Category Archives: Evolution

Evolution v. Intelligent Design: Putting Your Life on the Line

Michael Behe uses the example of a mousetrap to illustrate “irreducible complexity”

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.

Back to School: What to Expect

CAUTION – Tell your kids not to believe everything they’re going to read and hear.

What do your kids, and you, expect as they head back to school? Seeing their friends again? Learning something cool? Are they wondering what their new teacher will be like? Probably all those things.

But are you expecting something more? Perhaps a true representation of our great American history? Truth in their science courses that discuss earth’s origin and climate change? If you do, I applaud your optimism. The chances of those things happening if your kids are attending a public school range from slim to none.

I say that, even though I am a basically optimistic person, because I’ve studied what’s been happening, and is continuing to happen. If you haven’t read my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? yet (I sometimes call it Dibs), this might be a good time to do that. In my opinion, it is vital for you to prepare your kids ahead of time for what they most likely will be taught in school. Teach them yourself what the truth is.

I’m bringing this up now because I just read a quote of Vladimir Lenin that chilled me to the bone. He wrote:

We must be ready to employ trickery, deceit, law-breaking, withholding and concealing truth. We can and we must write in a language that sows among the masses hatred, scorn, and the like towards those who disagree with us. (Emphasis added.)

Lenin was born in 1870 and died in 1924, but we can see his hateful plans still alive and well in our own country today. Does that sound over the top? Let’s take a look at it.

Don’t believe everything in the textbooks

Trickery and deceit were definitely employed in Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth, which taught our children that our world was doomed if we didn’t drastically reduce our carbon footprint immediately. Add to that the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) which are probably in use in your kid’s school. (See page 45 of Dibs) Those standards require climate change instruction. One of the high school course descriptions reads: “Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.”

Please note this does not ask the student to determine if Earth systems are being modified by human activity, but how.

If you haven’t noticed the acceptance, possibly encouragement, of law-breaking on college campuses, you need to take a little time off from your daily chores. Look at some video clips of students preventing speakers from conveying their ideas with shouting, physical endangerment, and destruction of private property.

I could cite countless examples of schools withholding and concealing the truth, but to keep it simple, let’s look at just one textbook on American history. The Florida Citizens Alliance has done a great job checking textbooks. One portion from their report on (2015) Modern World History, 9th Grade Teacher Edition, covering the Section on the American Revolution reveals that:

  • The debating between the Federalist and the Anti-Federalists is distorted.
  • The Federalist position was entirely misrepresented.

Signing the Constitution

  • There is no mention of the thirteen colonies declaring their independence as thirteen independent Nation states.
  • There is no mention of our Constitution being a legal document that created the federal government.
  • No mention that the Constitution gave only eighteen very well-defined and very limited powers to the federal government.
  • No mention of the extensive debates that led to the Bill of Rights and particularly why we have a 9th and 10th amendment.
  • The textbook states “colonial leaders eventually recognized the need for a strong national government” which is not true. Our Constitution was carefully crafted to limit federal government powers.

The Florida Citizens Alliance rank this section on American History as having 1) Bias 2) Omission of Fact 3) Half-Truth and 4) Factual Error.

This definitely falls into the withholding and concealing the truth category and, as I said before, is only one small example of how our kids are being misled. How can we expect them to realize how truly exceptional our country is if they are not told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

Back to Lenin’s statement—he continues: “sows among the masses hatred, scorn, and the like towards those who disagree with us.” Have you heard the words homophobe, xenophobe, Islamophobe, misogynist, racist, sexist? Can you honestly say those words do not sow “hatred, scorn and the like towards those who disagree with us?” How is our culture today different from that espoused by Lenin? Will your kids experience this in school?

These are but a few examples of how some are trying to lead our kids on paths away from truth, patriotism, and God. As a parent you must prepare your kids for being confronted with these realities. Teach them the truth, and that God’s love that endures all things.

Tell me, Mellon, when did we let evil become stronger than us?

