Is intellectual dishonesty a sin?

John Stear
18 October 2005

Answers in Genesis' latest "Prayer News" (October-December 2005) takes umbrage with Frederick Turner, Professor of Arts and Humanities at the University of Dallas Texas when he claims they (creationists) are sinners.  Professor Turner had this to say in his article Darwin and Design: The Evolution of a Flawed Debate:

On the polemical creationist side, the sin is intellectual dishonesty. It begins innocently as a wise recognition that faith must precede reason, even if the faith is only in reason itself (as Gödel showed, reason cannot prove its own validity). But under pressure from a contemptuous academic elite the appeal to faith rapidly becomes anti-intellectualism and what Socrates identified as a great sin, "misologic" or treason against the Logos, against reason itself -- in religious terms, a sin against the Holy Spirit. Under further pressure it resorts to rhetorical dishonesty and hypocrisy, to an attempt to appropriate the garments of science and reason, and so we get "creation science", the misuse of the term "intelligent design", the whole grotesque solemn sham of pseudoscientific periodicals and conferences on creation science, and a lame parade of scientific titles and degrees. A lie repeated often enough convinces the liar, and many creationists may now have forgotten that they are lying at all.

The Professor is not claiming that creationists are prone to committing all the common or garden sins they ascribe to "atheistic evolutionists" and many mainstream Christians.  He merely highlights what has been common knowledge in scientific circles for many years - that creationists are intellectually dishonest and happen to lie a lot!  The good Professor rightly sinks the boot into creationists, referring to their "pseudoscientific periodicals and conferences on creation science, and a lame parade of scientific titles and degrees".

Answers in Genesis and other influential (in creationist circles) organisations cannot claim the moral high ground while ever they operate dishonestly.  The sad fact is that they can no more change their dishonest modus operandi than fly to the moon.  As William J. Bennetta, editor of The Textbook Letter once stated, "In all of these efforts, [to promote creationism in schools] the creationists make abundant use of a simple tactic: They lie. They lie continually, they lie prodigiously, and they lie because they must".