Who says we have to choose between God and science?


You may be getting a little tired of me constantly harping on this evolution thing. But dad-gummit, the popular press keeps bringing it up, and in insulting ways that labels folks like me as stupid, ignorant and even anti-science and thus anti-American. Recently there was the New York Times article and now USA Today calling me illiterate.

So I guess I’ll just keep putting my own oar in that water and keep fighting back.

Some suggested browsing of a few Intelligent Design web sites:

*   *   *   *

The USAToday commentary is here below, in full, and my responses:

Do you “believe” in evolution? A new survey reveals that your answer can be predicted in large part by your political loyalties. The Pew Research Center finds that two-thirds of Democrats accept the validity of evolution, in contrast with the 43% of Republicans. The latter figure, remarkably, has shrunk by 11 percentage points since 2009, when Pew performed a similar survey.

In a time of great divides over religion and politics, it’s not surprising that we treat evolution the way we do political issues. But here’s the problem: As settled science, evolution is not a matter of opinion, or something one chooses to believe in or not, like a religious proposition. And by often framing the matter this way, we involved in the news media, Internet debates and everyday conversation do a disservice to science, religion and our prospects for having a scientifically literate country.

My response:

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” – Vladimir Lenin
The USA Today article perpetuates the lie that claims evolution as “settled science”, and that any dissenting points of view “do a disservice to … our prospects for having a scientifically literate country.”  The only antidote I have found for this lie is to actually study the issue – read and listen to those many voices that present the contrary point of view – and there really is a legitimate and contrary point of view. Read the articles from such places as the Discovery Institute, Evolution News and Views, Uncommon Descent and the Institute for Creation Science – I’ve sampled a few for you above and again here:

Read books such as: Darwin’s Doubt  by Dr. Stephen Meyer, The Natural Sciences Know Nothing  of Evolution by A.E. Wilder-Smith and many others. And finally – look for that “mountain of  evidence” – look at the fossil record, for example, of the supposed evolution of birds from reptiles – I’ll give you a head start – look at the web site TalkOrigins.org and look for that mountain of evidence for yourself.  What do you find there? Is it a clear fossil path documenting the path from a reptile to the many types of birds we see around us every day? Or is it just a few fossil specimens leaving much to the imagination? Does TalkOrigins have the mountains of evidence leading up to the flight capability of birds – the development of the hummingbirds tongue – the development of the keen eye of the eagle and osprey (look at the videos referenced above) – the incredible migratory “instincts” of the Arctic Tern or Snow Geese – migratory instincts that apparently rely on such things as celestial navigation, visual/memory mapping and earth-magnetic-field aided navigation? No … I don’t think you will find much there except a few bones and rocks and much philosophizing.  Same with http://pandasthumb.org; a search through that site shows very little tangible “”fossil evidence. Wouldn’t you think that if there really are mountains of indisputable evidence for the evolution of birds from reptiles that there would be hundreds if not thousands of pictures of such fossil evidence prominently displayed on these web sites? Oh, there are many textual references to such findings, and even a few hand drawn sketches …  but very few photographs – I find that strange.

And then there is the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) and their new blog series on human evolution; here and here. Again I am expecting to see hundreds if not thousands of photographs of the fossils showing the smooth transition from, for example, chimpanzee to human … or for that matter, a smooth link from any other mammal to the human. Lots of talk – lots of text – but where are the photos? Photos that would convince me, the son of an immigrant TV repairman from Butte Montana. Show the photos – not the words!

And do you find it interesting that much (evidence?) is made of the close match between the genomes of the human and the chimpanzee (95% I’ve heard it said), and very little is said of the galaxies worth of difference in the intellectual and creative accomplishments of the two primates?

What you will find plenty of is the waves of insults and attacks on the Judeo/Christian teachings on origins, and on those scientists who ascribe to the theory of Intelligent Design.

End of My response:

Partisan politics?

