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A road trip with a difference!

Creationism on trial

by

Published: 24 January 2013 (GMT+10)

Note from the CMI editors:

The following article is much longer than we usually feature on this website, but we believe it gives firsthand, eyewitness insight into the making of secular documentaries that purport to fairly deal with matters relating to our origins. What the viewer gets to see on screen can be a far cry from what actually went on, once footage has been edited! You’ll read about how allegedly ‘balanced’ documentaries deal with the information, you’ll encounter some of the thinking and actions of well-known anti-creationist campaigners involved on the evolutionist side. Some readers may even be surprised by the way in which they answered reasonable objections from the biblical creationist side. To help make it a teaching tool, we also provide plenty of links to pertinent articles which answer some of those same objections.

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

A road trip with a difference!

‘If you don’t start with naturalism then you can’t be a scientist.’—Donald Prothero. This is an incredibly biased statement, of course. However, at least he acknowledged his presuppositions, including that he would never look for a divine cause for anything. There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see!

In October 2012, a BBC television documentary entitled Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip aired in the UK.1 I was one of the invited creationist participants on this program, which as we will see, was highly edited, misrepresented what really took place and totally failed to give a balanced view of the subject. What follows is an outline of what the documentary was originally supposed to be about, and how that all changed once we were on the road.2

Purpose of the documentary:

I have heard it said that the Christian life can be compared to a garden. The Christian life should not be about beating back the weeds trying to creep into your own garden, or even having a static garden, but instead should be about the pruning and shaping (learning and developing) of a joy-filled life found in Jesus. When a friend drew my attention to a new documentary being filmed for the BBC, about people who doubt the theory of evolution, I made further enquiries; perhaps such an opportunity would help me do some pruning and shaping in my own Christian walk.3 After submitting my details to say that I was interested to find out more, I was contacted by a researcher from Renegade Pictures who were making the documentary on behalf of the BBC. I was informed that the documentary,

“focuses on people who doubt the theory of evolution. We want to hear from people who feel that science is unable to explain our existence satisfactorily, whilst religion is able to offer a more convincing explanation. We are offering five people the opportunity to go to the American Deep South for ten days at the end of April [2012]. Whilst there they will be able to put forward their beliefs about evolution and the beginnings of the universe, and engage in a genuine debate at various sites in America where they will meet a wide range of individuals and take part in various experiments which will aim to elucidate and test their beliefs” (emphasis added).

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

The presenter – Andrew Maxwell

The presenter – Andrew Maxwell

On the face of it I thought that this sounded like a very interesting opportunity, although I explained to her that I did not think that this was a science versus religion debate, but rather a battle of worldviews looking at the same material evidence (see ‘It’s not science and Two worldviews in conflict). However, not to be naïve about the matter, I first watched another religious documentary produced by Renegade Pictures, called Reverse Missionary. I thought it was well produced and very fair in presenting Christianity. I then took part in a screen test, during which I met the director of the documentary Tom Williams. He further explained to me, when I asked about the nature of the documentary, that it was going to be a balanced documentary, just as I had been told previously; that they wished the participants to engage in a genuine debate, that it would be experiment based, and that the range of individuals that we would be talking with would include people who believe in evolution, intelligent design and young earth creationism.

Last minute information

On arriving at Gatwick to board the flight to Las Vegas, together with the other participants, I was presented with a release form informing me that the presenter of the documentary would be Andrew Maxwell. I was told that he was an Irish comedian and that this documentary would be part of a larger series called Conspiracy Road Trip. While this was new information, I was already booked onto my flight and had committed myself to take part. I then met the other candidates and flew to Las Vegas.4

The other participants

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

The five participants, Me, Bronwyn, Sam, Abdul and Jojo in Gatwick Airport.

The five participants, Me, Bronwyn, Sam, Abdul and Jojo in Gatwick Airport.

I and my fellow road-trippers were all selected for the program as people in the 20–35 age range.

Sam Lucas—a Christian student. Sam had read a little on the subject before the trip, and brought a copy of CMI’s Creation Answers Book with him, as well as theistic evolutionist Dennis Alexander’s book Creation or Evolution: Do we have to choose? At the start of the trip Sam was not sure whether the age of the earth was important.

Jojo Meadows—a Christian who works for a Christian magazine. Jojo had not really read much on the subject and seemed to be largely unaware of any of the issues involved.

Bronwyn Rees—a Christian woman who had also read very little on the subject matter, but who is a creationist.

Abdul Akim Hashee—a Muslim who sells perfume for a living. Abdul described himself as a very devout Muslim. Abdul would certainly not describe himself as a creationist, and was very keen to point out at every opportunity that his Muslim faith was very different from the Christian faith.

The aggravation starts

About two weeks before the filming started, the destination changed from the Deep South to the Grand Canyon and the West Coast of the USA. I was promised beforehand that upon my arrival at Las Vegas, I would receive a full itinerary of the locations, what we would be doing and the persons that we would be meeting with. However, we only received an itinerary of the hotels that we were meant to stay at, and even this proved incorrect as it was changed during the trip. In this way, my fellow travellers and I were kept guessing. From time to time, we asked about where we were going and who we would be meeting, only to be told that we were not allowed to know as it was meant to be a surprise. This was a constant aggravation throughout the filming as our requests were frustrated and we could not adequately prepare. After the road trip was aired one of the experts even wrote on their blog that they were deliberately asked to avoid us so that we would not be able to find out who they were or talk to them before any filming began.5

Just two days before going on the trip, I was also informed by Renegade Pictures that they would like me to give two short presentations to the rest of the group, the first on the age of the earth and the second on Intelligent Design.6 The rest of the group would have their own presentations to give on different subjects. I was informed that I would be giving my ‘age of the earth’ presentation on our second day at the Grand Canyon.

In the remainder of this article, I have outlined what happened, both on and behind the scenes of the aired documentary. Keep in mind that all the discussions with the various experts mentioned below actually lasted around three hours at a time, and a few of them even longer than this. Therefore, I can really only give a flavour of each discussion, but at least this will be a lot more than was shown in the final documentary. What the viewers were shown was a very heavily edited version of conversations, often without the context of what was being said; and sometimes, different questions, answers and statements were put together in a manner such that the original point of their content and context would have been lost on the viewers.

Note also that, during filming, the format was that one of the five participants would give a short presentation, followed by a long presentation by the expert, during which we were supposed to refrain from interrupting the expert. We were supposed to be able to challenge those views later, but it did not always work out that way. This explains our silence on camera under the challenges and questions of certain experts, making it look like nobody had any answers! Also, there were times during the filming when one of the participants was given time to engage with the expert, during which the rest of us should politely not interrupt.

Into the frying pan

When we landed in Las Vegas we met the host of the show, Andrew Maxwell. Andrew opens the show by describing us as ‘Religious Fundamentalists’. This terminology is used in a derogatory sense and was presumably used here to try and introduce us as a narrow-minded bunch.

Just after I had made it through customs, I was asked to give my talk on the age of the earth—a day early and after two days of travel—and to give it on a moving tour bus while driving through Las Vegas. The reason given for this was purportedly filming time constraints. It was certainly an ‘into the frying pan’ moment! I reluctantly obliged and gave my presentation to the rest of the group on the bus. I had prepared a 10–15 minute talk and I was about 8 minutes into the talk when I was asked to stop by the director. I was informed that my talk was too ‘scientific’ as I had spoken about the age of the earth in reference to the Grand Canyon, which is where my talk was meant to be filmed. I talked about the hundreds of square miles of sediments that were laid down by water in processes that we do not see today, the layers of sediment being laid down quickly, (also here and here for more on the Grand Canyon). What the director really wanted was for me to speak of how the Bible comes to the age of the earth. He wanted a ‘religious’ statement without any facts or science to go along with it. It was at this point that I realised that there would be issues ahead as the director (Tom Williams) wanted to carefully craft and manipulate what he wanted us to say, rather than what we wanted to say. This was a major bone of contention between the five participants and the director throughout the 10 day trip. Tom carefully tried to manipulate all conversations from this point onwards. Only a short clip of my presentation was used when I put forward that the Grand Canyon was carved either at the end of the Flood in Noah’s time or in a post-Flood event (see A receding flood scenario for the origin of the Grand Canyon).

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

The Grand Canyon – the view from Lipan Point and the five road-trippers.

The Grand Canyon – the view from Lipan Point and the five road-trippers.

Extreme anti-creationist bias at Grand Canyon

The following day we took a light aircraft and flew over most of the Grand Canyon. Our pilot, Jeremy, unknown to the film crew before our arrival to the airfield, happened to be a Christian and a biblical creationist. He told us that every time he flew over the Grand Canyon he saw great evidence for the Flood. It was a true delight to meet Jeremy and I was filmed discussing the Grand Canyon with him. However, this was not aired.

Later on we travelled to Lipan Point on the Southern Rim of the Grand Canyon where we met Prof. Donald Prothero, a mammalian palaeontologist and geologist.7 Prothero is an ardent and seasoned anti-creationist (see review of his book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters).

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Prof Donald Prothero at the Grand Canyon

Prof Donald Prothero at the Grand Canyon

Prothero gave us a lengthy presentation in the intense heat, and kindly provided the group with a diagram outlining the layers of the Grand Canyon. He stated unreservedly that his assumptions were naturalism and uniformitarianism. He said he believed that the Grand Canyon was eroded over hundreds of millions of years by the Colorado River and that it could not have been formed as a consequence of Noah’s Flood. Prothero was quite clear on his opinion of creationists, saying, “If you don’t start with naturalism then you can’t be a scientist.” This is an incredibly biased statement, of course. However, at least he acknowledged his presuppositions, including that he would never look for a divine cause for anything. There are none so blind as those who do not wish to see!

When I asked Prothero if he had ever come to the Grand Canyon and discussed what he believed with a creationist who was trained in geology, he replied, “I wouldn’t waste my time, I have a life.” The debate went on for a couple of hours, in which we discussed such topics as the formation of the Coconino Sandstone and the fossil trackways contained in it; I explained that this rock layer was best viewed as the result of fast flowing water (see Startling evidence for Noah’s flood). I also discussed the significance of fossil crinoids and their exquisite preservation ; the lack of erosion between the layers (which are supposed, in some cases, to represent millions of years of time passing (see The case of the ‘missing’ geologic time); the dating of a basalt at the top of Grand Canyon which gave an older age than the basalt at the bottom of the canyon (see More and more wrong dates); and the significance of the Great Unconformity. When I mentioned the work of creationist geologist Steve Austin on the thousands of nautiloids which he had found spread over hundreds of square miles in the Redwall Limestone, Prothero had not heard of it before.

During this conversation, Prothero also told us that “dinosaurs did it for me at age four,” which convinced him of millions of years and evolution. Once again, this reinforces how dinosaurs are used as an evolutionary propaganda tool, and how the church and parents need to be ready to give their children solid biblical answers to such topics.

A failed experiment

Wikipedia/J0ch3N89

Figure 1. Horse Shoe Bend is a spectacular geological twist carved into the Colorado Plateau near Page, Arizona. Horse Shoe Bend is a spectacular geological twist carved into the Colorado Plateau near Page, Arizona.

