Harvard Ph.D. Lecture Exposes Prejudices of Evolutionary Atheists
Frank Sherwin, M.A., Brian Thomas, M.S., and Christine Dao*
Nathaniel Jeanson, a Harvard-trained medical researcher, was recently awarded his doctorate degree in molecular biology. He has made significant contributions to adult stem cell research, and in September he will join the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) as its newest research associate.
Recently, Dr. Jeanson gave a lecture at Calvary Chapel in Boston titled “Evolution: Bankrupt Science. Creationism: Science You Can Bank On.” A number of people from the Boston Atheists organization, including at least one P. Z. Myers groupie, attended the morning talk and evening Q&A forum, which were sponsored by Calvary Chapel.
Although Myers did not attend the lecture himself, he nonetheless described Jeanson as “the devout creationist who grinds his way through a graduate program to earn an advanced degree so he can disregard everything he learned to wave his title like a victory flag and pretend to an authority he does not have.”1
The Boston Atheist blog even made the ridiculous assertion, “I wouldn’t be surprised if some of [Jeanson’s] grad school income came from the ICR all along. It should cause all of us to be wary of the tactics of these intellectually and morally dishonest people.”2 Myers also quoted an attendee, who wrote, “First Kurt Wise, now this kid. As I told Dr. [David] Levin [of Boston University], ‘One is an anomaly. Two is already becoming a habit!’”1
A “habit”? Not likely. Two unsponsored, independently-funded, and openly young-earth creation scientists in three decades graduating from Harvard is not much of a habit compared to the likely thousands of atheists who graduated during that same time period.
This small group of Boston atheists didn’t come to hear Dr. Jeanson speak; they came to pick a fight. Their prejudicial rhetoric and outright anti-Christian sentiments are evidence that their minds are closed to scientific discussion that involves any philosophy other than their own godless point of view. These attendees came having pre-judged Dr. Jeanson based on their own strongly-held faith—that there is no Creator, no God by whom they one day will be judged, that the universe magically appeared out of pre-existing matter that originated from…no one exactly knows where, and that despite compelling evidence to the contrary in the sciences, evolution is the only tale that must be taught to and regurgitated by educated men and women.
Even the scientific arguments brought up by these individuals during the Calvary Chapel Q&A forum were flawed and, at best, unhelpful to the evolution-only cause. The commentary on Myers’ blog stated: “Dr. Levin began by bringing up the genomic data, describing it as a problem in logic for which the only answer is common descent.” With respect to Dr. Levin and assuming his information was accurately summarized on the blog, this statement is actually opposite to what many evolutionists have admitted. For example, New Scientist recently published an article titled “Why Darwin Was Wrong About the Tree of Life,” where University of California, Davis, biochemist Dr. Michael Syvanen said, “We’ve just annihilated the tree of life. It’s not a tree anymore, it’s a different topology entirely.”3
Dr. Randy Guliuzza, ICR’s National Representative as well as a Harvard graduate, also attended the morning lecture and evening Q&A.
“The skeptics who attended showed self control, but it was clear they were not there to learn anything about the issue, and at times were downright insulting to Dr. Jeanson, and asked poorly thought out questions—particularly Dr. Levin,” he said. “No doubt Dr. Levin is a capable scientist, but it was astounding to listen to his questions, which were more like commentary. And it was obvious that he is remarkably ignorant of what the important issues are, such as how genetics relate to evolution.”
Dr. Guliuzza said that the main scientific issues brought up by the atheists were “on genetics and irreducible complexity. From Dr. Levin’s comments, it’s obvious that these topics were way too much for him, and P. Z. Myers may prefer to recluse in his blog world taking potshots and throwing verbal sucker punches reporting things he hasn’t actually seen, but rather anecdotal stories.”
But since they have been losing scientific debates against creationists such as Dr. Duane T. Gish and Dr. Henry M. Morris since the 1960s, these militant atheists don’t seem to be interested in debating evidence anymore. Anti-God activist Richard Dawkins spends more time talking about God than about science (and, of course, about the possibility of intelligent aliens seeding the earth to begin life on our planet, as he explained to actor Ben Stein in the 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed).4 These people don’t care what advanced degrees are obtained, or from which institutions, nor does it matter how compelling an individual’s scientific research is. Their bottom line is this: If one doesn’t hold to anti-God and evolution-only philosophies, that person is automatically wrong and stupid (to paraphrase “scientist” Richard Dawkins).5
The aforementioned Dr. Kurt Wise was indeed trained at Harvard by evolutionary stalwart Dr. Stephen Jay Gould, and yet he is held in contempt by atheists and evolutionists regardless of the quality of his education or contributions to science. Dr. A. E. Wilder-Smith (d. 1995) earned three doctorates, authored and co-authored over 70 scientific publications, and was the director of research for a Swiss pharmaceutical company and professor at the Medical School of the University of Geneva. But none of this matters to evolutionary dogmatists. Since he didn’t subscribe to the Darwinian philosophy, Dr. Wilder-Smith was seen by Darwinists as an enemy of science. Many other examples could be cited, and some have been described in detail in Dr. Jerry Bergman’s 2008 book Slaughter of the Dissidents.6
The response garnered by Dr. Jeanson’s talk has done little more for Myers and his ilk than to expose the prejudice and anti-scientific, anti-evidence attitudes they harbor for anyone with whom they disagree. Dr. Jeanson paid his dues in the lab and the lecture hall to earn his credentials, and the world is ready to hear what he has to say.
- Myers, P. Z. A first-hand report of Nathaniel Jeanson’s lecture in Boston. Posted on scienceblogs.com/pharyngula on August 17, 2009, 9:35 a.m.
- Wertheim, S. A Report on Nathaniel Jeanson’s Creationism lecture. Posted on bostonatheists.blogspot.com on August 17, 2009.
- Lawton, G. 2009. Why Darwin Was Wrong About the Tree of Life. New Scientist. 2692:34-39.
- Stein, B. 2008. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. DVD. Directed by Nathan Frankowski. Premise Media Corporation, L.P.
- In an April 9, 1989, book review of Donald Johanson and Maitland Edey’s Blueprint in The New York Times, Richard Dawkins wrote, “It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid, or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”
- Bergman, J. 2008. Slaughter of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about killing the Careers of Darwin Doubters. Southworth, WA: Leafcutter Press.
* Mr. Sherwin is Senior Science Lecturer, Mr. Thomas is Science Writer, and Ms. Dao is Assistant Editor at the Institute for Creation Research.
Article posted on August 21, 2009.