Friday, December 6, 2013

Doubting Darwinian Fundamentalism: Olasky on Evolution's Heresy Hunters

Fundamentalists are everywhere even among supporters of Darwin. In fact, if you want to locate the real religion of the West, it is in the church of Darwinian Naturalism. In a recent article published in WORLD Magazine, Marvin Olasky highlights how some recent bills in some conservative states have Darwinian fundamentalists crying foul - crying heresy.  He writes:

The sky is falling! Many interest groups and journalists raced to tell that to the public when a modest but important bill became law in Tennessee early in April. The law instructs teachers and administrators to "create an environment within public elementary and secondary schools that encourages students to explore scientific questions, learn about scientific evidence, develop critical thinking skills, and respond appropriately and respectfully to differences of opinion about controversial issues."

What's not to like? . . . Oh, here's the problem: Evolution is one of the theories that can now be analyzed and critiqued.

The language of the bill, quoted by Olasky, comes off as quit politically correct in my opinion. Why not ask the simple question: could Darwin have gotten something wrong? What is there to be afraid of? Olasky goes on to add:

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the National Association of Geoscience Teachers, and many others have gone ape over the inclusion of evolution. They revere critical thinking and the freedom to explore, but not when it might produce irreverence toward their idol

Those groups and many journalists brought up Tennessee's 1925 law that made illegal the teaching of evolution in public schools and led to the Scopes "monkey trial." They did not note that most public schools in the four score and seven years since then have gone to the other extreme by forbidding the teaching of anything but evolution. In states from Virginia to Washington true believers in evolution have harassed and driven away teachers who dared to teach both sides of the Darwin debate.

If macro-evolution were proven, the true believers would have a case, but more than 800 Ph.D.-bearing scientists have signed a statement expressing skepticism about contemporary evolutionary theory's claims that random mutation and natural selection account for the complexity of life. These scientists say, "Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged."

Therein is the orthodoxy. Darwin's supporters have made Darwinism the law of the land and to question such orthodoxy is to be mocked, ridiculed, and to be labeled an out-of-touch heretic. Olasky concludes:

That gets to the heart of the hysteria. The New York Times editorialized in 1925 for "faith, even of a grain of mustard seed, in the evolution of life." The Times said evolution gives us hope for progress: "If man has evolved, it is inconceivable that the process should stop and leave him in his present imperfect state. Specific creation has no such promise for man." 

Specific creation, of course, has the ultimate promise: God cares. Sadly, many look desperately for hope elsewhere, anywhere. Last month the New York Times editorial page editor, consistent with his predecessors, criticized critics of evolution who have "learned to manufacture doubt." The Times, of course, daily manufactures doubt regarding God, but thunders, "Thou shalt not doubt" evolution. If other states follow Tennessee's example, we'll have a robust debate instead of more attempts to suppress it.


World Magazine (Marvin Olasky) - Doubting Darwin 

For more:
On Why Darwin Still Matters
"Does Revelation Teach Us Evolution?": The Prince of Preachers on the Question of Evolution
Expelled: A Film About Freedom, Evolution, and Intelligent Design
The Other Side of the Story: Breivik & the Link To Social Darwinism
Expelled:  A Movie We Must Take Seriously
Natural Morality:  The Disconnect Between Darwinism and Morality
They Are Who We Thought They Were: The Empty Case Against Religion By the Daily Kos
From Darwin to Hitler and Beyond: Making the Connections and How They Affect Us Today
The Mising Story: Ida and the Search For Secular Validation
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