Each new school year brings us again to the front lines of the evolution war in America’s public schools. This time, the opening salvo was fired from as high up the thought-leader tower as it can be.
The secular left is screeching louder than a barrel of monkeys, ballyhooing that intelligent design has no place in America’s schools because it is not scientific but religious. Liberals have redefined science to mean “evolution.” Therefore, evolutionists say if you believe in something else—intelligent design or creationism, for example—you do not believe in science.
But let’s be clear about this for a moment and return to an unmanipulated denotation of the term. In contrasting scientific studies of the last several centuries with those that have gone before, the term “modern science” is the common way to refer to what we do now. Adherents to modern processes rightly pride themselves on the “scientific method” which has brought about every technological revolution from airplanes to microchips. The bedrock of this science is observation and repeatable experimentation. Which means that, strictly speaking, no study of origins—naturalistic, theistic, evolutionary, or creationistic—is science in this way. Since none of us observed the creation of the world and we cannot repeat that event, the clash over the question of origins is not a scientific debate but a philosophical one.
Creationists, evolutionists, theologians, and humanists all have the same evidence, and the data is more like the puzzle pieces an archaeologist assembles from an excavation than like the observations in a chemistry lab. Another way to say it is that one view, naturalistic evolution, is just as scientific or not as the other, intelligent design. The central issue is the grid through which each interprets the information.
Since evolutionists have no evidence for macro-evolution, or vertical change, from one species into another, they have arbitrarily redefined evolution to mean horizontal change, an observable phenomenon correctly qualified as “micro-evolution.” Micro-evolution happens, but it is not one species changing into another. It is the changing of characteristics within a given species. An everyday dog breeding program can change the size of a dog, but this is horizontal, not vertical, change. The breeder starts with a dog and ends up with a dog—a bigger, smarter, prettier dog perhaps but a dog, nonetheless, not a small horse.
Despite what the barrel of monkeys will holler, evolutionists have no unassailable proof—not one iota, none, nada—that any species any time in history, anywhere on the globe has ever changed into another species. That’s why they argue the case for macro-evolution from the observation of micro-evolution, minimizing the chasm that separates the two. But to analogize again: the gulf is less like a hop across the brook in a city park than it is like trying to step across the wide spot in the Grand Canyon. Someone who says macro-evolution happened because we’ve observed micro-evolution is like suggesting that matter transfer (“Beam me up, Scottie”) should be an everyday experience since we all have television sets in our living rooms.
So, I say again, the naturalistic evolution vs. intelligent design debate is really a philosophical one. There is God, or there is not. An all-knowing Intelligent Designer created everything, or It did not. The implications of a supernatural being creating the world with order and design is diametrically opposed to the worldview of humanists who declare they are their only god and the captain of their own souls and destinies.
In a column I wrote last spring, I contended that evolution is the belief system requiring blind faith, not the approach that concludes an Intelligent Designer has been at play in our universe. An evolutionist must believe—in the face of mathematical impossibility and contrary to several known laws of the universe—in billions upon billions of “good” mutations occurring at just the right time and in the right order. The intelligent design theorist (which includes, but is not limited to creationists, by the way) must have faith in just one thing: an all powerful creator that stands outside of creation and who has the capacity to generate the evidently designed things all around us. This latter faith is based on the reasonable assumption that things which look as if they were designed were, in fact, designed by a power capable of creating it.
Evolutionists have excluded the possible answer—and it is a possible answer—that an intelligent designer made the world. Such a ridiculous ban is equal to a teacher telling a class of students there is no such thing as gravity and then asking them why an apple falls from a tree. The teacher has eliminated the very answer to the question proposed. As a result, whatever response the students come up with can only be an inaccurate interpretation of the falling-apple phenomenon. The presupposition guarantees students won’t discover gravity and, worse in the case of the evolution debate, that they won’t find God anywhere they look.
This hope of keeping people away from God is a powerful toxin in the stream of rational thought. Evidence not supporting, evolutionists hold on to Darwin's theory even though it pre-dates the discovery of the cell’s complexity and DNA, even though no fossils demonstrate transitional forms, and even though their own reckonings set an age of the universe that is only a nano-fraction of the length of time their process would take even using the most conservative mathematical models available. The antiquated theory of evolution seems to have the same appeal to its adherents as the flat-earth theory held centuries ago. Ironically, it is not the “religious” community these days who are the modern flat-earthers. Apparently, we’re the ones who can draw the rational conclusions from what we see, even if the status quo tries to squash the evidence.
Evolution is a house of cards that really fell a long time ago. What remains is the nothing but the shouting. And if you listen carefully, you’ll recognize that it sounds a good bit like a barrel of monkeys.