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Darwinism: Behind the Curtain

Should the theory of natural selection be on the endangered species list?

Do you remember the moment Toto pulled back the curtain in the Wizard of Oz?  Dorothy and her misfit band of frightened adventurers were trembling before the Great and Powerful Oz, only to discover the entire concept of Oz was a grand illusion.  Oz was nothing more than a nervous little man hiding behind a curtain desperate to keep his facade alive.

That is the perfect parallel to what is happening today in the media and academia regarding Neo-Darwinism and the theories supporting natural selection, except the ones behind the scientific curtain are not necessarily nervous, just hiding.  There is a desperate cabal pulling all the levers and blowing smoke to keep Darwin’s theories alive.  With thundering voices, they declare “Evolution is SETTLED SCIENCE!” to discourage debate.

Watch any program showcasing the miracle of nature and you will witness it.  As you’re mesmerized by stunning scenes captured by gifted cinematographers to showcase the intricacy and grandeur of the world around us, silver-tongued narrators like David Attenborough weave magical tales of how it all evolved over millions of years yet is on the brink of destruction due to mankind, subtly indoctrinating the viewer to their world view.  [Cue the climate change hysteria]

Ben Stein’s Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Directed by Nathan Frankowski. 2008) provides a sampling of the extent to which academia has gone to silence dissenters.  In fact, John Rennie, former editor in chief for Scientific American, does an excellent job of showcasing the arrogance and antipathy within the scientific community regarding the concept of intelligent design in his review of Mr. Stein’s movie.

No one could have been more surprised than I when the producers called, unbidden, offering Scientific American’s editors a private screening. Given that our magazine’s positions on evolution and intelligent design (ID) creationism reflect those of the scientific mainstream (that is, evolution: good science; ID: not science), you have to wonder why they would bother. It’s not as though anything in Expelled would have been likely to change our views. (Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ben-steins-expelled-review-john-rennie/)

To paraphrase Mr. Rennie, mainstream scientific thought equates evolution to good science while it dismisses intelligent design as “not science.”  Intelligent design isn’t even worthy of consideration: “You have to wonder why they would bother.”  The clip below from Expelled confirms his sentiment.

Intelligent Design Denigrated (Clip Length 0:33)

Meanwhile, there is a growing number of highly credentialed individuals within the scientific community and academia trying to give the world a glimpse behind the “settled science” curtain.

A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism

A few months ago, OneSource Media highlighted the efforts of more than 1,000 scientists challenging the so-called “settled science” of Darwinism.  The following is taken directly from the A Scientific Dissent from Darwinism website:

During recent decades, new scientific evidence from many scientific disciplines such as cosmology, physics, biology, “artificial intelligence” research, and others have caused scientists to begin questioning Darwinism’s central tenet of natural selection and studying the evidence supporting it in greater detail. …

“We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life. Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged.  There is scientific dissent from Darwinism. It deserves to be heard.”

Dr. Stephen Meyer

One of the most visible and vocal advocates of scientific debate regarding intelligent design is Stephen C. Meyer, Ph.D.  Dr. Meyer received his Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge, and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2013) as well as Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design (HarperOne, 2009), which was named a Book of the Year by the Times (of London) Literary Supplement in 2009.

To paraphrase his extensive work in concise layman’s terms: Information infers intelligence, and the information “coded” into DNA infers intelligent design.  Dr. Meyer’s primary premise in all I’ve read and watched is that the information programed or coded into DNA, which dictates how cells, amino acids, and proteins develop to create various life “plans,” requires precision and order that can only be explained through the influence of intelligence rather than simply appearing via random mutations.

