A Resolution to encourage equitable treatment of alternate scientific concepts of origins in the public schools and other institutions of the state -
I. WHEREAS, it appears that most, if not all, state-supported educational institutions require students to take courses in which naturalistic concepts of evolution are taught as scientific explanations of origins of the universe, life and man;1 and
II. WHEREAS evolution is not demonstrable as scientific fact or testable as a scientific hypothesis, and therefore must be accepted philosophically by faith;2 and
III. WHEREAS there is another concept of origins -- namely, that of special creation of the universe, life, and man by an omnipotent personal Creator --which is at least as satisfactory a scientific explanation of origins as is evolution, and is accepted as such by a large number of scientists and other well-informed people;3 and
IV. WHEREAS many citizens of this State believe in the special creation concept of origins and are convinced that exclusive indoctrination of their children in the evolutionary concept (including so-called "theistic" evolution) is inimical to their religious faith and to their moral and civic teachings, as well as to scientific objectivity, academic freedom, and civil rights;4 and
V. WHEREAS even most citizens who are not opposed to the evolution concept at least favor a balanced treatment of these two alternative views of origins in their schools, thus allowing students to consider all of the evidences favoring each concept before deciding which to believe.5
Now, therefore, Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring:
That the State Higher Education Commission and the State Board of Public Education be, and hereby is, urged to recommend to all state-supported educational institutions that a balanced treatment of evolution and special creation be encouraged in all courses, textbooks, library materials and museum displays dealing in any way with the subject of origins, such treatment to be limited to the scientific, rather than religious, aspects of the two concepts.
1 See Appendix A for documentation
2 See Appendix B for documentation
3 See Appendix C for documentation
4 See Appendix D for documentation
5 See Appendix E for documentation
Background and Explanation
The Institute for Creation Research is primarily an educational organization, with a three-fold ministry of research, writing, and teaching in the field of scientific and Biblical creationism. It does not seek to organize or promote political or legal action requiring the teaching of creation in the public schools or other tax-supported institutions, although it does recognize that it is fair and equitable that both evolution and creation should receive essentially impartial and equal treatment in such institutions.
The I.C.R. frequently receives requests from citizens' groups in various communities for advice or help in such political or legal actions, however, and is of course keenly interested in those developments. Each state and each district is different, and outside organizations such as I.C.R. are in no position to make decisions as to the proper course of action for the concerned citizens of each community to follow in their own regions. The citizens themselves should choose and implement the best procedures in their own circumstances.
Two general observations are in order, however. Where possible, an educational approach is probably more effective in the long run than a legalistic approach. It has proved impossible heretofore to get effective "creation laws" passed by legislative bodies or "creation decisions" rendered by courts.
Secondly, the false idea that evolution is "science" and creation is "religion" has been exceedingly difficult to dispel. This issue is nearly always used as the main excuse for the rejection of attempts to reintroduce creationism into schools and other institutions.
The suggestion seems in order, therefore, that creationists should normally work through persuasion rather than coercion and should emphatically stress the scientific (rather than religious) aspects of creationism, as well as the basically religious nature of evolutionism.1 When a political approach is followed in a particular state or community, then I.C.R. suggests that a resolution be proposed, rather than a legislative bill or an administrative or judicial directive. A resolution encourages, rather than compels, the teaching of creation, and so should not encounter the usual bitter opposition of the educational and scientific establishments. Also, if the resolution stresses (with documentation) that creation and evolution are both equally scientific and/or religious, and that fairness and constitutionality warrant an equitable treatment of both, then hopefully responsible officials will support it.
Accordingly, I.C.R. has prepared the foregoing sample suggested resolution for consideration by state legislatures, with these considerations in mind. It should, of course, be adapted to the particular state. With appropriate changes, it could also be modified to a form suitable for submission to state or local school boards, or to other bodies (e.g., to church denominational meetings, parent-teacher associations, museum advisory boards, or to other groups concerned with this problem).
The resolution itself is brief, taking less than two minutes to read, and so would not be too demanding on the time of busy legislators or administrators. Documentation on its particulars is then provided in several brief appendices for those who can take the time for a more thorough briefing.
