Tom Bethell

Tom Bethell (/bəˈθɛl/; born July 17, 1936) is an American journalist who writes mainly on economic and scientific issues.

Life and careerEdit

Bethell was born and raised in London,[1] England. He was educated at Downside School and Trinity College, Oxford. A resident of the District of Columbia, he has lived in Virginia, Louisiana, and California. From 1962 to 1965 he taught math at Woodberry Forest School, Virginia. He is married to Donna R. Fitzpatrick of Washington, D.C.[2][3][4] He is a senior editor of The American Spectator and was for 25 years a media fellow of the Hoover Institution. He was formerly Washington editor of Harper's, and an editor of the Washington Monthly.[5]

In 1980, he received a Gerald Loeb Award Honorable Mention for Columns/Editorial for "Fooling With the Budget."[6][7][8]

Bethell was hired as a researcher by New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison to assist with his prosecution of Clay Shaw for conspiracy to assassinate John F. Kennedy.[9] Bethell gives no credence to Garrison's charges that Shaw was involved.[10] Shaw was acquitted after the jury deliberated for about an hour.


In 1976, Bethell wrote a controversial article titled Darwin's Mistake. According to Bethell there is no independent criterion of fitness and natural selection is a tautology.[11] Bethell also stated that Darwin's theory was on "the verge of collapse" and natural selection had been "quietly abandoned" by his supporters.[12] These claims were disputed by biologists.[11][12] The paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould wrote a rebuttal to Bethell's arguments.[12]

Bethell was a member of the Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV-AIDS Hypothesis,[13] which denies that HIV causes AIDS. In The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science (2005), he promotes denial of the existence of man-made global warming, AIDS denialism, and denial of evolution (which Bethell denies is "real science"),[14] promoting intelligent design instead.[15] Bethell has endorsed the intelligent design documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed.[16]

Selected publicationsEdit

  • Darwin's Mistake (1976) Harper's Magazine.
  • Noblest Triumph: Property and Prosperity through the Ages (1998) St Martin's Press.
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Science (2005) Regnery Press.
  • Eric Hoffer: The Longshoreman Philosopher (2012) Hoover Institution Press.
  • Questioning Einstein: Is Relativity Necessary? (2009) Vales Lake Publishing, LLC.
  • Darwin's House of Cards (2017) The Discovery Institute Press.


  1. ^ See: Jerry P. Shinley Archive: Thomas Bethell: Biographical Sketch from CA
  2. ^ Trinity College, Oxford – missing members Archived 2008-04-21 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Tom Bethell explains why property matters
  4. ^ Tom Bethell, Beliefnet Columnist Accessed July 20, 2008
  5. ^ Biography at Property Rights Foundation of America, Inc.
  6. ^ "2 California Papers Lead Loeb Awards". The Washington Post. May 30, 1980. p. D3.
  7. ^ "Loeb Award winners 1958–1996". Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Retrieved February 6, 2019.
  8. ^ "Historical Winners List". UCLA Anderson School of Management. Retrieved January 31, 2019.
  9. ^ Tom Bethell, "Reality Check for Another Movie Myth," Los Angeles Times, December 1, 1991.
  10. ^ Tom Bethell, "Was Sirhan Sirhan on the Grassy Knoll?", The Washington Monthly, March 1975.
  11. ^ a b Ruse, Michael. (2007 edition). Philosophy of Biology. Prometheus Books. p. 22. pp. 133-141. ISBN 978-1591025276
  12. ^ a b c Gould, Stephen Jay. Darwin’s Untimely Burial. Natural History 85 (1976): 24-30. Republished in Gould, Stephen Jay. (2007, edition). Ever Since Darwin: Reflections in Natural History. W. W. Norton & Company. pp. 39-45. ISBN 978-0-393-34041-9
  13. ^ AIDS proposal. Group for the Scientific Reappraisal of the HIV/AIDS Hypothesis.
  14. ^ Don’t Fear the Designer Tom Bethell
  15. ^ Banned in Biology Washington Times December 25, 2005
  16. ^ Branch, Glenn. (2008). Expelled and the Reviewers. National Center for Science Education 28 (5–6): 24–25.

External linksEdit