Re: tolerance

Ed Brayton (
Mon, 31 May 1999 17:51:41 -0400 wrote:

> >I will only respond to this portion of your message, and only to point out
> that
> >sometimes there has been deliberate fraud in creationist circles. It is also
> >important to note that those creationists who deserve to be taken seriously
> >find this as troubling as I do. There has especially been a problem with
> >dishonest quoting of evolutionary scientists. The most recent example is an
> >absolutely outrageous distortion by Henry Morris of the work of Robert
> >Carroll in a recent Back to Genesis article. A legitimate scientist, or
> anyone >interested in integrity, should make such an accusation when it is
> supported. It >is only a problem when, like Dick Fischer's accusations
> against Art Chadwick, >it is not true.
> Personally, I would be careful of accusing any scientist of fraud. It is one
> thing to say someone was wrong, but quite different to say they to say they
> were aware of their error and deliberately committed it anyway. Pretty
> difficult to get into a scientists mind and know intent.

I agree, I would be very careful as well. But a person claiming degrees they do
not actually have can't be anything but fraud, and a person quoting out of context
when they've referenced the original article can hardly be anything else.

> I wouldn't not
> even state with certainty Pitdown was fraud. It could as well have been a
> hoax.

I'm not sure what distinction you are making between a hoax and a fraud here.

> Haekel's drawings might be closer to fraud. He did intentionally
> alter the drawings. I suppose he was so confident of his beliefs, he thought
> it wouldn't matter. Darwinsts (also confident of their beliefs) continually
> accuse creationists of lying and fraud. I'm usually not qualified to judge,
> but I've also heard Darwinists accuse Behe and Denton of holding positions
> they do not espouse, so I am cautions about any accusations by Darwinists.

I have never heard anyone accuse Behe or Denton of holding a position they do not
hold. Can you give me an example of this? I have far more often heard creationists
citing Behe as supporting a position he does not support than an evolutionist.

> (Actually, I hadn't heard of creationists accusing Darwinists of fraud. They
> accuse them of misinterpretation, yes, but fraud, I hadn't heard.)

I see it all the time. Paracelsus has accused virtually every evolutionist of
intentional concealment of evidence on this list in the past couple of weeks, and
says that it is all a conspiracy of fraud. John Woodmorappe accuses geologists of
hiding discordant radiometric dates as a matter of routine. Again, I think the
only question that really matters is whether an accusation of fraud or deceit is
supported by the evidence or not. When someone accuses someone of deceit without
being very careful to document it, I think they are guilty of the charge
themselves, as I have continually pointed out in disputing Dick's accusations
toward Art in the last week or so. What is most telling is how a person who makes
such accusations handles a challenge. Donald Johanson was accused of fraud in the
famous "Lucy's Knee Joint" story. The facts of the situation clearly aquit him of
that charge, of course, and the vast majority of creationist scholars no longer
use this argument. But a few do, and even when faced with the evidence, they
continue to use it. There seems to be quite a difference among creationists, and
the best of the group would agree with me I'm sure. It is unconscionable to me to
lump in an Art Chadwick or a Kurt Wise with the likes of Kent Hovind, Carl Baugh
or Don Patton. Bringing up Patton's name reminds of one of the most outrageous
false accusations of fraud I have ever encountered, Patton's claim that Glen Kuban
intentionally destroyed one of the Paluxy tracks. I have tried to engage Patton on
this issue and despite having said he would address it upon returning from a trip,
he now refuses to answer me about it. The charge has been refuted, yet it remains
on the web for everyone to see. It had no substance to begin with. It is sad that
this debate can't be undertaken without sometimes having such accusations made,
but when they are true, the accusation MUST be made.

Ed Brayton