It was my naive understanding school was a place where young adult minds were taught how to think, not what to think. Apparently I was mistaken. Proponents of evolutionary theory are fighting tooth-and-nail in their attempts to keep the competing ideas of intelligent design out of school curriculum.
In 2005, the Kansas Board of Education made history when they decided to add intelligent design to school curriculum. They are currently alone in this status. States such as Michigan have outright prohibited teaching intelligent design in favor of evolutionary theory while other states, in their attempts to soften evolutionary theory as an explanation for life or introduce intelligent design options, have met staunch resistance and even threatened by lawsuit.
Good arguments have been posited against evolution theory as the answer to the origin of life; so good in fact that Dr. Anthony Flew, once considered an uber-evangelical for atheistic evolution, in 2004 at the age of 81 converted to deism and later wrote the book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind. Dr. Flew is quoted as saying, “… biologists’ investigation of DNA has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved”. In addition he wrote, “It has become inordinately difficult even to begin to think about constructing a naturalistic theory of the evolution of that first reproducing organism”.
Even renowned atheist Dr. Richard Dawkins admitted (on camera nonetheless – see the movie Expelled), that intelligence could have been responsible for seeding our planet with life.
With so much compelling evidence being brought to light by the intelligent design community in addition to atheistic leaders defecting or leaving room for new ideas, one wonders why naturalists are fighting so ardently against the inclusion of intelligent design theories to the platter of educational topics we feed our students.
I believe the issue isn’t about science as much as it is about fear. It is not that naturalists don’t believe in God, or an intelligent designer, it is that they won’t. Reasons exist—either in their conscious, subconscious, or somewhere in between—that compel many naturalists to oppose intelligent design evidence without having given it a chance to speak on its own. They begin with the fundamental bias that a creator cannot exist and therefore any evidence to the contrary is disqualified before examination.
Why one may ask? The naturalist sees religious peoples and organizations pushing an intelligent design agenda as inherently dangerous. They believe that Intelligent Design is a vehicle to disguise the impending Borg of religion upon the classroom and society. To them, past history supports the notion that men, using religion to control the hearts and minds of others via deception, have used and abused such powers to cause irreparable harm. To make matters worse, when such religious authorities were challenged, the challengers were often silenced in not-so-pleasant ways. This hypocrisy coupled with the difficulty and violence of prying power away from such a giant church power broker, left many men fearful of seeing such abuses repeated. Even our founding fathers saw fit to ensure the state did not sponsor a particular church.
It is true that we have seen such abuses. But this abuse isn’t a religious problem. It is a power problem. As we know, power has the tendency to corrupt and the ability for a power to act unchallenged and unchecked is a fearful thing indeed. While past history shows consolidated power in the state-run church to cause such abuses of power, perhaps current history shows that same power to have quietly shifted to the scientific community—those who have set up a new “religion” that limits competing theories from entering the marketplace of ideas for fear of loosing the position of power now enjoyed.
Using the dreaded tactics of deception to control the hearts and minds of people, those in the seats of scientific power are threatened by any challengers to their claims of knowing where life origins, and thus authority to dictate life’s immutable facts and laws, reside.
For the scientific community to conclude that challenging ideas should be disqualified due to the religious belief of the author(s) is bothersome and dangerous. Many men who gave us incredible discoveries were God-fearing men.
The scientific method is designed to afford protections against poor science by enforcing practices leading to unbiased approaches in the testing, observing and conclusion of rationale theory. When bias is detected, especially one that taints or skews results, the credibility of said results diminishes and its authority is stripped. To pre-disqualify intelligent design as a potentially legitimate course of study by argumentum ad baculum—argument against the person—in this case the “religious” authors, is to show the very gross bias that undermines the trust model of the scientific approach. Thus one could argue scientists exhibiting such unfounded bias against the inclusion of a new field of study into the education system based on fear as the only reasonable factor, are themselves too biased to continue supporting a scientific model that relies on their ability to suppress such biases. Another line of work may be best for these hypocrites who worship the scientific process in the words, but having it far from their hearts.
For men like Dr. Flew, I applaud their humility. To admit that a long life spent defending and leading an atheistic philosophy is now shown to be a lifetime of wasted effort, speaks loudly of both the intellectual honesty of the man and also the evidence that worked to change his mind. If other scholars, professors and educators exhibit this unbiased approach to the intelligent design evidence, we would likely see intelligent design added to curriculums worldwide. Unfortunately, we are still in Kansas Toto.