NPR’s Science Friday goes after creationist, anti-science "Real Science Friday" copycat

The long-running NPR program Science Friday recently filed a lawsuit in the New York State Supreme Court against a Creationist, Christian, anti-science radio show called "Real Science Friday." The New York Post first broke the story last week, and spoke to the guy who hosts the creationist knockoff show. He told The Post he’s been doing his show since at least 2006, and that he received a “very polite letter” from NPR's “Science Friday” host Ira Flatow a few years ago asking him to change the name of his show, and never responded. (thanks, Jesse Thorn!)


  1. The case seems fairly cut and dry to me.  Is it likely that someone would confuse the two names?  If so, then it’s a Trademark violation since they are clearly in the same business. 

    NPR even tried to play nice and didn’t pull out the attack lawyers until after the simple letter approach failed.

    I’m guessing he has not changed his name because it’s free publicity at this point.  He’ll probably agree to change it before the court date gets too close and after he’s gotten as much press as he can. 

  2. Hi jandrese, or, perhaps we haven’t changed the name because a REAL SCIENCE show would have made sure that the public has been informed about the greatest paleontological discovery of the century. Sadly, folks don’t look to NPR but they look to Real Science Friday, and our [URL deleted] site, to get the latest relevant research! (And the same goes for short-lived Carbon-14 everywhere it’s not supposed to be, including in contamination resistant diamonds and soft-tissue dinosaur bones, as at our [URL deleted] )!

    1. Nope.

      C-14 is generated throughout the timeline.

      New C-14 is formed from background radiation, such as radioactivity in the surrounding rocks. Processes that can add “modern” C-14 are:Sulfur bacteria, which commonly grow in coal.Secondary carbonates from groundwater that form on fracture surfaces.Whewellite, a carbon-containing mineral, that often forms as coal weathers.

      Minute amounts of contamination from these sources can cause apparent ages around 50,000 years, which is near the limit of the maximum age that carbon dating can measure.

          1. Please don’t be so hasty. You’ve provided a lot of fascinating, factual information. The person to whom you addressed all that information will never read it or reply to it, but many of us appreciated it anyway.

            In short, just because the person you addressed isn’t interested in discussing this in a thoughtful, intelligent way shouldn’t be considered a mark against your willingness to do so.

        1. Bugger that. Bob here isn’t a troll trying to get a rise out of people, he’s someone spreading propaganda. The best way to fight propaganda is not to ignore it, the best way is to point out the fallacies the propaganda contains, quickly, promptly and directly.

      1. Hello dbergen! Specimens that date easily within the AMS range have also been tested for radioactivity and found to have far too little to account for 14C by neutron capture. And contamination-resistant diamonds with 14C, from deep below the surface, with no significant uranium/thorium, etc., also challenge the accepted dogma, as we present in our Carbon 14 program. Thoughts?

    2. Whether you believe that your program discusses “real science” or not is immaterial to the question of whether the name of your show constitutes trademark infringement.

    3. Hi, Bob. Keep up the good work! Like you, I require a very high level of empirical verification before I’ll believe just anyone’s claims, and your discovery of potential errors in the process of scientific investigation has caused me to reject the theory of evolution wholesale, instead accepting the literal truth of every word in the King James Bible.

      1. It isn’t. Enyart can’t win his case on merit, so he’s attempting to shift the discussion by using a dishonest and misleading argument.

        And, you know, it never ceases to amaze me that people like Enyart who claim to consider Truth more important than anything else have no qualms about saying anything they think will score them points.

    4. I think I’ll open my own bank, call it Wells Fargo because I am an ethical person and people should be banking with me rather than that other so called real bank.
      Sadly, people don’t want to seem to bank with me just because I have no background in accounting or finance but I assure you that I would be a great talk show host and that makes me fully qualified to do this job.

    5. Bob, we’re happy to have a central figure in the matter under discussion contribute to the conversation, but we’re not thrilled with you using this high-profile site to drive up your site’s Google rankings and ad rates. I’ve removed the URLs from your comment, but otherwise left it intact. 

      1. AG, I understand; thanks for explaining the rules. We created a forum (I’ll be careful to not even imply its name:) that has millions of posts and thousands of users, and other than the obvious rules against spam, etc., it’s more of an anything-goes type environment; so sorry about breaking your very reasonable rule.

        But since the point of my sentence was in the URL itself, I’ll remove our domain name and restate it: “A REAL SCIENCE show would have made sure that the public has been well informed about the greatest paleontological discovery of the century, i.e., dinosaur soft tissue.”