Following our time at Lipan Point, we moved location to Horseshoe Bend, further up the Colorado River, where we did the only experiment in the whole 10 days. The basic premise of the experiment was this: the Colorado river is not a straight river but has some winding bends in it, like this famous example, which Prothero said couldn’t be explained by a flood. A flood, he argued, would have too much energy and would want to cut straight channels, so such bends are best explained by a slow moving river (low energy) moving towards the ocean over low-lying land. Prothero asked me to pour a bucket of water into the sand to show the pattern that the water would make, to see if fast moving water would form bends or carve straight channels. The experiment was a disaster as the water simply sunk straight into the highly porous sand; Prothero said, “Oh dear, that didn’t go as expected” and the ‘experiment’ really made a complete mockery of Prothero’s point. And this was in spite of the fact that he had set the conditions up himself! Why, then, should we trust his word on an event for which he was not there?

Regarding Horseshoe Bend’s formation, after a long discussion I replied that it would be silly for me to attempt a comprehensive answer as I am neither a trained geologist nor a hydrologist, but that any trained creation geologist would, I was sure, more than adequately explain it (indeed, see here). Unfortunately, when the same question (about Horseshoe Bend’s formation) was put to the rest of the group, Bronwyn and Jojo suggested that God may have done extraordinary miraculous things with the water to form the Horseshoe bend! While we can be sure that the Flood of Genesis had a supernatural origin,8 this does not necessitate that every element of it was supernatural, and we can learn much about that event by studying geological processes today.

Noah’s Ark mockery

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Prof Jerry Coyne and Jojo on the house boat

Prof Jerry Coyne and Jojo on the house boat

The filming for this section, discussing Noah’s Ark, took place at Lake Powell, Utah, on a houseboat. The expert this time was Jerry Coyne,9 a biologist and another ardent, long standing, anti-creationist. Jojo gave a presentation on Noah’s Ark, which was based on the book, The Genesis Flood: Fact or Fiction? Afterwards, Andrew Maxwell asked Jojo if, in the intervening 4,500 years since the Flood, we now have the expected numbers of people and animals on the planet today. This was an excellent question as the population growth rates of mankind to reach today’s seven billion population fits very well with eight people getting off the ark some 4,500 years ago, but does not fit well with mankind having been on the earth for hundreds of thousands or millions of years (see Where have all the people gone? and Where are all the people?).

The conversation between Jerry and ourselves took place with a completely unrealistic toy of Noah’s Ark sitting on the table between us. The discussion broke down a couple of times during filming due to the fact that Abdul’s style of debate was too much for Jojo. The documentary shows her leaving the top deck, and describing her upset over the arguing. Meanwhile, the rest of the group continued trying to talk with Jerry Coyne. His points were as follows:

Evolution is unique amongst the sciences because it strikes people on the solar plexus of their faith directly, it strikes them in the idea that they are specially created by God; because evolution says you are not, it says that there is no special purpose for your life because it’s a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo and it says that morality does not come from God, it is an evolved phenomenon … —Jerry Coyne

  • The ark couldn’t have been built of wood—based on the 18th /19th Century wooden boat-building techniques, an Ark was impossible. I pointed out that it was a false assumption that Noah was using those same methods in his time, and that it was an evolutionary concept that things have only progressed upwards. I also mentioned wooden boats of comparable size to Noah’s Ark that had been built in the past, that Jerry was unaware of, for example see: The large ships of antiquity.
  • Noah could not have had pitch as there weren’t any hydrocarbons before the flood. I pointed out that the Hebrew word used for the pitch covering of the Ark, kopher, does not specify that it was petroleum based, see: The pitch for Noah’s ark.
  • Coyne put forward the false claim that everything outside the Ark was meant for destruction by God, which he said would have included all marine life. On the show, he asks the ridiculous question, “Where would a whale go in a boat?” He claimed to be proficient with the biblical text concerning the Flood, although he admitted to me that the last time he read it was a few years ago. I took considerable time to answer this question for Jerry, explaining that the Bible did not say that God intended to destroy all life on the earth as Jerry had stated. I quoted Genesis 6:7 and explained that the Bible was very clear on what God had intended to destroy: mankind, the air-breathing animals that move on the earth’s surface and the birds of the air. Therefore whales would not have been on the Ark. In the documentary, Sam is shown as unable to answer this question, who had been given a particular segment to talk with Jerry by himself,10 and it was made to look like I just remained silent and was unable to answer this totally absurd question—a case where clever editing was used to totally misrepresent myself and the general flow of the debate.
  • We also debated what a biblical kind was. Jerry thought this was the equivalent of a species and that the Ark would have needed to hold millions of animals.11 I explained that this was not the case, but rather the biblical kind was more the equivalent to the modern definition of a family or genus (see Variation, information and the created kind).
  • The typical questions of ‘How did all the animals get to Noah’s Ark?’ and ‘How did the animals get around the world after Noah’s Flood?’ were also briefly touched on (see The Creation Answers Book Chapter 13).

After the above, on the aired show, Jerry Coyne is shown stating that,

“Evolution is unique amongst the sciences because it strikes people on the solar plexus of their faith directly, it strikes them in the idea that they are specially created by God; because evolution says you are not, it says that there is no special purpose for your life because it’s a naturalistic philosophy. We have no more extrinsic purpose than a squirrel or an armadillo and it says that morality does not come from God, it is an evolved phenomenon, and those are three things that are really hard for humans to accept, particularly ones from a religious tradition.”12

This is a very honest statement (from a man who is certainly not a dispassionate scientist) and it should strike at the heart of every theistic evolutionist.

Coyne is rather straightforwardly pointing out that the theory of evolution, if true, completely demolishes the concept of a creator (particularly the biblical God), as it purports to explain everything without one, that your life is completely meaningless and that there is ultimately no right or wrong. Furthermore, people decide morality for themselves, so you can do what you want without any eternal consequences (but see Probably no God?).

Praise God, however, that life is not meaningless, that we can read the Bible and have complete confidence and faith that we were specially created by God, that we can have peace with God and the forgiveness of our sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross (Good news indeed)! Before leaving Jerry’s company I did give him a couple of things (including an evangelistic tract), hoping that he would come to know Jesus as his Saviour.

Strong challenge at the Tea Party rally

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Sam and Andrew talking with Tea Party Members

Sam and Andrew talking with Tea Party Members

In the next segment of the documentary, we are shown attending a Tea Party13 rally in Gilroy, California. The Director wanted us to discuss a more political aspect of creation/evolution. I didn’t feel that this was consistent with what we had been told the program was meant to be about and that we could easily be misrepresented, so I tried to stay on the sideline of the conversations. However, it was really good to hear Jojo and Bronwyn being challenged over the issue of abortion, as neither of them would have held to the biblical position that it is murder, instead being more pro-choice. On what was aired, Jojo asked one of the women if she would be willing to call a woman who has had an abortion a murderer. The woman was not merely prepared to affirm this, but was able to speak of her own personal experience of having two abortions, and was very honest about calling herself a murderer. She said that she will remember and regret it for the rest of her life, but Jesus has forgiven her. And while the following was not aired, God, through a person’s repentance and faith in Jesus, can forgive any other women who are reading this and have done the same thing (see: Abortion argument unravels, Antidote to abortion arguments and Human life Questions and Answers).

Another interesting statement that made it onto the aired program was by an elderly gentleman at the Tea Party rally, who stated that he wouldn’t vote for an evolutionist as such a person would have no moral underpinnings. This directly picks up on the point that Jerry Coyne made earlier on—without God there is ultimately no foundation for morality (see Atheism no objective morality?, The creation basis for morality and Evolution: no morality). Creationists and evolutionists can agree on some things!

A perilous position

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Me digging out some fossils

Me digging out some fossils

Moving on to Bakersfield, California, we got to look at fossils and discuss dinosaurs. Bronwyn gave a good presentation on how the Bible explains dinosaurs, their existence, their demise and the evidence that they lived with mankind (see Dinosaurs Questions and Answers), though none of this was aired, except her statement that dinosaurs were created 6,000 years ago on the sixth day. We travelled a short distance to a site near Shark Tooth Hill (part of Ernst Quarries) for a bit of fossil hunting. We collected lots of our own specimens, which were very easy to obtain and were all marine fossils, such as sharks’ teeth and rib bones of whales and sea lions.

Our expert for the day, Dr Gregg Wilkerson, a geologist and palaeontologist, said he was once a ‘young earth creationist’, but that this had changed in the 1980s due to the evidence for an old earth that he saw in his oil exploration job. He had become a theistic evolutionist. He is introduced by the presenter as a ‘devout Christian’, presumably to assure the viewer that there is some sort of balance.14 In the fierce heat, Gregg gave us a very lengthy presentation on what he believed. He covered far too much ground for me to comment on it (I was keeping notes) so I am just going to focus on the points that he made on the aired show.

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Dr Gregg Wilkerson

Dr Gregg Wilkerson

Gregg shared that he now believes that, to squish all of God’s creative power into a 4,000 or 6,000 year framework is to tarnish His glory; he added that he was sorry for his former creationist involvement as he felt it made people less likely to come to church. I informed Gregg that, based on what he had told us, he was coming to the Bible from a very dangerous position; that this was because he picked and chose which parts of the Bible he wanted to believe and trust, and which parts he wished to re-interpret. When you start down that path, where does it end? Surely his approach would allow him to interpret the Bible however he saw fit, and that could change over time, just as it has with creation; for example, on whether Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross really paid the price for our sin. Rather than limiting God’s creative power by insisting that He created all things in six twenty-four hour days, this is what He has clearly told us (Genesis 1, Exodus 20:11) and we should accept His word; after all, He was there! If the truth is less likely to make people come to Church then perhaps we should just stop preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ altogether, as it might offend and convict sinners?! Bronwyn put it quite well (and this was aired15) when she said that she could never be half and half (accepting both evolution and the Bible); see: 10 dangers of theistic evolution and Theistic evolution: What difference does it make?

Coexistence of dinosaurs and men

Regarding the topic of dinosaurs, only one statement made by Gregg in his presentation was aired on the program;16 the problem that he had with dinosaurs and man living together was that “we don’t find dinosaur and human fossils together. It’s like trying to put a square peg into a round hole. That whole world is incompatible with a world for humans. I mean can you imagine pterodactyls trying to share the same sky with condors, I mean they couldn’t compete.17 I don’t recall if this actual point was responded to by any of the participants after Gregg’s presentation.

It is true that, as yet, a human and dinosaur bone have never been found together in the fossil record. However, whenever we consider the likelihood of this happening, and the high ratio of marine to land life that we find fossilized, it is very unlikely that we will find this (see: Where are all the human fossils?). Gregg also seems to completely ignore the abundance of evidence that shows man and dinosaurs have lived together (see: Dinosaurs: Questions and Answers). Secondly, Gregg’s disbelief in the coexistence of dinosaurs and humans is driven by his evolutionary worldview that discounts the Bible as history. Thirdly, pterodactyls are not dinosaurs, and one wonders why exactly they could not have lived at the same time as condors since there are lots of birds of prey living and competing in today’s world.

Where are the creation scientists?

