The Expository Files

In The Decline of Darwin:
Gradually Evolving In The Text Books


News reports were published early in November here in Texas of changes in state high school text books. The State Board of Education adopted new high school biology books “that fully discuss evolution, rejecting the pleas of social conservatives and other critics of Charles Darwin and his theory of how life on Earth evolved.”

Based on source material cited as “The Discovery Institute,” the Dallas Morning News report (Nov. 7, 2003) showed these changes in text material:

Formerly: “Darwin’s theory of natural selection is the essence of biology.” Changed to: “Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection provides a consistent explanation for life’s diversity.”

Formerly: “Since Darwin’s time, many of these [evolutionary] intermediates have been found.” Changed to: “Since Darwin’s time, some of these intermediates have been found, while others have not.”

While those of us who accept Biblical information regret the continued Darwin idol, notice something that may at first be subtle. While the biology texts approved for use in Texas continue to give some weight to Darwin - - the specific references are being weakened.

Why? Because the honest scientists of our time have less confidence in Darwin; even those who may not want to embrace the Biblical account. There is a movement in the scientific community away from Darwin and toward what some have called the “Higher Intelligence” model.

In 1859 Darwin published a book that became a celebrated work a century later – The Origin of Species. It was actually in a later work, The Descent of Man – that Darwin applied his theory of evolution to man. The Darwinian model was accepted as the standard explanation – the basis of the theory of evolution – over many years. Recently, however, the Darwinian hypothesis that held an academic monopoly has lost ground. Many books have been written and published to show the now known fallacies in Darwinian theory. The power formerly vested in Darwin is eroding and that is observed in the Texas biology text books. They are downplaying Darwin, even if slightly; sadly, they are upholding the same model, but implying the weakness of it in adopted text book changes. Stephen Jay Gould, once pronounced Darwinism “effectively dead.” This “revision” of Darwinian authority is slowly trickling down to the text books.

Regarding the origin of man, the question is settled in Jesus’ teaching: God made male and female in the beginning (Matt. 19:4).

Further Note:

“Intelligent Design” is an approach to origins of life, affirming that intelligent causes best explain living systems, their order, beauty and endurance. This is based on the empirically-testable assumption that systems which exhibit complexity or “high information content” are the result of an Intelligent Designer, rather than undirected, random, natural causes (as claimed by the Darwinian Evolutionists). Those subscribing to Intelligent Design claim that living things are too complex to have simply happened by chance. Not all scientist who teach this are creationists.

Here are a few of the publications offering this as more credible than the Darwinian model:

Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution.

by Behe, Michael. 1996. New York: The Free Press.

{For an interesting study on what Intelligent Design is,

read this interview with Behe - http://www.origins.org/mc/resources/ri9602/behe.html}

The Wedge of Truth: Splitting the Foundations of Naturalism

by Phillip E. Johnson (Inter Varsity Press, 2000)

Icons of Evolution: Why Much of What we Teach about Evolution is Wrong.

by Jonathan Wells (http://www.iconsofevolution.com)

Icons of Evolution: The Growing Scientific Controversy Over Darwin

Video produced by ColdWater Media, LLC

The Triumph of Design and the Demise of Darwin

Documentary by Jack Cashill (http://www.triumphofdesign.com)

Final Note - EF has been "on top of this" (not in the evolutionary sense!) from "the beginning" of our publication. Here is a copy of my co-editor's work a few years ago:

November, 1997
Issue 4.11 - By Jon Quinn

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Phillip E. Johnson is a lawyer. He is a graduate of Harvard and the University of Chicago. He has taught law at the University of California for over twenty years. He has written a book about the theory of evolution, not so much from a scientific standpoint as an evidential standpoint. What he has found is that, contrary to popular opinion, there is not the vast body of empirical evidence supporting the theory as many would like for us to believe. The theory must be accepted by faith, if it is to be accepted at all.

By all means, get the book if this controversy is of interest to you. The book's title is "Darwin on Trial" and is published by Intervarsity Press.

Johnson tackles the theory in several ways, He shows how the evidence for natural selection is completely inadequate to support the theory. The supposed evidence is really not evidence at all. The arguments used amount to a tautology; or saying the same thing twice and trying to prove the one by the other. For example, natural selection means that nature weeds out inferior species by allowing only the fittest to survive. How do we know? Well, we know this because the earth is covered with the fossils of extinct species. They were not fit, you see. How do we know they weren't? Because they all died. The fact is, creatures which have become extinct at one place may have done very well in another. You see what they have done? Natural selection defines "fittest" as those species which survived, and those species which survived are said to prove "natural selection"!

