Conversation with a Creationist

www.insightete.com

This is what happens when you keep old emails around. I dug into my archives and came up with these. It’s an email exchange with creationist Steve Rudd. I got into this indirectly a few years ago when somebody forwarded an email to me at skeptic@ntskeptics.org:

John,

I find this very very very hard to believe, so I have sent a request to the
State of Victoria, The Library of the State of Victoria and others. This
just keeps getting thicker and thicker.

—–Original Message—–
From: Steve Rudd [mailto:srudd@bible.ca]
Sent: March 11, 2002 7:31 PM
To: byoung119@cogeco.ca; george_mallory@hotmail.com
Subject: The certified credentials of Dr. Don Patton Ph.D.
Well, George,

As you can see. you were 100% wrong and were deceived by that liar Kuban in his article “matter of degree”.

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/patton-degree-phd.htm

Just for the record, Kuban has seen this and been sent this many times, but is dishonest.

So now what are you going to do?

I expect you to post the info at:

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/patton-degree-phd.htm

to your skeptics club in texas, retract your error and slander and apolagize to patton.

Steve Rudd

I’m guessing the “George” is the George Mallory, one of the original recipients. The link to patton-degree-phd no longer exists. The “skeptics club in texas” referenced is likely The North Texas Skeptics. I do not know “George,” and as far as I know he has never been associated with the NTS.

Additionally, I have copied and pasted directly from the emails quoted. The only editing I have done is to fix line breaks to make for readability and to remove irrelevant text, such as mail headers.

The “Kuban” referenced is “A Matter of Degree: Carl Baugh’s Alleged Credentials,” by Glen J. Kuban. A copy is posted on the Talk Origins Archive:

Don Patton’s Alleged Credentials

Since early 1989, Don Patton, a close associate of Carl Baugh and leader of Metroplex Institute of Origins Science (MIOS) near Dallas, has claimed a Ph.D. (or “Ph.D. candidacy”) in geology from Queensland Christian University in Australia.[33] However, QCU is another unaccredited school linked to Clifford Wilson. [34] When questioned about this at a recent MIOS meeting, Patton indicated that he was aware of some problems relating to QCU, and was withdrawing his Ph.D. candidacy.[35]

However, the printed abstracts of the 1989 Bible-Science conference in Dayton, Tennessee (where Patton gave two talks) stated that he was a Ph.D. candidacy in geology, and implied that he has at least four degrees from three separate schools.[36] When I asked Patton for clarification on this during the conference, he stated that he had no degrees, but was about to receive a Ph.D. degree in geology, pending accreditation of QCU, which he assured me was “three days away.”[37] Many days have since passed, and Patton still has no valid degree in geology. Nor is the accreditation of QCU imminent. Australian researcher Ian Plimer reported, “PCI, QPU, PCT, and PCGS have no formal curriculum, no classes, no research facilities, no calendar, no campus, and no academic staff….Any Ph.D. or Ph.D. candidacy at QPU by Patton is fraudulent.”[38]

With surprising boldness, Carl Baugh recently appeared on a radio talk show in Texas claiming the same degrees discussed above, plus a new “Ph.D. candidacy in paleoanthropology from Pacific College.” Baugh complained that critics were now attacking his credentials and those of other fine creationists, including “Dr. Don Patton.”[39]

What got the NTS linked was an item that appeared in the September-October 1989 issue of The Skeptic, the newsletter of the NTS and an additional item that appeared in the April 1995 issue by Virginia Vaughn:

If you missed the March public meeting of The North Texas Skeptics, you missed a very interesting presentation by a Grand Poobah of Creationism, er, I mean Creation Science. Dr. Don Patton is a colleague of Carl Baugh of Paluxy River “man track” fame and is a leader of the Metroplex Institute of Origin Science (MIOS). Patton had a Ph.D. from Queensland Christian University (QCU) in Australia.

QCU is not accredited in any field of science from the Australian Vice Chancellor’s Committee, the Queensland Board of Education or the Federal Department of Employment, Education and Training. QCU has no formal curriculum, classes, research facilities, calendar, campus or academic staff, according to an article in NCSE Reports.1 Dr. Patton reportedly had to write a paper and received his Ph.D. in the mail. After he graduated magna cum postage, he began carrying business cards inscribed “consulting geologist,” which may be a bit misleading.

The footnote [1] points to:

Glen J. Kuban. A Matter of Degree: An Examination of Carl Baugh’s Credentials.NCSE Reports 9(6):15-20, 1989.

