Evolution: Theory or Fact? . . . or Anti-God Agenda?

Controversy has erupted over a simple warning sticker in suburban Atlanta science textbooks that seeks to clarify that evolution should be presented as “a theory, not a fact.”

On Thursday, January 14, 2005 the federal judge in the case ordered the officials of Cobb County to immediately remove the stickers and refrain from using them again.

The school district just north of Atlanta approved the stickers after more than 2,000 parents complained the textbooks presented evolution as fact, without mentioning rival ideas about the beginnings of life.

During four days of testimony in federal court last November, the school system defended the warning stickers as a show of tolerance, not religious activism as some parents claimed. Its attorneys argued the school board had made a good-faith effort to address questions that inevitably arise during the teaching of evolution.

The stickers read, “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered.”

Scientists, several of whom testified in the case, say the sticker confuses the scientific term “theory” with the word’s common usage and inappropriately combines science with personal religious belief.

Somehow the evolutionists have avoided allowing the general public to scrutinize the issue of origins with the same type of objectivity and open-mindedness that is applied to other scientific disciplines. The issue here is not about bringing religion into the classroom; it is about excluding the rightful pursuit of science due to a blatant anti-God agenda on the part of sophisticated academia with its misguided support from the liberal judiciaries.

The language on the stickers applied in Georgia was carefully worded to steer clear of any specific mention of “creationism” since:

In 1987, the Supreme Court ruled that creationism was a religious belief that could not be taught in public schools along with evolution.

Since then creationism has been repackaged as the theory of “intelligent design”. This contends that life on Earth results from a purposeful design rather than random development and that a higher intelligence is guiding this process.

Pennsylvania’s Dover area school board has already voted to teach intelligent design. The hearing in Georgia will have to establish whether intelligent design is in fact a religious theory; and if so, whether the stickers which mention neither intelligent design, nor religion by name, violate the separation of church and state.

(The case in Pennsylvania was recently featured in a Nightline commentary segment aired on ABC-TV. Answers in Genesis staff members were interviewed … but much of that taping was apparently omitted. A longer segment highlighting their future Creation Museum has been promised for a later date.)

Why are they so scared about the possibility of intelligent design being considered as a viable alternative? For starters, they cannot face the accountability factor that such a position would imply. If we were actually created by a sovereign all-powerful God it would naturally follow that we are accountable to that God instead of free to live as we please. They need to hide behind the cloak of scientific dogma because they don’t want the public to find out that the emperor has no clothes. They make it sound like some group of Bible-thumping uneducated preachers are attempting to foist off on unsuspecting children some previously debunked error such as believing the earth to be flat.

Such is not the case. There are plenty of reputable scientists that have written extensively on the gaping holes in the theory of evolution. (cf. The Creation Research Society for starters) But those controlling the educational forums are not allowing these voices to be heard. If Darwin were alive today, there is a good possibility that even he would not still believe the faith system which he attempted to document. He fully expected that some “missing links” would be discovered to lend credence to his system. That has not happened. Instead, whenever any questions are raised, scientists back pedal with the simplistic rationale that if they can introduce enough extra time into the process of gradual mutations (adding billions of years whenever necessary), anything is possible.

Darwin himself acknowledged the problems. In his 1859 book, The Origin of Species, he noted:

“The number of intermediate varieties, which have formerly existed on the earth, [should] be truly enormous. Why then is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such graduated organic chain; and this, perhaps, is the most obvious and gravest objection which can be urged against my theory.”(1)

Despite scientific advances since Darwin’s day, for evolutionsists the situation has not improved. If anything, it’s gotten worse. As the distinguished paleontologist David Raup pointed out in 1979:

“We are now about 120 years after Darwin and knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded…. Ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin’s time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of Darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as a result of more detailed information.”(2)

Two features of the fossil evidence refuse to go away: sudden appearance and stasis. Sudden appearance refers to the fact that most fossil species did not develop by the gradual transformation of their ancestors; rather they appeared all at once, fully formed. Stasis, meanwhile, refers to the fact that most fossil species change very little throughout their appearance in the fossil record.

So where is the science in this approach if nothing can be replicated or demonstrated on a repeatable basis? Still the conclusion of most biologists comes down heavily on the side of evolution:

To most biologists, however, the theory rests on substantial evidence, offers a valid scientific explanation that unifies facts and findings in their field, and satisfies the tests applied to all scientific theories, most of which are now commonly accepted as operational explications of natural and physical phenomena.

I would ask that such statements as this not be accepted on face value. Instead the inquisitive scientific mind has a right (in fact the obligation) to demand to know what these specific “tests” are which have been “satisfied” consistent with the analysis of any other scientific theory.

I always come back to one simple tenet of uniformitarianism (believing that all processes in nature have continued in ages past at the same rates and with the same characteristics as currently observed). This is the basis for any type of dating model which must take observable rates of decay (for example) and extrapolate back into the past. But I would argue that this same principle of uniformitarianism begs the very question it is being used to substantiate. For if we assume for the moment that an all-powerful God did create this world in which we live; were we to apply those same dating tests back on day one we would arrive at some type of erroneous figure for the age of the earth. Creation would have to involve the appearance of a level of development which nevertheless happened instantaneously.

Uniformitarianism also begs the issue of whether there was ever any type of global catastrophic event (such as Noah’s Flood) which somehow changed the equation so that what we see today cannot be extrapolated back into the pre-flood era. So the bottom line is that those card-carrying members of the ACLU that want to draw the line of separation of church and state on this issue are dead wrong in assuming that only creationists approach the scientific data from a grid of specific religious conviction. The fact is that humanists have just as well defined a system of religious beliefs and presuppositions … their views just happen to leave God out of the picture a priori. This is not based on any provable series of scientific experiments, but simply on the nature of what a faith belief system entails.

I am not too proud to admit that I was not there at the point of earth’s origins. However, by faith I am not ashamed to proclaim that my God and Creator was there and has revealed some level of detail about what actually transpired. God reprimanded Job with some strong rhetorical questions: “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?” (Job 38:4 – the entire chapter is applicable)

It should not be surprising that creationism faces such mockery and ridicule:

“Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, ‘Where is the promise of His coming? [speaking of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ] For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.’ [the basic tenet of uniformitarianism] For when they maintain this, it escapes their notice that by the word of God the heavens existed long ago and the earth was formed out of water and by water, through which the world at that time was destroyed, being flooded with water. But the present heavens and earth by His word are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.” (2 Peter 3:3-7)

So I am admitting my bias in favor of accepting the biblical record as a revelation from God to His creation. I am not asking the courts or any school system to mandate my views as the religion of the land. That would clearly be a violation of the separation of church and state. But I am asking for scientists who approach the data from a humanistic world view to be equally honest about their presuppositions. Surely a simple sticker that acknowledges the reality of evolution being only a theory rather than a fact should not be offensive. It only amounts to a very small attempt at leveling the playing field … unless of course the paranoid proponents of their anti-God system fear that on the issue of origins any objective investigation would raise serious doubts about whether the emperor is really wearing no clothes.