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April 18, 2008
by Dinesh D'Souza

side bar side bar side bar side bar side bar The problem with evolution is not that it is unscientific but that it is routinely taught in textbooks and in the classroom in an atheist way under the banner of Darwinism. Such textbooks frequently go beyond the scientific evidence to make metaphysical claims about how evolution renders the idea of a Creator superfluous. Here are some examples.

Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson writes in his widely-assigned book On Human Nature: "If humankind evolved by Darwinian natural selection, genetic chance and environmental necessity, not God, made the species."

Biologist Stephen Jay Gould writes in his essay in the book Darwin's Legacy: "No intervening spirit watches lovingly over the affairs of nature...whatever we think of God, his existence is not manifest in the products of nature."

Douglas Futuyma asserts in his textbook Evolutionary Biology: "By coupling undirected, purposeless variation to the blind, uncaring process of natural selection, Darwin made theological or spiritual explanations of the life processes superfluous."

Biologist William Provine writes, "Modern science directly implies that there are no inherent moral or ethical laws...We must conclude that when we die, we die, and that is the end of us." Evolution, Provine has also said, is the "greatest engine of atheism."

In his essay on "Darwin's Revolution" in the book Creative Evolution, Francisco Ayala credits Darwin with proving that life is "the result of a natural process...without any need to resort to a Creator."

Some Christians seek to counter this atheism by trying to expose the flaws in the Darwinian account of evolution. This explains the appeal of "creation science" and the "intelligent design" (ID) movement. These critiques, however, have not made any headway in the scientific community and they have also failed whenever they have been tried in the courts.

Most Christians don't care whether the eye evolved by natural selection or whether evolution can account for macroevolution or only microevolution. What they care about is that Darwinism, which is “chance alone” or “by mere accident” evolution, is being used to deny God as the Creator. For those who are concerned about this atheism masquerading as science, there is a better way. Instead of trying to get unscientific ID theories included in the classroom, a better strategy would be to get the unscientific atheist propaganda out.

How can this be achieved?

Consider this: the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits public schools from teaching or promoting atheism in any way. How do I know this? Well, the religion clauses of the First Amendment protect the "free exercise" of religion and at the same time forbid the "establishment" of religion. Courts have routinely held that the free exercise clause protects not only religious beliefs but also the absence of religious beliefs. If you are fired from your government job because you are an atheist, your First Amendment rights have been violated. In other words, the term "religion" means not only "religion" but also "atheism."

Yet if the free exercise clause defines religion in a way that includes atheism, then the no-establishment clause must define religion in the same way. So the agencies of government are prohibited from "establishing" not only religion but also atheism. This means that just as a public school teacher cannot advocate Christianity or hand out Bibles to his students, so too public school textbooks and science teachers cannot advocate atheism masquerading as science.  If God must be removed from government financed schools, so too must the equally metaphysical “by chance alone”.

I'd like to see Christian legal groups suing school districts for promoting atheism in the biology classroom. No need to produce creationist or ID critiques of Darwinism. All that is necessary is to parade the atheist claims that have made their way into the biology textbooks and biology lectures. The issue isn't the scientific inadequacy of evolution but the way in which it is being used to undermine religious belief and promote unbelief. If the case can be made that atheism is being advocated in any way, then the textbooks would have to be rewritten and classroom presentations changed to remove the offending material. Schools would be on notice that they cannot use scientific facts to draw metaphysical conclusions in favor of atheism.

In this way Darwinism in the public schools would no longer be a threat to religion in general or Christianity in particular.

 

Responses to Taken as a Whole:

Mr. Ehrman’s work proves out the reason that I have often said that all good theology is experiential. While we may discuss the shortcomings in the work of such a man, he really has nothing to say to believers because his words lack the real experience of an encounter with Jesus Christ. Though it is often said with an arrogant intent and with malice thereby angering some intellectuals, the truth remains that a man with an argument is never a match for a man with experience. I have met and talk with the author of the book (the Bible) and I know its veracity and His reality. Mr. Ehrman speaks of that about which he knows little or nothing. Again as in times past, thank you for your work. Blessings - William W. Lumry, II

We live a very short time before we realize how great the question of evil and suffering is. Once realized we also come to understand that “pat” answers are woefully inadequate, so we look for more. Ehrman’s book, though I have not read it yet, is one I am eager to read. Not because I expect to find the answers there – faith takes care of the answers – but because I hope it will challenge me to help others find faith. Truth was never meant to be easy, but it was meant to set us free. Thank you for the article as it reminds me that most still have no answers. We live in a world of lost souls who need faith. - Josiah Tilton, Executive Director Ghana West Africa Missions

I think Ehrman forgot to read Job. I read Job when I think I'm suffering, then I shut up and stop complaining. I do not know the meaning of suffering. - Steve Spence

Please accept an excerpt from RedNeckoBlogger: http://redneckoblogger.blogspot.com/ "Avaida allegedly demonstrates evolutionary processes that would take 'miyons or biyons' (to quote the late Carl Sagan) of years to occur 'naturally'. (Note: for this musing I am assuming Avida was 'intelligently designed' by highly skilled programmers)... as a result Avida does EXACTLY was it programmed to do, demonstrate evolution as its "creators" assume it occured... geez are we back to that circular thing again? As a result Avida only 'proves' evolution to those already convinced!" Thanx you folks at Tothesource do great work! Good luck and God bless in the fight against academic fascism!!! - F

We are a small homeschool group in upper Michigan we put out a news letter called the Zone. We were wondering if we could get permission to put a copy of "whose kids are they?" in our next issue. Thanks AH

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We live complex lives. We strive to sort out priorities that sometimes conflict or seem incompatible. A moral framework is needed to help us understand the reality around us. Our Judeo-Christian heritage provides a framework to help us comprehend the choices we make and the conflicts that arise over them. It is not only the main source of our spiritual values, but also many of the secular values we depend on.

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Dinesh D'Souza, the Rishwain Research Scholar at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, served as senior domestic policy analyst in the White House in 1987-1988. He is the best-selling author of Illiberal Education, The End of Racism, Ronald Reagan, The Virtue of Prosperity, What's So Great About America, and The Enemy at Home. His new book What's So Great About Christianity was released in October of 2007.
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