See, it doesn’t take much to get us involved. There were subsequent emails:

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 13:18:14 -0500
To: skeptic@ntskeptics.org
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Greetings to skeptics!
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”; format=flowed
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

Steve Rudd here,

You have continued to slander Dr. Patton on your website and spread false statements, slander and libel about the validity of his degree. I suggest you remove such materials (check with your consulting fellow skeptic attorney why.) immediately. In addition, I suggest you post a formal notice of retraction on the main front page stating you were flat out wrong about
Patton’s valid Phd.

http://www.bible.ca/tracks/degree.htm

We have a letter from Jan Williamson on a private page on our site that you obviously have never seen. Kuban has seen this letter, but is… well… how do you like to hear us say is? … EVIL!!! He is beyond hope, but I have my eye on you now.

Steve Rudd
official webmaster for Dr. Patton
Canada

“EVIL!” That is something. Also this put me on alert that Steve Rudd had his eye on me now. I’m sure I responded to this note from Steve Rudd, but I can’t find the outgoing mail in my archives. I guess that means I will not be able to run for President in the future. Anyhow, Steve Rudd responded to my response, and his response included critical text from my response.

Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2002 15:47:34 -0500
To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Greetings to skeptical BELIEVERS!
Cc: dpatton693@aol.com
In-Reply-To: <3C978A7B.EFA0A515@ntskeptics.org>
References: <5.1.0.14.2.20020319131248.02be7d40@bible.ca>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”; format=flowed
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

Hi John!

Great you replied and if you are personally acquainted with Don my job will be easy, for you will know he is as smart as he is honest and ethical.

>Don does not admit to having a B.S. of any kind. He
>admits that his “Ph.D.” is not in geology.

Why would he not admit something he never claimed in the first place? I bet you could get him to admit he never worked for NASA too!

> He admits it is from an organization that we know does not have the
> authority to issue Ph.D. degrees.

Really? He admits this? I think not, where did he admit this and when? Need his email to tweak your remembrance? On the contrary, this kind of misinformation is unbecoming someone who has met Don personally, especially since I have talked to him by phone many times (remember I am his official publicist on the net) and he has never said any such thing to me, but in fact says JUST THE OPPOSITE and has always said his Phd is valid from a fully accredited school. Did you not read the letter on our site from Jan Williamson?

>Now, if Don will write to me and say something like “John, since I spoke
>to you
>last I have finished my studies at Princeton, and I now have a Ph.D. from that
>fine institution,” then we will loudly proclaim that Don Patton has a
>legitimate Ph.D. And we will call him Doctor. Actually, you can substitute
>any recognized college or university for “Princeton” in the previous.
>Princeton is just the first that came to mind.
>
>We wait to hear the glad news from Don in the near future.

John, the above paragraph (I am trying to be gracious here… really!) is just, well… unbecoming even for a skeptic. You see John, skeptics are skeptics because they have no real answers to their questions. I provided you with first hand authoritative letter from the very office that regulates phd granting where Don got his degree. So if you have read this letter, you now have the following choices:

1. be skeptical about the authenticity of the letter (I have her current
email and phone number-call her)

2. read it again.

3. retract the slander

4. admit you are no longer a skeptic, because the information was presented
to convince… your new title is deliberate deceiver.

5. Proclaim your faith in light of scientific evidence to the contrary (Jan’s letter)

Now I am absolutely amazed that you make such ridiculous claims that Don said:

>He admits it is from an organization that we know does not have the
>authority to issue Ph.D. degrees.

So John, you have FAITH that someone taught you that the school did not have the authority to issue Pd.D’s.

What is the source of your faith? I AM SKEPTICAL!

Just in case you have lost it, here is the faith destroying link:
http://www.bible.ca/tracks/degree.htm

Steve Rudd
Canada

cc dpatton693@aol.com

I have previously described my conversation with Don Patton regarding his college degrees:

All kidding aside, Mr. Patton’s academic accomplishments are not to be sneezed at. Disbelieving the rumors that he did not possess even a bachelor’s or master’s degree, I approached him in person to set the record straight. I was impressed when he informed me he had been able to bypass these way stops and obtain a Ph.D. directly. Lest you consider this a minor accomplishment, I make this observation: Although I do not, myself, possess a Ph.D., I work with a number of very bright people who do. And do you know what? Not one of them has been able to accomplish that standing without first obtaining a bachelor’s plus a master’s. What do you think of that?

For Don Patton’s claimed academic background, you may go to Steve Rudd’s own Web site:

  1. Florida College, Temple Terrace, FL (Bible) 1959-1963
  2. Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN (Geology) 1973-1974
  3. Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ., Indianapolis, IN (Geology) 1974-1976
  4. Pacific School of Graduate Studies, Melbourne, Australia (Geology) 1989-1991
  5. Pacific School of Graduate Studies, Melbourne, Australia (Education) 1992-1993
  6. Ph.D. in Education granted 12/10/1993 (Pacific School of Graduate Studies)
    (A brief history of the Pacific School of Graduate Studies in Melbourne, Australia, click here.)

