Plain Truth Magazine
August 1980
Volume: Vol 45, No.7
Issue: ISSN 0032-0420
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Jeff Calkins  

School will soon open. Do you know that in all likelihood your children are about to be indoctrinated in a religion that you may not believe in?

   WHEN Donna Schempp was in public high school in Pennsylvania in the early 1960s, she was forced at the beginning of each school day to listen to a classmate read any 10 verses from the Bible he chose. Her parents, who were Unitarians, didn't like it one bit. The religious doctrines found in any random sampling of Bible verses usually contradicted their own religious beliefs. Donna could have been excused from the classroom, of course, but her parents thought that it would only mark her as an oddball in front of her classmates.
   Donna's parents were angry. In fact, they took her case all the way to the Supreme Court. The U.S. Constitution, they pointed out, absolutely forbids the government to "establish" an official state religion. And when public schools require students to listen to a given set of religious ideas, it is doing precisely that establishing an official religion.
   The U.S. Supreme Court agreed and Donna's parents won. The Court made it clear that to read, even without comment, 10 verses from the Bible as a classroom exercise breached the walls between church and state.
   The Supreme Court made the legally correct decision for a nation whose Constitution guarantees separation of church and state. As long as people have human government, there can be no true freedom if any official religion is taught in the public schools. Would you want your child taught a different religion in public schools (and using your tax dollars to do it)? In some countries, of course, there is no choice. Many nations have state religions. People who don't believe in those religions are taxed to support them. But in the United States of America, people profess to believe that the government should be neutral, favoring no one's religion.
   Except for one thing. While the courts have kicked the religion of the Bible out of the public classroom, they allow another religion to be taught dogmatically taught every day to millions of public schools students.
   That religion is the doctrine of evolution.
   In many science classes in the United States, both elementary and high school teachers present evolution as a fact. The leading textbooks in biology, for example, are put out by The Biological Science Curriculum Study (BSCS). More than half of American high school students who study biology use BSCS textbooks. These books present evolution as an accomplished fact. Indeed, they go so far as to use evolution as a unifying idea throughout the entire subject of biology, not just the part that deals with the origin of man.

What Do You Mean Evolution?

   First, lest we get hopelessly confused, we must define "evolution." Evolution is the idea that " all the living forms in the world have arisen from a single source which itself came from an inorganic form" (G. Kerkut, Implications of Evolution, p. 157). Another evolutionist puts the same idea into these words: "The first living organisms originated via ordinary physical and chemical processes." In other words, life came from nonlife without needing any help from a Creator God.
   But let's also mark what evolution is not. It is not "natural selection." Natural selection, when properly understood, is a scientific principle you can observe. For example, a certain kind of insect is attacked by insecticide. Most of the population dies. But a few, who were resistant to start with, survive and reproduce. After a few generations of such hardy survivors, that insect's population is now made up of superinsects immune to that kind of insecticide. The insect has not "evolved" the trait was there in some of the population. The fact that the population traits changed slightly doesn't have anything to do with where the insects came from in the first place.
   It's vital that you know the difference between the theory of evolution and observable natural selection. Both scientists and theologians have often carelessly overlooked this important distinction.

Is Evolution Really Part of Science?

   Evolution is different from the rest of "science." Evolution deals with origins.
   Thus, unlike physics, or chemistry, evolution cannot be duplicated in a laboratory (even a big one!). Oh, you make complex amino acids, and you can do cute things with DNA, but you cannot make life from inert matter.
   The creation of life, whether you believe in a Creator God or evolution, was unique in history. It cannot be repeated by physical means today.
   Yet the key element of scientific "proof" is that you can repeat something and observe the results. Evolutionists cannot do this with their doctrine. The "evolution" of life from nonlife is not occurring today. Thus evolutionists are exercising a great deal of human faith when they take certain physical evidence (say, what they find in the fossil record or the way certain amino acids 'interact in a laboratory) and draw the conclusion from that evidence that evolution actually happened. But they cannot know for sure strictly scientific proof requires the elimination of every other conceivable explanation. And there are other explanations.
   It is then a bit arrogant to claim that evolution is a "scientific fact," or as the Biology Teacher's Handbook says, "a body of interrelated facts." No, evolution is a conclusion a person draws from data. But if other conclusions can be drawn from the same data, then evolution is not necessarily true. There are many scientists people who hold Ph.D.s from secular universities in biology who do not draw the conclusion of evolution from "the facts." Therefore to teach evolution as a fact as if no other conclusion could be drawn is to take what some people believe but cannot prove and force it down everyone's throats.

The "Church" of Evolution

   Evolution, then, is not science because it cannot be scientifically proved. But it is part of religion. Here's why:
   The question of whether the Bible is true is a matter of religion. If the Bible says anything, it is that life originated from a Creator God, not from "ordinary physical and chemical processes." But i( you really believe that life, as a historical fact, came from "ordinary processes," then you don't believe the Bible. The Bible describes specific creative acts of God at distinct points in time. Evolution, on the other hand, says there were no actual distinct points of specific creation.
   When a school teaches evolution as a dogmatic fact, it is therefore telling its students two very religious things: 1) "You do not have to believe in the existence of God because 'scientists' can explain the existence of life without a life-giver" and 2) "The Bible is not true, at least in certain places."
   But that's not science. That's religion!
   The evolutionist, Sir Julian Huxley, was plain about the religious implications of evolution:
   "In the evolutionary pattern of thought there is no longer either need or room for the supernatural. The earth was not created, it evolved."

