True Believers' Science, Start With Belief, Go on From There

RECEIVED Fri., Sept. 19, 2003

Michael King's report on the Sept. 10 public hearing ["In Search of Intelligent Life at the SBOE," Sept. 19] contains more errors and distortions than just the incorrect date (King said the hearing was on Sept. 3). King misleadingly states that the testimony of so-called "practicing scientists and science educators" supported the textbooks. However, the hearing I attended showed more support simply for trashing the Discovery Institute and those testifying to correct the very real errors and misrepresentations in the textbooks. It was the supporters of the textbooks who came decked out in their anti-Christian symbols (Christian fish sprouting legs with the name Darwin in the middle) and T-shirts sporting the latest media sound bite, "Don't mess with textbooks." The only people who came with a true scientific testimony were individuals like myself who had actually read the textbooks and referred to the scientific literature in detail. Typical of the textbook supporters was UT's Stephen Weinberg; Nobel Laureate that he is, he is not a biologist, had not read the textbooks, and displayed incredible arrogance by claiming to know my "ultimate" motivations even though we have never spoken and he knew nothing of my actual testimony. King also only refers to my answer to a question at the July 9 hearing about my credentials and not my testimony, which only referred to specific material in the textbooks. What I read in King's article was just a new verse of all the tired accusations designed simply to discredit Darwinian critics, not answer their criticisms.
Ray Bohlin
   Michael King replies: Mr. Bohlin is correct, the hearing took place Sept. 10, and I regret the error. On the other hand, his pretensions to "true scientific" detachment are amply represented by an excerpt from his Probe Ministries sermon on "The Age of the Earth and the Grand Canyon," in which he declares his "sympathies" for "a Genesis interpretation that is historical, literal, and with 24-hour days in the recent past." As Bohlin puts it, "When someone asks me whether the flood of Noah created the Grand Canyon, I have to say that I don't know. And that's OK! The creation was a real historical event, Adam and Eve were real people, and the flood of Noah was real history as well. But finding the physical signs of these events can be tricky business." Tricky it may be, but science it is not. All of Bohlin's research, as Steven Weinberg argued, is devoted to a single project: "They're trying to protect religious beliefs from contradiction by science."
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