As a progressive, I’m tempted to blame willful ignorance by those on the “other side” when I see the sharp rise in Republicans rejecting evolution, and the always-high percentage of white evangelical Protestants (64% in the Pew poll) who believe that humans were created by God in their present form; i.e. no evolution.

My response:

Wow … how to respond to that? “I’m tempted to blame …  .“ As if that excuses him of the insults to follow “I’m tempted to call you a @&QI*#&(@ … .”  so I’ll just go ahead and do it because “I’m just tempted.” Then he gets into Republican-phobia, Protestant-phobia and Bible-phobic insults that are just pathetic.

So he’s a progressive … and apparently proud of it. Progressive thought is a close cousin to Marxism, Socialism and Communism …  and how did that work out for the folks in the twentieth century under Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, Castro, Pol Pot and others.

No …  being a progressive doesn’t stop this USA Today writer from throwing the insults; so why did he offer up that little tidbit of biography?

End of My response:

But partisan politics isn’t the end of the story. More than a quarter of Democrats reject evolution, as do half of Protestant blacks. Women are 10 percentage points more likely to reject evolution than men.

Willful ignorance plays a part in this dynamic. But so does the poor job done by the field of science in engaging the public. And the way the evolution vs. creation standoff is framed in the popular conversation, you can understand why many are led to believe we have an either-or decision to make: evolution or God?

My response:

“ … so does the poor job done by the field of science in engaging the public.” Yes, I’ve wondered about that for years myself. If evolution is fact and as much settled science as gravity (yes, they actually say this) then why haven’t they been able to convince the common folks of these truths?  Why haven’t they been able to provide this convincing mountain of indisputable evidence to the writers of Discover magazine, Scientific American, the New York Times, and … yes …  the USA Today? I wrote about this a few years ago at Professional Evolutionists. They are not all that smart. Perhaps because there is no “convincing mountain of indisputable evidence” but rather just a few bones and rocks.

I live a short bus ride and walk from the Yale Peabody museum, and yesterday spent a few hours there looking for the mountains of indisputable evidence.  Didn’t find much. On the evolution of birds, just a few fossil reproductions on the wall including the earliest bird – Archaeopteryx. Not much of a  display that would be convincing to explain the wide range of birds I see just within a 50 mile radius of the museum. Same with the display for human evolution – it seems they used up the majority of the display space in the bio’s of the famous researchers such as Darwin, Leakey, Huxley etc.

End of My response:

Consider the headlines and social media chatter surrounding the Pew survey release. “Surprising Number Of Americans Don’t Believe In Evolution,” announced The Huffington Post. As CBSNews.com put it: “Republicans’ belief in evolution plummets.” Facebook sports a page titled, “I don’t believe in evolution.” As its owner elaborates, “I don’t believe that we evolved from monkeys; I believe that God created us.”

For starters, “belief” means something different in a religion conversation than it means when we’re talking about science. In the case of faith, it usually means accepting the moral and spiritual truth of something and giving it your trust and devotion. In talking about evolution, it is more precise to call it “scientifically valid” or “an accurate account of what we observe.” No leaps of faith or life-altering commitments required.

My response:

  “ … No leaps of faith or life-altering commitments required … .”

Yea … how about these leaps of faith?

•“ …the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.” Stephen Hawking An assertion with no evidence.

•“ … tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged” Stephen Hawking   An assertion with no evidence.

•“Creation … , really does amount to something complicated springing spontaneously into existence”. Richard Dawkins  An assertion with no evidence.

•“The cosmos … all that is … all that ever was … and all there will ever be.” Carl Sagan   An assertion with no evidence.

•If you look at the universe and study the universe, what you find is that there is no evidence that we need anything other than the laws of physics and the other laws of science to explain everything we see. There’s absolutely no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of god. — Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist  An assertion with no evidence.

I ask … where is the evidence that supports these assertions from the worlds foremost thinkers? What supports the faith of these worlds foremost thinkers?

