Previous article in this series: April 15, 2011, p. 332.
“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment.”
In the beginning was information!
Charles Darwin could not have known that, so we will give him a pass. However, his modern-day disciples do know this; yet Scripture judges that they “willingly are ignorant [of it]” (II Peter 3: 5).
Jonathan Sarfati explains their predicament:
The main scientific objection to evolution is not about whether changes occur through time, and neither is it about the size of the change…. It isn’t even about whether natural selection happens. The key issue is the type of change required—to change microbes into men requires changes that increase the genetic information content. The three billion DNA “letters” stored in each human cell nucleus convey a great deal more information (known as “specified complexity”) than the half million DNA “letters” of the simplest self-producing organism. The DNA sequences in a “higher” organism, such as a human being or a horse, for instance, code for structures and functions unknown in the sort of “primitive first cell” from which all other organisms are said to have evolved….
All the alleged proofs of “evolution in action” to date do not show that functional new information is added to genes. Rather, they involve sorting and/or loss of information. To claim that mere change proves that such information-increasing change will occur is like saying that because a merchant can sell goods, he will sell them for a profit. The origin of information is an insurmountable problem for bacteria-to-biologists evolution.
Information theory is a whole new branch of science that has effectively destroyed the last underpinnings of evolution—explained fully in the monumental work In the Beginning was Information by Dr. Werner Gitt….¹
You see the problem: Darwin merely had to explain evolution in terms of natural selection. His modern-day disciples need to explain it in terms of DNA and the necessary additional information that would enable those evolutionary changes to take place. If indeed evolution from bacteria-to-biologist did take place, and a cell of the simplest self-producing organism contains only a half million “letters” of DNA while a cell of the biologist contains 3 billion “letters” of DNA, where did the additional 2,999,500,000 “letters” of DNA come from?
There is an answer to that question, but it’s an answer the evolutionist refuses to consider. Evolutionist Charles Singer is very candid in explaining the reason why: “Evolution is perhaps unique among major scientific theories in that the appeal for its acceptance is not that there is evidence of it, but that any other proposed interpretation of the data is incredible.”² Confirming these thoughts of Singer in more detail, evolutionary authority Richard Lewontin writes:
We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so-stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism. It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our prior adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.³
Little wonder, then, that Richard Dawkins and many other evolutionists more and more distance themselves from debating the issues and instead advance their case with other methods. If the evolutionists adhere to the a priori position that everything must be explained in terms of material causes, then no amount of new information will change that position. And if the new information contradicts the position of the evolutionists, it stands to reason that they will look to other, more effective, means to accomplish their purpose. Richard Dawkins, chief present-day apologist for Charles Darwin, demonstrates that in his latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution.
Yes, Dawkins’ book includes the usual evolutionistic “proofs” for a materialistic explanation of the cosmos, but it also includes his attempts to silence the critics of bacteria-to-biologist evolution. Let’s examine some of his methods.
The Method of Mocking and Sarcasm
Although it is not new to mock those who hold to the Bible’s teaching on origins, Dawkins appears to carry it to a new level. He is very pointed in his rants against Bible-believers, or, as he calls them, “history-deniers.” In the process he proves to be exceptionally skilled at knocking down straw men. His mockery of the biblical account of the post-Flood dispersion of animals will illustrate this. “An ancestral lemur, again very possibly just a single species, found itself in Madagascar. Now there are thirty-seven species of lemur…. And they are all, every last one of them, in Madagascar. There are no lemurs anywhere else in the world…. How on earth do the 40 per cent history-deniers think this state of affairs came about? Did all thirty-seven or more species of lemur troop in body down Noah’s gangplank and hightail it for Madagascar, leaving not a single straggler by the wayside, anywhere throughout the length and breadth of Africa?”4 Good story Rich, but where ever did you get the idea that these supposed “history-deniers” believe that all the present-day “species” (Dawkins’ term) of lemurs were on the ark? Could it be that only one lemur “kind” (the biblical term used in Genesis 1) was on the ark, migrated to Madagascar and there produced the other varieties of lemurs?
Dawkins can also be very condescending. He gives us a taste of that in chapter four, titled “Science and Slow Time.” “If the history-deniers who doubt the fact of evolution are ignorant of biology, those who think the world began less than ten thousand years ago are worse than ignorant, they are deluded to the point of perversity.”5
Richard Dawkins is not the only evolutionist using this approach. Others try to marginalize the opposition by portraying them as mentally imbalanced. “James J.D. Luce, the assistant executive director of Fundamentalists Anonymous, claims that ‘the fundamentalist experience can be a serious mental health hazard to perhaps millions of people.’ His organization works to ‘heal’ Christians of their ‘mental disorder’—their Christian worldview. Harvard’s Edward O. Wilson takes this a step further, describing Christianity as ‘one of the unmitigated evils of the world.'”6
The Method of Intimidation
Intimidation is another method employed by Dawkins and his ilk against those so-called history-deniers. The intimidation method works something like this: either you toe the bacteria-to-biologist evolutionary line or else. And the “or else” can very really mean anything from refusal to publish your work to loss of job. If one were to complain that this is religious discrimination, Eugene Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, would respond, “You can’t discriminate based on religion. You can discriminate based upon scientific views. It’s perfectly legitimate to discriminate against a candidate based on whether that candidate’s scientific views are acceptable to the discipline.”7
A few examples will demonstrate the practice of religious discrimination and the cost of daring to question the cult of Charles Darwin:
* A former editor of a Smithsonian publication allowed the publishing of an anti-Darwinian study which included the following statements: “In the last decade or so a host of scientific essays and books have questioned the efficacy of (natural) selection and mutation (genetic mistakes) as a mechanism for generating morphological novelty, as even a brief literature survey will establish…. Genetics might be adequate for explaining microevolution, but micro-evolutionary changes in gene frequency were not seen as able to turn a reptile into a mammal or to convert a fish into an amphibian. Microevolution looks at adaptations that concern the survival of the fittest, not the arrival of the fittest…. The origin of species—Darwin’s problem—remains unsolved.”8 Notice it was a former editor of a Smithsonian publication who allowed that to be published. That dastardly deed of allowing the Cult of Darwin to be questioned cost him his job.