Here Steve Rudd is calling it “Pacific School of Graduate Studies,” but the name “Pacific College of Graduate Studies” seems to be the correct name. It does not take much reading to see that no Bachelor’s degree is mentioned. Now examine the “Ph.D. in Education granted 12/10/1993 (Pacific School of Graduate Studies)” For that some research is useful:

So, what about the grand old PCGS? Is or was this a real institute of higher learning, accredited to bestow advanced college degrees? Steve Rudd provided me with an interesting letter. It says:4

Following a reprint from Steve Rudd’s letter I had an additional comment:

This is enlightening. It seems to say that the PCGS was given just twelve months to grant the listed degrees. Presumably PCGS no longer has this privilege, else I expect Steve Rudd or others would have remarked on the fact. Also, what does this have to say about the prospects for a 1993 PCGS cricket season?

There is additional irony. The letter bears a stamp: “RECEIVED 24 DEC 1993.” According to Rudd (see above), grand old PCGS awarded Patton’s degree two weeks prior.

Here is part of that letter:

letter

After responding to Steve Rudd I obtained the following reply:

To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>

From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Re: Greetings to skeptical BELIEVERS!
In-Reply-To: <3C97C267.65A0C245@ntskeptics.org>
References: <5.1.0.14.2.20020319131248.02be7d40@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319153432.02bd5240@bible.ca>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”; format=flowed
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

John, thanks for replying.

I asked Don if he knew you and he surprised me to say that he did and that you and him were having a debate.

Even more surprise, was that he spoke highly of your integrity. Really! He said that you are a different cut from others who oppose creation and would back off when presented with facts.

>I guess my point here is, that most Ph.D. programs will not admit anybody
>who does
>not have at least a B.S. degree. I find it odd that someone has a Ph.D.
>without
>first getting a B.S. or equivalent. I am sure it has been done, but it’s odd
>anyhow.

Yes, but remember that 8 years of university education before he got his Ph.D. Did you miss that fact? For a grand total of 10 years!

>Yes. Don told me (and others) the source of his Ph.D. We tracked it down and
>found it is not authorized to grant Ph.D. degrees. Your Web site shows
>this to be
>Pacific School of Graduate Studies in Australia. Although I don’t recall this
>whether this is the name Don gave me, I will accept this as the
>organization in
>question. I do not believe this organization is authorized to grant Ph.D.
>degrees. If my information is not correct, please advise me. Name, also, the
>Australian government agency that has authorized this institution to grant
>Ph.D.
>degrees.

John I have dealt with these kinds of silly matters before and I want to say that I do believe Don was right about you. Your one sentence says it all:

>> If my information is not correct, please advise me. >>

Ok, that is what I like to hear. I will supply it.

>My current information is that this school does not have authority to
>grant Ph.D. degrees. However, I have read the letter on your Web site,
>and I will follow through.

>As I have implied so far, I am willing to be convinced. In any case, we
>will make
>the appropriate corrections to our Web site.
>
>Best regards,
>
>John Blanton
>The North Texas Skeptics
>http://www.ntskeptics.org

This is the best thing that has happened all week!

Ok, I am sure you can be convinced.

First, I just got a letter back from Jan Williams, the current Australian controller, here is what she said

(ps this was a private letter and I am going to trust that you keep it
between me and you)

========
private below: do not forward to anyone or post on the net. Don Patton also
got a copy of this from Jan today.
=======

Mr Rudd

Thank you for your two emails, dated 18 and 19 March 2002. I apologise for
the delay in responding, but I wished to consult with the Manager, Higher
Education Division, before replying.

Please find responses to each of your queries in the order in which they
appear on the 19 March email.

You wrote: “But I have now uploaded a scanned copy of the original letter written by a Jan Williamson. She, I assume cannot be you, unless this is your maiden name and you got married to a Williams.”

The letter dated 17 December 1993 was written by Jan Williamson, who was Assistant Director, Higher Education Co-ordination at that time. She is no longer employed by the Department of Education & Training. The current Director, Higher Education Division, is Dr Terry Stokes.

You wrote: 1. Did you write the letter on our site from the Department of Education with the official seal of the state of Victoria dated 17 December, 1993?

As indicated above, I was not the author of the letter.

You wrote: 2. If not do you know Jan Williamson.

I can confirm that Ms Williamson was Assistant Director, Higher Education Co-ordination at that time.

You wrote: 3. If you are Jan Williamson, why the name change? (married)

This question is not relevant to this matter.

You wrote: 4. From both the Dec 17, 1993 letter by Williamson AND your current letter to George below, it is clear that the Pacific college of graduate studies was fully accredited at the time Dr. Patton was awared his Phd.

The email response sent indicated that Pacific College of Graduate Studies was granted an interim accreditation period only, which meant that recognition of the courses was current only until 30 June 1994. Beyond that time, the College would have to apply for accreditation and the authorisation to conduct courses under section 11 of the Victorian Tertiary Education Act 1993.

You wrote: 5. How can you say at the end of your letter to George, ” There was no record of a Pacific College of Graduate Studies, although it may be the same organisation referred to above.” When “Pacific college of graduate studies” is the name used on the official letter dated Dec 17, 1993.

At the time of the response, the records referred to identified the organisation as “Pacific College Incorporated”. Since then, however, more complete records have correctly identified this organisation as being Pacific College of Graduate Studies.

I hope that this response will prove helpful with your enquiries.

Jan A WILSON
Administrative Officer
Higher Education Division
Office of Training & Tertiary Education
Phone: (03) 9637 3211 Fax: (03) 9637 2720
Email: wilson.jan.a@edumail.vic.gov.au

—–=======end letter from Jan====

So John, there you have all the information you need.

1. the letter on our site that Pacific College of Graduate Studies was fully accredited to grant Don’s degree written by Jan Williamson

2. The letter today from Jan Wilson also confirms this fact.

=======
But there is more.

A preacher named Keith Camp <campkw@conwaycorp.net> had Don patton to his church near little rock ARk in 1996 or 7. He had some professors at the university send the same lies “don’s phd is fake” throughout the university. Keith like me, being honest, investigated it himself. He contacted Jan Williamson by phone, so I asked Keith:

> Keith tell me, was Jan Williamson receptive? Was she supportive? Did she
> confirm or deny the validity of Dons Phd? What did you talk about?

Keith replied just an hour ago:

Yes, as I remember she was polite and confirmed her letter. In fact, she pulled her original copy from her file as I was with her on the phone. She told me that the rules for accreditation had changed since the letter but that all degrees awarded by Pacific College of Graduate Studies before the changes in policy were legit. I also had talked with a Dr. Clifford Wilson (then pres. Of PCG) and he told me that the school did not reapply for accreditation under the new policy rules because Australia’s Dept. of Education required that eastern religions courses had to be offered for all schools that offered doctorates in religious studies. That was confirmed to me by a staff member of Creation Science Foundation in Brisbane,Australia; I called them to check on Dr. Clifford Wilson. He’s legit too.

For what it is worth, I thought I put in the mail to you some correspondence I had with the local university here (University of Central Arkansas, UCA) over their unprofessional treatment of our presentation with Don. I’ll put it in the mail tomorrow.

Keith

=======

end email from keith today that is also private between you and I.

However, you can write Keith yourself to verify this.

So John, I know it is time to purge all the statements on your skeptics site about Don’s (and Carl Baugh too) degree.

Kuban has been very evil in all this and his 1988 “matter of degree” is very full of blatent lies.

After purging your website, I am going to call upon you to write a letter to a number of other organizations to get them to remove their copies of this article.

I will not publish anything you write me without your express permission. I expect the same from you.

Steve Rudd
Canada
905-575-8437

Steve Rudd’s closing remark that he expects me not to publish what he wrote to me notwithstanding, I made no prior commitment to him, and I am publishing what I have.

Additionally, it would appear that PCGS was granted permission to award degrees on a provisional basis and that during this provisional period they issued a number of degrees. After an examination of PCGS facilities and faculty the provisional permission was revoked. I decline to honor degrees PCGS awarded during this provisional period. Further, I hold that PCGS took advantage of this provisional period to award degrees in exchange for money. The name for this kind of operation is “diploma mill.”

I received another reply from Steve Rudd:

To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Re: Greetings to skeptical BELIEVERS!
In-Reply-To: <3C988087.F0A41209@ntskeptics.org>
References: <5.1.0.14.2.20020319131248.02be7d40@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319153432.02bd5240@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319222109.02ab5450@bible.ca>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”; format=flowed
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

This email is also private and not for distribution.

Greetings to John,

>Being skeptics, we will follow up and confirm this.

I wouldn’t call myself a skeptic, but would also confirm it and have.

>If this turns out to be true, we will not purge anything from the newsletter
>archives, because those archives preserve a history of those past
>times. We will,
>however, print any necessary retractions, and we will provide pointers in the
>archives to the retractions so that people researching the archives will be
>directed to the latest information.

