George Cooper & Paul Humber
Since 2003, the anticreation organization American Association for the Advancement of Science has published false data on their website. This reprinted article entitled A Critical-Historical Perspective on the Argument about Evolution and Creation by John Durant discusses a 1986 Oxford University debate between the two evolutionists Richard Dawkins (Zoologist, Oxford University) and John Maynard Smith (Professor of Biology, University of Sussex) and the two creationists A. E. Wilder-Smith (Professor of Pharmacology and consultant) and Edgar Andrews (Materials Scientist & President of the Biblical Creation Society). The article, reprinted from a book, is on the website of the AAAS and it states incorrectly that the debate ended with the evolutionists winning by an audience vote of 198 to 15.
Dawkins does not remember it being such a landslide, and the late Wilder-Smith remembered his side getting 114 votes. The creationists' votes must have been closer to 115. That somebody altered the data is clearly proven by the fact that there is an extra space where a missing digit should be and another digit was replaced with a letter. It appears that the number "1" was changed to a lower case letter "l". Even here the number and the letter cannot easily be distinguished by the human eye. However using a computer word processor's find/replace function, a person can readily detect the foul play. This is not a typographical error because it occurs twice in the same document. Somebody deliberately altered the numbers. Dawkins agrees that the numbers were tampered with (see Creation Matters, "Debating Dawkins," Paul Humber, Vol. 8, No. 4, July/August 2003).
Before the vote was taken at the end of the debate, Dawkins felt compelled to make an impassioned plea with the audience for a zero vote for creation. He stated later, "I do think every single vote in favour of creationism would be a disgrace to Oxford." Audio CDs of the debate are available, and on those tapes the debate chairman can clearly be heard stating that the number of votes in favor of creation was actually 150! No wonder somebody changed the data, and no wonder Dawkins now refuses to debate creationists!
I [GC] have checked with John Durant's original article published as the first chapter of the book Evolution and Creation, (edited by Sven Andersen and Arthur Peacocke, Aarhus University Press, Denmark, 1987), and he does state that the Oxford debate audience voted 198 to 115 in favor of evolution. (Andersen, p. 12) Thus the data in the reprinted Durant article published on the website of the American Association for the Advancement of Science is fraudulent!
Pertaining to the context of the 1986 debate, the following is a quote from Malcolm Bowden's book "True Science Agrees with the Bible", pp 257-258
"David C.C. Watson suggested to the president of the Oxford Union Debating Society that the Huxley Memorial Debate should be on creation vs. evolution. 'That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution' was debated on February 14th, 1986 and was principally between Dr. Richard Dawkins and Prof. John Maynard-Smith against Prof. Wilder-Smith and Prof. Edgar Andrews. The real surprise was that 37% of the undergraduates voted for the creationists -- 115 for, 198 against!
This result no doubt shocked the university so all references to the debate having ever taken place was [sic] expunged from the records! No newspaper or periodical ever referred to it either. Now the undergraduate organizers are under no obligation to keep any records of events, but it is doubtful they would have taken such a drastic step without first consulting their tutors. To suggest that the academics may have been the prime movers is, of course, pure speculation. For whatever reason, that all records of the event were completely removed is a severe indictment of those who decided to take this action. It is also an indication of how fearful they are of any evidence against evolution (and by inference for creation) that they treat it as if it never existed. The society, wanting to completely wash its hands of the debate, even sold the copyright of the tapes of the meeting to David Watson who circulated a number of copies."
Note by Arthur Biele
Before the debate commenced, it was agreed in the Oxford Union's President's office that no religious, non-scientific material, or non-repeatable material should be introduced into the debate. Only repeatable falsifiable scientific fact would be acceptable. Representing Oxford Union's evolutionary point of view were the eminent evolutionists Richard Dawkins and Maynard Smith. Representing the creationist viewpoint was Professor Edgar Andrews of London University, and A.E. Wilder-Smith.
The debate did not go well for the evolutionists as A.E. Wilder Smith did an excellent presentation of how science validates creation theory while at the same time science discredits evolutionary theory. Richard Dawkins, apparently realizing he and Maynard Smith were losers, gave an impassioned plea right after the debate ended and before the voting took place, in which he "implored" (the very word he Dawkins used) the voting audience not to give a single vote for the creationists position, for every vote in favor of creationism would, he maintained, `would be a blot on the escutcheon of ancient University of Oxford'.
Richard Dawkins then proceeded to attack A.E. Wilder Smith personally, not on the basis of his scientific position, but on the basis of A.E. Wilder-Smith's RELIGIOUS beliefs, alleging A.E. Wilder-Smith as a christian fundamentalist. Since it had been agreed not to let religious factors play any role in the proceeding, Professor Andrews brought up a point of order that that no religious considerations should be brought up, and the President of Oxford Union agreed and Richard Dawkins had to sit down.
