Darwin’s Disciples: Beyond BeliefParents need to be aware of efforts to discredit the creation perspective. Here are suggestions for preparing children for classroom instruction about evolution.
A children’s storybook is all about a "terrible, awful, horrible, no-good day." On just such a day in November, 2006, a three-day free-for-all forum on science and religion kicked off at the Salk Institute in La Jolla, California. Sponsored by the Science Network, an educational organization underwritten by San Diego investor Robert Zeps, it was headlined, "Beyond Belief: Science, Religion, Reason, and Survival."
As reported by the New York Times, the pivotal moment may have been when Steven Weinberg, a Nobel laureate in physics, warned that "the world needs to wake up from its long nightmare of religious belief." Chemistry Nobelist, Sir Harold Koto, then called for the Templeton Foundation to give its next $1.5 million prize for Progress in Spiritual Discoveries to Oxford University's atheistic evolutionary zoology professor, Richard Dawkins. But, the turning point occurred at a more solemn moment when the director of the Hayden Planetarium in N.Y.C. hushed the audience with heartbreaking photos of newborns with birth defects, suggesting that blind nature (not an intelligent overseer) is in control.
Somewhere along the way, what might have been a polite dialogue between science and religion began to look like the founding convention for a political party built on a single plank: Science needs to take on an evangelical role, vying with religion as teller of the greatest story ever told. Said evolutionary scientist, Carolyn Porco, "Let's teach our children from a very young age the story of the universe which is more glorious and awesome (even more comforting) than anything offered by Scripture or any God-concept I know."
With atheists and agnostics outnumbering believing scientists, one speaker after another called on their colleagues to be less timid when challenging teachings based on Scripture. Dr. Weinberg, who famously wrote in his book on cosmology The First Three Minutes, that the more incomprehensible nature becomes, the more pointless it seems, went a step further, saying: "Anything that we can do to weaken the hold of religion on science should be done, and may in the end be our greatest contribution to civilization."
Lawrence Krauss, physicist from Case Western Reserve, known for his staunch opposition to creationism, found himself in the unfamiliar role of moderator. While affirming that he was a non-believer, he nevertheless said, "Science does not make it impossible to believe in God." Yet that was the kind of accommodation that drove Dawkins up the wall. Said he, "I am utterly fed up with the respect we are brainwashed into bestowing on religion."
In the end, Dr. Tyson stole the show, arguing that science is a philosophy of discovery while intelligent design is a philosophy of ignorance. "Around the year 1100 AD," said Tyson, "a dark age descended. Revelation replaced investigation, and the intellectual foundation collapsed."
By way of comment, during recent years there have been many conferences sponsored by the Templeton Foundation, aimed at smoothing over differences between science and religion. This forum, however, was anti-Templeton at best. By the third day, the arguments had become so heated that one of the speakers called it “a den of vipers." A "terrible, awful, horrible, no-good day," indeed! A day beyond belief!
Keep in mind that God knows the past and future better than we could ever know the present; that human theories are often guesses, but God was actually there; that man's reasoning is sometimes true, but God's revelation is always true. People may accept the testimony of men, but God's testimony is final. Science and religion should, therefore, be friends (not enemies), the question being: What is science, what is religion, and what is truth?
- Science is based on facts, evidences, predictions, experiments, and verification — involving repeatable, falsifiable phenomena and events.
- Religion is man's declaration regarding God.
- Truth is God's declaration regarding man.
- Truth, after all, is a matter of God's self-revelation.
But, here is a sobering development. Anticipating the celebration of Charles Darwin's 200th birthday in the year 2009, evolutionists are targeting children. That's right! Your tax dollars "at work"! The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a $2.5 million grant to the New York Hall of Science to develop their Life Changes Program — to "prepare young children (ages 5-12) to understand the scientific basis of evolution." That is just the tip of the iceberg, however. Evolutionary scientists have been planning many such programs and exhibits around the country, examples being these:
- The American Museum of Natural History's 2005 travleling "Darwin Exhibit"
- The Chicago Field Museum's 2006 "Evolving Planet Exhibit"
- The newly renovated "Human Evolution Exhibit" at Boston's Museum of Science
- The "Explore Evolution Exhibit" in Lincoln, Nebraska, and five other museums
The "high priests" of evolution are concerned that biblical creation has made major inroads into the educational system, into Christian elementary and high schools, and into home-schools. Given this, evolution is marketed as "fact." However, while targeting children, evolutionists themselves are running scared, greatly concerned about the inroads that the creation message is making into culture, which the national polls reflect.
What drives evolution? Religion. People need to wake up to this…
But, is evolutionary dogma really so offensive? Well, evolution can make children feel that everything is meaningless — people's individual lives as well as life in general. Allowing only the "Laws of Nature" also steers children away from their Creator, a good example being Dawkins himself. When asked, "Is atheism the logical extension of believing in evolution?" he replied, "My personal feeling is that understanding evolution led me to atheism."