* In his book Slaughter of the Dissidents Jerry Bergman presents numerous stories of how Darwin doubters have been systematically expelled from the academic community. Dr. Caroline Crocker is just one of the victims he writes about. “Crocker’s problem began after she mentioned intelligent design…in her cell biology class at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. One student filed an accusation that Crocker was ‘teaching creationism’—though she is not even a creationist. Numerous students and an attorney wrote letters in her defense noting that she had simply discussed her doubts about Darwin. But Crocker was soon terminated from her position. During her five-year career at George Mason, she had received commendations for her high student ratings, been awarded three grants and authored a cell biology workbook.”9 The message is crystal clear: “Join the Cult of Darwin or else!”
* Christian astronomer, Martin Gaskell’s impeccable credentials made him the obvious choice for the director of a new student observatory at the University of Kentucky. After the position had been awarded to another candidate, it came to light that Gaskell’s religious beliefs (theistic evolution) had been used to exempt him from further consideration. Subsequent challenges by Gaskell earned him a $125,000 settlement with the University. Richard Dawkins deftly discards the injustice by saying, “Even if a doctor’s belief in the stork theory of reproduction is technically irrelevant to his competence as an eye surgeon, it tells you something about him. It is revealing. It is relevant in a general way to whether we would wish him to treat us or teach us.”10
Numerous other instances of religious discrimination could be cited that demonstrate how costly it can be for anyone, Christian or otherwise, to dare to challenge the Cult of Charles Darwin, but maybe of more interest to Standard Bearer readers is Dawkins’ theological/philosophical case against the creation model. Here Dawkins displays an arrogance that is, to put it mildly, breathtaking. His basic premise is that since he sees flaws in the design of much that exists, they could not have been created by a Perfect Designer. Thus evolution is the only viable choice. Following are a few of the numerous design flaws that Dawkins has discovered and included in his book, The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution:
* God Dawkins has discovered the problem of the backwardly-wired retina. “…the eye’s photocells are pointing backwards, away from the scene being looked at. The ‘wires’ connecting the photocells to the brain run over all the surface of the retina, so the light rays have to pass through a carpet of massed wires before they hit the photocells. That doesn’t make sense…” (p. 354).
* And Dawkins said about those problematic blind spots. “The hole filled with nerves is called the blind spot, because it is blind, but ‘spot’ is too flattering, for it is quite large, more like a blind patch…. Once again, send it back, it’s not just bad design, it’s the design of a complete idiot” (p. 354).
* And Dawkins said about one laryngeal nerve. It “… goes to the larynx via an astonishing detour. It dives right down into the chest, loops around one of the main arteries leaving the heart…and then heads back up the neck to its destination. If you think of it as the product of design, the recurrent laryngeal nerve is a disgrace” (p. 356).
* And Dawkins said, “…the overwhelming impression you get from surveying the innards of a large animal is that it is a mess!…a decent designer would never have perpetuated anything of the shambles that is the crisscrossing maze of arteries, veins, nerves, intestines, wads of fat and muscle, mesenteries and more” (p. 371).
* And Dawkins said, “If (God) were responsible for the back design, you’ll have to concede that it wasn’t one of His best moments and must have been a deadline rush at the end of the Six Days” (p. 369).11
Rather than move on to Dawkins’ problems with the Koala’s pouch, wasteful trees, flightless birds, sightless eyes, goose bumps, and more, we will leave that as a homework assignment for the interested reader. Obtain a copy of Jonathan Sarfati’s book The Greatest Hoax on Earth? and read some of his insightful responses to Dawkins’ Dogmatics.
Clearly, for modern-day Issachar to question the Cult of Charles Darwin is to incur the scorn and condescension of Richard Dawkins and his like, and maybe even lose his job. However, there are more serious problems with the Cult of Charles Darwin, but they must wait until our next installment.
In the meantime the reader might want to ponder this observation of a Chinese paleontologist, “In China we can criticize Darwin, but not the government; in America you can criticize the government, but not Darwin.”
… to be continued.
1 Jonathan Sarfati, The Greatest Hoax on Earth? Refuting Dawkins on Evolution (Atlanta, Georgia: Creation Book Publishers, 2010), 43-44.
2 Vance Farrell, The Evolution Handbook (Altamont, TN: Evolution Facts, Inc. 2001), 862.
3 Richard Lowentin, “Billions and Billions of Demons,” New York Review of Books, January 9, 1997.
4 Richard Dawkins, The Greatest Show on Earth (New York, NY: Free Press, 2009), 269.
5 Dawkins, 85.
6 David Nobel, Understanding the Times (Manitou Springs CO: Summit Press, 2006), 428.
7 Dylan Lovan, “Astronomer: God, Science not wholly exclusive,” The Grand Rapids Press, 19 February, 2011, C, 3.
8 Stephen C. Meyer, “The Origin of the Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories,” Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, D.C., August 28, 2004.
9 Randall Murphree, “Darwin doubters systematically driven out of academia,” American Family Association Journal August, 2010:9.
10 Lovan, C, 3.
11 Dawkins 354, 356, 369, 371.