The priests of Darwin want your children

This is how they try to convert them and how you can respond

by

Published: 11 June 2020 (GMT+10)

Trends in evolutionary beliefs

iStockphotostudents

Over the past few decades, dozens of science education papers have been published detailing how evolutionists are trying to convince Christian college students into accepting evolution.1 College educators have already gotten this down to a science.2 Polling information shows that they have also been quite successful in achieving this.

In general, a little less than half of Americans disbelieve evolution. And among those who do, a large portion believe that some god guided the process. On the other hand, these statistics are not the same for young people under the age of 30. Polls report that the percentage of young people who believe in evolution has increased since 2009 from 61% to 73%, and the percentage of young people who do not believe that God/a god guided the process has also increased, from 40% in 2009 to 51% in 2020 (figure 1).3 The bottom line is that secularists are becoming increasingly effective at convincing students of evolution.

These trends should be very worrisome to Christian parents and church leaders alike. We should also ask, how are the secularists achieving their goal? What does it mean for us? What should we do?

How your college children’s faith is being undermined

evolution-unguided
Figure 1. Over the past 10 years, the percentage of people under 30 who believe in evolution, as well as those who believe evolution is unguided, has increased significantly.

Dr. David Warmflash, former NASA astrobiologist and science writer, recently wrote an article on the Genetic Literacy Project’s (GLP) website on how to teach evolution to college students with creationist perspectives.4 In this and other articles linked from it, he summarizes those methods which are employed at college universities using your taxpayer money.

Religious role models

One of the most influential ways secularists attempt to change Christian students’ views on evolution is to have a ‘religious role model’ teach them evolution, or to talk about a notable religious figure who accepts evolution, under the guise of ‘culturally competent evolution education’. This would be a scientist who believes in God, just like the students do, but also believes in evolution.5 Whereas this method is different from outright ridicule, hostility and dismissiveness, it has the potential to be even more effective.6 Thus, we should be all the more vigilant about who is teaching what kind of material to our children.

In a 2016 study by Barnes and Brownell, college biology instructors in Arizona were polled. They found that 69% of instructors believed that God/god(s) had nothing to do with the process of evolution, 22% were unsure, and only 3% believed that evolution was supernaturally guided.7 If this is the religious background of those who are instructing our children, what might we expect of the sort of attitudes they will be passing along to their students (consciously or otherwise)? According to one college instructor, “If you believe in creationism, you can’t believe in any of the foundations of science and that will destroy America. You will destroy America.” (emphasis added).7

What this presupposes is that Christians cannot be sure as to what the Bible really teaches about creation. They portray compromising theistic evolutionary positions as one among a plurality of equally legitimate viewpoints. Many fall for this trick. Some of these theistic evolutionists, such as Francis Collins (the founder of BioLogos) and Ken Miller, call themselves Christian, but their attitudes and beliefs are totally unbiblical.

Teaching about science

Another method that secularists employ is to portray evolution as scientific and creation as an irrational myth—an anti-scientific superstition—where ideology directs research. It is ironic that GLP, whose motto is “Science not ideology”, would consider publishing Warmflash’s article, which states that evolutionary theory is the only acceptable view of origins. The stated purpose and intent of these specialized courses is to increase students’ acceptance of evolutionary theory. The success of these courses is measured as to what percent of students could be converted to evolutionary thinking, and not whether they can form their own opinion based on the evidence.

According to Brownell and Barnes, two science education researchers who established a method which tries to convince evolution doubters of the truth of evolutionary theory, their method is aimed at increasing acceptance of evolution and debunking the idea that students must choose a side [between evolution and religion].8 Brownell and Barnes’ method sounds exactly like a religious catechism class, where Darwinism is taught by college instructors acting as the priests of evolution. If the point is to teach students how to think scientifically, then they must think and evaluate the evidence for themselves, instead of trying to shepherd students to a predetermined ideology.

