Answers in Genesis repeats the blue-green algae lie

John Stear

Young Earth creationists (YECs) are often accused of lying in order to support their young Earth claims.  A lie can be defined as:

1.    A false statement or piece of information deliberately presented as being true; a falsehood.

2.    Anything meant to deceive or give a wrong impression.

On 14 November 2003 Answers in Genesis (AiG), in their Answers Update Weekly News, claimed that a prominent scientist, Dr William Schopf, a Professor of Paleobiology at the University of California, made a statement indicating that because 3.5 million year old blue-green algae found along the coasts of Australia and South Africa was identical to blue-green-algae found today, it posed a problem for evolution.

Early in 2004, I and two colleagues wrote a rebuttal to that "Weekly News", pointing out that AiG's allegation against Dr  Schopf were false. In addition, I contacted Dr Schopf who confirmed that the opinion attributed to him by AiG was indeed false. 

On 4 December 2004 I received another issue of AiG's Weekly News with the same title, worded exactly the same and making the same claim about Dr Schopf.

In an effort to have AiG admit they repeated the same lie about Dr Schopf I sent the message below to AiG's "Feedback" page.

Dear AiG

In your "Answers Update" of 14 November 2003 you raised the question of blue-green algae fossils, claiming that because these fossils haven't changed in 3.5 million years they posed a problem for evolution.

You also claimed that a quote by Dr William Schopf, a Professor of Paleobiology at the University of California, confirmed your claim.  I contacted Dr Schopf and discovered that that quote has been shown, by Scopf himself, to be a fabrication.  I subsequently wrote an article revealing your duplicity and posted it on my web site No Answers in Genesis.  This article may be read at aig and algae.htm.

On 4 December 2004 I received, by email, a repeat of your 2003 article. It now seems clear that you have no compunction about lying to further your cause and worse, if that's possible, you are prepared to repeat your lies.

Dr Carl Wieland, CEO of Answers in Genesis in Australia, replied to my message, saying, in part -

I know we are fallible, being human. But I think you know better than to think that we would deliberately lie ... We do not engage in "fabrications", but if there is something in our publications that is in (inadvertent) error, a correction will be forthcoming in due course. 

It's clear that AiG deliberately misquoted Dr Schopf so Wieland's claim that they don't deliberately lie is nonsense.  Clearly, they intended to "deceive or give a wrong impression" regarding what Dr Schopf said.  They lied, and an acknowledgement and correction should be forthcoming posthaste.