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‘Teaching creation is child abuse’?


A response to rabid atheist claims

Published: 9 February 2017 (GMT+10)
Originally published in a CMI newsletter, April 2014

The creation/evolution debate is polarizing for many Christians and pastors due in part to the rhetoric that wrongly characterizes the biblical view. Let’s face it; the secular media need to sell their product, and controversy sells! So, when evolutionist spokesmen supply juicy sound bites, it makes for great headlines, and unfortunately ‘mud sticks’. But people seem to miss the point that these scientists are not commenting about science facts, which is where their focus should be. For example:

  • The UK’s Independent featured an article titled: “Teaching creationism: Indoctrination is a form of child abuse.”1
  • Famous physicist and atheist propagandist, Lawrence Krauss gained wide exposure in a radio interview in Australia when he said, “Well, I’ve recently, in the United States, just stated that teaching creationism is child abuse and I think it is.”2 (See our three-part response).
  • Evolution’s high priest, Richard Dawkins, in his book The God Delusion, titled a whole chapter “Childhood abuse and the escape from religion.”
  • In the US, the well-known TV ‘science guy’ Bill Nye felt it necessary to release a video about the ‘dangers’ of creationism. He stated, “Creationism is not appropriate for children … We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future … we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems.”3 See here for our video response.
  • And in New Zealand a website that helps defend children from real, physical child abuse states: “Yeah I know it’s not quite in the same league as bashing a baby to death but it’s still child abuse.” 4

The ‘abuse’ theme has gained global traction and churches are often playing into the atheists’ hands by distancing themselves from the origins debate. Thus, churchgoers are not taught how to critically think about the issue—so we are in effect allowing the atheists to win!

Let’s call it as it really is!

To all who would engage in such ‘fact free’ tirades we would say this;

“For a group of allegedly ‘informed’ people who are just supposed to deal with the facts, you must know you are being intellectually dishonest. You could not give a single example of how any child has been abusively harmed from learning about creation.”

Krauss stated that withholding knowledge from children is “child abuse”. He was, of course, referring to evolution. In fact, CMI is very much opposed to censoring children from learning about evolution; the more people understand about it (provided they also get to know of its huge scientific problems) the less likely they will be to believe it. Rather it is the anti-theists that prefer people never get to hear about the powerful evidences for creation! To liken teaching creation to actual child abuse is frankly disgraceful, and those claiming this should be ashamed of themselves. And all Christians should say so, and use these claims to highlight that it is really an atheistic, religious agenda that drives such comments.


Claiming that creationists cannot do real science would be news to CMI’s Ph.D. scientists, by the way, who all got their doctorates in the same secular universities that many of these God-haters attended. And CMI staffers have made real contributions, like helping design satellites that steer television programs into our living rooms, or helping produce tropical fruit species that garnish our supermarket shelves. Also ignored is the fact that most of the great founding fathers of science who led the way for our modern advances were creationists who saw absolute consistency between their scientific observations and the idea of a biblical Creator.

Is teaching evolution harmful to children?

To completely censor one side of the debate—when there are thousands of qualified ‘real’ scientists who believe in creation, highlights that it is a philosophy—masquerading as science—that is at work. To indoctrinate children to believe only one side is the antithesis of the intellectual high ground being claimed because it is actually anti-intellectual.

Moreover historical facts demonstrate that this godless philosophy shaped the thinking of the greatest genocidal regimes in human history, such as Stalin, Hitler and Mao et al., who were only acting consistently with their worldview convictions. Some 100 million people have perished in the last century alone due to the advent of this apparently enlightened scientific philosophy. Plus the killing of many little, defenceless human beings in the womb (more than in all the wars in human history), is really the ultimate demonstration of real child abuse—not just rhetorical ad hominem—particularly when all modern observational science tells us they are fully human from conception, and not evolutionary transitions. Or consider the rationale behind many of the awful public school shootings in recent times.

