The Main Points about the ‘Noah’s Ark Trial’ and Ian Plimer
Allen Roberts, a former teacher and pastoral elder of a church, is the founder of Ark Search. Ark Search was, to our knowledge, formed purely to promote the excavation of a site which they believed was likely to hold the remains of the Ark. It is/was composed of Christians who believe the biblical account of the Flood, as we do. However, to the best of our knowledge, neither Roberts nor Ark Search have ever held themselves out to be ‘creation scientists’ or part of the creation science movement, nor would we or any other creation science organisation have labelled them such.
David Fasold is a former marine salvage specialist who was infatuated with the Ark site for about nine years. Although the media claim he is a ‘former creationist’, he has never been affiliated with mainstream creationist organisations to our knowledge. He has since declared his opposition to Christianity. In his enthusiastic Ark-hunting days, he resorted to a technique akin to water divining, which mainstream creationists would obviously not endorse.
It is harder to write a brief biography of Plimer. There appear to be two Ian Plimers hitting the news. Both are geology professors at Melbourne university, and both vitriolic anti-creationists, but they have diametrically opposed religious beliefs.
Ian Plimer Number 1 claims to be a ‘practising Christian’ , who has claimed that the Bible is ‘the Truth’ . He expresses concern that creationism leads to atheism . He even goes so far as saying: ‘My principal objection to creation science is that the fraud underpinning creationism is in the name of God and is very damaging for Christianity’ . At the court case, he swore on the Bible rather than making an affirmation .
Ian Plimer Number 2 is a member of the Humanist Society of Victoria. Its membership application (1994) says ‘I subscribe to the objects and rules of the Humanist Society of Victoria in order to create a society in which a person may reach their full potential free from supernatural beliefs’ (emphasis in original).
Plimer Number 2 is effectively King Atheist of Australia, since he was proclaimed Humanist of the Year in 1995. So if Plimer Number 1 is right that creationism is damaging to Christianity, then Plimer Number 2 should be supporting creationism instead of opposing it.
Will the Real Ian Plimer Please Stand Up!?
Plimer’s main claim to fame is his anti-creationist book Telling Lies for God (Random House, Australia, 1994). His fellow anti-creationist Jeffrey Shallit described this as ‘a shoddily-written polemic that, in places, verges on the hysterical’ and documents examples of poor grammar, straw-man arguments, and the worst academic sin, plagiarism . Another sceptic, Jim Lippard, has described some passages in the book as being ‘nothing less than a dishonest hatchet job’, and uses Plimer as an example of ‘How not to argue with creationists’ . The nuclear scientist Ian Hore-Lacy, an anti-creationist himself, says that Plimer ‘displays a surprising ignorance of nuclear physics’ .
In Telling Lies …, Plimer made a number of crass blunders in science, mathematics, logic, biblical exegesis, and other plain errors in fact - see Plimer’s Bloopers for a few of them. Plimer also made many serious allegations against our ministry. See Our Response. Note that the charges were investigated by a committee chaired by well-known anti-corruption campaigner and former Chief Magistrate of New South Wales, Clarrie Briese, who was then a part-time commissioner with the NSW Crime Commission. The investigation concluded: “The grave allegations and/or innuendo against the ethics of CSF and its directors are not supported by the evidence…. CSF and its directors have been often and seriously misrepresented [in Telling Lies …].”
- Letter to Cyril Robinson, February 10, 1989, on University of Newcastle Department of Geology letterhead, signed by Plimer’s secretary on his behalf.
- Ian Plimer, Telling Lies for God, Random House, Australia, 1994, p. 289. Actually, Plimer is logically contradictory here. He wrote, ‘In my view, the Bible is not true. However, it is the Truth.’
- Debate with Duane T. Gish, Sydney 1988.
- Gold Coast Bulletin, January 18, 1995, p. 8.
- Sydney Morning Herald, April 10, 1997.
- See http://www.cs.uwaterloo.ca/~shallit/plimer.html
- See http://www.discord.org/~lippard/plimer-book.html
- Anglican News, May 1995, p. 9.