Dr. Stephen Meyer: The Origins of Life and Information (Clip Length 3:07)

Dr. David Gelernter

In recent weeks, renowned Yale computer science professor David Gelernter has rejuvenated the debate in a spectacular way.  Dr. Gelernter received his Ph.D. from The State University of New York Stony Brook and joined the Yale faculty in 1982.  Like Dr. Meyer, Dr. Gelernter is a prolific writer, including one of his most popular titles, The Muse in the Machine: Computerizing the Poetry of Human Thought (MacMillan, 1994).  Dr. Gelernter was also one of three collaborators who developed Linda (1986), a computer programing language that allows parallel information processing and machine “linking” to effectively create the processing power of a super-computer by utilizing multiple smaller, less capable computers.  In short, he’s a superstar in the world of computer science and academia.

Drs. Gelernter, Meyer, and Berlinski: Darwinism Mathematically Untenable (Clip Length 3:53)

On May 1, 2019, Dr. Gelernter wrote an essay titled Giving Up Darwin for The Clairmont Institute and Clairmont Review of Books that caused a seismic disturbance that tore the “settled science” curtain down rather than simply pulling it back, and he credited Dr. Meyer for his awakening.

Stephen Meyer’s thoughtful and meticulous Darwin’s Doubt (2013) convinced me that Darwin has failed. … Darwin’s Doubt is one of the most important books in a generation. Few open-minded people will finish it with their faith in Darwin intact. … Meyer doesn’t only demolish Darwin; he defends a replacement theory, intelligent design (I.D.). Although I can’t accept intelligent design as Meyer presents it…it says aloud what anyone who ponders biology must think, at some point, while sifting possible answers to hard questions. Intelligent design as Meyer explains it never uses religious arguments, draws religious conclusions, or refers to religion in any way. … The religion is all on the other side. Meyer and other proponents of I.D. are the dispassionate intellectuals making orderly scientific arguments. Some I.D.-haters have shown themselves willing to use any argument—fair or not, true or not, ad hominem or not—to keep this dangerous idea locked in a box forever. They remind us of the extent to which Darwinism is no longer just a scientific theory but the basis of a worldview, and an emergency replacement religion for the many troubled souls who need one.

Quite frankly, it’s refreshing to see a highly revered member of academia describe Darwinism as a religious world view because that’s exactly what it is.  He is not alone…

Dr. Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins, Ph.D., comes close to Dr. Gelernter’s admission but stops short.

The God Delusion is my…full frontal attack on religion.  To me science is about trying to explain existence, and religion is about trying to explain existence.  It’s just that religion gets the wrong answer.  (Source: Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed; 54:49)

Dr. Dawkins is strident concerning his views of unguided natural selection versus intelligent design, despite the unknown.  In my first book, These Things Must Happen, I quoted Dr. Dawkins admitting the origins of life are unknown during his discussion with Ben Stein in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (1:29:54).

Mr. Stein:            How did it get created?

Dr. Dawkins:       By a very slow process.

Mr. Stein:            Well, how did it start?

Dr. Dawkins:       Nobody knows how it got started.  We know the kind of event it must have been.  We know the sort of event that must have happened for the origin of life.

Mr. Stein:            What was that?

Dr. Dawkins:       It was the origin of the first self-replicating molecule.

Mr. Stein:            Right, and how did that happen?

Dr. Dawkins:       I’ve told you.  We don’t know.

Mr. Stein:            So, you have no idea how it started…

Dr. Dawkins:       No, and nor has anyone else.

As Mr. Stein pressed Dr. Dawkins regarding the possibility of the origin of life being the result of intelligent design, Dr. Dawkins delved into surreal speculation, claiming life could have been designed and seeded on earth by another highly evolved civilization from another planet (i.e. aliens).  God?  Absolutely not!  Intelligent aliens?  Yeah, maybe…  Who knows, right?  But, definitely not God.

Dr. Dawkins: God and the Origins of Life (Clip Length 5:19)

The Great Debate

At this point, we could dive deep into debates concerning the Cambrian fossil record, but Dr. Meyer already did that when he wrote The Cambrian Explosion: Biology’s Big Bang.  We could also address the eleven problems with biological and chemical evolution Casey Luskin, J.D. put forward in More Than A Myth (Chartwell Press, 2014).  You can view his easy-to-read article by following the link above to the Discovery Institute’s website.  I highly recommend it.  It puts the debate into proper perspective.