A challenge

To these high priests of evolution, we say, “We are ready, so why do you keep avoiding CMI? Keep the ad hominem out of it; our science against yours. If your case is so strong, engage us in open and frank debate.”

To Christians—we are here to help

This is not the time to shirk away (The Lord said “Will I find faith?”). It is time to draw a line in the sand because the attacks won’t stop at the creation issue. Before long I suspect your right to take your children to church may be targeted. It is exactly because of the success of creationists bringing this debate to the fore that this issue is heating up. Now that creation is on the table we need to see it through and be more proactive than ever. Ministries like CMI are here to help this happen. Your support is more vital than ever at this critical time in history.

References and notes

  1. Teaching creationism: Indoctrination is a form of child abuse, blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/07/20/teaching-creationism-indoctrination-is-a-form-of-child-abuse, 3 January, 2013. Return to text.
  2. From a transcript of the Australian public broadcaster ABC program Q&A, “A Show about Nothing”—broadcast Monday 18th February 2013, hosted by Tony Jones, www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/txt/s3687812.htm. Panel members were Lawrence Krauss, John Dickson, Tanya Plibersek, Greg Hunt and Cindy Pan. Return to text.
  3. Bill Nye the Science Guy: Creationism ‘holds everybody back’, blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2012/08/bill-nye-the-science-guy-creationism-holds-everybody-back.html, 3 January, 2014. Return to text.
  4. Teaching Creationism is Child Abuse, childabuseinnz.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/teaching-creationism-is-child-abuse, 3 January 2014. Return to text.

Readers’ comments

Gennaro C.
From 2Pt. 5:8 "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking from someone to devour" and Rev.12:12 "...but woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil ha gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short." Given this scenario is it of any wonder that Satan is using any kind of expedients, devices and tricks to destroy our faith in God? The preposterous accusation of child-abusing by the side of honest Christian institution as well as the very parents of the children, is like to make the world to believe that Jesus died because of pneumonia. God does have his tools to fight the situation: our prayers, our personal testimonies and last but (absolutely) not least enterprises like CMI, A.S.I.O. and the likes. The battle is of the Lord! Keep going Gary Bates and all of You, keep going!
Ronald V.
Oxford Chemistry Professor Peter Atkins once said: "Science has no need of purpose …. all the extraordinary, wonderful richness of the world can be expressed as growth from the dunghill of purposeless interconnected corruption." What he is indirectly saying is that children is a growth from the dunghill of corruption. There lives are meaningless. Whereas we who believe the Bible says they are created in God's image, there lives has meaning. Even the fall shows us that our lives are important, because look at the consequences of human kinds decisions. When I read comments like Prof Peter Atkins words then I wonder who is really the verbal abusers.
Alan W.
Dear Gary, In response to your article, "a response to rabid 'atheist,'" May I be blunt? If I declare there is NO SUCH THING as "atheism," Would you allow me to present my evidence, my Biblical evidence? Did "atheism" exist in the Garden of Eden? Even when Adam and Eve turned from their Creator to follow satan, there was still no "atheism." We can agree "atheism" is a lie, and if truly a lie, how difficult to conclude it a lie invented by "the father of lies" to hide the fact rejection of Christ worship automatically defaults to satan worship, as happened in the Garden. "And they worshipped the dragon...And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Revelation 13:4&8. Do you see "atheism" here? I see ONLY Christ worship and satan worship. Christ Commanded His human creation, "Render unto Caesar," representing "the god of this world," or "Render unto God." Does Jesus allow for "atheism" in these two choices? There is no "atheism" in eternity. Within a few moments of the "atheist's" demise he will no longer be an "atheist." It is my opinion, satan, realizing most people would not wish to worship him, and still reject Christ worship, invented "atheism" to hide the terrible truth, Christ rejection is satan worship. satan "lovingly" provided a number of other comfortable delusions, "agnosticism," "deism," "religion" and "evolution," all leading to the same eternal destination. By the way, I call this precept, TWO CHOICES, "The Best Kept Secret in Christendom." By repeating the lie of "atheism" do we not make ourselves co-conspirators with satan? If my theology is unBiblical. I will be forever in your debt if you can point out my error.
Gary Bates
Alan, your response was a little off topic and did not really address the topic of the article which was the red herrings thrown out to thwart creation discussion. On creation related topics you can submit an article for publication through the normal channels and our team will assess it's suitability for publication. See Our writing guidelines.
Joel. M.
Hey Gary people are saying that the real issue is evolution v creation but the real agenda is actually just to attack the Bible and that's why they're now saying that its child abuse to teach creation. This is something that we need to be very careful of because we are indeed at war. I recently heard a psychiatrist comment regarding Christian upbringing being a major precursor for psychological issues and what they meant was exactly that, child abuse. Homeschooling, Christian education and how we raise our children are all under the spotlight. Rather than being ready to debate (I Don't believe that they are interested in debating as they are not out to prove themselves right but rather do anything to discredit the Word of God and christians on any level and in anyway. 2 Tim 2:24) we should be in much prayer for the continued allowance of RE in schools, freedom to teach the gospel and against the hypocrisy in our own lives, which is harmful to our children.

