Friday, May 05, 2006

Evolution Is Often The "Religion" of the Unbeliever

A member at my message board provided a link (note: automatic download takes a few moments to load) to an article entitled, Defending Science Education against intelligent design: a call to action. I find it fascinating that they have sat up and finally taken notice! Seems to me that they must be secretly worried about ID's current huge amount of publicity and want to counter it's impact (especially upon students who seek out information on the internet because it's "not allowed" in schools). Years ago, Darwinists didn't think that ID was much of a threat nor would it ever find much of an audience. Approximately seven years later, ID certainly has built up quite an audience and it is growing by leaps and bounds.

I believe in Creation. I also believe that Intelligent Design is a way for students to discuss an alternative to Evolution (*see note below) without getting into the creation account in Genesis. In fact, if people want to believe that the intelligent designer is an alien (probably was Carl Sagan's view based on his movie Contact) they can do so.

But I want to focus on the real reason (and, hypocritical reason as you may already know or will discover here) why Darwinists don't want even the possibility of that "Divine foot in the door" where discussions of origins are concerned.

Here's a quote from a book I am reading about why believe in Creation:



The greatest evil Darwin has brought upon the world is to somehow divide science from God and, in fact, set the two at each other's throats.



This is exactly what we are seeing in that article as well as in the current origins battles going on today.

The article link above, brings up philosophy. Here's what Michael Denton, author of a fascinating book titled Evolution: A Theory in Crisis wrote:


The voyage on The Beagle was a journey of awesome significance. Its object was to survey Patagonia; its result was to shake the foundations of western thought. The Origin of the Species [which followed] has been referred to as "one of the most important books ever written" [it is because it seeks to shake the foundation of the most important book ever written].


As far as Christianity was concerned, the advent of the theory of evolution and the elimination of traditional teleological thinking was catastrophic. As many readers here already know, to think teleologically is to believe life has purpose and an end. The evolutionist believes nothing has purpose or an end. Consequently, life has no significance or meaning or importance.

The whole scientific enterprise, however, has been hijacked into a naturalistic or materialistic view of the world. Naturalism believes that there is nothing in the universe but nature, nothing supernatural; materialism believes that there is nothing in the world but matter.

If you examine what is truly going on closely, you will see that what is actually happening is the clash of two religions competing for the minds, hearts, and loyalties of Western man. One of those religions is Christianity; the other religion is evolution. Evolution is a religion that is passionately held by its devotees.

How do I know this?

Here is what some well-known evolutionists, all highly placed scientists in the world, have to say.

Professor Louis T. More, one of the most vocal evolutionists:


The more one studies paleontology, the more certain one becomes that evolution is based on faith alone.

Source: Louis T. More, The Dogma of Evolution (Princeton: University Press, 1925), 160.


Professor D. M. S. Watson, a famous evolutionist, made the remarkable observation that evolution itself is a theory universally accepted, "not because it has been observed to occur or can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true, but because the only alternative - special creation- is clearly incredible."

Quoted in Henry M. Morris, Scientific Creationism (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1974), 8.

To the reprobate mind, the unregenerate mind, creation is incredible because it requires belief in a creator, and that is totally unacceptable to such men as these.

A famous British evolutionist, Sir Arthur Keith, is just as frank in his admission.


He says, "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable."

Quoted in Meldan, Why We Believe in Creation , 8.

Many people accept evolution on blind faith . Scientists, high school science teachers and college professors may teach their students that all scientists believe in evolution as proven fact, but remember what Sir Arthur Keith said: "Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable." That's an admission of the most blatant prejudice I have ever read! He is saying that scientists are willing to accept a theory that is unproved and unprovable because they are so biased they can't even think about the fact there may be a God who created the world!

Just because a great many people have been led to believe evolution is fact, it doesn't make it a fact.

I think that Professor David Allbrook says it well:


"Evolution is a time-honored scientific tenet of faith."


I love this. Dr. Duane Gish, noted biologist, says,


"Evolution is a fairy tale for adults."


Yeah...like in Grimms' Fairy Tales someone kisses a frog and in two seconds it becomes a prince. That is a fairy tale. In evolution, someone kisses a frog and in two million years it becomes a prince.

