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Dr Lawrence Krauss says people should doubt evolution!

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Published: 16 June 2015 (GMT+10)
no-questioning-meme

In a recent article in The New Yorker magazine1, Dr Lawrence Krauss2 said people should doubt evolution. Well, to be sure, this is not what Dr Krauss, an outspoken anti-theist and evolutionist, actually intended—but if we rigorously apply what he recommends, then we should indeed doubt evolution.

In the opening paragraph, Dr Krauss relates an incident in which Governor Scott Walker (Wisconsin, USA) was asked at a news conference in London, England, “Are you comfortable with the idea of evolution?” According to Krauss, Gov. Walker replied, “I’m going to punt on that one”.

Since Gov. Walker is known as an evangelical Christian and given the tone and content of the rest of the article, it seems reasonable to conclude that Dr. Krauss was intending to belittle those who might question evolution, particularly those who espouse the Christian faith and a Biblical perspective on creation.

Here is some of what Dr Krauss wrote:

“Doubt about one’s most cherished beliefs is, of course, central to science: … But doubt is also important to non-scientists. It’s good to be skeptical, especially about ideas you learn from perceived authority figures. Recent studies even suggest that being taught to doubt at a young age could make people better lifelong learners. That, in turn, means that doubters—people who base their views on evidence, rather than faith—are likely to be better citizens.” …
“One conclusion we might draw is that we ought to resist ideology in the first place. If we want to raise citizens who are better at making evidence-based judgments, we need to start early, making skepticism and doubt part of the experience that shapes their identities from a young age.” …
“Informed doubt is the very essence of science.” …
“One thing is certain: if our educational system does not honestly and explicitly promote the central tenet of science—that nothing is sacred—then we encourage myth and prejudice to endure. We need to equip our children with tools to avoid the mistakes of the past while constructing a better, and more sustainable, world for themselves and future generations. We won’t do that by dodging inevitable and important questions about facts and faith. Instead of punting on those questions, we owe it to the next generation to plant the seeds of doubt.”

You may have already spotted the supreme irony in Dr Krauss’ words!

wikipedia.org lawrence-krauss
Dr Lawrence Krauss.

Dr Krauss says that we should be raising children to make “evidence-based judgments”. As a materialist, Dr Krauss must believe that life arose by some purely natural process from chemistry. Does Dr Krauss make evidence-based judgments about the origin of life, or do ‘faith’ considerations determine his beliefs? Consider the following statements by origin-of-life researchers:

"When it comes to the origin of life there are only two possibilities: creation or spontaneous generation. There is no third way. Spontaneous generation was disproved one hundred years ago, but that leads us to only one other conclusion, that of supernatural creation. We cannot accept that on philosophical grounds; therefore, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance!”3 
“The belief that life on earth arose spontaneously from non-living matter, is simply a matter of faith in strict reductionism and is based entirely on ideology.”4 
“The origin of life by chance in a primeval soup is impossible in probability in the same way that a perpetual machine is in probability. The extremely small probabilities calculated in this chapter are not discouraging to true believers … [however] A practical person must conclude that life didn’t happen by chance.”5 
“Although, at the beginning, the paradigm was worth consideration, now the entire effort in the primeval soup paradigm is self-deception based on the ideology of its champions.”6 
“We now know that the secret of life lies not with the chemical ingredients as such, but with the logical structure and organisational arrangement of the molecules … biological information is not encoded in the laws of physics and chemistry … (and it) cannot come into existence spontaneously. … There is no known law of physics able to create information from nothing.”7 

Consider also the following admissions about the ideological nature of the debate about evolution/naturalism:

“Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that in this one complaint—and Mr [sic; Dr] Gish is but one of many to make it—the literalists are absolutely right. Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today. … Evolution therefore came into being as a kind of secular ideology, an explicit substitute for Christianity.”8 
“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science [naturalism/materialism] in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.
“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”9 

In light of these admissions by evolutionists themselves, it is clear that Gov. Walker should, perhaps, have answered the question this way (extracts from Dr Krauss’ article emphasized):

“Well, you know, doubt is, of course, central to science and it’s good to be skeptical, especially about ideas you learn from perceived authority figures—such as, for example, the university professors who assert that evolution is a fact. I was taught to doubt at a young age and I think that this makes people better lifelong learners. And I think that doubters—people, like me, who base their views on evidence, rather than faith—are likely to be better citizens.
So, since the scientific evidence that can be verified by repeated experimentation contradicts the idea that inanimate chemicals could accidentally combine to produce a self-replicating organism and also contradicts the idea that the huge amounts of new genetic information that would be necessary to transform such an original ‘simple’ organism into the complexity of life we see today can come into existence spontaneously—and especially since we know that the secret of life is, indeed, in the genetic information and not the chemicals that store the information—basing my views on the evidence, I am very skeptical about evolution.
In addition, since several evolutionists have admitted that evolution is an ideology and none other than Dr Lawrence Krauss has suggested that ‘one conclusion we might draw is that we ought to resist ideology in the first place’, then I think it makes sense to be skeptical of evolution and, in fact, we should make skepticism and doubt about evolution part of the experience that shapes people’s identities from a young age.”