{ Hey Gary, the following is a link is to an article titled [DELETED] the second heading is "BIBLE-BELIEVING CHRISTIANITY HURTFUL" which I thought you might find interesting and worth a read [link deleted per feedback rules] }
Cheri F.
Thank you for this article. Of all the attacks I encounter in the arena of creation, this one is the most common. I'll be linking to your article for my parents to read! BTW Another thing that breaks my heart about this particular attack is the way it minimizes the pain of those who have been truly abused. If what they think Christian parents are doing is equal to what too many endure, why should those actually being abused need anything except for a few classes in reeducation to adjust to life?
Gary Bates
Agreed, the claims of abuse are to detract from the scientific arguments. But as a couple of private emails we've received have pointed out, the scurrilous claims minimize the gravity of the harm to those who really have been abused. Stay tuned we have an article coming up soon on this.
Jim A.
Science is supposed to be about empirically-driven facts. I was taught the 'Scientific Method' at age 12 in my science class, and I still remember it well and the reason science arrived at it; to dispel taboos and old wives tales with real, hard evidence. Yet when I ask any who believe in evolution what hard evidence persuaded them, there was a long pause, after which a name of a book or scientist was given as their only evidence! We too, as Christians have a book and a name that we quote for evidence of our belief! Odd, isn't it, how the Scientific Method is not a part of the teaching of evolution, yet it is still called science.
david B.
Calling it child abuse is a bit over the top, however, the fundamental interpretation of God's PERFECT Word that often seems at odds with Science can and does cause unnecessary confusion not only for children but for adults as well that can and sadly does result in many to question their faith. God is PERFECT therefore His Laws and His Word is PERFECT and therefore it is ALWAYS compatible with real Science. God's Word is not the cause of confusion, it is the interpretation of it that causes the division within God's people and sadly drives non-believers away. I submit there are two premises in Creationism... Supernatural Intelligent Design and Intelligent Design via God's PERFECT Laws. I submit that the supernatural explanation is based on man's misunderstanding of God's PERFECT nature because supernatural implies the suspension of or violation of that which is already PERFECT therefore I submit that the second explanation is what the Bible actually reveals. When the Bible is interpreted through God's "gift" of Science ALL apparent contradictions between the two DISAPEAR and illusion and pseudoscience is vanquished! Science has told us man evolved from Simians. Science is WRONG! If the Bible is interpreted scientifically the atheists in the Science community would realize Intelligent Design via God's PERFECT Laws....ie; Recombinant DNA hybridization....not only proves the EXISTENCE of God...it proves His Word is ABSOLUTE Truth! Real Creationism via Scientific Intelligent Design is not "child abuse"... (or even adult abuse!)...it liberates ALL humanity from the illusions of satan!
Bob S.
Do you allow civil comments that disagree? I'm guessing not since the comments here are universally approving.
Gary Bates
Hi Bob, why would you think that we don't publish comments because they disagree based upon one article? (Based upon your comment "since they are universally approving). You actually know better because you've had numerous disagreeable comments published in the past. So, perhaps you are displaying the same ad hominen straw man argumentation or tactic as shown with the scandalous child abuse comment in the original article, which is not based upon reality, and moreover, actually deflects from the real issue which is the differing scientific views. On this article for example, on this article, only three have not been published because one is a serial commenter who exceeded his quota for the year, is banned by our system but tried to bypass it by using another email address; the second broke our published feedback rules by linking to an outside site to promote his own work and site (a very common breach); and the third was a vexatious critic whom we have simply declined to engage anymore due as it takes up to much of our time. We actually do try to be fair but many commenters don't play by the same rules.