Clearly, brighter minds than mine have tried to successfully put forth and defend countless legitimate concerns surrounding Darwinian thought, from the origins of life to irreducible complexity (Michael Behe), deficits of the “common ancestry” dogma, and the lack of evidence for origins of new species.  The debatable issues are virtually endless, yet diehard Neo-Darwinists unashamedly refuse to consider any of them as legitimate.

Neo-Darwinism Intolerant of Another Worldview (Clip Length 2:08)

 Debating Darwinism or Darwin Debating Himself?

For roughly 150 years, the Darwinian theory of evolution/natural selection has dominated the scientific community, causing dissenters to essentially be blacklisted.  Prior to natural selection being accepted as “settled science,” scientists may have had questions or doubts concerning the origins of life, but the scientific method of discovery was still the fundamental measure for validation.  More importantly, science was not necessarily at odds with the concept of a Creator or religion, as seen in the clip above.  Neither was Darwin.

Let this process go on for millions on millions of years; and during each year on millions of individuals of many kinds; and may we not believe that a living optical instrument might thus be formed as superior to one of glass, as the works of the Creator are to those of man? (Charles Darwin – On the Origin of Species, 1st Edition, pg. 173)

To my mind it accords better with what we know of the laws impressed on matter by the Creator, that the production and extinction of the past and present inhabitants of the world should have been due to secondary causes, like those determining the birth and death of the individual. … These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the external conditions of life, and from use and disuse; a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. (Charles Darwin – On the Origin of Species, 1st Edition, pp. 432-433 – emphasis mine)

Today, that is no longer true.  The mere mention of intelligent design – let alone creation or a Creator – initiates virulent responses in defense of Darwin and natural selection.

Simply revisiting Darwin’s own admission regarding the potential complexity of cells and the existence of a Creator should open the door to the debate Dr. Meyer puts forth.  Darwin and his contemporaries had a very limited concept of the now widely accepted complexity of cells.  And, he admitted there may be limits to his theory.

If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down. (Charles Darwin, On the Origin of Species, 1st Edition, p. 173)

Recent discoveries make the complexity of the cell evident, yet the scientific community is unyielding.

For roughly 50 years, the theory of evolution has dominated the educational system, replacing any possibility of a creator or intelligent design with fanciful thoughts of random events creating the complexity of life, life-giving water, and terra firma we witness around us.  Discussing alternate theories is forbidden.  It’s well past time for an intellectually honest debate because its effects can be seen in society.

Unintended Consequences?

Here is the problem: Natural selection in its purest form eliminates ethical boundaries and any semblance of a meaningful existence.  If you don’t believe me, just watch William Provine, Ph.D., the now-deceased former professor of the history of biology in the departments of History and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell University.

Dr. Will Provine: Evolution, God, and Ethics (Clip Length 2:01)

In case you didn’t watch the video clip, Dr. Provine clearly states the following:

No gods, no life after death, no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no human free will are all deeply connected to an evolutionary perspective.  You’re here today and you’re gone tomorrow. … It starts by giving up an active deity; then it gives up the hope that there’s any life after death.  When you give those two up, the rest of it follows fairly easily. You give up the hope that there’s an imminent morality.  (Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed; 59:04)

I believe that is the goal and why there is such a violent reaction when Intelligent design is mentioned.  If science can strip us of hope in God, then all that’s left is hope in self; hope in mankind.

When academia deems intelligent design illegitimate and most certainly refuses to acknowledge any possibility of a Creator, secular humanism and moral relativity, by necessity, fill the void.  If there is no Creator, we aren’t accountable to a higher authority than mankind, so morality becomes subjective.  We become our own gods, the masters of our own destiny.  If it feels good, do it!

If we’re simply the product of natural selection, here today and gone tomorrow, then there truly is no meaning in life.  Life is not something to cherish or protect.  We are nothing more than a collection of mutated cells.  Hopeless.  Meaningless.  That also means abortion is of no consequence.

