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Strawmen and censorship: the British Humanist Association and creation in schools

by  , B.Sc., D.I.S., M.I.E.T., C.Eng.
Reviewed by Jonathan Sarfati, Ph.D.1 and Don Batten, Ph.D.2

Published: 9 August 2014 (GMT+10)
no-god

Atheist bus campaign, supported by the British Humanist Association
Zoe Margolis, wikipedia.org

For some years the British Humanist Association (BHA) has been campaigning to prevent children in UK state-funded schools being informed about the evidence for a creator.3 They have been remarkably successful, especially in their lobbying for the most restrictive government regulations concerning what may be taught. For example, the latest ‘free school’ funding agreement requires that “The Academy Trust must not allow any view or theory to be taught as evidence-based if it is contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations. This clause applies to all subjects taught at the Academy.”4 Since the theory of evolution would be deemed “established science” and “all subjects” would include Religious Education, it would appear that this effectively prohibits any meaningful discussion of the scientific evidence for creation in any classroom.

Honesty in debate requires each side to address their opponents’ strongest case. Yet the BHA even set up ‘straw men’ by including arguments that the leading creationist organisations have publicly stated that creationists should not use.

At the same time, the BHA is active in promoting its secular, atheistic worldview in British schools, offering volunteers to help plan lessons and providing curriculum guidance, ‘teaching toolkits’ and other materials.5 One of these resources is A humanist discussion of … ‘creationism’,6 in which they claim to expose the main “spurious arguments” used by creationists to criticise evolution. The statements made in this document seriously misrepresent the creationist view. Indeed, so clear is it that the BHA has failed to engage with the real issues and the arguments actually used by creationist scientists, one might wonder whether this is deliberate.7 Honesty in debate requires each side to address their opponents’ strongest case. Yet the BHA even set up ‘straw men’ by including arguments that the leading creationist organisations have publicly stated that creationists should not use.8 We respond to the BHA’s claims point by point below.

1. The complexity of living things

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “Living things have such a level of complexity and precision, even at the smallest level, that the only sensible thing is to suppose that they have been intelligently designed. They could not have evolved because they could not function at all even if they were just slightly different and because such complexity could not have arisen by chance.”

We do not claim that living things “could not function at all even if they were just slightly different”; what we actually claim is far more powerful. We argue that no observed natural processes appear capable of producing the kind of complexity seen throughout the living world.

Darwin admitted in his Origin of Species that “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.”9 However, there seem to be many examples of just this, such as the ATP synthase motor10 found in all living organisms and the kinesin11 transport machine in eukaryotes. These appear irreducibly complex meaning that, in a partly evolved form, they would have no use at all. This is very different to claiming that some parts could not be “slightly different”—which is just a ‘straw man’.

The optimised nature of the DNA language (code) is another example of something that could not have been generated through a series of small steps.12,13 Imagine a computer program which is to be improved by changes to the language used. Every time the tiniest change is made to the language, many statements throughout the program would have to be changed simultaneously; and, at the same time, the computer’s compiler would have to be reprogrammed so that it recognised the meaning of the new form of instructions. A similar set of changes would be required every time just a small change was made to the DNA language.

Following the mapping of the human genome and the ENCODE14 project, the world’s top geneticists began to admit that it might be the end of the 21st century before we fully understand how all the exceedingly complex network of controls in human DNA work—if indeed we ever will.15 Given that we know so little about these high-level functions of DNA, how can evolutionists claim with integrity that science has shown that they evolved? How can they ‘know’ that natural processes are capable of producing something when they don’t even understand how it works? Indeed, the ENCODE project’s results are such a problem for evolution that atheists (secularists) have tried to argue against the findings! One complained about the “public damage” done by the ENCODE publicity. Damage to what? Science? No, secularism (atheism).16

Protagonists of evolution often mislead people into thinking that the burden of proof lies with their opponents—that creationists should be required to demonstrate that evolution cannot be true. This is nonsense. The burden of proof lies with the secularists, as it is they who are claiming that science has shown their view to be the correct one. Evolutionists have never demonstrated that people could have evolved through a series of small steps from a single-celled microbe. Evolutionary biochemist Franklin Harold wrote, “… we must concede that there are presently no detailed Darwinian accounts of the evolution of any biochemical or cellular system, only a variety of wishful speculations.”17 Should ‘wishful speculations’ be taught in science classes?

2. Macro and microevolution

This begins with another highly misleading caricature, where creationists are said to claim that “Evolution can explain changes within species, but not the origin of new species. No-one has ever seen a new species evolve or explain [sic] how it can happen.” In fact, for many years, mainstream creationist organisations have repeatedly expressed their support for the view that speciation is a reality. The creationist father of taxonomy Carl Linnaeus, for example, rejected the concept of the fixity of species in the eighteenth century.18 We believe that God designed plants and animals with the capacity to vary within their kinds so as to be able to adapt to different environments. Creationists, however, argue that the extent to which organisms can vary, although sometimes very impressive, is strictly limited. Dog breeding is often cited as evidence for evolution; but creationists point out that all the different breeds are still dogs.19 We fully affirm that finches may turn into other species of finch,20 or fruit flies into other species of fruit fly; but we maintain that finches will never turn into hawks or fruit flies into wasps.

Some evolutionists claim that ‘macroevolution’ is simply ‘microevolution’ extended over a longer period of time. Observations, however, indicate that the processes that drive ‘microevolution’ are not the same as those that would be required for ‘macroevolution’. Evolutionist Professor Scott Gilbert would agree. Commenting on the Darwinian theory, he wrote

“ … starting in the 1970s, many biologists began questioning its adequacy in explaining evolution. Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but microevolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest.”21

Creationists point out that the changes that drive what evolutionists refer to as ‘microevolution’ are opposite in direction to those required to change microbes in men, i.e. ‘macroevolution’.22 For example, different dog breeds are produced by removing gene variants which give rise to unwanted characteristics; but to turn microbes into men the evolutionary process must add many totally new genes—tens of thousands of them. (Another way ‘new characteristics’ are produced is by selecting for damaged genes.) Hence, we argue that the terms ‘microevolution’ and ‘macroevolution’ are unhelpful as they imply that the difference between them is just in the amount of change, rather than the direction of change. These terms are also misleading because they imply that evidence for ‘microevolution’ is evidence for ‘macroevolution’—which cannot be the case, since fundamentally different processes are required for each. In an attempt to clarify these issues, we refer to the observed changes in plants and animals as ‘adaptation and speciation’ and the unobserved processes by which microbes allegedly turned into men as ‘evolution’.