Barry D.
Creationism is false. It is doing a great disservice to children to teach them falsehoods and pretend that they are true. Here is my proof of common descent, that falsifies creationism. Any questions, comment on the articles or email me at [links deleted per feedback rules]
Gary Bates
We published this so you could not accuse us of censorship but also to demonstrate you breached the feedback rules by sending in a comment that included links to outside sites. These rules needed to be read and agreed to before sending in a comment!
Mike M.
These people who accuse creationists of child abuse are right about one thing: the power of education. Why is it that the majority of people in our churches believe in evolution? It is because of the effectiveness of the state indoctrination system, called schools.
Christian R.
Excellent article Gary. Your comments, and those from many commentators after the article, brought a few more arguments against some evolutionists, or agnostics. Unbelievers often do child abuse: hitlerian youths being a prime example, but the same was happening in many Eastern Block countries. Still now in Africa with children soldiers, also in Colombia, the Middle East, ... Child labour or slavery is found in many parts of the world, peeling seafood, making clothes, shoes, toys, working hard in fields and orchards. Unfortunately, there were also some so-called believers in so-called churches that abused children, and ruined their lives. Many of those who call Christians who teach Creation "child abusers" teach false stories about Santa Claus and Easter Bunny, lies that make the children wonder how many more lies their parents told them, and that parents cannot be trusted. Not allowing to teach Creation is child abuse, because the unbelievers are not allowing their students and children to compare origins of life "theories", while claiming they are open-minded. Hiding some information or facts is a form of abuse, because some don't want others to know the whole truth; they have something to hide, an other agenda.
Patrick P.
God has [ it seems to me ] given them a delusional spirit , they cannot help but keep coming out with back to front statements , typical atheism .
Graeme M.
I wonder whether these guys actually listen to themselves, to make a 'shooting from the hip' statement! I guess the Phd. gets in the way!
God said he would give them over to a reprobate mind who refused acknowledge the Truth! (Rom:1.28.)
Regards, Graeme.
Andrew D.
I was emotionally abused my whole life from my mother. Her treatment of me made me believe that I was completely worthless except to be the emotional punching bag for others, and I felt like a robot: my feelings don't matter, I have no opinions of my own, I do what I'm told, I have no right to think for myself. The feeling of a meaningless life had such a grip on me, that when my mother fed me to a pedophile at the age of 12, I never complained or tried to do something about it, to the point that it took me eight whole years before I realised that what he was doing to me every day for all those years was sexual abuse, and that I never deserved it. At the emotionally lowest day of my life, I couldn't hold back the pain, and I cried. I could have cried for days, but not even five seconds after I started crying, somehow, in the blink of an eye, the pain just vanished, and I had absolute peace. I knew that was God touching my heart to give me strength, and to show me that He loved me all along, and was waiting for the day that I would call out to Him and ask Him to get me out of the abuse. I never doubted His existence after that day. As years went by, being a gun enthusiast, I became very well acquainted with controversy, and slowly learned how to deal with it. This is how I learned to think for myself, which eventually led me to confront my abuser about what he was doing to me, and I stood up for myself for the first time in my life, at the age of 22. When I was 24, I prayed to God, and asked Him to get me to safety. Two weeks after, I managed to buy a car, and my best friend arranged for me to stay with his mum, who I was safe with.

