolutionists. So we're
saying, Let's be open-minded. Look at all evidence.
Compare. Let the facts compete. Let the student
draw his own conclusion. Let's not have dogmatic
textbooks or teachers impose conclusions on the
student.
Q. But god enters into your scheme of instruction,
is that not so?
A In my personal view, I'd rather believe in an
intelligent god than in the accidental collocation of
dumb atoms.

12, published by more than a score of commercial publishers, already meet creationist criteria. This means that
these books do not "overemphasize" evolution, that creation "science" is given some prominence in them, and that
the two "models" are presented with equal emphasis.
On the other hand, a shorter list of 12 science textbooks
from major publishers does not meet the criterion of
"balance" as seen by the c.r.s.c. Among those books not
receiving the c.s.r.c. imprimatur are those of the American
Book Company, Investigating in Science and Earth Science; of Allyn & Bacon, Exploring Earth Science and
Action Biology; of Charles E. Merrill, Focus on Earth
Science and Principles of Science, Books 1 and 2; and of
Rand-McNally, Interaction of Man and Interaction of Earth
and Time. But we must not assume that these publishers
are on the creationists' blacklist. Actually, these same
publishers also produce many of the books that meet with
the creationists' approval.
Moreover, creationists are writing and publishing their
own textual materials. It's a sizable industry. Lewisville,
Texas (30 miles north of Dallas), is the home of the
sprawling publishing operations of accelerated christian
education, (a.c.e.), inc. Its warehouses and shipping rooms
bulge with textbooks, workbooks, curriculum manuals,
tests - all based on genesis. The materials are designed for
kindergarten through the second year of college. Roland E.
Johnson, head of development, says a.c.e.'s progress has
been rapid, "almost miraculous."
New protestant schools are opening at a rate of one every
seven hours, says Johnson. They need instructional materials, at a small investment, to get started, and these materials
must be bible-based. Ac.e. produces just what the 4,000
schools affiliated with fundamentalist protestant churches
need.
"We teach creationism without apology," says Johnson.
Elementary social studies workbooks open with a lesson on
the six days of creation and a reading from genesis. Each
test begins with the direction, "Ask jesus to help you."
Publishing is also a major activity for the C.S.r.c.; Kofahl is
proud of the center's "science and creation series." The
eight booklets in the series are called "supplementary
science instructional materials"; Kofahl says that they

"The warehouses and shipping rooms of a.c.e., inc., bulge with textbooks, curriculum
manuals, tests - all based on genesis."
Creationists are convinced that 1983 and the years to
come willbe bonanza years. Some 200 groups are working
to promote creationism; at least a score of these groups
work at their task with zeal and passion. In addition, state
and local wings of the moral majority support, defend, and
promote creationist ideas. Then, too, creationists are likely
to be elected to state legislatures and school boards
anywhere in the US. And parent groups often lerrd their
support to creationism in schools.
The textbook is the hope of many creationist groups. It is
through instructional materials that creationist concepts
have already reached the classrooms - and the minds of
students. Creationist achievements have been subtle and
incalculable.
No fewer than 66 science textbooks for grades 1 through
Austin, Texas

"have passed legal and content requirements in California


and have been approved for use in New Jersey, Georgia,
Idaho, and West Virginia - and, of course, are used in
private schools."
The booklets are well-written, profusely illustrated, structured for different grade levels, and accompanied by
teacher manuals. Many of the facts and data included would
be acceptable to a science educator of any persuasion, but
these are "balanced" by material according to genesis and
the creationists. Darwin and evolution are continually
derided; the miracle of creation by god is always extolled.
What are the designs of the new right for the public
schools? Its leaders want to imbue the education of each
child with religion - preferably christian/protestant. They

March,1983

Page 33

want to inject into each child's curriculum large doses of


biblical material. They want to manage all subject matter so
that it will transmit facts, concepts, and attitudes on the
rightness of Victorian morality, free enterprise, and militarism. For this kind of training they see no need for student

The leaders of the new right aim to weaken and eventually eliminate our compulsory system of education; to breach
the constitutional wall between church and state; to create
rival and competing educational operations that will bleed
the public schools of finances, students, teachers, and

"What are the designs of the new right for the public schools? Its leaders want to
imbue the education of each child with religion - preferably christian/protestant ....
They aim at nothing less than rubbing out the patterns of American public education
developed since Jefferson's day."
community support.
They aim at nothing less than rubbing out the patterns of
American public education developed since Jefferson's
day. They aim to change - now and forevermore - the
ways in which American children are to be educated.

inquiry, for investigation, or for varied and enriching


instructional materials. They want to isolate educational
thought, theory, and practice from new ideas - from
investigation, experimentation, innovation. They already
know what to teach and how to teach it.
~

