What the Media Don’t Want You to Know About What Evolutionists Teach


The media continue to pounce on Gov. Scott Walker for not dealing with an out-of-context question about evolution at the end of an hour-long appearance at the prestigious Chatham House think tank in London where he was on a trade mission. What does a question about evolution have to do about trade?

Moreover, there is no single answer to a question about evolution. Do changes occur within species? Yes. Did life spontaneous come into being from non-life? No. Both of these are evolution questions, but they mean radically different things. Tim Berra, professor of zoology at Ohio State University, has argued that “Everything evolves, in the sense of ‘descent with modification,’ whether it be government policy, religion, sports cars, or organisms.”1 Of course, anybody who knows anything about evolution knows that the “evolution” of the Corvette, the example he uses, has nothing whatsoever to do with either chemical or biological evolution.

“Evolution” of the Corvette

 

Berra, like nearly all evolutionists, equivocates on how the word “evolution” is used. Michael J. Behe’s comments on equivocation are helpful: “The difficulty arises because the world evolution can be used in different senses, and equivocation can easily confuse people. In one sense evolution just means common descent — that living creatures are all related to a common ancestor. . . . In another sense evolution is sometimes used to mean Darwin’s particular theory” of natural selection that results in one species evolving into another for which there is no empirical evidence.2

People who attack doubters of Darwin rarely get confronted with questions about what evolutionists say about evolution. The following is a collection of statements by evolutionists about evolution that could result in a lot of commentary:

