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The Evolution Problem (and Leonard Pitts’ Problem in Defending It)

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Leonard Pitts, Jr., a syndicated columnist for Tribune Media Services and a Pulitzer Prize winner, writes in a recent column, “It is the overwhelming consensus of the mainstream scientific community that Darwin had it right. So pretending there is another side to the question makes about as much sense as pretending there is another side to the Klan.”[1] His KKK analogy is an outrage, but being a liberal black man, he can get away with such offensive nonsense. At least the beliefs of the KKK are taught in public (government) schools in an academic setting. The same cannot be said for the beliefs of creationists who hold the same academic degrees as evolutionists. Dr. Michael Behe, professor of biochemistry at Lehigh University, whose book Darwin’s Black Box[2] has thrown a monkey wrench into the evolutionary machinery, can hold his own with any evolutionist. He has been published widely. He is an expert witness in the Dover, Pennsylvania, Intelligent Design case.[3]

The purely naturalistic/materialistic evolutionary view, the only view permitted to be taught in public schools, is only held by about 13 percent of the population of the United States. Most polls show that a majority of Americans—more than 50 percent—believe in special creation over against evolution.[4] If you add to the question that God guided the process, then the numbers go up to more than 80 percent. Again, not even this view can be taught in public schools. Mr. Pitts could not get anywhere near the same number of adherents that espouse the beliefs of the KKK. Such an analogy shows Mr. Pitts’ desperation, especially in light of the fact that “nearly two-thirds of those in a Pew Research Center poll, 64 percent, say they believe ‘creationism’ should be taught alongside ‘evolution.’”[5] He has to make his analogy extreme because he does not have science, logic, history, or public opinion on his side.



Notice that Mr. Pitts’ unsubstantiated operating presupposition is that “the overwhelming consensus of the mainstream scientific community” believes in evolution, therefore, this makes it so. “Mainstream” is defined as anyone who is an evolutionist. If you do not believe in evolution, you are not mainstream, and only mainstream counts. Mr. Pitts is at best naïve and at worst deceived on the fundamentals of the debate. Evolutionists generally obscure their evidence and blackball Intelligent Design and Creationist advocates who present legitimate scientific papers that question some of the foundational logic of evolutionary theory. At the same time, evolutionists will claim that Intelligent Design scientists need to have their papers peer reviewed. Of course, if you do not adhere to the evolutionary model, you are a non-scientist by definition and not a peer.[6]

There was a time, not too long ago, that the “mainstream scientific community” believed that blacks were on the low end of the evolutionary scale, that they should not be considered culturally, mentally, developmentally, or morally equal to whites. Darwin taught that “American aborigines, Negroes and Europeans differ as much from each other in mind as any three races that can be named.”[7] He also believed that “the races differ also in constitution, in acclimation, and in liability to certain diseases. Their mental characteristics are likewise very distinct; chiefly as it would appear in the emotional, but partly in their intellectual faculties. Every one who has had the opportunity of comparison must have been struck with the contrast between the taciturn [silent], even morose, aborigines of S. Africa and the lighthearted, talkative Negroes.”[8]

While racism has been a cultural constant throughout the ages,[9] it was Darwinism that made the practice scientifically defensible and acceptable. It was George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology that prompted the “Scopes Trial” in 1925. A Civic Biology made a causal connection between evolution and race.[10] Hunter ranked the races according to their evolutionary development. There are “five races or varieties of man,” Hunter wrote, “the Negro type … the Malay or brown race … the American Indian … the Mongolian or yellow race … and finally, the highest type of all, the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.”[11] The textbook concludes that the “highest” race is made up of Caucasians, who are “higher” developed in terms of “instincts, social customs, and . . . structure.”[12] Hunter was all for selective breeding to weed out “feeble-mindedness” and the generally “unfit.”

