Creation/evolution issues have been a constant subject in the news media recently, much of the reporting slanted and poorly-informed, all of it negative towards creation. Nevertheless, the events are real and warrant our attention.
A school board in Dover, Pennsylvania, a small farming community, recently voted to allow a brief mention of Intelligent Design in biology classes. ID was not to be “taught,” nor was evolution removed, and most certainly Biblical creation was not mandated, but evolutionists reacted with a fervor reserved for this one issue. In an ACLU-orchestrated move, several local parents filed a lawsuit to maintain an evolution-only perspective, inviting the testimony of well-known evolutionists. Meanwhile, evolution-supporting individuals and organizations poured money into the district, mounting a successful political campaign against the “errant” school board members, replacing them with others leaning towards evolution. ID advocates had their champions too, leading to a media frenzy quite overshadowing the minimal facts of the case and size of the school district.
Similarly, debate has been raging in Kansas. There the state school board had established new state curriculum guidelines, which neither introduced creation nor removed evolution. Rather it allowed all the data to be taught, not just that supporting evolution. It permitted the exquisite design of living things to be acknowledged and studied. Once again, the same aggregate of partisans began crusading in support of evolution. Knowing the school board’s majority was behind the new guidelines evolutionists boycotted the hearings and instead took their case to a sympathetic press, who almost never correctly reported the facts.
The question arises then, if evolution is so solidly proven, what are evolutionists afraid of? Why must evolution be protected from scrutiny? Why must students be shielded from other views? Why not present all the pertinent facts and encourage the students to think critically, as a good scientist should? Would this not be a good educational technique? Would this not produce better citizens and scientists?
Evolutionists purport that there is no real science supporting intelligent design, that ID is just religion, or at least a “backdoor” to religion. But the facts are that many secular scientists, through observation and experimentation and based on the scientific evidence and data they’ve obtained, have come to the conclusion that life has been designed, not created by mere chance from nothing.
Science involves conducting research, using the scientific method in various disciplines, and reporting on the data and results. There’s no religion in the facts. ICR has recently discovered groundbreaking evidence about rock dating, carbon-14 in diamonds, excess helium within zircons, and other geologic data supporting a young earth. ICR is adamant that this science be available for scrutiny by critical thinkers—that students, specifically, are able to evaluate the evidence and formulate their own beliefs If the science points to a designer, so be it. But if the evidence suggests otherwise, which we’re sure it does not, then so be it. Let the chips fall where they may.
Perhaps evolutionists’ avoidance of these kinds of data exposes a basic insecurity in their position. ICR has long held that evolution cannot stand the test of science—it must avoid the light of open inquiry. Only by limiting the debate can evolutionists hope to maintain their monopoly on education. Yet, it serves us well to recognize that the debate involves a deeper issue than just control of academic content. If evolutionists admit that science does indeed support intelligent design, then they are admitting that there is a possibility of a Creator. Perhaps what evolutionists are truly afraid of are the implications of the presence of a higher power. Higher power means higher authority and, ultimately, higher accountability.
* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.