Censoring intelligent design
One man’s personal experience of state school anti-Christian intolerance in the USA
As a music teacher, the author, Roger Paull, received glowing commendation from parents, teachers and even the State Governor. But he's now been summarily barred, and despite repeated requests for an explanation from the District Area Superintendent as to why, Mr Paull has yet to receive any response.
The year was 1996. I had just moved to Arizona with my family, and though as a musician I had some income, it was not enough. So I worked as a substitute elementary school teacher.
At the beginning of the day the students would recite the American Pledge of Allegiance. In many schools, students would then recite this well-known excerpt from America’s Declaration of Independence:
‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.—That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, … ’
I love my country, and I thought that was great—when I was in school we just said the pledge. One day I asked the kids I was teaching if they understood what they were reciting from the Declaration of Independence. I was not too surprised when no one put their hand up to affirm that they did.
My three-plus years spent ‘subbing’1 with the district was somewhat notable. One of my music classes singing the Lee Greenwood song, ‘God Bless the USA’ caught the attention of the principal, then a US senator, then the governor’s office, and so on. In due course, there I was, a substitute teacher, putting on probably the biggest elementary school patriotic concert in Arizona state history; and it was going to be broadcast around the world as well as on several Phoenix TV stations. It was quite an honor for any teacher, especially a sub. I was given a great deal of praise by parents, teachers and even Governor Napolitano herself. In fact the principal of the school wrote a glowing evaluation of my performance as a teacher and asked me to take the position permanently. She even offered to help me get state certification.
But these ‘glory days’ were not to last. The next school year I took a two-day assignment in a middle school science class. The teacher left me a four-part video called something like ‘Science of the Soul’ (I have had no access to it since). Curious about the strange title, I started showing one part. It was a mix of science and anti-religious propaganda; the kids sat there like little sponges soaking it up. To summarize, it portrayed early religious people—specifically Christians and Jews as it used biblical terminology—as primitive and superstitious. For example, when talking about comets it stated that religious people once thought they were signs from God or the devil. It then explained how science came to the rescue and explained what comets really were. A similar statement was made about lightning being a sign that God was angry. Once again science rescued man from religious superstition.
Of course, the narrator failed to mention that it was Bible-believers that founded these very branches of science, and that even some skeptics have acknowledged that the biblical belief is the best antidote to superstition.
Through this video the Washington school district was actively disrespecting the Christian families in the school. I wondered what the enlightened narrator would have believed had he lived in ancient times. I also wondered why the narrator didn’t tell them that scientists once believed in spontaneous generation—that frogs spontaneously generated from mud, mice from wheat, and flies from decaying meat. In fact, it was still the scientific consensus when Darwin wrote Origin of the Species in 1859 that microbes arose by spontaneous generation.
Darwin’s grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, wrote a lovely poem dedicated to evolution, and wrote in support of spontaneous generation. However, in 1864 Louis Pasteur very neatly debunked the idea that microscopic organisms generated spontaneously from lifeless matter. By the way, modern evolutionary scientists still believe life spontaneously generated from dead matter (anything but God), despite the enormous chemical problems with this—see Origin of Life Q&A.
I also wondered why the narrator didn’t tell the students about ‘scientific’ racism. This was a movement in response to the Enlightenment (better termed ‘Endarkenment’) of the eighteenth century by scientists (not religionists) to prove that Africans (the primary race focused upon) were of very low intelligence, biologically inferior to whites, and were racially suited for slavery. It has been said that ‘science is what scientists do.’ Therefore science was the primary and preeminent propagator of racism and slavery from the time of the Enlightenment onwards. But the science in this case is not really science at all, but an anti-God philosophy of naturalism.
Scientific racism actually preceded Darwinism. However, when Darwinian evolution became the accepted worldview by the scientific community as it is today, it joined with scientific racism like two love-sick rabbits. Soon Darwinism became the basis for the vilest racism imaginable. (See, e.g. Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust, and the case of David Duke.) Naturally public education would be humiliated if it became known that Darwinism is the most racist scientific theory that has ever existed (see also See Q & A on Racism). Indeed, Hunter’s Civic Biology, which the ACLU avidly defended during the Scopes Trial (1925), explicitly promoted white supremacy (and eugenics).
The narrator of Science of the Soul, however, never mentioned anything that might give Darwinism a bad name. Instead, he continued to glorify science and attack religion. I personally believe that God created and controls the universe and everything in it. It’s all His and He can do what He wants at any time He chooses and that includes controlling lightning and comets. But I also understand, like most people who have a moderate exposure to astronomy, that comets are chunks of space ice and rock, sometimes referred to as dirty snowballs, which travel in large elliptical orbits around the sun. I also believe that our Creator is a God of order, so normally runs the universe in an orderly way—which inspired the pioneers of science to discover the laws of nature, which as Kepler said, was ‘thinking God’s thoughts after Him’.2 Trust me when I say that in the midst of a close and tumultuous thunderstorm I have been known to pray for the Almighty’s protection. In class, of course, I did not say what I believed to the kids. I kept my mouth shut and ‘steamed’ inside.
The narrator went on to tell of a writer during the industrial revolution that referred to factories as ‘dens of Satan’. He sure liked to use biblical terminology to make believers in God look like superstitious fools. He neglected to point out of course that the horrible conditions of the industrial revolution were in large part a direct result of ‘survival of the fittest’ applied to society. Proponents of this particular form of ‘social Darwinism’, such as Herbert Spencer, taught that the powerful and wealthy were this way because they were biologically and evolutionally superior to the struggling masses. They believed that we should therefore do nothing to help improve the working and living conditions of the lesser evolved masses. Charities were clearly evil in helping sustain the lives of those who otherwise would and should die in the natural selection process. In other words, the weak were to do their duty and die while the fittest survived, which would one day lead to an evolutionarily super society and race. Note that Darwin himself was a social Darwinist!