Furthermore, we can quite appropriately amplify the points of Dr. Krauss’ last paragraph as follows (italics this time indicate amplifications).

One thing is certain: if our educational system does not honestly and explicitly promote the central tenet of science—that nothing is sacred, including evolution—then we will continue to encourage the myth of evolution and prejudice against those who are skeptical about it to endure. We need to equip our children with tools to avoid the mistakes of the past—such as failing to be skeptical about the claims concerning evolution for which the scientific evidence is either non-existent or contradictory—while constructing a better, and more sustainable, world for themselves and future generations. We won’t do that by dodging inevitable and important questions about facts that contradict evolution and faith that the unsubstantiated just-so stories of evolution are true. Instead of punting on those questions, we owe it to the next generation to plant the seeds of doubt about evolution.

So, Dr Krauss, are you comfortable with the idea of teaching doubt and skepticism about evolution?10 

Related Articles

Further Reading

References and notes

  1. Krauss, L.M., Teaching Doubt, The New Yorker, 15 March 2015; newyorker.com (accessed 17 March 2015). Return to text.
  2. Dr Krauss is Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and the Physics Dept., Co-Director of the Cosmology Initiative and Inaugural Director of the Origins Initiative at Arizona State University. Return to text.
  3. Wald, G., Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, The Origin of Life, Scientific American 191:48. May 1954. Return to text.
  4. Yockey, H.P., Physicist and Information Theorist who worked with Oppenheimer on the Manhattan Project (a non-creationist), Information Theory and Molecular Biology, Cambridge University Press, UK, p. 284, 1992. Return to text.
  5. Yockey, H.P., Ref. 4, p. 257. Return to text.
  6. Yockey, H.P., Ref. 4, p. 336. Return to text.
  7. Davies, P. (Physicist, Arizona State University, a colleague of Dr. Krauss) Life force, New Scientist 163(2204):27–30, September 18, 1999. Return to text.
  8. Ruse, M., How evolution became a religion: creationists correct? National Post, pp. B1,B3,B7 May 13, 2000. Michael Ruse was professor of philosophy and zoology at the University of Guelph, Canada (recently moved to Florida), He was the leading anti-creationist philosopher whose arguments seemed to convince the judge to rule against the Arkansas ‘balanced treatment’ (of creation and evolution in schools) bill in 1981/2. At the trial, he and other anti-creationists loftily dismissed the claim that evolution was an anti-god religion. Return to text.
  9. Lewontin, R., Billions and billions of demons (review of The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan, 1997), The New York Review, p. 31, 9 January 1997. Dr Lewontin is an evolutionary biologist and geneticist at Harvard. Return to text.
  10. Question evolution! A grassroots movement to challenge the anti-Christian dogma of evolution; Return to text.

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Readers’ comments
Anthony L., United States, 19 June 2015

Believing in evolution is not a religion, just as simply believing in God is not a religion. We don't worship Darwin or any other scientist. We have no hierarchy. We have no rituals. We have no central book that we adhere to. We have no holidays of our own. I know there is a church of atheism, but in my opinion that is ridiculous. Trying to turn one belief into a religion makes no sense to me. Fortunately they are only an extremely small percentage of atheists.

The reason that real religious people like to call atheism and/or Darwinism a religion is because the word 'religion' has taken on a negative connotation in the last 20 years or so. And those religious people are trying to paint atheism as a religion in hopes of drawing negativity to it. You can see it all over the internet whenever religious folks get a chance to call atheism a religion.

Science goes out of its way to find the truth even if that means being wrong at times. Religions on the other hand assume they already have the truth. As an atheist I'll throw in with the one that is at least making an effort (science).

Jim Mason responds

Anthony,

Thank you for this comment. You have incorporated quite a number of commonly held misconceptions and objections into a single comment. As a result, I am going to provide a detailed response so as to address each of these.

What constitutes a religion?

Here are some definitions of religion taken from the web.

From Wikipedia: “A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to an order of existence. Many religions have narratives, symbols, and sacred histories that aim to explain the meaning of life, the origin of life, or the Universe. From their beliefs about the cosmos and human nature, people may derive morality, ethics, religious laws or a preferred lifestyle.”

From dictionary.com: “1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe … 2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons …”

From Merriam-Webster online: “an interest, a belief, or an activity that is very important to a person or group.”

Evolution clearly fits these definitions of religion.

