Here's a cute one for the Creationists from our local newspaper in Australia, Ian Plimmer
Here's a cute one for the Creationists from our local newspaper in =
Australia, Ian Plimmer once took a camera crew to a site claimed to be =
the ramains of the Ark and debunked it with wit and flair.
November 21, 1996
Creationists accused of creating the facts
Professor Plimer with a portrait of the father of the theory of =
evolution, Charles Darwin, at the State Library. Photo by GREG WHITE
By LEIGH DAYTON, Science Writer
In 1925, the world's gaze focused on the small US town of Dayton, =
Tennessee, as a young high-school biology teacher, Mr John Thomas =
Scopes, faced trial for violating State legislation by teaching Charles =
Darwin's theory of evolution.=20
Mr Scopes was found guilty, but ultimately the State, embarrassed by the =
high-profile "Monkey Trial", rescinded its anti-evolutionary stance.
Now, in a remarkable reversal, the spotlight will shift to Sydney, where =
the Federal Court will hear what has been dubbed the Monkey Trial Mark =
In a case set to begin on April 7, a leading geologist and =
anti-creationist, Professor Ian Plimer, head of the School of Earth =
Sciences at the University of Melbourne, will take aim at a creation =
science group which is seeking to have Genesis, the biblical version of =
creation, taught in science classes, along with evolutionary theory.
In his action, he accuses Ark Search Inc and its leader Dr Allen Roberts =
of "misleading and deceptive conduct" under section 52 of the Federal =
Trade Practices Act.
Professor Plimer, an expert in 2 billion-year-old rock formations, =
claims Dr Roberts has violated the act by arguing in books, videos, =
brochures and in lectures that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, not =
4.5 billion as geologists claim; that a "great flood" 4,000 years ago =
caused a mass extinction; and all current species emerged from Noah's =
Mr David Fasold has joined the action against Dr Roberts and Ark Search =
Inc, claiming they have breached copyright law by using material from =
his book The Ark of Noah without permission.
The Herald was unable to contact Dr Roberts at his Sydney home and there =
is no current listing for the organisation.
Dr Carl Wieland, the chief executive officer of the Brisbane-based =
Creation Science Foundation, claimed the case "has nothing to do with =
the creation-evolution controversy".
"We defend Genesis creation, but we are not interested in making comment =
on this case," he said yesterday.
The NSW Department of School Education did not permit the teaching of =
"creationism" in science classes, said Mr Trevor Wotten, director of =
secondary education. He said that separating religious belief and =
scientific theory "is the correct policy at this time".
Professor Plimer agreed. "I'm extremely careful to note that I'm not =
anti-Christian or anti-Church," he said, noting that theologians as well =
as scientists would testify on his behalf.
He said he had spent more than $300,000 defending himself against a =
defamation action brought by creationists, angered by his public defence =
of science. He has funded his battle through the sale of his home and =
personal assets. The Australian Skeptics will help fund the upcoming =
Professor Plimer said that over the years he had received anonymous =
threats and hundreds of "vexatious" letters. "These things don't =
frighten me, they just motivate me more."
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank