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Edgar Andrews

Professor Edgar Andrews

Professor Edgar Andrews is a retired academic from Queen Mary and Westfield College (University of London) and was a signatory to the 2002 Estelle Morris letter whilst, at the same time, being President of the Biblical Creation Society alongside some of the 14 other of its signatories previously and currently associated with the organisation. This association was not disclosed in the letter.

Andrews is a creationist who claims the earth to be of indeterminate age, while the Biblical Creation Society is a young earth creationist organisation. According to the Charity Commission, Andrews was a shareholder and a retired director and trustee of the Evangelical Times.

Andrews is, as of January 2008, 75 years of age. He has debated creation and evolution publicly with both Richard Dawkins and TV botanist David Bellamy. The Huxley Memorial Debate was at the Oxford Union in 1986 and was between Dawkins and the biologist John Maynard Smith on the one hand and AE Wilder-Smith and Edgar Andrews on the other. A portion of the debate can be viewed on YouTube, while a cd of the almost 4-hour debate can be purchased from the Oxford Union.

Examinations of the published debate showed potential discrepancies, particularly with regards to the subsequent polling amongst the attendees:

It appears that Durant said in the original report that there were 15 votes for the creationists, when they say it was more like 115. Apparently, on the web page the 15 is stated twice and in each case a lower case l is used instead of the numeral 1. It was Dawkins who spotted this and felt that it could not be a typo as it occurred twice. There are two possible scenarios:

1) In olden days, when people used typewriters, they had to use a lower case L because there was sometimes no numeral 1 on the keyboard. Maybe it got carried through onto the web version.

2) It could have happened this way, or this could be the sole reason: scanning and OCR. Either a less than perfect OCR operation read the numeral as the letter, or a good one correctly transcribed the typewriter's letter into a computer's letter.

However, perhaps it's not as simple as that. While the AAS article clearly has the letter and not the numeral, the date 14 February is correctly transcribed, as is the page number 12 and other numerals. Durant talks of Oxford "coming down cautiously on Darwin's side" and "amazed that religiously-motivated anti-evolutionary sentiment is still so strong that it can command the support of no less than l 5 undergraduates at one of Europe's foremost universities". We think that makes it pretty clear that Durant was talking in terms of 115, however the strange number came to get into the text.

Also, Richard Dawkins has subsequently decried aspects of Andrew's participation during and after the debate. See these links for further details:

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