What drives evolution? Religion. People need to wake up to this, for in Psalm 14:1 we read, "The fool hath said in his heart, there is no God." The religion driving evolution is atheism. As Harvard biologist Richard Lewontin said, "We cannot allow a divine foot in the door." The "value" of such a cultic view is that it is the only way some can explain why we're here. And if it doesn't work out, they'll modify their theories. Makes one wonder how anyone in the scientific community could be so gullible.
Excluding God from science is the height of irrationality, since (at least until recent decades) the motivation for science was to understand God. Louis Pasteur (one of Darwin's most scathing critics) said, "Science brings men nearer to God." The inscription over the door to astrophysicist Max Planck's laboratory reads,
"Let no one enter here who does not have faith." Sir Isaac Newton said, "The most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets could proceed only from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent, powerful Being." Even Einstein, whom atheists see as one of their own, described his life's work as uncovering God's thoughts. Said he, "I am not interested in this phenomenon or that. I want to know God's thoughts. The rest are mere details."
These men would be barred from today's public schools, having claimed that it is possible to believe in God while doing outstanding science. The problem is, people will push their views incessantly even when they are wrong. Hiding behind "science" while attacking God, Darwinian cultists make up the rules as they go along — basing their conclusions on perception, not reality. And, even though contrary evidence is mounting, evolution remains the "bible" for atheists.
Why all these hoaxes when so many of today's theories will be laughable tomorrow? Paul's Second Epistle to Timothy provides the answer: "In the last days perilous times shall come; men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good — traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God — having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof." The word incontinent as used here means without self restraint, lacking inner control and/or power.
Does this mean that we can lash out when people call us names? No, speaking the truth in love means that bare-knuckle brawling isn't the way. People resorting to name-calling are just looking for an argument. Instead, we should be praying for them, not fighting them. Think about it. What is the worst that people can throw at us? Discouragement? Ridicule? Harassment? Loss of jobs, rank, or status? Broken dreams and promises? Bullying tactics to gain the upper hand, as in our public classrooms? Physical torture and/or abuse? Maybe even death?
As Job put it, "Though God slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15). How can we tap into God's strength? The answer isn't what most would expect. "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts" (Zechariah 4:6). As Paul said to Timothy, God's people needn't strive, but we should be "gentle unto all men, apt to teach, and patient — in meekness instructing those opposing themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance ... that they may escape the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will" (2 Timothy 2:24-36).
As for me, I have always been a six-day creationist. But, did you know that evolutionists are "devolving" into career terminators, disclaiming Intelligent Design at all costs? The ploy is that scientists are free to carry out whatever research they want, as long as they come to "certain" conclusions! Why this foolishness? For fear that the flaws in evolutionary ideology will be exposed.
One of the earliest casualties was mathematician/philosopher William Dembski, Baylor University's National Science Foundation graduate — terminated for his work on Intelligent Design. Next was the Smithsonian Institute's attack on one of their own, discrediting evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg (staff scientist at the National Institutes of Health), claiming that he wasn't really a scientist (for publishing a peer-reviewed article by Stephen Meyer, an "ID" proponent). And the latest ID casualty was Dr. Nathaniel Abraham, an expert in developmental biology of zebra-fish (at the Woods Hole Oceanography Institution in Massachusetts) — his having said, "Just because certain animals share similar parts has nothing to do with whether one was an ancestor of another."
As mentioned in the December, 2007, World Magazine, "Darwinists have blocked the tenure of acclaimed astronomer Guillermo Gonzalez at Iowa State University, and interfered with the ID research of Robert Marks at Baylor. But the ID movement fought back. Lehigh biology professor Michael Behe's new book, The Edge of Evolution, hit the bookstores last summer with a devastating critique of Darwinism, demonstrating the limitations of random mutation and natural selection in producing new genetic information. Similar challenges to Darwinism propelled a new high-school textbook, The Arguments for and against Neo-Darwinism, from the ID-advancing Discovery Institute.
So far, the “teach the controversy” approach appears lawsuit-proof. State school boards in Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Minnesota, along with local boards in Wisconsin and Louisiana, have adopted standards encouraging critical analysis of Darwinian Theory. Unlike the famous Dover, PA, school board that advocated introducing ID into the classroom and lost a landmark lawsuit to the ACLU in 2005, this new methodology draws only scorn, not litigation. Says John West of the Discovery Institute, 'This approach is one of which Darwinists should be particularly frightened. Note, also, that ID proponents are fighting back in other ways:
The movie Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, was released in American theatres on April 18, 2008, and will be seen in Canada during summer 2008.
- A $500,000 lawsuit — contesting the dismissal of Dr. Nathaniel Abraham.
- Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed: Ben Stein's April, 2008 movie debunking anti-ID evolutionists (though Stein himself is neither a creationist nor a Christian).
- The Privileged Planet, The Search for Purpose in the Universe: The Discovery Institute's June, 2008 movie based on Guillermo Gonzalez's 2004 book making the case for the hand of God in the universe.
