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Challenge to Dr. Press


Dr. Frank Press, President
National Academy of Sciences
2101 Constitution Avenue
Washington, DC 20418

P. O. Box 12067
Knoxville, TN 37912
March 24, 1987

Dear Dr. Press:

The February 1987 issue of Physics Today (p. 66) mentions the National Academy of Sciences as one organization which is opposed to the Louisiana creation-science law, now being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. Doubtless you already knew this because the booklet written by you and others, Science and Creationism: A View from the National Academy of Sciences (National Academy Press, 1984) is quoted in the Physics Today report as follows:

..."It is, therefore, our unequivocal conclusion that creationism, with its account of the origin of life by supernatural means, is not science. It subordinates evidence to statements based on authority and revelation. Its documentation is almost entirely limited to the special publications of its advocates. And its central hypothesis is not subject to change in light of new data or demonstration of error. Moreover, when the evidence for creationism has been subjected to the tests of the scientific method, it has been found invalid..."

More than anyone else, you should know why the above quotation is meaningful to me. Remember last August, Dr. Press? On August 4, 1986, I sent an overnight letter to you requesting a response to the evidences for creation, which I was to present at the International Conference on Creationism. In my letter I quoted the above statement and challenged you to show just where my published evidence for creation had been invalidated. On that occasion I invited you to bring as many evolutionists as you could persuade to come with you to accomplish this task. No response was received either then or about a month later when I again wrote to you. All of this is related in detail in my recent book, Creaion's Tiny Mystery (p. 196), a copy of which is enclosed.

Despite the nonresponse of the Academy to the challenge of creation last August, the Physics Today report shows the Academy is remaining adamant in its position that evidence for creation has been invalidated. I am therefore offering you, and/or whomever you may choose to send in your stead, another opportunity for refuting the evidence for creation published in my scientific reports and summarized in my book. The details of this opportunity are outlined in the accompanying press release, which describes my forthcoming speaking engagement at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville on the evening of April 13, 1987 under the sponsorship of the Society for Creation Science.

Certainly it would seem that you should have no problem in obtaining the help needed. The Physics Today report mentions 72 Nobel laureates, who oppose the Louisiana creation-science law, including the very well-known Dr. Murray Gel-Mann of Caltech. If that avenue fails, I suggest you contact the most outspoken evolutionists in the country, namely, Drs. Carl Sagan and Stephen Gould. In fact, the Physics Today article quotes Dr. Gould, a Harvard University paleontologist, as saying that creation science is an oxymoron-"a self-contradictory and meaningless phrase, a whitewash for a specific, particular and minority religious view in America: Biblical literalism." In view of his stated interest in demolishing creation science, it would seem only fair that Dr. Gould be given the opportunity to speak first in representing the Academy on the night of my presentation at the University of Tennessee. I hope you can persuade him to come with you.

If the evidence for creation remains unrefuted after the Academy's response on April 13, then Americans need to know: On what grounds, if any, will the Academy still object to creation science being taught as a model of origins in public schools and universities?


Robert V. Gentry

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