Professors Want to Shut Off Debate over Scientific Theory

A group of 25 professors at the University of Iowa has posted a letter laying down the first commandment of scientific inquiry about Darwinism: “Thou Shalt Not Doubt Darwin.” They responded to an opinion piece in the Iowa Now online newsletter that was critical of the claim that there is a war between religion and science and that religion doesn’t have anything to say about science, specifically on the question of the origin of life.

Ned Bowden is an associate professor of chemistry in the University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. He wrote:

“In our era of punditry, it seems that only the loudest, most extreme, and most intransigent voices are heard. It’s not enough simply to have an opinion; you must shout down anyone expressing a different view to demonstrate the ‘right-ness’ of your own.”

Bowden went on to write that there are “holes in the theory of evolution that are big enough to drive a semi-truck through.”

Of course there are. The biggest holes being how evolutionists (1) account for the original “stuff” of the cosmos, (2) the spontaneous generation of life from non-life (a biological impossibility), and (3) the directional information (DNA) necessary to animate that life. These are some pretty big holes.

In his On the Origin of Species (1859), “Darwin did not try to explain the origin of the first life. Instead, he sought to explain the origin of new forms of life from simpler preexisting forms, forms that already possessed the ability to reproduce.” (Stephen C. Meyer, Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (New York: HarperCollins, 2009), 35.))

Even though the 25 professors “acknowledge the right of any member of the university community to voice their opinions no matter how ill-informed,” they are dismissive of any attempts to question the secular religion of evolution because “the overwhelming majority of scientists in Iowa, the United States, and across the world agree that biological evolution explains the diversity of life on our planet.”

Notice how they avoid the more fundamental questions: the origin of matter, life, and information that make up “the diversity of life on our planet.”

This claim really caught my attention: “new observations and experiments accumulate to provide consistent and overwhelming support for the fact that life on Earth has evolved.” There was no one to observe that life spontaneously arose from a primordial soup of chemicals that evolutionists can’t account for scientifically. I am not familiar with a single observation of one species evolving into another. Fruit fly experiments net more fruit flies. Viruses are still viruses.

Questioning evolution is not the same as questioning the “germ theory” of disease “and the fact that the Earth revolves around the Sun, as the 25 Darwinian religionists maintain. The reason “[no] reasonable person today disputes the underlying facts in those two theories” is that they have been demonstrated empirically. The same cannot be said for the operating assumptions of “non-life to life” assumptions of evolution.

Galileo challenged the prevailing science of the day and was rebuffed by the scientists of the day who were wedded to Aristotle. It was Aristotle that taught an earth-centered solar system. It was the Aristotelians who made up the faculty critics of Galileo’s new observations.

Robert Nisbet (1913–1996), Professor of the Humanities at Columbia University, writes in his book Prejudices: A Philosophical Dictionary:

“[P]rotests . . . came from jealous and apprehensive university professors, the majority Aristotelian and fearful of the effect of Galileo’s loud and boastful teachings. . . . From professors, in short, came the first attacks on Galileo and with them attempts to silence him lest his destructive effect upon their Aristotelianism should lose them status and even jobs in the long run. Obtaining the cooperation of the Dominican preachers, always in search of some form of heresy or delinquency to thunder about from pulpit and street corner, the assault upon Galileo soon reached the point where he felt it necessary to go again to Rome for reassurance and thus a silencing of academic and Dominican voices.”1

There are many scientists today that question the underlying assumptions of Darwinism. It’s these doubters that the 25 professors at the University of Iowa don’t want students to know about. Like the Aristotelians of Galileo’s day, their academic careers would be on the line.

  1. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1982. []