After the filming with Gregg, I pointed out to Tom Williams and Andrew Maxwell that we were only hearing one side of the story. I asked them how many creationist scientists/geologists on the trip they intended to interact with in their own field and they replied, “None.” I informed them that the documentary was completely unbalanced and it was not proceeding as it had been presented to me before the trip. The bias should be blatantly obvious to the viewer. On the aired show the conversation around this is a cut and paste of a much fuller conversation.18 Note that Andrew opened the documentary by saying that nearly 50% of people in America are on the ‘creationist’ side—strange how they didn’t get to talk to a single trained scientist from a creationist viewpoint for the two weeks we were there!

Some monkey business

The next segment sees us at Steve Martin’s Working Wildlife camp where we met animal trainer Chris Edrington and Billy the Chimp. This segment was obviously designed to play on the emotional heart strings and to persuade us that being related to a chimp through evolution is not really all that bad. They seemed to have the ridiculous idea that, by looking at this chimp, we would have a window into our evolutionary past!

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Chris and Billy the Chimp

Chris and Billy the Chimp

Chris was a sincere man who had read widely on a range of religious positions. He seemed fairly open to most ideas, but did believe that we all go back to some form of a common ancestor via a god who may have ‘started the ball rolling’. He thought that it was fine for everyone to choose their own personal philosophy of life; however, the obvious question arises, ‘What if your philosophy comes into conflict with mine?’

During this time with Chris, Andrew suggested to him that we are all just animals. I challenged Andrew on this, by taking it to its logical conclusion and asking him if he would then like to be treated like an animal? He joked it away, not wanting to go where that would lead—but it’s a serious point, see: Ota Benga: the pygmy put on display in a zoo.

Chris obviously loved animals, and had a great relationship with Billy, but did tell us that chimps were not necessarily the easiest animal to work with or train. This hardly lends itself to the idea that chimps, our supposed closest evolutionary ancestors, have any special links with humanity in regard to their intelligence.

On the aired show Andrew stated the popular myth, that we share 99% of our DNA with chimps, trying to encourage the viewers to see ourselves and Billy as close cousins. However the reality is very different, and the 99% figure has long been known be highly exaggerated (see: Genomic monkey business) and in light of the new information from the recent ENCODE publications in Nature,19 this statement is meaningless.20 The Bible is clear that man was created separately, made in God’s image, and that we did not evolve from an ape-like ancestor, or anything else for that matter; there are huge differences between mankind and the rest of creation. On the show Andrew asked Chris, “Are we really that unique?” Chris replied that he saw similarities between chimps and us, that they have emotions, as do we, and that their biological functions are very similar to ours. However, I responded on camera, “In regards to the differences, the differences are also extreme, in regards to what human beings can do and accomplish, how they think and process things, and their awareness of the vastness of the universe and the God who created them”21 (for more see: Human evolution: Oh so clear?).

Trying to make it about something else: The church incident

On the way to our next stop we had a quick lunch in a petrol (gas) station. It was here that, in a private conversation between the Director and Jojo, he revealed his intention to take us to a gay church. This obviously worried us as we did not want the road trip to become something which could be portrayed as a ‘fundamentalist Christians bashing gays’ session; rather we wanted to stay on target and discuss the issues at hand, over Creation/Evolution. We prayed about this a lot.

The following morning we were taken to a church.22 However, on the bus while travelling to church, Andrew came back to talk with us, while Jojo was called to the front of the bus on her own and asked to film.23 Jojo came back a few minutes later, visibly distressed, just as the bus reached the church. She quickly informed us that the Director had begun by asking her about church, but had then started to ask her about her gay son on camera; he actually asked her to give him a sound bite saying, “My gay son is going to hell.” I believe that this outrageous behaviour was an attempt to get a sensational sound bite which would take the program off topic. I was now even more concerned about the nature of the church we were about to enter that morning!

When we got off the bus I immediately checked with one of the members of the congregation, who was parking up, as to what kind of church it was that we were attending—this was even filmed and included in the final documentary! Satisfied that it was an evangelical Christian Church, I went in and a segment of the service, with the road-trippers seated, was aired. Jojo gave me more details about how the Director had probed her for her opinions about her gay son. There is no doubt in my mind that Tom Williams was intent on portraying creationists as ‘homophobic’ and trying to bully Jojo into saying something to suit the kind of ‘car-crash TV’ program he was intent on making; and had the sound bite been given, it would have been completely out of the context of the full Christian message. From a Christian perspective, all human beings are sinners (not merely those who give into homosexual lust), and all need to repent and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour!24

From the evidence that we have looked at and looking at what the Bible says, I totally think that a young earth is possible, I have no issue with that anymore, and if that is what I have taken out of the trip then that’s great, because that’s what I came here for … answers.—Sam Lucas (road-tripper)

After the service, I am shown taking the director to task for his unacceptable actions—something I very much continue to stand by. He should be ashamed of himself, quite apart from the fact the road trip was meant to be about experimental evidence for evolution.25 It is because I believed we road trippers were now being bullied and misrepresented, that I asked Christians in the Church that morning to pray that we would be wise with our tongues, speak forthrightly with the truth and proclaim Jesus at every opportunity. This segment was included on the aired show.

Once outside, Andrew pulled me aside and asked to have a conversation with me. We had a very lengthy conversation of which a very short clip is shown. In this, Andrew asked me if at any point during the trip, I had attempted to influence the others in the group or told them what to say. In the context of our conversation, he was referring to the evolution/creation content of the show, filmed with the experts that we had spoken to so far. Of course, I and the other participants had many discussions about creation/evolution topics, but in what was aired, they freely expressed their own views. Andrew’s question was not in relation to the off-topic areas like homosexuality that we had just been shown discussing in the aired program; needless to say, crafty editing gave a different impression altogether.

Moving firmly into Phil’s camp?

In the next segment we travelled to the University of California, Berkeley. Before going to this section in the aired show, it is here that Andrew says that Sam has moved firmly into ‘Phil’s camp’; of course, it is not my camp, it is the biblical position on creation! Sam states, “From the evidence that we have looked at and looking at what the Bible says, I totally think that a young earth is possible, I have no issue with that anymore, and if that is what I have taken out of the trip then that’s great, because that’s what I came here for, was for answers. Answers that I could draw to myself”. What may not be clear to viewers at this point is that there was a lot of material that they are not shown that helped Sam to come to this conclusion, and that a straightforward reading of Genesis—as it is intended to be understood—will lead people to a literal 6 day position.

The other side were well informed

When we went into Berkley to film we actually had two sessions with three evolutionary experts. We first met with Brian Swartz and Kevin Padian, two evolutionary biologists, but this was not aired on the show.26 However it was here that Brian informed me that Donald Prothero had e-mailed him to let him know about the group that he would be speaking with, giving him the heads up as to what kind of arguments we used, how well informed we were and what type of people we are. It appears that the evolutionary experts were told all about who would be involved in the filming, while we were constantly kept in the dark.

A completely objective scientist?

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Prof Tim White’s Student Display

Prof Tim White’s Student Display

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Anti-creation and intelligent design meeting posters

Anti-creation and intelligent design meeting posters

Before we met Professor of Evolutionary Biology, Tim White, we took the opportunity to look at a display that had been set up by his students, which looked at the history of man, going backwards from the present day. At around 600 AD the display had Muhammad on the timeline and at around 400 BC Buddha appeared on the timeline, but at 0 AD, where Jesus should have been placed, he had Julius Caesar (no mention of Christ!), showing a complete anti-Christian bias and betraying Tim White’s lack of objectivity. The hallway outside his office also had numerous posters up about anti-creation and anti-intelligent-design meetings (see photographs).

Human evolution

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Prof Tim White

Prof Tim White

The conversation with Tim White focused around human evolution. On the documentary Sam starts off with a short presentation on the biblical position that we are all descended from Adam and Eve. Andrew follows on from this point (a long portion of the discussion in between was cut out) to ask if it was genetically viable for the immediate offspring of Adam and Eve to reproduce with each other. Jojo, who had not read on the subject, then asked why God would forbid such close relationships later on in history? I gave a much fuller explanation than is shown in the documentary. I explained that Adam and Eve were created perfect in the beginning, that everyone came from Adam and Eve,27 that they had no copying mistakes in their DNA, but that as a consequence of the Fall they and their offspring would have started to accumulate mutations. Such mistakes, at the start, would not have been an issue; however, as time passed and mankind continued to go downhill genetically, it would not have been a good idea to marry someone closely related as there is a higher probability that they would carry the same copying mistakes in their DNA, so their children would be more likely to have genetic diseases. While at the start it was acceptable to marry close relatives, and even after the Flood it was acceptable—for example Abraham and Sarah were half brother and sister28 and their union was not only blessed, but from their line the Messiah was born—by the time of Moses, God then forbade close relatives from marrying as they were too close to one another29 (See: Who was Cain’s wife? and Cain’s wife explanation ‘gross and disgusting’?).

Skulls of genuine ‘ape-man’ ancestors or skulduggery?

Andrew then states that Tim White has dug up hundreds of human-like skulls from the same valley in Ethiopia, and that carbon dating has put them at different ages. But this is fantasy as, not only has Tim not dug up hundreds of human-like skulls from the same valley in Ethiopia,30 but he certainly didn’t use carbon dating to give them different ages! Andrew clearly does not understand that carbon dating can only give ‘dates’ of tens of thousands of years (as an upper limit) and certainly not millions (see: What about carbon dating? and Carbon 14 dating explained in every day terms).

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Prof Tim White and me

Prof Tim White and me

Tim is shown getting Sam to line up some skulls in what Tim deems to be chronological order, from observation alone. However these fossils are not all from the Middle Awash river valley in the Afar region in Ethiopia to which Andrew and Tim both allude; in fact you even hear Tim referring to one of them coming from Kenya, such is the poor editing of this conversation.31 The following pertinent information was not shown on the documentary: I asked Tim directly whether he was telling us that, starting with the skull on my far right, supposedly the oldest, and working up to the most recent, these had evolved into one another. Tim White answered “No”, that was not what he believed. Both Andrew and the film crew were visibly shocked at this answer. I replied then that what he had done was to set up a false scheme before us, to make us think that was what he wanted us to believe. Andrew then sought clarification from Tim as to what he believed about the skulls in front of us. Clearly Tim White didn’t believe in the exact chain that he had set up on the table, which is the one that the viewer is made to think is a direct chain of human evolution. We made clear to Tim that there was a clear distinction in the skulls, that there were obvious human skulls, and then ape-like skulls, and never the twain did meet. For a firm refutation of supposed ape-like ancestors of man see: Anthropology and Apemen).

Abdul then points out to Tim that he has never seen natural selection changing one species into another and Tim replies that this is because we don’t live long enough. In actual fact both are wrong here and rapid speciation after the Flood is a part of the creation model. What Abdul should have been more specific about, is that we don’t see one kind of animal changing into another quite different kind of animal via natural selection. Species in the modern sense is a much narrower word than kind (see: Speciation and answers and Speedy species surprise).

The origin of life—well, it’s kinda complicated!

After a day off, Adbul gave the group a presentation on the origin of life and said that the idea of God creating life “seemed more intelligent as a concept, more reasonable and less of a jump” than naturalistic explanations. I agree, and this far more intelligent concept should not be excluded from science just because it involves God.