As for your list of things that you apparently think are required of a religion (but aren’t according to the definitions):

“In 2009, Science celebrated the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species and the 200th anniversary of the author's birth with a variety of news features, scientific reviews and other special content, all collected here.” I can’t recall any similar celebrations for Isaac Newton, who many consider to be the greatest scientist that ever lived, Michael Faraday, who many consider to be the greatest experimental scientists who ever lived, James Clerk Maxwell, who developed the equations that are the foundation of all our electronic gadgets or Albert Einstein. Why do atheists venerate Darwin but not these other scientists? I submit it is because Darwin gave atheists a seemingly viable creation myth that does not involve God. As Richard Dawkins put it: “… Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.” (Dawkins, R., The Blind Watchmaker, Penguin Books, London, England, p. 6, 1991.)

I would also note that atheists in the USA, through the Freedom From Religion Foundation, sponsored a billboard featuring a picture of Charles Darwin and the words “Praise Darwin”.

This all sounds like worship to me.

In addition, while other scientists have their names associated with a unit (e.g. the Watt) or a law (e.g. Newton’s laws of motion), Darwin has his name associated with an entire idea/ideology. Darwinism, or more recently, neo-Darwinism, is used interchangeably with evolution. This is very much like Buddhism or Confucianism, built on the names of real people, being used to denote the ideas/ideology of what are commonly considered to be religions.

Hierarchy, rituals, adherence to a central book/document and designated holidays are common to a lot of things, for example, the state (president/vice president, etc., swearing in ceremonies, constitution, and Independence Day) so are not prescriptive of religion, nor are they required of religion according to the above definitions. Furthermore, according to Cambridge University’s Peter Lawrence: “In this vital mission to discredit the supernatural, nothing has proved more important than The Origin of Species”, which clearly indicates atheists/evolutionists hold this ‘central book’ in high esteem. ((Re)Reading The Origin, Current Biology 19(3):R96–R104, 2009. extracted from Why Evolution Hurts the Church

Religion’s negative connotations

Yes, ‘religion’ seems to have acquired a negative connotation recently. For Islam, I think this is understandable given what happened September 11, 2001 and following, up to the present activities of ISIS in the Middle East, Boko Haram in north Africa, and other Islamic terrorist organizations. For Christianity, I think that is more likely the fulfillment of the vision of Humanist John. J. Dunphy who, in 1983, wrote,

“I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classroom by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the proselytizers of a new faith: a religion of humanity that recognizes and respects the spark of what theologians call divinity in every human being. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preachers, for they will be ministers of another sort, utilizing a classroom instead of a pulpit to convey humanist values in whatever subject they teach, regardless of the educational level—preschool day care or large state university. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new—the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith of humanism … “. (Dunphy, J.J., A Religion for a New Age, The Humanist, January–February 1983.)

The doctrines of this “religion for a new age” are spelled out quite clearly in The Humanist Manifesto II and include atheism and evolution. So perhaps you are correct, atheism and evolution are not religions per se. Rather they are simply doctrines of the religion of Humanism. However, this distinction seems inconsequential.

I note, in passing, that The Humanist Manifesto specifically included evolution as a doctrine, but not gravity. This would suggest that the drafters of the manifesto recognized that evolution is a belief that is not actual scientifically supported but must be accepted by faith. The acknowledgement by Dr. Ruse (who, by the way, is an atheist/evolutionist and not what you would consider to be a ‘religious person’), that evolution is a religion, or belief system, corroborates this interpretation.

Atheism’s negative record

If your intent was to imply that, unlike religion, atheism and/or evolution have no negative connotations, then you are decidedly on shaky ground. Marxism/Communism and Nazism were firmly based on evolutionary and atheist dogma. The Nazis even produced a propaganda video to legitimize their program of euthanizing the mentally handicapped, in which they said “We have sinned against the law of Natural Selection” . In Stalin’s Soviet Republic, Mao Zedong’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and Hitler’s Germany, the atheistic/evolutionary philosophy resulted in over 162 million non-battle killings. This compared to the best known killings directly attributable to Christianity: Spanish Inquisition: 1,500–4,000 ; the Salem Witch Trials: 25 ; the Crusades: circa 3 million (estimates range from 1 million to 9 million with 3 million being typical. Assuming that both sides involved in these wars were equally adept at killing, this would ascribe about 1.5 million killings to the Christian side during the approximately 200 years of the Crusades. That amounts to about 7,500 per year. Compare this to the approximately 1 million killings by abortion every year in the US alone, which can reasonably be ascribed to atheistic Humanism, as abortion is specifically identified as a 'right' in HM II.

While any killing in the name of Christianity is deplorable, it is clearly recognized that such killing is contrary to the teaching of Christianity. The same cannot be said for killing in the name of atheism or evolution. In fact, evolution was the motivating factor in the ‘harvesting’ of Australian and Tasmanian Aboriginals as they were viewed as being the lowest links in the evolution of mankind, not yet fully human, and, therefore, appropriate for collection for scientific study like, say, birds or butterflies.

Is science really an unbiased search for the truth?

The idea that science is an unbiased, entirely objective search for the truth, unaffected by the world views and prejudices of its practitioners (scientists), while noble, needs to be applied with a considerable amount of “informed doubt and scepticism”, as Dr. Krauss might put it.

