Jonathan Sarfati

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Jonathan Sarfati

Jonathan D. Sarfati (born 1 October 1964) is a young Earth creationist and former New Zealand national chess champion (1987–1988)[1][2] Sarfati has PhD in chemistry and works for Creation Ministries International (CMI), a non-profit Christian Apologetics ministry. He is the author of many articles and books about creation science.


Born in Ararat, Victoria, Sarfati moved with his family to New Zealand as a child, where he became a dual Australian and New Zealand citizen. He attended Wellington College in New Zealand, later graduating from Victoria University of Wellington with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in chemistry, and a Ph.D. in the same subject for a thesis entitled "A Spectroscopic Study of some Chalcogenide Ring and Cage Molecules". He co-authored a paper on high-temperature superconductors that was published in Nature in 1987 ("Letters to Nature"),[3] and from 1988 to 1995, had several papers on spectroscopy of condensed matter samples published in other peer-reviewed scientific journals.[4]

In 1996, he returned to Brisbane, Australia to work for the Creation Science Foundation, then Answers in Genesis and now Creation Ministries International, as co-editor of their magazine, Creation,[5] and their technical journal, Journal of Creation (formerly TJ).[6] Fellow creationist Gary Bates, in an interview with Sarfati in Creation magazine, says:

"Sarfati means Frenchman in Hebrew. Despite having no religious upbringing, Jonathan was driven to investigate his Jewish roots after his conversion. As a Messianic Jew, he has also passionately imbibed knowledge about church history and theological issues."[7]


Sarfati was a founder of the Wellington Christian Apologetics Society in New Zealand, and has long retained an interest in Christian apologetics and the creation versus evolution debate.[8] His first two books, Refuting Evolution in 1999, and Refuting Evolution 2 in 2002, are intended as rebuttals to the National Academy of Sciences' publication Teaching about Evolution and the Nature of Science and the PBS/Nova series "Evolution", respectively. Refuting Compromise, published in 2004, is Sarfati's rebuttal of the day-age creationist teachings of Dr. Hugh Ross, who attempts to harmonise the Genesis account of creation with mainstream science regarding the age of the earth and the possible size of the Biblical Flood, against which Sarfati defends a literal biblical timeline and a global flood. Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education called Sarfati's Refuting Evolution a "crude piece of propaganda".[9]

Sarfati's critics, such as Reed A. Cartwright and Dr Douglas L. Theobald, have criticised Sarfati's claims such as one that accuses scientists of continually changing the definition of vestigial to match the evidence.[10] In their criticism, Cartwright and Douglas note that Sarfati's PhD is in physical chemistry, not biology. Sarfati himself has criticised some of his opponents for their lack of appropriate credentials, noting of one researcher, that he was an anthropologist, and therefore "anything he says about radiometric dating should be taken with a large grain of salt."[11]

Sarfati playing chess against multiple players at a creation conference, 2011.


Sarfati is a FIDE Master in chess, and achieved a draw against former world champion Boris Spassky during a tournament in Wellington in 1988,[12] and was New Zealand's national chess champion in 1987–88.[13]

Although tied with Rey Casse for first place in the Australian Junior Championship of 1981, he was not eligible to share the title as he was a resident of New Zealand at the time.[14] He represented New Zealand in three Chess Olympiads: the 27th in Dubai[15] in 1986, the 28th in Thessaloniki[16] in 1988, and the 30th in Manila[17] in 1992. He also represented New Zealand on top board at the 5th Asian Teams in New Delhi.[18]

He is known for giving blindfold chess exhibitions at chess clubs[19] and other events,[20][21][22] and has played twelve such games simultaneously.[23] His previous best was winning 11/11 at the Kapiti Chess Club in New Zealand.[24] His chess exhibitions at creation conferences have been publicised by creationist organisations.[25][26]


  • The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution, 2010, Creation Book Publishers ISBN 1-921643-06-4
  • By Design: Evidence for nature's Intelligent Designer—the God of the Bible, 2008, Creation Book Publishers ABN: 978-0-949906-72-4
  • Refuting Compromise: A Biblical and Scientific Refutation of Progressive Creationism,, 2004,Creation Book Publishers ISBN 0-89051-411-9
  • The Revised & Expanded Answers Book, 2003, with Carl Wieland and Ken Ham, edited by Don Batten, ISBN 0-89051-395-3
  • Refuting Evolution 2, 2002, Creation Book Publishers ISBN 0-89051-387-2
  • Refuting Evolution, 1999, Creation Book Publishers ISBN 0-89051-258-2


  1. ^ "Jonathan D Sarfati". Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Dr Jonathan D. Sarfati B.Sc. (Hons.), Ph.D., F.M.". Creation Ministries International. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  3. ^ Mawdsley, A., Trodahl, H.J., Tallon, J., Sarfati, J. and Kaiser, A.B. (1987) Thermoelectric power and electron-phonon enhancement in YBa2Cu3O7-6 Nature 328: 233-234.
  4. ^ Five articles can be found by searching for Jonathan D Sarfati at Science Direct
  5. ^ CMI's Creation magazine
  6. ^ CMI's Journal of Creation Archive
  7. ^ article An awesome mind—A talk with one of Christianity's foremost defenders, Jonathan Sarfati by Gary Bates. First published: Creation 26(3):36–41 June 2004. Referenced 18 May 2006.
  8. ^ Sarfati's biography at CMI-Australia, Creationist Physical Chemist and Spectroscopist
  9. ^ Scott E.C. and Branch G. (2003). Antievolutionism: Changes and Continuities BioScience: 53(3):282-285
  10. ^ Cartwright, R.A. and Theobald, D.L. (2001) Citing Scadding (1981) and Misunderstanding Vestigiality: Another Example of Poor Creationist Scholarship, Talk Origins archive.
  11. ^ Sarfati argues that Colin Groves, an anthropologist, is not an expert on radiometric dating [1]
  12. ^ "Jonathan D Sarfati vs Boris Spassky 1988". Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  13. ^ "Title and Trophy Holders". Poison Pawn. Retrieved 7 January 2009. 
  14. ^ Search for Rey Casse and Chess
  15. ^ Chess Olympiad 1986
  16. ^ Chess Olympiad 1988
  17. ^ Chess Olympiad 1992
  18. ^ Asian Teams 1983
  19. ^ Croydon chess club
  20. ^ Sherman, Bill (3 September 2011). "Creationist to speak on young Earth theory". Tulsa World (USA). Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  21. ^ Richardson, Bryan (27 August 2013). "Check Mates". The Manhattan Mercury (Manhattan, Kansas: Seaton Group). 
  22. ^ Lawrence, Jeana (27 Aug 2013). "Speaker challenges evolution, offers alternative view". The Kansas State Collegian. Retrieved 22 December 2013. 
  23. ^ Chess games at Logan Chess Club site (archive)
  24. ^ Roberts, E., New Zealand Chess 29(3):23, June 2003.
  25. ^ article An awesome mind—A talk with one of Christianity's foremost defenders, Jonathan Sarfati by Gary Bates. First published: Creation 26(3):36–41 June 2004. Referenced 18 May 2006.
  26. ^ Creation 2011 Super Conference

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