As Arthur Field has pointed out, evolution is based :


"upon belief in the reality of the unseen; belief in the fossils that cannot be produced, belief in embryological evidence that does not exist, belief in the breeding experiments that refuse to come off."


It is faith - faith in the substance of things unseen. It is a religion. Evolution is often the "religion" of the unbeliever.

*******

Note: The portion of the theory of Evolution (a.k.a. Darwinism) that I refer to here is macro-evolution.

An excerpt from article link (below):


Macroevolution, the second type, had to occur if evolution were to get to the first cell, or to leap across genotypes, say, from a reptile to a bird. While microevolution is evident in the geographical distribution of many living species[2] and in selective breeding, it sustains only Darwin's "special" theory of evolution--variation within genotypes. The "general" theory, change across types on the other hand (macroevolution), requires upward rather than lateral movement.

For macroevolution the problem is how fully developed viable life-forms might arise completely by accident. Denton cites Monod who said, "Chance `alone' is at the source of every innovation, of all creation in the biosphere. Pure chance, absolutely free but blind."[3] Chance supposedly gave rise to the first organism--perhaps a bacterium, alga, or protozoan. Later, the theory says, chance resulted in complex invertebrates and plants, followed by fish, then amphibians, reptiles, birds, and, finally, mammals.

According to Denton, proof of such a sequence requires at least one of two kinds of evidence: either an unbroken chain of transitional fossils or surviving intermediates; or, plausible reconstructions of such series together with their respective ecological niches. The trick is to show how each link could be viable long enough for the next to get going. Only by establishing complete transitional series can the hypothesized connectedness in the hierarchy of genotypes be made plausible--empirical proof, of course, is a much taller order. Here the issue is mere plausibility. If such transitions ever happened, intermediate forms should be found in the fossils and in living organisms. Existing classes should overlap. Clear boundaries ought to be exceptional rather than normative.


More detailed info here

12 comments:

Jay said...

I'm a Christian and a biology grad student. Without being overly emotional, I will tell you that I'm deeply disappointed to have come across you're post, which is filled with inaccuracies.

For example, your quote from Sir Arthur Keith is simply a lie. The man never said it and in fact died several years before he is alleged to have said it.

I often wonder if fellow Christians even care about what's actually true, or if the conclusion (evolution can't be a good theory!) is so important that lies are acceptable to back up this claim.

I might suggest just a couple of things if you're interested.

Richard Wright is a biologist and an evangelical Christian with an excellent book discussing the two issue called Biology Through the
Eyes of Faith.


If you're interested in learning just the basic ways in which evolution works, I wrote a lengthy article which I think does a fine job.

While I'm assuming that my dropping by and leaving a note will have no impact what-so-ever, I guess that decisions not mine. After all, the Lord moves in mysterious ways.

I would encourage you to humbly and seriously look into these issues if you're really interested. I promise you'll discover that evolution is not a "fairy tale for adults."

In Christ

Juan Buhler said...

I want to post a more detailed and serious answer to this--I don't have the time right now, so let me just highlight something that seemed funny to me:

Yeah...like in Grimms' Fairy Tales someone kisses a frog and in two seconds it becomes a prince. That is a fairy tale. In evolution, someone kisses a frog and in two million years it becomes a prince.


Remember, your fairy tale says that someone kissed a lump of mud, and it became a "prince" immediately.

So even if evolution were as simple as you are trying to convey it, you'd still be applying a double standard: you're ready to believe Genesis 2:7, but a frog cannot become a man even in two million years? Which sounds more plausible to you?

Keep in mind, I'm not defending the "frog to man in 2M years" position. That's not the way it works. But still, it is more believable than the story of creation.

Boo said...

At least you're honest enough to admit that Intelligent Design is nothing more than a wedge to get religion taught in science classes. Would that Michael Behe was so up front.

Christinewjc said...

Hello ocellated,

I am on my way out the door but wanted to welcome you to my blog. I'm sorry that you are deeply disappointed in what was written in the post. And, I will research the Keith quote disagreement.

I glanced over at your blog and found that perhaps we might agree on much more than you previously thought.

Well...maybe not. I just scrolled down a bit more and see that you defend the macro-evolution theory. This is the "fairy tale" notion that as a Christian, I cannot possibly accept. Just like theistic evolution does not satisfy when compared with the Biblical view of Creation, so the macro-evolutionary "tale" does not agree with basic Christian faith. I'll share why later.

