[Published in BASIS, vol. 13, no. 3, March 1994, p. 3.]


Jim Lippard

Dear Editor:

I'd like to offer a minor clarification to Earl Hautala's "Travesty on Television" (BASIS, February 1994). Earl refers to an incident in which Gish made a claim about frog and chicken proteins which Gish never retracted nor produced evidence to support. The incident in question began with Gish's statement on PBS in 1983 that when you look at some proteins, "man is more closely related to a bullfrog than he is to a chimpanzee," while for others, "man is more closely related to a chicken than he is to a chimpanzee." Gish was asked repeatedly to support these claims by science writer Robert Schadewald, who describes the events in detail in Creation/Evolution XVII, 1986.

In Gish's, Creation Scientists Answer Their Critics, he devotes 5 pages to his account of these events. Gish completely ignores Schadewald's article, revises his claims to say that some bullfrog and chicken proteins show man to be "as closely related to bullfrogs and chickens as he is to apes," and offers no new evidence to support his claims. For bullfrogs, he says he heard Garniss Curtis make such a statement at a conference as a criticism of the protein clock hypothesis. For chickens, Gish points out that human lysozyme is closer to chicken lysozyme than it is to human alpha-lactalbumin, while omitting to mention that human and chimpanzee lysozyme are identical. Gish also fails to cite any of the scientific literature about the evolution of human alpha-lactalbumin and its relation to lysozyme, despite the fact that numerous articles on the subject exist, e.g., Journal of Molecular Evolution 1988, 27(4):326-35. This is yet another piece of evidence that Gish pays no attention to current work in his Ph.D. field. Both of Gish's responses are discussed in Schadewald's article.

In summary, Gish still has no data to which supports his claims, he has not retracted his claims, he continues to offer misleading information in his defense, and he has taken no notice of the actual published criticisms in his purported "answer to critics."