It is amusing to read about how evolutionists complain that evolutionary theory is poorly understood, yet it is the only theory being taught at public schools, even at kindergarten level, after federal and state courts have barred creationism from the schools. If evolution is the only theory being taught from such an early level, then perhaps the reason so many people disbelieve it is precisely because they do understand it and reject it. As one such evolutionary instructor, Nathan Lents of John Jay College of the City University of New York put it,

“The field of biology education is under threat in the United States from select school boards, religious institutions, elected civic leaders, and parents of school children regarding the proper teaching of evolution, the grand unifying theory of all of biology. Although federal and state courts have generally sided with the scientific community when the issue of the teaching of evolution has been litigated, science educators can play an important role by addressing the root cause of this ongoing controversy: poor understanding of the theory and mechanisms of evolution by the general public.”9 (emphasis added)

In this very same study Lents describes a different study where evolution was taught to two sets of students to measure the rate of acceptance of evolutionary theory. In the first course (a majors-level introductory biology course) evolution was taught explicitly. In the second course (a gender study) evolution was taught, but only implicitly. The study results showed that the acceptance of evolutionary theory was greater in the second course, not the first. Lents’ explanation was that the students attending the gender study were more open-minded, whereas the students in the first course became resistant once they knew what they were facing. An alternative interpretation is that the gender studies students could have merely been more impressionable, whereas the biology course students may have simply rejected evolutionary theory outright after critically evaluating it because it lacks evidence.

All this said, is evolution really science? What about creation? Is it more than just a myth?

Creation and evolution, science and religion

Simply stated, evolution is not science. It is only a theory, embedded into the philosophy of naturalism. Science didn’t begin with Darwin, which may be surprising to some evolutionists. Creationists had been thinking scientifically about origins before Darwin came out with the Origin of Species. In fact, it was a creation scientist, Edward Blyth, who discussed the idea of natural selection in his own day as a contemporary of Darwin. Science involves demonstration, and not just imagination. Universal common descent cannot be demonstrated, much less experimentally repeated, since it deals with events in the distant past that we don’t have direct access to.

As opposed to this, we must stress that creationism is a valid scientific approach to origins. Note that creation science does not study the hand of God at work during creation, rather, science studies the handiwork of God’s created universe. Even Warmflash admits to this in his article: “After all, one can function as a perfectly competent physician, dentist, or allied health professional without giving a thought to evolution” (emphasis added). There are at least hundreds of scientists who are literal, young earth, biblical creationists (though many are forced to keep silent in order to retain their jobs).

Conclusion

The various attempts to convert Christian students into loyal Darwinian evolutionists demonstrate one thing very clearly: Western pluralism is a myth. There will always be a dominant religion in society, and right now in the United States and many other western nations, this religion is secular humanism. The secular universities in our country are merely temples dedicated to the propagation of atheism and materialism. Biology classes are the scene of instruction and catechizing in the faith of evolution. The deck is so heavily stacked against Christianity, which over a century ago used to be the dominant religion, that it is virtually excluded from all levels of public education. Woefully, some college educators who call themselves Christians, even at Christian universities, also assist in this very process.3

Navigating the halls of secular institutions can be difficult, especially for those who study the life sciences, or other areas of study directly related to origins. Thus, it is indispensable to train and equip our children in the faith—to make sure that they can meet the challenge of evolutionary ideology while they are away at college. It is for exactly this purpose that the Creation Survival Guide was written, which has already proved to be a powerful resource in equipping people for these situations.10 There is reason to take heart, however. According to interviews conducted by our own ministry, we found that those students who were shown evidence for creation were much more likely to stay in the faith. This highlights the importance of being equipped with creation resources to help train our children before college.

Let us heed the words of the apostle Paul found in Ephesians 5:15–16: “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.”