Just what is an "evolutionary creationist"? Is that the same thing as theistic evolution? It appears to be similar to me, but I don't want to incorrectly "label" your beliefs.

I'll be back later to view more of the links and read more at your blog.

Anyway, welcome! Glad to have another Christian blogger at my site...even if we disagree on this particular issue.

In Jesus,
Christine

Jay said...

Yes Christin, an evolutionary creationist is pretty much exactly the same thing as the idea behind theistic evolution. I sometimes prefer this term more because it conveys information to other Christians about my views. I believe in a God that has created everything.

You're convinced that so called "macro" evolution is not compatible with Christian faith. You may unfortunately find me an apostate, but alas, I have no control over that.

I will tell as a person with a background in science that you have one and only one option to hold faith in God and your interpretation of Genesis while reconciling it with science. You can believe that everything simply appears to be something that it's not. The earth was created with fossils planted in the ground. The universe was created with light in midstream to give an appearance which isn't actually true.

There are multiple theological problems with this, in my opinion. The first is that you make God out to be the great deceiver. None of the fossils ever really existed, they were just created to look like they did.

Secondly, if you take this idea of a creation made to look like something it's not, there's another possibility even more troubling that's just as logical to believe.

The universe is 5 minutes old. When it began, I was here at my computer, typing this message to you. I’ve never met my parents. I've never even met with my wife who's gone right now. Our memories, like the fossils in the example above, were given to us by the Creator. Everything, everyone, and everywhere that I think defines who I am is simply an implanted memory. And think about this carefully -- noone can scientifically say that this is wrong. It is a belief outside the natural world.

Along these lines, you wrote in your post that evolution "is faith - faith in the substance of things unseen. It is a religion. It is the religion of the unbeliever."

Did you ever meet your great great grandparents? By your definition, you're saying that only religion would allow anyone to believe they had great great grandparents. Surely we could agree that this is not a religious belief...

Also, I should mention that it hurts when a scientific theory is called by many a "religion of the unbeliever." I also happen to think gravity occurs and that the world is round and not at the center of the universe. Not too long ago, those beliefs would have had me in big trouble with the religious thought of the day.

Now I realize that I dogmatically said you have one option if you think that a Christian simply cannot accept evolutionary theory... I said one option because the other option is a road to disaster -- trying to argue that the evidence doesn't point to evolution. I say this as humbly as I know how. The scientific community, made up of people with diverse faiths (including Christianity, even conservative Christianity) or no faiths at all, overwhelming accept evolutionary theory.

This idea that it's a theory in crisis is not true. I don't know how else to say that any other way. I'm a graduate student. I know lots of scientists at different places. There is no conspiracy of people running around trying to figure out how to trick people into believing our dying theory. When Christians tell others that evolution is a theory in crisis, they are not telling the truth. Some of these Christians may truly be misinformed and not understand the level of support and evidence for evolution within the scientific community. But I think some of these people are actively lying, telling others something they wish deeply was the case but is in fact not.

Anyway, I fully expect that we may talk past each other. But to the extent that you wonder about these things, I will be happy to have the discussion.

There are really two parts to our discussion. Religion and science.

I'm not as useful for the religious aspects of it. I can only tell how I believe and understand scripture, my relationship with God, etc. In truth, there are many people which are better educated and better communicators on these theological issues.

I do understand the basics of evolutionary theory well however and it is this area that I'm most qualified to discuss.

Christinewjc said...

Hi again ocellated,

I decided to change my post title a bit for you, as well as any other Christians who believe in evolution. It was not my intent to insult or attack those who have reconciled both beliefs. I certainly realize that many believe as you do and they find theistic evolution compatible with their belief in Jesus Christ.

However, when I personally examined this choice, I found that it was not an option for me. I could not reconcile such a belief with what Jesus said about creation.

Before I get into that, I want to make it clear that my post was not meant to disparage believers in evolutionary theory. My point was to show that evolution has become a kind of "religion" to non-believers. No matter the evidence to the contrary, they will stick to their mindset as though it is set in concrete. The parallel to faith in Christ, the Bible and Creation (considered a religion) is the fact that there is a philosophical part (whether or not one admits it) involved with those who insist on believing that evolution is true and is a fact. Without the evidence that evolutionists often require of those who believe in Creation and/or Intelligent Design, Evolutionists display a similar kind of "faith" in evolution and all it's tenets.

