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Creation 24(2):56, March 2002

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Textbook tyranny

How science is stifled by ‘authoritarianism’



Although naturalistic evolution is now accepted as ‘fact’ both by many scientists and non-scientists, most of them have not carefully considered the other side. Even biologists who majored in some area of evolution for their graduate work most often do not learn of any evidence against naturalism,1 let alone against particles-to-people evolution itself.

Most people know only that scientists usually speak of it to be true, and that even many clergy accept it. Of course, if evolutionists have a strong case, they should not fear open examination of the issues. In fact, many evolutionists now take the position that their theory is no longer debatable, and that only ignorant people will try to attack it. They often meet their opposition with arrogance and derision, questioning the intellect of non-evolutionists.

This common response should cause us to question how confident evolutionists are about their position. Something which rests on a solid empirical basis does not need a wall to ward off criticism, nor does it need protection by smearing its critics. Yet, in spite of the serious problems with the theory, bold evolution-inspired pronouncements steadily flow from academics over our radio-television airwaves, and in magazines, high schools and colleges.

The sheer number of words written about naturalistic evolution has probably influenced many persons to accept the theory.2 As is often said, if something is repeated often enough, many people will believe it, regardless of the evidence. The mass media as a whole speaks as if molecules-to-man evolution was a fact, proved beyond doubt, when this is not at all the case. And rarely will they allow a fair hearing for a dissenting view.

For thousands of years, testing of scientific concepts has been stifled (or stopped) by this kind of authoritarianism. Scholars blindly accepted the ‘truth’ of their predecessors’ pronouncements—especially those of thinkers like Plato and Aristotle—which seriously hindered scientific progress. It required brave and bold thinkers like the astronomer/physicist Galileo and Harvey (who discovered blood circulation) to break free of the shackles of their time, but they faced persecution.

Even today, authoritarianism remains deeply entrenched in science. Children are usually expected to accept unquestioningly the information and conclusions conveyed by teachers and textbooks, even that which is based on unfounded opinion and poorly supported deductions. While much of the information that is passed off as science today is correct, much of it is not, or consists of half-truths. The real danger of authoritarianism is that it impedes inquiry—and thus the progress of science.

References and notes

  1. Naturalism in origins studies is the insistence that only natural processes are permitted as explanations. This excludes any miraculous creative action by definition—even if such an explanation best fits the facts. Return to text.
  2. Bergman, J., The new state religion; atheism, Impact, 257:1–4, 1994. Return to text.