That is a must. thanks

>Unfortunately, you have forwarded your notes to a newsletter editor, which
>is sort
>of like posting them on a public sign post. Anything you have told me and
>anything
>you tell me in the future will be candidate for inclusion in a future news
>article. Specifically, all this correspondence is being shared among the
>members
>of the Board of Directors of the North Texas Skeptics, who are ultimately
>responsible for what gets published under our name. Some of these members are
>being assigned the task of verifying this information. I hope that is OK
>with you.
>
>Best regards,
>
>John Blanton

Well John, no it is not ok, my emails are private, I sent them privately to you from me. It is unethical to post my private emails regardless of your own private rules.

If I sent my emails to a list or posted them on a public place that is my business. but if you privately reply to me and I return email that is private, it is against the law to publish such.

I outright reject that my private emails to you are public materials. The email address is:
John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
That means “skeptic” is private to “John Blanton”
If it said
public list<skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
that is different.

Now I know you need to verify this, but using my private emails is not suddenly legal, when in fact I have expressly told you otherwise and not to use them.

So for all my future correpsondence is not permitted to be published even if I continue to send it to John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>. You cannot unilaterally over ride my privacy rights because you invent some little rule. Further, informing me either before or after the fact still does not change anything.

Obviously you personally forwarded my mail to a public list of some kind or a group of others and I asked you not to.

I do not consider this ethical and I reject your reason for trying to justify why your private email address is the same as posting it to the net.

This email is also private and not for distribution.

Steve Rudd
Canada

Steve Rudd is calling me unethical for posting his words on a public forum. That is so interesting. I consider it unethical for a person to claim college degrees he does not have, and I also consider it unethical for another person to misrepresent such a person. There seems to be a whole bunch of “unethical” going around.

Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 16:41:14 -0500
To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Re: Greetings to skeptical BELIEVERS!
In-Reply-To: <3C98A94F.ABF06C6@ntskeptics.org>
References: <5.1.0.14.2.20020319131248.02be7d40@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319153432.02bd5240@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319222109.02ab5450@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020320095815.02a4c460@bible.ca>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”; format=flowed
X-Mozilla-Status: 801b
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
X-UIDL: u9i0cf.qv1.37kbpqa

Such is evil, deceptive illegal and immoral.

Send me your private email address.

At 09:22 AM 3/20/02 -0600, you wrote:
>Quick note, Steve.
>
>Everything you send to me is liable to be published. If you have secrets
>to be
>kept don’t send them to me. We are a news organization among other things.
>
>I apologize if there was some misunderstanding previously.
>
>Best regards,
>
>John Blanton
>The North Texas Skeptics
>http://www.ntskeptics.org

Steve Rudd wanted my mailing address. I gave him the address at which I received all mail for the NTS.

Date: Wed, 20 Mar 2002 23:43:35 -0500
To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Re: Greetings to skeptical BELIEVERS!
In-Reply-To: <3C995706.DB1F4C0F@ntskeptics.org>
References: <5.1.0.14.2.20020319131248.02be7d40@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319153432.02bd5240@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319222109.02ab5450@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020320095815.02a4c460@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020320164026.02a45840@bible.ca>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”us-ascii”; format=flowed
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

Ya Right! As If.

Your home address right?

Everything I send there is private just between you and I … Right?

>Here it is:
>
>P.O. Box 111794
>Carrollton, TX 75011-1794
>
>Best regards,
>
>John Blanton
>
>Steve Rudd wrote:
>
> > Such is evil, deceptive illegal and immoral.
> >
> > Send me your private email address.
> >
> > At 09:22 AM 3/20/02 -0600, you wrote:
> > >Quick note, Steve.
> > >
> > >Everything you send to me is liable to be published. If you have secrets
> > >to be
> > >kept don’t send them to me. We are a news organization among other
> things.
> > >
> > >I apologize if there was some misunderstanding previously.
> > >
> > >Best regards,
> > >
> > >John Blanton
> > >The North Texas Skeptics
> > >http://www.ntskeptics.org

I forwarded to other NTS board members the most recent note I sent to Steve Rudd.

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 07:06:31 -0600
From: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
X-Mailer: Mozilla 4.7 [en] (WinNT; U)
X-Accept-Language: en,ru,zh-TW
MIME-Version: 1.0
To: Greg Aicklen <aicklen@ieee.org>, Golla <golla@ieee.org>,
Elizabeth Hittson <hittson-ranch@juno.com>,
Curtis Severns <president@ntskeptics.org>,
Danny Barnett <dannybarnett@yahoo.com>, Virginia Barnett <vvaugh@yahoo.com>,
Pat Reeder <CReeder443@aol.com>, Mike Selby <mlselby@attbi.com>,
Steve Graf <SGRAF2@aol.com>, Keith Blanton <NewRadical@attbi.com>
Subject: Continuing correspondence with Steve Rudd
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
X-Mozilla-Status: 8009
X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000
X-UIDL: 16O2fS79u3NZFnx1.0

Here is a copy of the continuing correspondence with Steve Rudd. I hope it does not bore you stiff.

