PBS and "Evolution" - Tax Dollars Diverted For Religious Teaching

Dr. Michael Ruse, a leading authority on the philosophy of science, wrote: "Evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular religion—a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. . . . Evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and is true of evolution still today" (National Post, May 13, 2000). Being the unobservable, untestable, unrepeatable process that it is, at best, a way of thinking, a way to select research topics, and interpret results. In reality, it is a religion, a worldview, a dogma forced on society as well as on research.

Evolution, it has been noted, can't truly be tested, and certainly not repeated, thus it falls outside of empirical science and into the realm of a philosophy, or history, or as Ruse suggests, "religion." But what if there is an alternative philosophy or history with stronger scientific support? Should not objective scientists search all possibilities with an open mind and should not educators expose their students to them?

Darwinian Religion of Evolution

As logical as this seems, it has escaped the group of avowed atheists and "theistic" evolutionists gathered to promote evolutionary naturalism on the winsomely done PBS special "Evolution," an eight-hour documentary which aired nationally on September 24-27, 2001. Funded primarily by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen, it paraded the same evolution advocates we see on most evolution programs, from Stephen J. Gould to Richard Dawkins, to Ken Miller to Eugenie Scott, and they paraded a hopeless set of evidences for variation and adaptation as if they proved evo-lution of basic categories of life. They and others included in their arguments various "truisms," like fruit flies mutate, bacteria become resistant to antibiotics, finch beaks vary, insects become resistant to insecticides, mutations produce misfits, apes are similar in some ways to humans, animals compete, etc. Creationists insist all these things are true and fully supportive of creation. How can they be proof for evolution? Knowledgeable viewers would be disappointed to find no real evidence for large-scale evolution. Stories and unsupported theories everywhere substitute for evidence.

Could it be that the religious underpinning of evolution is the reason? Often the point surfaces in a variety of ways that evolution is science while creation is religion. "Only outdated fundamentalists still believe in creation, but all scientists believe in evolution." "It's okay if you believe in creation, but don't confuse it with truth." Thinking people recognize that a lie like this merely underscores the religious nature of the program and its intended use as an evangelistic piece for the naturalistic religion.

To back this up, Richard Lewontin, leading evolutionist from Harvard, admits in a recent article that evolutionists "take the side of science (i.e., naturalism, ed.) in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, . . . in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated commitment to materialism, . . . we are forced by our a priori adherence to material (i.e., natural, ed.) causes to create an apparatus of investigation and set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counterintuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door." (Richard Lewontin, in New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997.)

Thus he claims that belief in and propagation of evolution, as held by the producers of the video series, justifies even "absurd concepts, unsubstantiated commitment to materialism, and counterintuitive explanations," and this is the stuff of the series! Nowhere is there any evidence for true evolution, only evolutionary interpretations of evidence. Nowhere is there admission of the possible existence of another interpretation, for there is none if you are religiously locked in naturalism.

The condescending nod to those non-naturalists who hold that belief in both God and evolution is legitimate if you assign them to different spheres, rings hollow in the face of Will Provine's (Cornell University) admission that: "belief in modern evolution makes atheists of people. One can have a religious view that is compatible with evolution only if the religious view is indistinguishable from atheism." (Will Provine, "No Free Will," in Catching Up with the Vision, ed. by Margaret W. Rossiter, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1999, p. S123.)

"Evolution" has a well-planned marketing strategy to get the videos and accompanying documents into the public schools of the land. But evolution and "Evolution" are religious and do not belong in the schools. The people of America have a First Amendment right to expect that federal monies (i.e., PBS) should not be used to favor one religion over another. I say keep the religion of naturalism as preached in these videos, out of our public schools. They contain beautiful pictures, but bad science. In reality they present a deceitful evangelistic onslaught against Christianity and should be soundly rejected.

Cite this article: John D. Morris, Ph.D. 2001. PBS and "Evolution" - Tax Dollars Diverted For Religious Teaching. Acts & Facts. 30 (12).

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