AN ENGINEER LOOKS AT
THE CREATIONIST MOVEMENT
by John W. Patterson, Professor
Material Science and Engineering
Iowa State University
(Reprinted

from the Proceedings of the Iowa Academy of Sciences)

This paper is based on a presentation given in Cedar


Rapids, Iowa to the Iowa Academy of Sciences on Saturday,
April 25, 1981. The observations are derived from the
extensive interactions I've had with creationists and anticreationists over the past 3 to 4 years. These interactions
include written correspondence, careful evaluation of manuscripts and published papers, many conversations, attendance at hearings and debates on creationism, and participation in two creation/evolution debates. The opinions
expressed are my own, not those of my university or my
department.
As a professor who taught thermodynamics to engineering students for many years, I first entered the creation/
evolution controversy in 1978. I was motivated to combat
what I then considered - and still consider - to be the
promotion of grossly erroneous if not deceitful arguments
concerning entropy and the second law. I viewed this as
being particularly serious, not only because thermodynamics is an important engineering science (in fact, it began
as an engineering analysis by Carnot) but also because I
found that it was the engineers in the creationist movement
who were shaping the apologetics based on the laws of
thermodynamics. Indeed, I have since found that engineering educators, senior engineers, and registered professional
engineers are perhaps the most prominent leaders of the
creationist movement. As an engineering professor and a
registered engineer myself, I felt it would be professionally
irresponsible to let this travesty continue without comment.

Norma and Mel

Page 34

March, 1983

The American Atheist

This paper attempts to expose the nature of the creationist movement, the role that professional engineers have
played in its leadership and the level of scientific incompetence (particularly in thermodynamics)
that these creationist engineers have exhibited both in public speaking and in
print I would hope that similarly revealing exposes will also
be forthcoming from such non-engineering perspectives as
biochemistry,
biology, paleontology,
physics, etc., but
these I will leave to those professionals whose expertise and
teaching responsibilities fall in those areas.

THE NATURE OF THE


"SCIENTIFIC CREATIONISM" MOVEMENT
There are many facets to "scientific creationism" and the
movement
can be discussed
in any of several ways.
However, it is best viewed as a loosely connected group of
fundamentalist ministries led largely by scientifically incompetent engineers. It is not dedicated to the furtherance of
science, education or intellectual development; but rather
to the undermining of these and to advancing the protestant
fundamentalist dogma known as biblical inerrancy. Based
on a fiercely anti- humanist, theological outlook, creationism
amounts to an evangelical system of apologetics
and
polemics. It seeks to promote the bible as being literally
true, but does so largely by obfuscating and attacking any
scientific understanding which seems to threaten their view.
Though it is dressed up with scientific terminology and
references to scientific journals, it is a counterfeit imitation
of scientific discourse based on misrepresentation
of facts.
These and similar allegations may also be inferred from the
writings of others, i.z: many of whom represent a fundamentalist christian perspective on science.v-"

processes,
genetics, etc. and who are infatuated with
arguments
from design - might fall vulnerable to the
theological arguments from design. Excuses of this sort,
however, can hardly be offered on behalf of biologists, for
they have long ago been apprised of the sterility of
arguments from design, of teleology and so on in the realm
of biology. But let us return to Gish's assertions.
First of all, there can be little doubt that the foremost
creationist organizations - i.c.r., c.r.s. (creation research
society), c.s.r.c. (creation science research center), b.s.a.
(bible science association),
s.o.r. (students
for origins
research) groups on campuses about the country - are
essentially ministries. They frequently refer to themselves
as ministries and as housing writing ministries, educational
ministries and so on. As an example, the section on the i.c.r.
on page 100 of the 78/79 catalog for christian heritage
college, where i.c.r. is based, describes i.c.r. almost exclusively in terms of the various educational ministries housed
within it
Are the creationist agencies connected? Here again we
find in their own literature strong evidence of loose interconnections.
Much of the literature is virtually identical in
message. Also, one often finds the tracts and books of
different creationist groups being advertised and sold at
events sponsored
by others and they also share many
speakers. The s.o.r. campus ministries are particularly well
stocked with slide/cassette
presentations
and tracts prepared by the i.c.r. and c.s.r.c. ministries. But the most telling
evidence of connectedness
has to do with the overlapping
memberships and especially the number of key officials many of whom have been engineers - that i.c.r., c.r.s. and
c.s.r.c. have shared through the years. Henry M. Morris, a