You will note that at times this gets a little bizarre. I have to say that prior to getting involved with the NTS I must have been very naive. I did not know such people existed. This is sort of like walking through a carnival house and seeing something completely unexpected at every turn.

jb

===================

Hello, Steve:

No. This is the postal address of The North Texas Skeptics. This is the address through which all NTS business is conducted. Everything I do related to skeptical issues is done on an unpaid volunteer basis, and this business is conducted through designated NTS communication
channels. The Web site, this e-mail address, and the P.O. Box are the principal official channels.

This correspondence is official business of the NTS and will be shared among the members of the NTS Board of Directors, since we all have legal obligations with respect to NTS business. There cannot be any private correspondence.

One of the principal aims of the NTS is to disseminate valid information to counteract false beliefs and other nonsense. In this respect, we constantly seek information from all sources, just as I am seeking information from you. However, this information is of no value to users
of our services if we are not free to provide it to them. That being the case, we must tell all correspondents that information they give us is liable to being published.

If there is information you have that you do not feel comfortable sharing with the public, you should not provide it to us. I hope this clears up any misunderstandings.

Best regards,

John Blanton
The North Texas Skeptics
http://www.ntskeptics.org

I forwarded another of my Steve Rudd notes to the board.

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 08:30:16 -0600
From: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
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To: Greg Aicklen <aicklen@ieee.org>, Golla <golla@ieee.org>,
Elizabeth Hittson <hittson-ranch@juno.com>, Steve Graf <SGRAF2@aol.com>,
Mike Selby <mlselby@attbi.com>, Curtis Severns <president@ntskeptics.org>,
Danny Barnett <dannybarnett@yahoo.com>, Virginia Barnett <vvaugh@yahoo.com>,
Keith Blanton <NewRadical@attbi.com>, Pat Reeder <CReeder443@aol.com>
Subject: Sorry to keep bothering you with all this…
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If you don’t want to get any more of this correspondence, just drop me a
note and let me know. I am sending it to you because, as Board members
(and newsletter editor) you are involved in this business.

In case you haven’t been following this closely, Steve appears to be the
person who maintains Don Patton’s Web site. From the URL, I guess the
site is in Canada, so I don’t think Steve is local. Could be wrong.
Hey, have I ever been wrong before?

Anyhow, keep skeptical.

jb

===================
Hello, Steve:

Thanks for the kind note of advice.

Well, I have been wrong before, but I do believe that mail sent to me does not carry any privacy protections. If I had made any prior promises to the contrary then that would be a different matter.

The issue of invalid degrees advertised by creationists is a matter that stretches back over a decade, so you will not mind if I take whatever time is required to settle this particular point.

And thanks for the advice on how to conduct myself in the future. I assure you I will take it to heart.

Best regards,

John Blanton
The North Texas Skeptics
http://www.ntskeptics.org

Steve Rudd wrote:

> John, Greetings!
>
> You say:
> >That being the case, we must tell all correspondents that
> >information they give us is liable to being published.
>
> John, You have a legal guy on your team… a lawyer. I am not a
> lawyer, but
> if you ask him, I could sue your but off and win hands down because
> publishing my private email to you or even your skeptics org. is
> patently
> illegal and violates copy write laws, especially in light of the fact
> that:
>
> 1. you never told me ahead of time that my personal email to you was
> considered by you as public.
>
> 2. I flat out warned you in each email it was private.
>
> You know, being a skeptic is not a crime, but skeptics must be ethical
> and
> moral and abide by laws.
>
> Here is some free legal advice:
> Post a warning on your site that any mail sent to your skeptics
> address is
> considered public. But this is still not enough, you are not permitted
> to
> post private stuff sent to you as I did, until after you have warned
> them
> it is public.
>
> I got your PERSONAL email address from the George guy whom you wrote
> about
> Don a few days ago.
>
> The bottom line in all this is the fact that you now have all the
> proof you
> need to take immediate action to purge the false information about Don
> on
> you site.
>
> A single phone call or email to Jan will verify 100% that the letters
> are
> authentic.
>
> your mission: Are the letters authentic or frauds.
>
> You know, they are authentic even before you confirm them.
>
> So I suggest you take action before the debate or it simply will not
> go
> well for you in the debate.
>
> Being more blunt, if you, after me notifying your entire little band
> of
> skeptics, the contents of information I have sent to you personally
> and on
> our website, you still have not posted a retraction… you will be
> called
> upon at that time, in public to make a public retraction.
>
> If you want to debate facts of science post a formal retraction. If
> you
> want to waste Don and Your time discussing proven lies you and your
> organization have been been either innocently or knowingly publishing,
> then
> don’t make the retraction.
>
> You will not be able to claim you are looking into it because you will
> have
> had over two weeks to confirm the letters authentic and you will be
> shown
> to be less than honourable.
>
> So consider carefully, how you plan to conduct yourself.
>
> Steve Rudd