Scientists are human, after all, so the lure of fame and fortune is surely just as effective in this community as in the rest of the population. Winning a Nobel Prize is much more attractive than being the seventh person, or even the second person, to confirm results already published by someone else. How many people remember the name of the second person to walk on the moon? How about the name of the man who stayed in the Command Module?

This can result in confirmation bias—finding, in the data, what one wants to find. I think a recent example of this is the anthropogenic global warming (AGW) situation. The UN IPCC was formed specifically in order to find human causes for global climate change—and that is exactly what they found, despite the fact that many reputable scientists do not agree with this interpretation of the data. Furthermore, the release of emails amongst some of the senior scientists within the group that subscribes to the human-cause interpretation, the so-called Climategate, clearly showed that these scientists were prepared to use coercion and intimidation to manipulate the peer review and publication process to suppress contrary views. This is hardly objective pursuit of the truth.

Then there is the issue of selective inclusion and exclusion of data, often referred to as cherry-picking. This is well illustrated by the remarks of American archaeologist Brew, who said “If a C14 date supports our theories, we put it in the main text. If it does not entirely contradict them, we put it in a foot-note. And if it is completely ‘out of date’, we just drop it.” Compounding this egregious behaviour is the likelihood that an article published with such a date will get referenced in subsequent articles until it becomes ‘received wisdom’. Yet it is based on highly questionable data and interpretations, of which few are aware.

Of course, there are also the outright frauds, of which the history of evolution seems to have an inordinate number, including Piltdown Man, Nebraska Man, the Peppered Moths, Haeckel’s drawings and Archaeoraptor. In the case of Archaeoraptor, the subject of a cover story by National Geographic in November 1999, National Geographic claimed that it was a missing link, a transitional form between land-based theropod dinosaurs (of which T. rex is one) and birds, although this was not without dissenting opinion amongst evolutionists. However, the people involved in preparing the article had been advised, on August 2 by an independent imaging laboratory to which that fossil had been sent for analysis, that the fossil was probably a fraud. Even though this information was provided in advance of publication, the article was published anyway. A subsequent retraction, published in March 2000 was offered as a short, carefully crafted editorial response to a letter by Xu Xing, a vertebrate paleontologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. These frauds beg the question that if evolution is such an obvious fact, why is it necessary to support it with frauds? I am not aware of any frauds perpetrated to ‘prove’ the theories of gravity, thermodynamics or electromagnetism.

Frauds, of course, are not limited to the discipline of evolution. Dr. Jerry Bergman documents a number of cases of fraud in science in general and discusses the reasons for this. The case of a Dutch social psychologist is discussed here.

Not surprisingly, such behaviour is quite in keeping with the philosophies of humanism, atheism and evolution that inform the decisions of much of society, including much of the scientific community. The Humanist Manifesto II declares (the Third Principle) that morals and ethics are “autonomous” and “situational”, meaning that what is right and wrong is decided by the individual depending on the circumstances and is, therefore, entirely subjective and relative. Since atheism declares that there is no God, there can be no external, objective, unchanging frame of reference from which to define right and wrong, so, again, these become subjective and relative. As for evolution, staunch evolutionist, Dr Will Provine, Professor of Biological Sciences at Cornell University wrote, “Let me summarize my views on what modern evolutionary biology tells us loud and clear … There is no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning to life, and no free will for humans, either.’

So if fudging the data a bit here and there or even constructing completely fraudulent data will help secure tenure or, perhaps, capture a larger research grant, then, under these philosophies, who is to say that it’s wrong to do so? On the other hand, such behaviour is anathema to scientists who are genuine Christians.

The evolutionary worldview can also seriously impede the progress of scientific discovery and the publication of scientific data. So-called ‘vestigial’ organs and ‘junk’ DNA are two well-known examples of this. A more recent example was encountered by Dr. Mary Schweitzer when she was trying to publish her initial discovery of soft, biological tissue in dinosaur bones. As documented in Discover magazine (Yeoman, B., Schweitzer’s Dangerous Discovery, Discover 27(4):37–41, 77, April 2006. as cited here), Dr Schweitzer “was having a hard time” trying to get her work published in scientific journals. “I had one reviewer tell me that he didn’t care what the data said, he knew that what I was finding wasn’t possible,” says Schweitzer. “I wrote back and said, ‘Well, what data would convince you?’ And he said, ‘None.’” In other words, evolution can create close-mindedness in scientists of just the sort that you seem to attribute to ‘religious people’.

So as you “throw in with [secular, naturalistic, atheistic] science”, watch out for the liars, cheats, frauds and close-minded.

Are science and ‘religion’ incompatible?