References and notes

  1. Dunk, R.D.P., Barnes, M.E., Reiss, M.J., Alters, B., Asghar, A., Carter, B.E., et al., Evolution education is a complex landscape, Nat Ecol Evol. 3(3):327–329, 2019. Return to text.
  2. Metzger, K.J., Montplaisir, D., Haines, D., Nickodem, K., Investigating undergraduate health sciences students’ acceptance of evolution using MATE and GAENE, Evo Edu Outreach 11:10, 2018. Return to text.
  3. Finally, Most Young Americans Now Accept Evolution Over Creationism, iflscience.com/editors-blog/finally-more-young-americans-accept-evolution-over-creationism/ Return to text.
  4. Warmflash, D. Teaching evolution to college students with creationist views requires innovative approaches. geneticliteracyproject.org/2020/01/10/teaching-evolution-to-college-students-with-creationist-views-requires-innovative-approaches, 10 January, 2020. Return to text.
  5. Barnes, M.E., and Brownell, S.E., Experiences and practices of evolution instructors at Christian universities that can inform culturally competent evolution education, Sci Educ. 102(1):36–59, 2018. Return to text.
  6. Barnes, M.E., Truong, J.M., and Brownell, S.E., Experiences of Judeo-Christian Students in Undergraduate Biology, CBE Life Sci Educ. 16(1), 2017. Return to text.
  7. Barnes, M.E., and Brownell, S.E., Practices and Perspectives of College Instructors on Addressing Religious Beliefs When Teaching Evolution, CBE Life Sci Educ. 15(2), 2016. Return to text.
  8. Leander, S., Evolution and religion: Finding middle ground in the biology classroom, asunow.asu.edu/20170327-evolution-and-religion-finding-middle-ground-biology-classroom, 27 March, 2017. Return to text.
  9. Lents, N.H., Teaching the Biology of Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Leads to a Marked Increase in Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection, J Phylogen Evolution Biol 1:105, 2013. Return to text.
  10. Price, P. and Bates, B., The Creation Survival Guide, Creation Book Publishers, Powder Springs, 2019. Return to text.

Helpful Resources

The Creation Survival Guide
by Paul Price and Gary Bates
US $3.50
Soft Cover
Christianity for Skeptics
by Drs Steve Kumar, Jonathan D Sarfati
US $17.00
Soft Cover
Refuting Evolution
by Jonathan Sarfati
US $12.00
Soft Cover

Readers’ comments

Leon M.
Team CMI thanks for yet another (very sobering) article. The one thing that gives me heart is that our loving Creator, because He loved us enough to die for us, will not let anyone––our youth included––miss out on hearing about His love in some way, including via CMI.

On another point, have you ever thought that you at CMI are part of prophecy? Revelation 14:7b says, "Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water." Worshiping the Creator is here said to be an issue at the end of time before Jesus returns.

God bless each of you.
Murray H.
May I also recommend 'Which Gospel' DVD, to thinking Christian university students as a helpful resource, available at the CMI store.
David G.
The first question any parent needs to ask the youth pastor/worker/minister at their church is: 'What are you teaching about origins, particularly the Creation?', the second question: 'How do you teach our youth to understand their faith, defend it and the attacks that are made against it?'. You might follow up with a third: 'What is your approach to developing a coherent Biblical and theological understanding in our young people?'
You will mostly get fluff answers and 'motherhood' statements. Ask to see the education program for the ministry: it should be a longish document, perhaps about 20 pages for a two year program. Bet you don't get one.

In the end we pretend that young people get to understand their faith by playing games, singing songs and having disconnected Bible studies.

Not good enough. In the church we have a huge heritage of intellectual culture, spiritual 'formation', educational effort and historical engagement with society. In modern Western countries we have all but abandoned this.
Jim M.
Wow! A course with the express goal of converting students to belief in evolution! How sad.

"Lents’ explanation was that the students attending the gender study were more open-minded, whereas the students in the first course became resistant once they knew what they were facing. An alternative interpretation is that the gender studies students could have merely been more impressionable, whereas the biology course students may have simply rejected evolutionary theory outright after critically evaluating it because it lacks evidence."

Another alternative explanation would be that the less you really know about evolution, the easier it is to accept.
Tom G.
My eldest daughter who was taught creation science through the christian school she went to, had no great difficulties studying science at a secular university she went to, even though they taught from an evolutionary viewpoint.
She said her lecturer even had difficulty reconciling anomalies in the evolutionary narrative!
Murk P.
Now if the church taught that knowledge about anything without the starting point being God is impossible we would not be in this position.

Once people - especially young people - know that they cannot reason unless they begin with the fear of the Lord - it results in them experiencing (daily) the never ending faithfulness of the Lord. It also means that if they begin with Him they cannot reason away from Him.

I have tried but although this is true it is rarely accepted. Christians have unwittingly bought into the false philosophy of autonomy

Thus they can be blown to and fro by every doctrine contrary to Christ.