Leaning Over Backwards

   Yet so desperate is American society to believe that the Bible doesn't have any automatic authority that the courts have leaned over backwards to keep evolution in the schools. (At the same time, they have gone out of their way to keep the Bible out.)
   For example, one state had a law which forbade the teaching of evolution in tax-supported schools. "Horrors!" said all the enlightened intellectual people. "How like the dark ages! Keeping scientific truth out of the schools all for the sake of some obsolete ignorance-infested religion!"
   Not really. Think about it for a while: Most of the people of that state didn't want to pay taxes to have their children taught something directly contrary to their own religion. Theirs was hardly an unreasonable position. After all, Donna Schempp's parents didn't want to pay to have their daughter instructed in the Bible why should these parents pay to have their children instructed in beliefs directly contrary to the Bible?
   You would think that a law forbidding the teaching of a particular set of what are essentially religious beliefs in public school would be upheld as supporting the separation of church and state. Why should, after all, the state cram evolution down the throats of unwilling people? Ah, but there was a big loophole! The legislators forgot to spell it out that public schools couldn't teach Genesis either. They didn't require Genesis. They just didn't forbid it. Therefore because Genesis was "allowed" (but not required) and evolution wasn't, the schools were supposedly pushing Genesis. This, said the Court, violated the separation of church and state.
   The result? Today evolution is taught and Genesis isn't. This is supposed to be neutral.
   But what about the countless millions of schoolchildren who were "converted" to the religious belief that the Bible is not true as a result of their public school science classes dogmatically saying that life came from "ordinary physical and chemical processes"? Didn't their beliefs also change because of what they were taught in the public schools?
   Where alternatives to evolution are presented (so school children don't get the idea that evolution is the only explanation for the existence of life), evolutionists often become very angry. One such parent, for example, said she became upset when her son told her he had been converted to the proposition that the existence of a creation logically demands a creator after viewing a film presenting the creationist side of the story in a class where both views were presented.
   If she were really consistent, though, this parent should oppose all teachings about origins in the public schools.

Remedies in This World...

   If we were to keep all discussion of origins out of the public school, that at least would mean that the public schools would not become the purveyors of religious ideas. Certainly it isn't going to do anyone's secular education any damage if all essentially religious matters are left outside of the public school classrooms.
   Another alternative, currently discussed in the news, is to require "scientific creationism" be taught alongside the general theory of evolution. "Scientific creationism" is simply the conclusion that some scientists draw from the physical evidence, namely that the physical evidence cannot be explained without a Creator. This conclusion is at least as "scientific" as is evolution.
   Yet, many evolutionists chafe at the idea that schoolchildren might hear another side of the story.
   Bette Chambers, Writing in the Humanist magazine, openly attacks the idea of presenting both sides "Since the public is led to believe... that an open choice between these two alternatives exists within the science itself it becomes imperative to
In the World Tomorrow, the existence of God will be observable."
state that this view [creationism] is rubbish, lest scientific education in America become the laughingstock of the civilized world."
   What arrogant drivel! How can one be so sure there is no alternative to evolution? Evolution is not a: "strictly scientific and nonreligious explanation for the existence and diversity of living organism," as the American Humanist Association contends. As we have seen it is by its very nature a religious issue and it is assuredly not "strictly scientific."
   Some evolutionists (who are the sort of people who pride themselves on their being tolerant and liberal minded) seem to be desperately trying to protect schoolchildren from what they consider "nasty ideas." It is as if they thought even being exposed to the idea that evolution might not be true would somehow "contaminate" the minds of schoolchildren.
   Of course, other evolutionists do see the narrow-minded approach which others among them take. George Kocan, an evolutionist and professional biologist, declares: "Unfortunately, many scientists and nonscientists have made evolution into a religion, something to be defended against infidels. In my experience, many students of biology-professors and textbook writers included have been so carried away with the arguments for evolution that they neglect to question it.... They only reluctantly give attention to other views. I know. I have been through it as a student and have done the same thing as a teacher. Academic freedom has become a one-way street and a narrow one at that."
   Indeed, how many evolutionists know that Clarence Darrow of the Scopes Monkey Trial fame, who fought in the courts for a teacher's right to present evolution, once said it was "bigotry for public schools to teach only one theory of origins"?
   It seems some evolutionists are guilty of the narrow-minded bigotry of which they are so fond of accusing creationists!

And in the World Tomorrow

   The debate will be settled once and for all when Christ returns to earth to replace the government of man! The very existence, of God will be observable: "... and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven..." (Matthew 24:30). There will be no doubt God exists: "... the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea" (Isaiah 11:9),
   In the World Tomorrow, the existence of God will be scientific fact. He will be visible to ordinary human beings,
   It can only be a great irony that the false religion of evolution is today being crammed down the throats of young people by some of the very governments that Jesus Christ Himself will soon replace!

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Plain Truth MagazineAugust 1980Vol 45, No.7ISSN 0032-0420