A common misconception
21 November 2003
I am a medical illustrator and published author. I wanted to let you know that I really liked your web site.
Though I am not a christian or creationist, I found your site very informative, well written, balanced and interesting. Your site is a “breath of fresh air” compared to the majority of non-sensical creationist sites out there.
Believe it or not, we hear that a lot. We really do appreciate the comments because we work hard to be as accurate as possible.
I adhere to the theory of evolution as correct along with the many other scientific theories (“theory” used in the technical sense).
Which view of evolution do you adhere to? Neo, Traditional, PE (punctuated equilibrium)? Or are you using ‘evolution’ simply to mean ‘change of gene frequency over time’, which no informed creationist doubts. It’s important to define terms accurately and avoid the fallacy of equivocation or bait-and-switch—see Definitions as slippery as eels.
But I also think that God created the universe, I guess that makes me a “theistic evolutionist”. Aren’t labels great?
They can be, if they are used accurately to define someone’s beliefs accurately. How would you define ‘God’ in the sense that you believe He created the universe? Would it be the God of the Bible, or Allah, or Brahman (from Hinduism)? I believe that if God was powerful enough to create the universe, then He should be powerful enough to tell us how and why He did it. This is one reason that I believe the Bible to be from God.
I have become interested in the “creationist” movement because it has come to my attention that modern creationist groups are lobbying legislatures to pass laws to force public schools to teach “creationism” on an equal footing with science. With which I strongly disagree.
CMI is not a lobby group, and we oppose legislation for compulsion of creation teaching. For one thing, one school of thought is that sending kids to public schools is like Moses sending the Israelite children to Canaanite schools. But mainly, why would we want an atheist forced to teach creation and give a distorted view? But we would like legal protection for teachers who present scientific arguments against the sacred cow of evolution.
Also, most of the people involved in the actual lobbying at present are part of the ID movement, not biblical creationists. Please see our comments on the ID movement. Also, we note your attempt to contrast creation and science, which is not a legitimate contrast since many creationists are highly qualified scientists, including many staff of CMI (see biography page). Also, the founders of many major fields of science were bible-believing creationists. See The Creationist Basis for Modern Science. It is not a matter of creation vs science.
It’s also important to note that many evolutionists have a strong anti-theistic religious agenda—see A Who’s Who of evolutionists. And when ‘religion’ was kicked out of schools, it only seemed to be directed at Christianity. The fact was that it was replaced by another religion called Secular Humanism.
Most don’t realize that Secular Humanism was recognized by the US Supreme Court as a religion. The U.S. Supreme Court in Torcaso vs Watkins, 81 S.Ct. 1681 (1961) contains the following statement:
Among religions in this country which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God, are Buddhism, Taoism, Ethical Culture, Secular Humanism (emphasis added), and others.
Two tenets of the Humanist Manifesto II that exactly state what evolution teaches are:
- Religious humanists regard the universe as self-existing and not created.
- Humanism believes that Man is a part of nature and has emerged as a result of a continuous process.
Since the US Supreme Court has recognized Secular Humanism as a religion, and since the two tenets above come from the Humanist Manifesto, one can conclude that by teaching evolutionism (or at least the part of evolutionism that says that the universe is ‘self existing and not created’, and that man ‘has emerged as a result of a continuous process’) a teacher is, in fact, teaching a religion. The humanists are the loudest criers of the notion of separation of church and state and that anything religious may not be taught in the government schools. Therefore, evolutionism should not be taught in the government schools either, since it is religion (according to the US Supreme Court).
The problem is that many humanists control the state education system and fail to make the clear distinction between evolution and real science (and this suits activist courts with their corrupt and self-serving ideas of an evolving legal system aka a ‘living Constitution’—see Nancy Pearcey’s article Why Judges Make the Law: The Roots and Remedy of Judicial Imperialism and Rodney Hordern’s article ‘Human rights versus biblical responsibility,’ Journal of Creation 17(3):109–112, 2003). However, the type of science that put men on the moon, cures diseases, and enables technological advances, is operational science, supported by repeatable observations in the present. Evolution might be termed origins or historical science which can’t be repeated and so cannot be tested by any experiment. But it does what it can to piggy back on the (deserved) high reputation of operational science. See Naturalism, Origin and Operation Science and ‘It’s not science’.
Luckily the attempts by creationist to force these laws have either failed or have been overturned.
Actually, we want the students to be taught more about evolution than the establishment wants to be taught. That is, we would like teachers to have the freedom to teach the evidence against evolution. As it stands, they can’t, according to Supreme Court: Don’t teach evolution difficulties! This is because the evolutionary (secular humanist) establishment doesn’t want students to learn about the problems, and a leading supporter of such evolutionary indoctrination inadvertently reveals why:
In my opinion, using creation and evolution as topics for critical-thinking exercises in primary and secondary schools is virtually guaranteed to confuse students about evolution and may lead them to reject one of the major themes in science.
–Eugenie Scott, leader of the NCSE, cited in Where Darwin Meets the Bible—by anti-creationist Larry Witham (Oxford University Press, 2002).
Creationists are sometimes accused of not being ‘true scientists’ because of our biblical bias. So why isn’t the same charged raised against evolutionists with dogmatic materialistic biases? A few evolutionists are honest enough to own up to their biases, e.g. Lewontin and Todd, with their faith commitment to materialism. Right now, students are being told it is a fact, but it is a one sided view without even a hint that evolution is being shot full of holes—even by evolutionists themselves.
So people come out of schools believing evolution because much of the truth was hidden from them. This may have even happened to you within some approximation as it did with all of us.
I think that religious views, regardless, of how they are labeled should not be taught in science class in public schools. Religious dogma has no place in science classes. To put religion or spirituality on the same level as science demeans religion.
Then you would agree that Secular Humanism should be kicked out as well. The problem is that in the science classroom right now they teach the Secular Humanist INTERPRETATION of the evidence.
Have you ever heard where someone says that evolution has all the ‘facts’ or all the ‘evidence’. The problem with this is that any religion can claim that. We all live on the same earth and we all look at the same evidence—it is the interpretation of the evidence that is different. Please take some time to read the article Faith and facts.
However, I have no problem with religious ideas being mentioned in an appropriate class, like Social Studies or History or a philosophical course.
This also seems to commit the fallacious fact-value distinction—see Stephen Jay Gould and NOMA.
I think that individual prayer should be allowed in public schools, but not teacher lead (school sanctioned) prayers. I think that if a child chooses to say grace over his lunch or to pray to Allah during a break, it should be allowed. Religion is an important part of our society.
I agree here, too, and in fact this is legal. See ‘Rights in US Public Schools’ from the Christian Law Association. Of course ‘religion’ is important to society, but implicit in your statement seems to be the assumption that ‘all religions are equal’. But this is not tenable, because different religions make contradictory claims to truth. For example, the Bible says that Jesus died (and rose from the dead), whereas the Koran claims he did not die. Now he either died or he didn’t, both cannot be true. Furthermore, Christianity made countries like America great, not Buddhism, Hinduism, Shamanism, Atheism or Islam. For the utmost relevance of Christian faith to society, see, for example, Rape and evolution.
I have bookmarked your site and will return to read more.
Thanks and I pray you will take some time to evaluate these things. May God richly
bless you as you seek the truth.