Your final paragraph seems to suggest that you consider science and religion are somehow incompatible, at odds with each other. With respect to Christianity, this is completely incorrect. In fact, many historians recognize that it was because of the Christian worldview that science flourished. Indeed many of the pioneers of modern science such as Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday and James Clerk Maxwell were Christians—and Biblical creationists to boot. More recently we can add Dr Raymond Damadian (and others) to the list. Dr Damadian is the man who did the fundamental research that demonstrated the scientific principle upon which medical MRI technology is based but who was excluded from the 2003 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine that was awarded to two others “for their discoveries concerning ‘magnetic resonance imaging’.” There is some considerable opinion that he was specifically excluded because of his creationist views.

Science can’t prove anything!

Finally, the notion that science can “find the truth”, while understandable, is somewhat misplaced since science can’t prove anything is true. This is highlighted by the following letter to the editor in Science

"The title of the 6 May News of the Week story “At long last, Gravity Probe B satellite proves Einstein right” (p. 649) made me cringe. I find myself frequently repeating to students and the public that science doesn’t “prove” theories. Scientific measurements can only disprove theories or be consistent with them. Any theory that is consistent with measurements could be disproved by a future measurement. I wouldn’t have expected Science magazine, of all places, to say a theory was “proved”.

The Editor’s response: “Bennett is completely correct. It’s an important conceptual point, and we blew it.”

This letter was written by Dr Charles L. Bennet, observational astrophysicist and Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Johns Hopkins University, who is the Principal Investigator of NASA's Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP).

Compounding this is the fact that there is much truth that is beyond the ability of the scientific method to even investigate. Historical truth is one example. Because the scientific method relies on verification by repeated, controlled experiments, it is not possible to verify historical events scientifically. Because the theory of evolution relies on a number of things that happened in the past—for example the chance combination of non-living molecules to form a living organism, the chance increase in genetic complexity of this organism to become the Last Universal Common Ancestor (LUCA), the chance modification of this LUCA by mutations and natural selection into the whole diversity of life both past and present—it cannot be scientifically proven, on two accounts.

So to say that evolution has been scientifically proven or that science has proved that evolution is true is wrong (and quite unscientific!). To quote Dr Bennett, “Scientific measurements can only disprove theories or be consistent with them.” In the case of evolution, so many of the scientific measurements are not consistent with the theory and so many of them are actually contradictory to the theory (see, for example, the quotes concerning the origin of life in my article), that, if it were any other theory, it would undoubtedly be considered disproven.

What is truth?

Since science cannot have a monopoly on truth (for example, how can science itself prove that it is the only source of truth?), what other truth might there be? In Ephesians 6:14, Paul writes, “Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth”, so truth is something with which we should equip ourselves so that we can “stand firm”. But what is truth?

In John 17, in a prayer to His Father in Heaven in the presence of the apostles, Jesus is recorded as saying with respect to His disciples, “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” So God’s word—the Bible—is truth.

The Bible isn’t a science textbook but it does contain a record of the history of the universe. Since it is God’s Word and God’s Word is truth, it is a true historical record. Where this history intersects with scientific disciplines, e.g. biology, genetics and geology, one would expect that the observational evidence in these disciplines would be in agreement with this history. This is, in fact, what we see. For example, in biology, the history says that life was created in a set of “kinds” that could intra-breed but not inter-breed and this is what we see. In genetics we would expect evidence that all humans have descendent from one man and one woman and this is just what we see. In geology, among other things, we would expect to see much of the Earth’s surface covered by layers of rock laid down and eroded by massive water flows, which is just what we see. A good description of the correspondence of actual geologic observations in a part of Australia to what would be expected based on the Biblical history (essentially the global flood of Noah’s day) can be found here.

A challenge

Anthony, I have a challenge for you, based on the recommendations of Dr Krauss.

Resist the ideology of evolution, be skeptical of the evolutionary ideas that you learned from the perceived authority figures who taught you in school, carefully examine the evidence without dodging the important questions about facts that contradict evolution and the faith that you are expected to have in the “unsubstantiated, just-so stories” that try to explain these facts and just see if, perhaps, all the facts aren’t actually more consistently and coherently explained within the framework of the Biblical history.

Reading some more articles on the CMI website would be an excellent place to start.

Once again, thank you for your comment.

Jim Mason

Kevin D., New Zealand, 18 June 2015

What if both sides are wrong? The New Testament in particular records numerous mistakes and arguments among Jesus' apostles. If they got it wrong once, maybe they also got it wrong numerous times including in their writings, and that of the Old Testament. The intransigent approach of both sides of this argument are just two sides of the same coin, I'm afraid. Wouldn't it be great if everyone respected other people's beliefs, and their right to hold them. Sometimes I think we don't love the truth and each other as much as we love winning arguments so as to justify our own predetermined position. Welcome to the human race, whether atheist or christian. I've got news for you, we are all the same, and when that is understood, we can start to live again!