The theory is so problematic that many scientists have tried in vain to find some way to make it work. One of these is called "the hopeful monster" theory. Essentially, since the evidence for a slow evolution of organs is so lacking, and since natural selection holds that any change must be beneficial to the animal for evolution to occur, and since a partially developed eye that will take thousands of generations to become useable is not beneficial to the animal, some have suggested "the hopeful monster" theory. This suggests that a great leap is made in one generation with the offspring possessing entire organs that their parents did not have. Such a thing is called a "macro-mutation". All the parts must develop suddenly in lock-step, and every part is needed else the mechanism will be useless. If only 50% of the mechanisms needed for sight developed, the creature would have a useless eye that could not see at all. Well, the theory was tried, and some still hold to it today, but most have rejected it because for such a thing to happen sounds too much like a miracle. The secular evolutionist does not like to even get close to admitting such.

Johnson also looks at other various arguments made to support evolution, and how they really do not prove what they are said to prove. Darwinism is a faith; its proponents are as fanatical as any "religious fanatic" has ever been. They are the ones fighting to keep any evidence that counters their dogma from being taught. To question Darwinism is to commit sacrilege to them. Any interpretation of data that supports Darwin's theory seems to be fine, and high school science textbooks today continue to advance theories in support of evolution that have even been discarded by evolutionists themselves! There are textbooks rolling off the press today that argue that the developing embryo of animals goes through its evolutionary stages, for example. And the state sanctioned proselytizing of the young to the Darwinian faith continues. As one high priest of Darwinism preached:

"In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved. So did all the animals and plants that inhabit it, including our human selves, mind and soul as well as brain and body. So did religion...

Finally, "...the evolutionary vision is enabling us to discern, however incompletely, the lineaments of the new religion that we can be sure will arise to serve the needs of our coming era." --Julian Huxely At tthe celebration of the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species, Chicago; 1959.Sometimes it is tempting to become cynical and give up. It is important that during times of distress that the Christian always seek to do that which is right. We are told "not to grow weary in well doing." Why? What's the use? The promise is made: "For in due season we shall reap." (Galatians 6:9).

The Psalmist described that season of reaping as a day of prepared tables and cups that overflow; of goodness and mercy and of "dwelling in the house of the Lord forever." (Psalm 23). The New Testament reminds us that God is not so unjust that He would forget our work and love (Hebrews 6:10). We are challenged to live in hope, to keep on doing that which is good and to trust in God for the results. To live in hope will make this life better as we prepare for the next.

All of us have our weaknesses, but God's strength upon which we can choose to depend never diminishes. The Scriptures ask, "Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator.. does not become weary or tired... He gives strength to the weary. And to him who lacks might He increases power... Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up like eagles..." (Excerpts from Isaiah 40:28-31).

It was Peter, James and John that went up the mountain with Jesus. They were overwhelmed by what they saw and heard that day. It was awesome in every since of the word. We use the word "awesome" a lot. Even about things that are not awesome; like a football game or a movie or a car. But those things are not awesome. They might be interesting or exciting or even surprising. But here is awesome: Consider Matthew 17:2 ; 5-6 ; "And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, "This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!" When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. "

Now, why did these three men fall on the ground like that? Was it because they had the utmost respect for Jesus as believers? No! Anyone would have felt similarly. Suppose it had not been Peter, James and John with Jesus, but rather Herod, or Pilate, or even Caesar. Would these ungodly men have felt no awe? I suggest they would have been overcome with awe and with terror as well.

There will be nothing but awe when we see the glorified Son of God at the last moment of this universe's existence. This awe will not fill the hearts of only believers and disciples, but also the unbeliever, the doubter, the hypocrite, the blasphemer, the mocker. No tough guys that day! There will be awe and terror on the part of some, and awe and joy on the part of others. Let Jesus be your Lord and Savior. Let that final moment be one of victory. Obey His gospel and live for Him. Your eternal blessings are waiting. Yes, "For in due season we shall reap."


By Warren E. Berkley
Final Page
From Expository Files 10.12 , December  2003

 

 

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