I came across an episode of the TV series Boston Legal where a member of a school board, Walter Fife, of a Boston public school was being sued because the school board fired three teachers who would not teach Intelligent Design along with Evolution. Here’s how the meeting with the lawyers at Crane, Poole, and Schmidt firm began:
Walter Fife: The School Board voted to include Creationism along with Darwinism in the eighth-grade science curriculum. The teachers refused. I terminated their employment. They sued.
Denny Crane: Massachusetts is a blue state. God has no place here.
Denny Crane, played by William Shatner, echoed a truism. I don’t believe there is a public school in Massachusetts that would ever decide to teach Creationism along with Evolution or a court would allow it. Crane’s comment immediately made me suspicious as to how the topic was going to be handled by the writers of the show.
Apologetics 101: Defending the Christian Faith
Apologetics 101 is an in-depth study of defending the Christian faith. The Greek word apologia simply means ‘defense,’ and apologetics is the art and act of giving a defense. Christian Apologetics then is the art and act of defending the Christian faith, not a proof of God in general. The Christian apologist must be ready to answer truth claims about the Bible, not claims about Hinduism, Islam, or any other false religion. The Bible makes the bold claim that Jesus is the ONLY way, and the Christian apologist must set his sights on the Bible alone, not on a defense of arbitrary theism.Buy Now
The firm decided to take the case. Shirley Schmidt, played by Candice Bergen, explained to Lori that the case was “a variation of the  Scope’s trial.” What is often missed about the Scope’s Trial is William Jennings Bryan’s argument that the materialistic something-from-nothing worldview of evolution could ever account for transcendent values. The weak would, based on science, be trampled by the strong. The secular religionists of the day had put their trust in technology and the Darwinian worldview of promised evolutionary advancement. Survival of the fittest had become the new ethical standard. For example, the American industrialist Andrew Carnegie embraced the social implications of Darwin’s theories and applied them to the world of business. “That light came in as a flood and all was clear,” he wrote in his 1920 autobiography. “Not only had I got rid of theology and the supernatural, but I found the truth of evolution.” John D. Rockefeller, using Darwinian logic, believed that “The growth of a large business is merely the survival of the fittest.”
Lori Colson, a defense attorney at the firm, said the following when she was presented with the outline of the case: “Sounds like a slam dunk. For them.” The “slam dunk” was due to the secular nation of Massachusetts, previous court decisions, and the purported “science” behind evolution.
Shirley Schmidt responded with, “Perhaps. It would take some pretty ingenious lawyering on our part from, not only a gifted attorney but someone who’s an expert in the field.” And what was Colson’s “expertise”? “I know all the skeletons in your closet,” Schmidt said. “Remember? Including that deeply guarded little one that you fear might ruin your intellectual reputation. You go to church.” Wow! Two truths in such a short period of time. God is not welcomed in the politics of Massachusetts and anyone who goes to church and believes in God is anti-intellectual. Not a great start.
A discussion ensues on the best way to handle the case. Colson argues “for an immediate declaratory judgment. The last thing we want is a trial. This is a hot-button issue. The ACLU will be jumping in and that’s only the beginning.”
The storyline moves to Judge William Howe’s courtroom. School board member Walter Fife is on the stand.
Walter Fife: We actually call it Intelligent Design. Basically, the idea is, life is so complex, a Greater Power has to be at play.
Lori Colson: The Greater Power being God?
Walter Fife: We’re by no means shutting down Darwinism or suggesting that evolution is inaccurate.
Lori Colson: Do you believe in evolution, Mr. Fife?
Walter Fife: I happen to believe in both God and evolution. I don’t think the two have to be mutually exclusive.
Lori Colson: So, why not simply offer the Intelligent Design theory in religion courses? Why Science?
Walter Fife: Well, we thought long and hard about that. But the simple truth is, more and more scientists, scientists, not theologians have said that when you examine the intricacies of the human cell, the mathematical equations of DNA, you simply cannot conclude that it’s all explained by natural selection. Another Power has to be at work.
At this point, the lawyer for the fired teachers approaches Mr. Fife:
Attorney Daniel Gellman: God?
Walter Fife: Well again, we never mention Him by name.
Attorney Daniel Gellman: You’re aware of the separation of Church and State?
Walter Fife: I’m aware.
Contrary to what Congressman Eric Swalwell and others claim, the Constitution does not say anything about the separation of church and state. Anyway, a school is not a church. The First Amendment begins, “Congress shall make no law….” Congress is not involved in this dispute. Colson offers a lukewarm defense. For example, the Massachusetts’ Constitution states the following: “It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons to worship the Supreme Being, the great Creator and Preserver of the universe.” We’ll come back to this point later.
Attorney Daniel Gellman: And you’re also aware that the Supreme Court has banned the teaching of Creationism.
Walter Fife: Well, as I said, technically we’re not calling it Creationism.
Attorney Daniel Gellman: But you admitted that’s what’s going on. And Creationism holds that God created the world about 6,000 years ago in six days?
Walter Fife: That’s not my view.
Attorney Daniel Gellman: But it’s a view you’re insisting your teachers explain in the Science class?
Walter Fife: As a theory.
Attorney Daniel Gellman: A theory with no scientific basis other than to say… “Gee, evolution can’t account for it all.”
This is where things get a bit muddled. Intelligent Design and Creationism are not the same. The ID movement does not hold to a six-day, 6,000-year-creation model. There are many credentialed scientists who hold to ID. And by the way, evolution cannot account for it all. It can’t account for the existence of matter, organized information (DNA), or empirical evidence that shows how non-life became life and evolved over eons of time to what we see today.
If Evolution is Right Can Anything be Wrong?
Atheistic evolutionists express moral outrage against murder and rape, but if evolution is true, how can there be moral outrage since it was killing and rape that got us where we are today as a species? Animals kill and rape every day. Why are killing and rape OK for animals but not for humans, who are only supposedly highly evolved animals? If evolution is true, at death we are nothing more than dust in the wind and in life we are nothing more than a bag of meat and bones. In this audio series, Gary DeMar forces the evolutionist to live consistently with his stated materialist assumptions.Buy Now
The following is a “brief review of basic evolutionary theory” from an organization promoting evolution:
Evolution begins with mutations in biological organisms that occur naturally during the reproductive process. When such mutations provide advantages in survival and reproduction, they are more likely to be passed on to future generations—this is the process of “natural selection.” Over billions of years—3.5 billion, in the case of earthly life—helpful mutations accumulate into the vast array of highly developed and specialized life forms found on earth today—life forms which, because they have been so rigorously adapted to their environments, often appear complex or even “designed.”
Did you notice where the theory begins? With existing organisms. The question is, How did the organisms come into existence? Where did the needed information come from to be the complex organisms that mutated and reproduced that we are? All the origin steps are missing. Why? Because they can’t be accounted for scientifically. They must be assumed for the theory to work without an intelligent Being behind it all.
One must wonder if the scriptwriters purposely gave the name “Fife” to the schoolboard member to conjure up the Barney Fife character from The Andy Griffith Show.
Quoted in John W. Whitehead, The End of Man (Westchester, IL: Crossway Books, 1986), 53.
James Burke, The Day the Universe Changed (Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company, 1985), 271.
A declaratory judgment is a court-issued judgment that defines and outlines the rights and obligations of each party in a contract.