- The Darwin Film Project: Creation Ministries' international documentary debunking Darwin's claims.
- Explore Evolution, Arguments for and against Neo-Darwinism: A new high school textbook from the Discovery Institute.
Evolutionists are alarmed that so many bright scientists are jumping on the six day bandwagon. And how have Darwinists reacted to this? By calling creationists imbeciles, based on Darwin's incredible shrinking God. Particularly irksome is the idea that evolutionary time solves everything. For atheistic skeptics, cosmic, geologic, and biological naturalism are tenets of faith denying the historicity of Genesis. Framing the debate are two opposing views, supernaturalism vs. naturalism. Either God is or He isn't. Either He fashioned the universe as He said He did, or He didn't.
Sadly, however, many in today's skeptical culture don't have the answers to defend their faith. Is the creation account reliable? Was creation finished, or is it ongoing? When did pain, suffering, and death enter the world? Where did the races come from, and was the Flood global? The deeper concern is the acceptance of lengthy evolutionary "ages," causing many to doubt the Bible. It follows that, when compromising creationists join forces with evolutionary die-hards, there will always be an erosion of truth, and when Christians water down God's Word there is no way to counter atheistic skeptics.
It's worth noting that whenever the verbs "created" or "made" are used in reference to beginnings, they are never in the present tense. God isn't creating new kinds of organisms, as evolution requires, since He rested after the sixth day. Also, in the New Testament we read, "The worlds [the cosmic, geologic, and biological worlds arriving in time and space] were framed by the Word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear" (Hebrews 11:3) — meaning that new "kinds" are no longer being created as required by evolution.
So, wake up believers! Wake up to the events, character, and historicity of the early chapters of Genesis. The only reason to reject them as straightforward history is the fallible reasoning of man. As Joel expressed it, we are to tell the good news to our children, our children must tell their children, and theirs must tell succeeding generations (see Joel 1:3).
Parents, God has charged you with equipping your children, and He expects you to help them understand that they're special, meaning they are not the product of blind evolutionary processes. Also, you need to know what people are telling your children! The place to start is in the home and the school, since your children are being bombarded by lies — in books, in television documentaries, in museums, and even by friends and acquaintances.
Here are some pointers that may help you:
- You are your child's most important teacher, so inform yourself first. Review some of the excellent scientific and theological books, periodicals, and DVDs currently available on Special Creation within a six-day time frame.
- Whenever your children are presented with evolutionary lies, tell them the truth at a level they can understand, arming them with facts dismantling faulty science and religion.
- Rather than just countering mistaken ideas, you should also fill your children's minds with truth. Tell them what motivates people who don't want God. Reading Romans 1, you could explain to them that unbelievers, especially highly educated ones, don't want a higher authority telling them how to think and live, so they won't accept the Sovereign Creator.
- It's also important to teach your children why we exist. Tell them we're here to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, since we were created with class, in God's image and likeness, which isn't how animals were created.
- Whether your children are in Christian or public schools, review what was taught each day — and if it's evolution, you need to be involved.
- When taking tests, if your child is required to repeat the evolutionary line, suggest that he or she add a note at the top of the page ("the book says," or "as taught in class") indicating that the answers are not necessarily those of the student.
- It's usually best not to argue in class, since teachers pushing evolution dislike being cornered. This doesn't mean that your child must be silent, but there are other ways to address the issue. And yes, you parents may need to speak up!
- Prepare your children to give answers to those asking them the reason for their hope, doing so with meekness and fear, as in 1 Peter 3:15. You could also remind your children that they're not alone, since increasing numbers are holding to creation rather than evolution.
- Help your children understand intelligence and design as pointing to an all-knowing, intelligent Creator.
- Don't be afraid to confront misguided teachers, school boards, and supervising authorities, since without faith it is impossible to please God, and he who comes to Him must believe that He exists, as in Hebrews 11:6.
Evolution (whether atheistic or theistic) is the denial of everything that is true about God and His universe. A failure theologically, it isn't supported by the evidences either. Evolution has delivered only degenerating genomes, fossils without transitions, fruit flies with functionless wings, and millions of mouse-traps in the form of irreducibly complex proteins, cells, and anatomical structures. As Dr. Geoffrey Simmons writes in his book, Billions of Missing Links, "Truth, like beauty, may be in the eyes of the beholder, but scientists will never be able to peek into the Pre-Cambrian Sea and observe thousands of living species evolving into newer and different species. Yet, some claim to know 'the truth' anyway, and evolution lingers on — protected under the umbrella of science."
Says the creationist (FAITH being the acronym): Failing Always, I Trust Him (the Creator/God). Says the evolutionist: Frankly, All I Trust is Human reasoning (no Creator/God). How much better to live as children of light (rather than of the darkness) — illuminated by Christ and His Word.
Originally published in Christian Renewal, April 9, 2008.
Used with permission. Copyright © 2008 Christianity.ca.