"We can understand to some extent why engineers - who are comparatively
ignorant of biological processes, genetics, etc. and who are infatuated with arguments from design - might fallvulnerable to the theological arguments from design."
My own formal training overlaps significantly some of the
areas which the creationists have addressed. In addition to
doing research as well as graduate and undergraduate
teaching in thermodynamics,
I also hold a B.S. and M.S. in
mining engineering which, of course, is inextricably related
to the geology and the origin of sedimentary deposits. In my
view, the level of confusion, obfuscation, and incompetence
reflected by the foremost creationist "experts" both in
thermodynamics'" and in geological interpretation is appalling. And here again others strongly agree.6,.l3,lo_18,20 Of
course, the creationists do not concur with my characterization of their movement
This may be inferred from the
following assertions by Duane T. Gish, associate director
and vice president of the San Diego-based icr (institute for
creation research) ministry.F'
" ... The creationist movement is not a fundamentalist
ministry led by incompetent engineers. Rather, it is a
movement led by highly competent scientists, many of
whom are biologists. As a matter of fact, biologists
probably constitute a higher proportion of all scientific
categories within the creationist movement
.. "
Most responsible engineers will wish this were so, but I'm
afraid it is not We can understand
to some extent why
engineers - who are comparatively ignorant of biological
Austin, Texas

long time engineering professor, civil engineering department chairman, and professional hydraulic engineer,24 has
served as co-founder and/or president of all three of these
orqanizations.w.>
He was also co-founder and has been
vice-president and president of christian heritage college.25
Moreover, creationism is taught at c.h.c. for college credit
by Gish and Morris, who have held professorships
in
apologetics there.
Are engineers really all that prominent in the leadership of
the creationist organizations? The current i.c.r. letterhead
stationery lists fourteen "prestigious" technical advisors of .
whom four are engineers or engineering educators.
In
addition to D.R. Boylan - Ph.D. and Professor of Chemical
Engineering and Dean of Engineering, all at Iowa State
University= - there is also Ed Blick, former Associate
Dean of Engineering at University of Oklahoma,
now
Professor of Aerospace, Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering there.s? Also prominent on this board of technical
advisors is Harold R. Henry, Professor and Chairman of
Civil and Mining Engineering at the University of Alabama.
One of Dr. Henry's degrees is from the University of Iowa,
while his Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics is from Columbia.w
Another technical advisor to i.c.r. is Malcolm Cutchins, a
Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Auburn, who holds a

March,1983

Page 35

Ph.D. degree in Engineering Mechanics.t?


A more recent i.c.r. staff member is Henry Morris' son,
John D. Morris, who holds a bachelors degree in Civil
Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a masters and a Ph.D. in Geological Engineering from Oklahorna.w William Bauer, who holds a Ph.D. in Hydraulics
from the University of Iowa, is President
of his own
engineering firm in the Chicago area and has been a vicepresident and very active member of the Midwest Center of
i.c.r.>' As of this writing, the president of i.c.r. Midwest is
W.T. Brown, a retired colonel who holds a Ph.D. in
Mechanical Engineering from MIT.32 In their 1977 booklets'
of testimonials
entitled, 21 Scientists
Who Believe in
Creation, the i.c.r. listed the credentials and backgrounds
of their (then) leading "scientists." Of these 21 creationist
leaders, six (more than one fourth) either were, or had
been, engineers or engineering educators, all with Ph.D.
degrees.

$5,00036 to anyone who can prove (to his satisfaction, of


course) that evolution does not contradict thermodynamics. Significantly, perhaps, Richard is also something of a
geocentrist, and as part of his "betting ministry" he offers
$1,000 to anyone who can prove (to him) that the earth is
moving, either in rotation or translation! Engineers active in
the creationist movement also include Stan Swinney, a
self-proclaimed
Aerospace
Engineer who markets
cassettes of his anti-evolution public lectures; Ben Darlington,
retired engineer who spearheaded
an effort to get creation
taught in Florida schools; and Bill Overn, holder of a
Bachelor of Electrical Engineering from the University of
Minnesota and active creationist speaker and author with
the b.s.a. of Minneapolis.
Realizing that this must only be a partial list, I once
requested a membership roster from c.r.s. to see how many
members there really were, and especially how many
among them were engineers. This request was denied on

"Richard G. Elmendorf,
a registered Professional Engineer and a creation
research society member,
offers $1,000 to anyone who can prove (to him) that the
earth is moving, either in rotation or translation!"
So engineers certainly are very prominent in the leadership of the i.c.r. ministries.
The creation research society rarely uses the word
"ministries" in describing itself, its missions and its goals, yet
its prominent members are by and large the same as those
of i.c.r. To join c.r.s. you must swear to a statement of belief
in the tenets of christian fundamentalism.P
The statement
commits the undersigner to the belief that all assertions in
the bible are scientifically true. It is only after signing this
statement that one may do research on creationism under
the auspices of c.r.s. In this organization,
as in i.c.r.
engineers again playa prominent leadership role.

the ground that c.r.s. members might be put in jeopardy.