Jim Mason responds

I think that the quote from Dr Wald’s article clearly establishes that, at least with respect to the origin of life, both sides can’t be wrong. Either life was generated spontaneously as the result of a chance combination of non-living molecules or it wasn’t. If it wasn’t, then it had to have been the result of a specific, intentional act on the part of a creator. This is not a false dichotomy. As Dr Wald noted, there is no third way.

The same can be said about the universe. Either the universe accidentally created itself or it didn’t. If it didn’t, then it must have been created by an intentional act of creator who is outside the universe and who pre-existed the universe. Again, there is no third way.

The ideas of accidental appearance are foundational to evolution; the intentional acts by a creator is Biblical.

Interestingly, your example concerning the New Testament assumes that the text correctly recounts the interchanges between the apostles but then uses this accuracy of the text to suggest that other parts of the New Testament are inaccurate! However, I suggest that these incidents of disagreement were included in the Bible because of how Jesus uses them as teaching opportunities concerning the issue under discussion. And I don’t recall any disagreements amongst the apostles about the veracity and historicity of the Old Testament, especially the Genesis account of creation. Jesus certainly seemed to have known Genesis to be historical (see Mark 10:6 and Luke 17:2), as did Peter (see 1 Pet 3:20 and 2 Pet 3:5).

With respect, I must take exception to the suggestion that being intransigent is somehow a bad thing and that it is a good thing to respect other people’s beliefs. I am intransigent in my belief that rape and pedophilia are wrong (as well as numerous other things), whereas others may have different beliefs. Am I wrong in being intransigent and should I respect these other beliefs?

Also with respect, I submit that it is because we (Biblical Creationists) love the truth and our neighbours so much that we persist in putting our case as compellingly as we can in spite of the impediments that are imposed (e.g. cannot even be mentioned in schools) and the invective that is often directed at us. Truth matters. As C. S. Lewis noted “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance.” Since we believe Christianity is true, we understand the issue to be of infinite importance, the issue being, of course, where one spends eternity. The Gospel, or good news, of Christianity that it is possible to spend eternity in the presence of God, is inextricably linked to the ‘bad news’ of the events in the garden of Eden. Since evolution is used to deny the historicity of the events in the garden, it, perforce, also denies the reality of the Gospel.

So it’s not just about winning arguments any more than it is for a defence attorney with a client wrongfully accused of first-degree murder and potentially subject to the death penalty. A difference being that, in this case, we are not wrongfully accused but can nonetheless be acquitted by accepting Christ’s offer of forgiveness.

Atheists and Christians are, indeed, the same, at least in the sense that we are all sinners. However, I’ve got good news for you. Christians are different in that they have realized that they are sinners but they “believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing [they] may have life in His name” (John 20:31) and “have it abundantly” (John 10:10). They have started living again, indeed, but in a whole new way because "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor 5:17).

On a personal note, if you have read my bio on this website, you would know that my embracing Biblical creation is not a “predetermined position”. In university and for some time afterwards, I was, in fact, an atheist as a result of what I had been taught in school and told by the media was true. When, in my early thirties, I was challenged to examine the claims of and about Jesus, after a careful examination of the evidence, I came to the conclusion that He was what He and others claimed, which eventually led to me becoming a Christian. But at that time I didn’t appreciate either the dependence of the Gospel on the reality of the events in Eden or the fact that the scientific evidence so consistently and coherently confirms that reality but is inconsistent with and, in many cases, actually contradicts the evolutionary history. This realization came later, again, after careful examination of the evidence. So, you see, my position is not predetermined - unless you take the position that it was predetermined by God, which I am quite prepared to accept and for which I am very thankful.

S. M., South Africa, 17 June 2015

With regards to your quotes from H.P. Yockey, I think the following should be noted:

"This blog is being written by Hubert Yockey and Cynthia Yockey, his daughter, who edits his work. It will feature posts about information theory, evolution and the origin of life, as well as Dr. Yockey’s reminiscences about his life, including his many wilderness adventures.

This post is written by Cynthia Yockey. The first thing I want noted about my father is that he is not in any way, shape or form a Creationist. He does not support Intelligent Design. He supports Darwin’s theory of evolution and points out that it is one of the best-supported theories in science."

Jim Mason responds

Yes, I was aware of this blog. In fact, I found it because I wanted to confirm that Dr Yockey was, in fact, not a Biblical creationist because the quotes from his book effectively say that evolution (in the goo-to-you-via-the-zoo sense) is impossible because it cannot even get started. Because of this, I find it absolutely amazing that he still "supports Darwin’s theory of evolution and points out that it is one of the best-supported theories in science."

With his apparently unqualified support for evolution, the quote's from Dr Yockey's book, which clearly establish the impossibility of evolution, are analogous to the testimony of an expert witness for, say, the prosecution, whose testimony inadvertently proves that the defendant could not have done it.

