There is a long history of creationist misrepresentation of the views of scientists, going back to the time of Darwin himself. As the creationist movement has grown and gone through its various phases over the last century, such misrepresentations have been a powerful weapon in their arsenal. In the 20 years or so I’ve been involved in this dispute, I’ve seen it time and time again. Why is this the case? I have always suspected that it’s because they know that they can get away with it. The chances that their largely uneducated audience is actually familiar with the work of the scientists they refer to is slim, the chances that they will go and look up their work and compare it to the way it’s being characterized by the creationists even slimmer.
But during my involvement in this dispute, I’ve also often said that there are at least some creationists who didn’t do that sort of thing. I’ve defended, for example, Kurt Wise, Art Chadwick, Paul Nelson and a few others as being honest men, even genuine scholars, who do not do the sort of straw man caricaturing that so many of their colleagues do when presenting the work and thinking of scientists. And while I still have no reason to think otherwise of the first two, I can tell you that the third one, Paul Nelson, has now been caught in what I can only describe as one of the more outrageous misrepresentations - oh hell, let’s call it what it is, a baldfaced lie - I’ve ever seen. And the person whose views he distorted, Keith Miller, is one of the truly nice guys in the business. And to make matters even worse for Nelson, he’s also a fellow Christian. As we will see, this takes “bearing false witness” to a whole new level.
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