Refuting Evolution 2—Introduction
A sequel to Refuting Evolution that refutes the latest arguments to support evolution (as presented by PBS and Scientific American).
Belief in creation is ‘nonsense.’ Creation is ‘a religious view that has nothing to do with science.’ Daily, the airwaves and newspaper racks are filled with such inflammatory claims.
The barrage of new arguments and scientific ‘evidence’ that ‘prove’ evolution can seem overwhelming to believers in the Word of God, who are ridiculed as irrational religious zealots who still live in the dark ages and believe the Bible’s ‘fables’ about creation. It is more crucial than ever that believers are ‘ready’ to defend their faith (1 Pet. 3:15).
This book pulls together the most powerful arguments that Christians are likely to hear from today’s leading evolutionary scientists. These arguments come from two powerhouses in the media—PBS-TV and the journal Scientific American which have taken up the mantle of the pro-evolution crusade, preaching their message to a broad market around the world. PBS summarized the modern arguments for evolution in its lavish eight-hour series Evolution, which still airs and is shown in schools across America. It has also aired in Australia. Scientific American pulled together its own best arguments in a combative cover story, ‘15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense.’
PBS TV’s Evolution series multimillion-dollar propaganda
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) first aired its ambitious TV series Evolution in September 2001. Co-produced by Clear Blue Sky Productions (founded and chaired by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen), Evolution had almost unlimited funding. In addition to the TV series, the producers launched an aggressive campaign to fully equip teachers to indoctrinate young people in molecules-to-man evolution. This propaganda effort included ‘an unprecedented array of resources for further learning at home and in school’ (their own words), including a free teacher’s guide, an interactive website, a multimedia web library, teacher videos, monthly newsletters, student lessons, and teacher training workshops.
The final segment in the series, titled ‘What about God?’ featured Answers in Genesis (AiG), a Christian ministry that shows how the scientific evidence makes sense when interpreted within the biblical worldview. Ken Ham, president of AiG, was interviewed for over two hours for this episode and was filmed at a live AiG seminar. The producers assured AiG that the series would be ‘balanced,’ but that proved to be untrue (as expected). Far from being ‘balanced,’ the program failed to show any of the scientific evidence against evolution. The real intent of the series was to show, once and for all, that evolution is true.
To avoid the impression that Evolution was one-sided propaganda, the producers claimed that they invited the Discovery Institute, part of the ‘intelligent design’ movement,1 for ‘balance.’ But the Discovery Institute declined because they would have been slotted in the ‘religious’ objections segments, whereas their objections to evolution are purely scientific. By failing to provide space to the scientific criticism of evolution, the PBS/Nova series gave the impression that the only criticisms of evolution are ‘religious.’ They also ignored the self-declared atheistic faith of many of evolution’s proponents, including several of those involved in the series, e.g., Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, the late Stephen Jay Gould, Edward O. Wilson, and Eugenie Scott.
The PBS ‘overview’ of this program leaves no doubts about the producers’ worshipful attitude toward evolution:
Evolution plays a critical role in our daily lives, yet it is one of the most overlooked principles of life. It is the mechanism that determines who lives, who dies, and who gets the opportunity to pass traits on to the next generation, and the next, and the next. Evolution [is] the underpinning of all of biology, affecting our health, our food supply and the vast web of life. It’s such a simple theory, yet we see millions of examples of it at work in our everyday lives.
The goal of Evolution is to heighten public awareness about what evolution is and how it works, and to dispel common misunderstandings. The project seeks to illuminate why evolution is relevant, to improve its teaching, and to encourage a national dialogue on the issues currently surrounding this science.2
Such in-your-face propaganda demands an answer from Christians who believe the biblical account of origins.
Scientific American’s ‘15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense’
Scientific American is a semi-popular journal which publishes attractively illustrated and fairly detailed, but not overly technical, articles, mostly on science. It is not peer-reviewed like the journal Nature or the in-depth journal of creation, Journal of Creation,3 but many of its articles are very useful.
Yet behind the surface is a deeper agenda. The most recent editors, as will be explained in this book, have been working to push an atheistic worldview in the guise of ‘science’; and a number of corollaries, such as a radical pro-abortion, human cloning, and population control agenda.
Evidence of Scientific American’s agenda was its refusal to hire a science writer named Forrest Mims III after he admitted he was a creationist and pro-life. The editor who rejected Mims admitted that his work was ‘fabulous,’ ‘great,’ and ‘first rate,’ and ‘should be published somewhere.’4 Scientific American subsequently published an article about his revolutionary atmospheric haze detector, although it did not mention the incident of blatant discrimination.5
The current editor since late 1994, John Rennie, has fervently promoted the anti-God evolution agenda. Like many anti-creationist propagandists, he often launches into attacks with a poor understanding, and he has only a bachelor’s degree in science, so is far less qualified than the leading creationist scientists. At the height of the controversy in Kansas over changes to de-emphasize evolution in the state education standards, Rennie personally urged scientists on university admissions committees to adopt ‘big stick’ tactics in notifying the Kansas governor and the state board of education that ‘in light of the newly lowered education standards in Kansas, the qualifications of any students applying from that state in the future will have to be considered very carefully.’6 In logic, this is known as the fallacy of Argumentum ad baculum, i.e., ‘Agree with me or else unpleasant consequences will follow!’ Rennie is far from the only evolutionist to resort to this.