3. “Evolution is just a theory”

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “Evolution theory cannot be tested, verified or falsified. No-one has or could ever know what happened when life on earth began. Therefore it is just a theory, not fact.” This is another caricature of the creationist position and we have explicitly counselled against using the argument, ‘evolution is just a theory.’8 We know very well that evolutionists refer to the ‘theory of evolution’ in the same sense that scientists refer to the ‘theory of gravity’, i.e. as science fact.

However, there is a world of difference between the ‘operational science’ that enables us to understand natural laws such as gravity, and the ‘historical science’ that seeks to determine what may or may not have happened in the past (such as evolution).23 Whereas the theory of gravity can be tested by experiments in the present, the theory of ‘molecules to man’ evolution cannot.

The BHA article argues that scientists can make accurate statements about the past. For example, they say, “if we came across a fallen tree, it would be possible to determine whether it had fallen due to disease, parasites or soil erosion.” This may be true; but, if so, that is because the event (the tree falling) occurred in recent history. Over time, the evidence is lost, which is why it is so much harder to solve a crime committed twenty years ago than twenty days ago. What chance would there be of solving a crime after a few million years?

Nevertheless, deciding what caused the tree to fall over is still an inference, however seemingly reasonable, not a testable deduction from experimental science, which depends on repeatable experiments. Perhaps a small tornado went through the area for which there is no eyewitness record?

The speculative nature of evolutionary thinking is highlighted by the fact that the theories are constantly changing. For example, geologist Professor Derek Ager remarked, “It must be significant that nearly all the evolutionary stories I learned as a student … have now been ‘debunked’.”24 Similarly, biologist Professor William Provine wrote, “Most of what I learned of the field [of evolutionary biology] in graduate school (1964 – 68) is either wrong or significantly changed.”25 In contrast to this, Newton’s mathematical description of gravity is still in everyday use.

4. “The fossil evidence is unreliable”

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “Radiometric dating of fossils is unreliable and fossil evidence is often fraudulent or interpreted poorly. There is even fossil evidence that the dinosaurs lived recently. There are ‘living fossils’ such as coelacanths which have not evolved, providing evidence against evolution. And the relative position of fossils only shows their level of buoyancy in the great flood.” In regard to this last sentence, a more misleading caricature of creationists’ arguments would be hard to find.

Evolutionists rarely ‘radiometrically date’ fossils; they seek to date the sedimentary rocks in which we find the fossils, sometimes using nearby igneous rocks or other materials which contain radioactive elements such as a volcanic ash layer. In fact, creationists would be delighted if attempts were made to ‘radiometrically date’ fossils because many of them contain radiocarbon26 which points to them being thousands of years old27 rather than millions of years.28

We would agree that radiometric dating29 is unreliable and that there is considerable fossil evidence that dinosaurs lived recently, such as discoveries of soft tissues and other preserved organic material in dinosaur bones.30 As admitted by Dr Mary Schweitzer, lead scientist investigating these finds, “When you think about it, the laws of chemistry and biology and everything else that we know say that it should be gone, it should be degraded completely.”31 Consequently, she says, “So, that leaves us with two alternatives for interpretation: either the dinosaurs aren’t as old as we think they are, or maybe we don’t know exactly how these things get preserved.”32 So how can creationists be criticised for opting for her first alternative, even if she still clings to her second?

We do, indeed, argue that ‘living fossils’ provide strong evidence against evolution. There are many fossils, supposedly many millions of years old, that appear very similar to living creatures. The BHA article mentioned coelacanths.33 These are found in rocks supposedly 360 million years old,34 yet the living species appears little different to the fossils. According to the theory of evolution, people evolved from ape-like creatures that lived 6 million years ago. The evolutionary process, they say, is so powerful that it can change an ape into a human in just 6 million years. Yet, allegedly, it didn’t change the coelacanth significantly in 360 million years. Nor did it, apparently, cause many other creatures to evolve over the last seventy million years, including snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles, parrots, owls, penguins and ducks.35 Many creatures found in Cambrian rocks (supposedly around 500 million years old), such as jellyfish, starfish and brachiopods are still found in today’s oceans. Evolutionists respond to this kind of argument by saying that, when creatures find no need to adapt to changing circumstances, they don’t need to change. However, at the same time, they say there have been enormous changes in the environment—sufficient, for example, to wipe out the dinosaurs and many other creatures.

The story-telling nature of evolutionary ‘science’ is perhaps demonstrated nowhere more clearly than in evolutionists attempts to accommodate ‘living fossils’. On the one hand, they say that the incredible power of evolution explains how ape-like creatures evolved into people in just 6 million years. On the other, they say that ‘evolutionary stasis’ explains how organisms can remain substantially unchanged for tens or even hundreds of millions years. The oxymoronic term ‘evolutionary stasis’ is, in fact, no more than terminology masquerading as an explanation.36

In a similar vein, Professor Philip Skell remarked,

… Darwinian explanations … are often too supple: Natural selection makes humans self-centered and aggressive—except when it makes them altruistic and peaceable. Or natural selection produces virile men who eagerly spread their seed—except when it prefers men who are faithful protectors and providers. When an explanation is so supple that it can explain any behavior, it is difficult to test it experimentally, much less use it as a catalyst for scientific discovery.37

No biblical creationists we know of argue that “the relative position of fossils only shows their level of buoyancy in the great flood.” Indeed such a statement simply indicates that the BHA has never seriously engaged with the arguments.38

They continue, “The evidence for evolution rests mainly on four large groups of facts: the geographical distribution of animals and plants [but see here39 and here40]; the comparative anatomy of animals and plants [but see here41]; the stages by which animals grow from fertilised egg [but see here42 and here43]; and the nature and distribution of fossils [but see here38].” These arguments only stand in the absence of critical examination, as shown in the articles referenced. We suggest that this is why the BHA is so active in its attempts to prevent students being exposed to any critical thinking regarding evolution theory.