If this resolution, modified as necessary to meet the particular situation, can be of help to any groups of interested citizens, they are more than welcome to use it without further permission. In fact it would be better not to mention I.C.R. at all in connection with it, so that the officials involved will realize that it is their own constituents who are concerned with the issue.
APPENDIX A. PREVALENCE OF EVOLUTIONIST INDOCTRINATION
That evolution is taught exclusively and dogmatically in the public schools and textbooks of the nation is so well known as to need no documentation, at least for anyone familiar with the situation. Nor is evolutionist teaching confined to biology, as many might think. According to leading evolutionary ecologist Rene Dubos:
"The great religions of the West have come to accept a historical view of creation. Evolutionary concepts are applied also to social institutions and to the arts. Indeed, most political parties, as well as schools of theology, sociology, history, or arts, teach these concepts and make them the basis of their doctrines." ("Humanistic Biology." American Scientist, Vol. 53, March 1965, p. 6).
If one is inclined to question the universal prevalence of evolutionary teaching in school textbooks, he is urged to examine all the textbooks used in the schools of his own district. Perhaps, to save time, he could merely ask the district curriculum supervisor to show him even one regularly used textbook in which creation is taught as a credible scientific alternative to evolution.
APPENDIX B. THE UNSCIENTIFIC CHARACTER- OF EVOLUTION
The one-sided indoctrination of evolutionary teaching in the minds of young people is usually defended on the basis of the common belief that evolution is a proved fact of science, or at least the only properly scientific approach to the study of origins. Such ideas are quite wrong, however, as is evident merely by the recognition of the real nature of science (that is "knowledge").
"A hypothesis is empirical or scientific only if it can be tested by experience.… A hypothesis or theory which cannot be, at least in principle, falsified by empirical observations and experiments does not belong to the realm of science." (Francisco J. Ayala, "Biological Evolution: Natural Selection or Random Walk?," American Scientist, Vol. 62, November-December 1974, p. 700).
That evolutionary speculation does not meet such criteria is evident from the obvious requirement that vast spans of time would be required to observe any significant evolutionary changes.
"Our theory of evolution ... is thus 'outside of empirical science'... No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems have attained currency far beyond their validity. They have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training." (Paul Ehrlich and L. C. Birch, "Evolutionary History and Population Biology," Nature, Vol. 214, April 22, 1967, p. 352).
"Dogma" is a religious term, not a scientific term! Evolution cannot be either proved or disproved, and so must be accepted on faith.
Evolutionists sometimes claim that evolution can actually be seen functioning today. However, the small variations observable in the present order of things are quite trivial, "horizontal" changes within restricted kinds, rather than "vertical" changes from kinds of lower complexity to kinds of higher complexity, such as true evolution requires.
"Evolution, at least in the sense that Darwin speaks of it, cannot be detected within the lifetime of a single observer." (David G. Kitts, "Paleontology and Evolutionary Theory," Evolution, Vol. 28, September 1974, p. 466).
The actual evidence of true "vertical" evolution is claimed by evolutionists to be found in the fossil record, which is supposed to be the documented story of the evolutionary changes over the millions of years of the geological ages. As a matter of fact, however, there are no fossils of forms intermediate between kinds in the fossil record either.
"Despite the bright promise that paleontology provides a means of 'seeing' evolution, it has presented some nasty difficulties for evolutionists, the most notorious of which is the presence of 'gaps' in the fossil record. Evolution requires intermediate forms between species and paleontology does not provide them." (Ibid, p. 467).
APPENDIX C. THE SCIENTIFIC CASE FOR CREATION
Evolutionists commonly object to the idea of incorporating creationism into curricula because they believe it to be unscientific, not capable of being observed or tested in the laboratory. Creationists, of course, recognize this criticism as valid; by its very nature, creation took place during a period of special creation in the past, and so is not observable at present. However, as shown in Appendix B, evolution is subject to exactly the same criticism. The trivial organic changes that can actually be observed can be as well explained in terms of creationism as they can by evolution. That is, they fit perfectly into the concept of the special creation of original basic kinds with ability to vary horizontally within the kinds.
