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Journal of Creation  Volume 8Issue 1 Cover

Journal of Creation 8(1):3–4
April 1994

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The religious nature of evolution


Renowned Canadian science philosopher Dr Michael Ruse made astonishing admissions about the religious nature of evolution at a symposium titled ‘The New Antievolutionism’ (during the 1993 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.)1 These statements shocked his colleagues because he has written a book, But is it Science?, denouncing creationism because it is religious and was the last person expected to give the game away.

He appeared to admit that evolution is based upon dogmatic exclusion of a miraculous creation/creator—in effect, a faith commitment to naturalism, the unprovable, religious belief that no supernatural element exists or is relevant.

Ruse said this (emphasis added):

‘at some very basic level, evolution as a scientific theory makes a commitment to a kind of naturalism, namely that at some level one is going to exclude miracles and these sorts of things, come what may.’

He went on to defend this unprovable assumption by the fact that, in his view, it works. Nevertheless, said Ruse,

‘evolution, akin to religion, involves making certain a priori or metaphysical assumptions, which at some level cannot be proven empirically.’

Further on, he said that one can’t just say that evolution is science, creation is religion, period. One has to have some other ‘coherence theory of truth, or something like that. I still think that one can certainly exclude creation science on those grounds’.

Law professor Phillip Johnson has severely criticized Ruse’s anti-creation testimony at the 1982 Arkansas trial at which the sorts of admissions above failed to surface. Johnson quoted Ruse as stating that it is OK to say different things on this subject to different audiences:

‘I mean I realize that when one is dealing with people, say, at the school level, or these sorts of things, certain sorts of arguments are appropriate. But those of us who are academics … should recognize … that the science side has certain metaphysical assumptions built into doing science, which—it may not be a good thing to admit in a court of law—but I think that in honesty that we should recognize, and that we should be thinking about some of these sorts of things.’

Many people do not realize that the teaching of evolution propagates an anti-biblical religion. See The Religion of Humanism.

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  1. A complete transcript of the talk is available online at and in print in: Young, C.C. and Largent, M.A., Evolution and Creationism: A Documentary and Reference Guide, pages 253–260.

    Transcripts are also available from the (so-called) National Center for Science Education, PO Box 9477, Berkeley CA 94709–0477, USA (Cost: $US1.00 plus postage). The NCSE is an organisation totally devoted to promoting evolution, with hardly a hint of real science like physics, chemistry, etc. See How Religiously Neutral are the Anti-Creationist Organisations? for information. Return to text.

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