The View From 1776

Ohio Subjects Darwinian Dogma to Scientific Scrutiny

In the true spirit of science, Ohio is giving students the opportunity to examine both sides of the story and decide truth based on real evidence.

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In a March 22, 2004, article, Ohio lesson plan pleases conservatives, irks apostles of Darwin Phyllis Schlafly writes:   

“Why is it important for scientists to critically analyze evolution?”

That’s the first question in the “student reflection” portion of a controversial 22-page section called “Critical Analysis of Evolution,” which is now part of Ohio’s 547-page public school science curriculum.

How could anybody object to such an innocuous question? Newspapers report a steady stream of news that scientists are questioning such dogmas as good cholesterol vs. bad cholesterol, vaccine links to autism, the causes of breast cancer, even fluoridation for children’s teeth. Isn’t the nature of science to question assertions and seek the proof from evidence?

On Feb. 10, the Ohio State Board of Education approved the new curriculum by a vote of 13-5 after being persuaded by 22 Ohio scientists that the lesson plan promotes academic freedom and that it is good for students in 10th grade to have an inquiring mind about evolution.

“Are we about teaching students how to think, or what to think?” asked one parent supporter of the lesson plan.

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The writer of this present weblog article is gratified to have played a tiny part in the Ohio struggle, having submitted a brief in February, 2002, supporting Intelligent Design vs Darwinian evolution to the Education Committee of the Ohio State Assembly and the Ohio Board of Education at the request of Dr. Deborah Owens-Fink, a professor at the University of Akron and a member of the Ohio Board of Education.

Several points need explanation and emphasis with regard to Darwinian evolution as it has been taught to young students for more than a hundred years.  There is so much to be said in this regard that it will become the subject of additional articles in the future.

First, Darwin’s theory of evolution may, in fact, be a true explanation for the origin of new species and may therefore be a proof that all forms of life evolved, purely by random accident, from a single, original living cell.  Unfortunately for advocates of Darwin’s theory there is no evidence to prove the theory.  Nothing at all.  It remains only an interesting speculation that is still in search of substantiating evidence.

Evolutionary theory declares that some single-cell life form just “happened,“and that all of our present and past complex life forms evolved thereafter through the mechanism of natural selection.  In this theory, random mutations in physical characteristics of a life form could make the individuals possessing it more able to survive in greater numbers as external, material conditions changed.  Individuals not possessing the random new features would either perish or survive in fewer numbers than their fellows.  If this process continued over unimaginably long time periods, life forms at the end of the chain would have become so different from original forms as to have become entirely new species.

Few people question the starting thesis.  We can see in everyday life that individuals in any group display varying characteristics and that, because of them, some individuals flourish more than others.  Darwin’s theory lives or dies on the huge leap it must make in moving from that observation to declaring that all, vastly differentiated life forms came about in this manner.  In actuality, nothing in the realm of science has been found that would offer more than “might have been” inferential support.  There is absolutely not a single piece of incontrovertible evidence of the kind Darwin confidently predicted would be found.  For a thorough-going analysis of this assertion, see the works listed under the link in the right-hand, “Books to Read” side-bar of this website.

Let’s look at the single most important body of evidence and the one on which Darwin hung his hat.  If evolution by natural selection is really the only process determining life forms, the fossil record should show a steady, almost limitless, gradual progression in intermediate life forms between species, as one gradually evolved into a new one.  Only simple life forms should be found in the earliest fossils, and more complex life forms should appear only in later fossils, with each succeeding fossil record showing a dying out of earlier life forms that were not adapted to changing conditions.

 

To Darwin’s dismay,  subsequent fossil discoveries completely contradict the predictions of evolution.  The most surprising finding is that the bulk of plants and animals living today are exactly the same as they were hundreds of millions of years ago, with no evidence of evolution.  Clearly, climate and other conditions on earth have undergone enormous changes during those eons.  Some forms, famously the dinosaurs, perished.  But why didn’t all of these early life forms evolve if their destiny is controlled entirely by random changes in external conditions?