And today some are kneeling to something other than God

It used to be Dagon

Now it’s not for any image but a non image

That God is not just, that He does not see
That is arm is to short

Be sure that the many statues that are being torn down will be replaced by another

The second commandment exists for a reason



Now many are kneeling to something other than God
Lewis John G.
Thank you for the article.
I think it will encourage Christian parents to become active in supporting Christian Day Schools, or seriously
consider home-schooling. Why should Christian parents send their children to the 'prophets of Baal' for their
education?
Bill M.
I am not familiar with the place your data showing the increase in students believing in evolution comes from. Not that I think it's inaccurate, but I need to know who I am citing. My approach with students is to attack aheistic beliefs about evolution and I can easily mock panspermia and multiverse so , let me know who did the polling please as I depend on sound data thanks
Paul Price
I believe you are referring to citation number three?
RONALD M.
It is not good enough just to teach the truth about creation. The principles have to repeated and taught from several approaches. When students graduate from high school, the creation science data should be very well know by them - as well known as basic math and grammar. The truth will set people free, but it has to be known, not just heard a time or two. CMI is a great source for information on how to make this happen.
Dan M.
Every Saturday for one hour, I share with our youth in our church what I have learned in the last twenty years using yours and other creation science based ministries materials to prepare them for the evolutionary onslaught they will receive if they attend university. I don't use brainwashing or indoctrination as the evolutionist's practice but I teach the youth to think critically about what the evolutionists are pushing as science. I am using your Evolutions Achilles Heals DVD as a guideline but we spend several weeks searching in-depth each subject and why faith in a creator God makes more sense due to the very real lack of evidence for evolutionary thinking. This last week we started the Radiometric dating chapter. We discussed how the precise equipment measures the isotopes and the decay products in a sample which is good science. But then we discuss the assumptions used to interpret the results that give long ages that you just can't know for sure. Give the kids all the information pro and con because they are smart enough to figure it out themselves. Teach them the creationist models according to the bible vs. the naturalistic models and they can see by the evidence that the creationist models match the observations. Don't just tell the youth, "this is what the bible says". But tell them what it says and then demonstrate why it makes sense by the world we live in. Don't just study the fossil record but discuss what conditions have to take place to make a fossil in the first place and why the naturalistic models don't make sense and could not produce fossils? They are not forming these days! So what happened in the past, really? How many genders are there at this time? If you have a Y chromosome, you are a male and no drug or amount of surgery will change that.
Scott G.
Yet another example of extremist fear-mongering using false and vile imagery to stoke that fear. No one is stalking your children to turn them into atheists. There are no "Priests of Darwin". Being taught an understanding of science is not the same as being forced to accept it. Then there are the outright lies in this article. Here's one; "...yet it is the only theory being taught at public schools, even at kindergarten level, after federal and state courts have barred creationism from the schools." First, "theories" in science means "explanations supported by evidence and consistent with all known laws of nature". It doesn't mean "opinion" or "armchair guess". There are many scientific theories taught in our schools. The germ theory of disease. The theory of gravity. Electrical theory. All explanations of how the world and universe actually work. Creationism is barred from public school science classes because it is a religious belief, unsupported by any facts. As such, it is Constitutionally barred. However, it can be taught in a comparative philosophy class or a social studies class that looks at all of the world's religions and gives examples of their beliefs. To my knowledge, no creationist organization has ever availed themselves of that option. If it isn't going to be presented as incontrovertible fact, they have no interest. The only ethical and moral position for a creationist to take is to simply admit they reject science. Claiming that science and the facts supports their beliefs is bearing false witness, a direct breach of one of the Ten Commandments.
No one is coming for your children. Schools exist to impart the intellectual history of our society. Churches are there to impart its spiritual history. The two should remain separate.
Paul Price
If religious beliefs are "Constitutionally barred" from classrooms, then that rules evolution out (a religious belief that inanimate matter can self-organize into living organisms, which can then self-organize into higher and higher levels of complication). There is no way to separate intellectual and spiritual history, as you have suggested. The two are completely intertwined. I suggest you familiarize yourself closely with the material at It's Not Science.
Scott G.
In reply to Paul Price, I am quite familiar with the claim that "evolution is a religion so it should be barred too". It's a false claim. Don't confuse insisting that something is true (or false) with it actually being true. Anti-vaccination activists insist that vaccination causes autism and claim they have evidence to support that. It doesn't and they don't. Fervor isn't a replacement for facts. Evolution, and science generally, is an explanation of the biological history and diversity of life on this planet. It is based on facts, both historical and from direct observation. It is not based on belief and science doesn't demand belief. Creationism is based on a particular interpretation of Scripture. Scripture demands belief. It accounts for everything but explains nothing. Trying to claim the credibility of science to bolster faith is a waste of time. Here's the difference. When I go to church, I am told I must believe. When I go to school, I am told I must understand. And that is a big difference.
Paul Price
I see no evidence you have read the article I linked you to above, nor that you understand the basic distinction between historical and operational science. Until you do, you will continue to be going down the wrong path as you are now, and you will remain deceived. Evolution is not an operational scientific fact open to the scientific method, which makes it totally unlike something like vaccines, which are very much repeatable and testable in the present. Evolution is a claim about the distant, unobservable past. Not only that, but this claim flies in the face of just about everything we do know from real science. I suggest you get much more familiar with these basic things before you continue commenting here. This website is a huge resource that you could use if you so choose.
TODD P.
I would like to address one major error in the choice of words I see so much in creationist notes, commentary, research and articles (like this good article).