The quote from the website suggests that Dr Yockey viewed the theory of evolution as having the same degree of support as the theory of gravity, the second law of thermodynamics, or the theory of electromagnetism. This is, frankly, amazing. The theories of gravity, thermodynamics and electromagnetism all have detailed equations that can be used to make falsifiable predictions that can be rigorously tested by experiment and, in fact, such rigorous testing has been done with the equations confirmed to the extent that they are now routinely used in engineering projects such as landing the Philae lander on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko. I know of no similar equations associated with the theory of evolution, detailing, for example, how fish changed into tetrapods, nor any associated rigorous, controlled experiments that have validated them. I guess this just demonstrates the degree of cognitive dissonance that theory of evolution requires.

S. M., South Africa, 17 June 2015

The following quote mentioned here should be taken more seriously:

“Informed doubt is the very essence of science.”

I really can't see how an experimental physicist would be able to cast informed doubt on a biological theory such as the theory of evolution.

Jim Mason responds

Ah, yes, the genetic fallacy, used to avoid engaging the substance of an argument by claiming that the one making the argument has no right to do so.

By logical extension, your argument would suggest that, for example, atheists (e.g. Richard Dawkins) would not be able to cast informed doubt on Christianity because what could an atheist possibly know about Christianity. And since you have provided no background on yourself, it is not possible to determine whether or not you are suitably informed on what experimental physicists might know so as to qualify you to be able to cast "informed doubt" on my ability to cast informed doubt on evolution.

However, clearly people can become informed on subjects that may not have been their major in school - books are good for this - and we are all urged to become informed before an election about issues about which we probably received no instruction in school.

In any event, in the article, I was simply using the words of others - all evolutionists - to cast doubt on evolution.

I would think that you would accept that Dr. Wald, a Nobel Laureate in medicine, Dr. Lewontin, an evolutionary biologist from Harvard and Dr. Ruse, who specializes in the philosophy of biology, especially Darwinsim, would know something about biology and evolution. You might quibble about Dr. Yockey, but his comments pertain to the probability of life happening by chance combination of non-living atoms, and in that area, as a physicist and information theorist, he would be well qualified. That leaves Dr. Davies, who is a professor at Arizona State University and, therefore, is a colleague of Dr. Krauss. Davies trained as a physicist but is currently Principal Investigator at Arizona State University's Center for Convergence of Physical Science and Cancer Biology, a program set up by the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute. So I guess the NIH thinks he knows something about biology.

So, I submit, the comments that cast doubt on the theory of evolution come from people who are well qualified to make them.

Dan M., United States, 16 June 2015

WOW!

Before becoming a Christian and a creationist, I used to pride myself in being able to recite the frivolous, empty assumptions of the evolutionary theory, (religion). The problem was, every time I read another evolutionary biased article, I was left with more questions than answers.

It was only after I began to consider the creation model that I received real honest biblical explanations that made sense according to the observations. Can we prove the creation model? Only God was there and he'll fill us in when we are with him for eternity.

Thank you Lord Jesus for curing my insanity! Now I am truly free, truly free indeed.

P.S. We should pity them and they can only kill me once, and then glory.

Dave R., United Kingdom, 16 June 2015

“It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.”

In other words, ‘From all the evidence, it sure looks as though it is perfectly reasonable and logical to consider there may well have been a designer-creator, but we positively choose to assert such a possibility cannot and does not exist, because we are materialists and reject any notion that God exists.’

We shouldn’t be surprised by such behaviour, however, since Romans 1 v 18-21 states, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them for, since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse for, although they knew God (that He exists – because of all the material evidence which tells them He does), they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

The trouble for the materialists is that, whilst they bring themselves into God’s condemnation thereby, they compound their judgment by God through their misguiding countless others into sharing their condemnation.

Jim Mason responds

My own paraphrase of the quote from Dr. Lewontin is as follows: Science has built a box called naturalism and scientists are not allowed to think outside the box. This, of course, does not mean that outside the box does not exist, only that scientists are not allowed to go there. All scientific explanations are required to stay inside the box in order to be considered scientific. This, of course, does't mean that these explanations are correct. In fact, the explanations can be quite silly and contrary to common sense, but as long as they are inside the box other scientists will accept them.

And, as he says, the whole reason for this is so that they can avoid thinking about what is outside the box.

Robert B., United States, 16 June 2015

I don't find Krauss' comments funny at all but sobering; they seem to be paving the way for bloodshed.

With lines like:

"We need to equip our children with tools to avoid the mistakes of the past while constructing a better, and more sustainable, world for themselves and future generations."

and the oft repeated refrain of late that:

"Teaching Creationism to children is a form of child abuse"

I see the ideological rationale for the elimination of Bible believing Christians being advanced. The Beast is going to make war on the saints and CONQUER them. Pogroms always make sense to the perpetrators and there are those that think that all Evangelical Christians should be eliminated,

"For the children..."

Hans G., Australia, 16 June 2015

Ha ha ha he said it! "That, in turn, means that doubters—people who base their views on evidence, rather than faith—are likely to be better citizens.” …

The Christians are the better citizens, they base their views on EVIDENCE !