Steve Rudd followed up with another note.

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 09:09:28 -0500
To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: Re: Reply from The North Texas Skeptics
In-Reply-To: <3C99D933.ABB8E621@ntskeptics.org>
References: <5.1.0.14.2.20020319131248.02be7d40@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319153432.02bd5240@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020319222109.02ab5450@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020320095815.02a4c460@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020320164026.02a45840@bible.ca>
<5.1.0.14.2.20020320234214.029dda80@bible.ca>
Mime-Version: 1.0
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X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

John, Greetings!

You say:
>That being the case, we must tell all correspondents that
>information they give us is liable to being published.

John, You have a legal guy on your team… a lawyer. I am not a lawyer, but if you ask him, I could sue your but off and win hands down because publishing my private email to you or even your skeptics org. is patently illegal and violates copy write laws, especially in light of the fact that:

1. you never told me ahead of time that my personal email to you was considered by you as public.

2. I flat out warned you in each email it was private.

You know, being a skeptic is not a crime, but skeptics must be ethical and moral and abide by laws.

Here is some free legal advice:
Post a warning on your site that any mail sent to your skeptics address is considered public. But this is still not enough, you are not permitted to post private stuff sent to you as I did, until after you have warned them it is public.

I got your PERSONAL email address from the George guy whom you wrote about Don a few days ago.

The bottom line in all this is the fact that you now have all the proof you need to take immediate action to purge the false information about Don on you site.

A single phone call or email to Jan will verify 100% that the letters are authentic.

your mission: Are the letters authentic or frauds.

You know, they are authentic even before you confirm them.

So I suggest you take action before the debate or it simply will not go well for you in the debate.

Being more blunt, if you, after me notifying your entire little band of skeptics, the contents of information I have sent to you personally and on our website, you still have not posted a retraction… you will be called upon at that time, in public to make a public retraction.

If you want to debate facts of science post a formal retraction. If you want to waste Don and Your time discussing proven lies you and your organization have been been either innocently or knowingly publishing, then don’t make the retraction.

You will not be able to claim you are looking into it because you will have had over two weeks to confirm the letters authentic and you will be shown to be less than honourable.

So consider carefully, how you plan to conduct yourself.

Steve Rudd

Steve Rudd followed up with another note.

Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2002 12:42:07 -0500
To: John Blanton <skeptic@ntskeptics.org>
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: SELECTIVE SKEPTIC
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X-Mozilla-Status2: 00000000

John, Greetings!

I am going to let the privacy matter drop for now. Just don’t quote anything I have sent you and you will have no problem.

You can confirm the information from Jan and the preacher directly, that is why I sent it to you.

My words, (fully of typos etc) are not permitted to be published.

My last advice is simple. If you are not prepared to settle this matter before the debate, then it would be quite unprudent for you to bring such up at the debate.

As for suggesting this is a matter that has spanned a decade you are right. But that is because Kuban is evil and won’t remove his knowingly false information, slander and lies about Patton’s degree. Notice it was written in 1988. He has seen the letter from Jan in 1993, every year since then. He is not honest. But I actually still think you are.

This is why I am actually expecting you to do a full investigation of one matter:

Is the Phd valid or not. You know the answer right now is that it is.

When you finally come out of the closet and are required by truth and justice to come on side with us (we will be referring to your retraction as proof that independent proof that Kuban is evil.) and post the retraction on your site.

You are the one who, through carelessness, have NOT BEEN SKEPTICAL when it comes to what your fellow evolutionists say. Therefore I am going to give you a new title.

I hereby confer upon you, by the power vested in me, as God’s Jedi Knight, the title of: “SELECTIVE SKEPTIC”. For you pick and chose, based upon personal bias, whom you will be skeptical of.

Steve

and still private and unpublishable.

