A New Venture in 'Creation Science'

Note: This article was originally published as:

William J. Bennetta (1987). "A New Venture in 'Creation Science' by the Foundation for Thought and Ethics." Creation/Evolution Newsletter, 7(6), p. 2. November/December 1987.

Do you recall a fundamentalist outfit called the Foundation for Thought and Ethics? That's right: the one that is hooked up with Norman Geisler and Probe Ministries. And do you recall Austin Analytical Consulting? How about that creationist questionnaire that was mailed last spring to some biology teachers? -- the questionnaire on a letterhead that bore Austin Analytical's name but the Foundation's mailing address. Right. It obviously had been contrived to evoke answers that would suggest, in one way or another, that biology teachers favored creationist doctrines; and you probably thought that the name "Austin Analytical Consulting" was baloney.

In fact, however, there really is an operation called Austin Analytical Consulting. Its proprietor says that its role in the "opinion poll for biology teachers" was only to tabulate results and to suggest how they should be viewed statistically.

The actual polling was done by the Foundation, which wrote the questions, recruited the mailing list, mailed the questionnaires, and received the completed questionnaires that teachers returned. Despite this, the Foundation has been saying that Austin Analytical conducted the poll, after being commissioned by the Foundation to sample teachers' attitudes. The Foundation also has been saying that alleged results of the poll indicate that most teachers would like to bring creationist doctrines into biology classrooms, and that most would welcome a book that would help them to do this.

The Foundation has been saying all this to book-publishers. The poll apparently was devised to support the Foundation's attempt at inducing respectable publishers to consider issuing a new "creation science" work, Biology and Origins, that exists now as a manuscript. The Foundation wants Biology and Origins to become a schoolbook, and it evidently wants to place the manuscript with a company that has a reputation in educational publishing and that will market Biology and Origins to educators.

The manuscript itself is a collection of the same old stuff, and everything in it has been seen, many times, in other creationist tracts. The stuff has been rigorously sterilized, however: It is not called "creation science," it does not invoke any deity or miracle as such, and it reduces God to an anonymous science-fiction character (called an "intelligence") whose only evident function or aim is to serve as a non-evolutionary agent of "origins." It is blasphemous, it is funny, and it is worth noticing: Creationists will be hawking more of this murky material, now that conventional "creation science" and the very term creation science have been sullied badly in a Supreme Court case.

I have looked into Biology and Origins and into the Foundation's effort to recruit a publisher for it, and I shall send a report for a future issue of C/E N. I think that it will provide some useful insights into creationist thought and ethics, and it will help to answer a question that many of us have been asking: What has Dean Kenyon been doing since he vanished from Little Rock during the Arkansas trial?