Yesterday, in an Australian Court, Englishman Alexander Christian York was sentenced to Five Years max for the stabbing death of Scottish biochemist Rudi Boa during an argument over evolution. The argument happened in January of Last Year. York, traveling alone, and Boa, with his girlfriend, were backpacking in Blowering Holiday Park, near Tumut, New South Wales, when Boa suffered mortal wounds at the hand of York.

Tumut is a tourist destination at which visitors pick fruit, and stay in tents and trailers. York and Boa, together with Boa’s girlfriend Gillian Brown, were neighbors in the caravan park. They had been getting along very well, and spent the night of January 27th drinking at Tumut’s Star Hotel.

That is when an arguement about creationism vs. evolution erupted and escalated to the level of a shouting match. Brown and Boa , biomedical scientists, had been arguing the case for evolution. York was a creationist. The argument, it appears, continued for a while then settled down.

According to Justice Michael Adams, making this statement during the sentencing hearing:

Although this became perhaps a little sharp edged, it did not really amount to anything,…

For some reason, however … the offender’s mood changed suddenly and he began to abuse Mr Boa and Ms Brown.

There was no hint of a physical confrontation and what happened amounted to little more than a brief verbal contretemps.

Later, back at the campgrounds, the drinking continued and the argument accelerated again. By later that evening, all three were quite drunk.

According to Brown (the girlfriend), York (the creatinist) was making dinner when he attacked the couple outside of his tent, fatally stabbing Boa (the biochemist) with a kitchen knife.

York, for his part, claimed he had lashed out at Boa in self defense. The Wagga Wagga NSW court found York guilty of manslaughter in July.

Stabbing an evolutionist to death, In Australia, is not considered a serious offense if you are a person of good character. According to the judge, Justice Adams:

I do not believe that he took aim but rather thrust out…

I think he knew that the knife was in his hand … but he did not actually turn his mind to the potentially serious consequences of doing this.

The offender is a person of good character and the offense is a complete aberration.



  1. #1 Jason Failes
    December 14, 2007

    “The offender is a person of good character”

    Oh, yes: Killing someone because their well-researched scientific evidence threatens your bronze-age worldview…

  2. #2 Virgil Samms
    December 14, 2007

    Justice Adams said he had given York a sentence at the lower end of
    the scale, partly because of the accidental nature of the stabbing.

    So it wasn’t by “design”? This guy was undercutting his own position all the way to jail.

  3. #3 Suricou Raven
    December 14, 2007

    I think this might be more of a case of killing someone because he didn’t know the safe limits of his alcohol tolerance – being completly drunk and waving a knife around is quite enough to result in someone dying, and even a trivial argument can push it too far.

    He still shouldn’t have been sentenced so lightly… I would be interested to know if the judge has any personal views that might have influenced the sentence.

  4. #4 RM
    December 14, 2007

    I don’t see *any* evidence that York’s creationist tendencies had anything to do with his light sentence. In fact, I don’t see how the creation/evolution topic has anything to do with the case, besides being the topic on which they argued – how would things be different if the topic of debate was girls/football teams/mothers? You present no evidence that the judge explicitly took the defendants belief in creationism into consideration. (“Person of good character” is not code for “believes in creationism”.)

    It appears to be a standard “drunk guy gets into an argument, stabs the other guy” situations. I think it is a little disingenuous to bring the whole creation/evolution thing into it – it makes it sound like you’re trying to push an agenda.

  5. #5 James McGrath
    December 14, 2007

    Is the scariest thing perhaps that someone would claim stabbing someone who tries to educate you is ‘self defence’?

  6. #6 Schmeer
    December 14, 2007

    So killing someone over an argument doesn’t make you a bad person or detract from your “character”?

  7. #7 CorrectAsUsual
    December 14, 2007

    The time sequence is important here. The judge tried the facts and found York guilty of manslaughter, presumably based on the evidence and the applicable law.

    Now (later) the judge is considering the facts at SENTENCING, when prior behavior of York is in issue. Prior behavior means BEFORE the stabbing, when York may well have been a of good character.

    Assume he has no criminal record and has been of good character. The evidence in the case shows that the 3 got along “very well” before they drank, and also that their argument was not violent at the first stage.

    Which is more likely:
    (1) The judge lowered the sentence because something provoked York?
    (2) This is a creationist judge protecting scientist killers?