Photo courtesy Phil Robinson

Prof Michael Russell and myself at the Fly Geyser

Prof Michael Russell and myself at the Fly Geyser

We were taken to the Fly Geyser near Gerlach, Nevada,32 where we met with Michael Russell, Professor of Astrophysics from Caltech, NASA, to discuss the origin of life. Michael’s explanation of the origin of life was incredibly weak and even fantastical. He informed us that he worshipped the universe and spoke to us as if the universe had an active will of its own. He explained to us that he thought the origin of life had come from undirected pure energy which had happened because the universe was heading towards entropy and the universe ‘knew’ that the most effective way of getting to an entropic state was to make us, mankind, because it knew that we expend huge amounts of energy and would help the entropy along! To be honest, at first I was quite taken aback by this explanation; here we had an evolutionary professor of astrophysics and that was his explanation as to why we were here? I pointed out to Michael that his explanation did not work for a number of observable reasons, the first being that energy by itself is destructive without something to properly harness and utilise it. For example, a computer is built to run on a specific voltage, but your computer will not react well if the voltage is too high, hence the need for surge protectors (also see: Plants have a dimmer switch).

To be fair to Andrew, he did push Michael for an answer as to how life actually began, but Michael couldn’t give one, which is why Andrew’s comment on the aired documentary, regarding the origin of life, is simply, “Well, it’s kinda complicated.” This is followed by Michael’s explanation, starting with bacteria; though how we got to bacteria, he didn’t explain. He concluded that life perhaps started near a geyser under the sea, but how exactly? He either didn’t know or wouldn’t say! The program shows me telling him the children’s rhyme “One, two, skip a few, ninety nine, a hundred,” but that is exactly how it was; he started by telling us that the universe had a will, and that he worshipped the universe, and then jumped to the bacteria on the geyser. I think he skipped a few rather vital stages in between, not least the origin of the complexity of a single cell (for example, ATP Synthase)—unsurprisingly, the programme makers did not show me giving my reasons for sharing the rhyme, another case of biased editing. Abdul made the good point that scientists should not present mysteries like the origin of life in the same way they present the theory of gravity. This is really a sleight of hand as these are two very different realms of science and the distinction should be made very clear—see ‘It’s not science. (for further reading see: Hydrothermal origin of life? and Origin of life Q&A).

Evolution means no baggage

I would say that people who want to explain life without God want a godless universe because they don’t want the baggage of Jesus Christ, they don’t want the sin, they don’t want the judgement, they don’t want the other aspects of God in their life, so they can live whatever way they choose, they can die whatever way they choose, and they can go wherever they choose whenever they die, if anywhere.—Phil Robinson

When I was asked about what I thought people like Michael were doing by presenting a naturalistic origin of life I answered, “They are giving you an alternative explanation which has no need or involvement for God. It is in direct opposition.” Andrew then asked, “It is a deliberately godless explanation of life?” I responded, “Yes” (as these two ideas cannot be married). Andrew then asked, “Why would he do that?” I replied, “I would say that people who want to explain life without God want a godless universe because they don’t want the baggage of Jesus Christ, they don’t want the sin, they don’t want the judgement, they don’t want the other aspects of God in their life, so they can live whatever way they choose, they can die whatever way they choose, and they can go wherever they choose whenever they die, if anywhere” (see: Probably no God?). My prayer is that perhaps this comment (which, amazingly, was not edited out33) will have made people think about what exactly they are using the godless theory of evolution to justify—a life without Jesus.

There is no doubt that a consistent understanding of evolution does lead to atheism.34 For example, when Richard Dawkins was interviewed by Howard Conder on Revelation TV, he was asked, “Was there a defining moment where you made a decision that you didn’t believe in God?” He replied, “Yes, I switched from Christian Theism, to some sort of deism around about 14 or 15, and switched to atheism around the age of 16.” Howard then asked, “And was there a particular point, or something that you read… ?” to which Dawkins replied, “By far the most important I suppose was understanding evolution. I think the evangelical Christians have really got it right, in a way, in seeing evolution as the enemy. Whereas, what shall we say, the more ‘sophisticated theologians’ are quite happy to live with evolution, I think they are deluded. I think that the evangelicals have got it right in that there really is a deep incompatibility between evolution and Christianity, and I realised that about the age of 16.”35 Unfortunately this is not a one-off story, but is repeated by many people, even those who were once professing evangelical Christians, for example, the one-time famous evangelist Charles Templeton.

The conclusion of the ‘road trip’ documentary

The concluding remarks of the documentary were filmed at the old Governor of California’s mansion in Sacramento.

Bronwyn said that she needs to do more reading. Good. So do I, so do we all, for we are commanded to be prepared to give answers!36

Sam now believes in the biblical position—without the need for evolution story-telling, and in a young earth. Amen.

Me—I said, “The Bible says that you should always be ready to give answers, and I thank God that he raised up men who are capable of giving answers in their own specific fields, and there has been nothing raised that I won’t be able to get an answer to, or didn’t have an answer for at the time.” This is why the website creation.com and organisations like CMI are so important for answers.

Abdul said he didn’t believe Christianity or evolution had fared well, but Islam had come out on top. Perhaps after watching the show and realising that nothing was even mentioned about Islam, he will be disappointed. None of the Islamic stance on creation was actually aired on the show as he was very heavily edited, perhaps because of his rather aggressive debating style, momentarily shown when he is speaking with Jerry Coyne. Important differences between the Christian creation account and the Muslim one are explained in The Koran versus Genesis.

Jojo crumbled at the end, disappointingly—she didn’t tell the rest of us road-trippers about the change in her thinking. She said that she wanted to be open, and in one sense she is open, but uncritically so, seemingly without understanding any of the real issues at hand or the presuppositions of the experts who presented to us. Despite all the conversations that Jojo heard, she still didn’t understand that Evolution has the effect of removing God, as Jerry Coyne pointed out earlier on, so that it would be a strange method for God to have used in creating living things.

Andrew (as presenter) states that faith can bring an enormous amount of joy to people’s lives, that his idea of god is a giant eternal loving being; one who is either in all the texts, or he is in none of the texts; he is either in the good faith of these scientists as they go about their work, or he doesn’t exist at all. Furthermore, there is either a god for all of us or for none of us. All in all, a very weak conclusion indeed, with creation or evolution not even mentioned; it’s just a bit of postmodern mumbo jumbo.

Post-documentary thoughts and events

I am disappointed that we were not actually shown any proper scientific experimental evidence that we could have interacted with except for Prothero’s very crudely designed, failed experiment; after all, this was meant to be the basis of the program. I was looking forward to perhaps visiting a laboratory in which various radioactive dating methods are used so that I could see the assumptions in action. But this was not to be.

Admissions

I am also disappointed that I was deceived, by the staff of Renegade Productions, about the nature of the program—that it was not a genuine debate as I was informed that it would be, and that we never spoke to any scientist from either a Creationist or Intelligent Design perspective, though there are plenty to choose from. Upon my return to the UK, I complained to the series producer, Riete Oord, about the false information I had received and also the director’s behaviour. In response, I received a letter back in which she admitted that, from the outset, the documentary did “not set out to achieve balance,”37 This was reinforced by the executive producer, Harry Lansdowne, who informed me that, “It was never intended to be a balanced film, but rather, an authored piece where Andrew aims to change the coach tripper’s minds”.38 This is more than evident in the aired edited documentary, a far cry from the genuine debate that I was informed that it would be; to the BBC’s shame. While both Riete and Harry maintain that I should have been informed about the exact nature of the documentary beforehand, which I only found out about in Gatwick airport when I studied the release form, Harry’s e-mail to me did say, “I concede that it may be that we could have done a better job, early on, of explaining the precise nature of the film to you. Therefore, moving forward, I have asked that release forms be sent out earlier to contributors.”39 I would urge other Christians to think very carefully before taking part in any such productions in the future.

During the filming of the documentary it was rather clear that the film crew had a very weak understanding of the subject matter.40 They couldn’t handle the issue so they made it about personalities. This is reflected in the fact that there is actually very little content in the documentary and nearly all of the proper science that was covered is not included.

Conclusion

Upon reflection, although it was the toughest ten days of my life, having to carefully watch every word to try and make sure that it was not misconstrued, answer questions from both the experts and the other contributors, and interact with a hostile film crew,41 I am nonetheless glad that I did it. I got to see some fantastic places, see some very unique things, and meet many interesting people. I learnt more about my own faith, the strength needed to continue to fight this battle42 and how to debate more effectively.

In the end though, the only ‘conspiracy’ is that the BBC continues to delude the public into thinking that the godless evolution story is actually viable when it is not.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

