The question has recently come up in the California public school system whether it is a violation of the First Amendment to the Constitution of this country to teach creation in science classes of the school system. The history of this controversy dates back to about a year ago. At that time a committee presented a report which contained guidelines for teaching science. This report was referred back to the committee by the State Board of Education because several members of the State Board objected to the fact that evolution alone was supported in the report as an explanation for origins. The new report was changed in such a way that the possibility of teaching both evolutionistic theories of origins and special creationism would be permitted in science classes. The pertinent paragraphs read:
All scientific evidence to date concerning the origin of life implies at least a dualism or the necessity to use several theories to fully explain relationships between established date points. This dualism is not unique to this field of study but is also appropriate in other scientific disciplines such as the physics of light.
While the Bible and other philosophic treatises also mention creation, science has independently postulated the various theories of creation. Therefore creation in scientific terms is not a religious or philosophic belief. Also note that creation and evolution theories are not necessarily mutual exclusives. Some of the scientific data (e.g. the regular absence .of transitional forms) may be best explained by a creation theory while other data (e.g. transmutation of species) substantiate a process of evolution.
(The quotes in this article are from Liberty magazine.)
The idea behind this revision is clear. The State Board of Education wants both evolutionism and creationism taught in the science classes of the school. It wants both taught as possible explanations of the origin of the world. It wants both examined and the pros and cons of both taught in the classroom. And it wants both taught because in the opinion of the State Board, the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. But it wants creation taught from a scientific viewpoint, not a Biblical viewpoint.
It is not surprising that many scientists objected strenuously to the inclusion of creationism in science teaching. One noted scientist, obviously quite angry, wrote:
Should a scientific course on reproduction also mention the stork theory? Did it require the Apollo 11 mission to prove the moon is not made of green cheese?
If creation is taught in science classes we might as well also teach that the earth is flat, that the sun passes around the earth, and that the cause of disease is evil spirits pervading the body.
But the big question which is at present being discussed is whether such teaching would violate the First Amendment of the Constitution. The Argument is clear enough. If creationism is taught in the science classes of the public school system, then a particular religion is taught. And this violates the principle of church-state separation and the constitutional prohibition respecting the establishment of religion. The courts of the land have spoken clearly on the matter: there is to be no religion taught in the public school system.
There is something a little bit silly about this part of the argument. It is presumably true that if creationism were taught in the public schools this would indeed constitute the teaching of religion. But what is so often conveniently forgotten is the fact that evolutionism is also a religion. It is a false religion, to be sure. But it is a religion for all that. It is a religion in the first place because it has something to say about God. Evolutionism denies God, of course. But this is saying something about Him nonetheless. It is denying His existence. It is a religion in the second place because it is dealing with matters which are beyond the reach of scientific investigation. It is quite obviously a fact that while scientific technique can study various parts of the creation and can even study changes in the creation it cannot, with its present tools and by means of its developed techniques study how the creation came into being. When it makes statements about the subject of origins, it is simply engaging in speculation and guessing; it is establishing conclusions without the least bit of scientific evidence. In the third place, evolutionism is a religion because evolutionism does not simply discuss, even the matter of origins as an abstract question. The theory of evolution speaks on any number of other subjects which are religious in character. The theory of evolution has its own answers to the question of what man is—whether created as image bearer or descendant of the ape; of what sin is—whether vestiges of animal ancestry or rebellion against God; of what ethics is all about – whether the prevailing opinion of the majority or the keeping of the law of God; of where this creation is going—whether to an everlasting future of this present world or the judgment of the second coming of Christ. All these are religious questions—no matter how they are answered. And when educators say that by teaching evolution they are keeping religion out of the classroom, this is so much nonsense—and they know it. What has been put in the classroom is a false religion, an apostate religion, a religion which denies God, but a religion nonetheless. It is impossible to have neutrality in religion in the classroom as it is impossible to be neutral in any area of life.
Nevertheless, the State Board of California apparently feels the force of the objection and is very afraid of putting any kind of religion in the science course. It has answered this objection in a very interesting way. It has asserted, first of all, that the theory of evolution is not really proved. There are especially three areas, according to the State Board where this is true. First of all the record of paleontology has been an extremely inconclusive record. There is no evidence in. all the present fossils which have been found that there is any development from lower forms of life to higher forms. Secondly, the whole study of genetics has led to only one conclusion: that any change brought about by interbreeding and genetic experimentation is always change within a kind. Never has man been able to demonstrate that genetic change results in another species. Never has any scientist been able to force one species into another. Even though there have been many new breeds of dogs created, a dog is still a dog. And there is nothing known which can make a dog anything else but a dog. In the third place, never has science been able to create life. Always evolution must fall back upon the completely improvable theory of the spontaneous generation of life. This is weak and silly. And there is almost no hope that at any time in the future science will succeed in creating this deepest principle which pervades all living creatures.
