Introduction to Ian
Professor Of Mining Geology at the University Of Adelaide
Humanist of the Year (1995)
Notorious Slanderer, Anti-Creationist
Book review of "Telling Lies for God" by Ian Plimer
Review of Plimer's book by creationist, Dr. J. Sarfati
[Ian Plimer is] "Shrill and unscholarly, even by anti-creationist standards"
"Readers should be aware that Plimer 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'.
"It's difficult to believe that anyone could honestly claim that his book was respectful to religion and not anti-Christian when it's full of puerile mocking of the Scripture, which Jesus said "cannot be broken" (John 10:35). He also claims on p. 278 that belief in life after death is evidence that one has not been 'taught how to think'. It seems the main reason for this tirade against creationism is that it challenges his religious faith.
"He uses about every unfair rhetorical trick in the book, including leading questions and guilt by association. Despite being subtitled 'reason vs. creationism', Plimer seems incapable of stringing two logical thoughts together. Plimer even brags about deceiving creationists in several places. So if he thinks that dishonesty is justified when attacking creationism, then how can a reader be sure that he's not deceiving them elsewhere for the good of the 'cause'?
"In fact, Plimer's book has the dubious distinction of being the most embarrassing anti-creationist book for many anti-creationists. 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 skeptic, 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'. An anti-creationist scientist, Ian Hore-Lacy, says that Plimer 'displays a surprising ignorance of nuclear physics'.
"Plimer made many serious allegations against the Creation Science Foundation, now Answers in Genesis. 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. And the rest of the committee all had impeccable public reputations, independent of CSF/AiG. 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 ...]." ...
"Finally, 'every single allegation' has been answered point-by-point by Answers in Genesis on its web site. Because of all this, it's just a shame that 'anti-stars' (negative numbers) aren't available for reviewer rankings."
Note: An Australian creationist sued Plimer and a radio company for defamation. Plimer settled out of court for an undisclosed amount. However, Thomas H. Jukes revealed in an article in the Journal Of Molecular Evolution, that "Ian Plimer wrote me that his litigation with CSF has cost him $100,000." Journal Of Molecular Evolution, Volume 40, Number 6, 707-708,
Second Note: Plimer stated on ABC radio that CSF did not file its company tax returns for four years. This was a complete falsehood, for which the ABC later apologized, as well as for other false innuendo by Plimer.
Review of Plimer's book by evolutionist, James J. Lippard
An antagonistic witness, an anti-creationist, who joins Sarfati in condemning Plimer's misconduct
"Sarfati definitely has his biases (as do I), but his criticisms are pretty much on target here. I recommend reading the reviews of Plimer's book by Jeffrey Shallit, William Grey, and myself which can be found on the web--all of us are critics of creationism who found significant fault with Plimer's book.
"One of the best parts of Plimer's book is the critique of the Noah's Ark story, but that was not original to Plimer. It was derived from Robert A. Moore's article, "The Impossible Voyage of Noah's Ark," published in the Creation/Evolution journal and which you can also find online on the National Center for Science Education's website. Unfortunately, Plimer neglected to cite Moore's article in his book."
Jim Lippard wrote an article regarding Plimer's conduct in the journal Creation/Evolution (a vicious rag dedicated to anti-creationism) entitled, "How Not To Argue With Creationists."
"It is with regret that I write this article, but certain opponents of creationism in Australia have engaged in tactics that have led to public apologies to creationists by radio and print media, criticism by other creationism opponents, and even legal action. ... It is my hope that this article will discourage these sorts of tactics in the future..."
"Plimer, rather than treating the event as an academic debate, used the occasion to abuse and ridicule Gish ..."
Under the heading, "A Smear Letter" Lippard quotes from a form letter in which Plimer says: "Furthermore, if you were at the debates in Sydney (18.3.88) or Brisbane (30.3.88), you would surely have noticed an entourage of young people (principally boys) accompanying Gish and who continually touched him. This is commensurate with testimony from elsewhere which throws enlightenment on Gish's personal life and which makes Jimmy Swaggart look like a moral guardian of the faith."
Lippard is appropriately disgusted. He says: "Duane Gish (personal communication, August 5, 1991) calls these statements 'outrageous slanderous falsehood' and challenges Plimer 'to produce one iota of evidence' to support his accusations. He states that the money laundering claim is 'an outright lie' and that he was accompanied to the Australian debate only by his wife, his host, and his host's wife. (Gish granted permission to publish these scandalous charges against him on the condition that his emphatic denial be included.) Analysis: Plimer's letter, on university letterhead, is a serious ethical lapse. The statements are unsupported ad hominem innuendo..."
Review of Plimer's book by evolutionist Jeffrey Shallit
Another antagonistic witness, an anti-creationist who condemns Plimer's misconduct
Shallit says of Plimer: "My personal library contains about a dozen volumes exposing the fallacies behind creation 'science', many of them excellent. ....Plimer's new book is a shoddily-written polemic that, in places, verges on the hysterical."