I guess we are on opposite sides of the debate...you in your scientific knowledge and me in my biblical knowledge. We might have some interesting things to learn from each other. However, it probably won't change either of our minds. But that's O.K.

Let me share with you why my investigation of theistic evolution turned me away from such a concept.

In addition to this, there are some articles written by Greg Koukl on the subject of theistic evolution in the archive section at my message board. This may provide more detailed reasons for you to see my points.

Why I reject theistic evolution:

Jesus believed in and spoke about the Genesis account of Creation. That alone should be enough for Bible-believing, Word of Truth Christians.

Theistic Evolution involves the notion that God initially began creation and then used evolution to produce the universe as we know it. The big issue is with macroevolution which claims that all of life evolved fortuitously from a single cell made up of amino acids, RNA, DNA etc.; then through chance there were mutations that allowed lower, simplistic forms of life to become more complex specimens. We all emerged over time, from the slime into our present humanity. Is man in his origin the product of a purposive act of divine intelligence, or is man a cosmic accident? Are we creatures of dignity or creatures of cosmic insignificance?

Microevolution, the indication that there is a change, a progression involving different directions among various species that we can track historically is of no consequence with respect to biblical Christianity. It's the unsubstantiated myth of macroevolution that presents rational, logical as well as theological objections. One day this unmitigated nonsense will be totally rejected by the scientific community.

In this post, I will focus in on the theological objections to theistic evolution. A Christian (IMHO)cannot believe that he is a cosmic accident and at the same time believe in the sovereign God and the Creator God. Theistic evolution must make a complete allegory out of Genesis 1:1 - 2:4, for which there is no warrant. The suggestion that humanity is derived from a non-human ancestor cannot be reconciled with the explicit statement of man's creation in Genesis 2:7. Man did not evolve but rather was created from the dust of the ground. How can I know for sure? As a Bible believing Christian, I recognize that if Adam was not a real historical person, then the analogy between Christ and Adam in Romans 5:12-21 utterly breaks down.

Certainly Christ believed in a literal creation of Adam and Eve (Matthew 19:4; Mark 10:6). (Christ would know, for He is elsewhere portrayed as the Creator- (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16; Hebrews 1:2,10.) Jesus Christ's words have the authority to be trusted in this particular matter as surely as His words can be trusted in other matters.

Romans 5:8 and John 3:16 reveals God's love for us through Christ the Redeemer. As far as Christianity is concerned, if there's no creation, then there's nothing to redeem. If we come from nothing and go to nothing, then we are nothing under any objective analysis. Nehemiah 9:6 explicitly rejects such a notion.

Christinewjc said...

Boo,

The difference is that ID can be discussed without going into the Genesis account in the Bible. The argument against Creation being taught in secular schools has always turned to the side of the evolutionists because of the rejection of "religion".

ID can go into scientific detail about why things appear to be designed without going into details about just who the designer is.

Similarly evolution has always made its claims re: macroevolution - not based on details about the mechanism, but only through an extrapolation of the evidence for microevolution.

Juan Buhler said...


ID can go into scientific detail about why things appear to be designed without going into details about just who the designer is.


Right. But there's something to be said about the ability of a supposed designer, given the hugely imperfect bodies we have. Here is an interesting article, about what the author calls "incompetent design"

Quoting from it:

No self-respecting engineering student would make the kinds of dumb mistakes that are built into us.
All of our pelvises slope forward for convenient knuckle-dragging, like all the other great apes. And the only reason you stand erect is because of this incredible sharp bend at the base of your spine, which is either evolution's way of modifying something or else it's just a design that would flunk a first-year engineering student.
Look at the teeth in your mouth. Basically, most of us have too many teeth for the size of our mouth. Well, is this evolution flattening a mammalian muzzle and jamming it into a face or is it a design that couldn't count accurately above 20?


There's more in there. Read the whole thing.

Boo said...

"The difference is that ID can be discussed without going into the Genesis account in the Bible. The argument against Creation being taught in secular schools has always turned to the side of the evolutionists because of the rejection of "religion".