5. “Evolution is a faith position”

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “Since evolutionary theory is not proven is it [sic] a faith position not sound science.” The only area of human knowledge where anything can be proven is mathematics. So we would not argue that “evolutionary theory is not proven”. Instead, we demonstrate that evolutionists cannot point to natural laws that can drive evolutionary processes and, therefore, must believe by faith that such processes exist (and are yet to be discovered) or have existed in the past. Moreover, this is blind faith—the very thing for which secularists erroneously criticise Christian believers.44 Needless to say, we deny that our faith is blind as it is supported by considerable evidence.45

Living organisms require software (a kind of information system) in order to live and reproduce. This is encoded in their DNA. Those at the forefront of research into ‘origin of life scenarios’ readily admit that they cannot see how these information molecules could have arisen. For example, Professor Paul Davies46 of Arizona State University comments,

… where did the very peculiar form of information needed to get the first living cell up and running come from? Nobody knows …47

No known law of nature could achieve this.48

Similarly Professor Hubert Yockey admitted,

One must conclude that, contrary to the established and current wisdom a scenario describing the genesis of life on earth by chance and natural causes which can be accepted on the basis of fact and not faith has not yet been written.49

Evolutionists claim that natural processes that can produce life from non-life do exist (or have existed in the past). However, since we do not observe them, they can only believe in their existence ‘by faith’.

Significantly, a number of top university academics, although evolutionists themselves, have made plain that they do not accept that the neo-Darwinian process can produce what we see around us. These include top biologists such as Professor James Shapiro.50 Other prominent academics have ‘come out’ as Darwin critics in Suzan Mazur’s book The Altenberg 16.51,52 Their rejection of Darwin’s theory, of course, has not led them to become creationists, because all 16 were committed to philosophical naturalism (secularism/atheism). Instead, they have chosen to believe by sheer blind faith that an alternative theory of evolution will be found if they continue their research.

The creation/evolution controversy is often caricatured as being about faith vs science. However, since belief in evolution requires at least as much faith as belief in creation, the debate is better understood as being about one faith vs another, or one worldview vs another.

6. The second law of thermodynamics (i.e. the law of increasing entropy)

Here the BHA states, “Creationists love to tell us that evolutionary theory conflicts with the idea of increasing entropy… In fact nothing better shows their misunderstanding or misuse of science.” It is the BHA, however, who misunderstands thermodynamics. They state, “A closed system is one that does not exchange energy with anything outside of itself.” No, according to the science of thermodynamics, this is an isolated system; a closed system exchanges energy but not matter with its surroundings.

The law of increasing entropy states that there is an inexorable tendency to increased entropy (increased disorder) in the universe. However, as informed creationists know, there can be a local decrease in entropy/disorder at the expense of an increase in entropy/disorder outside of the system being considered. So, for example, when water freezes, the ice crystals become more ordered than the water from which they came. However, because the water gives up its heat to the surroundings (i.e. the latent heat of fusion), these become less ordered. In fact the entropy decrease of the water as it turns to ice is less than the entropy increase of the surroundings. So the overall entropy/disorder is increased and the second law of thermodynamics is not violated.

In the evolutionists’ origin of life story, biomolecules such as DNA, RNA and proteins form spontaneously. However, in this fictitious scenario, as they are assembled there will be a decrease in entropy/disorder. But the chemical reactions required to do this remove heat (and entropy) from the surroundings which would give rise to an overall decrease in entropy/disorder.53 To overcome this apparent violation of the second law of thermodynamics, evolutionists must believe (by another act of blind faith) that an unknown mechanism was involved that somehow increased the entropy of the surroundings as the biomolecules formed.

As an aid to understanding the law of entropy, we might draw an analogy with gravity. Water tends to flow downhill. However, by using a machine (a pump), water can be driven uphill. Similarly, in the cells of our bodies, machines are constantly producing DNA, RNA and protein biomolecules, decreasing entropy. However, these reactions are coupled with other reactions that increase the entropy of the surroundings to a greater degree (e.g. energy from ATP partly decomposing), so overall entropy increases. So, again, the second law of thermodynamics is not violated. Creationists argue that the science of thermodynamics indicates that, without machines which can harness energy, biomolecules cannot be formed by natural processes. Such machines would not have existed in the evolutionists’ hypothetical ‘chemical soup’; hence, for biomolecules to form under these conditions would be somewhat akin to gravity reversing and water flowing uphill.

Actually, we don’t usually major on thermodynamic arguments, even by those qualified in the area, because there are misunderstandings on both sides. However, we have produced an accurately explained apologetic about thermodynamics, World Winding Down,54 and the related DVD Understanding the Law of Decay.55

7. “The simplest and best explanation is a creator God”

No known natural processes are remotely capable of generating life from non-life; nor are they able to generate the encyclopaedic amounts of information found throughout the living world, let alone the ever more sophisticated levels of data compression being discovered in the human genome.

We agree. As science progresses, the divide between what we observe and what natural processes appear capable of producing widens and widens. No known natural processes are remotely capable of generating life from non-life; nor are they able to generate the encyclopaedic amounts of information found throughout the living world, let alone the ever more sophisticated levels of data compression being discovered in the human genome.56

Indeed, the more we discover, the more we see the hallmarks of intelligent design; and the intelligence that designed life would have to be far superior to human intelligence. So, it is perfectly reasonable to argue for the superiority of a supernatural explanation. Only an a priori bias against creation would exclude this as a rational consideration. The argument that ‘God did it’ is thus not from what we don’t know, but from what we do know.57

Secularists often assert that to consider Intelligent Design as a possible explanation for life is anti-science—a view that is being very successfully forced upon the education system by the BHA. It is therefore ironic that their great champion of evolution and atheism, Professor Richard Dawkins, explicitly conceded that it might be possible to see the signature of a designer in the details of molecular biology.58

8. “No effect is greater than its cause”

We don’t use this argument in that form, or in the way the BHA claims. We do discuss the philosophical principle of causation, for example in our article Who created God?,57 but this is not exactly the same thing.

9. “There have been no new major groups of living things for a long time”

(For the background to this see comments under section 12 below.) It is, indeed, difficult for evolutionists to explain how there could have been such a sudden explosion of diverse groups of animals (i.e. phyla) in the Cambrian rocks59 (allegedly around 500 million years ago) and, since then, no new phyla. This is especially so given that, in their thinking, there have been five mass extinctions that would have created many vacant ecological niches.

10. “Evolution cannot explain the origin of life itself”

This is manifestly so60 and even some of the most ardent evolutionists will admit this. For example Richard Dawkins stated the following in an interview with Ben Stein:61

Dawkins: We know the sort of event that must have happened for the origin of life… It was the origin of the first self-replicating molecule.
Stein: How did that happen? 
Dawkins: I’ve told you, we don’t know.
Stein: So you have no idea how it started? 
Dawkins: No, nor has anybody.

