|email - March 2008|
We usually ignore theistic evolution. Hereís why.
Brian has friends who are theistic evolutionists. He was unable to find anything on our website that he could send to them. Hereís what he wrote.
Subject: Theistic evolutionists
I'm about 3/5 done with all the articles here.† I have chosen creationism and have found your writing to be very enjoyable.
I just began to notice today that you tend to write about evolutionists with the assumption that they are atheists.† This came out of a desire to send on an article or two to one of my theistic evolutionist friends, and I couldn't find one that would specifically apply to him.† I know I could send him any article regarding a lack of transitions, age of the rocks, how long it takes to form fossils, diamonds, caves, etc., but it seems to me that there should be more pointed discussion about those that would say that God did it.† If I missed it, please forgive me.
I found this quote online:
"In saying that the system is atheistic, it is not said that Mr. Darwin is an atheist. Nor is it meant that everyone who adopts the theory does it in an atheistic sense...His theory is that hundreds or thousands of millions of years ago God called a living germ, or living germ, into existence, and that since that time God has no more to do with the universe than if He did not exist.† This is atheism to all intents and purposes, because it leaves the soul as entirely without God, without a Father, Helper, or Ruler, as the doctrine of Epicurus or of Comte." - Charles Hodge, Princeton Theologian
I know you don't really deal with religion on your site, but a theistic evolutionist is still an evolutionist.† If you can think of anything interesting to say about this, I'd be happy to hear it.† If not, thanks for what you do anyway.
Brian did partially answer his own question. We donít deal with religion here. Brianís email prompts us to explain why we donít.
Yes, a theistic evolutionist is an evolutionist who believes in God. Yes, we always discuss evolution as if God is not involved in the process. We argue that random chance could not have caused the changes in DNA that result in novel structures, such as vision systems and mammary glands. Arguments like these are irrelevant to a theistic evolutionist because he doesnít believe that random chance was involved. He believes that God intentionally made the changes. Luck had nothing to do with it. He believes that God used the process of evolution to create all the living creatures on Earth.
Some of the well-known creationist organizations attack theistic evolution on theological grounds. They are uncomfortable with the notion of a God who isnít competent enough to create things correctly in the first place, and has to push development along using trial and error. They are uncomfortable with a God who uses death and suffering to create new forms of life. They realize that if Adamís sin didnít really cause death to enter this world, then Jesusí death didnít really remove sin from the world. Creationist organizations sponsored by Christian, Jewish, or Islamic churches therefore oppose the notion of theistic evolution.
Science Against Evolution is not connected with any church. It is a secular non-profit corporation. We presume that most, maybe even all, of our members believe in the God of Abraham; but we donít ask, and they donít tell. The corporation has no religious belief, even though the officers and members of the corporation do have religious beliefs. The corporation examines the theory of evolution through a purely scientific point of view.
Theistic evolution cannot be evaluated from a scientific standpoint because theistic evolution involves miracles. Perhaps this is easier to understand by looking at a similar example. Christians believe that Jesus turned water into wine instantaneously at a wedding banquet. It was a miracle. Therefore, it is pointless to examine the scientific plausibility of it happening. Yes, it is true that there is a purely natural process by which water can turn into wine. (Water is absorbed by roots, travels up a vine to a grape, where sugar produced by photosynthesis in the leaves is added, which eventually ferments into alcohol.) But the existence of this natural process is irrelevant because thatís not the process that was alleged to have happened at the wedding feast. A supernatural process was said to have happened.
Similarly, any scientific argument against evolution is irrelevant to a theistic evolutionist because he believes supernatural, not natural, processes were involved. Theistic evolution is a religious belief. Science Against Evolution takes no stand on religious beliefs.
In anticipation of next monthís flood of emails, let us immediately acknowledge that the theory of evolution is the creation myth of secular humanism (a.k.a. atheism), which is certainly a religion. When we attack the theory of evolution, we are attacking secular humanism, so we are using science to take a stand against a religious belief. Yes, youíve got us thereósort of.
Our slippery escape is permitted by the fact that secular humanism claims not to be a religion. The U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from establishing a religion. Therefore, secular humanists claim that secular humanism isnít a religion in order to allow their religious indoctrination to permeate the public school system. They claim that the theory of evolution is nothing more than science.
If secular humanists want the benefits of not being a religion, then they canít claim constitutional protection for their religion.
Theistic evolutionists, on the other hand, proudly claim to be Christians. They believe evolution is a divinely guided miraculous process that turns one kind of creature into another. It wasnít a kiss, but God, that turned the frog into a prince over millions of years. One canít argue against that belief scientifically, and we have no desire to do so.
Now that youíve suffered through that long explanation, hereís the short answer to the question why we donít deal with theistic evolution: It isnít taught in the public schools. Our charter is to expose the scientific errors taught in American public schools and secular media. Theistic evolution isnít taught in the public schools, or on television, or in news magazines, so there is no reason to refute it.
Last month the general public was told that when hominids ate cooked food, it stimulated brain growth and made them evolve into modern humans. Thatís the kind of ďscientificĒ nonsense we are concerned about that is being taught as fact to our children. Silly ďscientificĒ stories like that cause smart children to doubt and reject science.
Scientific truth never changes. Yes, we know more about gravity now than Newton did, but our new scientific knowledge enlarges our understanding. It doesnít contradict what we previously knew about gravity. Science hasnít changed its position on whether or not gravity makes things fall up or down.
Scientific ďtruthĒ about evolution is often contradictory because it wasnít true in the past, or isnít true now, or both. Therefore, science students are being taught that scientific truth changes whenever anyone has a new opinion. Scientific truth has been redefined by the scientists in power to be the consensus of whatever scientists are in power.
It is important to make a distinction between what we know from scientific experiments and the personal opinions of people who perform scientific experiments for a living. When scientists claim that their opinions are scientific facts in an attempt to ride the coattails of scientific credibility, then we must point out the scientific errors in their opinions.
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