Now Rennie has become more actively involved in the fray, taking on the role of the valiant scientist trying to stem the creationist tide. His most recent diatribe ‘15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense’ is subtitled ‘Opponents of evolution want to make a place for creationism by tearing down real science, but their arguments don’t hold up.’ Even the magazine’s cover had splashed on the top, ‘15 ways to expose creationist nonsense.’
But as will be shown, Rennie and the anti-creationist leaders that he represents have only the vaguest ideas about real creationist arguments. Many of the ‘creationist arguments’ that they attack are ‘straw-man’ arguments, which serious creationists have also rejected. (These bad arguments are listed in the appendix of this book.) But Rennie’s other arguments in defense of evolution are also nothing new, and have been mostly answered on the Creation Ministries International website. One purpose of this book is to help Christians recognize and answer the logical fallacies common among evolutionists, including inconsistent definitions of the word Evolution equivocation, and failure to differentiate between ‘origins science’ and ‘operational science’ (explained in detail in chapter 1). It will also point out that evolutionary belief is largely a deduction from materialistic axioms, which Rennie actually acknowledges, and lamely tries to defend.
The current Scientific American editor argues that creation has no place in science and has done nothing for the advancement of science. Yet he completely misses the irony that Scientific American was founded by a staunch believer in creation—the artist and inventor Rufus Porter (1792–1884), who thought that science glorified the Creator God. In the very first issue, his editorial stated:
We shall advocate the pure Christian religion, without favouring any particular sect … .7
The founder of Scientific American also wrote an astonishing article in that issue, ‘Rational Religion,’ which bluntly declares that we all depend on the Creator God, who revealed himself in Holy Scripture. Porter’s godly admonition is worth rereading:
First, then, let us, as rational creatures, be ever ready to acknowledge God as our Creator and daily Preserver; and that we are each of us individually dependant on his special care and good will towards us, in supporting the wonderful action of nature which constitutes our existence; and in preserving us from the casualties, to which our complicated and delicate structure is liable. Let us also, knowing our entire dependence on Divine Benevolence, as rational creatures, do ourselves the honor to express personally and frequently, our thanks to Him for His goodness; and to present our petitions to Him for the favours which we constantly require. This course is rational, even without the aid of revelation: but being specially invited to this course, by the divine word, and assured of the readiness of our Creator to answer our prayers and recognize our thanks, it is truly surprising that any rational being, who has ever read the inspired writings should willingly forego this privilege, or should be ashamed to be seen engaged in this rational employment, or to have it known that he practices it.8
Christianity is rational. The purpose behind this book is to encourage believers in the absolute authority of God’s revealed Word and to give them ammunition to enter the fight for the foundational truths found in Genesis, against unbelieving scientists who have been blinded by their irrational refusal to acknowledge the God who created them.
My previous book, Refuting Evolution (1999), gave teachers, students, and parents answers to the influential publication Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998), a standard reference for science teachers produced by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. This new book, Refuting Evolution 2, was inspired by two more recent statements of evolutionary beliefs: the PBS-TV series Evolution and the Scientific American broadside titled ‘15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense.’ If Christians can digest these arguments, along with the straightforward rebuttals, they will be fully equipped to answer even the best arguments thrown at them by their peers, teachers, neighbors, and nonbelievers with whom they share the Gospel.
Note about citations: Quotations from the Scientific American article by John Rennie will be labeled ‘SA,’ followed by the page number. Quotations from, and other mentions of, the PBS-TV series ‘Evolution,’ will be labeled ‘PBS,’ followed by the episode number, e.g., ‘PBS 6’ refers to Episode 6. The seven PBS episodes have these titles:
Episode 1: Darwin’s Dangerous Idea
Episode 2: Great Transformations
Episode 3: Extinction!
Episode 4: The Evolutionary Arms Race!
Episode 5: Why Sex?
Episode 6: The Mind’s Big Bang
Episode 7: What about God?
Creation is the Creation Ministries International quarterly magazine. Journal of Creation, formerly Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal then TJ, is the Creation Ministries International peer-reviewed journal for advanced topics in creation. In this book, it will always be cited as ‘Journal of Creation’.
References and notes
- See Carl Wieland, CMI’s views on the intelligent design movement, 30 August 2002.
- Evolution project overview, PBS website <http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/about/overview_project.html>.
- Published by Creation Ministries International.
- ‘Science’s Litmus Test’ (telephone transcript of conversation between Forrest Mims and Jonathan Piel, then editor of Scientific American), Harper’s Magazine (March 1991). The transcript makes it clear that an outstanding writer was not hired for disbelieving in the sacred cow of evolution (and a ‘woman’s right to choose’ [to kill her unborn]).
- Shawn Carlson, The Amateur Scientist, Scientific American 276(5):80–81 (May 1997).
- Cited in: P. Johnson, The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism (Westmont, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2000), p. 80.
- R. Porter, To the American public, Scientific American 1(1): 1845.
- R. Porter, Rational Religion, Scientific American 1(1): 1845.