Willful Ignorance

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We frequently receive requests from readers asking us to reply to anti-creation articles appearing in their local papers. The problem is that such articles appear so frequently all over the country--in scientific journals and popular magazines as well as newspapers--that we could not possibly reply to all of them. When we do try to write such a response, it usually is not published anyway. Even when one is published it usually is edited and its message diluted.

Consequently, we have in recent years tended just to ignore these attacks and to get on with our mission. However, a recent lead editorial in our own local paper (San Diego Union-Tribune, 8/5/05) was so blatantly misleading that I was almost tempted to write to the editor anyhow.

The article, in fact, was itself written as a negative reaction to President Bush's recently publicized statement that he felt intelligent design should be taught in public schools along with secular evolutionism, thus allowing students to think and decide for themselves. The writer called his editorial "Creationism Redux," by which title he seemed to be suggesting that the intelligent design movement was nothing but "creationism with a slick makeover" (his words). Intelligent design, he said, is "worthy of respectful acknowledgement in any discussion of philosophy and religion," but any "admiration for its scientific value is laughable." Even so, he says it is "much more compelling than crude theories of creationism, which depict Bible class as tantamount to biology 101 and geology 101 combined."

The best one can say of such gratuitous comments is that this anonymous editorial writer, and many other such opinionated wordsmiths, "willingly are ignorant," as the Bible's insightful phrase (2 Peter 3:5) puts it. They have simply not done their homework before pontificating.

Since that writer presumably lives in San Diego, he easily could have checked with some of the scientists at the Institute for Creation Research. He claimed that few creationists or I.D. advocates have degrees in biology, but that is wrong. ICR's biology chairman has a Ph.D. from Harvard, for example, plus much research experience. There are also dozens of fully credentialed biologists in the Creation Research Society and other creationist organizations. Creationists may be in the minority, but scientific truth is never determined by majority vote. And that minority is growing as more and more biologists and other scientists are becoming aware of the actual evidence.

The editorialist approvingly cites a surgeon who has argued that evolution must be true because "physical adaptations to environmental pressures have been documented in hundreds of modern species." This kind of supposed "proof' is given as the main evidence of evolution by almost all evolutionary apologists. The adaptation of insects to pesticides and the different beaks on the Galapagos Island finches (the evidence that so impressed Charles Darwin) are among the most common "evolutionary" adaptations cited by evolutionists. If they would read almost any book by creation scientists, they would know that such horizontal variations (or microevolution) and adaptations are accepted by all creationists, who recognize them as evidence of the Creator's forethought. Each creature has been designed with a genetic system that can recombine its components as needed to keep it from becoming extinct when the environment changes. But evolutionists don't want to imply any validity to creationism by debating its advocates or reading their books. This looks like willful ignorance. We stress again and again that it is only the concept of macroevolution (the transmutation of reptiles into birds and mammals, or of apes into men, or other "upward" changes) that we find void of scientific proof.

In fact, it is just such a reaction on the part of evolutionists that seems to fit Peter's prophecy (in 2 Peter 3:3-4) so perfectly: ". . . there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation." This is precisely the concept of naturalism, or uniformitarianism, which dominates most scientific thinking today, stressing that all natural processes have operated since the very beginning of the world in the same way they do today.

God's Word, the Bible, says otherwise, of course. God "rested" after the six days of creation "from all His work which God created and made" (Genesis 2:3). Whatever processes were used by Him to create and make all things in that beginning week, are, therefore, not in operation today, so cannot be observed scientifically. But most evolutionists categorically deny that there ever was any real creation; therefore they insist that everything must be explained by some kind of evolution.

That is exactly what Peter prophesied would be the situation in the last days. "For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water." That is, Peter was predicting that a time would come--the last days of the age in fact--in which people would be scoffing at Christ's promised return. The reason for such an attitude would be--not just ignorance--but willful ignorance of the primeval creation of the heavens and the earth by the omnipotent Word of God.

Their refusal to understand or even consider the evidence for creation can thus only be described as willful. It reminds me of an atheist professor whom I was trying to win to Christ many years ago while I was teaching at a secular university. I gave him two excellent books to read setting forth the strong evidences for the deity of Christ and the divine origin of the Bible and he at first agreed to read them. A few days later, however, he angrily returned the books, saying he had started reading one of them but then changed his mind and refused to read any more. What he said, as I recall, was something like this; "I don't care what the evidence is: I just don't want to believe" and that was that!

The writer of the local editorial, in common with almost all of the multitudes of evolutionist writers on this issue, insists that evolution has been proved by science, whereas creation (and also more currently, intelligent design) is simply religion and thus should not even be mentioned in science classes.

But evolution has not been proved by science. Surely they ought to know this. Science is based on observability and repeatability but there is no recorded example of true macroevolution in all the thousands of years of human history. That in itself is proof that it is unscientific. Furthermore, there is no way to test it. No matter what kind of evidence for creation is presented, evolutionists can devise an evolutionary "just-so-story" to explain it away.

If they resort to the fossil record and the imagined billions of years of pre-history as their proof (as they, in fact, have to do, since macroevolution is not observed in action today) they must use the principle of uniformitarianism as their warrant for doing so, just as Peter prophesied they would do! "The present is the key to the past" has been their watchword. Even there, however, they can find no real evidence of evolution. In all the billions of fossils known to exist, not one example of a real evolutionary transformational series has ever been found. There ought to be multitudes of such series there if they ever really existed.

There is, therefore, no real scientific evidence of either present or past evolution. Furthermore, the universally acknowledged scientific law of increasing entropy seems clearly to indicate that any significant vertical evolution toward greater organized complexity is impossible without certain artificial constraints (which evolutionism cannot demonstrate are available). Willful ignorance again!

Once I had a formal debate with two biologists on the faculty at a state university. I used the entropy law as one of my main arguments, but neither of the evolutionists even mentioned this argument in their rebuttals. In the question period that followed, the professor who was teaching the course in engineering thermodynamics at that university asked them how they would answer the argument, which seemed valid to him. After consulting with each other, they said they did not know how to answer it, since they had both done poorly in physics. But they still insisted evolution was science.

Peter's prophecy also included the evolutionary rationalization for assuming evolution through long ages in the past. "For this they willingly are ignorant of, . . . the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished" (2 Peter 3:5-6). The Greek word for "overflowed" literally means "cataclysmic." But evolutionists deliberately ignore the Biblical record of the global deluge of Noah's day, as well as the geological evidence of that terrible worldwide cataclysm.

The fact is that virtually every geological formation shows by its fossils and by its very structure that it must have been deposited very rapidly--indeed catastrophically. Although individual formations in a vertical column may be separated from each other by one or more time gaps, there are no worldwide time gaps. That fact can only be explained by a worldwide cataclysm, primarily hydraulic in nature.

Hundreds of anti-creationist articles have been published in recent years, and the Intelligent Design movement is currently being subjected to the same ill treatment. Many of them have been more sarcastic and insulting even than this one mentioned here. The common theme of all of them is that evolution is scientific, while creation and intelligent design are not. The utterly fallacious nature of such a pronouncement is hard to explain by anything other than willful ignorance.

* Dr. Henry Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.

Cite this article: Henry Morris, Ph.D. 2005. Willful Ignorance. Acts & Facts. 34 (10).