Terry D P., Australia, 16 June 2015

Well, I have put my faith in Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and grant me eternal life, based on all the evidence in the Bible validating his claim to be the Son of God.

« And I think that doubters—people, like me, who base their views on evidence, rather than faith—are likely to be better citizens.» — (extract from Dr Krauss’ article)

Indeed, Jesus Christ himself told the disbelieving Jews to “accept the evidence of my deeds” as proof that he was indeed God’s Son…

« Then why do you charge me with blasphemy because I, consecrated and sent into the world by the Father, said, “I am God’s son”? ‘If I am not acting as my Father would, do not believe me. But if I am, accept the evidence of my deeds, even if you do not believe me, so that you may recognise and know that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.’ »— Jn§10:36-38

And to his believing disciples, he said…

« Jesus answered, ‘Have I been all this time with you, Philip, and you still do not know me? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. Then how can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? I am not myself the source of the words I speak to you: it is the Father who dwells in me doing his own work. Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else accept the evidence of the deeds themselves. In truth, in very truth I tell you, he who has faith in me will do what I am doing; and he will do greater things still because I am going to the Father. » — Jn§14:9-12

All that evidence is recorded in the Bible for everyone to read and accept.

Which makes one wonder why the atheist Dr Krauss refuses to accept this irrefutable evidence of God’s existence, in order to maintain his faith in evolution as creator?

I. F., United Kingdom, 16 June 2015

"So, Dr Krauss, are you comfortable with the idea of teaching doubt and skepticism about evolution?"

I would take what Dr Krauss says at face value, nothing is sacred, challenge and question, test, scrutinise everything. If a theory (any) lives to fight another day, great. If it does not, that is great too, that is how knowledge and understanding is advanced. It is how Dr Richard Feynman thought, a quantum physicist, one of the 20th century's greatest thinkers, questioning everything, being skeptical, being intellectually honest, at all times upholding "scientific integrity", "utter honesty", wanting one's theories/ideas to be disproved, and reporting anything that could make the experiment/research/theory invalid. Those are words taken from the commencement speech he gave at Caltech in 1974, about the dangers of what he called "cargo cult science" and of not upholding scientific integrity. Feynman's speech is worth reading in full, it has bearing on this CMI article, and moreover I cannot imagine Dr Krauss disagreeing with anything Richard Feynman shared in that speech. Taking too what Michael Faraday said at face value "Nothing is too wondrous to be true if it be consistent with the laws of nature; and in such things as these experiment is the best test of such consistency" then he too would agree with Feynman's thinking, "It's a kind of scientific integrity, a principle of scientific thought that corresponds to a kind of utter honesty--a kind of leaning over backwards."

"In summary, the idea is to give all of the information to help others to judge the value of your contribution; not just the information that leads to judgement in one particular direction or another." Feynman will have been a major influence on Krauss.

Jim Mason responds

Certainly if one were to take Dr. Krauss' words at face value it would most definitely be legitimate, even mandatory, to question evolution - and not just the cosmetic things like which evolutionary sequence might be the correct one, but the fundamental issue of whether abiogenesis and neo-Darwinism make any sense at all.

Alas, as the article noted, it seems pretty clear from Dr. Krauss' article that this is not what he intended. It is certainly not the modus operandi of the secular scientific community. Dr. Jerry Bergman, in Slaughter of the Dissidents, has clearly documented that the secular establishment does not brook any questioning of the ‘truth' of evolution, only differences of opinion about the mechanisms.

murk P., Canada, 16 June 2015

That was funnier than a Jim Carrey million movie

Thanks for exposing the foolishness of unbelief Mr. Mason

So now Mr. Krauss of course needs to doubt that "Doubt about ones most cherished beliefs, is of course, central to science."

Boldly go where it leads Mr. Krauss

Eschew obfuscation

Question everything - including that and your ability to reason

Though your stance is humerous if you were a child it is also very sad because you are a man.

"A double minded man is unstable in all his ways."

As you clearly demonstrate

Start with Christ - you will gain a sound mind.

P. T., Australia, 15 June 2015

Well! I am SHOCKED to read those quotes together! I did wonder at the heading, that such a big fish could make such a statement!

Although I've read many of those quotes before, never in quite such a collection. Well done, Jim Mason.

Thank you for such a revealing article which clearly places the onus on evo-scientists to come out of the closet about their religion.

Oh - and by the way, WHEN did the central tenet of science become "nothing is sacred"?

Thanks CMI for your fantastic work on the real issue of origins and how what you believe about it shapes your life and eternal status. I just very recently came across an evo-friend who heard about the chinese script origins including things that support Noah's flood etc - and this evo-friend actually said, while musing of the matter - "Its funny but I never heard of it before." He provided me with a great opportunity to offer a snippet of how the EVIDENCE supports a biblical origins view - to a full table of evo-friends - all because CMI has equipped me. Thanks CMI - and more glory to the LORD.

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