  8. #8 Jonathan Vos Post
    December 14, 2007

    “… but he did not actually turn his mind to the potentially serious consequences of doing this.”

    Yes, that’s Creationism in a nutshell.

  9. #9 stogoe
    December 14, 2007

    “Person of good character” is not code for “believes in creationism”

    I can’t discount the possibility that it is dog-whistle sentencing. We’ve seen this kind of mealy-mouthed in-group protectionism many times before.

  10. #10 Boko999
    December 14, 2007

    Just a coupla drunks brawling. Nothing to see here, move along please.

  11. #11 Spaulding
    December 14, 2007

    Tumut is a tourist destination at which visitors pick fruit, and stay in tents and trailers.

    I thought Creationists figured this out 6000 years ago: when you’re camping out in a nice place, don’t eat the fruit or bad stuff will happen.

  12. #12 Damian
    December 14, 2007

    I think people are seeing things that aren’t there. In Australia there is no big Creationist movement, and any official would be extremely out of place to either believe in Creationism – at least strongly enough to influence a sentence at a murder trial.

  13. #13 Greg Laden
    December 14, 2007

    I don’t assume (or even guess) that the judge was a creationist. Most likely he was a Christian, and these Christians tend to stick together, yes?

    In truth we have no idea what really happened. But I can guarantee you that if this was the other way round, we’d be hearing about it from the pulpits.

    Welcome, dear readers, to my pulpit.

    (Big flames and black smoke, a little rumble of thunder)

  14. #14 Telperil
    December 14, 2007

    “Which is more likely:
    (1) The judge lowered the sentence because something provoked York?
    (2) This is a creationist judge protecting scientist killers?”

    Unless you consider stating that you don’t believe in mythology to be provocation to murder someone.

  15. #15 Amanda
    December 15, 2007

    “I think it is a little disingenuous to bring the whole creation/evolution thing into it – it makes it sound like you’re trying to push an agenda.”

    One important way it is relevant: creationists often claim that evolution is behind many evils in the world and that it causes people to devalue life and thus do things like go on killing sprees. And this incident shows that they are right: evolution leads creationists to devalue life and kill people. At least irony isn’t dead.

  16. #17 huxley
    December 16, 2007

    Here’s a shortened version of Michael Murray’s link:

  17. #18 the real cmf
    December 16, 2007

    the “offender is a person of good character”……
    you must admit, Australia has a flawless and glorious history of knowing what’good offenders’, AND good Christian drinking limits are, right?

  18. #19 Chris Sanford
    December 4, 2008

    The Bible says the fool says in his heart there is no God. 1 John says they speak as one of the world, therefore the world listens to them. Yet God’s Word is true though every man be a liar. I tremble when I think about the evolutionist, who spent his life denying and suppressing the truth of the Great Creator, when they bow before Him on that day. Oh how I pray that they come to saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
    The Bible says that God’s hand print is evident in creation so that no one has an excuse before Almighty God. In fact for anyone to come to the opposite conclusion, the Bible says they are suppressing the truth in unrighteousness. How can God’s attributes be seen in what is created?? 1 Corinthians 14 says that God is not a God of disorder but of peace. So with that said we should see order in creation since it is created by the God of order Himself. WE DO!!! Creation whether on the astronomical scale or the biological scale is unfathomably ordered. We get our word cosmos (another name for the universe) from the Greek word kosmos. This word literally means order. There is order, in fact the evolutionist say that the scale of order that we see in creation is due to dumb luck and chance. Let me ask you when is the last time you ever saw a puzzle come together when left by itself? No it takes intelligence to put something as small as a puzzle together, how much more the complexity of the universe or a cell??

  19. #20 Stephanie Z
    December 4, 2008

    Yeah, the bible also says we can’t haz cheeseburgerz. Whatever.

