Last week, Snopes — a fact-checking website that was used by Facebook for several years to combat what the platform dubbed misinformation — published an article describing creationism as “a conspiracy theory.”
The author of the article, chemistry professor Paul Braterman, who describes himself as a “skeptic” and “anti-creationist,” claimed in the piece that creationists — those who embrace the seven-day creation story as it’s outlined in the Bible — “go to great lengths to demonize the proponents of evolution.”
Braterman bemoaned the fact that 40% of Americans, according to a 2019 Gallup survey, believe in the creationist view of the origin of humanity, which is that we are descended from the first humans God created, Adam and Eve, “within roughly the past 10,000 years.”
“Such beliefs derive from the doctrine of biblical infallibility, long accepted as integral to the faith of numerous evangelical and Baptist churches through the world,” he wrote. “[B]ut I would argue that the present-day creationist movement is a fully fledged conspiracy theory.”
During a phone interview with Faithwire on Monday afternoon, Ken Ham, founder of the apologetics ministry Answers in Genesis, pushed back against Braterman’s writing, describing the retired professor as “an ardent atheist” who has actively worked to block the teaching of creationism in schools, primarily in the U.K.
Ham posited Braterman “has an agenda against Christians,” noting he went to great lengths to link all Christians with those who espouse the QAnon conspiracy theory as well as the fringe radicals who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
“That’s typical of what these people do,” the AiG founder explained. “They try to demonize us by aligning us with groups that we have absolutely nothing to do with at all.”
In his piece, Braterman claimed, based on a 2002 essay by Ham, that the Christian apologist “is completely hostile to science” and later wrote he believes the theory of evolution to be the “work of Satan.”
Ham entirely rejected both “false claims,” pointing out that he never referenced the devil or Satan in the article to which Braterman linked.
He went on to say the atheist and evolutionist communities “have redefined the word ‘science.'” He then named several the researchers on staff at AiG, pointing out they obtained their degrees in areas of study ranging from paleontology to molecular biology from esteemed institutions like Harvard and Brown University. Those experts, he said, “would not be given [their degrees] if the secular university thought they were anti-science.”
The 69-year-old Ham also rejected the notion that mainstream creationists personally attack their atheist and evolutionist opponents.
What about facts?
“Why would I ever trust Snopes again?” Ham asked. “Why would I ever trust their fact checking?”
The well-known creationist noted that, at the top of the article, which was first published by The Conversation, Snopes added an editor’s note explaining the piece “does not … represent the work of Snopes fact-checkers or editors.”
Ham, though, said the decision by Snopes to republish the article “is no different than them affirming it,” accusing the site of doing “exactly what they say not to do: they passed on false information.”
“Look at what’s happening in this nation when people publish opinion pieces or people publish certain ideas — they’re being fact-checked all the time and taken down,” Ham said. “But when it’s something against Christians, and against creationists, it seems there’s a double standard.”