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Damadian was denied a Nobel prize because he was a creationist (Talk.Origins)

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This article (Damadian was denied a Nobel prize because he was a creationist (Talk.Origins)) is a response to a rebuttal of a creationist claim published by Talk.Origins Archive under the title Index to Creationist Claims.

Claim CA320.2: The 2003 Nobel Prize in medicine went to Paul C. Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield for their development of medical applications for MRI. Dr. Raymond Damadian also played a key role in the invention; he was denied a share of the prize because he is a creationist.

Source: Wieland, Carl. 2004 The not-so-Nobel decision

CreationWiki response: (Talk.Origins quotes in blue)


Complex inventions build on the work of many, many people. It is often a subjective judgment call to say which were the most important inventors. Damadian discovered that that tumors and normal tissues have different nuclear spin relaxation times; that he deserves much credit for the MRI is beyond question, and he has received much credit. That he deserves a Nobel prize is arguable.

He did more than discover "that tumors and normal tissues have different nuclear spin relaxation times". The patent for the MRI machine is made in HIS name. To quote TalkOrigins' source for this claim, "Against much opposition, he built the first working MRI scanner."

The prize was awarded primarily for the imaging aspects of MRI (Nobel Assembly, 2003), to which Lauterbur and Mansfield contributed more than Damadian. Lauterbur introduced a method for using NMR for generating images, and Mansfield enhanced the technique to make it faster and more useful.

TalkOrigins may have a point here, but there can be as many as three winners in one category. They could at least give one to the guy who actually created the process.

Also, Lauterbur, according to TalkOrigins' own source for this claim, was inspired by Mr. Damadian.

2: There is no indication that Damadian's creationism was a factor in his not getting the Nobel prize.

Not true. Even agnostic professor Michael Ruse, known for his open hatred of Biblical creationism, was curious and even noted that the likely cause of Damadian being rejected the Nobel Prize was his belief in creationism. (Ruse, M. The Nobel Prize in Medicine—Was there a religious factor in this year’s (non) selection? Metanexus Online Journal, 16 March 2004)

Personalities play a far greater role than ideologies in affecting whether someone gets a prize. Damadian's abrasive personality may well have been enough to make him unpopular. Or other factors may have been involved. The Nobel committee might have felt pressure not to split prizes so much. Or they might simply have screwed up. Blaming his exclusion on creationism is pure speculation.

TalkOrigins acts as if they know Mr. Damadian personally and TalkOrigins is doing what they are accusing creationists of. They too are just speculating about Mr. Damadian's supposed "abrasive personality".

There is much evidence that Darwinists do persecute creationists and even those who approve of the two-model approach. Mr. Jerry Bergman has documented, not dozens or even hundreds, but thousands of cases were creationist were abused because of their beliefs. 12 percent of those interviewed had received death threats.

The history of the Nobel Prize is full of controversy which has nothing to do with creationism. Other deserving people passed over for Nobel Prizes include Dmitri Mendeleev (periodic table of the elements), Edwin Hubble (expansion of the universe), Samuel Goudsmit and George Uhlenbeck (spin of the electron), Mohandas K. Gandhi (nonviolent protest), Leo Tolstoy, Henrik Ibsen, and James Joyce (literature). Selman Waksman was the sole winner of the 1952 medicine Nobel Prize for discovering streptomycin, although Albert Schatz did most of the work. Penzias and Wilson shared the 1978 physics prize for verifying a prediction of big bang theory, but Ralph Alpher, who was largely responsible for the theory, was not included. Many people believe Freeman Dyson should have been included in the 1965 physics Nobel prize for quantum electrodynamics, and that Otto Hahn's colleagues Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann deserved a share of his 1944 chemistry prize for fission. Many other examples could be cited (Feldman 2000).

TalkOrigins isn't getting the point. There is good reason to think Mr. Damadian was rejected because of his views on creation. In this ONE case, Darwinists ripped the Nobel Prize away from a genuine scientist.

There is also good reason to think that some of the examples given by TalkOrigins might have also been due to extreme bias. For example, Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding, thus implying the universe had a beginning. This would have not settled well with the cosmology of the day.

Many people made substantial contributions to MRI but did not win the Nobel Prize. H. Y. Carr, who pioneered the gradient technique that Lauterbur used, has at least as good a case for being unjustly passed over as Damadian does.

A) We have good reason to assume that Damadian wasn't just over looked, but dismissed because of his views.

B) Dr. Damadian invented the original model for the MRI machine. The patent is even in his name.

For further reading, see Dr Damadian’s vital contribution to MRI: Nobel prize controversy returns by Jonathan Sarfati, 21–22 October 2006

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