More damning for Darwin, it was discovered that, in the Cambrian period roughly 600 million years ago, life forms took a sudden and dramatic leap, all at once.  Before the Cambrian period, life forms had been invertebrates (lacking back-bones).  At one shot, in the Cambrian period almost all presently known phyla of vertebrates and complex plants appear, fully differentiated with none of the millions of gradually evolving, intermediate forms predicted by Darwin’s theory.

Darwinians were also undercut by Mendel’s demonstrations of heredity principles.  Discoveries in RNA and DNA theory fail to support evolution.  Mathematicians have calculated the observed rate of random genetic variations in living creatures and the time periods needed for those random changes to produce observable changes in physical characteristics.  Their conclusion is that the universe is not old enough for the billions of changes required for all complex life forms and specialized organs like eyes, lungs, and circulatory systems to have evolved from a single-cell living creature.

Darwinian theorists, like trapped beasts, have spent the intervening decades thrashing about seeking an escape from the facts.  Carl Sagan, for example, said that the leaps in fossil recods were explained by extra-terrestrials having brought new life forms here from other planets.  In short, one must believe in magic and alchemy to retain faith in Darwinian evolution.

Why then do advocates of Darwinian evolution insist so vehemently that only Darwinian evolutionary theory be taught in our schools?  Why do they denounce any questioning of it as an effort to destroy science and to push society back into ignorance and superstition?

As is true of most such issues in our cultural civil war, the answer is that Darwinian evolution is a fundamental dogma in liberals’ religion of socialism.  John Dewey, the father of socialist Progressive Education and the formulator of the ends-justify-the-means philosophy of Pragmatism, used Darwin’s theory as the rock-bottom foundation of his doctrines.  Progressive education is aimed at shaping young students to be good socialists, and Darwinian evolutionary theory is an essential part of it.

Darwin’s theory appeared soon after the introduction of socialist theory and at the same time that Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were producing their monumental works on the religion of socialism.  Marxians eagerly adopted Darwin’s evolutionary theory as a support for their faith in the inevitable triumph of socialism.  Marxians believed in a secular and materialistic world that was entirely a product of people’s physical surroundings of work conditions and government regulations.  Darwinians believed that all of life evolved in blind response to random materialistic forces.  Both Darwin and Marx rejected the idea that humans have a fixed, God-given nature that reaches its highest expression in pursuit of the moral values taught by spiritual religions.

Above all, Darwin?s theory of evolution was intended to cut the legs from under Western civilization?s model of a universe conforming to a unified design that the Bible calls the Mind of God.  It is an unapologetic rationalization for a completely materialistic world that bears no resemblance to the Creation pictured in the Bible?s Book of Genesis.  It is not coincidental that Darwin and most of his followers in 1859 and afterwards were atheists or agnostics.

Darwin stated candidly that his theory aimed to destroy literal belief in the Bible?s Book of Genesis.  His family, starting with an uncle whose published work challenged Christian orthodoxy, were somewhat notorious agnostics.  In the original version of his autobiography, Darwin wrote that he was opposed to ?the damnable doctrine? of Christianity and the Bible.

Our Constitution, which is based entirely upon natural-law concepts that the Declaration of Independence calls “the Laws of Nature and Nature’s God,”  is diametrically opposed to the views inherent in Darwinian evolution.  The two are based on completely different ideas about human nature and the source of legitimacy for political order.  Present-day American liberals gloss over this point, but their Darwinian grandparents quite openly called for abolishing our Constitutional government and replacing it with socialism.  Needless to say, Darwin?s doctrine opposing natural law has been a comfort to tyrants, from Napoleon and Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, to Mao.

Evolution, therefore, cannot be a subject of rational discussion.  Liberals must fight to prevent teaching anything that supports Western civilization’s traditions of human nature and personal morality, rooted in the natural-law understanding of a God-given universe.  Students must be catechized to accept Darwin?s theory unquestioningly as an article of blind religious faith.

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