After learning about creation, as well as much more of God's truth, my faith just sky-rocketed.... (to be continued)
Andrew D.
(continue from previous comment)... Now I know that God loves me, that I'm special to Him, that I am made in His image, and what that really means, and no matter how broken my heart was, I can still love without fear.

Now, to hear that athiests believe that teaching creation is child abuse is spitting in the face of real abuse victims like myself. Their world view can perfectly justify the kind of misery I grew up under, and is what they teach in schools - that life is meaningless. If they had a shred of integrity or concern for people that had a controlled and abusive upbringing like me, they'd give people the freedom to know all the options and let them decide for themselves. Their 'life is meaningless' motto gives abusers the perfect way to justify doing anything they want to anyone, because if survival of the fittest is a productive process, then the guy who abused me didn't do anything wrong, and I'm just a bag of meat.

Please share my story. The evolution propaganda has to stop.
Earl N.
By implication of the title are we to presuppose that lying to children about the world is not child abuse? Now if evolution is on solid footing, what is the purpose of lying about child abuse? This nonsense detracts from true cases of abuse, which is deplorable. Another implication of the article is that telling your children the truth is child abuse. This development is not good since leftists have sought legal remedies against those who oppose their views. Creation is not taught in schools for a very good reason it is much more plausible as an explanation of reality than evolution. A side by side comparison is the last thing in the world evolutionary proponents want!
David James R.
If teaching creationism is child abuse, what are we to call the teaching of non-scientific conjectures stacked on top of conjectures, which is not science at all? Evolutionists have hundreds of thousands of so called "science papers", which, in the end, each new paper writer has only this exclusive source of non science to reference for his/her own paper. Again, this is merely stacking conjectures, which does NOT establish KNOWLEDGE, the main word in the definition of "science". When can the world see even ONE evolutionary transitional progression of even ONE species, going back, oh, say, a measly one million years, and show this ONE example of evolution of species to the world, based upon the strict parameters of scientific protocol? Then, we could at least begin to discuss evolution as a possible valid "theory", which classification I do not believe it ever actually attained, since, after 160+ years, it remains a mere Pinocchio pseudoscience.
Alan W.
WHEN WILL WE LEARN? Creation/"evolution" debate? A debate presumes both sides are honestly seeking Truth, without prequalifications (beyond common sense and common curtesy). Prefessor Lewontin, "evolutionist," with the phrase describing "evolutionist's" precondition, "...we cannot allow a Divine foot in the door," shows the "debate" is OVER! If there truly ever was one.
Matthew T.
I was a charter member of The Planetary Society, started in part by the renowned Carl Sagan. The space and planetary exploration advocacy organization is now lead by non other than Bill Nye, "The Science Guy". Mr. Nye's repeated unfair and unqualified attacks on what Creation Ministries International rightfully stands for, that being the education of children and adults of provable and factual orgins of our planet and universe, just as described in the Holy Christian Bible - are one of the reasons I no longer financially support The Planetary Society. Instead, those funds go now to Creation Ministries International.
Christopher S.
CMI has done a splendid job. Gary Bates, thanks a million for candidly approaching those you disagree with in a Christian manner. More Christians need to see that the "creation v. evolution" debate is not between "science and religion." As for child abuse, I have met several of the CMI staff and they were incredibly kind people. To label them as "abusive" is not only a stretch of the imagination, it is intellectually dishonest. Keep up the great work and may God bless your biblical efforts.
Christian R.
I have to laugh at Bill Nye's comment that we need children to believe in evolution so we can have "scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future … we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems." If evolution is so important to keep us moving forward, why were there so many other earlier civilizations who accomplished great things without belief in evolution? Bill Nye needs to stick to observational science rather than propoganda.
Bill P.