Specifically, the often repeated, very poor use of 1) the word "evolution" when referring especially to the non-scientific philosophy, religion, ideology, propaganda, and weak arguments from, and misinterpretations of, the physical/material evidence; and then juxtaposed against, 2) the word "creationism" when referring to sound Biblical theology and interpretation, and the massive supporting evidence that can be found in favor of the argument that processes within nature are not responsible for the origination of nature in the first place.

It should be the opposite! In writing, creationist literature should primarily refer, instead, to "evolutionism" (not just "evolution"), and should NOT use the word "creationism" so much (better to refer simply to "creation"). The word part "-ism" can often have a very negative, cult-related connotation, nuance, and semantic undertone that, to our disadvantage as creationists, is not helpful in actually understanding the current state of debate.

Re-read most creationist literature, like the above article, and reverse the usage, and see immediately that it makes more sense. If anything, the cult-like position is Darwinism/evolutionism . . . the opposite, then, is simply the better-supported reality of creation.

Darwinist/evolutionists have set this trap, they themselves, always referring to "evolution" (for them, "science") vs. "creationism" (for them, "anti-science"). Please, please stop falling into this trap! The issue is NOT "evolution" vs. "creationism," it is "evolutionism" vs. "creation." Let us creationists take, and not always surrender, the semantic high ground!!
Thomas C.
When we first come into the world, our parents are THE authority. Once the child is frustrated by them his autonomy starts to form. Schools in U.S. are teaching them to be little gods. They are the arbiters of what is and ought to be, little gods, just as Eve and Adam were tested and tempted. Chance cannot ne studied and understood. It is not a scientific enterprise nor can it be scientifically reproduced. Laws do not come from chance, so scientific laws really are a statement against "non-directed processes", or chance happenings. Chance is the god of "I don't know" how this came about."
Seth C.
I can't help to think that calling evolution a theory is giving it too much credit, as it relies not on the rigor of scientific process on itself, but on covering itself with whatever legitimate experimentation happens along. It's like some monstrous hypothetical bagworm.

As bad as Darwinist proselytizing is in the classroom, I feel it's infinitely worse in popular culture. A hundred years of sci-fi and fantasy flavored liberally with the eastern philosophies that bent the Christian west has left us with a society that hungers for more lies.
Ian M.
Thank you Todd P. for explaining that 'creationism' is an expression that should not be used. Another trap is science vs creation argument or even trying to demonstrate that creation is scientific. The only thing that counts is 'is it true'.

Ask an evolutionist if they bought carrot seeds to plant in their garden what they would expect to harvest. In all likely hood they would answer "carrots of course". Congratulate your evolutionist friend because they just agreed with God.
[an evolutionary answer would be "anything but carrots" for according to evolution nothing reproduces after its own kind.]

"Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day." Genesis ch1:11-13

Even evolutionists declare the goodness of God.
Paul Price
Let's not be hyperbolic. Evolutionists expect to get "anything but carrots" over deep time, not immediately. Unless of course carrots are found in the fossil record, and then they were so perfectly evolved that they had no need to change.
Lester P.
This is a very timely article, because we can put some of the blame for the current racial problems onto evolution teaching. We did not evolve from apes; therefore black/brown people are not inferior to lighter colored people! We are all came from Adam and Eve, created by God in the Garden of Eden, just like the Bible says, which is God’s Word and it’s the best place to find the history of the world.
John S.
"The bottom line is that secularists are becoming increasingly effective at convincing students of evolution."

I'll be blunt, the bottom line is Christian students are more wimpy and stupid. They care about fitting in and having any lame excuse they can make to please their fellow group-think fools. Blaming the schools is much like blaming the availability of alcohol for drunk driving.

Look, I love what you do and put out, I'm not speaking 'against' you all, but even with myself, I will NOT put the blame on other factors when the bottom line is I am responsible. That's what I love about God, He is most certainly reasonable and merciful, but He will not accept lame excuses. God asks us to reason and to prove things and those that don't will not have an excuse.
Paul Price
I think your assessment of Christian students is overly harsh; the reality is that most people, on average, are 'wimpy and stupid'. People love to take the path of least resistance. This article is intended to be a call to action--a warning that if you don't do something about it, the 'path of least resistance' will certainly be to abandon the Bible.
Jim A.
“If the point is to teach students how to think scientifically, then they must think and evaluate the evidence for themselves, instead of trying to shepherd students to a predetermined ideology.”
Absolutely, totally true!
Darwin’s ‘Origin of the Species’ was presented without empirically-derived evidence to prove it, yet it was quickly accepted by the science community as fact, and astoundingly, the scientific method was completely ignored! Darwin said in his thesis that fossil evidence had to be found to prove his theory; also if any organism was found that was ‘irreducibly complex’, his theory would fail.
The scientific Method requires careful, critical thinking and evaluation of evidence presented and it is up to the individual examining the evidence to make their own conclusions, without force of some kind. This is not how evolution is taught, so how can it even qualify as science?
Phillip M.
Unless we are prepared to believe the entire volume of the bible, the first 11 chapters are easily dismissed. Unbelief in the authority of the bible is undermined when simple doctrines are explained away as cultural to the time or other such explanations. There are many controversial and contentious doctrines which Christians as a whole are prepared to ignore [I could name some but this is not my purpose to create controversy]. When I became a Christian 25 years ago I had a choice: believe the whole book or not at all. My life has been blessed ever since.
Ian H.
The Achilles Heal of the Evolution 'Story' is the claim that Dinosaurs died out Millions, at least 65 million years ago. This Foundation can be easily fractured by showing people pictures of Historical Artwork done in the last Century in places as different as France, England, Spain and Venice. Vance Nelsons book 'Untold Secrets of Planet Earth, Dire Dragons' is fully equipped with Pictures and Historical information. Be an Evangelistic to your Family, Friends and People you meet with this book.
Christopher H.
If you hate your children, send them to the Atheist schools. Any parent that loves their children would never send them to these demonic propaganda "schools". There are still schools that do not teach evolution. If you can't afford private school, then homeschool. No excuses for the sin of sending your loved ones to Satan's schools. Either you teach them or Satan will.
Paul Price
Each situation is different, and parents have to make their own informed decisions. I am not willing to state as you have that it is a sin to send your children to public schools. I myself graduated from these "atheist schools". For some people, homeschooling is a good option, for others it may not be. Just because you are educated in a hostile environment (to the Bible) doesn't mean you have to go along with it yourself.
Rod A.
Do you have a team of young graduate scientists to succeed and help continue CMI's work in light of this article perhaps? The Lord keeps a witness of Himself, so I'm asking expecting yes!
Paul Price
If CMI has a secret pool of young scientists on the roster that aren't listed on our 'Who We Are' page, then nobody's told me about it. But I'd be willing to wager that the Lord does.

Comments are automatically closed 14 days after publication.