Copyright © 2004 by Deb Garland
This paper is a collection of observations in response to Phillip E. Johnson’s book, Darwin On Trial. His book is an attempt to ascertain and analyze the logic of arguments put forth by evolutionists and to identify the assumptions that lie behind those arguments.
As a lawyer, it is his purpose to examine scientific evidence on its own terms while carefully distinguishing this evidence from any religious or philosophical bias which might destroy its interpretation. His question? The author writes, “I want to investigate…whether Darwinism is based upon a fair assessment of the scientific evidence, or whether it is another kind of fundamentalism.”
Evolution, a theory that all living things evolve by a gradual, natural process from non-living matter to simple micro-organisms and eventually to man is taught as a fact. This is much to the chagrin of adherents of creation-science who believe that a supernatural being created the universe and all it contains, for a specific purpose, in six literal days according to the Genesis account in the Bible.
Evolutionary thinking was beginning to take hold in the United States in the early twentieth century with the Scopes “monkey trial” which did not overturn a statute forbidding evolution to be taught in the public schools, but did bring public attention to focus on Darwinism.
In the 1920’s, Henry Fairfield Osborn, director of the American Museum of Natural History, based his evolutionary stance on the fossil Piltdown Man that was later proven to be a fraud. With the advent of evolution, many textbook publishers still avoided the topic of evolution. However, over time anti-evolutionary statutes slowly but surely began not to be enforced and were overturned in 1968.
By this time, creation research institutes had taken a new approach and began to attack evolution by citing orthodox interpretation of scientific evidence. They consulted geological and fossil records and no longer sought to suppress the teaching of evolution. Instead, they armed themselves with scientific facts in order to debate evolutionists on commonly known information.
What is important is that words are used in such a way by Darwinists in the the mainstream scientific community that it makes it impossible to question if evolution is really true. In other words, a criminal defendant is not allowed to present an alibi unless he can show who committed the crime!
Next, the very supporters of evolution who insist upon keeping religion and science separate use their science as a basis for pronouncements about religion. They act a lot like religious zealots in that they are attempting to evangelize the world to Darwinian thought.
It appears to me that the presentation of evolution as fact instead of theory is intentional. For example, this theory continues to be propagated regardless of the lack of scientific evidence for transformational forms in the fossil record. It is also promoted even though there exists historical events like the eruption of Mt. St. Helen’s which has shown that what scientists thought was evidence for an old earth is really proof for a young earth. For this reason, I doubt that evolution will ever be totally eliminated. But, then again, I could be wrong!
It seems that many evolutionists insist on closing their eyes and ears to the truth regardless of what factual evidence is presented to them. In reality they do not want to know how creation came into existence, but are merely looking for an excuse whereby they can continue to reject the Creator.
Still, I hope that as history progresses, new findings will expose the false assumptions underlying evolution and provide support for creation-science. In the meantime, it must be recognized that both evolution and creation-science are adhered to by faith and that equal time must be given to each so that all men will be given the opportunity to make up their own minds about which is true.
In Darwin’s The Origin of Species, which was rushed into publication to ace out Alfred Russell Wallace’s attempt to postulate a similar theory of evolution, three propositions were made. First, that “the species are not immutable.” New species appear over the earth’s long history by a natural process called “descent with modification.”
Second, this evolutionary process can account for all or nearly all of the diversity of life since all living things are descended from a very small number of common ancestors, perhaps from a single microscopic ancestor!
Third, natural selection or “survival of the fittest” guided this process. We know that natural selection occurs when a baby born with birth defects may not live to maturity and reproduce. However, Darwinism goes beyond this claim and asserts that this same principle makes it possible that a bacterial cell can produce descendants over billions of years that result in trees, flowers, bees, birds, and human beings.
It is natural selection that is most prominent in Darwinian evolution. These variations or mutations are randomly occurring genetic changes which produce often harmful, visible effects in an organism. Rarely do they improve an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce.
In addition, most organisms produce more offspring than will survive. Since these are the only individuals that will reproduce, their “survival of the fittest” characteristics are passed on to the next generation and spread throughout the species. Given enough time, it is possible that these random kinds of mutations can aid the species without any assistance from an intelligent being.