In arguing the case for the plausibility of life arising from non-life by natural processes, the BHA here shows incredible ignorance of basic science. For example, they claim, “ … natural selection means that evolution is not quite what you might think of as mere chance. A random mutation that increases survival value is more likely to be passed on than one that doesn’t, so if by pure chance we mean a mechanism by which one outcome is no more likely than another, evolution doesn’t work by pure chance.” The BHA is clearly unaware that the process of mutation and selection applies only to an ‘up and running’ self-reproducing system, not a ‘chemical soup’. As explained by the late Theodosius Dobzhansky, who was Professor of Zoology at Columbia University and Professor of Genetics at the University of California,

“In order to have natural selection, you have to have self-reproduction … Prebiological natural selection is a contradiction of terms.”62

Similarly, Professor Davies states,

“ … Darwinian evolution can operate only if life of some sort already exists (strictly, it requires not life in its full glory, only replication, variation and selection). Darwinism can offer no help at all in explaining that all-important first step: the origin of life.”63

The BHA continues, “Another mathematical illusion is that something can seem highly improbable, but if there are literally billions of opportunities for that improbable outcome to occur, eventually it will.” This demonstrates a total failure to grasp the most basic principles of probability64 and is sometimes referred to as ‘cheating with chance’ .65 Moreover, they conclude, “[Biochemists] can already explain how the basic building blocks of life, such as primitive nucleic acids and amino acids, could have formed and organised themselves into self-replicating and self-sustaining units.” A more misleading and demonstrably false claim66 would be hard to find.67 Furthermore, any nucleic acid would not be ‘primitive’, because it is a polymer of nucleotides, themselves comprising three basic building blocks: base, ribose, and phosphate. Moreover, the Miller—Urey experiments, which produced tiny concentrations of some amino acids, tell us nothing about how amino acids could have formed highly complex proteins.64,68 As explained by Professor Stuart Kauffman, “Anyone who tells you that he or she knows how life started on earth some 3.4 billion years ago is a fool or a knave. Nobody knows.”69

11. “Mutations cannot produce new features”

We do not claim that mutations cannot produce new features. For example, we acknowledge that mutations can enable bacteria to gain resistance to antibiotics and rodents to pesticides. However, as we have pointed out many times before, these changes are opposite in direction to those needed for evolution.70,71 For microbes to turn into men, there needs to be a progressive increase in complexity and associated genetic information. Observed beneficial changes arising from mutations are generally associated with losses of genetic information which is devolution, not evolution. Where this is not the case they are almost always informationally neutral and therefore, again, do not provide examples of a truly evolutionary process.

What we actually claim is that the neo-Darwinian process of random genetic mutations and natural selection has not been shown to be capable of turning microbes into men. Indeed, it falls far, far short of it—a view supported by an increasing number of leading (non-creationist) biologists,72 such as ‘The Altenberg 16’ referred to above.

12. The Cambrian explosion

This refers to the creationists’ argument that the sudden appearance of so many diverse groups of animals (i.e. different phyla) in the Cambrian rocks refutes Darwin’s theory. The BHA respond that, due to the ancestors of these creatures not having hard skeletons, they were never fossilised, arguing, “There are rare, exceptional circumstances in which the soft parts of animals are preserved.” There are a number of serious problems with this explanation. Firstly, since many of the fossils found in the Cambrian rocks had hard exo-skeletons or other hard body parts, their ancestors must also have had hard parts. Why, then, did they not leave some traces of their existence? Moreover, there are many examples of soft-bodied animals and organs preserved in both the Cambrian and Precambrian rocks. In fact, 95 per cent of the fossils from the Burgess Shale (mid Cambrian) are either soft-bodied or have thin exo-skeletons.73

Secondly, the astonishing variety of animals appearing all at once near the start of the evolution story is nearly impossible to fit within the Darwinian model, which predicts that small changes would gradually accumulate over time, so as to produce the major differences in organisms we see today. Darwinian theory would lead us to expect the most disparate animal forms to appear later in the fossil record—not near the beginning. The Cambrian explosion puts the Darwinian ‘tree of life’ on its head. For an utterly devastating critique of all attempts by Darwinists to respond to these difficulties, we recommend Stephen C. Meyers, Darwin’s Doubt: The explosive origin of animal life and the case for Intelligent Design.72

In addition to all this, we note that the Ediacaran explosion,74 which is said to predate the Cambrian fossils, also features an abrupt appearance of totally new body plans. Moreover, evolutionists believe that these were not even the ancestors of the Cambrian fauna. Just what kind of evidence do evolutionists need before they will rethink their theory?

13. “The lack of transitional fossils”

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “If evolution is true we would expect to find transitional fossils—for example, of animals that were half reptile and half bird. Yet none exist.” Actually, we advise against using this argument and have done so for many years. On our web page, Arguments we think creationists should not use, we state,

Since there are candidates, even though they are highly dubious, it’s better to avoid possible comebacks by saying instead: ‘While Darwin predicted that the fossil record would show numerous transitional fossils, even 150 years later, all we have are a handful of disputable examples.’8

The part of the geological column where we might best test evolutionary theory is that where the fossil record is richest. (Compared with the marine creatures found in the lower rock strata, the fossil record of reptiles and birds (especially) is relatively poor.) There are billions of fossils of what evolutionists would claim to be the early marine invertebrates—sea creatures without backbones. These include the Cambrian fossils mentioned above. Of these, palaeontologist Professor Euan Clarkson states,

… transitional or linking forms are absent… the geological record gives no indication of such relationships … But what the fossil record does give is many examples of the ‘instantaneous’ origin of new structural plans.75

There are also billions of fossils of what evolutionists would claim to be the early marine vertebrates—sea creatures with backbones. In evolutionary thinking, the marine invertebrates evolved into the marine vertebrates (i.e. bony fish). However, evolutionary palaeontologist Gerald Todd comments,

All three subdivisions of the bony fishes appear in the fossil record at approximately the same time. They are already widely divergent … How did they originate? … why is there no trace of earlier intermediate forms?76

This is very difficult for evolutionists to explain. How can there be billions of fossils of marine invertebrates and billions of fossils of marine vertebrates and yet so conspicuous an absence of transitional forms? Evolutionists would probably point to a handful of candidates; but this surely misses the point. If the marine vertebrates had evolved into the marine vertebrates over millions of years, there would be millions (probably billions) of examples of fossils with partly formed backbones for us all to see.

