Letter in Skeptical Briefs, vol. 3, no. 3, September 1993, pp. 10-11

"Noah's Ark"

Ivan Stanko's "Open Letter to CBS" in the March issue of Skeptical Briefs criticizing the abysmal "Incredible Discovery of Noah's Ark" is mitaken when it says that "all these people [the alleged experts on the program] were associated with Henry Morris's Institute for Creation Research." In fact, the show did not even reach the standards of the ICR. The ICR has made no mention of the program in their monthly Acts & Facts bulletins, and I have encountered ICR supporters who were concerned to distance the ICR from the production.

Of the show's technical advisors--Ray Anderson, Ashmet Ali Arsian, Carl Baugh, Walter Brown, Elfred Lee, John McIntosh, Paul Meier, John Morris, and Don Schockley--only John Morris (son of Henry) and Roger Oakland are associated with the ICR. I am familiar with only two of the rest. Rev. Carl Baugh runs the Creation Evidences Museum in Glen Rose, Texas, and Walter Brown is the director of the Center for Scientific Creation in Phoenix and the author of a self-published book, In the Beginning.... Brown is the author of the theory, promoted by the CBS show, that the pressurized "fountains of the deep" caused the continents to rapidly move in historical times (which Robert Schadewald has called "continental zip"--see the Fall 1983 Skeptical Inquirer).

The company that produced this show, as well as "Ancient Secrets of the Bible" and the upcoming "Ancient Secrets of the Bible II," is associated with David Balsiger, author of a book on Noah's Ark and the man behind the "Biblical Scorecards" distributed to fundamentalist voters with information about candidate stances on "biblical" issues. He has said (according to the April 1993 issue of Freethought Today: "[The programs] don't try to provide balance. We have been contracted by CBS to produce an entertainment show, so the purpose is not to provide balance but entertainment." Balsiger went on to say that "the average TV viewer in America is not that intelligent, so what they want is entertainment and not intellectual debate."

Jim Lippard
Tucson, Ariz.

[I corrected mistakes in this letter in a followup letter.]