The denial leads me to suspect creationist claims about the
"large numbers of scientists" who have gone over to their
view. Of the hundreds of thousands of M.Sc. and Ph.D.
scientists total, I judge that creationists can claim only a
small number: perhaps a few hundred individuals, with a
significant share of these being more engineers
than
scientists.
In summary, I don't concur with those like Gish who
pretend there are more biologists, or biochemists,
or
members of some other professional group than there are
engineers in the leadership of the creationist movement. I

"... I don't concur with those like Gish who pretend there are more biologists, or
biochemists, or members of some other professional group than there are engineers
in the leadership of the creationist movement."
Henry Morris, a past president of c.r.s., remains prominent on the editorial board of the c.r.s. Quarterly.34 Also on
this board is one of the creationists'
foremost thermodynamicist/engineers,
Emmett L. Williams who received his
Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from Clemson. According to the c.r.s. Quarterly masthead:
Williams is
currently vice president of c.r.s. 33The engineering representative on the c.r.s. board of directors is the Dean of
engineering at Iowa State University, namely D.R. Boylan,
who also serves on the technical advisory board of i.c.r.
These three engineers - Boylan, Morris, and Williams have contributed extensively to the creationist version of
thermodynamics
through the c.r.s. Quarterly and in a more
recent book."
Among other practicing engineers who populate the
ranks of the creationist movement, there is General Electric
engineer Luther D. Sunderland, who travels the country
lobbying for creationism in schools to various state legislators. Richard G. Elmendorf of Bairdford, Pennsylvania, a
registered P.E. and a c.r.s. member, has a standing offer of
Page 36

March,1983

know of no creationist biologists, biochemists, etc. who are


deans or department heads in any of the major universities,
but such is not at all uncommon amongst the i.c.r./c.r.s.
engineers as we have just seen. Only in fundamentalist
schools and bible colleges can creationists
in the life
sciences gain comparable faculty prominence.

INCOMPETENCE ALLEGATIONS
The allegation of incompetence
is always controversial,
partly because of the seriousness of the charge and partly,
too, because we are all incompetent
in some areas. But
being incompetent need not be regarded as a serious matter
unless it can be documented in that area wherein one claims
expertise or in which he or she publishes allegedly scientific
papers. Even then, we should use something of a sliding
scale depending on one's level of education. For example,
we ought not be too harsh with an undergraduate
thermodynamics student for being inept at the Ph.D. level. We
should be harsh, however, if one flaunts himself as a Ph.D.
scientist but exhibits incompetence
at the undergraduate
The American Atheist

level. With creationists, interestingly enough, this is exactly


what one finds. Moreover, they often exhibit very dismal
command precisely in the subject areas wherein they
profess to speak with authority. It is not convenient to
document the many serious examples of this among
creationists, but I will provide a single example from the
area of engineering thermodynamics. I invite specialists in
this area to check the soundness of my allegations and
technical arguments.

how to specify the nature of the processes taking place


within or over these boundaries (e.g. are they reversible,
irreversible, steady state, etc.). If these specifications are
not done properly, the results of one's analysis can come
out garbled or self-contradictory. Boylan's paper exemplifies such confusion because he fails to specify properly the
system to which his analysis applies and the nature of the
"life processes" of which he speaks. Only after I submitted a
harsh criticism of the paper to c.r.s. Quarterly - which led

"We should be harsh, however, if one flaunts himself as a Ph.D. scientist but exhibits
incompetence at the undergraduate level. With creationists, interestingly enough,
this is exactly what one finds. Moreover, they often exhibit very dismal command
precisely in the subject areas wherein they profess to speak with authority."

The most error ridden thermodynamic analysis I have


seen in print is the one by creationist D.R. Boylan which
appears on pages 133 to 138 in the Dec. 1978 issue of c.r.s.
Quarterly.37 As we discuss this paper, I want the reader to
keep the following statement by Boylan in mind, for it was
published the previous year (1977) as if to assure us of his
scientific expertise. "
"In teaching on-campus and at church, I have found
that an understanding of physical laws, particularly
the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, is
essential to the defense of biblical truths .The Second
Law has been particularly helpful in developing an
apologetic against abiogenesis ... "
To begin with, Boylan virtually equates two of the most
distinguishable introductory level concepts in engineering
thermodynamics, namely systemss" and processes.t" In
effect he directs his reader to "consider life processes as
systems." This is like a would-be mechanic directing us to
consider gas combustion (a process) as being like a tire or
an engine, which are mechanical systems.
After teaching beginners the profound difference between a process and a system, the next most important
issues are (A) how to define or describe the system (e.g.
closed, open, isolated, etc.) to which one's analysis is to
apply, (B) how to specify the system's boundaries, and (C)
Austin, Texas