  1. This was one of a series of ‘conspiracy road trips’ on a variety of topics, broadcast on BBC3. The program in question first aired on Monday 8 October, 2012. Return to text.
  2. The bulk of this article is based on notes that I took during the filming, as well as from viewing the final program itself. Return to text.
  3. My friend’s e-mail described a group called Beonscreen.com, whose advertisement read, “Do you doubt the theory of evolution? BBC3 documentary wants to hear from people whose faith dictates their beliefs about our existence. If you think that science cannot explain our existence, and religion offers a more convincing explanation, then we want to hear from you. Maybe you think that science can’t explain the beginnings of life? Or perhaps that humans did not evolve from apes? Or even that the earth is only 6000 years old? If this sounds like you, we are offering a unique experience to put your views to the test” (http://app.bronto.com/public/?q=ulink&fn=Link&ssid=2876&id=djbdiac7ydtqrzdlad7pxba2xc008&id2=4ewuygvmge09lps98jin3b2767kt2&subscriber_id=
    cckmprbwblygtylluodunlgpcbnvbph&delivery_id=apkjhhimhkrjrybjhftpewojamgqbnc&tid=3.Czw.vi05.CMJs.OvNk..Yjzf.b..l.SH8.b.T1zE-A.T1z2MA.2XIY-w" t "_blank). Return to text.
  4. I had actually been e-mailed a copy of the release form but this arrived in my inbox just as I was leaving my house to fly from Belfast to Gatwick. Considering that the member of staff who sent the release form to me had been in contact with me by e-mail during the previous 2 ½ weeks, one cannot help wondering why it was not sent much earlier. Return to text.
  5. See <http://www.skepticblog.org/2012/11/07/a-surreal-journey/>, accessed 3 December 2012. Return to text.
  6. The second presentation was never filmed even though I had prepared one and we never spoke to anyone on this subject area. Return to text.
  7. Prothero is Professor of Geology at Occidental College and a lecturer in Geobiology at Caltech. Return to text.
  8. That is, whatever natural mechanisms God may have employed, it was He who caused the Flood ultimately. Return to text.
  9. Coyne is a Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Chicago. Return to text.
  10. As explained earlier in the article, during the filming the candidates were sometimes given a particular time when only they would ask a question of the expert, so that there would be some film time dedicated to them. This was such a time. Return to text.
  11. Although, considering Jerry Coyne’s knowledge of creationists, it is much more likely that he knew the creationist concept of the kind perfectly well, and that this was a deliberate attempt to misrepresent the facts. Return to text.
  12. 17 min, 47 sec into the ‘Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip’ documentary. Return to text.
  13. The Tea Party is a grassroots conservative political movement in America, many of its members would be theologically conservative Christians. Return to text.
  14. After watching the documentary I e-mailed Gregg and asked him to comment on this description of him. While I would never judge someone’s salvation, as I am certainly in no position to do so, Gregg does have a very different view of the Bible from me. He said, “I think the Bible is inspired, but it is tainted with humanity. The greatest mystery is how accurate information about a holy perfect God can come to anyone through frail, error-prone human messengers.” While I believe that the Bible is inspired and wholly accurate it appears that Gregg does not. Return to text.
  15. 28 min, 15 sec into the ‘Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip’ documentary. This comes after the conversation with Wilkerson when Bronwyn is reflecting on what he had said. Return to text.
  16. Gregg Wilkerson spoke on lots of different subjects at great length—to comment on everything he said would require a separate exhaustive article itself! Return to text.
  17. 26 min, 30 sec into the ‘Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip’ documentary. Return to text.
  18. 28min, 31 sec into the ‘Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip’ documentary. Return to text.
  19. See http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v489/n7414/full/nature11247.html, accessed 3 December 2012. Return to text.
  20. The notion that 98% of the human genome was junk has finally been debunked, so the similarity between the human and ape genome will need to be completely re-evaluated with this new information. The so called ‘junk DNA’ is now understood to have a regulatory function for the protein coding genes. Creationists have always maintained that the junk DNA was not junk; it just took evolutionists a long time to catch up. This is a prime example of how evolutionary baggage holds real science back! (It should be noted that the Nature paper has only assigned definite functions to 80% so far). Return to text.
  21. 32 min, 20 sec into the ‘Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip’ documentary. Return to text.
  22. We attended Abundant Life Pentecostal Church. The presenter, Andrew, did not stay for the service, but the film crew only filmed some shots of him sitting at the back at the start, and then he left. It seems that while he wanted us to listen to what he believed in, evolution, he had no real interest in staying in a service and listening to what Christians actually believe. The Pastor that morning began his sermon by saying, “God calls us to fully integrate all parts of our life,” such a fitting line for the journey that we were on. Return to text.
  23. The show also took the opportunity to point out here that Jojo doesn’t attend a church and instead ‘follows Jesus in her own way.’ Perhaps this explains why she is theologically unsure of herself and her views are changeable. This is why it is important to be involved in a good church, to receive sound teaching and to be accountable as the New Testament clearly teaches. Return to text.
  24. Although much is made of homosexuality being sinful, as the Bible clearly teaches that it is, it should also be noted that the Bible is clear that adultery and pre-marital sex are also wrong; but it is often the case that more is made of the former rather than the latter two sins. I suspect that this may be due to the increasingly aggressive attacks on Christianity from various homosexual lobbying organisations. Return to text.
  25. In a note written to me by Jojo, inside the church, she wrote concerning the incident, “I feel really shaken inside … .. Do not like this feeling” The full stops (periods) are in her text, no words are missing. Return to text.
  26. In the morning session with Brian and Kevin we had the most productive discussion that took place during filming. It was inside an air conditioned room, with white boards for drawing diagrams on (both the experts and myself) and a table for taking notes on. Unfortunately it was not used in the aired documentary, perhaps because it was the most productive?! Due to the events of the day before, the church incident, and the complaints that were made to Renegade Pictures in respect of it, both by myself and by a member of one of the other contributor’s family, the director took a big step back and the conversation flowed very well. We covered lots of topics with Brian and Kevin, mostly on the interpretation of science, evolutionary relationships between living things, the fossil record and dinosaur to bird evolution. While the conversation flowed very well, no new arguments were put forward by either side here; it was more a session where points that were understood were delved into more deeply. Return to text.
  27. Genesis 3:20. Return to text.
  28. Genesis 20:12. Return to text.
  29. Leviticus 18:6. Return to text.
  30. One source said that nearly 250 individuals have been found in the middle awash valley in Ethiopia (not all by White), but when you actually go through what was found, that certainly does not equate to skulls, and even adding up the ‘individuals found’ it is very hard to even come close to the 250 figure; see http://www.efossils.org/site/middle-awash# which lists the Ardipithecus ramidus, Ardipithecus kadabba, Australopithecus anamenesis and Australopithecus garhi finds. Three skulls of Homo sapiens idaltu have been found. One of Tim White’s finds (a Homo erectus skull) is discussed here: http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2002/03/20_daka.html. Return to text.
  31. See https://middleawash.berkeley.edu/middle_awash/fossil_hominids.php, accessed 3 December 2012. Fossils from the valley can be found here. Return to text.
  32. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fly_Geyser, 3 December 2012. Return to text.
  33. 53 min, 25 sec into the ‘Creationism: Conspiracy Road Trip’ documentary. Return to text.
  34. As for example, William Provine stated: “ … belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism.” Source: Provine, W.B., ‘No free will’ in Catching up with the Vision, Margaret W Rossiter (Ed.), Chicago University Press, p. S123, 1999. Return to text.
  35. Howard Condor interviewing Richard Dawkins on Revelation TV, February 2011, creation.com/creation-videos . Return to text.
  36. 1 Peter 3:15, Colossians 4:6. Return to text.
  37. E-mail from series producer, Riete Oord, dated 21 June 2012. Return to text.
  38. E-mail from executive producer, Harry Lansdowne, dated 30 August 2012. Return to text.
  39. E-mail from executive producer, Harry Lansdowne, dated 26 September 2012. Return to text.
  40. Prothero also picks this up in his blog saying, “Only one of the five, a guy named Phil (no last names were given) was familiar with all the standard “flood geology” interpretations of the Grand Canyon by the likes of Steven Austin and John Woodmorappe. Naturally he tried to argue with me about arcane points that only he and I knew about (driving the producer and director crazy).” It drove them crazy as they didn’t understand the terminology or the points being discussed, so they knew that none of it could be used in ‘their’ documentary. Quote taken from www.skepticblog.org/2012/11/07/a-surreal-journey/, accessed 20 November 2012. Return to text.
  41. With the notable exception of one member of the team. Return to text.
  42. I started each day by reading Psalm 91 for strength and encouragement. Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Patrick C., France, 24 January 2013

Creationists daily contend with evolutionary-minded opponents who routinely use tactics aimed at misleading or wrong-footing us. Why the surprise in this case? Didn't anyone see this was a BBC Trojan horse? Am I criticizing from the position of hindsight? Possibly! The experience of the last three decades has shown that evolutionists never, ever play fair. If we leave it to them to arrange these ventures disaster for us will surely follow. And where in all of this is our Lord glorified? I will probably be ‘red-flagged’ for saying this, but the only word that describes what happened is naïve. The conclusion finishes with: ‘In the end though, the only ‘conspiracy’ is that the BBC continues to delude the public into thinking that the godless evolution story is actually viable when it is not.’ This is not news–the BBC deceives (not deludes) millions of unthinking people every day with its humanistic bias. People who embrace a Trojan horse get hurt. Virgil summed it up beautifully when he wrote: ‘Equo ne credite, Teucri! Quidquid id est, timeo Danaos et dona ferentis. (Do not trust the horse, Trojans! Whatever it is, I fear the Danaans, even when bringing gifts. (Aeneid II, 49)). Under the circumstances, perhaps it would be wiser to mistrust the BBC, especially when they bring ‘gifts’.

Jennifer P., Australia, 24 January 2013

May the blessings of our wonderful Lord, Saviour and Creator be upon you Phil. What a courageous stand you made and how weighted against you and the others the whole enterprise was as the producer in particular endeavoured to put you all down and attack with personal ad hominens. Quite pathetic that Andrew didn't even sit through the Church service. ...

Such a revealing account of biased BBC editing .Thank you for the details. As I was reading your account Phil, I kept thinking of the contrast with the extremely fair and balanced editing of the CMI / Fathom Media production of: 'Darwin: the Voyage That Shook the World'.

Of course the enduring irony is that there is no experimental evidence that any of the evolutionists can construct (I laughed at the Horse Shoe Bend photo, so replete with visuals of the massive hydro power and rock layering caused by cataclysmic waters) as it is truly a matter of interpretations of the past events and the fundamental axioms and presuppostions that both evolutionists and Biblical Creationists bring to the data. You correctly stated early on that it is a worldview clash.

I found it so sad about the attack on Jojo and her son. The producers know no boundaries, as their atheism sets them free to be unaccountable. In their immorality they will upset someone at their most vulnerable and personal point. Literally like an attack dog. Disgusting behaviour. I hope it back-fires, as did the subject of abortion with the defence given by the woman who had suffered 2 abortions and beautifully testified to the healing power of God's forgiveness.

Again many thanks for your account.

R. D., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

My Auntie (who's rather unsold on creationism and doesn't seem to understand at all when I tell her that Christianity just doesn't work, logically, without it) told me she'd watched this program back in October last year. My immediate reaction was "anything from the BBC won't present a fair picture" (this is the same corporation that produced a "documentary" a few years back titled "Intelligent Design: A War on Science"), so I chose not to watch it. Never did I dream that a CMI insider would have been involved and I'd get the true picture; this article confirms what I had suspected! The old saying about elections (who counts the votes being more important than who votes) can be applied equally to documentaries; it's not who's involved that matters, it's who controls the editing.

If anyone wants to know about creationism they should ask creationists, not anyone else!

Hans G., Australia, 24 January 2013

Why do we creationists look sometimes out of momentum and often 'beaten' by those evolutionists?

We Christians can't lie, deceive and give false witness; we are outnumbered: we got 'only' one truth, the evolutionists have many 'truths'. Understandable that a creationist feels uncomfortable among those dark matters.

Philip Bell responds

Indeed, there's only one truth. But the Lord Jesus Christ said "you will know the truth and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32). Knowing Christ should therefore instill great confidence in the Christian, albeit that one can certainly feel some discomfort when exposed to so much in secular society that is contrary biblical standards and biblical truth.

Victor B., Australia, 24 January 2013

Thanks Phil for sharing your experience and giving us an insight behind secular documentaries. It indeed presents a contrast to the accurate research and fair presentation of material such as "Darwin: the Voyage That Shook the World" and "Evolution: the Grand Experiment".

I especially enjoyed the fact that Jeremy your pilot at the Grand Canyon happened to be a Christian and a biblical creationist. A real shame that this was not aired. Reading the article - this behind the scenes material would in itself make a revealing documentary.

I am reminded of Greg Bahnsen's (Christian apologist) comment regarding the "myth of neutrality" when it comes to atheism.

Blessings

A. M., Colombia, 24 January 2013

Excellent article Phil. It is evident that this journey of yours is the beginning of a great ministry on Creation education.

I saw the documentary (or show) and it was patently evident how biased and edited it was, and it teaches us all two big lessons:

1) Anti-creationists are aware and concerned of the growth of Creation science, however, they are repeating the same mistake as decades ago: they adress layman and students while ignoring the Creation scientists who keep making material and educating people.

2) When interviewed by secular journalists in the topic of Creation and the Bible, we should record the conversation. While I was watching the program, it came to my mind that if only there were a copy of the complete conversations, the deceit of the BBC editors would be easily exposed as bad journalism. Creationists should be aware of this and be more careful when approached by anti-creationists.