This supposes, of course, that Darwin’s theory is true! Because he could not cite examples of natural selection in nature, Darwin resorted to an argument by analogy. He compared natural selection with artificial selection where intelligent breeders handpicked plants and animals with which to breed other suitable plants and animals respectively.
The result from this analogy is the false idea that purposeless natural processes can substitute for intelligent design. In my opinion, the example Darwin gave to illustrate the proposed effects of random chance actually underscores the need for intelligent design! If he were to try to replicate these changes using truly random chance in nature, he would not have gotten the same results because intelligence and random chance are not synonymous. I think that Darwin was so intent on finding evidence of natural selection, that he forgot that he had to discover it within the context of nature for it to be accepted as truth. Instead, he chose illogical means to justify the end he so desperately sought.
What is even more astonishing is that Darwin choose to compare random chance with human intelligence in his attempt to reject God. It seems he would have steered clear of any kind of intelligence just in case there was a connection between the intelligent gifting of man and the supernatural divine being of God.
Regardless of why Darwin cited artificial selection, it has been shown that there are definite limits to the amount of variation that can occur in a species. A genetic limit is reached no matter how much time is allowed to pass. The evidence for this fact faced Darwin in his day and his followers down through the years have yet to produce conclusive evidence otherwise.
Another problem facing Darwinism is that natural selection is a tautology. “Those organisms that leave most offspring leave most offspring.” Of course, we know this is absurd in that other traits are just as important as whether an organism can reproduce. For example, an animal must have characteristics that allow it to defend itself against predators and provide food for itself if it is ever to reach the age of maturity when it can reproduce. If not, then this statement can never be fulfilled and would therefore be declared false.
Using deductive arguments is another way to present this natural selection theory. For instance, “all organisms must reproduce; all organisms exhibit hereditary variations; hereditary variations differ in their effect on reproduction; therefore variations with favorable effects on reproduction will succeed, those with unfavorable effects will fail, and organisms will change.” Again, reproduction is the sole factor used in determining the natural selection of an organism and this can result in few or many variations in a species leading to its extinction or survival. As one can see, this argument does not prove that the theory of evolution is true.
Natural selection can be viewed as a scientific hypothesis, but what evidence confirms that natural selection is an innovative evolutionary process capable of producing new kinds of organisms? In light of actual evidences of variations in species, it is apparent that peculiar circumstances can affect species in a great way, but have not yet resulted in new species.
For instance, a drought on the Galapagos Islands in 1977 caused a shortage of small seeds which are food for Darwin finches. As a result, the larger birds that could eat the larger seeds survived while the smaller birds did not. Soon the population of birds was composed of the larger birds due to their larger offspring.
While this change occurred, it does not prove that natural selection can produce new species, new organs, or other major or minor changes that are permanent. On the contrary, once circumstances change back to what they were formerly, the size of the birds will revert back to their original size with the smaller birds born surviving when smaller seeds are once again available. To promote natural selection as a fact based on a scientific hypothesis which can’t be proven due to the lack of limited physical evidence is sheer folly.
Finally, natural selection is seen as a philosophical necessity because the alternative, a supernatural means beyond human understanding, is too threatening. The liberals with an emphasis on being open-minded are closed to only one possibility. This is sheer hypocrisy!
What should be sought for is empirical evidence to determine which of all possible alternatives are true of natural selection. Yet, Darwinists seek only that which will confirm the only theory they are able to tolerate. I believe that this is the supposedly tolerant person becoming intolerant. In other words, tolerance is only permitted when it aligns with one’s viewpoint, which is not tolerance at all, but intolerance in disguise.
Natural selection preserves or destroys something that already exists. However, mutations must be present for this process to take place. Instead of instantaneous creation or “saltations,” those sudden leaps or macro-mutations by which a new type of organism appears in a single generation, Darwin came up with a gradual process of micro-mutations over long periods of time using familiar natural forces that are in evidence today. At all costs, he avoided anything that appeared or could be construed to be a miracle. In other words, he explained great changes using naturalistic principles which depended on the materialistic world.