In evolutionary thinking, the order of fossil types found in the rocks reflects the sequential appearance of the different kinds of plants and animals over the course of evolutionary history: marine invertebrates → marine vertebrates (i.e. fish) → amphibians → reptiles → birds and mammals. The BHA claims, “There is not a single example of a fossil in the wrong place.” Really?77,78 Evidence of flowering plants in the form of pollen fossils79 have been found in Precambrian strata. According to evolutionists, flowering plants first evolved 160 million years ago; but, they say, the Precambrian rocks are more than 550 million years old. A dog-like mammal fossil80 was found with remains of dinosaurs in its stomach—but, we’re told, no mammals large enough to prey on dinosaurs existed at that time. Grass has been found in fossilized dinosaur dung;81 but grass was not supposed to have evolved until at least 10 million years after the dinosaurs went extinct. A mammal hair was found in amber supposed 100 million years old.82 This is right in the middle of the alleged ‘age of dinosaurs’ when no such mammals supposedly existed.

The BHA continues, “The great British biologist J B S Haldane was once challenged … to name a single discovery which would falsify the theory of evolution. ‘Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian,’ Haldane growled.” However, many observed features of the fossil record, such as those cited above, are just as damaging as Precambrian rabbits would be. Since evolutionists explain these away, they would also explain away Precambrian rabbits if any were found.83

14. “Even evolutionary theorists disagree (and not all scientists accept evolutionary theory)”

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “The uncertainty of evolutionary theory is proven by the fact that even evolutionary theorists disagree—such as Richard Dawkins and Stephen J. Gould.”

As has been stated above, there is a growing number of biologists who are Darwin-doubters. They are not quibbling over details, as with Dawkins and Gould, but questioning the fundamental principles of the neo-Darwinian theory. However, since they have no alternative to put in its place, this has the most serious implications for current evolution theory.

We note, too, that supporters of ‘jerky evolution’ such as Gould84 point out that the fossil record does not show gradualism and, sometimes, that the hypothetical transition forms would not function. Supporters of ‘gradual evolution’ such as Dawkins point out that large information-increasing changes are so improbable that one would need to invoke a secular miracle. Creationists agree with both: jerky evolution can’t happen, and gradual evolution can’t happen—in fact, microbes to man evolution can’t happen at all!

The BHA states, “The proportion of qualified scientists who do not accept evolution is minuscule.” We would agree that these are in the minority; though “minuscule” might be hyperbole. However, it is important to ask why. We would suggest that, for many, it is because they have never been exposed to evidence challenging the ‘current consensus’. For others who are better informed, the explanation undoubtedly lies in their commitment to philosophical naturalism—the view that everything, including the origins of the universe and life, can be explained only by natural laws. If so, evolution in some form is the only game in town. Others are silenced by intimidation and the fear of forfeiting their academic respectability, careers or even their jobs.85 We note, too, that the number of scientists who actually use evolution in their research, including medical scientists and other biologists, really is minuscule.37

15. “Science needs to respect the limits of human intelligence”

We do not use this argument. However we do point out that there are some questions that science cannot answer. For example, it can’t investigate one-off claims in history such as Napoleon’s loss at Waterloo; nor can it test claims like, “Science needs to respect the limits of human intelligence”; this is a matter of philosophy. Moreover, scientific endeavour, like all human enquiry, is limited in its scope, due to the fact that we’re finite in time and space and don’t possess (nor could possess) all knowledge.

16. “The survival of the fittest is circular reasoning”

We do not use this argument. In fact, it is another that we advise creationists not to use.

17. “If Darwinism were true, our theories would be unreliable”

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “If we are descended from lower animals then our capacity to understand would be extremely unreliable. So a belief in evolution should make us trust our theories even less, while only a belief that we’re made in God’s image would justify belief in our intellectual powers.”

We would agree. If we are no more than bags of chemicals86 and our thoughts no more than brain chemistry, why should we assume their conclusions to be correct? Why should we accept the views of one bag of chemicals as being right over and above another? The famous British Oxford academic C.S. Lewis made this very point.

18. Frauds and errors

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “The history of evolutionary science is filled with fraud and error. This shows that we have no good reason to trust its findings.”

There is some truth in this statement. Moreover, the time it takes for evolutionists to recognise these frauds shows clearly the wide-spread unquestioning acceptance of the alleged evidence for evolution. In the case of Piltdown Man87 it took near forty years to recognise the hoax. Some of these frauds are still at large.88

The BHA continue, “The history of religion is filled with fraud, error, corruption, torture and persecution, but proponents of creationism do not use that as a reason to distrust religious teachings.” However, we have long responded that, in respect of Christianity, such things are inconsistent with its teachings.89 However, the far greater atrocities of 20th-century evolutionary regimes (Communism and Nazism) are not inconsistent with evolutionary teachings. According to leading atheistic evolutionary biologist William Provine, the theory of evolution

… directly implies that there are no inherent moral or ethical laws, no absolute guiding principles for human society … free will … simply does not exist … There is no way that the evolutionary process … can produce a being that is truly free to make choices.90

Is this the sort of society that the British government wants to create? Because this is what the doctrinaire teaching of evolution, as promoted by the BHA, will bring about.

19. Free speech

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “In a free society, everyone should be able to have their say. A good many people believe that evolution theory is wrong and deny [sic] them a voice in schools is a denial of their right of free speech.”

Actually, we would put it rather differently. Preventing teachers from allowing students to hear about the problems with evolution theory and the evidence supporting belief in creation is censorship. This is an attempt by secularists to impose their atheistic worldview upon children through the education system.

The BHA continues, “No one is proposing to curtail creationists’ right of free speech.” Really? A short anecdote concerning the Chinese palaeontologist and Darwin skeptic, Professor J.Y. Chen is very apt here. During a speaking tour of the USA, he was asked why he was not nervous about expressing his doubts about Darwinism so freely. He replied, “In China, we can criticise Darwin, but not the government. In America, you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.”91

The BHA continues, “The question is whether creationism should be taught as science.” This, perhaps, is the most misleading caricature of them all. We do not argue that creation should be taught as science. At the heart of our view is that you cannot determine what has happened in the distant past using the scientific method. We don’t just argue this in respect of evolution but also creation. Neither are scientific theories in the strict sense of the term; both should therefore be addressed outside of science lessons, perhaps in religious education or philosophy classes.

They continue, “Science teaching, like all teaching, should be open-minded and undogmatic, and should encourage pupils to think about the reasons for accepting scientific theories such as the theory of evolution, and possible criticisms of them.” Ironically, this is exactly what the BHA is working so hard to prevent—students actually being encouraged to think and critique evolution.

20. Why are there still monkeys?

This is another argument that we advise against using.8

21. Why should all explanations be naturalistic?

Here the BHA states the creationists’ argument as: “To claim that this should be so is scientism and merely the expression of metaphysical prejudice.”

