See no truth, hear no truth
All truth is tolerated, so long as it aligns with the mainstream
Many people these days are adamant in their belief in evolution. Most of these people readily dismiss the Bible as an old, outdated book that has no place in modern society. There is a correlation between these two statements, for if evolution is true, the Bible’s opening verse is false. People understand that a plain reading of the Bible clearly tells its readers that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1). That, perhaps, is the extent of biblical knowledge for many. It is baffling how little they know about biblical creationist thinking, or even evolutionary thinking for that matter.1 Many adherents of evolution have a superficial understanding of their belief, on a par with the false icon of evolution image ‘march of progress’. They barely understand (or even consider) the vast amount of detailed modifications required for the radical change from apelike creatures to humans. This is partly because evolution is not taught in the educational system with ‘warts and all’. That is, the problematic details—and there are many—are glanced over or ignored.2 Creation is generally not taught at all,3 and there are painstaking efforts to keep creationist thinking out of the schools. This lopsided indoctrination4 method of painting evolution in a much better light than it deserves, while simultaneously censuring creation, is not good for education or for society. Presumably, students should be taught how to think, not what to think. The opposite is usually the case.
What are the options?
When it comes to ideological thinking,5 there are two main ways for a society to operate:
1: all views can be expounded and explored, including wrong ones.
2: a stringent filter is applied to curtail ‘alternative’ thinking.
CMI’s motto is to proclaim the truth and authority of the Bible, with a focus on the Genesis history. We are the first to admit we are biased; we have a biblical worldview. In essence, our thinking ultimately has to fit through the self-imposed biblical filter (option 2), or else we need to amend our models. Yet, we also lean strongly toward option 1. Our opponents often accuse us of wanting to stifle others (option 2) by forcing our ‘religious’ views onto them—in reality, quite the opposite is true. Let us consider another example, the famous interviewer Oprah Winfrey. She is seemingly a proponent of freedom of speech (option 1). Her show provides a platform for people to share ‘their truth’. But everybody has a worldview and biases, including Oprah and her guests! It is therefore wholly conceivable that her guests have a perception of the truth that is somewhat tainted (i.e., biased). They reveal themselves in a good light by applying a filter (option 2) that takes out anything that makes themselves look bad, but in doing so might negatively portray someone else. In other words, it’s not necessarily the whole truth on display, rather it is ‘their truth’. Oprah doesn’t mind, as long as the story ‘sells’ and ideally aligns with her own Winfrey-worldview.6
If you agree with ‘their story’, would you be in favour of silencing an account that stands against it? Hopefully not, because it clashes with the notion of freedom of speech. There is always more than one side to every story and the other side(s) should have the right to share their point of view.7 But if you do think other voices should be muted, what will you do if your viewpoint does not align with the ideas exposed? Will you now plead with those who control the filter to make an exception for you? Why would they? They have already determined that your ideas are not suitable and, therefore, must be silenced.
How it applies to origins
Creationists are all too familiar with being opposed. Not only is our worldview radically different from many people in power, in academia, and in the mainstream media, but we also claim they are wrong about evolution. People don’t like being wrong. What’s more, if creation is true, they are accountable to the Creator! Faced with being wrong and accountable is often insufferable to people. Thus, the person who does not believe the Bible will resist applications of the biblical worldview. The German philosopher Arthur Schoppenhauer (1788–1860) once said:
“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”
“Americans do not generally realize that the furious debates about teaching evolution and creationism are unique to America”, said blogger Jim Britell on the website CounterPunch.8 With a statement like that, I think it is fair to say he reveals his ignorance about affairs in countries other than his own. Later, he enthusiastically announces Nobel Prize Winner Dr Richard Feynman and quotes him:
“If you’ve made up your mind to test a theory, or you want to explain some idea, you should always decide to publish it whichever way it comes out. If we only publish results of a certain kind, we can make the argument look good. We must publish BOTH kinds of results.”8 (italics mine)
But in the remainder of the CounterPunch article, Britell goes on to state that creationists are crackpots and should be stopped. Britell clearly has not understood (or even thought about) the difference between empirical science and historical science. This is evidenced by his statement, “…entire fields of study such as cosmology, geology and quantum physics are impossible to teach with the constraint that the Earth was created recently. Basic yardsticks, including time and light and, indeed, mensuration in all fields of science, are irreconcilable with crackpot creationism.”8,9 As if a yardstick changes length, depending on whether you believe in a history of billions, or mere thousands of years. Clearly, measurements in the present do not prescribe how things may have developed in the past. You may wonder whether evolutionists ever read articles or books which are critical of evolution’s billions of years.
- Violent opposition
“Teaching creation is child abuse”. Sayings as these, or similar, have been uttered by the likes of Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, and others. Au contraire, teaching children they are worth but a few dollars in chemicals is far more damaging than telling them they are made in the image of God. All children are valuable, intended by the Creator, as opposed to being a result of random chance processes—a mere cosmic accident. In God’s mind, nobody is an accident. What should be clear is that the evolutionary spokespeople have moved from mere ridicule (claiming we are crackpots) to strong opposition (claiming we are child abusers). This may not be the case for the public in general (yet); they often still laugh about creationist beliefs. However, strike up a conversation about origins, show them some reasonable answers about creation and combine those with a faux-pas or two of evolution (following 1 Peter 3:15), and pretty soon many of those same people might move to the second category—that of opposition. On rare occasions you may end up having a fruitful conversation which may lead to conversion—praise be to God.