The historical evidence for this, and for the fact that social Darwinism was the foundation for Nazi Germany, is irrefutable. Yet this truth, dangerous and damaging to the Darwinist’s cause, is never taught in US public schools. Instead, people of religion (by which they primarily mean the Christians) are disparaged and blamed for the brutality of the Social Darwinists!
The narrator further went on to subtly attack the Catholic Church when he told of a French chemist who was guillotined ‘ … in the shadow of Nôtre Dame Cathedral ….’ The implication was clear—guilt by association. Give me a break! During the French Revolution, Christianity was considered a social evil by the revolutionaries. For all I know, the chemist may have been beheaded precisely because he was a believer. By the way, Nôtre Dame Cathedral was looted during the French Revolution and the name was changed to the Temple of Reason. No church had anything to do with the mass executions of the French revolution. The narrator might have been referring to the great Antoine Lavoisier, who discovered the role of oxygen in combustion, who was indeed beheaded. But the irony is that the christophobic revolutionaries proclaimed, ‘The Republic has no need of scientists’ — so much for atheism’s friendliness towards science!
Do you get the feeling that there is some kind of agenda in this video? I did. The kids, however, just sat there like little sponges soaking it all in.
Part three of the video was on evolution. It gave the history of Charles Darwin and his adventure on the good ship Beagle. The narrator, a very scholarly-looking bearded professor type, stood before a table full of fossils and bones. He concluded by passionately saying that Darwin had ‘proof’ that his theory was true, thus implying that fossils were part of that proof. (The truth is that Darwin actually said that the fossil record was a serious objection to his theory.)
The narrator then corrected himself and said something like, ‘Not exactly proof, but there is no absolute fact in any science.’ The implication being that the law of gravity, for example, and the theory of evolution were equally true. In other words hard experimental science was the same as speculation about the unobservable past. This wasn’t education—it was indoctrination. This video disparaged religious thought, was seriously misleading (to put it mildly), and elevated microbe-to-man evolution from a hypothesis to the level of a fact of hard, experimental science. The kids did not know that there are a growing number of scientists who simply don’t believe in evolution. However, they just sat there like little sponges … .
This was the beginning of the end for me as a sub at that school, despite my sterling record. I asked the kids if they had ever heard of a different theory called ‘intelligent design.’ Out of classes of about 30 kids, only one or two would raise their hands. I told them that Darwin didn’t have electron microscopes and modern scientific equipment and couldn’t see the complexity of even the simplest single celled-animal. I compared it to the complexity of a 747 jet. I then went on to say that if they wanted to learn more about intelligent design that they could look it up on the Internet. I told them that I didn’t think it would be taught at school because I had heard that a court in Ohio had ruled against a school board which voted to allow intelligent design to be taught alongside evolution. I also told the kids that I thought this court was wrong, just as the Supreme Court was also wrong in the Dred Scott case.3
I was very careful not to say that evolution was wrong and that intelligent design was right. However I did say that it was ironic that schools could affirm in the Declaration of Independence that the Creator could create man but not any other life. And I merely explained to them what intelligent design was—no mention of the Bible or any religious doctrine.
The next day I was called out of my assignment. An earring-adorned young man from the District office questioned me as to what I had said about intelligent design. He then read a single complaint by what I assume was a diehard atheist parent who didn’t want their child exposed to the teaching of ‘intelligent design’.
I was asked to write a statement of what I had said, and the young man suspended me on the spot. No warning was given or considered. I was then systematically ‘hung out to dry’. No reason was given, such as breaking a written school policy. They read the complaint, I wrote a response, and they then basically said, ‘Hit the road, Jack and dontcha come back no more, no more.’
I have made a written request and numerous phone calls to the District Assistant Superintendent (DAS) asking for a letter explaining why I was suspended but I have received no response. I did get one call from the school lawyer who grilled me about what I said and told me he would be back with me after he talked to the DAS. That has never happened. I somehow doubt that I will get an explanation. I suppose they feel I am a danger to the students, or perhaps more so to the secular progressive agenda in public education.
Furthermore, I was effectively ‘blackballed’ by Washington from subbing in other districts. I was told that suspensions were reported to other districts if they were asked—regardless of the reason. Believing that there is intelligent design behind the universe has thus effectively disqualified me from teaching, as no school wants to hire a potential troublemaker who doesn’t toe the Darwinist line. Imagine how it felt to know I was viewed almost the same way a potential pedophile would be. We have to protect the kids from that ‘religious pervert!’
I want to help expose the insidious evil of evolution that is at the heart of the secular progressive movement. For one, by finishing my book on it, incorporating my own experience. And perhaps, with the help of others, by starting a ministry to help fight this cause. The more that people wake up to what is happening, the better.
- I.e. Substituting for, or relieving, the usual teacher when needed. Return to text.
- Secularists are continually endeavouring to come up with explanations for the origins of the laws of physics—but which are found wanting. Ananthaswamy, A., How the universe turned out this way—Slammed for their failure to explain how our particular universe came to exist, string theorists are fighting back, New Scientist 197(2637):4–5, 5 January 2008. Return to text.
- In this infamous case, the US Supreme Court in 1857 ruled that people of African descent could never be citizens, and that Mr Dred Scott, the man bringing the case, was ‘property’, not a citizen. Return to text.