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Oh deary me. I love the BBC, and I love BBC breakfast, and I love outgoing stalwart presenter Bill Turnbull.

I have no time for Creationists, and I think they are dangerous, certainly as objective reporters who need to report on science and religion.

dan walker

So the news that Dan Walker is a Creationist is deeply worrying as he is due to be the incoming anchor presenter for BBC Breakfast. In UK terms, this is the big morning news presenting job, scutinised by millions. Rupert Myers in the Telegraph reports:

After the appointment of one creationist to the BBC Breakfast show last week, I wrote here that “putting a creationist at the helm of news broadcasting without any explanation as to what the BBC has done to ensure that creationism or the beliefs underpinning it will not form any aspect of the show’s output is an affront to reason, science and logic.”Since the piece, I have been subject to a steady stream of comment from people trying as hard as they can to miss the point….

But there is an issue of trust here. If a BBC political correspondent was asked by a journalist how they vote, they would decline to answer. A veneer of impartiality is necessary to front radio and television output for a public service broadcaster. There can be no doubt that belief in a young earth is a divisive issue, no less controversial than believing that the earth is flat. And many people agree with me: despite the article being shared by numerous religious groups encouraging voters to ensure a clear outcome in the poll, it has been quite narrow. Of over 13,000 voters, nearly half would not trust a creationist to read the news….

A literal belief in the earth’s construction timetable as set out in The Book of Genesis is controversial even within Christianity. The Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams did not think it should be taught. Pope Francis said in 2014: “When we read about creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so.” Michael Gove, himself a staunch Christian, is “crystal clear that teaching creationism is at odds with scientific fact“. Our government’s position is that belief in a young earth is so incredible that schools teaching it should not be funded. Creationism remains deeply controversial in a way that other elements of religious faith are not….

For all the anger and confusion over the issue, the question remains: what have the BBC done to reassure people that they have taken steps to ensure that this anchor’s public and highly controversial views will not affect their news coverage?

I would have thought that the BBC, one of the most objective news reporting agencies in the world (comparatively speaking and despite what many right-wingers claim), would have been reticent to place such a partisan of misinformation in a position of delivering the world’s most important information!

For example, how would he have reported the great scientific findings of last week pertaining to gravity with ramifications for the Big Bang since his worldview maintains that the world is a mere 6-12,000 years old?

I am not happy about this appointment for a whole host of reasons. I am caught between boycotting the BBC Breakfast show and watching it with an ever keener eye.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...