The abortion debate is not about protecting human life that begins at conception when the fertilized cell begins to replicate, which fits within the scientifically approved dogma regarding the origins of life and the first self-replicating molecule.  Instead, the debate focuses on the age a fetus is viability outside the mother’s womb.  Moral relativity.  The rules of science need not apply if it’s inconvenient.

Due to decades of indoctrination, pregnancy is no longer viewed as a gift of life.  It’s a medical condition, and a woman alone has the right to choose how to be treated.  Abortion is the scientifically sanitized solution.

What many people may not realize is that the abortion industry, and specifically Planned Parenthood, is rooted in Eugenics, whose goal was Darwinian in nature: To improve human population by weeding out undesirables, defectives, useless eaters.  Aided natural selection…

In 1915, Margaret Sanger, a strong advocate of Eugenics, founded the National Birth Control League, which was later renamed Planned Parenthood.  In Woman and the New Race, Ms. Sanger called her work, “nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or those who will become defectives” (Woman and the New Race, Chapter XVIII: The Goal).

The Abortion Connection: Darwinism, Eugenics, and Planned Parenthood (Clip Length 1:31)

As a result of secular humanism, moral relativity, and a heavy dose of hedonism (coupled with narcissism), our society is largely run by – and caters to – self-absorbed automatons that blindly follow the most popular trends of social media and pop culture.  Critical thinking is all but extinct.

Look at the celebrity status of reality TV stars or actors in general.  Today, someone can become a star simply by posting “selfies” on Instagram.  What have these people done but entertain?  Despite their lack of credentials worthy of consideration, they are automatically viewed as supremely relevant and qualified because of their celebrity, so they are sought after for all manner of advice.  It’s unbelievable.

The elites in Hollywood are mass purveyors of filth, glorifying lifestyles of sexual promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, crime, etc., and they fight to keep consumers from filtering it out.  Just ask VidAngel.  But, watch the response from Hollywood next time gun violence is in the news.  They may promote violence, but don’t you dare hold them accountable for its effect on society.  No, no, no, it’s the gun’s fault.  Moral relativism.

The music industry is no better.  Now, we’re supposed to listen to these entertainers espouse the virtues of “choice” over “life” as they add their names to Planned Parenthood’s Billboard ad?  Their lude lyrics promote debauchery and licentiousness but don’t you dare hold them accountable to the potential consequences of illicit sex.  Moral relativism.

Then, there are the mainstream media.  Truth no longer matters.  It’s all agenda-driven.  A prime example of narcissism in media is Jim Acosta.  He has no decorum, no respect for his role as one of many journalists in the White House press corps.  He may despise President Trump, but his job is to report the news.  Instead, he inserts himself into the storyline with his antics.

Even our political and justice systems are subject to the effects of moral relativism.  Someone may be involved in criminal activities, but no charges are brought if they are powerful and well-connected.  Just this week, Michael Horowitz’s Inspector General report was released acknowledging former FBI Director James Comey’s unethical handling of FBI documents and leaking information to the press, but it appears no charges will follow.  According to Jon Solomon, an investigative journalist for The Hill, he was already referred to the DOJ in July for possible criminal prosecution due to the mishandling of classified information, but the DOJ declined to prosecute.

These things may seem unrelated, but they aren’t.  As Dr. Provine clearly stated, “No ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life…are all deeply connected to an evolutionary perspective.”

The “settled science” curtain has been ripped down.  It’s time to burn the curtain and consider all the relevant data before it’s too late.  Life is precious and understanding its origin is critical because we were created in the image of THE Intelligent Designer.

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1 (ESV)

 

Author’s Note: I would like to credit one of our regular readers, Terry M., for the push to publish this article.  Thank you.  It only took about 9,000 rewrites to get to the heart of what I feel is critical regarding these disparate theories.  It may not have been exactly what you had in mind when you prompted me to write about Darwin’s limited understanding of cell complexity, but I thank you for the push, nonetheless.

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