Very good article. I have no PHD or Masters but I always loved science, it just seem to come easy to me years ago while in school. It has been my prayer in recent years that The Lord God will soon bring an end to the power these people have teaching children (my grandchildren) this lie of evolution. This is the real child abuse. For the time being I do what I can to tell them the truth about creation and the flood when we take trips to science exhibits...Please return soon Lord and put an end to those who are really abusing the children. Sorry for being so blunt about how I feel towards those who claim to be wise.. Keep up the good work C M I.
Jordan C.
Great article. I would like to ask these evolutionists quoted above, "Since a materialist such as yourself believes that humans are simply evolved pond scum, what absolute moral standard are they basing their argument upon, in such that organized pond scum, to which they claim humans are derived, should said scum adhere to?" "Why isn't it organized pond scum abuse instead of child abuse" "Why does organized pond scum care what happens to another subject of organized pond scum?" "If pond scum rearranged is what we are, how does one accident of being, prescribe moral values/obligations/duties in how it effects another accident of being derived from pond scum?" "What moral foundation supports your claim that abusing a being of accidently arranged set of molecules are indeed wrong and why should we believe the subjective inference of one accident's moral position over another and why does that matter...matter?" If we are just organized pond scum, according to these people, morals such as abuse, is absurd, but if absolute morality is true, then their argument is absurd. They want their cake, and they want to eat it too.
Brian M.
This is a great article. I really enjoyed the video response to Bill Nye. Like many people who read this sight I have multiple degrees in Engineering and Math from State Universities. I work as a professional and I am a Creationist. I am astounded at the strong faith that evolutionists have. To believe that everything came from nothing explainable with large amounts of time takes faith. The more I have read and studied the more comical the whole idea of The Big Bang and Evolution are to me. By not allowing our children to think for themselves and blindly follow the religion of Evolution we would be doing them a huge disservice. There is very little in today's scientific, medical, or professional fields that is affected by believing in Creation and a global flood as opposed to the Big Bang and Evolution. Does it really matter if a medical doctor believes that the earth was created? Does my working Calculus change because of my faith? I think not.
Gary Bates
Thanks for the encouragement Brian. I will also let our Canadian team know you appreciated their video response. Just one think to muse on. Does it make a difference if you are a medical doctor and believe in Creation? Actually, that's one area I believe it does. Would a 'creationist' doctor prescribe an abortion? I think not. Dealing with people is a lot different than dealing with maths/numbers or rocks! All the best.
Korigan P.
This is so true! I believe that all biblical creationists should take a stand in their own communities and find what they can do to help educate more people of what the issue truly is. I do not forsee this issue going away, but getting worse. The secular world wants to continue to remove God from society. He has been removed from the schools, the "public" places, and unfortunately, the home and your children are next. There is a real war going on and Christians cannot just sit idle! The future of our children, and their children, is at stake. When the church first began, after Christ ascended, the atrocities faced by those Christians should remind us that the Truth needs people to proclaim it at any cost! Christ said "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." (John 15:18 NKJV) This backlash at the Truth is not new. But it is those who stand for the Truth that the Holy Spirit uses to change the world. And that same world is the one that Christ came to redeem.

Thank you, CMI, for "making disciples," for encouraging and edifying each of us. You are an inspiration to my family and myself, and I am truly grateful for your ministry.
M. K.
Teaching children that Haeckel's embryos, peppered moths and ''vestigial organs'' prove goo to you evolution is child abuse.
Glenda P.
I couldn't agree more with your statement “For a group of allegedly ‘informed’ people who are just supposed to deal with the facts, you must know you are being intellectually dishonest. You could not give a single example of how any child has been abusively harmed from learning about creation.”
Shamus M.
Well said Gary , and straight to the point as always.

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