But the answer of the State Board goes farther than this. It asserts that the truth of creation as an explanation for the origin of the universe can be taught in the existing public schools without violating the First Amendment if only it is taught from purely scientific viewpoints. One who explains this position writes:
Although it is clear that mention or discussion of an event in both the Bible and in a public science class is not grounds for claiming that religion is being taught in public schools, the way this material is presented in the classroom is significant. If the teacher uses the Bible as his source of information and attempts to persuade his students of certain beliefs concerning God and religion there could be valid criticism based on constitutional grounds. However, if Creation is presented solely from scientific evidence, without using the Bible as the source of information and without any attempt at religious indoctrination, inclusion of Creation would not be a conflict of church and state.
The point is that creation must be taught from purely scientific viewpoints. It must therefore be taught only insofar as it is ascertainable from the investigations of science and an object of study by means of the scientific method. In this way, it is maintained, it will be isolated from all beliefs in God and all matters of religion.
One wonders what such a doctrine of creation would be. What kind of doctrine of creation will be taught if God is not mentioned as the Author of creation? If the investigation is carried on only by the scientific method, the miraculous is automatically ruled out. If creation is taught in isolation from the rest of the truth of Scripture and distinct from the particular ethics which Scripture teaches and bases upon the creation ordinance, does one even have a doctrine of creation left? Quite obviously not. The attempt is utterly futile. It smacks of some kind of wicked compromise between the truth and the lie. And such a compromise is always a devil’s compromise with the devil the victor. How can the truth of God as revealed in the Scriptures be made compatible with the evil inventions of men’s minds when the two are absolutely mutually exclusive and are constantly at war with each other? How can the scientific method, when divorced from Scripture and faith be a means of learning the truth of God? The result is bound to be another invention of evil.
The Scriptures are insistent on the point that the truth of creation as well as the truth as a whole is known only through the Word of God and can be received only by faith. “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”Hebrews 11:3.
As pious as all this may sound let us beware of compromise which destroys the truth of God’s Word
As we noticed in the above article, scientists who accept the theory of evolution accept it in the light of the fact that there does not exist one iota of proof for the transmutation of species. Aware of this fact learned scientists will go to absurd lengths to establish their theory nonetheless and search about in the most unlikely places for some evidence of their pet ideas.
In an article which appeared in a recent issue ofNewsweek there is a remarkable example of this. The article is very learned and is supposed to set forth some remarkable proof for the evolutionistic thesis.
The article begins with these startling words:
Except for religious fundamentalists, few people any longer question the proposition that man and apes have a common ancestor. But enormous gaps remain in the knowledge of just how man evolved into what he is today. How, for instance, did the human descendants of the nonpredatory, vegetarian apes turn into predatory, steak-chomping carnivores of modern times? In an attempt to answer that question, two scientists have now come forward with a radical new theory—and to support it, they cite the results of an experiment in atavism worthy of Tarzan of the Apes.
One looks forward to a very profound discussion of an elaborate experiment that was subsequently carried on and which leaves us with irrefutable proof that at least the “behavior patterns” of men evolved from animals and quite possibly man himself evolved from animal life.
Well, the experiment consisted in this: These two very learned scientists spent a whole week in the bush of Africa attempting to kill animals and rodents with their bare hands after stalking them on foot. They did not actually kill any animals. They simply marked up what would have been kills if they had actually followed through in killing. They had a base camp where a full fledged meal was cooked for them daily and served along with chilled beer.
The results of their experiments confirmed beyond argument that earlier forms of human life, but a small step removed from animal life, actually did live this way and acquired their supply of food by killing animals and living from their carcasses. They also proved that two or more men working together were more successful in acquiring food than one individual.
Now, really. Does a reputable magazine have to devote a fair share of its magazine to such inanities? Have these scientists accomplished such astounding things by doing what they did? Is this what has resulted in “a radical new theory”? And now do we have support for the evolution of man’s social system and perhaps even the evolution of man himself? How silly can one get?
And yet of stuff such as this the theory of evolution is constructed. Paul says in I Corinthians: “Hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?”