Opposition also comes from within Christian circles. Dr Joshua Swamidass proposed, “ … creationist courses and degrees to be labelled on a student’s transcript,” because, “…courses that include creation science should not be used toward science degrees.”10 Swamidass’ own website is called Peaceful Science. His mission statement includes phrases like “seeking dialogue in discord and understanding across disagreements” and “fostering interdisciplinary scholarship engaged with science and the public”.11 Does Swamidass not realise that his call for labelling “creationist” class work may harm the prospective careers of students? Of course he does. He himself is an evolutionist and this proposal would be a good way to single out creationists (and keep them out of the academia). One critic said that Swamidass’ proposal would be a step towards living in a totalitarian state.12
- Accepted as self-evident
Christians ought to know the truth; they are followers of Him who claims to be the truth (John 14:6). Unfortunately, due to hardened hearts (Matthew 13:15), the acceptance of creation as self-evident will, for many, come only at the very end, when unbelievers stand in front of their Maker (Hebrews 9:27).
Surely humans, supposedly the result of more than 3.5 billion years of evolution, should be able to determine truth!? Reality is different. The pinnacle of creation—mankind—has tumbled. We have fallen so far that seemingly anything is warranted to obscure the truth. For example, allegedly, creatures do not strictly reproduce after its/their kind (10x in Genesis 1), but one kind can evolve into a completely different kind. How is it that a lie—evolution—can be so widespread and so accepted, in the same manner as that the emperor can walk around naked and receive compliments galore of his beautiful ‘royal robes’?
- Scientists tell enigmatic stories
A friend of CMI recently told me that good scientists follow the evidence wherever it leads. Yet, facts don’t speak for themselves. Instead, scientists are humans and so they add quite a bit of interpretation to those facts, be it in published articles, textbooks, TV, or elsewhere. If something doesn’t fit with their preconceived ideas, many scientists are willing to ignore that piece of data or spin an elaborate story justifying its dismissal. There are many examples where the specifics of a scientific story are hard to pin down. This includes things like the origin of life, the big bang, etc. Telling enigmatic stories that are rich in imagination but short on detail is a powerful way to get people to agree with you, even if what you believe is false.
- Popular science media broadcast these stories
Reporters often take an academic paper and lift out of context the most sensational bits. This could range from a worst-case model in a suite of models (e.g., predicting future temperature increase) to taking a speculative proclamation and reporting it as dogma. Boring stuff doesn’t sell, and anything reminiscent of God is taboo also in the secular mainstream media.
- The people buy into these stories
The pithy saying, “Man will believe anything, as long as it’s not in the Bible,” is usually attributed to Napoléon Bonaparte. Time and again, the Bible points out that what we do, say, and think is often wrong. The problem is, sin can be pleasurable and our ‘natural man’ wants to wallow in it (1 Corinthians 2:14). Contrarily, our spirit loathes it, hence Christians experience an internal battle (Romans 7). But the unregenerate has no desire to be holy, prefers to continue in sin, and is (subconsciously) terrified of there being repercussions for his or her sinful lifestyle. For them, it would be better if there were no Creator. Stories that explain God away are like music to the unbelievers’ ears.
People do not like to be wrong. We have a serious aversion of error being pointed out to us, but when truth stares us in the face, many cover their eyes or look the other way. Happily, God is often longsuffering with the wilfully ignorant (2 Peter 3:5, 9). Meanwhile, as Christians, we continue to share the truth, even when people ridicule us or are strongly opposed to what we are saying. We pray that some might see the truth and hear it, and in response, believe (Romans 10:14).
References and notes
- See Critics should learn what creationists believe: Sarfati, J., CMI scientist refutes atheistic evolutionist in Wellington’s (New Zealand) major newspaper, creation.com, 24 January 2005; creation.com/cmi-scientist-refutes-atheistic-evolutionist-in-wellingtons-new-zealand-major-newspaper. Return to text.
- See the listed resource DVD: Evolution’s Achilles’ Heel, or this revealing book by a frank evolutionist: Denton, M., Evolution: A theory in crisis, Burnett Books, UK, 1985. Return to text.
- There are exceptions, notably independent schools, although they are being threatened to conform, or be downgraded. See: Statham, D., Creation in independent schools, creation.com, 18 October 2018; creation.com/creation-independent-schools. Return to text.
- ‘Doctrine’, A principle or body of principles presented for acceptance or belief, as by a religious, political, scientific, or philosophic group, TheFreeDictionary.com, accessed 30 April 2021. Return to text.
- ‘Ideology’, A set of doctrines or beliefs that are shared by the members of a social group or that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system, TheFreeDictionary.com, accessed 30 April 2021. Return to text.
- Other talkshows may have similar approaches; it’s all about the numbers. Return to text.
- This is how courts of justice are supposed to operate. Consider Proverbs 18:17. Return to text.
- Britell, J., Modern Biology and Ecology: the roots of America’s assertive illiteracy, counterpunch.org, 19 November 2019. Return to text.
- See point 18: Batten, D., Is evolution true? 21 bad arguments for biological evolution, creation.com, 18 March 2014; creation.com/is-evolution-true. Return to text.
- See: Wise, T., Washington University Scientist Calls for ‘Tracking and Reporting’ of Creationist Courses, cbnnews.com, 20 March 2021. Return to text.
- Swamidass, S.J., Our Mission and Values, peacefulscience.org, 18 April 2020. Return to text.
- Klinghoffer, D., In the Name of “Academic Freedom,” a Scientist Calls for Punishing Creationists, evolutionnews.org, 11 March 2021. Return to text.