Evolution Is Religion, Not Science
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
Evolutionists often insist that evolution is a proved fact of science, providing the very framework of scientific interpretation, especially in the biological sciences. This, of course, is nothing but wishful thinking. Evolution is not even a scientific hypothesis, since there is no conceivable way in which it can be tested.
THE RELIGIOUS ESSENCE OF EVOLUTIONISM
As a matter of fact, many leading evolutionists have recognized the essentially "religious" character of evolutionism. Even though they themselves believe evolution to be true, they acknowledge the fact that they believe it! "Science", however, is not supposed to be something one "believes". Science is knowledge—that which can be demonstrated and observed and repeated. Evolution cannot be proved, or even tested; it can only be believed.
For example, two leading evolutionary biologists have described modern neo-Darwinism as "part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training". 1 A prominent British biologist, a Fellow of the Royal Society, in the Introduction to the 1971 edition of Darwin's Origin of Species, said that "belief in the theory of evolution" was "exactly parallel to belief in special creation,"with evolution merely "a satisfactory faith on which to base our interpretation of nature". 2 G.H. Harper calls it a "metaphysical belief". 3
Ernst Mayr, the outstanding Harvard evolutionary biologist, calls evolution "man's world view today". 4 Sir Julian Huxley, probably the outstanding evolutionist of the twentieth century saw "evolution as a universal and all-pervading process"5 and, in fact, nothing less than "the whole of reality." 6 A leading evolutionary geneticist of the present day, writing an obituary for Theodosius Dobzhansky, who himself was probably the nation's leading evolutionist at the time of his death in 1975, says that Dobzhansky's view of evolution followed that of the notorious Jesuit priest, de Chardin.
The place of biological evolution in human thought was, according to Dobzhansky, best expressed in a passage that he often quoted from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: '(Evolution) is a general postulate to which all theories, all hypotheses, all systems must henceforward bow and which they must satisfy in order to be thinkable and true. Evolution is a light which illuminates all facts, a trajectory which all lines of thought must follow.’ 7
The British physicist, H.S. Lipson, has reached the following conclusion.
In fact, evolution became in a sense a scientific religion; almost all scientists have accepted it and many are prepared to 'bend' their observations to fit in with it. 8
The man whom Dobzhansky called "France's leading zoologist." although himself an evolutionist, said that scientists should "destroy the myth of evolution" as a simple phenomenon which is "unfolding before us". 9 Dr. Colin Patterson, Senior Paleontologist at the British Museum of Natural History, by any accounting one of the world's top evolutionists today, has recently called evolution "positively anti-knowledge", saying that "all my life I had been duped into taking evolutionism as revealed truth". 10 In another address he called evolution "story-telling". 11 All of the above-cited authorities are (or were) among the world's foremost authorities on evolutionism. Note again the terms which they use in describing evolution.
|Evolutionary dogma||A scientific religion|
|A satisfactory faith||The myth of evolution|
|Man's world view||Anti-knowledge|
|All-pervading process||Revealed truth|
|The whole of reality||An illuminating light|
Charles Darwin himself called evolution "this grand view of life". Now such grandiloquent terms as these are not scientific terms! One does not call the law of gravity, for example, "a satisfactory faith", nor speak of the laws of thermodynamics as "dogma". Evolution is, indeed, a grand world view, but it is not science. Its very comprehensiveness makes it impossible even to test scientifically. As Ehrlich and Birch have said: "Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it.—No one can think of ways in which to test it". 12
RELIGIONS BASED ON EVOLUTION
In view of the fundamentally religious nature of evolution, it is not surprising to find that most world religions are themselves based on evolution. It is certainly unfitting for educators to object to teaching scientific creationism in public schools on the ground that it supports Biblical Christianity when the existing pervasive teaching of evolution is supporting a host of other religions and philosophies.
The concept of evolution did not originate with Charles Darwin. It has been the essential ingredient of all pagan religions and philosophies from time immemorial (e.g., atomism, pantheism, stoicism, gnosticism and all other humanistic and polytheistic systems). All beliefs which assume the ultimacy of the space/time/matter universe, presupposing that the universe has existed from eternity, are fundamentally evolutionary systems. The cosmos, with its innate laws and forces, is the only ultimate reality. Depending on the sophistication of the system, the forces of the universe may be personified as gods and goddesses who organized the eternal chaotic cosmos into its present form (as in ancient Babylonian and Egyptian religions), or else may themselves be invested with organizing capabilities (as in modern scientific evolutionism). In all such cases, these are merely different varieties of the fundamental evolutionist world view, the essential feature of which is the denial that there is one true God and Creator of all things.
In this perspective, it becomes obvious that most of the great world religions—Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Animism, etc. are based on evolution. Creationism is the basis of only such systems as Orthodox Judaism, Islam and Biblical Christianity. The liberal varieties of Judaism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism, as well as most modern pseudo-Christian cults, are all based on evolution.