However, what Darwin did not count on was that the fossil record over time would not provide evidence of transformational species as his theory required. Not only that, but logically, as complex organs and organisms evolved, how would they survive during the time it took for them to become useful, especially if the complex organ or organism was dependent on other accompanying simple or complex structures to function? What is the probability that a random chance could coordinate the required mutations for all the necessary structures simultaneously? It seems to me that postulating something that requires both randomness and design might be a bigger miracle than instantaneous special creation! Miracles would have to be done at every step of the way over years. Again, what Darwin seeks to avoid, he inadvertently faces once again. I think all Darwin’s detours lead back to God!
Take an eye or wing, for example. Would the mutation of 5 percent of an eye equal 5 percent vision? Of course not! It takes the optic nerve and brain to allow the eye to function and perform the task of giving vision. And what would a partially developed wing accomplish except to hinder the creature from foraging for food or escaping a predator before it could fly making these same abilities possible? Either essential adjunct apparatus are simultaneously needed for an evolutionary change to take place successfully or a leap from one successful form to another is necessary so as not to jeopardize the life of a species as it evolves.
As can be seen, gradual mutation is not rooted in factual evidence, nor in plausible theory, but in pure unrealistic speculation devoid of logic. Darwinians are so attached to their theory that they will defend it beyond reason. Even though Darwin himself said, “If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down,” his followers continue to believe in his theory without scientific proof.
While evolution by macro-mutation is impossible, this fact alone does not prove that evolution by micro-mutation is probable or even possible. Some have thought that the micro-mutations which occur in an embryo later become macro-mutations upon maturity. Still others have tried to find the middle ground between these two processes and suggest something in-between the two.
Another principle of Darwinism is that an organism will not and does not mutate or evolve unless there is a reason for it to do so. Of course, this explains why some species have not changed at all throughout earth’s history. There was no reason to evolve. Conversely, if variations have occurred, the evolutionist says that there was a reason for them to evolve. The supporters of Darwinism can have it both ways with this approach.
Genetic engineering is another way that mutations or variations have been introduced into species. However, this is artificial selection once again because it is dependent on human intelligence to occur instead of natural selection that involves independent random chance.
What I see is that whatever evidence creationists throw at the Darwinists, they have an answer. It doesn’t seem to matter if one answer to a situation contradicts another. The Darwinist compartmentalizes his thinking so that he can avoid facing the real reason why he is committed to evolution and not special creation. He would have to admit that there is a supernatural and divine Creator.
Perhaps the biggest conflict Darwinism has to deal with is the fossil record. Just because fossils exist for extinct species does not necessarily imply evolution! In the early nineteenth century, Darwin’s foes were paleontologists who believed that these mass extinctions were the result of catastrophic events and that new species appeared without any evolutionary ancestors.
Over time this viewpoint was replaced by the uniformitarian geology of Charles Lyell, an older friend of Darwin’s, who thought gradual changes were responsible for the results seen in the fossil record and that these were brought about by everyday forces. Even T. H. Huxley warned Darwin that his theory had to be consistent with the evidence in the fossil record and would have to account for the absence of transitional forms.
However, Darwin paid no heed and insisted his theory was correct despite this fact suggesting that the missing links were the result of the extinction. That is why distinct, stable species can exist. Their intermediate forms have vanished due to maladaptation. This appeared to be a reasonable answer during Darwin’s lifetime, but since then a lot more fossil beds have been examined and it is quite clear that these missing links have never even existed!
To this Darwin replied that the fossil record is incomplete. The missing transitional forms were not preserved because that which is preserved is only a snapshot in time and in particular circumstances. Furthermore, only the hard skeletons of creatures were preserved and not the soft tissues which were the proof of evolutionary change. Of course, we know now that many of these creatures have been preserved complete and intact in the Burgess Shale fossils and that this statement is not true.
Another aspect of Darwinism is that there is gradual extinction as well as the formation of new creatures. However, this theory has been proved to be false because species that supposedly evolved one from another have been found simultaneously together and lived at the same time. What is more interesting is that the fossil record proves that species are static. They appear in the fossil record in the same form as when they later disappear. Not only that, their appearance is sudden and they are fully formed. Some call this process punctuated equilibrium although most orthodox neo-Darwinists prefer to explain these events as gaps in the fossil record and mosaic evolution through natural selection.
