Evolution versus the People
by Henry M. Morris, Ph.D.
President Bush's important Elementary and Secondary Education Bill, H.R. 1, was signed into law (P. L. 107-110) on January 8, 2002. It contained the following statement, representing the "sense" of the Congress.1
The Conferees recognize that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science. Where topics are taught that may guarantee controversy (such as biological evolution) the curriculum should help students to understand the full range of scientific views that exist, why such topics may generate controversy, and how scientific discoveries can profoundly affect society.
The above language was intended to encourage classroom discussion of all the scientific arguments, pro and con, about evolution. It was originally offered in the form of an Amendment to the Senate Education Bill, introduced by Rick Santorum (R-Pennsylvania) following his visit to 150 schools of his state, listening to recommendations of the teachers, parents, administrators, and students of these schools.
Senator Santorum's amendment was strongly endorsed by such key Democrats as Ted Kennedy and Robert Byrd, and passed the Senate by a vote of 91-8. The bill itself passed by 87-10. It had previously passed the House. The Senate/House Conference Committee then was subjected to much negative pressure by the evolutionary establishment and finally moved the amendment in the Conference Report to a place in the "Joint Explanatory Statement." However, it left its language essentially unchanged.
Eugenie Scott, representing the evolutionary establishment, put an evolutionary "spin" on this statement, interpreting it to say that "teachers do not have to alter how they teach evolution as a result of the Education Bill."2
Most others, however, including Senator Santorum himself, understand it differently. He writes:
My amendment was included in the final version of the bill, H.R.1. Specifically, the amendment expresses the sense of the conferees that a quality science education should prepare students to distinguish the data and testable theories of science from religious or philosophical claims that are made in the name of science.3
Among Santorum's earlier "talking points," when introducing and promoting his amendment, was the following:
My amendment simply states that it is the sense of the Senate that honest intellectual debate and the teaching of consistent scientific principles should include the evidence for and against materialism, intelligent design in biological and "scientific" education.
Thus, the bill clearly encourages teachers to include the scientific evidence against evolution in classes where evolution is being assumed. As Senator Santorum indicated: "National opinion surveys show . . . that Americans overwhelmingly desire to have students learn the scientific arguments against, as well as for, Darwin's theory."4
Massimo Pigliucci, a biologist who has actually taken part in several creation/evolution debates says in the journal Evolution:
As unbelievable as it may seem, poll after poll not only confirms that only about 10% of Americans believe that evolution occurs, but also that about a third of high school biology teachers rejects the theory of evolution.5
Evolutionists like Pigliucci find it "unbelievable" that so many Americans—even biology teachers—reject evolution! What has gone wrong, they ask.
One arrogant explanation for this situation is that most people cannot understand the nuances of evolution.
Despite the acceptance of Darwin's ideas by most thoughtful individuals, nearly half of the general population in the United States rejects them.6
Note the implication that people who are "thoughtful" believe in evolution. However, there are now thousands of fully credentialed scientists, as well as thousands of well-educated and thoughtful people in other fields who have become creationists in the past half-century.
Furthermore, most people who still believe in evolution do so because their teachers and the media repeatedly have assured them that all scientists are evolutionists, but they have little or no knowledge themselves of the actual evidence. This "problem" is all blamed on "Christian fundamentalists" who are responsible for "creating a situation that has led to a dumbing down of evolution education in U.S. science classes,"7 so they say.
One proposed remedy for this situation is to have universities celebrate February 12 as Darwin Day. There now exists "an international Darwin Day organization presided over by Richard Dawkins which coordinates efforts on dozens of university campuses to put some sanity back into our science education."8 By "sanity," Professors Pigliucci and Dawkins presumably imply more naturalism and secular humanism. Both men are atheists, and so are Eugenie Scott and most other leading evolutionists.
Another suggestion is to downplay the origin of life as an evolutionary event and focus on just the origin of species. The origin of life itself has proved too intractable to deal with naturalistically.
For example, the contents of volume 54 (2000) of Evolution comprise 192 primary research articles, but not one that concerns the origins of life.9
In fact, practically all the articles in the journal Evolution deal merely with examples of variation (such as different varieties of dogs and cats), though they call it evolution. Creationists have no problem with microevolution, except for its misleading name. Of course evolutionists believe by faith that these small horizontal variations, if they continue long enough, will evolve into significant vertical changes, or macroevolution.
The creationist tactic of falsely separating micro from macroevolution has led to science teaching standards that include language about adaptation and natural selection while omitting language on common descent.10
The fact is, of course, that adaptation and natural selection are observable processes in the real world, whereas common descent of two or more distinct kinds from some different ancestral kind is not. Real evolution from one kind to another kind is based on faith, not observation.
Evolutionists often repeat their own statement of faith that evolution is a science. Michael Shermer, for example, insists that "the theory of evolution is a scientific theory, not a religious doctrine. It stands or falls on evidence alone."11
If that were really so, it would have fallen long ago, because the scientific evidence (that is, observable, repeatable evidence) is altogether absent.
There are literally scores of books available today, written by knowledgeable scientists, showing that there is no valid scientific evidence for evolution. But evolutionists ignore them.
For those unwilling to read a large book, we have a small booklet, The Scientific Case Against Evolution, which documents from scientific evolutionary sources alone the fact that evolution did not occur in the past, does not occur in the present, and could not occur at all. Apparently they won't read this either. At least, no one has tried to refute it.
The evidence that evolutionism is religion and not science is easily understood by anyone. No wonder the polls show large numbers in favor of including creation teaching in our public schools. In effect, our Congress and the President have now officially recognized this fact, via the Santorum amendment in the new education bill.
We hope that both the many creationist biology teachers and also many open-
minded evolutionary teachers will now recognize and act on this fact.
But don't count on it. As the Bible has said: "But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world [that is Satan, who is very powerful, and very deceptive] hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them" (II Corinthians 4:3,4).
- Congressional Record-House (December 18, 2001) H 9951.
- NCSE Resource, "Santorum Amendment Stripped from Education Bill," p. 2. The author, Dr. Eugenie Scott, is Director of the National Center for Science Education, the more or less official action center for anti-creationism.
- Rick Santorum, form letter, February 5, 2002.
- Rick Santorum, statement issued on December 18, 2001.
- Massimo Pigliucci, "Defending Evolution, as Strange as it Seems" Evolution (vol. 56, No. 1, 2002), p. 206.
- Arthur M. Jackson, "Celebrating Darwin Day," The Humanist (vol. 62, January/February 2002), p. 46.
- Pigliucci, op. cit., p. 207. Arthur Jackson assures us that celebrating Darwin Day "has grown significantly to become an international event" (Jackson, op. cit.) p. 46.
- Michael F. Antolin and Joan M. Herbers, "Evolution's Struggle for Existence in America's Public Schools," Evolution (vol. 55, December 2001), p. 2381.
- Ibid., p. 2383. Note the quixotic title of this article. Are creationists really making evolutionism struggle for its existence? They have never tried to ban evolution, but only allow creation in as an alternative.
- Michael Shermer, Why People Believe Weird Things (New York: W. H. Freeman, 1997), p. 135.
Cite this article: Henry M. Morris, Ph.D. 2002. Evolution versus the People. Acts & Facts. 31 (5).