Again Steve Rudd insists that I not publish what he has told me. This is a concession I cannot make. Not much got settled, and Steve Rudd sent another note:

Date: Mon, 08 Apr 2002 16:16:56 -0400
To: skeptic@ntskeptics.org
From: Steve Rudd <srudd@bible.ca>
Subject: John, John, John
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Prudence would have guided you to delete the entire reference:

Creationist Don Patton

Debate with Don Patton 30 March 2002
Don Patton’s Use of Out of Context Quotes
Don Patton’s Phony College Degree

http://www.ntskeptics.org/issues/patton/degree.htm

Even a skeptic can be convicted with solid hard facts. You are in a very difficult position, but I think the only honest thing to do it come out defending Don regarding the slander that Kuban has knowingly created. I know you are a man of honour. Even though you were, well, how do we Canadians describe the battle of 1812 when we fought against the USA and won? … WAMPED. Yes you were wamped in the debate with Don. That’s ok, you could not help that. But your carte blanche acceptance of Kuban is initially excusible because you wouldn’t expect a scientist and a fellow evolutionist to knowingly engage in satanic deception regarding Don’s
degree… and you have been muddied by his deception because you swallowed the bait so hard you bit off the end of the rod. But I am a fisher of men… (its in the Bible) and my job is to remove the hook to salvage the fish so I can set you free in the waters of salvation. You need to make a VERY public retraction on your site AND notify talk-org website and Kuban himself of what you now know to be true.

In truth I would rather remove your hook than fillet you alive!

Steve Rudd

private between you and I
I was encouraged that your site did honor my request last year and not post my comments.

Something bigger is at your door. Fix the doorbell.

So, that’s a bit of drama. Steve Rudd’s comments stand for themselves.

To sum it up, we noted for years that Don Patton, Carl Baugh and a number of other Young Earth Creationists tended to inflate their resumés. Sixty years ago creation was more likely to be a given, and it was science that had to establish the facts of biological evolution. With renewed emphasis on teaching modern biology, the creationists needed to push back, and they pushed from a position of weakness. People advocating for science tended to have advanced degrees in the discipline, and they published in peer reviewed science journals. Creationists tended to be lay preachers, often will little above a high school education. Lacking the initiative or the ability to obtain legitimate advanced degrees, these creationists either fabricated them by attaching letters to their names or else by obtaining degrees from spurious sources.

Those days may be gone with the advent of the Old Earth Creationists. These are pushers of the Intelligent Design movement. Intelligent Design advocates tend to have legitimate Ph.D. degrees, sometimes in the biological sciences. Even these 21st century creationists remain stymied by the inability to publish anything resembling positive results in legitimate science journals. Not embarrassed by lack of education, the modern creationists find it necessary to fabricate peer-reviewed publication. It’s always something.

I considered whether there would some concern with my willingness to publish Steve Rudd’s mail. There should be none. Here’s a similar situation: A public official is misusing public funds, and people are complaining. Somebody tells you this is really not the case, and gives all manner of reasons why it’s not the case. Then this person tells you not to repeat these explanations to anybody else. You know these explanations are not true. These explanations were made for purposes of deception. You should be under no obligation to keep the conversation private. The person making the excuses is participating in a subterfuge and should have no expectation of privacy. To keep quiet would be to become a party to the subterfuge.

A few years after all of this I entered my name into a Google search and came up with this:

John Blanton, head slanderer for the North Texas Skeptics

Atheist, evolutionist, humanist, Bible hater, North Texas Skeptics staff.

John Blanton is on staff for the North Texas Skeptics and through this organization is directly associated with: Curtis Severns, Daniel Barnett, Elizabeth Hittson, Greg Aicklen, Jack Hittson, Joe Voelkering, John Blanton, John Brandt, John Thomas, Keith Blanton, Laura Ainsworth, Mark Meyer, Mark Meyer, Mel Zemek, Mike Selby, Prasad Golla, Ron Hastings, Tony Dousette, Virginia Barnett.

[Retrieved 14 March 2015]

I don’t feel guilty that a number of my friends got swept up in this. This is sort of a badge of honor. Sometimes your personal merit is exposed by the kind of people who denounce you. If it’s any consolation, Steve Rudd’s lack of diligence is shown by his reliance on outdated sources. Most of those in the above list are no longer associated with the NTS, and five others are no longer alive. Living in the past can present its challenges.

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3 thoughts on “Conversation with a Creationist

    • Ben,

      Thanks for reading. Especially thanks for reading through the entire post. It is rather long.

      To answer your question, my blog, Skeptical Analysis, is about just that, skeptical analysis of various topics. I also recount for my readers some of my past experiences. New readers and new acquaintances sometimes find these tales interesting. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know if you have additional comments.

      John Blanton

  1. Pingback: Bat Shit Crazy | Skeptical Analysis

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