What does any of this mean for a black man like Leonard Pitts? Europeans have imbibed freely on the intoxicating pseudoscience of Darwinism without much opposition. There is no broad anti-evolution movement in Europe. The European scientific “mainstream” ridicules the creation movement in the United States. Atheists point out how well Europe is doing without God.[13] But Europe has a problem. “Europe’s soccer stadiums, long known for boisterous, drunken fans and hooligans, have lately become fertile ground for a continent-wide problem: racism.”[14] Fans throw bananas on the field and make monkey noises every time a black player gets the ball. Darwin’s evolved chickens have come home to roost.

Darwin’s views about race have a logical end that cannot be countered by laws and fines, the European remedy. Racism is built into the fabric of Darwin. The only worldview that dampens its effect is the Christian worldview and its insistence on the literalism of the creation account and the fact that we all—red, white, black, and brown—are created in the image of God. Pitts tells his readers that he believes in God, that “God is the sovereign author of creation.” He may believe it, but the evolutionists won’t allow him or anyone else who holds a similar position to bring that belief into the public school classroom to tell students that God is the author of the created order. The evolution movement is being driven by atheists. There’s not even room for a nondescript designer who holds no sovereign authority and makes no moral demands. Here’s how Daniel C. Dennett formulates the evolutionary position:

The kindly God who lovingly fashioned each and every one of us (all creatures great and small) and sprinkled the sky with shining stars for our delight—that God is, like Santa Claus, a myth of childhood, not anything a sane, undeluded adult could literally believe in. That God must either be turned into a symbol for something less concrete or abandoned altogether.[15]

Mr. Pitts’ belief in evolution will not get him into Mr. Dennett’s club since he believes in God, a sovereign God at that. Mr. Dennett considers Mr. Pitts to be “insane” and “deluded.” So make your choice, Mr. Pitts. You cannot “hesitate between two opinions” (1 Kings 18:21). Neither God nor the evolutionists will let you.

Endnotes:

[1] Leonard Pitts, Jr., “Scientists don’t sue to gain access to pulpits” (September 30, 2005): www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/columnists/leonard_pitts/12778992.htm
[2] Michael J. Behe, Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution (Free Press, 1996).
[3] Michelle Starr, “Dover defense starts: Intelligent design expert Michael Behe will testify at the trial today,” York Daily Record (October 17, 2005): http://ydr.com/story/doverbiology/89955/
[4] “Poll: Creationism Trumps Evolution,” CBS News (November 22, 2004): www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/11/22/opinion/polls/main657083.shtml
[5] Associated Press, “Poll shows support for teaching ‘creationism’” (August 31, 2005): www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9146879/
[6] See Denyse O’Leary, By Design or by Chance? The Growing Controversy on the Origins of Life in the Universe (Minneapolis: Augsburg Books, 2004) for how the Catch-22 peer review provision works (201–206).
[7] Charles Darwin, The Descent of Man. Quoted in Benjamin Wiker, Moral Darwinism: How We Became Hedonists (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2002), 249.
[8] Darwin, The Descent of Man. Quoted in Benjamin Wiker, Moral Darwinism, 249.
[9] See Richared Hofstadtler, Social Darwinism in American Thought, rev. ed. (Boston: Beacon Press, [1944] 1955), 171–179.
[10] Evolutionary theories had been around before Charles Darwin published his On the Origin of Species in 1859. His grandfather, Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802), formulated an early theory of evolution in Zoonomia, or, The Laws of Organic Life (1794–1796). Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) was an early proponent of evolution that had some affinity with Darwinism.
[11] George William Hunter, A Civic Biology (New York: American Book Co., 1914), 196.
[12] Hunter, A Civic Biology, 312.
[13] Ruth Gledhill, “Societies worse off ‘when they have God on their side,’” Timesonline (September 27, 2005): www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1798944,00.html
[14] Keith B. Richburg, “Fans’ Racist Taunts Rattle European Soccer” (December 13, 2004): http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A59919-2004Dec12.html
[15] Daniel C. Dennett, Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Evolution and the Meaning of Things (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 18.

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