All of this points up the absurdity of banning creationist teaching from the schools on the basis that it is religious. The schools are already saturated with the teaching of religion in the guise of evolutionary "science". In the modern school of course, this teaching mostly takes the form of secular humanism, which its own proponents claim to be a "nontheistic religion". It should also be recalled that such philosophies as communism, fascism, socialism, nazism, and anarchism have been claimed by their founders and promoters to be based on what they regarded as scientific evolutionism. If creation is excluded from the schools because it is compatible with Christian "fundamentalism", should not evolution also be banned since it is the basis of communism and nazism?
THE SCIENTIFIC IRRELEVANCE OF EVOLUTION
Some people have deplored the questioning of evolution on the ground that this is attacking science itself. In a recent debate, the evolutionist whom the writer debated did not attempt to give any scientific evidences for evolution, electing instead to spend his time defending such scientific concepts as atomic theory, relativity, gravity, quantum theory and science in general, stating that attacking evolution was tantamount to attacking science!
The fact is, however, that the elimination of evolutionary interpretations from science would hardly be noticed at all, in terms of real scientific understanding and accomplishment. G.H. Harper comments on this subject as follows:
It is frequently claimed that Darwinism is centeral to modern biology. On the contrary, if all references to Darwinism suddenly disappeared, biology would remain substantially unchanged. It would merely have lost a little color. Grandiose doctrines in science are like some occupants of high office; they sound very important but have in fact been promoted to a position of ineffectuality. 13
The scientific irrelevance of evolutionism has been strikingly (but, no doubt, inadvertently) illustrated in a recent issue of Science News. This widely read and highly regarded weekly scientific journal was cormmemorating its sixtieth anniversary, and this included a listing of what it called the "scientific highlights" of the past sixty years. 14
Of the sixty important scientific discoveries and accomplishments which were chosen, only six could be regarded as related in any way to evolutionist thought. These six were as follows:
(1). 1927. Discovery that radiation increases mutation rates in fruit flies.
(2). 1943. Demonstration that nucleic acids carry genetic information.
(3). 1948. Enunciation of the "big bang" cosmology.
(4). 1953. Discovery of the "double helix" structure of DNA.
(5). 1961. First step taken in cracking the genetic code.
(6). 1973. Development of procedures for producing recombinant DNA molecules.
Four of these six "highlights" are related to the structure and function of DNA. Even though evolutionists have supposed that these concepts somehow correlate with evolution, the fact is that the remarkable DNA molecule provides strong evidence of original creation (since it is far too complex to have arisen by chance) and of conservation of that creation (since the genetic code acts to guarantee reproduction of the same kind, not evolution of new kinds). One of the two other highlights showed how to increase mutations but, since all known true mutations are harmful, this contributed nothing whatever to the understanding of evolution. One (the "big bang" concept) was indeed an evolutionary idea but it is still an idea which has never been proved and today is increasingly being recognized as incompatible with basic physical laws.
Consequently, it is fair to conclude that no truly significant accomplishment of modern science either depends on evolution or supports evolution! There would certainly be no detriment to real scientific learning if creation were incorporated as an alternative to evolution in school curricula. It would on the other hand, prove a detriment to the pervasive religion of atheistic humanism which now controls our schools.
1. Paul Ehrlich and L.C. Birch, Nature, Apr. 22, 1967, p. 352.
2. L. Harrison Matthews, "Introduction" to Origin of Species (London, J.M. Dent and Sons 1971, p. X.
3. G.H. Harper, "Alternatives to Evolutionism", School Science Review (V. 51 Sep. 1979), p 26.
4. Ernst Mayr, "Evolution". Scientific American (V. 239, Sep. 1978), p. 47.
5. Julian Huxley, "Evolution and Genetics", Ch.. 8 in What is Science? (Ed. J.R. Newrnan, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1955), p. 272.
6. Ibid, p. 278.
7. Francisco Ayala, "Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution: Theodosius Dobzhansky, 1900-1975", Journal of Heredity, (V. 68, No. 3, 1977), p. 3.
8. H.S. Lipson, "A Physicist Looks at Evolution", Physics Bulletin (V. 31, n.d. 1980).
9. Pierre P. Grasse, Evolution of Living Organisms (New York, Academic Press, 1977), p. 8.
10. Colin Patterson, "Evolution and Creationism", Transcript of Speech at American Museum of Natural History, Nov. 5, 1981, p. 2.
11. Colin Patterson, "Cladistics", Interview on BBC Telecast, Peter Franz, Interviewer, Mar. 4, 1982.
12. Ehrlich and Holm, op cit.
13. G.H. Harper, op cit., p, 26.
14. "Six Decades of Science Highlights", Science News (V. 121, Mar. 13, 1982), p. 192.
Cite this article: Morris, H. M. 1982. Evolution Is Religion, Not Science. Acts & Facts. 11 (5).