to a heated correspondence+' with editorial board members


Gish and Williams - were the system-process specifications made clear. Williams-' "proved" to the satisfaction of
both Gish and Boylan that the first and second law analysis
and the derivation of the entropy change by Boylan are for
an open system subjected to a special kind of steady state
condition: the so-called steady state steady flow (SSSF)
condition. But this was also a blunder, since by the
definition of steady state there can be no change in the
entropy inventory (nor of any other extensive property) for
steady state systems." All these properties including entropy (relative "disorder") must remain steady or fixed in
value. Hence, Boylan's central result - i.e. his erroneous
formula for the entropy change - should have come out to
be identically zero(!) and not the non-vanishing sum whose
limiting cases he discusses at great lenqth.t?
In other words Boylan's analysis implies a profound and
unmistakable self-contradiction. And yet it is clear from the
subsequent correspondence+' that neither Boylan, Williams, nor Gish realized this. In fact, at last contact, Gish
inferred from Williams analysis that "there are no errors at
all" in Boylan's paper+' and actually suggested that I
apologize (which I have not done) for the criticisms I had
submitted. Also, as of this date (Spring 1982) no letters
questioning Boylan's analysis have appeared in the c.r.s.
Quarterly.
Several conclusions can be drawn form all this. First, one
must conclude that Boylan, a Ph.D. and Professor in
Chemical Engineering, has committed to print worse errors
than those for which beginning thermodynamics students
are penalized, ifnot failed, in their homework and examinations. Secondly, Williams, and especially Gish, are at least
as devoid of thermodynamic understanding and knowledge
as is Boylan. Thirdly, the same can be said for all the
engineers in the c.r.s. Quarterly readership who read but
did not question Boylan's analysis. Ifthere were any who did
submit criticisms, I have a feeling the public willbe the last to
know.
Thus Boylan's paper is best viewed as a poor attempt to
make a scientific case for creationism. The paper is selfcontradictory, and hopelessly garbled when viewed from
the perspective of science. Equally audacious attempts to
rationalize the geological column in terms of fluid mechanics and hydrological sorting have also been advanced by
creationist engineers, particularly by Morris;43A6here again
the confusion and obfuscation betray an apologetic ap-

March,1983

Page 37

proach to discourse.
In other words, the so-called "scientific creationists" have
done much to undermine the scientific credibility of creationism. They have inspired a vigorous counterattack from
legitimate scientists who ordinarily are not easily moved to
combat.
EXPLANATORY CONJECTURES
Why have engineers become so important in the youngearth, "creation-science" movement? There are two major
reasons: (A) the irresponsible attitude of engineers and
their professional societies, and (B) the familiarity of
engineers with certain difficult areas of science from which
unintelligible but authoritative sounding "apologetics" can
be developed.
Engineering societies seem to be uninterested in policing
themselves, as regards either ethical irresponsibility or
scientific incompetence. Thus engineers can publicly endorse ludicrous forms of pseudoscience without being
publicly chastised by their professional societies. Myexperience47 is that examining boards simply brand the embarrassing utterances as being outside their purview, even though
the engineer involved may be flaunting his engineering
status while proclaiming the most absurd distortions of
engineering science. Were biologists, geologists, or paleontologists to endorse publicly a pseudoscience such as

tion theory. Von Neumann confided as follows:


"You should call it entropy for two reasons. In the first
place your uncertainty function has been used in
statistical mechanics under that name, so it already
has a name. In the second place, and more important,
'no one knows what entropy really is, so in a debate
you will always have the advantage.' " (emphasis
added)
There is little doubt in my mind that it has been the
engineers of the creation science movement - particularly
Morris, Williams, and Boylan - who are responsible for
fashioning entropy and the second law into one of the most
effective debating tools available to the creationists. Indeed,
in a 1979 article entitled "Educators Against Darwin,"
Hatfield summed up the creationists' view of the second law
argument as follows."
". . . The famous second law of thermodynamics,
which governs energy decay is even more important
- indeed it is perhaps the favorite argument of
creationists. In its classical form the law states the
principle of entropy - that in any physical change,
energy constantly decreases in utility, moving toward
a final stage of complete randomness and unavailability. This descent, the creationists argue, eliminates
the possibility of 'a basic law of increasing organization
which . . . develops existing systems into higher

"Creationism is so absurd scientifically that it cannot be defended by any rational


arguments which are understandable to thinking laymen. Hence the need to develop
confusing and yet authoritative-sounding arguments which are unintelligible to
laymen."
creationism, their chances of achieving or retaining prestigious academic positions would be greatly undermined, as
would their chances for high office in professional societies.
Only in bible colleges, seminaries, and creationist ministries
can the latter succeed as outspoken creationists.
Hence, when creationist groups try to promote their own
credibility by flaunting the professional status of selected
members, they find they mainly have engineers to select
from. An example of such status flaunting is the i.c.r.
practice of listing their technical advisors, with status on
their official stationery. This list contains more engineering
educators who still hold respected academic positions than
members of any other group, including physicists, biologists, or geologists. Other examples of creationist credential flaunting are also widely known.