God bless you all.

G. B., Australia, 24 January 2013

Great article. I'd love to see a different show - evolutionists being taken on a road trip being able to speak to creationist scientists. It would be interesting to see (without crafty editing), how they cope with the evidence for creation.

Glen H., United States, 24 January 2013

Prothero's dismissive comment "I wouldn't waste my time, I have a life" would seem to translate "I am terrified of what I might learn." Such dodges and excuses are common among evolutionists these days who have learned to fear debating creationists. The last thing they want is for both sides to be presented in an even-handed manner.

Evan B., Australia, 24 January 2013

Ugh. This disgusts me. I expected more from BBC, they have had some good programs in the past few years. But this is just wrong. Even if they were not directly making it, they are still responsible for whatever goes on inside their own company and assets. This was simply a set-up to try and make Creationists look like idiots.

Robert S., Australia, 24 January 2013

Materialistic thinking can only exist because of man's blinded sinful nature. Except through Christ, this nature is completely incompatible with God's truth.

Materialists are blind to the fact that the spiritual realm is the higher reality (we are not just lumps of meat walking around), since the physical realm is only temporary as any cemetery can bear witness to.

Ashley G., South Africa, 24 January 2013

I read the article with great interest, although I did not see the program that you refer to. I am a school geography teacher (public school) and have a desire to write geography books for schools from a creationist point of view ...

Colin M., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

This is an excellent example of why Christians need documentaries produced to the quality of Darwin's Voyage [creation.com/cmis-year-of-darwin-documentary] and I trust the upcoming Evolution's Achilles Heels [creation.com/evolutions-achilles-heels].

Much of the militant atheists' propaganda is void of substance and relies on the power of rhetoric.

Maybe it's time for some satire in return?!

Michael M., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

I am not the least bit surprised at what happened. Organisations like the BBC will never give an honest presentation about creation. This was just another opportunity for them to make creationists look foolish. The fact that the BBC spends so much time praising their gods, Dawkins and Attenborough, shows that they will never give creationists a fair hearing.

Chuck J., United States, 24 January 2013

Don't be hard on yourself, and don't accept any putdown of your effort. The Bible gives us instruction that sometimes you simply have to "Stand". Well done for your effort, and remember that you have done your part. It is God's part to change the hearts, and He never fails.

Jack C., Australia, 24 January 2013

Good on you for having the courage to face up to this challenge. We may lose a few battles along the way but we all know we will win the war. In fact the war is already won. We just need to get to the finish line.

James S., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

I saw the program and I saw how they tried to edit it. Personally [I think] they failed. The creation message still got through but then I saw the cracks in many of their arguments as well. The bit about trying to argue against Noah's ark was miserable. Despite the obvious attempts to promote evolution, what the creationist managed to get over was great. Keep up the work, you're doing a great job.

John B., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

Hi Phil,

Well done to you for this amazing adventure you were able to become involved in, even if the devil had an ulterior motive. This is certainly not unusual for the BBC to behave in this manner towards those who uphold the Biblical doctrine of Genesis. Only the other week, I watched "The Big Questions", hosted by Nicky Campell, on BBC1. The subject matter or title was, "Should all religions now accept evolution?" I was utterly dismayed and quite angry by the biased way in which it was televised. The Creationist viewpoints were barely allowed to be brought across to the audience, unlike the so called scientific evolutionists who were allowed to completely wipe the floor with the Creationists views. There was even an Anglican priest there, as well as a so called Christian palaeontologist, who totally humiliated the Creationists on the debate, with their evolutionary philosophy and religion. Nicky Campbell, the host, also was very ridiculing in his nature towards the Christian Creationists. Unfortunately, it made me feel very vulnerable towards ridicule for my Creationist beliefs, and I was mortified to witness the unfair and unjust way in which we as Bible believing Christians are regarded by so called "other Christians". As dreadful as it may sound, I would like to see the faces on these people, when the day comes when they are standing, nay KNEELING, before Him, when the horrific realisation comes to them, that they chose to follow the folly of man against the eternal wisdom of their Creator. God Bless you, Phil, for your witness and courage, and Blessings too to CMI, in which, my Faith would be foundering by now, if it wasn't for you people and the wonderful exciting truthful ministry you share daily!! John

William H., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

This is shocking, but typical of the BBC. Christianity is diametrically opposed to the modernist atheistic social project, underpinned by the theory of evolution. Every opportunity will be taken, with no expense spared, to demonstrate their view that real Christian Faith is for the uneducated or cranky. When presented with the informed alternative they will ignore, misrepresent or sideline the person giving it. Real debate can only demonstrate the weakness of their position. This should be a clear warning to others who may be tempted to take part in such programs. I suppose that at the end of the day it is all about power over others. An old story.

Derek B., Australia, 24 January 2013

this is a good article though it needs some proof reading - i picked up a number of grammatical errors.

The time line Phil mentions under the title 'a completely objective scientist' would not be correct having Julius caesar at 0 AD - Julius Caesar had been dead for about 30 years at this point, Augustus was in power at the time of Christ's birth. And on the BC/AD timeline Christ was born in 4 BC (ie - He was born 4 years before he was born).

I had read a writeup on this before from Ken Ham - but it's good to have an insiders perspective.

Phil's concluding statement sums up nicely - In the end though, the only ‘conspiracy’ is that the BBC continues to delude the public into thinking that the godless evolution story is actually viable when it is not.

Philip Bell responds

Phil Robinson's comment about Julius Caesar was not his opinion, but a description of where Prof Tim White had placed JS on the timeline. The stark (and obviously deliberate) omission of Christ on White's timeline at '2000 years ago' was main point, notwithstanding the subtleties of the actual year of His birrth.

Fred B., United States, 24 January 2013

Hey Phil, thanks for a detailed report. Quite excellent. BTW, on note #16, I sure hope you consider writing up a separate article on Wilkerson's various topic discussions. That would make for some fun reading.

Jeremy W., Canada, 24 January 2013

Another reason they told the 'experts' exactly what they were going to do, and didn't tell the people on the bus. They were reasonably certain a group of Christians wouldn't sue them for slander.

Jeff W., Canada, 24 January 2013

Prothero: “I wouldn’t waste my time, I have a life.” Currently, you do not; all you have is a living death. Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Without him you are without any of the three. Not even scientific truth is open to someone apart from Christ; they misunderstand the observable facts themselves and grasp nothing of what they mean.

Proverbs 1:7 "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline."

Dean R., Australia, 24 January 2013

Surprise, surprise...thankfully nothing takes God by surprise & He provides us with His Word & Spirit to guide. It's not a pleasant thing to look foolish ... ...Honouring God in the process.

It seems to me that the cracks in evolution are being covered up by desperation & misinformation, foolish as far as real science goes but popular & influential when it comes to media & things mainstream.

From what I have seen the BBC has some quality photography, if only they could match it in objectivity. But from the evidence, this doesn't seem possible (humanly speaking).

Jesus too, spoke about sand & things sinking into it, the wise man built his house upon the rock... It's one thing to say morals are an evolutionary outcome, but another to prove it, hence all the theorising & hypotheticals.

Thanks for the revealing article & your enduring faith, testifying during hardship...as intended.

Dave M., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

Hi Phil, I saw the programme when it was aired. I think you did really well, so don’t be too hard on yourself for anything you felt you didn’t handle well. I think most people would have found the deception hard to handle. Good for you for being prepared to ‘give and answer’ and to walk into the lion’s den.

So Andrew Maxwell is a comedian? I wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t told me! He wasn’t at all funny; I suspect he was out of his comfort zone. Actually, I wonder why the BBC felt compelled to make such a programme, seems almost desperate and all presumably at the expense of the licence payer!

I was speechless at the questions about whales on the ark and even more so about the apparent lack of an answer – I’m glad you cleared that one up.

Phil, I think you should be encouraged that you responded as well as you did and that you challenged a few people! I feel too that it’s a challenge to us all to engage with the world in a respectful but creative, resourceful and persistent way about what we believe and why we believe it.

God bless you Phil.

Brian H., Canada, 24 January 2013

I have often thought it would be interesting, and a good outreach, to have a Creation Scientist on "The Big Bang Theory" (a TV sit com). But, I fear that the editing would do the same to that actor/scientist as has happened to Phil and his fellow travellers. Maybe if we could have a few CMI people help write the script for that episode, but, would they let us?

Andrew E., Australia, 24 January 2013

Thanks for the article - a long read but well worth it. Unfortunately this is the world we live in and I think you'd find most of the antagonism boils down to money - if you don't "preach" evolution, you are going to lose your funding - the evil one has done a good job at setting up all the strings to pull in this respect.

I loved your comments about lack of experiments. If evolution was so rock solid, you should be able to buy a chemistry kit in the toy store with 101 experiments showing how many of the pieces come together. Actually, I'd be impressed if they just had one simple experiment - to show how fossils form. Here's my hypothesis: put a dead fish in a bucket of water and it's going to rot until it's gone (more or less); put live fish in a bucket of water and then throw a bag of cement in, and you'll end up with a poor man's fossil. Conclusion: fossils only occur as a result of cataclysmic events.

Anyway, permit me to plant a seed. Maybe you should consider finding someone to support your own "Case for creation" road trip, and video-blog it on YouTube. Retrace your steps and find the experts that give each side a fair hearing with grace and respect. Just throwing it out there ;)

Peter H., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

Though the editing may have gravely ignored creationist arguments and even misrepresented the discussions there was at least someone there who was informed in creation science. It might have been a lot worse if all the participants were mostly unread in the subject. Who knows whether the enemy has overstepped himself, and God is glorified. Some people discern the truth despite all the twisting and distortion.

Errol B., Australia, 24 January 2013

Don’t you love Donald Prothero’s statement ‘If you don’t start with naturalism then you can’t be a scientist’? There goes Newton’s laws of motion, gravity... basically physics & calculus have to be redone.

Darwin said in 1860, “The sight of a feather in a peacock’s tail, whenever I gaze at it, makes me sick!” Why not wonder or curious? Later, Hubble wrote “...to escape the horror of a unique position” referring to the Godly ramifications after his observations of somewhat central location in the universe. Again, why not investigate it using unbiased assumptions. Finally Dawkins- “The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.”

Yep... no bias here!

Is Prothero even aware of his circular reasoning? From his perspective, if the bible was true and God did intelligently design everything at creation followed by a global flood, then science would not be allowed to conclude such a truth. By their own admission, they would manipulate scientific investigation to conclude a lie.

Interesting point you made, they didn’t see Islam as a threat.

Thanks for the article Phil, it was worth the read.

Gareth H., United Kingdom, 24 January 2013

Good on you Phil. Having been at one of your presentation nights, I am certain you did a superb job in bringing the truth to all those you conversed with. If the Lord had you there for the strenghening of Sam's faith only, then it was well worth it.

Chris T., Canada, 24 January 2013

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

II Timothy 4:3-4

The time has come. Atheist evolutionists along with most of the mainstream media gather around them teachers who say what they want to hear (that we were not created by God and we don't need God). They turn away from the truth (they won't even consider the possibility that God created us even when the evidence points to our creator) and they turn to the myth of evolution.