The Cambrian explosion gives Darwinism trouble in that no ancestors of the species found in its fossil record are contained in it. How does a unicellular organism become several complex animal phyla without transitional intermediates? It didn’t happen then and it isn’t happening now. Darwin cannot explain mass extinctions. Instead catastrophic explanations are more reasonable. The dinosaurs were affected in such a way.
What is astounding to me is that within the writings of Darwinists themselves, doubts are expressed as to the validity of their findings of those in their camp. If each one truly followed the truth, it seems that while variations existed, there would not be the wide disparity among their writings that one finds. Also, the logic of their arguments would be impeccable. This is not what I find!
Evolution is a fact, not a theory, to Darwinists who believe that “descent with modification” explains the biological relationship linking all living creatures together. Creatures are classified according to how they relate to one another and are not just arbitrarily forced into categories at whim.
Essentialists did not try to explain the cause of why certain creatures were placed together, but Darwinists did. That cause was evolution. How else could descendants be related to each other if they did not have a common ancestor? This gave rise to the idea that between the ancestor and descendants there had to have been intermediate transitional forms although there is no proof in the fossil record of their existence.
The Darwinian theory of “descent with modification” combined with the theory of natural selection was used by the Darwinist to explain the difference between the common features held by two distinct creatures (homologies) and those that were not the same (analogies). The former were characteristics retained by the descendants from their common ancestor, but the latter evolved independently by natural selection. This is thought to explain why some birds have webbed feet and swim while others do not, preferring to sit in trees.
What is incredible to me is that Darwin said that he would base his theory on this argument alone! No wonder he was not shaken from his stand by a lack of evidence in the fossil record nor are his followers today. To postulate a theory as an explanation is one thing, but to claim it to be true is another thing.
Instead of evolution being thought of as a testable scientific hypothesis, it is purported to be a fact. To me, if a fact lacks evidence that it is a fact, it is a theory! Not so with evolutionists who equate the fact of evolution with Darwin’s theory. They are only able to do this if they believe that evolution is the explanation of what they see occurring in nature and separate it from Darwin’s theory which is unsupported in the fossil record.
Stephen Jay Gould gives his three reasons for believing that evolution is a fact. First, there is micro-evolution. This is true even according to creationists. The question is not, does micro-evolution happen, but is it responsible for the creation of birds, insects, and trees?
Second, what about imperfections? These are the variations that allow a single ancestor to reproduce different descendants. This commonality can even occur at the embryonic stage so that as creatures mature they become different in characteristics. Of course, this is false.
Third, Gould claims that the fossil record exhibits evidence of macro-evolution in at least two instances. He believes that the mammal-like reptiles and ape-men are transformations. I would disagree. It appears that Darwinists attempt to equate terms that are not synonymous. For instance, if classification of creatures is a fact, then evolution is a fact. One is describing a creature, the other a process. How can two things so different be the same?
Darwinists claim that fish and amphibians descended from an ancestral fish, reptiles from an amphibian ancestor, and birds as well as mammals descended from reptile ancestors separately. What evidence is there for this vertebrate linkage?
One of the key problems with Darwinism is that paleontologists try to shoehorn in evidence for his theory which they believe to be true rather than examining scientific evidence without such bias. Therefore, it has been very tempting to fit an ancestor into a descendant’s history whether or not it is scientifically able to do so.
To begin with, no specific fossil fish species has been identified as an amphibian ancestor even though the rhipidistians are claimed by Darwinists to be a possibility. Even the coelacanth found in the Indian Ocean in 1938 was dissected for this reason, but no adaptations were found that would suggest it could become an amphibian.
Even the fossils of amphibians called Seymouria appear too late in the fossil record to be transformations of amphibians to reptiles. Their reptile-like skeletal characteristics were studied, but it has been determined that they are true amphibians. It is also impossible to use fossils to confirm all of the differences between amphibians and reptiles because the soft parts of their reproductive systems cannot be determined through the fossil record. Since amphibians lay their eggs in water and reptiles lay hard shell eggs on land, it is not certain how evolution would keep a species alive at the same time its reproductive system is being changed.