We agree. The belief that everything arose only through natural processes is not a deduction from science, but from a world-view, and arguably a religious one—and, ironically, it is the BHA who is arguing that we should not be teaching religion in school science classes. There is a clear distinction between methodological naturalism (a basis of the operational92 scientific method) and philosophical naturalism (the atheists’ worldview). The former was adopted by the founders of modern science, many of whom were creationists93 and who would have rejected the latter. The greatest scientist of all time, Isaac Newton was one of these.94 It is, again, ironic that the BHA, who claim to value science so much, are determined to remove from the public mind the very belief system that contributed so significantly to its development.95

Stipulating that all explanations should be naturalistic seriously restricts the process of enquiry. If nature has been designed, it would surely benefit scientific research to recognise this. In fact, belief in the theory of evolution has demonstrably obstructed the progress of science. Around Darwin’s time, evolutionists claimed that there were over 100 useless vestiges96 of evolution in the human body. This simply delayed discovery of all their important functions, including the role of the appendix as a safe-house for beneficial bacteria.97

More recently, evolutionary thinking led scientists to conclude that most of our DNA is junk. Consequently they didn’t study it and it was many years before they discovered that it has many important functions.98 Professor John Mattick remarked, “the failure to recognise the implications of the non-coding [junk] DNA will go down as the biggest mistake in the history of molecular biology.”99 The reason that this was such a serious mistake is that understanding the functions of the so-called ‘junk DNA’ is providing many clues as to how to treat genetic disorders. Had the biblical creationist Isaac Newton been responsible for directing genetics research, this mistake would surely never have been made. Newton would never have countenanced the idea that the human body would have been created with junk.

Intelligent design is so ubiquitous in living things that evolutionist Francis Crick once remarked, “Biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see is not designed, but rather evolved.”100 Evolutionary thinking entails continual denial of the obvious: that living things were designed by an incredible intelligence.

Conclusion

One of the primary objectives of the BHA is to secularise society—that is, to make atheism the dominant worldview (religion). They have clearly indicated that one of the reasons for their existence is to promote atheism—in the guise of ‘humanism’ (actually secular humanism). They know that, if they can convince people that there is no rational basis for believing in a creator, they will have achieved a great victory for their cause. For this reason, they promote the theory of evolution as being scientific and the creationist view as unscientific. Their strategy appears to be: (1) to deliberately misrepresent creationist arguments and (2) to persuade the government to pass legislation preventing children from learning about the true nature of the debate—even in religious education classes.

The BHA claims to stand for “equal treatment of everyone regardless of religion or belief” (their emphasis);101 but it seems that some are more equal than others, and the BHA sees no place for equal treatment of Christian beliefs in the education system. They clearly consider that only views acceptable to the BHA should have any place. At present, they have achieved this through the imposition of draconian regulations which are tantamount to legislated atheism.

Related Articles

Further Reading

References

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  99. From a transcript of the ABC TV science program Catalyst, episode titled ‘Genius of Junk (DNA)’’, broadcast 10 July 2003, 19 July 2006. Return to text.
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Readers’ comments
Patrick P., Australia, 9 August 2014

A very good article with rebuttal of everything raised by the BHA. However I disagree with the use of the expression “Hypothetical chemical soup” (often called primordial soup). This soup is mythical rather than hypothetical as it has never been shown to have existed in any way and is the subject of a strong belief by evolutionists. There is far more evidence of the existence of dragons than the evolutionists’ life generating “chemical soup” and yet dragons are relegated to being mythical.

Hypothetical is generally an imagined contrivance and not believed in as it is not presumed to be true. This is not the case with the evolutionists’ chemical soup. Sometimes I think we are too soft on them. It is time we started calling their ideas what they really are, mostly mythical, unsubstantiated, contradictory, unrealistic, baseless, unreliable surreal, thought bubbles, defective, irrational etc. etc.

Robert B., Australia, 9 August 2014

The BHA appears to be well organised. On August 8th, 2014 they wrote on their website,

"Nicky Morgan (Education Secretary-UK) is today announcing that creationist and extremist nurseries will be banned from receiving state funding through the Government’s scheme of providing 15 hours per week of free tuition.

The decision follows on from the British Humanist Association (BHA) uncovering that some 84 nurseries have been receiving funding in spite of the BHA having concerns about evolution – and a further seven where there have been concerns about extremism. The BHA responded to a recent Government consultation asking for funding to be withdrawn, encouraged 450 BHA members and supporters to do likewise and prompted over 1,000 people to write to their MPs about the issue."

It is strange that creationist parallels extremist. I guess soon God will be extremist too and too dangerous for the kids.

Murk P., Canada, 9 August 2014

“The Academy Trust must not allow any view or theory to be taught as evidence-based if it is contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations."

I would love to see how this statement conforms to its own criteria.....

Florin M., United Kingdom, 9 August 2014

The theory of evolution was one of the best allies of atheist communists in Romania so nothing new under the Sun. I think BHA should be congratulated for their tireless efforts to promote their religious views.

But why would churches offer support to such an anti-God campaign? Why would Christians so eagerly accept the 'scientific theory' of evolution?

Andre F., South Africa, 9 August 2014

When people are going to such extraordinary lengths to protect their position from any criticism there is clearly some consciousness in their minds of the vulnerability of the position they so zealously try to protect.

I cannot help but feel excited when I see this because many times when people are on a emotional crusade, like these guys are, they get blinded in the process and the outcome turns out to be different than you expected.

Like the old saying goes "You can fool all the people some of the time and you can feel some of the people all the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

People , especially western societies, naturally start to rebel against ideas being forced down their throats and I think it might take time, maybe even decades, but people will start to question and dissent en masse.

S. H., United Kingdom, 9 August 2014

As someone who has seen a friend personally experience some of the repression of free speech in a UK school, I would like to add another tactic that we should be aware of when dealing with similar claims against creation. Not only are there straw man arguments intentionally used with various rhetoric and soundbites, the tactics of a minority are more insidious. Sadly if you can't disprove people, it seems some (and I say some, not all) humanists and atheists (and incredibly even some who claim to be Christian!) go back to school playground rules of bullying or name calling. This also includes personal abuse, calling people's character into question, pseudo-scientific arguments to try to pour scorn on creationism, vitriolic emails and letters to key education people within schools and outside of schools. My friend experienced all of the above and more. It's good to expose these intimidatory (and let's face it, cowardly and highly unscientific) tactics for what they are because we need to be informed and prepared! As others have rightly said, the ferocity of debate shows the power of God's truth!!

R. D., United Kingdom, 9 August 2014

We really ought to be very encouraged by all of this.