Another reason for engineers being so welcome to


creationism derives from their backgrounds in the rather
difficult subjects of thermodynamics and fluid mechanics.
Creationism is so absurd scientifically that it cannot be
defended by any rational arguments, which are understandable to thinking laymen. Hence the need to develop
confusing and yet authoritative-sounding arguments which
are unintelligible to laymen. Clearly the second law, and
especially entropy, are ideally suited for this purpose, as can
be inferred from a humorous anecdote due to Tribus;"
himself a famous engineer. According to Tribus, John Von
Neumann, the renowned mathematician/physicist, was
advising Claude Shannon about naming the uncertainty
function he discovered in connection with modern informaPage 38

March,1983

systems - that is evolution.' "


It is bad enough that this "thermopolemic" against
evolution is thoroughly absurd, and that the proper explanation of the apparent paradox has been known since the
1940's, when Schroedinger published it in his book, What is
Life.50* But the shameful irony stems from the connections

*A good synopsis of this explanation is provided in the


following excerpt from Physical Chemistry by Ira Levine
(McGraw-Hill, 1978, p. 123-24):
"Increasing entropy means increasing disorder. Living
organisms maintain a high degree of internal order.
Hence one might ask whether life processes violate
the second law. . . . (Indeed, there is no reason to
believe they do.) The statement (that entropy cannot
decrease) applies only to systems that are both closed
and thermally isolated from their surroundings. Living
organisms are open systems since they both take in
and expel matter; further, they exchange heat with
their surroundings. . . . The organism takes in
foodstuffs that contain highly ordered, low-entropy
polymeric molecules such as proteins and starch and
excretes waste products that contain smaller, less
ordered molecules. Thus, the entropy of the food
intake is less than the entropy of the excretion
products returned to the surroundings. . . . The
organism discards matter with a greater entropy
content than the matter it takes in, thereby losing
entropy to the environment to compensate for the
entropy produced in internal irreversible processes."
The American Atheist

with engineering both past and present. Thus thermodynamics - itself among the greatest of physical disciplines
- began in 1824 with an engineering analysis by the great
French engineer, Sadi Carnot. Yet today we have incompetent "modern engineers" corrupting these great ideas
before an unwitting public. Meanwhile their irresponsible
peers stand silently by, hoping sheepishly that as long as the
battleground seems to be in biology, maybe no one will see
the engineering connections.
I hope that this paper has
helped to expose the engineering incompetence
and misconduct involved, and that the following conclusions and
inferences aptly summarize the important issues.

professional
expose the
intellectual
movement.
responsible
as science.

educators,
and of their organizations,
to
extent to which scientific incompetence
and
dishonesty prevail in the "creation science"
Only then can school officials be held fully
for allowing the forced teaching of creationism

*********

REFERENCES
1W.R. Overton, "Creationism in Schools: The Decision in McLean
versus Arkansas Board of Education," Science 215, p. 934, Feb.
19,1982.

"Yet today we have incompetent 'modern engineers' corrupting (thermodynamics)


before an unwitting public. Meanwhile their irresponsible peers stand silently by,
hoping sheepishly that as long as the battleground seems to be in biology, maybe no
one will see the engineering connections. I hope that this paper has helped to expose
the engineering incompetence and misconduct involved."
CONCLUSIONS

AND INFERENCES

1. The so-called "scientific creationist"


or "creation
science" movement is best characterized
as a loosely
connected group of fundamentalist ministries dedicated to
(A) promoting their notion of biblical inerrancy and (B)
undermining all knowledge and understanding
which conflicts with their views on scriptural inerrancy.
2. The leadership of the two most active "scientific
creation" ministries, namely the i.c.r. and c.r.s., is dominated by professional engineers and engineering educators,
many of whom hold professorships
and advanced degrees
from reputable
universities.
But the predominance
of
engineers is not exclusive, and many other professional
groups would do well to carry out their own investigations.
3. The arguments which "creation scientists" use to
counter the well established facts and theories of science
are not at all the scientific arguments they are purported to
be. Instead, they are thinly disguised apologetics and
polemics directed at many areas of science. Established
findings refute tenets which creationists hold to be inerrant.

