What can changing your belief in the theory of evolution to intelligent design cost you? For Günter Bechly it cost a lot.
Even the highly educated can learn
It all began when German paleo-entomologist and museum curator at the Stuttgart Museum of Natural History, Günter Bechly, arranged for an exhibit to honor Charles Darwin. One of his displays was a balance scale. He put books offering scientific evidence against evolution on one side, and a copy of Darwin’s The Origin of Species on the other. Using a little “manipulation,” the single Darwin volume seemed to outweigh all those in opposition to it. A little heavy-handed perhaps, but the manipulation was obvious so no one was really fooled into believing that the preponderance of evidence was actually that one-sided.
Bechly’s problems started when he decided to read some of the books of the opposition. What could it hurt? He might find out what was driving these believers in intelligent design. One he chose was Darwin’s Black Box by Michael Behe; he sat down to begin tearing it apart. Surprised, he found that what he read actually made sense. He realized that building a flagellum using evolutionary principles is (his words) “completely ridiculous.”
He decided to talk to some of the authors with compelling ideas about intelligent design (known often as ID), such as Behe and William Dembski. He says, “They are much different from what I expected. They are open-minded. They are not religious fanatics who try to push a kind of theocratic system on society under the label of intelligent design. They are really interested—is this neo-Darwinism story really true or is there scientific reason to doubt it.”
Dumped by Wikipedia
Enlightenment sometimes comes with repercussions. It did for Professor Bechly—in of all places, Wikipedia. When Bechly began to make his newly-acquired views on intelligent design public, Wikipedia erased him!
An article from pjmedia.com, “Wikipedia Erases Record of Accomplished Scientist — ‘Censored’ for His Intelligent Design Position” states that Bechly was not considered sufficiently “notable” to warrant his page. His credentials were not sufficient (although they had been in the past.) Credentials not sufficient for Wikipedia? Well, let’s see. In response to Wikipedia, Paleontologist Günter Bechly
. . . provided links to press, TV, and radio segments mentioning his work, exhibitions he designed, and a few articles from the BBC and Scientific American.
“Add to that three described new insect orders, more than 160 described species, and insect family Bechlyidae, a genus and 8 species named after me, 2 edited books and numerous book chapters, 1 book in German about me, and a ResearchGate score that is higher than 85% of ResearchGate members.”
I just checked to be certain. I did a Wikipedia search and received the response, “The page ‘Günter Bechly’ does not exist.”
Persona non grata
At the Stuttgart Museum of Natural History, gossip and cold looks were the least of Günter’s problems. The museum began blocking his applications to purchase new fossils; a person working under him retired and wasn’t replaced even though that position was very important to his work; Bechly’s amber collection was moved from its convenient location near his office; he was asked to resign from a position he held in a research-funding group; and finally, the museum told him he was “a big threat to the credibility and reputation of the museum” and it would be best for him to resign.
Big questions for parents
So, ask yourself some questions: If you believe God (we could call him our Intelligent Designer) created all things through his Word alone, are you teaching that regularly and often to your children? In school they will be taught that it all arose through the process of a Big Bang and evolution.
Do you consider it important that your children believe the Scripture is true and trustworthy? If they do not believe Genesis, why would they believe anything else in the Bible? (That’s a pretty major question, because that’s where we learn about salvation through the perfect life, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.)
Counting the cost
However, as demonstrated in the life and career of Günter Bechly and many others, your children’s life on this earth might be considerably more difficult if they believe in God. They may be teased about denying the theory of evolution. Teachers may lower their grades. I’ve heard of at least one college who refused admission to a science program because the student professed his belief in God as creator.
In Luke 14:27 Jesus tells us, “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” He reemphasizes the cost of following him in verse 33: “. . . those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples.” That sounds like some pretty tough love.
Which would you prefer for your children: an easier professional life or eternal life in heaven?
I’ll be interested in hearing whether your schools are permitting teaching the theory of intelligent design. And let me know how you talk to your children about the differences in evolution and creation by God.