Scientists Respond to Creationist Carping about the PBS series "Evolution"
Unleashing the "Weapons of Mass Distraction"
As diligent readers of this website will be aware, the epistolary debate between Mr. Knapp and myself was initiated by his letter to the Daily Bee in objection to the broadcast of the PBS series "Evolution" in 2001. (See here.) Not surprisingly, the lessons learned from this series, which presented solid evidence supportive of the theory of evolution, caused great consternation amongst the creationist crowd. Creationism thrives best when people are kept in the dark about the persuasive arguments in favor of evolution while being restricted to a steady diet of anti-evolution baloney. Unfortunately for the purveyors of creationism, the PBS series made some of that pro-evolution evidence (which the Darwin bashers would much prefer to keep under wraps) available to a large viewing audience. Faced with this imminent threat to their disinformation campaign, various spokesmen for the creationist cause endeavored to discredit the series by dishing out ever larger helpings of baloney. (As one wag put it, they retaliated using their familiar "weapons of mass distraction.")
Ever mindful of the serious questions that the PBS series raised about the credibility of basic creationist claims, Mr. Knapp, has included a link to this site as a counter measure. At the site, the author, T. Wallace, pooh poohs the information presented in the series and provides references to a few nitpicking articles from diehard anti-evolutionists that purport to validate his criticisms. Wallace refers to the authors of these "sharp, fact-based" analyses as "intelligent folks" who are "equipped with keen critical thinking skills" and who "genuinely understand the workings of logic and empirical science." If it is true they possess such intelligence, skills, and understanding, one wonders why they failed to utilize these commendable traits to objectively evaluate the scientific evidence presented by the PBS series on evolution. It is regrettable they let their religion-induced anti-evolution biases stand in the way of engaging in an honest evaluation of the facts.
Killing the Messenger
The creationist attack on PBS for presenting evidence in favor of evolution is a classic example of an effort to kill the messenger for delivering the facts. For a response from mainstream scientists to the specious arguments raised against the PBS "Evolution" series by creationist reactionaries, see here.