On one occasion, the disciples of Jesus were afraid that they were about to die in a violent storm on Lake Galilee, and He rebuked them in these words: "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" (Mark 4:40).
There may be a sort of obverse parallel here in connection with the alarm being expressed by Darwin's disciples today over the storm generated by creationism in the evolutionary establishment. Their control of the nation's public school system is being threatened, they fear, by creation seeking entrance into their domain.
William Provine, of Cornell University, made this point to his fellow evolutionists several years ago. In words of rare evolutionary consistency, he advised as follows:
And I have a suggestion for evolutionists. Include discussion of supernatural origins in your classes, and promote discussion of them in public and other schools. Come off your high horse about having only evolution taught in science classes. The exclusionism you promote is painfully self-serving and smacks of elitism. Why are you afraid of confronting the supernatural creationism believed by the majority of persons in the USA and perhaps worldwide?1
Nevertheless, an urgent appeal for funds was recently sent out by Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, Executive Director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). She notes with alarm that:
In just the last eighteen months, anti-evolutionary legislation was introduced [in ten states,] and in the United States Congress itself.2
Most of these bills were not to ban evolution, of course, but only allow for the inclusion of the scientific evidence for creation along with evolution. Some merely wanted evidence for "intelligent design" to be included—or even just the negative scientific evidence against evolution.
The question is just why are the leaders of evolutionism so fearful of allowing even a hint of creation or theism into the public schools? They are supremely confident (so they say) that science proves evolution, so any classroom discussion of the pros and cons should always result in firming up their students' faith in evolution. Note the following from a recent book on evolution.
Evolution is a Fact. The idea that life on Earth has been evolving for some 3.5 billion years is not a theory. It is a fact. It is the only possible interpretation of the numerous different kinds of evidence that scientists have been uncovering for well over a century.3
If that is so, the result of such classroom discussions would strengthen the case for evolution—would it not?
After all, almost half the support for public schools comes from taxpayers who don't believe in evolution, so don't their opinions count for something?
"Scientific" creationists have succeeded in holding their ground with the American public despite decades of debates with scientists: recent Gallup polling shows that 45 percent of Americans believe in a young earth and a literal Adam and Eve, a number that has not significantly changed in thirty years.4
In recent decades, vast numbers of parents have opted to place their young people in private schools or home schools, and this is certainly one of the main reasons.
What are evolutionists afraid of? They use the smokescreen of church/state separation, but this could not be the real reason. It has been shown that the First Amendment was never intended to remove God or creation from the schools.
There is also the constant refrain that all scientists are evolutionists, so only evolution should be taught in science classes.
But that is not true either. There are thousands of scientists who are creationists,5 and probably many times that number who simply suppose evolution is true because their leaders say so.
Creation scientists may be in the minority so far, but their number is growing, and most of them (like this writer) were evolutionists at one time, having changed to creationism at least in part because of what they decided was the weight of scientific evidence. Admittedly, the scientific "establishment" (members of National Academy of Science, officers and leading writers in scientific societies, textbook writers, professors on major university facilities, etc.) are almost all thoroughly committed to evolution. As Richard Morris has said:
Many lay people conceive of science as a body of knowledge that has become more or less firmly established. To some extent this is true. For example it is not likely that anything short of divine revelation is ever going to convince biologists that evolution did not happen.6
But divine revelation will not convince them either! There is overwhelming evidence that the Bible is the written Word of God, and they have already rejected that.
Instead of science, their commitment to evolutionism properly should be called scientism. One of their leading spokesmen, Michael Shermer, has in effect not only admitted this fact but also actually gloried in it.
Scientism is a scientific worldview that encompasses natural explanations for all phenomena, eschews supernatural and paranormal speculations, and embraces empiricism and reason as the twin pillars of a philosophy of life appropriate for an age of Science. . . . cosmology and evolutionary theory ask the ultimate origin questions that have traditionally been the province of religion and theology.7
And they reject creation science because it has religious overtones! But there is more.
We follow . . . the dictates of our shamans; . . . it is scientism's shamans who command our veneration. . . . with scientism as the foundational stratum of our story and scientists as the premier mythmakers of our time.8
As creationists have pointed out repeatedly, evolution is not science, but religion and Shermer has beautifully described its religious structure. Since they think evolution is the true religion, its leaders (Shermer calls them "shamans") are desperately defending it against what they consider a false religion.
But despite what they loudly allege, the creation "religion" is scientific. Its predictions concerning scientific laws and processes of the present and the fossil record of the past are precisely confirmed in the real world.
No wonder they are afraid of dealing realistically with the evidence, instead relying on intimidation to maintain their monolithic control over the religion of the schools—which is nothing less than the religion of secular humanism and atheism.
ICR has a small booklet entitled, The Scientific Case Against Evolution, which briefly documents the fact (from the statements of evolutionary scientists only) that there is no scientific evidence for past evolution, present evolution, or possible evolution. When she visited ICR several months ago, I challenged Eugenie Scott to review the booklet and refute it if she could, then later reminded her by letter of this challenge.
Whether she ever read it, I don't know. I have not heard from her since. But she is as adamantly committed to evolution as ever, and is vigorously trying to increase the membership of her NCSE. In her fundraising letter, Dr. Scott says:
And remember we are always available to help when creationism rears its ugly head. . . . Right now, for example, we are helping members in Ohio fight off a determined effort to include intelligent design creationism in the state's education standards.9
Whatever arguments they are using in Ohio, I feel confident they are not trying to demonstrate the scientific "proofs" of evolution nor its non-religious character. Evolution is scientism, not science. It has no place in the public schools, except as an atheistic philosophy of life.
Why are they so fearful of creation science? The obvious answer is that they are men and women of strong faith in evolution, but that is a religious faith, not able to overcome the waves on the sea of scientific facts that support creation.
- William B. Provine, in Biology and Philosophy (vol. 8, no. 1, January 1993), p. 124.
- Eugenie C. Scott: Undated, untitled letter to NCSE supporters and constituents, p. 1. The address of NCSE is P.O. Box 9477, Berkeley, CA., 94709.
- Richard D. Morris. "The Evolutionists: The Struggle for Darwin's Soul" (New York: W. H. Freeman & Co, 2001), 262 pp. [emphasis is his].
- Mark A. Wilson, "Geology Confronts Creationism" Skeptical Inquirer (volume 26. January/February 2002), p. 52.
- There are at least 74 scientists who participate in the work of ICR in some significant way, at least 26 of whom are biologists, see the ICR Impact article #346 "The ICR Scientists" in Acts & Facts, April 2002. The Creation Research Society has several hundred-scientist members, and there are dozens of creationist associations all over the world.
- Richard Morris, op. cit., p. 227.
- Michael Shermer, "The Shamans of Scientism" Scientific American (June 2002) p. 35.
- Eugenie Scott, op. cit., p. 3.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. 2002. What Are They Afraid Of?. Acts & Facts. 31 (12).