"Creationist arguments are nearly always completely bogus (sometimes they are only partially bogus). But rather than address the arguments scientifically, Plimer often chooses to attack straw men of his own devising. ...Even more serious is the lack of attribution for large sections of the book. ....Much of the material on pages 53-72 of Telling Lies for God is apparently lifted from Joyce Arthur's article . (Joyce Arthur kindly brought this to my attention.) ....
Plimer seems to believe that the battle against creationism is a gutter fight."
Quotes from Plimer's book
Read Plimer's own words and judge for yourself
...if creationist 'science' was correct, then we would have no television (and no cars, telephones, aeroplane travel etc.). If creationist 'science' was correct, then we would still be in the scientific and technological era of the Dark Ages. P. 13
I direct attention to creationist leaders in Telling Lies for God because the leaders exploit religious fear, uncertainty, authority, paranoia, insecurity and ignorance all in the name of a god. P.15
The tragedy is that the god of creationists is small, uncharitable, malevolent, cruel and deceitful. One wonders is creationists made their god in their own image. P. 15
For example, many creationists, especially in the USA, actually believe the Earth is flat. This is in accord with the biblical shape of the Earth. P. 18
...if evolution did not exist, then blood types could not be measured, diseases could not be detected and parentage could not be determined. P.54
Mr. Ham commonly writes on sexual perversions, promiscuity and the human body... Given that fundamentalist preachers (e.g. Swaggert, Bakker) have been shown to indulge in sexual peccadillos, it is a wonder that Ham hasn't explored a possible link. P.141
The lecturers demonstrate that they have a lack of knowledge and that they are unable to synthesize or analyze. Nevertheless, creationist lecturers are extremely skilled at misquoting, deception, misleading and audience manipulations. There is the intertwining of a religious message with pseudoscientific claptrap and a lack of logic. P.177
Nevertheless, such preposterous 'man-track' claims were checked by scientists. Scientists showed that the 'man-tracks' were erosion marks in the bed of the Paluxy River. P.226
...genuine scientists who have specialized in the study of dinosaur tracks. For example Glen Kuban (1989:71) dismisses the creationist 'man-tracks'. P.228 (See footnote)
All major professional societies, academies of science, leading scientists, Nobel Prize winners, educationists and theologians have made public statements about creationism. They all concur. Creationism has nothing to do with science, it has nothing to do with religion, it has no educational value and it represents the narrow dogmatic view of fundamentalist religious groups.
The creationist cult use neither science nor logic to have their fraud taught in schools, only simple cunning to exploit the democratic system. P.266-267
Why do the cult leaders tell lies for God? A lie is a falsehood uttered or acted to deceive and, of course, a liar can choose not to lie and knows the difference between a lie and the truth. An analysis of liars (Ekman1992) indicates that Carl Wieland and Duane Gish may possibly feel that their lies are justified for the good of the followers. ...
This lack of integrity by Gish, Snelling and other creationist leaders, whether deliberate or not, has not damaged reputations. Instead, in the eyes of the followers, such tactics have enhanced the credibility of the Institute of Creation Research and the Creation Science Foundation. ...
At creationist meetings, one can see that the cult leaders take delight in their lies and the ease with which they fool the faithful followers. In fact creationist cult leaders actually get paid to perform such actions. P.272-273
Footnote: [Glen Kuban is not a scientist. He is a computer programmer. He is a close friend to whom Plimer gives "special acknowledgement" in the beginning of his book. Kuban likewise, specializes in bashing Creationists. DRP]
Newspaper review of the Gish/Plimer debate
Note: In 1988, Dr. Duane Gish debated Dr. Ian Plimer in Australia on the proposition: "Creation or evolution: Which is the pseudo science?" Here is the review of the debate by the Sydney Morning Herald.
Sydney Morning Herald review of the Gish/Plimer debate
25 June, 1988
"For more than 20 blistering minutes, Professor Plimer mocked, ridiculed and challenged...made a string of blunt personal allegations ...
At one point, he even donned insulating gloves, took a live electric wire and offered Dr. Gish the opportunity to electrocute himself. His point was that creationists would selectively accept that the science of electricity could be based on theory, but not the science of evolution. ...
His response has been to go in boots and all, aiming for his opponents kneecaps, exemplified by the fact that much of what he said in the Gish debate cannot be repeated for legal reasons. ...
'I take the Broken Hill approach: you don't put up with [profanity deleted]...
I regard it as a political exercise. I'm not going to argue about spots on butterflies or the speed of light. You can't argue science with someone who wants to promote religion as part of the school science course: it's like arguing that equal time be given to witch-doctoring in a medical course.'" P.186-187
Dr. Patton is honored to be included in in Telling Lies For God as an object of Plimer's slander, along with notable creationists such as Henry Morris, John Morris, Duane Gish, Andrew Snelling, Stephen Austin, Carl Wieland, Clifford Wilson, Ken Ham and other contenders for faith.
"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. (Mattt.5:11).