Those who have to try so desperately hard to censor their opponents' position invariably end-up on the losing side in pretty much every known case in history. Now, with the availability of the internet and social media, their task is even more impossible. For those who want access to creation material, it is now no more than a few mouse-clicks away - and people can access it in their own time without interference from those who grossly distort it. There are several subjects which I studied at school - physics and geography to A-level - which I've learned more about on CMI's website alone than I did then.

The BHA are fighting a losing battle here and I strongly suspect that many of its members know it. Eventually they'll learn that this deliberate strawman tactic does them more harm than good - people who read their misinformation then read critiques like this (apart from those who have an emotional commitment to the Humanistic worldview, obviously) invariably know that those responsible now cannot be trusted. You can't reason with unreasonable people, but exposing unreasonable people's unreasonableness does wonders when reasonable people are reading!

Dominic Statham responds

While I would agree that secularists are losing (and have actually lost) the argument in respect of science, they are being very successful in preventing this becoming generally known.

J. B., Australia, 9 August 2014

While it's so difficult to have creation taught in schools, and being wise as serpents and innocent as doves, perhaps we creationists might use a sophisticated strategy - simply push for kids to be taught a few specific scientific facts, and let them draw their own conclusions.

For example, we could lobby for kids to learn about: Y-chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve, the Law of Biogenesis (life only comes from life), the incredible appearance of design in nature (Dawkins says ad nauseam not to be beguiled by this), the Cambrian explosion, sudden appearance and stasis (no change) predominating the fossil record, fossil formation needing water and rapid burial, world-wide sedimentary deposits, fossil frauds like Pilt-down man and Archaeoraptor, out of place fossils like pollen in Cambrian rocks, modern animals and birds buried with dinosaurs, blood cells in dinosaur bones, population growth rates that severely don't match evolutionary history, coastal and inland erosion rates (which would erode continents into the sea multiple times over, on evolutionary time scales), the sophistication of DNA, uniformitarianism and the re-emergence of catastrophism, operational science and historical science, historical dragon accounts, etc etc.

This might be best with scientific ideas which are in the main stream of secular science, so that even though these ideas virtually tell the creationist story, if a teacher was ever accused of promoting creationism, they could legitimately plead that they just want kids to get a good scientific education. And to object to the teaching of these ideas is not an objection to teaching creationism, but shows a desire keep kids in the dark, which may cast objectors as the "bad guys" wanting to censor science education.

Dave B., Australia, 9 August 2014

When Dawkins did his "God probably doesn't exist" campaign it was a great evangelism tool for Christians. It can be hard to just burst into a God conversation with a stranger; but one of these buses goes past & your opening line is "Hum, Dawkins doesn't even believe God doesn't exist; a head Atheist and he can only conclude God probably doesn't exist; why do you think that is?" and off you go. Now there are going to be kids armed with this misinformation and they're probably going to use on creationists. But with great articles like this the truth just might set them free.

Larry C., United States, 9 August 2014

Wow, simply a lot to discuss:

The evolution is so powerfully supported that creationists must accept the natural, bedrock framework that supports evolution. This acceptance forces creations to take measure which I believe are drastic.

Generally with creationism, creationist attempt to mimic scientific theories. One method is to strip religious language. The word god is replaced with the word designer. This language choice is an attempt to conceal the religious and supernatural foundation of creationism in legal battles.

Also the article is a bit wishy-washy, flipping back and forth on key issues. In one section the article embraces the key aspects of evolution such as natural selection in producing variations in living things and in another section the article compares evolution to a unguided computer program which is not influenced by a organizing force such as natural selection. So which is it? Do does the writer support natural selections or not? If he or she does then why the computer analogy?

The article is also overflowing with "god of the gaps' rationalizations. I don't want to write a huge comment but the article could generate a book of rebuttals. I see flaws in basic reasoning at almost every turn of the sentence.

Dominic Statham responds

We fully affirm the reality of natural selection, but point out that it is not a creative process. It simply tests for fitness that which already exists. Moreover, observations of natural selection make plain that it is, like artificial selection, a downhill process in terms of information and complexity. That is, populations that have undergone natural selection are genetically poorer than the original populations from which they were taken. Evolution of microbes-to-man would require an uphill process in terms of information and complexity.

The reference to the computer program has nothing to do with natural selection. If potentially useful variations of the DNA programming language could be generated, then natural selection might operate on them. My point was that it is a flight of fantasy to suppose that random genetic mutations might do this.

Philip R., Australia, 9 August 2014

I would not call 100,000 U.S. scientists "minuscule" (from Gallup polls that showed one in twenty scientists rejected the evolution of man). And I don't know of any poll on this question that asked only scientists of "relevant" disciplines.

Robert B., United States, 9 August 2014

With regard to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, I feel it muddies the water to state an equivalence between entropy and disorder. While thermodynamic entropy deals with the distribution of energy in a system, order and disorder frequently express something more subjective that has no correlation to energy levels. Is a messy room higher in entropy than a neat one for instance?

Making entropy and disorder equivalent sets the stage for muddy discourse and confusion.

Dominic Statham responds

We would refer you to Dr Carl Wieland's book World Winding Down, available at the store on creation.com, since this discusses in some detail the sort of question you raised. This book was checked with both a Ph.D. physical chemist and a Ph.D. physicist.

Dr Jonathan Sarfati comments:

Using the Boltzmann statistical definition of entropy, S = kBlnΩ (where kB is the Boltzmann constant and Ω (capital omega) is the number of microstates), the messy room is indeed a higher entropy state because there are many more ways a room can be messy than tidy. That’s the basic reason that it’s so easy to mess up a room.

We also caution about making too close a connection between entropy and our perceptions of order and disorder. This is important in discussing whether the Second Law was operative before the Fall (it was—see Did the 2nd Law begin at the Fall?).

John F. K., United States, 9 August 2014

I spent one year in a very liberal seminary in Texas in 1980. On the first day of class in one of my courses, the professor walked in and said two very important things that have remained in my mind. His first statement was, “We need to take this book and throw it out of the church window.” He was holding a Bible. The second point he made went something like the following. “The most lasting way to change society is through a grass-roots movement that starts with the people and works up to the positions of governance. However, that is difficult to accomplish and takes a long time. The fastest way to change society is through the electoral process accompanied by the placement of like-minded people in key policy making positions. Through policy and law you can make the society adhere to what you want in a fast moving manner. The people don’t have to agree, but they will have to obey, comply, and modify their lives.”

