Creationists won’t go away according to University of Manchester palaeontologist Russell Garwood, writing in Nature vol. 485, p281, 17 May 2012, doi:10.1038/485281a. After lamenting the recent Tennessee State Law that “encourages teachers to discuss the ‘weaknesses’ of evolution” and creationist critiques of fossil discoveries such as a “tyrannosauroid dinosaur covered in feathers” and fossil harvestmen that are examples of “evolutionary stasis”, Garwood says scientists must find a way to beat the creationist threat. However he does not suggest direct engagement with creationists. Garwood claims: “Direct debates with creationists are risky. Organized discussions only support the ‘evolution is in crisis’ lobby”. Instead he suggests: “If research is to appear that will attract an obvious creationist interpretation, an accompanying blog post could explain the work and highlight flaws in any anti-evolution attacks”. He concludes: “Ignoring the creationist threat will not make it go away. As scientists, we owe it to the schoolchildren of Tennessee and elsewhere to find another way to beat it”.


Editorial Comment: Garwood is correct – creationists won’t go away if evolutionists ignore us. But then again we won’t go away if they don’t ignore us either. However, simply posting ‘virtual’ highlights of “flaws in any anti-evolution attacks” on blogs without actually engaging with what non virtual i.e. real creationists are saying, will just become yet another form of straw man burning. We are reminded of a quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi: “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win”. We have been ignored, then ridiculed, now a virtual fight – hang around for the victory party. (Ref. education, philosophy, world view)

Evidence News 23 May 2012