  20. #21 Chris
    January 30, 2009

    Internal Evidence
    Many critics of the Word of God will no doubt come up with statements such as “the Bible is full of contradictions”, and “the Bible is so inconsistent”. Most of the time I would try to show them that this is simply not true, yet I have begun to take a different approach. A man last year said “The Bible is full of contradictions”, so I asked him give me one. His answer was well it isn’t full of contradictions yet there is a couple, again he could not give me one. Many have tried to discount the Bible, have tried to write it off as the product of man, many attacks have come against the Bible, yet what you do not hear is that not one and I shout not one has ever stood. The unbeliever rages against the Word of God because it speaks right against our lives!! They hate it because they know they will have to answer to the God of the Bible and for that they are enraged because they love their sin and the Bible says the wages of sin is death.
    What is so sad to me is that the very truth that they rage against is the same very truth that could set them free! They could be free from their sin, free from the wrath of God, free from eternal death, and yet they disobey God and choose death rather than life. So is the Bible full of contradictions, is the Bible worthy of our trust?? Let’s not look at many Scriptures to prove this point although we certainly could, lets look at just one. Job 26:10 says He has inscribed a circle on the face of the horizon. This word for circle is khug, in the Hebrew it literally means to draw a circle. So Job is saying that the earth is round, the horizon is circular. Now Job was written around 2000-1400 B.C. All of us are familiar with what happened in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
    Now the masses told Columbus do not sail because the earth was flat. I have hear unbelievers say that only a few people told Columbus not to sail. This is simply not true. The masses told him not to sail, in fact it was very hard for him to get funding because they thought the earth was flat. This is in 1492 A.D.!!! So how in the world would Job thousands of years earlier know the world was flat?? Job did not know the Holy Spirit who inspired the Word of God knew!! Hold on I have also heard unbelievers say oh there are old pagan myths that says the earth is round. While this is true have they really looked at what these pagan myths taught? Some taught that it was on the back of a turtle, another taught it was on the back of a god. Hardly scientific. Yet the Word of God says in Job 26:7 He hangs the earth on nothing!! How in the world did Job know?? Again he didn’t the Spirit of the Living God who created the world knew! Also we did not find this out really until we sent men to the moon.

    Full of contradictions? Untrustable when it comes to scientific material? The Word of God was getting it right all along when everyone and I mean everyone was getting it wrong. Oh the wisdom of God, how great and awesome is He! Who alone is the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, which is filled with His glory. Oh to Him be all praise and glory now and throughout eternity. AMEN

  21. #22 Greg Laden
    January 30, 2009

    So, you ar saying that those of us who do not hold your beliefs are not as good as you are? How convenient.

  22. #23 Stephanie Z
    January 30, 2009

    Actually, Greg, Chris is saying that s/he only feels comfortable engaging in debate with people who don’t know what they’re talking about. I could spend some pleasurable time speculating on why, but it’s a kind of busy day.

  23. #24 phantomreader42
    January 30, 2009

    So, Chris Sanford, you are here to endorse and celebrate murder in the name of your god. That is not a question, that is a statement. This entry that you are posting under is about a man being stabbed to death for religious reasons, and being let off the hook by one of your fellow cultists, and you can’t bring yourself to find anything wrong with that. Instead you babble bullshit from your book of ancient myths and insult those who don’t share your delusions.

    Go fuck yourself. Your imaginary friend isn’t real, but if it were it would be evil. Your delusions have made you evil. And I suspect you’ll be jerking off later tonight fantasizing about everyone who dares point out how wrong you are being tortured for all eternity. All while desperately trying to hide from the fact that you are an apologist for murder.

  24. #25 Karien
    February 20, 2009

    How do you know that God did not use evolution as a way to bring variety into the world? What I don’t understand is that they say there is no sin larger than another sin = sin is sin. Well, then murder is equal to non believing. Why is the christian punished that lightly? Take responsibility for your actions and being drunk cant be a reasonable explanation for murder!

  25. #26 Jonny
    April 5, 2012

    What proof is there have that the guy was murdered specifically for religious reasons? Besides, Christians aren’t supposed to be getting drunk.

    Reading between the lines I think phantomreader42 is, ironically, entertaining his own anger-drenched delusions. You know what they say about psychological projection. The give-away? it’s the anger, the ad hominems, signs that the guy hates himself. Would you trust someone like that? About as much as a I trust Al Gore.

  26. #27 Shiru
    April 28, 2015

    You know that you do stupid crap when drunk. You still got drunk. You stabbed a man to death, which resulted from your stupidity and bad decisions, so take freaking responsibilty for it. Also, he “lunged out” in the general direction of the man who convienently happened to have opposing beliefs. REAL innocent.