Then Professor Maynard Smith stood up and said he was glad that A.E. Wilder-Smith stuck with pure science in the debate, science which Maynard Smith stated was `impeccable'. But then he said that A.E. Wilder-Smith believed in a small tribal god, which was not acceptable in today's enlightened society. Then he claimed that he and his friends believed the whole big universe was God which was a superior belief to Mr. Wilder-Smith's belief. So again it was the evolutionist who raised the issue of religion, and who attacked their opponent not on scientific grounds, but purely on religious grounds.
Note how Durant in his article has distorted the truth when he refers to Wilder-Smith as representing the 'religious side of the debate'. In strict accord with the pre-debate rules A.E. Wilder-Smith stuck with pure science in his defense of the Huxley Memorial Debates question, 'That the doctrine of creation is more valid than the theory of evolution'. Wilder-Smith's not only based on pure science, one of his opponents, Maynard Smith, stated that Wilder-Smith's presentation of that science to be 'impeccable'. It was Smith and Dawkins, who at the end of the debate, seeing how excellently Wilder-Smith had presented the Creationist view, made quasi-religious emotional appeals to the Oxford voting members to vote against the Creationists view. I believe that Durant knew little about the actual debate, that his article was based solely on his false assumption that the Creationists received only 15 votes to the Evolutionists 198 votes. In referencing Durant's article when asked about the thisHuxley Memorial Debate, Richard Dawkins seemed to have amnesia over exactly what happened in that debate, an amnesia that seem to go away as specific details of the debate was brought to his attention, including the actually voting results. It appeared that neither Dawkins nor Durant were aware the debate was well documented and publicly available. Furthermore, as the details were brought to Dawkins attention in the E-mail exchange, Dawkins did not thrash Wilder-Smith, leading me to think that he remembers that debate well and that he has deep-seated respect for A.E. Wilder-Smith.
Wilder-Smith stated that most Oxford Union debates are automatically given nationwide press, radio, and television coverage. A debate featuring such prominent evolutionists and creationists debating evolution vs. creation should have been no exception, yet Oxford Union moved to cover-up the debate, letting not a word of what transpired leak out to the media.
The info and the quoted material here is from AE Wilder Smiths book, "The Time Dimension" except for the one paragraph that began "In December 1986 ..." which came from his last book "Fulfilled Journey: The Wilder-Smith Memoirs. (The Word For Today Publishers, 1998) that was published after his going to the LORD in 1995. "The Time Dimension" was written partially due to the ensuing post debate cover-up by Oxford et. al. of the sound science that was presented during that debate that clearly supports Creation and refutes Evolution.
In Wilder-Smith's autobiography, Fulfilled Journey, he noted
"After the debate was over, Richard Dawkins attacked me not on my scientific discourse, but on the basis of my beliefs. Professor Andrews brought up the point of order that no religious considerations should play any role. The president demanded that Dawkins sit down."
"Professor Maynard Smith appreciated my scientific approach but said that I believed in a small tribal God, which was not acceptable today. He believed that the whole, big universe was God, which was a superior belief. Again, I was attacked on purely religious grounds, which was entirely out of order."
"In the end the creationists won some 114 of the votes from the voting public of about 300--which was quite surprising, as the Oxford Union represented the materialisitic naturalistic evolutionary viewpoint of biogenesis."
"The debate was never published. As most Oxford Union debates are given nationwide publicity in the press, in radio and in television. There may well be some cogent reason for the total cover-up which the whole debate subsequently experienced."
"In December 1986, I received an inquiry from the Radcliffe Science Library, Oxford, asking if I had ever really held a Huxley Memorial Lecture on February 14, 1986. No records of my having held the lecture as part of the Oxford Union Debate could be found in any library. No part of the official media breathed a word about it. So total is the current censorship on any effective criticism of Neo-Darwinian science and on any genuine alternative." (p. 484)
Arthur Ernest Wilder-Smith:
Ph.d. in physical organic chemistry at U. of Reading, England,/ Dr.es.Sc. in pharmacalogical sciences from Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich.
D.Sc. in pharmacological sciences from the University of Geneva/Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chemistry.
Professorships held at numerous Universities including U. of Illinois Medical School Center (Visiting Professor of Pharmacology where he received 3 consecutive golden apples awards for best course on lectures, and 4 senior lecturer awards for best series of senior year lectures), University of Bergen (Norway) School of Medicine, Hacetteppe University (Ankara Turkey) Medical School, etc.
Former Director of Research at a Swiss pharmaceutical company.
Presented the 1986 Huxley Memorial Lecture at the invitation of the University of Oxford
Author and co-Author of 70 scientific publications and more than 30 books published in 17 languages and Dr. A.E. Wilder-Smith was also a three star Nato-General.
The Huxley Memorial Debate: 'That the Doctrine of Creation is more valid than the Theory of Evolution'
Oxford Union, 14th February, 1986