The fossil record contains many Therapsida species that Darwinists attempt to claim are intermediate between reptiles and mammals. The jawbones of each are similar except in number of bones and how they attach. It is one thing to note this similarity, but it is another to use it to confirm a transitional species in support of evolution! Not only that, but a single line of descent from an ancestor must be found if Darwin’s theory is correct. This means that several of these specimens evolved into separate species of mammals. And if a single ancestor was found, which of the mammal descendants does it belong to or where are the transitional fossils between it and the several mammal species?
The fossil bird Archaeopteryx was discovered shortly after The Origin of Species was published and had bird-like features. The only problem is that it had claws on its wings and teeth in its mouth. The Hoatzin has claws but no bird today has teeth. This potential reptile to bird intermediate is a possibility but it is far from certain. How could this one specimen become the ancestor to such varied descendants as the hummingbird, penguin, and ostrich?
In regard to the question if apes have evolved into humans, the theory preceded the search for evidence. Therefore, a lot of subjective study has been done instead of objective scientific evaluation. This can be shown by the various fraudulent cases that have developed such as Piltdown and Nebraska Man, even to the point that the British Museum kept Piltdown Man from prying inspection for forty years!
I find it disturbing that Darwinists are so zealous to confirm their theory, that they are willing to forgo a whole-hearted search for truth. Instead, they support their theory with subjective research and evidence, claiming that they have found proof for evolution. If this wasn’t enough, they ignore difficulties with Darwin’s theory and discard them as unimportant. I am beginning to see that the battle for truth is a spiritual war which can only be fought with the Word of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Unless God reveals the truth to errant souls, they will remain lost, despite our best human efforts in this area.
The molecular evidence aligns itself quite consistently with the visible characteristics of the creation. In this attempt to classify species by their degree of similarity at the molecular level, it has been found that in some cases that there is no correlation between the molecular structures and their tangible characteristics. For instance, all frog species look pretty much alike, but their molecules differ greatly. The whale, bat, and kangaroo are also examples.
Regardless, many molecular scientists insist that molecular classification is more accurate than its visible counterpart. Since Darwinists assume that relationship between individuals infers they have a common ancestor, they believe that a molecular classification confirms that evolution is a fact. Therefore, a “99 percent” molecular similarity between men and apes confirms Darwinism decisively. This is false because we are not told how these similarities came to exist.
What molecular evidence does tell us is that there is still no evidence for transitional forms or how cellular organisms could have evolved into multicellular plants and animals as witnessed in the fossil record.
Also, molecular biology has confirmed that there are many more divisions in the living world than has been previously recognized. In fact, there are three bacterial kingdoms instead of two. Again, biochemists with an evolutionary bent assume that these all came from a single common ancestor, because admitting there is an alternative in terms of a divine Creator is unthinkable. This hypothesis is never tested because empirical evidence does not exist for it.
Another attempt to provide proof that evolution is a fact is the molecular clock. It is a method for molecular biologists to date macro-evolutionary events by comparing the molecular changes in diverse species against the date of evolutionary transitions estimated from the fossil record.
However, one must still assume that there exist common ancestors for creatures who live today, which is a big guess. Allan Wilson and Vincent Sarich have used this clock to estimate that ape and human lineages split between 5 ad 10 million years ago. What is ironic is that the molecular clock hypothesis assumes the validity of the common ancestry thesis which it is supposed to confirm!
Because testing Darwinism by the molecular evidence has never been attempted, one has to ask, “Why not?” People who insist on something are closed to the idea of examining their beliefs in an unbiased light. They want to see what they want to see and incorporate only those ideas and evidences that they think prove themselves to be correct. I don’t mind this as long as they don’t claim they are unbiased or open-minded, if such a thing is possible rather than to what degree, and are not.
Darwin wrote about the origin of species, but what about the origin of life? Before biological evolution, what occurred? Some say prebiological or chemical evolution explains how life first evolved from nonliving chemicals. In an attempt to keep a Creator out of the picture, evolutionists are forced to provide a naturalistic explanation for the origin of life.