        Thanks again!

  3. A polite letter from NPR? Of course it was polite! Those wimps can’t even bring themselves to say that Palestinians have a right to defend themselves too.

    1. You mean, though both are ostensibly teams of scientists whose job it is to dispel the supernatural, the Real Ghostbusters have a supernatural mascot?

  4. “Creation Research Society Quarterly author John Doughty reports now on radiocarbon found in two-mile deep natural gas wells! Doughy concludes, “Once again, fossil gas is not carbon-14 dead. Thus, the age of the gases is on the order of thousands, not millions of years.””
    Does anyone here understand this paragraph? found on their site:

    1.  “Thus, I will now announce an unrelated conclusion as if it somehow follows from my previous statements.”

      1. Hi Bob,
        I had no problem with the “now” in the sentence. But if I understand this argument you’re saying that Carbon 14 decays completely within a couple of thousand years, and that Oil and natural gas [allegedly, by your understanding] take millions to be created. So if there is carbon-14 present, the oil and gas must be less than 40000 years old (the date range detectable by C14 dating)?

        Is that correct? 

        1. Hey TO, that’s basically correct. Unless from contamination or neutron capture, there should be no radiocarbon in any specimen on Earth that’s more than a hundred thousand years old. If the entire Earth were a ball of Carbon-14 floating in intergalactic space, it would all decay in less than one million years (because of the short 4,700-year half life).  So the only way that short-lived 14C could exist in something allegedly millions of years old (like oil, coal, dino bones, diamonds), is from contamination or neutron capture (turning 14N or 13C into 14C). And you don’t get contamination within a diamond, the hardest naturally-occurring, contamination-resistant substance on earth (nor, obviously, in a bone that has original dinosaur soft tissue, for being open to contamination would also decompose the T. rex proteins, blood vessels, osteocytes, blood cells, etc.). And you you don’t get neutron capture in environments with extremely low radioactivity, especially not for elements as light at Nitrogen and Carbon, the nuclei of which are too small to readily capture neutrons.

  5. It never ceases to amaze me the lengths that some Christians will go to avoid an admission that anything in the Bible is anything but absolute literal truth. They have their own version of Wikipedia, their own museums, their own schools, their own versions of other tv and radio shows- basically an entire alternate, delusional reality they’ve constructed. And all this for the sake of denying that their sacred text might be even partly metaphorical.

      1.  Thomas Jefferson created his own edited version of the Bible, actually, where he cut out most of the parts about supernatural miracles (including Jesus being anyone besides a remarkable mortal man) and emphasized the ethics and morality of Jesus’ teachings.

        1.  Sounds like my kind of Bible – I’ve often thought of myself as a Christian, except for the part about god.

    1. Hm, hi! Here are two things in the Bible that are not literally true:

      1. An accusation against Jesus that he was perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar. Luke 23:2 (in whatever version)
      2. That Orion has a belt, as in Job 38:31: Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? For with the sweet influence of gravity on the 100+ stars of the Pleiades cluster, they are all moving in the same direction at the same speed because they are gravitationally bound. And the few stars of Orion are moving at different speeds in different directions, which therefore eventually would “loose” his belt, that is, at least from the perspective of observers on Earth, it would come undone. But even still, I grant you, Orion’s belt is not something that literally exists.

      Given the time, I can find for you other passages that are metaphorical or not absolute literal truth. :) Thanks Hm!

  6. Real Science Friday is real science, not the speculative drivel put out by so-called scientists who deny God. Anti-science? Bob and company just have a different view, and debates between Bob and so-called “real” scientists are mostly inconclusive, meaning, there are points on both sides which people latch on to. A court cannot be expected to come out and just say that one side is right and the other is wrong. The implications would be astounding. Furthermore, there is no way the Real Science Friday has caused any legal damages against Science Friday. They might as well sue the Onion newspaper, if they think that Real Science Friday is fantasy!

  7. “Real Science Friday is real science,”

    No. It’s not. And if the Onion had chosen to call itself The Real New York Times, they would have been sued too.

  8. Finnagain, of course I’m biased (should go without saying). But when we debate atheistic scientists, as we often do (Michael Shermer, Eugenie Scott, Lawrence Krauss, etc.) they typically don’t promote the debates, and we frequently advertise them. So at the very least (as when I debated a leading geophysicist on the age of the earth, or even Ken Hoagland and Neil Boortz on a national sales tax), it seems that one reason the other side might not later promote the debate might be that they didn’t do as well as they had hoped.

Comments are closed.