Thus, as far as empirical scientific evidence is concerned, creation is on exactly the same basis as evolution. Neither can be proved or disproved. The writer of the Foreword to the latest edition of Darwin's Origin of Species, a leading evolutionary biologist and Fellow of the Royal Society, has himself recognized this fact.
"Belief in the theory of evolution is thus exactly parallel to belief in special creation -- both are concepts which believers know to be true but neither, up to the present, has been capable of proof." (L. Harrison Matthews, in Origin of Species by Charles Darwin, London, J. M. Dent and Sons, Ltd., 1971, p. x).
Although neither evolution nor creation can be scientifically proved, the real facts of science are more easily understood in terms of an initial creation than of a continuing evolution. Even evolutionists acknowledge this in some cases.
For example, the extreme complexity of even the simplest forms of life are far too complex to have arisen by any chance evolutionary process.
"But the most sweeping evolutionary questions at the level of biochemical genetics are still unanswered. How the genetic code first appeared and then evolved and, earlier even than that, how life itself originated on earth remain for the future to resolve.... Did the code and the means of translating it appear simultaneously in evolution? It seems almost incredible that any such coincidence could have occurred, given the extraordinary complexities of both sides and the requirement that they be coordinated accurately for survival. By a pre Darwinian (or a skeptic of evolution after Darwin) this puzzle would surely have been interpreted as the most powerful sort of evidence for special creation." (Caryl P. Haskins, "Advances and Challenges in Science in 1970," American Scientist, Vol. 59, May-June, 1971, p. 305).
As a matter of fact, it can be shown that practically every possible type of scientific evidence that has any bearing on the subject of origins fits better into the creation model than the evolution model.2 This fact is entirely independent of whatever religious inferences might be drawn from either model.
As a result of an increasing public awareness of this type of evidence, there are now thousands of scientists and other educated intellectuals who have become creationists in recent years. The frequent claim that all scientists are evolutionists is simply false. For example, the 12-year-old Creation Research Society (headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan) now has a membership of over 500 scientists from all fields, each with a post-graduate degree in science and each committed to belief in special creation. Another organization, the Institute for Creation Research, San Diego, has a full-time program of scientific research, publication, and education in scientific creationism. The creationist minority among scientists and educators is rapidly growing in number and strength everywhere.
APPENDIX D. HARMFUL EFFECTS OF EVOLUTIONIST INDOCTRINATION
The evolutionary explanation for origins, although impossible either to prove or to test scientifically, is nevertheless defended by its proponents on the basis that it is the only explanation which is naturalistic, not involving the "supernatural" element of a divine Creator. According to a leading British evolutionist:
"The theory of evolution (is) a theory universally accepted not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible." (D.M.S. Watson, "Adaptation," Nature, Vol. 123 (1929), p. 233).
Special creation, of course, is a perfectly "credible" concept if God exists, so this statement is a tacit admission that the theory of evolution is fundamentally atheistic, an attempt to account for the universe and life without God.
Not all evolutionists are atheists, but the theory itself is basically naturalistic and atheistic. This fact does not in any way make it "scientific," however. If theism is a religious belief, so is a-theism!
Evolution is a "dogma," a "belief," and therefore is in every sense a religious philosophy, not a science. It is a complete cosmology, a world-view, and since students in public schools everywhere are being indoctrinated exclusively with this belief, it has become in effect the established religion of the state!
But it is clearly unconstitutional for our schools to teach such an established religion. At the very least, this emphasis should be balanced with an equal emphasis on the alternative belief, namely special creation.
"Government in our democracy ... state and federal, must be neutral in matters of religious theory.... It may not aid, foster, or promote one religious theory as against another." (Justice Abe Fortas, comment in connection with U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down Arkansas anti-evolution law)
The one-sided teaching of the belief that the universe is a product of random processes, and man himself merely an evolved animal, naturally has profound implications for human attitudes and behavior. Further, the implicit teaching that evolutionary changes are inevitable and that evolutionary progress involves a struggle-and-survive principle, has led to many harmful social theories and practices.