2P. Cloud, "Scientific Creationism: A New Inquisition Brewing?"


Humanist, p. 6, Jan./Feb. (1977).
3W. Mayer, "Evolution: Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow,"ibid. p.16
4P.Cloud, "Evolution Theory and Creation Mythology," ibid. p. 53
Nov./Dec. 1977.
sL.R. Godfrey, "Science and Evolution in the Public Eye" Skeptical Inquirer IV (1) p. 21 (1979).
6W. Thwaites, "Review of Biology: A Search for Order. .. "
Creation/Evolution, Issue no. 1, p. 38, Summer, 1980.
7C.G. Weber, "Fatal Flaws of Flood Geology," ibid. p. 24,
Summer, 1980.
8F. Awbrey, "Evidence of the Quality of Creation Science
Research," ibid. p. 24, Fall (1980).
9S. Freske, "Creationist ... Misrepresentation and Misuse of the
Second Law ... " ibid. p. 8, Spring (1980).
10J.Cole, "Misquoted Scientists Respond," ibid. p. 34, Fall (1981).
llR.A. Steiner, "The Facts Be Damned," Reason 13 (8), p. 27, Dec.
(1981).
12D.L.Willis(ed), Origins and Change (an evangelical perspective
on science and christian faith), (1978). Available from them Amer.
Scientific Affil.(ASA), S. Douglas Ave./Elgin, IL 60120.
13R.P.Aulie, "Catastrophism," ibid. p. 14 (1978).
14R.J.Cuffey, "Dialogue on Paleontological Evidence ... Cuffey's

"Public schools that willfully adopt the educational materials produced by such
incompetents deserve to be disaccredited .... It is the responsibility of knowledgeable scientists, of professional educators, and of their organizations, to expose the
extent to which scientific incompetence and intellectual dishonesty prevail in the
"creation science" movement."
4. The public utterances of the top creation scientists
-together
with their published works, which appear in
professedly authoritative
"creation science" books and
journals - provide unequivocal, documentable
evidence
that many of these authors are grossly incompetent,
not
only in the areas of science on which they expound without
proper credentials, but also int heir own professed areas of
scientific and technical expertise.
5. Public schools that willfully adopt the educational
materials produced by such incompetents
deserve to be
disaccredited, as do their responsible officials and staff.
6. It is the responsibility of knowledgeable scientists, of
Austin, Texas

Position," ibid. p. 55 (1978).


lSJ.R. Van de Fliert, "Fundamentalism ... and Geology," ibid. p.
38, (1978).
16D.E.Wonderly, "... the Question of Age," ibid. p. 67 (1978).
17p.G. Phillips, "Meteoric Influx and Age of the Earth," ibid. p. 74,
(1978).
18J.A.Cramer, " ... Evolution and the Second Law ... ," ibid. p. 32
(1978).
19R.P.Aulie, "The Post Darwinian Controversies,"J. Amer. Sci.
A//il. (JASA), 34(1), p. 24, Mar. (1982).
20J. Bassi, "Review of the Moon: Its Creation Form and Significance," JASA 33, (4), p. 231, Dec. (1981).
21F.Jappe, "Communication," JASA 33, (4), p. 231, Dec. (1981).