– The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

 

Evolution, Intelligent Design, and the Death of Science

Intelligent Design

This post started out to be about the debate between evolution and intelligent design. I soon realized that it would end up a blank page. Proponents of the theory of evolution will not debate. They are right—everyone else is wrong.

Chapter 2 of my book Who’s Got Dibs on Your Kids? discusses that viewpoint plus creationism. I firmly believe that God created the universe and all in it in six days. However, in a manner of speaking, I am also a believer in the Intelligent Design (ID) concept. In its purest sense, ID does not take religious views into account. Its approach is strictly scientific, using the (up to this point) scientific method to go from hypothesis through experimentation to conclusion.

I used parentheses to call attention to the fact that the tried and true “scientific method” may have gasped its last breath. The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that decide what and how your kids will be taught about science has decided that we need new “practices” to determine how we understand the world. The website Celebrate Science says, “These practices replace the antiquated idea that there is a single scientific method that involves developing a hypothesis and then testing it with an experiment.” (Emphasis added.)

Let’s look at the NGSS new practices that provide a more complete description of the scientific process.

The eight practices of science and engineering that the [NGSS} Framework identifies as essential for all students to learn and describes in detail are listed below:

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

At first glance these may seem to be innocuous changes. A closer look may raise some red flags. I can’t go into all of the eight practices here, but think about the second one: Developing and using models. Models are often used as tools of forecasting. They are used extensively with studying climate change—and those models are consistently proved wrong! Using models is only as valid as the information input and the possible agenda of the model creator. The old saying about computers stands well here: Garbage in—garbage out.

Practice eight instructs the students to obtain, evaluate, and communicate information. Evaluating may be a scientific process, or it may be based entirely on a preconceived idea or attitude. What will the students be encouraged to state as their evaluations to get a satisfactory grade on their work?

Now, back to the theory of intelligent design. All states that participate in Common Core are required to teach evolution, and to teach it as fact. Except in a few states, the intelligent design concept may not be taught. So, we immediately have some problems. How do students ask probing questions if they are not allowed to discuss intelligent design (Practice 1)? How do they investigate alternative theories (Practice 3)? How do they engage in argument when there is only one side presented, and it is “fact” (Practice 7)? What is there to argue about?

Adherents to the theory of evolution say they will not permit intelligent design to be taught because it is just another name for creationism. Just as vehement in their opinion are some Christians who do not want it taught because it does not identify the “intelligent designer” as our God of the Bible. Proponents of intelligent design say it is strictly science based without bringing in a religious perspective at all. I agree with the latter.

I feel the scientific evidence for intelligent design can stand on its own. Permit our kids to have the debate! As far as not identifying God, those students certainly would not be led to a belief in the scriptures if all they heard in class was the theory/fact of evolution. At least if they learned there was another option to be considered, the Holy Spirit might lead them at some point to be more willing to listen to the Bible’s account of creation.

The Discovery Institute has produced an excellent paper titled, “The College Student’s Back to School Guide to Intelligent Design.” I recommend you download it. Read it with discernment, however, as there are some statements with which I personally do not agree; perhaps they are poorly stated. Nevertheless, as I have often said, please don’t wait until your kids are heading off to college to discuss evolution, intelligent design, and what God tells us about the origin of everything. Don’t throw them into the ocean of education rudderless, as fish without fins. Teach them how to navigate their way to the truth. When they are old enough, advance them from Genesis to Job 38–42, and let them stand in awe of our almighty God.

Evolution Happens

By permission of Answers in Genesis

My blogs previously were located on my website DibsOnYourKids.com but seemed to be getting lost in the shuffle. Therefore, I’ve started this new stand-alone blog that I call “God’s Path for Kids.”  It will contain the same news here regarding the paths the Pied Pipers are using to lead our kids away from God as the previous blogs The Pipers’ Paths and Standing Firm did. You can find all my previous posts back on the other website.