WASHINGTON (BP)–The teaching of creation truths in the nation’s classrooms is gaining ground as school districts nationwide monitor the Kansas State Board of Education’s steps to limit the teaching of Darwinian evolution, Phillip Johnson told some 100 congressional staffers March 24 on Capitol Hill.
Johnson, author of “Darwin on Trial” and other books and professor of law at the University of California, Berkley, outlined key areas in which the battle between truth and theory is being waged in America:
— Darwinists, who dominate the scientific and educational realm, typically are successful in using the media to label Christians as ignorant and poorly educated “Bible-thumpers” who cannot comprehend “natural selection” and other such falsehoods that take more to believe in than the truth of creation.
— The public stumbles over definitions coined by those who promote evolution as true science and creation, or “intelligent design,” as an untested, unproven heresy which should be taught, if at all, only in America’s pulpits.
— Only intelligent design theory illuminates the irrefutable evidence of God’s design of the universe.
— The high ground of freedom of inquiry and expression has been chipped away for centuries and is now being restored by those who refuse to bow to Darwin’s illogical propositions.
America’s teachers should “teach the [creation-evolution] controversy,” Johnson said, by informing and updating their students on the claims and counterclaims made by those for and against creation.
Johnson’s speech was part of The Capitol Hill Lecture Series, sponsored by the Wilberforce Forum, a new think tank headed by Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, speaker on the daily “Breakpoint” radio broadcast and author most recently of “How Now Shall We Live?”
Johnson, in his address, recounted the controversy that erupted in Kansas when the State Board of Education appointed a panel of scientists and academics who recommended that students there be responsible for knowing on statewide tests only findings of apparent evolution in laboratory settings.
Called microevolution, the science examines what appears to be natural selection in microscopic examination of microbes and some floral and fauna. Such a mild limitation of the theory of evolution, however, was met with scorn and rage from evolution’s supporters, including the editor of Scientific American magazine, Johnson said.
“The basic problem is that God is not considered real by most Darwinists,” Johnson told the Capitol Hill audience. “The plague of modernism is to think of God in line with the Easter bunny, the tooth fairy and Santa Claus. Using such thinking, Earth began and mankind exists today due to a cosmic accident of forces which produced life.”
Such theories take a great deal more faith to adhere to than God’s creation of life as outlined in Genesis and continuing throughout the Bible, Johnson said.
But basing arguments against natural selection only on passages from the Bible doesn’t work with the often-cynical scientists who promote Darwinism, Johnson said. Believers advocating that truth be taught in schools and colleges must know the Darwinists’ positions, and then develop a clear and concise counterattack, based on biblical knowledge but also using the facts produced by intelligent design theorists, Johnson said.
While characterizing creationists as religious nuts and fanatics, Darwinists attempt to maintain that evolution is merely “change” and that little changes that seemingly happen daily add up in time to big changes that affect entire species, Johnson said.
As an example, he gave the audience an Ohio professor’s summary of a paper released Feb. 21, “The New Creationists,” by a group known as Women in Science. The summary, by Mark A. Wilson of the department of geology at the College of Wooster, lists some of the major “fallacies” of those who subscribe to creation, as listed by Women in Science:
— Matter, energy and life were created by God in six 24-hour days.
— Mutations and “natural selection” are insufficient to bring about evolution from one kind of organism to another.
— There is change only within fixed limits in created kinds of organisms, as explained by microevolution. Macroevolution, involving changes from one kind of organism to another, never happened.
— Catastrophes, especially the global flood of Noah, explain the short geological history of the earth. Virtually all fossils are from the flood. The flood explains the varied structures of the world’s surface rock.
— The universe, Earth and all created kinds of life, are less than 10,000 years old.
— The Bible is to be read literally as a historical and scientific document. Its plain text simply “means what it says.”
These positions, Johnson said, are considered ludicrous and small-minded to most Darwinists, who instead rely on the hodgepodge of unbelievable and illogical assumptions made to support natural selection.
Women in Science, according to Wilson’s summary, describe those who hold to the various “fallacies” as “archaic creationists.” The Women in Science paper outlined three other slightly varying types of creationists, including “young earth creationists” who, according to Wilson’s summary of the Women in Science paper, are “even more sophisticated in their scientific, argumentative and presentation skills.”
“Old earth creationists,” a minority, believe the science demonstrates that the universe and Earth are each billions of years old, the summary recounted. “Intelligent design creationists,” the newest and most significant movement in creationism since “the Scopes Trial in the 1920s,” the summary stated. “They are sometimes considered stealth versions of Youth Earth Creationists, but that is misleading.”
Young earth creationists have a minimalist creed, which according to the summary, states:
— There is a personal creator.
— God is supernatural.
— God initiated creation.
— God continues to control creation.
— God continues to have a purpose and a plan to carry out.
Although the Women in Science paper debunks belief in God, public opinion polls continue to show the vast majority of Americans, two-thirds of those polled, say they want schools to teach both creationism and evolution, while only 10 percent say they adhere to formal Darwinian theory, Johnson said. A recent study by the pro-Darwinian People for the American Way nonetheless found that a majority of Americans think creation should be taught alongside Darwinism in schools, Johnson said.
According to a New York Times article Johnson distributed to the audience, the poll found 79 percent of Americans think creation should be taught in public schools, even if only as a belief and not a competing scientific theory. As for evolution, almost half the respondents said they agreed that “the theory is far from being proven scientifically,” The Times reported.
Johnson, in his address, amplified intelligent design theory by quoting from his upcoming book, “Wedge of Truth” (available in July from InterVarsity Press), that “all living organisms are characterized by immense amounts of genetic information that enable them to function. In short, the complex processes of the cell must be directed by some information-rich entity, which can be likened to a computer program.
“The concept of Intelligent Design does not rule out Evolution, in the sense of variation or diversification. Many examples of variation within the type occur, and humans by selective breeding produce impressive varieties of dogs and roses. Selective breeding is itself a form of intelligent design, however, because the breeders employ purposeful intelligence and protect the overspecialized breeds from the natural selection that would otherwise eliminate them,” Johnson wrote in the book.
“I propose waging peace rather than war. But the choice is up to the members of the scientific and educational elites. If they decide to wage a war of conquest, they may find that their enemy is everywhere, and a lot more sophisticated than they imagine,” Johnson wrote.