End of My response:

God’s evolution

Second, despite the way it’s often discussed by creationists and anti-religion zealots, evolution says nothing about the existence of God. A scientific concept backed by an overwhelming amount of supporting evidence, evolution describes a process by which species change over time. It hazards no speculations about the origins of that process.

My response:

Now here is a real case of “willful ignorance”  on the part of the writer. Of course evolution says much about the existence of God …  in short what it says is: God does not exist and science says so … end of discussion. All this willfully ignorant USA Today writer has to do is read the words of the prominent atheistic Darwinian evolutionists and he will see that they invariably proclaim “no god … no god … we have looked for him in our laboratories and we have not found him … no god!”

•“ …the “Big Bang” was an inevitable consequence of the laws of physics.” Stephen Hawking   speculations about the origins of that process.

•“ … tiny quantum fluctuations in the very early universe became the seeds from which galaxies, stars, and ultimately human life emerged” Stephen Hawking speculations about the origins of that process.

•“Creation … , really does amount to something complicated ringing spontaneously into existence”. Richard Dawkins  speculations about the origins of that process.

•If you look at the universe and study the universe, what you find is that there is no evidence that we need anything other than the laws of physics and the other laws of science to explain everything we see. There’s absolutely no evidence that we need any supernatural hand of god. — Lawrence Krauss, World-Renowned Physicist  speculations about the origins of that process.

And if you read almost anything on the subject by Jerry Coyne you will see the same thing … speculations about the origins of that process. … replete with massive insults to those who would dare to believe in God.

“ [evolution] hazards no speculations about the origins of that process.” I beg your pardon … would you care to read once more those quotes from above? And research more for yourself. Neo-Darwinian theory of necessity must speculate on the origin of life and of the universe – it speculates and comes down with a heavy hand against the very idea of God.

End of My response:

Third, as a good number of Christians in this country understand, it is more than possible to accept the validity of evolution and believe in God’s role in creation at the same time. Even among theologically conservative Christians, we see an “evolution” in the understanding of faith and science. “Divine evolution,” anyone? It’s a concept that is catching on as more evangelicals come to see evolution as God’s way of orchestrating an on-going process of creation.

In sum, we are not faced with a stark choice between God and science. Unless we read the Bible as a collection of facts as we would a textbook (which, admittedly, some 30% of Americans do), people can place their trust in God the creator and accept the scientific validity of evolution.

What’s sad about this misunderstanding over evolution and faith is the effect it has on the ability of religious conservatives to participate in science, either as a career track or in the informed-citizen sense. Largely because of the evolution standoff, pastors and parents in the evangelical sphere often steer young people away from science-related careers. And this general mistrust of science in our country — due in part to evolution rejection — hamstrings our ability to make thoughtful decisions informed by facts and evidence in addition to loyalties, beliefs and emotions.

You don’t believe in evolution? No problem. It does not ask that of you.

My response:

If there is anything “settled” in this ongoing discussion, it is the settled atheism of  the neo-Darwinian Materialists who believe and peddle the mantra of nothing existing outside of  the natural world. This really is a clear description of thinking “inside the box” totally and completely  – thinking “inside the box.” As most of us know, a box has an inside and an outside. If all you know and have experienced is the inside of the box then you can’t know what the outside of a box might look like. Further, if you live inside the box and are afraid of what might be outside the box, then you will try real hard to keep others from looking and knowing what’s outside the box.

Know this – neo-Darwinian Materialists such as Professors Jerry Coyne, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Lawrence Krauss and others of their kind, are first and foremost atheists. Their atheism trumps their science, trumps their philosophy and trumps their search for truth.  Atheism is their religion, and they push real hard to make it yours as well … and your children’s … and your grandchildren’s.

So I’ll say to the USA Today the same as I said to the New York Times … Perhaps that 30% of us who believe in God and His creative powers are just a bit smarter than you … maybe a whole lot smarter … maybe we dig a little deeper than you do for the truth.

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.” – Vladimir Lenin

Don Johnson – January 2014

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s