"In turn, biological evolutionism exerted ever-widening influences on the natural and social sciences, as well as on philosophy and even on politics. Not all of these extra-biological repercussions were either sound or commendable. Suffice it to mention the so-called Social Darwinism, which often sought to justify the inhumanity of man to man, and the biological racism which furnished a fraudulent scientific sanction for the atrocities committed in Hitler’s Germany and elsewhere." (Theodosius Dobzhansky, "Evolution at Work," Science, Vol. 127, May 9, 1958, p. 1091).
It can be documented3 that the evolutionary philosophy has served as the pseudo-scientific basis and justification for racism, modern imperialism, nazism, anarchism, communism, behaviorism, animalistic amoralism, humanism, and practically all the other anti-Christian and anti-theistic social philosophies and movements of the past century and more.
There are millions of people in this country, Christians in all denominations as well as many Jews and people of other religions, who strongly object to such systems as those listed above and to the naturalistic evolutionary teaching on which they are based. They are convinced, with good reason, that this type of religious indoctrination is destructive of their own religious teachings and subverts the moral and civic training which they try to give their children, and therefore is illegally discriminatory against their own constitutional freedoms and civil rights.
APPENDIX E. FAIRNESS OF A BALANCED-TREATMENT APPROACH
In view of the fact that evolution and creation are the only two possible concepts of origins, that evolution requires at least as much of a "religious" faith as does creation, and that creation fits all the "scientific" data at least as well as does evolution, it is clear that both should be taught in the schools and other public institutions of our country, and that this should be done on an equal-time, equal-emphasis basis, in so far as possible.
This is obviously the only equitable and fair approach to take, the only one consistent with traditional American principles of religious freedom, civil rights, freedom of information, scientific objectivity, academic freedom, and constitutionality. That American citizens, when given opportunity to express their opinions, fully support this idea has been proven conclusively in recent carefully conducted, scientifically organized community polls taken in two California school districts.
One of these was a semi-rural district, Del Norte County in northern California. Here, a poll of 1326 homes revealed 89 per cent to favor including creation along with evolution in school curricula (Acts and Facts, Vol. 3, April 1974, p. 1). The other was a very cosmopolitan district in the San Jose-San Francisco metropolitan region, Cupertino, the largest elementary school district in the state. In this case, a poll of over 2000 homes showed 84 per cent to favor including creation (Acts and Facts, Vol. 3, August 1974, p. 3). In both cases, the emphasis in the questionnaire was on scientific creationism, rather than its religious aspects.
There is little doubt that similar majorities would be obtained in most other school districts across the country, if people were informed on the issue and given opportunity to express their preferences.
Two final points should be stressed. There are really only two scientific models of origins -- continuing evolution by natural processes or completed creation by supernatural processes. The latter need not be formulated in terms of Biblical references at all, and is not comparable to the various cosmogonic myths of different tribes and nations, all of which are merely special forms of evolutionism, rather than creationism, rejecting as they do the vital creationist concept of a personal transcendent Creator of all things in the beginning. It is not the Genesis story of creation that should be taught in the schools, of course, but only creationism as a scientific model.
Secondly, the idea of theistic evolution (that is, evolution as God's method of creation) is not in any way a satisfactory compromise between evolution and creation. It is merely an alternate form of evolutionism with no scientific distinction from that of naturalistic evolutionism, and is vulnerable to all the scientific, religious and legal objections outlined previously for evolutionism in general.
We conclude, therefore, that both creation and evolution should be taught -- as scientific models only -- in all books and classes where either is taught or implied. Administrators should assume the responsibility of providing adequate training and materials to enable their teachers to accomplish this goal.
1 For specific suggestions, see the booklet Introducing Scientific Creationism into the Public Schools, (San Diego, Institute for Creation Research, 1975).
2 Scientific Creationism (Public School Edition), (San Diego, Creation-Life Publishers, 1974), 218 pp.
3 Henry M. Morris, The Troubled Waters of Evolution (San Diego: Creation-Life Publishers, 1975), 224 pp.
*Dr. Morris is Founder and President Emeritus of ICR.