Ernst Haeckel was the first one to do this in 1871. However, it was not until the early 1950’s that Stanley Miller and Harold Urey at the University of Chicago were able to produce a variety of amino acids and other complex compounds by sending a spark through a mixture of gases thought to have existed in the atmosphere of early earth.
Geochemists now state that the atmosphere of the early earth was not as these two suggested. Even under ideal conditions, subsequent experiments have failed to produce some of the necessary chemical components of life. They also showed that the suggested organic compounds would have been subject to chemical reactions making them unsuitable for constructing life. In fact, a prebiotic soup could not have existed!
Of course, just because all of the required chemical components are present on early earth doesn’t mean that life will emerge. It is highly improbable that even a complex bacteria could evolve itself into something complex like a multicellular animal by chance. After all, chance assembly is just a naturalistic way to say “miracle” isn’t it?
In the absence of scientific evidence, Darwinists always resort to philosophical argument brushing aside the fact that scientists have failed to duplicate the spontaneous generation of life in their laboratories. If life exists, it must have a naturalistic process to explain its existence and the difficulties raised are not as unapproachable as they appear. For example, I am alive, therefore, I can work backward to find out how I came to be!
Attempts have been made to ascertain how the first living molecule functioned and evolved. Studies have been done with the nucleic acids of DNA and RNA as well as proteins, but there still exists the problem that a molecule or cell cannot be transformed into complex plants and animals, even over a few billion years.
The complexity of RNA has caused some to suggest that it must have evolved from some simpler genetic system which is no longer in existence. Others like Francis Crick postulate that life originated on another planet and somehow its offspring found its way to earth.
When scientific proof is lacking, I see that Darwinists are quick to come up with explanations that also cannot be proven. They convert theories into facts and a lack of evidence into theories! It is akin to finding a bone and constructing an entire skeleton complete with flesh drawn from the vain imaginations of men.
The science community has basically come up with rules that prevent any other view other than naturalism from being the tool by which life is understood. In Arkansas, Judge William Overton provided a definition of “science” that eliminated the possibility of any such alternative as creation-science. He specified five essential characteristics of science: 1) It is guided by natural law; 2) It has to be explained by reference to natural law; 3) It is testable against the empirical world; 4) Its conclusions are tentativethat is, not necessarily the final word; and 5) It is falsifiable.
Creation-science appeals to the supernatural, so it is not testable, falsifiable, or explained by reference to natural law. Therefore, it is unscientific and not a viable alternative to naturalistic science, especially since a belief in a Creator and acceptance of the scientific theory of evolution are mutually exclusive!
There are some scientists who declare that such phenomenon as gravity cannot be explained by natural law and that creation-science has empirical evidence for a young earth, a worldwide flood, and special creation. In addition, others view creation not so much as being concerned with the timing or mechanism that the Creator chose to use, but what was His design or purpose.
Ultimately, to totally avoid the idea of a Creator, Darwinists have identified science with a philosophical doctrine known as naturalism. Nature is a closed system of material causes and effects which cannot be influenced by anything external. The assumption is that scientific naturalism is the only reliable path to knowledge and the mutation-selection mechanism is what produces wings and eyes. This is not true because it can be observed to do this. However, holding this philosophy which underlies their thinking excludes them from believing that any other power is available to do it.
The five elements of science denoted above show that Darwinists are committed to science as naturalism, but also to empiricism. The problem with this is that naturalism and empiricism are not always complementary. In fact, they conflict. For example, creation by Darwinian evolution is just as observable as supernatural creation by God. How can the empirical doctrine of Darwinism then be salvaged?
Darwinists do not take empiricism as the primary value in their system. Instead, they simply treat “science” as equivalent to truth and non-science as fantasy. If they make the rules, then those who oppose them are discredited with claims that they do not understand how science works.
Most of the time this is the result of spiritual blindness rather than attempted deception as seen in the writings of Heinz Pagels who admits to observing intelligent design in the world, but who explains it from a naturalistic philosophical point of view.