Erik W., United States, 25 January 2013

This comes on the heel of me being awed at a separate instance of God placing His children in such a time and place as to have an influence, despite the attempts by the principalities and powers of the high places to shut them out. Whenever I read of how a fellow believer in some far-off part of the world was able to let their light shine before men, I am moved to rejoice.

Luke B., Australia, 25 January 2013

Brilliant article Phil! I believe that God used you in this programme for great good, notably in Sam. God also provided a little bit of light in the 10 days of darkness in the form of Jeremy the pilot. I also believe that the producers would regret the day they invited you, in that although your great comments can be edited out so the viewers don't get to hear it, the other 4 participants got the un-edited version.

Dick M., United States, 25 January 2013

Brother Phil,

Perhaps you've heard the story of Lo Chen: A number of years ago, a man in China gave Lo Chen a Bible. Not caring about the Bible, he went home and chucked it in the fire. The next morning, he woke up, poked the now-dead embers, and found one page from the Bible still intact. It was Matthew Chapter 28, and he read the following: 'And, Lo, I am with you always, even until the end of the age.' He was shocked. 'How did He know my name?' He got saved that very day. One verse -- that's all God needed with Lo Chen. He can take our "sack lunch" and feed 5,000 (+ women & children).

Brother, I want to encourage you for taking it to the lion's den! Obviously that one brother got touched, and I'm sure many others were as well. 1 Tim 2:4 -- not only does our King want everyone saved, but He wants everyone to know the truth!

Be encouraged, and be blest! Way to go once again, CMI. You guys are heroes in my eyes -- and I'm sure His as well.

Joe B., United Kingdom, 25 January 2013

Phil,

Thanks for writing this. I appreciate your gracious tone despite all the mistreatment you received. I was in touch with the producer about going on this documentary too. They were going to come and do some preliminary filming but I came across the previous mockumentary they made about 9/11 conspiracy theorists "Conspiracy Road Trip 9/11". After watching that I told them that I had no interest in being mocked on camera. I'm sorry I didn't get in touch to warn you about it.

However, you were an amazing witness under so much pressure from every side - God clearly had his hand in sending you there. The comment you made by the geyser was the best bit of the show. The producers have no idea about the power of such truth and we pray that God would use your proclamation of it to bring glory to His name and sinners to repentance. My unsaved Aunt actually watched the documentary and talked to me about it so thank you, brother, for being used of God to bring the truth to her - I have not been able to witness to her verbally yet. I also loved that you gave tracts to some of the scientists you met. The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul! Praise God! He works all things according to the counsel of His will.

In Christ,

Joe

Keiron A., United Kingdom, 25 January 2013

No one should be disheartened with the obvious bias of the BBC because more and more people are starting to wake up and see that something is desperately wrong. Creationists will never get a fair hearing because evolutionists over a long period of time have deceived the BBC quite easily into accepting their so called facts. The war of hearts and minds are still ready to be won CMI and with people asking more questions, CMI should be ready to deal with truthful and honest answers. Science and Christianity were and will always be a perfect marriage, CMI is best equipped to prove why.

Jacqueline F., Luxembourg, 25 January 2013

Nothing in this article surprised me, except the trusting attitude of the participants. The BBC is notorious for its biased reporting on this subject. For many years, those leading the Creation movement have refused to record debates or talk shows with the BBC, as their words are edited in such a way as to make them seem like babbling idiots. The only way they will take them on is on live TV. I remember way back a BBC programme with a panel of evolutionists sitting in a comfy studio debating Ken Ham, who was stuck in a tiny, dark booth, with a microphone and a camera. He couldn't see the others in the studio on the other side of the country, but they could see him with his headphones on in what looked like a narrow interpreter's booth. His answers demolished all the attacks they could throw at him and they could not give any answers to his reasonable questions.

I also know an ex-geologist from Cardiff University who was answering questions for BBC radio. When asked, "Do you believe that God created the world in 6 24 days and do you believe that the world is flat?", answered, "Yes, I believe that God created the world in 6 24 hour days, but NO, I certainly do not believe the world is flat." His answer was edited to "Yes!" So much for unbiased reporting!

Paula S., United States, 25 January 2013

Wow Phil, good on you for your perseverance through that ordeal! I would probably have turned around and left after two days of that nonsense. I'm glad you stuck with it to God's glory, that you provided a strong witness and positive influence and that you got to enjoy some of the most beautiful places in our country. God bless and keep up the good work!

Chris O., United Kingdom, 25 January 2013

Here are some things that can be proven using established testing techniques that comply with the scientific method; I like to call them 'facts'. The earth is 4.5 billion years old. Life began on earth via the process of abiogenesis 3.9 billion years ago. The dinosaurs died out 66 million years ago. Human beings appeared approximately 200,000 years ago and had an average life span of 25 years up until 50,000 years ago where upon they developed social interactions that prolonged their lifespan. Evolution is the means by which life alters as it reacts to the environment it finds itself in. The theory of evolution has been subject to scrutiny over a period of 150 years and has been proven to be true by an overwhelming tranche of evidence. There has yet been shown any evidence that would demonstrate the existence of a god or gods.

As to the show, I think they let Phil off quite lightly as it was like smashing one's head against a brick wall. To see someone suffer so much from cognitive dissonance was very painful to watch. I hope he seeks out some mental health therapy very soon.

I shall sign off with this: the good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.

Philip Bell responds

Regarding the claimed billions-of-years age of the earth, abiogenesis (life from non-life), the demise of dinosaurs 66 million years ago [sic] etc. you may "like to call them 'facts' " but you betray a very shaky understanding of the scientific method that you claim to espouse. The latter aims to produce empirical evidence for a hypothesis (thereby advancing human knowledge) by experimental testing in the present. Without the ability to travel back in time (except in science fiction), it is impossible to observe of test past events, by definition.

This is why the makers of this road trip programme were unable (along with the leading evolutionary scientists taking part) to show the road-trippers experiments in support of evolution, in spite of their pre-programme claims: "they will ... take part in various experiments which will aim to elucidate and test their beliefs.”

Normally, we would not publish ad hominem comments but I have chosen to do so on this occasion as it reveals much more about your own inability to engage in a mature manner with clearly presented information. Your failure to discuss a single concrete point or argument made by this article's author, while resorting instead to bald assertions and stooping to personal attack, reinforces just how pathetically weak is the scientific case for deep-time evolution.

Kenny F., United States, 25 January 2013

I sort a stumbled upon this story and was about to click back, but it captivated me way too quickly to pass up. A great, intriguing, and albeit pathetic in what happened detailed recap. I am glad you were there to speak the truth, even though so many ignored. Those with an anti-God agenda never seem to appreciate the facts.

It's always interesting here to see how the New York Times fits the news to print what they want it to say. (Quick example, a high profile national media murder case where the 911 emergency call was cut and spliced to convey and intentionally misguided listeners/readers of what was actually said to bolster their case... sounds familiar huh?!!) The search for truth is gone. Even if we creationist were wrong, then discuss it openly/equally to find the differences and have reasons why their side is chosen over the other. Too many discussions I have here, at a national lab I work at, begin with the person having no clue of what I actually believe, argue against what they assume I believe, and never really want to hear what I believe. But they always want me to hear their evidence, and if I disagree, it's because I didn't really listen openly. Another bigoted fundamentalist is the conclusion.

I really appreciate your heart in showing that it isn't an "I'm right about this and you're wrong" argument you seek to win, but ultimately it's about people coming to know Jesus Christ in their lives. It does make discussing this issue hard, because others want to make it an in-your-face, win-at-all-cost discussion, and I want to win something other than this "argument".

Chuck J., United States, 25 January 2013

I have one other thought that I feel compelled to pass on. You have the final word in editing and responses and publishing in your ministry. We need to keep that in mind whenever we are part of the enemy's media outlets. We can be wise sheep, and maybe at times get some kind of contracturally guaranteed editing minutes or words in their media when we attempt to use it for our ministry. They are liars and will twist our words to their ends if they can.

Blake H., United States, 27 January 2013

As Phil found out, atheists will always "twist" the facts to fit their beliefs. Over the years I have held up a red card for them to see, only to have them insist that it's really blue. God was certain when He said, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death… For wide is the road that leads to destruction, and many travel it.” (Proverbs 16:25; Matthew 7:13–14) Attemping to prove the truth to an atheist can and has been pure folly many times over. Only through web sites like Creation.com can a Christian find facts to prove their beliefs and that God our Creator is the one and only way to life everlasting.

John P., Australia, 28 January 2013

Great article, Phil, and a great witness from you and the others as well. May God strengthen Jojo in her faith and understanding of His Word. Does not surprise me about the BBC ... God bless

Malcolm P., Australia, 31 January 2013

Love your work Phil. Not surprising from the BBC, the ABC here in Australia is even worse... but good on you for your bravery. I'm really proud of you.

George D., Australia, 31 January 2013

This doesn't seem unusual to me. Evolution is touted so much and I believe that Satan uses people to destroy Christian Faith. SO many times people have said that Satan doesn't exist and is only used to scare kiddies, how wrong they are.

Debates started by Evolutionists will NEVER be a fair one. To me, GOD exists and Jesus The Christ died for me, Faith is my support.

Greg S., Australia, 1 February 2013

Thanks for this article Phil. Are there any CMI dvd's available with a more balanced scientific basis. Most Evolutionary arguements seem to major on imaginary thesis instead of factual evidence.

Philip Bell responds

We believe that all CMI's DVDs (browse the store!) are coming to this subject from a perspective that does justice to the scientific facts, while seeking to remain faithful to the Bible's clear teaching on origins; but if you're asking for one recommendation, I'd advise The Case for Creation, a 3-DVD set encompassing a huge number of subjects; 5 1/2 hours recorded live on Christian TV.

Ash B., Australia, 1 February 2013

I guess if evolution opens the door to a form of relative morality then there's nothing wrong with deceiving someone for your own ends? Dishonesty is ok if it achieves the desired result. Great way for society to function, not being able to trust anyone's sincerity .... but maybe that explains so much of the lack of honesty nowadays in politics, business and so on .... no God, no need to be honest.

Janey T., Singapore, 1 February 2013

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Timothy 2:15

Dear Phil, it is indeed important for us to continue studying that we may have answers for the skeptics, and to defend our faith. Our Lord bless you richly for your courage and the stand you took.

Jennifer T., Australia, 1 February 2013

Surely truth is again fallen in the street and equity cannot enter (Isa 59:14). I grieve over the false impressions given on current affairs shows about all kinds of issues. In the guise of finding truth, they often interview those with the most extreme views rather than those qualified to debate, & what issue can be truly debated in a short sound bite? When I try to witness, I often find I am cut off mid-sentence before I have the chance to present my argument adequately. People no longer have the patience or skills to listen to an extended argument, & I blame the sound bite.

Our TV's are preaching their religion to us nightly, but woe betide the Christian who seeks to witness. The media are today's priests, interpreting morality according to their own eyes. Many times their biased editing becomes clear to those with eyes to see, so I suspect that will be the case here as well.