March,1983

Page 39

22J.W. Patterson, "Thermodynamics and Evolution," in L. Godfrey (ed) Scientists Confront Creationism to be published by
WW. Norton, Fall (1982).
23D.T. Gish, "Creationism's Side," in Letters Column, Cedar
Rapids Gazette, June 18, (1981).
24C.L. Publishers, 21 Scientists Who Believe in Creation, p. 25,
(1977).
25D.H. Milne, "How to Debate Creationists ... ," Amer. Bioi.
Teacher 43(5), p. 235, May (1981).
26C.L.Publishers, op. cit. p. 7.
27Ibid.,p. 6.
28Ibid.,p. 15.
29Ibid.,p. II.
30Acts and Facts, 9 i.c.r. (11), p. 6. Nov. (1980).
31/mpact, No. 86, i.c.r. "The ICR Scientists," i.c.r. San Diego,
August (1980).
32Acts and Facts, 9 i.c.r. (12), p. 4, Dec. (1980).
33H.L.Armstrong (ed), "Creation Research Society," c.r.s.q. 18
(18), p. 135, Sept. (1981).
34Ibid.,See Masthead on inside front conver, Sept. (1981).
35E.L.Williams (ed), Thermodynamics and the Development of
Order, Creation Research Soc. Books, Norcross, Georgia (1982).
36R.G.Elmendorf, "5000 Reward ... " Creation/Evolution, Issue
IV.. 1, Spring (1981).
37D.R.Boylan, "Process Constraints in Living Systems," c.r.s.q.
15 (3), p. 133, Dec. (1978).
38C.L.Publishers, op. cit., p. 8.
39G.J. Van Wylen and R.E. Sonntag, Fundamentals of Classical
Thermodynamics, 2nd ed., pp. 17-19, Jonn Wiley and Sons Inc.
(1973).
4lbid., p. 21-22, 178.
4IJ.W. Patterson, E.L. Williams, D.T. Gish, and D.R. Boylan, letter
correspondence (1980).
42G.J. Van Wylen and R.E. Sonntag. op. cit. p. 235.
43J.C.Whitcomb and H.M. Morris, The Genesis Flood, Presbyterian and Reformed Publ. Co., Phillipsburg, NJ (1961).
44H.M.Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution, esp. p. 93-97,
Creation Life Publishers, San Diego (1974).
4sH.M. Morris, The Twilight of Evolution, chapters 3,4, Baker
Book House, Grand Rapids, MI (1963).
46H.M. Morris, "Sedimentation and the Fossil Record ... " Pp.
114-137 in W.E. Lammerts (ed) Why Not Creation? Baker Book
House, Grand Rapids, MI (1970).
47J.W.Patterson, correspondence with H.M. Morris and the Iowa
State Board of Examiners for the Licensing of Registered Professional Engineers, (1980).
48M.T ribus and E.C. Mclrvine, "Energy and Information," Scientific American 225 (3), p. 179, Sept. (1971).
49L.Hatfield, "Educators Against Darwin," Science Digest, Special
Edition, p. 94, Winter (1979-80).
50E.Schroedinger, What is Life? MacMillan, NY (1945).
SIR.P. Feynmann et aI., The Feynmann Lectures on Physics, Vol.
1, Ch. 44. p. 2, Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA (1?64).
Copyright

1983 John W. Patterson

ATTENTION!
All professions and their professional societies are eager
to maintain credibility with the public. Ultimately they
depend upon the public trust for the special privileges
required to police themselves effectively. Members of such
organizations as well as outsiders can therefore exert a
significant influence by writing inquiries to the appropriate
state boards of examiners and to the various state or
national groups when one of the profession's members
exhibits technical incompetence either in public pronouncements or in published documents. In addition, editorial
letters to the appropriate professional journals can prove
Page 40

March, 1983

very effective - again whether written by members or


nonmembers.
The national journal, Engineering
Education,
published by the ASEE (American Society for Engineering
Education),
may be contacted by writing to the attention
of:
Patricia Samaras
ASEE
11 Dupont Circle, Suite 200
Washington,
DC 20036
To register concerns
with the National
Society
Professional
Engineers,
letters should be sent to:
Mary Paris, Editor
Professional Engineer
2029 K St., NW
Washington,
DC 20006

of

Each state board of licensing examiners has jurisdiction


over the engineers registered in that state, whether or not
they have joined the Professional Engineering societies
(which are optional). In Iowa, for example, one would write
the:
Iowa State Board of Engineering
Examiners
(Bonita Fagerstrom,
Secy.)
State Capitol Complex
Des Moines, IA 50319
This writer has focused on the incompetence of creationists in only one discipline - engineering. There are
religionists masquerading as professionals speaking for
creationism in other scientific disciplines as well. To expose

these examples of incompetence, the corresponding organizations and journals wherein such incompetence is demonstrated should also be contacted.

The Vernal Equinox this year is March 20th.


Spring Coquette
I will not grieve as winter dies
Though I shall miss her so
Still I'll not rue the warming days
That thaw her lovely snow.
Instead I'll grasp spring's searching
And welcome vernal days
For if I can't have winter's kiss
I'll take spring's flirting ways.

hand

Her streams we'll wade - her hills we'll climb


Her blossom trails we'll hike
For there could never ever be
A spring I would not like.
Gerald Tholen

FINALLY, A REAL NEAR-DEATH STORY!


Brother Dave Gardner, whose irreverent comic style
gained popularity
in the 1950s, still has his sense of
humor and a sound view on life despite a heart attack.
Recuperating
in Atlanta, Gardner said, "Yeah, they tell
me I died three times but, man, I didn't see the devil. I
didn't see god. I didn't go nowhere. I ain't got nothing to
report except that I'm $20,000 in debt."
The American Atheist

AMENDMENT

CONGRESS

SHALL

MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING


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"The church doesn't believe


in bookburning, but it believes
in restricting the use of dangerous books among those
whose minds are unprepared
for them."

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Francis J. Lally
American monsignor
Editor, The Pilot
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(Interview with Mike Wallace,


Fund for the Republic, 1958)

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