Thomas Kuhn suggested that science should be seen through the lens of a paradigm which guided inquiry and research in a given area. When the evidence outgrew the paradigm, make a new one. The problem with this approach is that the questions raised by the first paradigm are seldom answered by the second and are often eventually ignored.
Again, Darwinists avoid God by making their own rules of how, what, and when they want to study. They do not want to know the truth, but are giving the appearance of searching for it. It is the height of hypocrisy. Inquiring minds want to know what they want to know in order to avoid what they do not want to know…God!
Between 1981 and 1984 the National Academy of Sciences changed their stance from viewing science and religion as separate mutually exclusive entities to one that saw them as complementary. It seems that if they could not squelch the opposition of creationism, that they must absorb it into their system to make it subservient to naturalistic evolution. This move gave birth to Darwinist religion.
One of the ways this was done was Stephen Jay Gould’s statement that science doesn’t intersect theology. The former tells us the age of the earth and the latter tells us how man ought to live. Knowledge is objective, belief is subjective.
William Provine disagrees and states that science is incompatible with religion because: 1) Modern science directly implies that the world is organized according to mechanistic principles; 2) Modern science directly implies that there are no inherent moral or ethical laws, no absolute guiding principles for human society; 3) Human beings are marvelously complex machines; 4) We must conclude that when we die, that is the end of us; and 5) Free will as it is traditionally conceived, does not exist.
The Academy’s separation between science and religion is correct only if you refuse to define what each term represents! This lack of definition could then find agreement with those who hold to theistic evolution which is not what the Academy intends at all. Another ambiguity is that scientific naturalists do not see such a contradiction between science and religion at all because for them science is more important than religion and is the only source of true objective knowledge. The difference between the two is not even worth mentioning as the latter can be ignored.
The result is that a naturalistic religion is formed. It is a way of harnessing religion’s irrational forces for the rational purposes of science to complete its picture of reality. However, the right kind of religion may only be incorporated as the American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) found out when it attempted to maintain that the natural world is God-governed.
Ultimately the American philosopher and educational reformer John Dewey launched a movement in 1933 called “religious humanism” whose message was that salvation comes through science. This Humanist Manifesto needed revising in 1973 when it was recognized that the atrocities committed by Hitler and Stalin marred the tenets of the first one. Evolution has become the God we must worship. Even the New Age movement continues to unwittingly promote the naïve optimism of this approach today.
Either Darwinism has liberated mankind from the delusion that its destiny is controlled by some greater power or they are in bondage to the purposeless random chance of evolution or the science technology which they have developed that could ultimately destroy them. Whether optimistic or pessimistic, indoctrination of Darwinism must take place and this is done through the educational system.
I thank God that He has opened my eyes to the many fallacies I was taught as I progressed through the public school system as I prepared to become a teacher! In both the private Lutheran and secular public universities I attended, I was presented with so much that opposed Scripturefrom John Dewey to Glasser circle sessions. As time goes on, I see how much humanistic evolutionary thought permeated all of my education. Wow!
In 1981, the British Museum of Natural History posted two signs that allowed for the possibility of explanations for the origin of life as being either evolution or creation. What angered the Darwinists most was not that creation-scientists had anything to do with this new exhibit’s questions, but that Marxist scientists were behind it. The latter believe that evolution occurs at sporadic leaps, such as the revolutions they witness in their own governmental structure rather than the gradual steady evolution claimed by Darwinists who come from a more democratic and free governmental system.
Of course, it wasn’t so much the guessing about why the museum scientists did what they did, but rather that they openly questioned neo-Darwinism with its supposed existence of fossil ancestors. This cast doubts on the logical rather than scientific foundation that is used to uphold the orthodox theory of evolution. They even suggested that since the idea cannot be proven to be true and that it has not yet been proven false, that a better theory may someday be found to replace it!
Eventually through opposition, the museum scientists recanted and instead of addressing doubters, it pulled through with clear support for evolution. The new sign ended with the words, “Many people find that the theory of evolution does not conflict with their religious beliefs.”