Christ did not trust himself to men, because He knew what was in men. Sadly we must follow His example, & more so as the society rejects more and more of His tenets.

Thank you for your detailed article, it exposes for us all how the serpent works. A reason not to engage ourselves in contracts with the unsaved.

Kenneth H., Australia, 1 February 2013

Hi Phil,

Thanks for a very insightful article. It is clear and irrefutable evidence of the low and unethical methods that evolutionists will stoop to in defense of their belief system. And a warning of great potential for spiritual harm when Christians believe in theistic evolution.

A. F., Australia, 1 February 2013

Good job Phil. It seems that the devil tried baiting you into a situation where you would cause others to fall away from their faith but God had the foresight and knew that your steadfast hold on Him would place a stumbling block for the devil to trip over, Himself, Jesus the Rock.

Only He knows how many seeds you sowed during that trip. Maybe Abdul, with contemplation, might realize that the path to salvation is through the Christ? Who knows? Maybe even some of those Professors or the film crew?

I pray that God gives me the same characteristics of the Spirit that He has given you. I sure could use it.

Stay strong and good work.

J. H., Australia, 1 February 2013

This is just pay back for an Australian creationist made Richard Dawkins look stupid, when they asked him to give an example of an evolutionary process that can be seen to add information to the genome. Watch on Youtube "Richard Dawkins stumped"

Philip Bell responds

Yes, watch the video by all means, but see the full story here. Richard Dawkins has not been 'made' to look stupid; he has genuinely been stumped on several occasions by what should be very straight forward questions indeed for so knowledgable an evolutionist.

Ian M., United Kingdom, 1 February 2013

Hi Phil and all at CMI,

Having read your article I felt compelled to leave feedback and encourage you in your mission.

The whole experience sounds extremely frustrating for your group and I am thankful that you have voiced your involvement and shared the true picture of what occured during your trip.

I am all too aware of the (not so subtle) mentions of "millions of years" and "as a result of our evolution" etc. that are being slipped into BBC programmes as though this should be the consensus, and it therefore does not surprise me that this programme was created with an anti-Creation agenda.

However, as a UK TV licence payer I cannot help but feel swindled by the actions of the production company (and therefore, ultimately, the BBC) for the way they went about commissioning such a documentary and for treating you in such an appalling manner throughout.

So once again I extend my encouragement to you all to continue to spread the good news.

Michael L., Australia, 1 February 2013

Wow. I just recently watched this video on YouTube. To be honest I fell for the whole picture that was painted of Phil trying to forcefully manipulate the other road tripper's views on homosexuality, which I hold a biblical view on as he does. I did agree with the statements he made about the creation vs evolution debate but find myself quite shocked that I did not recognise many of the arguments I myself espouse because I had already been 'turned' against Phil by the documentary's shocking portrayal of him. It's an absolute disgrace that the director of this 'documentary' has twisted an opportunity for some real discussion into the usual sensationalist rubbish we are fed by our media.

It will be good to watch this mockery of the creation vs evolution debate again in light of the manipulation going on behind the scenes. Thanks for the insights Phil.

God Bless you for standing up and speaking the truth as it is written in the scriptures, just as Jesus would have done.

Mark G., United Kingdom, 1 February 2013

Phil

I watched the programme after being informed by Bronwyn that she was going on this trip, I thought this would be a great opportunity to put forward the creationist world view, however I have no illusions about the BBC and its anti Christian bias. Phil I was behind you all the way and even after all the editing I feel that the evolutionists came out badly. There are those who hold to a Theistic Evolutionist World view, Jesus believed in the Genesis account and as a Christian I believe Jesus, after all he was there!

Fred J., Netherlands, 1 February 2013

Hello Phil

Great job, you guys are my heroes (besides the One) and it is possible for a hardened atheist like myself to become a JEC after 36 years. God used people like you and your colleges to help me!! So thanks again, bless your courage and CMI!

Philip Bell responds

On behalf of Phil Robinson and all the CMI staff, thanks for the encouragement. Since 'jong' is Dutch for 'young' I'm guessing that, by JEC you meant YEC. However, we'd suggest that a better description of your position and ours is biblical creationist, see here.

Jane M., United Kingdom, 1 February 2013

Praise God for men of integrity like you, Phil. I pray many more men and women are being raised up like you to sow seeds of truth. I am sure you achieved that, although it may not feel like it. Jo-Jo needs prayer too because although she may be a living stone, as Christ calls us all, she has not found a building to be part of. Phil, you were a superb stone in the shoe of the non-believers you met. May your Godly stance and actions still be troubling them as they contemplate the truth in God's word that they found themselves unexpectedly faced with through your witness. His word is sharper than a 2-edged sword and will never return void. The trip will not have been in vain. God bless you, Bro.

J. W., United Kingdom, 1 February 2013

What on earth was Phil Robinson thinking of when he agreed to take part in a BBC program. Christians should no more think of co-operating with the BBC than they should co-operating with the devil.

The same should to some degree apply to watching BBC programs knowing that to a greater or lesser extent that they are inspired by Satan.

Matthew P., United States, 1 February 2013

Yay God! While there was so much evil present in the deliberate manipulation of truth, when God's word is sent forth it will produce fruit in people's lives. And God will work all things together for good! Also, thank you for being ready to give an answer for the reason why we have hope, it is encouraging!

Karen M., United States, 1 February 2013

Thanks for the article, well written and very informative. Really no surprise as to what happened here, after all, it is the world we are talking about. But praise God that you did this trip, as what they intended for evil, God will use for good - His good and believers' good. Just having that one young man come to true biblical faith (or at least strengthened in his belief) is enough; no telling who else may believe because of what you said and did. We should not fear engaging our enemy as we never know who is listening. God bless you.

Greg S., Australia, 2 February 2013

Wow Phil! Chris O. [comment, 25 January] sounded very unmoveable in what Chris believed. It's sad that some people have closed off their mind to logical thinking. I had a discussion recently with two normally educated people; what I mean is standard secular naturalistic education mixed with a bit of religion just to satisfy those Churchy people out there. Knowing they liked the movie Jurassic Park, I told them about the exciting discovery of T-Rex bones with red blood cells etc. After a brief discussion with no biased preaching from my side they asked an amazing question! 'Does that mean that the bible story about Noah's Ark is True?' That showed me how much the Evolution religion blinds people to the truth; once some hard cold facts were put before them they automatically questioned what they were taught at School. Keep up the good work Guys!

H. G., Australia, 2 February 2013

Not surprised by BBC. In my opinion, most of secular media would not like a balanced view of this topic, especially if the speakers on the creation side are strong and well informed. Why would they? After all, most people think all "science" is scientific. Putting a balanced view between creation/evolution will expose the weakness of the theory of evolution, and make viewers think "well, I did not know that there are so many weak assumptions made about this evolution theory" and "May be the bible history is more reliable than all of these assumptions". In a way, a balanced view will promote creation, and I do not think that they want that. They will only put forward a "balanced view" if the creation side's story is not so strong. (Phil, you should be proud that your side of the story was edited; wouldn't that mean your arguments are strong?).

Noellene C., Australia, 2 February 2013

I have just finished reading Phil Robinson's article and the comments that followed. I am horrified that such a deceitful documentary could be allowed on televsion. I haven't seen the program (but will endeavour to) but from all I have read today it sounds like Phil was very strong in deciding to expose the deceit.

What gets me is why "evolutionists" are so 'hell bent' on proving creation is wrong. It's like they have a great fear that it might be true so, "Let's get rid of it no matter how we go about it." Satan's influence is obvious although they can't really believe in him either.

Phil I admire your courage and strength in perservering under difficult situations....never give up.

Thankyou to CMI for presenting this article and comments. Once again you have given a calm and rational report and those who haven't visited you on creation.com should do so rather than to keep arguing without substance. Bless you all in your work. Noellene C

Randy F., United States, 2 February 2013

I will admit that I have not taken time as I write this to have read the whole article. I stopped at the end of the “into the frying pan” section because I was compelled to respond.

I have dealt with Godless atheists who have hardened their hearts to the point of wilful self deception because they don’t want to even acknowledge God. As Romans 1:28 states, that God turns them over to a reprobate / depraved mind because they do not want to retain God in their knowledge. Obviously all creation and the miracle of life clearly show forth that there is a Creator. As Romans 1:19-20 states, that

God has shown it to them by what He created. Therefore all men are without excuse not to acknowledge His existence. As I have dealt with these wilful atheists (note I said wilful atheists) I’ve come to a conclusion. As I told one of them some time ago that, “All creation and the miracle of life clearly shows forth that there is a Creator and if you are not willing to accept that then there is nothing that I can say or do that will make any difference.” To this he had no response.

I am not surprised at how they have treated Mr. Robinson and the other believers. It is par for the course. As Romans 1:29-31 states, “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.”

Personally I believe what we are witnessing here is a sign of the end of the present age.

In 2nd Thessalonians Chapter 2, the first three verses talk about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him. It goes on to say that it will not come unless the apostasy/falling away comes first, facilitating the rise of the man of sin, the son of perdition. I cannot help but believe what is happening now with the “atheists movement” is a major part of that scenario.

Even so come quickly Lord Jesus.

Stephen D., Sweden, 2 February 2013

Hi Phil,

I just want to say that I think it's incredible and an absolute miracle that you survived and did successful soul-winning for a whole 6 days. Many interviews of less than an hour have been distorted far worse. Surely the Holy Spirit gave you the words to speak for the right time, and maybe some of the biblical creationist position is able to get out in the mass media finally, despite the distortion. Only those already brainwashed and those that don't think wouldn't pick up on the distortion. God bless you, and try to be wiser and avoid these snakes in the future!

A. G., Australia, 3 February 2013

I've always thought I was well informed (through CMI) about creation / scientific issues but this situation is untenable for anyone without a comprehensive photographic memory. I'm very impressed by Phil's performance based on the various evidences he was able to pull together.

Yet another reason to support a decision for CMI's NEXT FILM to be at the extreme end of HARD HITTING rather than diplomatic.

Philip Bell responds

Your support is much appreciated. However, even a little knowledge of the issues and, especially, of where to find answers can go a long way; very very few of us have photographic memories! Creation.com is a great one-stop source of information on all aspects of this issue.

Re: 'CMI's next film', those readers who are unaware of what this refers to should click here.

H. G., Australia, 6 February 2013

I just had a spare time to watch the film (about 80%). It seems to me that this film was designed to "evolutionise" the participants (and perhaps the viewers afterwards?). It is definitely not discussing creation/evolution issue. One interesting thing though, did Prof. Don Prothero say "water recedes in straight line post flood"? I think this is totally unscientific (did he say it was simple physics? and got it wrong?). I did study some science years before, and If my memory is correct, I do not think water travels in straight line, especially on open space (which is the case with flood). The short experiment showed that water spread over some area after being poured out of bucket (The Prof. still insisted it was straight though; he should have continued pouring a lot of water and see what would happen). In my opinion, the horseshoe bend was probably formed because some area was "softer" and being eroded quicker than other parts when the flood water receded. Is there anyone in CMI who is expert on this and can offer better explanation? or is there an article on this?

Philip Bell responds

The article to read on 'incised meanders' (such as horseshoe bend) is here.

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