Rich Akin, CPA and CEO of Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity (PSSI), has reported to its membership the completion of a successful five-city educational event, titled What Darwin Didn’t Know, in Spain this past January.
A week prior to the first event the national newspaper El País published a full page article that portrayed these presentations as the Americans bringing creationism to Spain. While riddled with distortions and inaccuracies, the article listed a link to the on-line registration site. The article also carried the times and locations of each event and even placed next to the article the poster prepared to advertise the events, likely increasing attendance.
This article acted like an alarm, awakening and riling up the Darwinists, who immediately began a campaign of intimidation against the locations where the events were scheduled. Their major focus was on the University of Leon (midday), the Colegio de Medicos in Leon (evening) and the University of Vigo (midday). In addition to these academic settings they threatened to boycott the insurance company in Madrid and the bank in Vigo where events were scheduled. While The Darwinist establishment was successful in the cancellation of the academic settings, neither of the corporate entities bowed to the pressure, although the Madrid venue required PSSI to pay for additional security. The Leon evening event was replaced with a commercial location, and unfortunately the total number of presentations had to be reduced from ten to eight.
The speakers presented their talks in English with Spanish PowerPoint slides. The audio was translated immediately by Santiago Escuain, a certified translator for Spain. After opening comments by Dr. Martinez, Dr. Woodward opened each event with a 40-minute presentation titled The Explosion of Scientific Doubt About Darwinism: Why Scientists Are Looking for Alternatives. Woodward clearly showed that the debate originated in Europe, not America and stepped through the growing scientific evidence against macro-evolution, including Dembski’s Explanatory Filter and Behe’s Irreducible Complexity. PSSI board member Dr. Geoffrey Simmons followed with a 40-minute presentation titled What Darwin Didn’t Know. His presentation, mainly taken from his book of the same name, primarily focused on the many intricacies of the human body that cannot be explained through a Darwinian process of mutations and natural selection. A general question and answer session followed with Dr. Isaac Lorencez, a microbiologist from Zurich, participating.
The first presentations were held on Thursday, January 17th in Barcelona. The midday event was filmed in part by at least four television programs. Numerous newspaper journalists and photographers were also in attendance. The resultant newspaper articles ranged from the worst journalism ever seen regarding this issue to the best. The worst article (also El Pais) showed a picture of one man sitting in a large section of empty seats and stated the event was a failure with only about 25 in attendance. The picture was taken about an hour before the mid-day event began. Our actual attendance in Barcelona was 78 midday and 183 in the evening for a total of 261.
Due to the publicity resulting from the cancellation of some of the events, Dr. Antonio Martinez, PSSI member and the events emcee, was flown to Madrid the next day to “debate” on national television the president of the Evolutionary Biological Society of Spain. The prelude to the show included a portion of an interview with one of the PSSI presenters, Dr. Tom Woodward, outlining the issues in Spanish. The next day Dr. Martinez’s cousin in New York City indicated she had seen the program on a Spanish-language channel there! So the presumption is Spanish-language stations in many countries aired that segment.
Dr. Martinez joined the program in Malaga for the Saturday presentations there. These were the best attended events of the entire trip, with 453 of 1,322 total attendees present.
Beginning with the Malaga events, Mr. Akin ended each event question and answer session with: “I have a question for you to ponder as you leave here. Why do the Darwinists and those in academia not want the students of Spain to see what you just saw?”
In Madrid a young man responded: “Because we don’t allow the supernatural in our universities!”
This was an interesting response as the presentations were contra-Darwin, not pro-ID or any other theory, nor was religion discussed. Mr. Akin pointed out that PSSI is a secular, contra-Darwin organization and it is not necessary to support another theory in order to demonstrate that current science disproves Darwinian macroevolution.
The following Monday two presentations were held in Madrid, followed (due to the midday cancellations) by evening presentations in Leon on Wednesday and Vigo on Friday.
The Tuesday evening after the Madrid presentations, Dr. Martinez, Dr. Woodward and their excellent translator, Santiago Escuain, appeared on the national radio program of Cesar Vidal, La Linterna, which is heard by more than a million listeners. Dr. Vidal (three PhDs), the author of 39 books, wrote a newspaper article entitled “The University Inquisition” which took the universities to task for canceling PSSI’s events.
During the radio program, Spaniards heard Dr. Woodward state that Darwinian macroevolution was in a state of collapse scientifically. Dr. Vidal’s staff indicated that the response to that 30-minute segment of his program was one of the greatest they had ever received.
Mr. Akin stated: “Prior to our arrival there was little debate about macroevolution in Spain. It was simply thought to be fact. Had the Darwinists kept quiet about our events we probably would not have had the attendance we had, nor would our events have literally been the talk of Spain while we were there. In fact, Spanish blogs, more than six weeks after we left Spain, are still discussing the issues we raised.”
This major impact on Spain occurred at a time when the dollar is at an all time low against the Euro. As a result, PSSI is still somewhat in the red financially, but is going forward with plans to provide similar educational events in the US, in Central America and Italy later this year, and possibly China and South America next year. Any donations to support this effort are appreciated and tax deductible. Donations may be made either on line or by check.
Rich Akin, CEO
PSSI International, Inc.
(Physicians and Surgeons for Scientific Integrity)
PO Box 16136
Clearwater, FL 33766-6136