No longer was doubt cast, but when it had been, it never addressed the issues which were many: 1) the lack of transitionals in the fossil record; 2) the sudden explosion of complex life forms at the beginning of the Cambrian age; 3) the difficulty of explaining the origin of the genetic code; 4) the limits to change shown by breeding experiments; 5) the “hopeful monster” controversy; 6) the punctuated equilibrium controversy; and 7) the importance of catastrophic extinctions.
What can be seen from this incident is that creationists are not necessarily responsible for educators wanting to stick to generalities when they present evidence for evolution. In fact, they are mainly concerned that when their theory is presented, it is done in such a way to prevent skepticism to arise as a result of their explanation. Encouraging their listeners to think about other alternatives is strictly avoided.
Another event occurred in the California State Board of Education. In 1989, a Policy Statement was enacted about the teaching of science. It clarified that science is concerned with observable facts and testable hypotheses, not about divine creation with its ultimate purposes and causes. The latter is a nonscientific subject that would be covered in literature and social studies instead. This made a distinction between understanding which is related to science and belief which is related to matters of religion including creation.
What occurred as a result is that science teachers were unable to address creation issues in the classroom and students with creation inquiries could only discuss such questions with their families and the clergy. Creation-science became ostracized from the classroom and students were now free to be indoctrinated by evolution without interference. However, Darwinists do not make such a distinction between understanding and belief. If evolution is understood, it is to be believed, no questions asked!
I find a consistent pattern among evolutionists. They appear to be open-minded when they first request equal time be given to their viewpoints in the classroom. But once they are accepted as partners in the task of education, they always find a way to force their creationist opponents out of the way. Darwinists shift gears as it suits their agenda! If nothing else, this course has provided me with an insight not only about the lack of evidence for evolution as compared to creationism, but it has shed light on the tactics used by evolutionists. I have learned an immense amount from reading this book!
What is the difference between science and pseudoscience? Karl Popper gives us the answer. Both Marxism and the psychoanalytic schools of Freud and Adler articulate theories that appear to explain everything, but in actuality explain nothing. Darwin’s theory is an example.
When Popper explored the contrast between the methodology of Marx or Freud with Albert Einstein, they were quite different. Freud looked for confirming examples only and modified his theory so that everything counted as confirmation. Marx did the same thing. This is pseudoscience. Einstein sought evidence to either validate or falsify his theory and when the latter occurred, his theory was modified. Einstein's approach is true science.
Instead of working from an induction model, Popper believed that one should begin with conjecture about the world. This provided a starting point for investigation where both confirmation and falsification can occur. If the latter happened, a new explanation is needed.
Popper believes that a wrong view of science comes about when there is a craving to be right. This is rooted in pride and the scientist will defend his theory with every means at his disposal because his professional reputation is at stake. As a result, a theory’s scientific status does not depend upon its subject matter, but upon the attitude of its adherent toward criticism. True scientific methodology exists wherever theories are subjected to rigorous empirical testing and are absent whenever a theory is protected rather than tested.
In view of Popper’s maxims, Darwinism from its very beginning has been protected from empirical testing. In fact, it has become a religion of scientific naturalism with its own ethical agenda and plan for salvation through social and genetic engineering.
Darwinism has its purpose and agenda and it is at odds with that of the divine Creator. As time marches on, I believe that evolutionists will become more desperate to hold onto their theory of evolution as fact, especially as more evidence through archaeology and true science provides evidence for creation. May we stand firm on the Word of God despite the persecution which is sure to follow and increase!
Phillip E. Johnson states succinctly that he is a critic of evolution because he distinguishes between naturalistic philosophy and empirical science and opposes the former when it comes “cloaked in the authority of the latter.”
It seems that neo-Darwinists always have a rationalization for whatever contrary evidence they run into for their theory of evolution. They never seem bothered that objective truth is contrary to their viewpoint. Instead, they hide behind a relativistic response and leave themselves a back door through which they can run if the fire of criticism gets too hot. If one insists on naturalism, then divine intervention can be dismissed in regard to creation. This is a convenient, but disingenuous way to reject one’s Creator. In eternity, the truth will be known. It can only be ignored, disregarded, and postponed only so long!