Myth: There is a conspiracy among scientists to suppress "creation
Fact: Creation scientists aren't even trying.
Creation scientists are not even submitting scientific theories
on creation for publication. Needless to say, mainstream scientists
cannot censor what is not being submitted.
A frequent claim in creationist literature is that there is
a wealth of scientific evidence to support creationism, but that
secular, mainstream scientists are suppressing its publication
in peer-reviewed journals. They are not giving creation-scientists
a fair shake, they claim; they are being censored.
Is this true?
One way to find out is to examine what the creation-scientists
are submitting for publication. One of the easiest, freest and
most uncensored publishing mediums is the Internet. People can
post any message they desire to talk.origins, the newsgroup devoted
to spirited debate between evolutionists and creationists. So
do creationists submit their scientific evidence there? The welcome
page for talk.origins contains the following special plea to creationists:
"To really impress the regulars, come prepared with a scientific
Theory of Creation. The ToC is the Holy Grail of the origins debate
-- everyone talks about it, but no one's ever seen it
one has ever presented a scientific theory of creation to us."
But what about more old-fashioned media, like scientific, peer-reviewed
In Arkansas in 1982, a famous trial pitted creation-scientists
against evolutionists in a battle over what should be taught in
public school textbooks. During the trial, creation-scientists
repeated their claim that mainstream scientists were ignoring
or suppressing their evidence. In response, two researchers, Eugenie
Scott and Henry Cole, conducted a computer search of 1,000 scientific
and technical journals over a 3-year time period for articles
having anything to do with creation scientists or their work.
(2) Their search uncovered only 18 items, some of them critical
of creation science, some news reports on the controversy, some
letters to the editor. In other words, nothing that positively
supported a scientific theory of creation.
Scott and Cole then surveyed 68 scientific, technical and educational
journals, to see if any articles on creation-science had been
submitted but rejected. (3) Collectively, these journals had received
over 135,000 submitted manuscripts over a 3-year period, but only
18 addressing the subject of creation-science. Even American
Zoologist, which has a very open policy on submission of abstracts,
did not receive a single manuscript detailing scientific evidence
for creationism. Of these 18 submissions, 15 were rejected and
three were still under review at the time of the survey.
The editors who rejected the submissions gave the following reasons:
"; "no coherent arguments
"high-school theme quality
essay not suitable for publication anywhere
like a long letter than a reference article
"; "does not define terms
"; "failure to acknowledge
and use extensive literature on particular questions
Scott and Cole write: "From the reviewers comments, it appears
as if laymen rather than professional scientists are submitting
the few articles that have surfaced in the last three years. When
only 18 articles are submitted to 68 journals in three years,
and those articles are submitted by persons not skilled in established
scientific methodology and theory, it is inappropriate to invoke
censorship. To be published, one must first submit, and scientific
creationists are apparently not submitting manuscripts."
Return to Overview
1. Andy Peters, "Welcome to talk.origins!" http://earth.ics.uci.edu:8080/faqs/faq-welcome.html
2. Henry Cole and Eugenie Scott, Phi Delta Kapan, (April,
1982), p. 657.
3. Eugenie Scott and Henry Cole, Quat. Rev. Biol. 60, (1985),