  • Carl Sagan: “The universe is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”3
  • Larry Finkelstein (from an episode of the TV comedy “Dharma and Greg): “We’re all molecules. We’re no different from the plants and the rocks.”
  • Leslie Stahl: “They’re just a bunch of cells.”4
  • Lionel Tiger: “‘Good’ and ‘bad’ as ideas are rooted in bodily tissue as realities.”5
  • Francis Crick: “The Astonishing Hypothesis is that you — your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules. . . .”6
  • Lester Frank Ward: “[N]ature has neither feeling nor will, neither consciousness nor intelligence.”7
  • Michael Ruse: “Morality,” like gills in fish and lungs in homo sapiens, “is just an aid to survival and reproduction, and has no being beyond this.”8
  • Richard Dawkins: “In the universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication, some people are going to get hurt, and other people are going to get lucky; and you won’t find any rhyme or reason to it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is at the bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good. Nothing but blind pitiless indifference. DNA neither knows nor cares. DNA just is, and we dance to its music.”9
  • Richard Dawkins: “From a rational choice point of view, or from a Darwinian point of view, human super niceness is just plain dumb. . . . The advent of human super niceness is something unprecedented in four billion years of evolutionary history.” (The article where I found this quotation is no longer available on Richard Dawkins’ site. It can be found at “Atheists for Jesus by Richard Dawkins – a critique“))
  • Jonathan Glover: “God died in the nineteenth century and Nietzsche danced on his grave. The foundation of the external moral law was destroyed and, in its place, was a vacuum, soon gleefully filled by the narcotics of Nazism and Communism. It may not be possible to say that the death of God led directly to the death ovens; but equally, nobody can ignore the fact that the cruelest era in history was also the first to deny the existence of an external moral force.” If this is true, “can we stop the long nightmare of the twentieth century from spilling over into the twenty-first?”10
  • Daniel C. Dennett: “In the beginning, there were no reasons; there were only causes. Nothing had a purpose, nothing has so much as a function; there was no teleology [purpose] in the world at all.”11
  • William Provine: “Evolutionary biology . . . tells us . . . that nature has no detectable purposive forces of any kind. . . . Modern science directly implies that the world is organized strictly in accordance with deterministic principles or chance. . . . There are no purposeful principles whatsoever in nature. There are no gods and no designing forces that are rationally detectable. . . . Second, modern science directly implies that there are no inherent moral or ethical laws. . . . Third, human beings are marvelously complex machines. The individual human becomes an ethical person by means of only two mechanisms: deterministic heredity interacting with deterministic environmental influences. That is all there is. Fourth, we must conclude that when we die, we die and that is the end of us. . . . There is no hope of everlasting life. . . . Free will, as traditionally conceived, the freedom to make uncoerced and unpredictable choices among alternative possible courses of action, simply does not exist. . . . The evolutionary process cannot produce a being that is truly free to make choices. . . . The universe cares nothing for us. . . . There is no ultimate meaning for humans.”12
  • George Gaylord Simpson: “Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He is a state of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal, and a species of the Order Primates, akin nearly or remotely to all of life and indeed to all that is material.”13
  • Edward O. Wilson: “Modern biology has arrived at two major principles that are supported by so much interlocking evidence as to rank as virtual laws of nature. The first is that all biological elements and processes are ultimately obedient to the laws of physics and chemistry. The second principle is that all life has evolved by random mutation and natural selection.”14
  • Jeffrey Dahmer “placed the blame for [his] murders on his atheistic beliefs and the theory of evolution.” Dahmer’s father explained his son’s rationale: “If it all happens naturalistically, what’s the need for a God? Can’t I set my own rules? Who owns me? I own myself.”15
  • James Scott Bell shows the inherent moral problem with evolution: “If we are all biological accidents, why shouldn’t the white accidents own and sell the black accidents?”16
  • Robert L. Dabney: “To borrow [Thomas] Carlyle’s rough phrasing: ‘If mine is a pig’s destiny, why may I not hold this “pig philosophy”?’ Again, if I am but an animal refined by evolution, I am entitled to live an animal life. Why not? The leaders in this and the sensualistic philosophy may themselves be restrained by their habits of mental culture, social discretion and personal refinement (for which they are indebted to reflex Christian influences); but the herd of common mortals are not cultured and refined, and in them the doctrine will bear its deadly fruit.”17
  1. Tim Berra, Evolution and the Myth of Creationism: A Basic Guide to the Facts in the Evolution Debate (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1999), 118–119. []
  2. “Darwin’s Breakdown” in Signs of Intelligence: Understanding Intelligent Design, eds. William A. Dembski and James M. Kushiner (Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press/Baker Book House, 2001), 91. Equivocation is from the Latin for “equal” (equi) “voice” (vox). “A Word is used univocally if it has the same meaning throughout a given context, equivocally if one or more other meanings are equally possible. . . . Fallacies of equivocation are arguments in which two different senses of a key word or phrase are confused. The word or phrase remains the same but the meaning carries shifts in the course of the statement or argument.” S. Morris Engel, With Good Reason: An Introduction to Informal Fallacies, 5th ed. (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1994), 96, 98. []
  3. Carl Sagan, Cosmos (New York: Random House, 1980), 4. How does he or any finite human being with an evolved brain know this? []
  4. Leslie Stahl in an interview with Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University and author of The Clash of Orthodoxies: Law, Religion, and Morality in Crisis, on stem cell research (“60 Minutes,” February 11, 2006). []
  5. Lionel Tiger, The Manufacture of Evil: Ethics, Evolution and the Industrial System (New York: Harper & Row, 1987), 17. []
  6. Francis Crick, The Astonishing Hypothesis. See Daniel Voll, “Soul Searching with Francis Crick,” Omni (February 1994), 46. Also quoted in Jay Tolson, “Is There Room for the Soul?,” S. News & World Report (October 23, 2006), 60. []
  7. Lester Frank Ward, Dynamic Sociology; or Applied Social Science, as Based Upon Statistical and the Less Complex Sciences, 2 vols. (New York: Appleton, [1883] 1907, 2:12. Quoted in Gary North, The Dominion Covenant: Genesis, rev. ed. (Tyler, TX: Institute for Christian Economics, 1987), 298. []
  8. Ruse, The Darwinian Paradigm: Essays on its History, Philosophy, and Religious Implications (New York: Routledge, Chapman and Hall, 1989) 268. []
  9. Richard Dawkins, River Out of Eden: A Darwinian View of Life (New York: HarperCollins/BasicBooks, 1995), 133. []
  10. Bryan Appleyard, review of Jonathan Glover, Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century in The Sunday Times (December 1999). Quoted in Vaughan Roberts, God’s Big Design: Life as He Intends it to Be (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2006), 27. []
  11. Daniel C. Dennett, Consciousness Explained (1991). []
  12. William Provine, “Progress in Evolution and Meaning in Life,” Evolutionary Progress, ed. Matthew H. Nitecki (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988), 47–74. Quoted in John Byl, The Divine Challenge on Matter, Mind, Math and Meaning (Carlisle, PA: The Banner of Truth Trust, 2004), 39–40. []
  13. George Gaylord Simpson, The Meaning of Evolution, rev. ed. (New Haven: Yale University Press, [1949] 1967), 344–345. []
  14. Edward O. Wilson, “Let’s Accept the Fault Line between Faith and Science,” USA Today (January 15, 2006). []
  15. Quotations are documented in Jeffrey Dahmer: The Monster Within, A&E Biography (1996). Quoted in Beckwith, Craig, and Moreland, eds., To Everyone an Answer, 116. []
  16. James Scott Bell, The Darwin Conspiracy (Gresham, OR: Vision House, 1995), 64. []
  17. Robert L. Dabney, “The Influences of False Philosophies upon Character and Conduct,” in Discourses (Harrisonburg, VA: Sprinkle Pub., 1979), 4:574. []
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