I was a public school [UK: state school] principal at various levels in the 1970’s. I would start PTA meetings with prayer in Jesus’ name. Bibles were given to school children with no one complaining. The student could take a Bible or not; it was their free choice. I started the day with prayer via the intercom. Today, a principal would be fired for doing any one of those things. Biblical history we're told "is fiction.” There is not one Bible in the school library. Evolution and an ancient earth are simply "assured facts that no rational person would question." The electoral and policy-making approach has worked incredibly well, but only the atheists and evolutionists have really taken advantage of it.

Dale O., New Zealand, 9 August 2014

You make two statements in the first BHA claim response. To my mind these appear contradictory and you do not communicate the difference clearly enough, which is a shame in the first point.

1. We do not claim that living things “A: could not function at all even if B: they were just slightly different”.

2. [We do claim that] These appear irreducibly complex meaning that, B: in a partly evolved form, A: they would have no use at all.

In statement 2 the subject "B" is a system that must have a number of cooperating features. If any feature is *missing*, the system as a whole will not function. If any feature is "slightly different" the system may behave slightly differently yet still function.

Dominic Statham responds

As explained in Sections 2 and 11, we affirm that change in nature is both possible and observed--although we demonstrate that the direction of observed changes is opposite to that required to turn microbes into men. So clearly we do not claim that living things "could not function at all even if they were just slightly different". Nor do we argue this in respect of irreducibly complex systems.

A system is irreducibly complex if it will not function with just one part missing. The parts themselves, however, may be slightly different. Such systems could not have evolved by a Darwinian step-by-step process because, unless all their parts were present (in whatever form), the system would have no useful function.

Geoffrey W., Australia, 10 August 2014

How surprising that most scientists believe in evolution, when that is all they are allowed to believe in. What sort of scientists do they suppose British schools are now going to produce? This is not evidence, and science isn't a democracy.

Ryan D., United States, 11 August 2014

I found this quote most interesting: "The Academy Trust must not allow any view or theory to be taught as evidence-based if it is contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations. This clause applies to all subjects taught at the Academy."

Perhaps it's only meant to relate to the creation/evolution debate but it seems to me like they're trying to stop all students from becoming scientists. Essentially trying to halt all scientific progress. Imagine if the theory of relativity was thrown out just because it didn't conform to established science, i.e. Newtonian gravity. Most notably, GPS wouldn't work today if not for an understanding of the relationship between gravity and time.

I just find it interesting that with the documented Christian origins of science that, as soon as a Christian worldview is lost, these secular institutions immediately, even if unintentionally, start trying to ban science and halt progress.

James T., United States, 12 August 2014

"There probably is no God, now stop worrying and enjoy your life." This one sentence just shows how afraid they are of God. What is there to worry about if God exists? We get to see all our love- ones again and live peacefully with them and Jesus. Honestly, if scientists somehow do find out there is no God, then I really believe the world would be in a panic with massive suicide rates. People would be committing any crime they wanted and not care because who is stopping them?

Ian F., United Kingdom, 12 August 2014

Copied from comments:

"R. D., United Kingdom, 9 August 2014

We really ought to be very encouraged by all of this.

Those who have to try so desperately hard to censor their opponents' position invariably end-up on the losing side in pretty much every known case in history. Now, with the availability of the internet and social media, their task is even more impossible. For those who want access to creation material, it is now no more than a few mouse-clicks away - and people can access it in their own time without interference from those who grossly distort it. There are several subjects which I studied at school - physics and geography to A-level - which I've learned more about on CMI's website alone than I did then.

The BHA are fighting a losing battle here and I strongly suspect that many of its members know it. Eventually they'll learn that this deliberate strawman tactic does them more harm than good - people who read their misinformation then read critiques like this (apart from those who have an emotional commitment to the Humanistic worldview, obviously) invariably know that those responsible now cannot be trusted. You can't reason with unreasonable people, but exposing unreasonable people's unreasonableness does wonders when reasonable people are reading!

Dominic Statham responds

While I would agree that secularists are losing (and have actually lost) the argument in respect of science, they are being very successful in preventing this becoming generally known."

-----------

Slight case of Emperor's new clothes here with this comment and response. It is the other way around. Creationists have lost the argument, most of them have not realised it yet. The UK government is not stupid. Scientific illiteracy helps no one.

Dominic Statham responds

It is the theory of evolution that is like the emperor's new clothes. Everyone is telling everyone else that there's lots of evidence supporting Darwin's theory because (and only because) everyone else is saying so. I would suggest that this includes yourself too. What arguments have you presented in supported of your belief in evolution? Only that the UK government is saying evolution is true. Why do they say this? Because everyone they speak to is saying it.

The view that evolution is supported by science is one of the greatest deceptions in the whole of human history.

Mark D., United Kingdom, 14 August 2014

I also found this quote most interesting: "The Academy Trust must not allow any view or theory to be taught as evidence-based if it is contrary to established scientific or historical evidence and explanations. This clause applies to all subjects taught at the Academy."

This statement, coupled with the fact that only natrualistic explanations are accepted by "the establishment", clearly indicates that they are not interested in finding out the truth about our origins. E.g. What if the explanation is not naturalistic?

Censorship and setting boundaries for where the evidence is allowed to lead, is blatant opposition to finding truth. It's deciding what the answer is before asking the question.

How is this classed as scientific at all?

Not only are they trying to censor what we know, they are trying to censor what we "don't know" too by saying we don't know the answer but it can't be supernatural. This clearly is a flawed investigation process and highly damaging to science unless of course truth is no longer the goal of science.

Steve P., United Kingdom, 21 August 2014

Acceptance of evolution really does not need to lead to a crisis of faith (see the BioLogos site, http://biologos.org), but faith based attacks on well-established science damages our Christian witness to the secular world.

Dominic Statham responds

Acceptance of evolution does not always lead to a crisis of faith; but in many cases it does. People read the Bible and see that it clearly teaches an Earth history that is totally incompatible with the evolution story. They're told that evolution history has been shown to be true by science and conclude that biblical history is just myth. They then reason that, because the Bible cannot be trusted in what it says about history, it cannot be trusted in anything else it has to say either. They then leave the church because they think its teaching bears no relation to reality.

You say that our 'attacks on science' are faith based. But the article above makes abundantly clear that this is not so. Read it again and you will see that we present one scientific argument after another.

It is true that we reject the theory of evolution because of our faith in the Bible as God's word and its clear teaching that Adam and Eve were specially created. However we argue against the view that evolution is supported by science using scientific arguments not faith based arguments.

It is surely the teaching of BioLogos (i.e. theistic evolution) that damages the Christian witness, portraying God as someone who chose a means of creating humanity which involved the most violent and horrible process imaginable, i.e. evolution by natural selection.

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