“Conservative” news site publishes pro-evolution misinformation piece
The National Review is a longstanding conservative news outlet in the United States—but what, exactly, are they trying to conserve? This week, an article was published on their website by Razib Khan, an atheist geneticist1 who refers to himself as ‘sympathetic to classical liberalism’, by the title of, “Conservatives Shouldn’t Fear Evolutionary Theory”.2
In this piece, Khan attempts to put a conservative spin on Darwinism, claiming it is “a crowning achievement of Western civilization and a rejoinder to the modern myths of the Left.” Wow! The atheist Khan employs all the usual tactics here, bringing up the fact that, “many Christians well-versed in evolutionary science find it entirely compatible with their religious beliefs.” Yes, but is it actually compatible with the Bible? That’s the only important question! Why did Khan feel the need to bring up Christianity at all? Was he trying to play to his assumed audience? Khan was brought up a Muslim himself3, but he did not feel the need to comment on evolution’s compatibility with the Koran!
Khan also parrots the usual nonsense that it is somehow strange to see evolutionists being called ‘Darwinists’, conveniently ignoring the fact that Richard Dawkins, the famous atheist promoter of Darwinism, also uses the term ‘Darwinism’.4 Khan complains, “Evolutionary biologists almost never refer to themselves this way,” yet Dawkins is himself an evolutionary biologist!
The motive in this bickering about terminology is simply to obscure the fact that evolution is a belief system centered around a doctrine promoted, notably, by a man (Darwin). They would prefer to have it seen simply as indisputable fact, which it is certainly not.
Khan would have us believe that evolution is a ‘jewel’ in the crown of Western civilization, but the reality is quite the opposite: evolution is the most fundamental and detrimental attack on the foundations of Western civilization, which are the historical truths presented in Genesis. Khan does not understand (or prefers not to admit) that the founders of modern science were nearly all Bible-believing creationists who would have balked at Darwinism (and some of them, like Louis Pasteur for example, did so)!
Khan holds science in high regard, to the point of saying the following: “In the abstract, science is purely about truth.” But does Khan, who is a scientist, understand that science is wholly incapable of providing us with ‘truth’ in the first place? As Dr Julia Shaw writes in her article entitled, ‘I’m a Scientist, and I Don’t Believe in Facts’,
“Well, let me tell you a secret about science; scientists don’t prove anything. What we do is collect evidence that supports or does not support our predictions.”5
Even secular researchers and philosophers of science admit that science is controlled by biases and paradigms that shape the way evidence is interpreted. Khan’s view of science is the epitome of naivete, which is all too typical for writers of his sort.
The worst part of Khan’s article is not really what it contains (it’s low on substance), but rather what it doesn’t: Khan, who is a geneticist, presents a clean bill of health for the theory of evolution, doing justice to his apparent role as Darwinian propagandist, while totally ignoring the fact that modern genetics has thrown almost every aspect of evolution into confusion. Simply put, genetics proves that Darwin was wrong completely, and so is the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis which claims that genetic mutations acting through natural selection are capable of producing life.
“Before the last decades of the 20th century, much of evolutionary biology was theory-heavy and data-poor. Genomics has transformed this, allowing geneticists to resolve questions about relatedness, forces in evolution, and divergence between species.
But Mr. Khan, you’re getting ahead of yourself! First you need to show, in genetics, how evolution is even possible to begin with. We know from modern genetics that most mutations are damaging, and we also know that most mutations are too small to be ‘visible’ to the process of natural selection.6 This means that most forms of life are necessarily degrading, gradually, and this process can end in nothing other than total extinction. This is the exact opposite of Darwinism: life is hopelessly degenerating. This is known as genetic entropy7, and Khan’s refusal to bring this up shows that he is either ignorant of his own field, or totally dishonest, portraying a flattering picture to his favored theory that is completely at odds with reality. Let the reader decide.
References and notes
- Khan self-identifies as an atheist on his blog ‘Gene Expression’ at gnxp.com/WordPress/faq/. Return to text.
- Khan, R., Conservatives Shouldn’t Fear Evolutionary Theory, nationalreview.com, 13 May 2019. Return to text.
- Also self-reported at gnxp.com/WordPress/faq/. Return to text.
- From Climbing Mount Improbable: Goodreads “Quotable Quote” goodreads.com/quotes/926505-darwinism-is-not-a-theory-of-random-chance-it-is Return to text.
- Shaw, J., I’m a Scientist, and I Don’t Believe in Facts, blogs.scientificamerican.com, 16 December 2016. Return to text.
- Sanford, J., Genetic Entropy, FMS publications, 2005-2014.Return to text.
- For an introduction to the concept of genetic entropy, look for my upcoming article in Creation Magazine entitled, ‘Genetic entropy—the silent killer’. Return to text.