ID can go into scientific detail about why things appear to be designed without going into details about just who the designer is."

So which version of ID is going to be discussed? Behe accepts an old earth and most of evolutionary theory (at least in public) while claiming that certain structures are "irreducibly complex" and could not have evolved on their own, so at certain points in Earth's billions of years of history, God has intervened a la the monolith from 2001 and jumped species over those hurdles. Is this what you want taught in science class? Because it's certainly no closer to your interpretation of the Bible. You also seem to be laboring under the common misconception that evolution teaches atheism. Pure evolutionary biology is uninterested in whether God exists and created the universe and directed evolution or not. However, if you allow for the introduction of religious themes into science classes, then you will actually bring about the opportunity for atheism to be taught in science class.

Furthermore, exactly what "scientific evidence" can ID bring into the classroom. There is no published, peer-reviewed body of ID research. The Discovery Institute's overwhelming output is press releases, not scientific papers. You can't have "equal time" if one side has next to nothing to say. basically, the teacher would have to say something like "Some people think certain structures are too complex to have evolved on their own and could not function if all their parts were not created simultaneously. Okay, now back to what we were doing." It's also worth noting that virtually every example of "irreducible complexity" that Behe has come up with has been debunked.

"Similarly evolution has always made its claims re: macroevolution - not based on details about the mechanism, but only through an extrapolation of the evidence for microevolution."

That's not actually true- there's a lot more to it than that:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

thomas said...

i am curious to know what folks think about the recent statement by a vatican astronomer that creationism is akin to paganism?

the statement that really stood out for me is:

Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god. And science needs religion in order to have a conscience, to know that, just because something is possible, it may not be a good thing to do.

there is much to be learned from a considerate discussion of this matter. i wonder what brother consolmagno thinks about evolution.

http://hope-for-pandora.blogspot.com/

Christinewjc said...

Juan,

Perhaps the pelvic tilt forward helps with carrying a child for 9 months and/or childbirth?

Maybe the pelvic tilt forward helps with skiing?

Does it assist with sitting?

This article explains the evolutionary need for these two changes.

Excerpts:

"In order to counteract this handicap and to keep the centre of gravity over the feet they evolved a bend of their loins so that the slightly arched spine sloped in behind, giving the spine an S-shape, making the pelvis slope forward. Then they could keep the upper part of the body over the feet, and they needed not to walk with the knees bent. This made their upright manner of walking more comfortable, but the price was the weak loin that is a characteristic of man. See fig."

"The adaptation to the new kind of food caused a change of their teeth. These were originally evolved for chewing of soft and sappy fruits, and their molars got flat, knotty crowns, fit for crushing hard seed and kernels.

The brachiators of the forest had large incisors, which were an efficient weapon and also an efficient tool to tear the tough peel of fruits. On the plain they did not need these incisors, partly because they no more lived on fruits, but also because their upright stance and their ability to beat with sticks and throw stones was a better protection against predators. Their incisors therefore could be reduced, and the dentition became human."


Does that mean that evolution is flawed too??

Juan Buhler said...

I don't understand those three examples. Of course we are able to do the things we do. You wouldn't be mentioning skiing if skiing didn't exist. That doesn't mean that the design of our backs is optimal: it isn't, by far. You could design one that wouldn't break as often in ski accidents, for example.

More examples: Why do our teeth rot? Why do we have an appendix? Why do we have so many bones in our faces, making our sinuses so hard to drain? (this one is in the article.)

Why do we share 99% of our genes with chimpanzees, and how does that correlate with Genesis 1:27? Are chimpanzees 99% in the image of God? Or is *that* part not to be taken literally?

BTW, the phrase "evolution is flawed" doesn't make a lot of sense. As a theory, it probably has a few flaws, in terms of things that it doesn't explain. It is the best tool for the job science has though. Scientists would discard it without regret if something better came to replace it (which contradicts the title of your post.)

As for the structures that the evolutionary process produces, "flawed" doesn't make too much sense there either: those structures were good enough to survive, and in that way they are "less flawed" than the ones that didn't. Evolution doesn't have a direction or a goal though--there's no concept of "intention" in the "design" of life, so it would be hard to define what a flaw is.