home1.gif (8619 bytes)

The Wild, Wild World of Creationism

Frank R. Zindler


The cast of characters I have just discussed is only a handful of the creationist leaders who have won the war for the public schools and for the hearts and minds of our fellow Americans. An exaggeration, you say? Consider these statistics collected by my friend Michael Zimmerman, now associate dean of Oberlin College.

A majority (52.7 percent) of school board presidents in Ohio believe that "creation science" should be favorably taught in public schools. That was school board presidents. Only 49.7 percent of them accept the theory of evolution as being corrected.

Almost half (48.4 percent) of the members of the Ohio legislature feel that creationism should be taught -- of course, "impartially" -- in public schools, and almost a third (30.2 percent) of the members of the U.S. Congress think so. About two-thirds of Ohio legislators believe that Adam and Eve were real, and more than one-fourth of the members of Congress think so too. 

What of high school biology teachers? Twenty-five percent of those in Ohio (public and private combined) think creationism should be presented favorably in biology classes. Fifteen percent of high school biology classes in Ohio actually do this. At least eighteen public school teachers present creationism in a favorable light, and I have just received a complaint from an OSU student that his instructor in physical anthropology has declared that creationism is just as valid as evolutionary science in explaining the origin of humans.

Since the public schools have been lost as a source of information about evolution, what about the press -- the freedom of which we Atheists defend so vigorously? Dr. Zimmerman has surveyed the top news executive at each of the 1,563 daily newspapers in the United States. Only 51 percent of the editors disagreed strongly with the statement "dinosaurs and humans lived contemporaneously." Only 57 percent disagreed strongly with the statement "Every word in the Bible is true." Although 16 percent of the editors think that "creation science" has a valid scientific foundation, approximately one-fourth of them indicate that they personally accept the premises of "creation science."

And don't forget: 30 percent of American high school seniors don't know that the Sun appears to rise in the east and set in the west in the U.S.A. The number that knows what things look like in Europe, of course, is presumably less: not many know where Europe is, let alone how the Sun appears to move at that location!

Truly, a new age is dawning. A very old new age is dawning. We are completing the twentieth century and are about to embark upon the eighth. 


  1. Henry M. Morris, The Remarkable Birth of Planet Earth (San Diego, CA: Creation Life Publishers, 1972 and 1978), pp. 61-62.

  2. Morris, Remarkable Birth, p. 63. 

  3. Morris, Remarkable Birth, p. 66. 

  4. Morris, Remarkable Birth, p. 67. 

  5. Morris, Remarkable Birth, p. 67. 

  6. Aryeh Carmell and Cyril Domb, eds. Challenge: Torah Views On Science and Its Problems, 2nd rev. ed. (New York Feldheim Publishers, 1976 and 1988), p. 168. 

  7. Carmell and Domb, Challenge p. 167. 

  8. Carmell and Domb, Challenge, p. 168. 

  9. Carmell and Domb, Challenge, p. 168. 

  10. .  Violet M Cummings, Has Anybody Really Seen Noah's Ark? An Affirmative Definitive Report (San Diego, CA: Creation Life Publishers, 1982), p. 172. 

  11. .  Cummings, Noah's Ark, p. 174. 

  12. . Cummings, Noah's Ark, p. 175. 

  13. . Cummings, Noah's Ark, p. 176. 

  14. . Cummings, Noah's Ark, p. 176. 

  15. . Cummings, Noah's Ark, p. 182. 

  16. . Ronnie Hastings, personal communication. Some of this material later was published in Creation/Evolution, issue 17, vol. 6, no. 1 pp 25-6. 

  17. . Michael Zimmerman, "The Evolution Creation Controversy: Opinions of Ohio School Board Presidents," Science Education, vol. 75, no. 2 (1991), pp. 201-214.  

  18. . Michael Zimmerman "A Survey of Pseudoscientific Sentiments of Elected Officials: A Comparison of Federal and State Legislators," Creation/Evolution, issue 29 (Winter 1991-1992), pp. 26-45. 

  19. . Michael Zimmerman, "The Evolution Creation Controversy: Opinions of Ohio High School Biology Teachers," Ohio Journal of Science, vol. 87, no. 4 (1987), pp. 115- 125. 

  20. . Michael Zimmerman, "Newspaper Editors and the Creation-Evolution Controversy, Skeptical Inquirer, vol. 14, no. 2 (Winter 1990), pp. 182-195. 

home1.gif (8619 bytes)