Censorship is a word which evokes a strong response because it conflicts with our inherent sense of fairness. Each year the humanist organization, Citizens for an American Way, publish a report of supposed “censorship” incidents in which “fundamentalists” attempt to keep books out of libraries. Yet a far more dangerous type of censorship is largely ignored.
Censorship is the banning of ideas so that people do not even have the opportunity to hear them. The reason this is so dangerous is that the human mind tends to work by paradigms. A paradigm is a framework which all people develop about what is right or wrong, true or false. The human mind often finds it very difficult to even consider ideas outside of an accepted paradigm. Increasing exposure to the truth improves the probability that it will be embraced. Exclusive exposure to a false belief, no matter how outrageous, insures its eventual acceptance. This is the essence of brainwashing.
In an extensive search of 2.2 million mainstream magazine and journal articles (scanned by SCISEARCH), only 18 items were found which dealt with creation. When another computer search was done to find articles written by well-known creationist authors, not one creation-related article was found. Subsequent interviews revealed that whenever these authors had submitted articles showing specific scientific evidence supporting creation, their work was rejected.1
The situation is no better in primary school, university, or public libraries where censorship leads to a scarcity of creation materials. Libraries typically purchase materials from a relatively small number of publishers. Creation publications are not selected, no matter how well their work is researched and presented, because these publishers use reviewers who won’t accept any material critical of evolution. For example, Biology: A Search for Order in Complexity is a well documented high school biology book written by a dozen Ph.D. level creationists. Yet not one of 15 different textbook publishers WOULD EVEN LOOK AT THE MANUSCRIPT! The textbook finally had to be published by Zondervan (a Christian publishing house), effectively eliminating it from consideration in any public school. The authors of The Mystery of Life’s Origin also had difficulty getting their book published, because it critically exposed the enormous problems with chemical evolution. This exclusively scientific treatment of the subject was rejected by 100 agencies before being published by Philosophic Press. Phillip Johnson, law professor at U.C. Berkeley, had similar problems publishing his book, Darwin on Trial, which deals with the fallacies of evolution. He finally settled on a Christian publishing house. Most creationist writers and researchers realize that this creation censorship exists and do not waste their time trying to publish material with mainstream journals or publishers.
Another area of censorship is the scarcity of creation material in libraries. The late Dr. A.E. Wilde-Smith was an Oxford professor with 3 earned doctorates. Yet, an OCLC computer search of 1000 libraries showed that only 18 carried any of his classic works supporting creation while almost all of the libraries carried books critical of creation. Library journals publish book reviews and out of 100,000 book reviews, several hundred anti-creation books were favorably reviewed yet only one creation work was reviewed at all.That review was extremely negative.
There are actually hundreds of books on creationism in print, yet almost none can be found in any public, school, or university library. The Citizens for an American Way are correct – censorship is alive and well in America’s libraries.
1. All of these examples of censorship (and many more) are documented in an article called the Censorship of Information on Origins, Jerry Bergman, Creation ex Nilhilo Technical Journal, Vol. 10, no. 3, (1996). However, it is extremely unlikely you will find this well-written and peer reviewed research journal in libraries.