At the Creation Studies Institute we often receive communications from students and their parents concerning the response they get from school teachers and authorities when the Theory of Evolution is questioned by those students and/or parents. We sometimes forget the fact that these teachers are often only parroting what they have been taught. Most will not be able to defend the Theory of Evolution from even the most simplistic criticisms. Many bright young men and women need to be forewarned concerning the fact that the critical examination of the Theory of Evolution is frowned upon in the public school sector. Even when you get to the university, many professors are not prepared to respond intelligently when asked to defend the details of Darwinian Theory.
An Open Letter to Students and Parents of Students in the Public School System
When we examine the biology textbooks concerning Darwinian Theory, they usually skirt over the section concerning origins or they put forth the old Miller/Urey (failed) experiments as verification of the beginning of organic life from inorganic (non-living) materials. While often using the excuse that the Theory of Evolution does not deal with origins, this experiment is mentioned in almost all secular biology textbooks I have examined. Although it is clearly helpful for the teachers of Darwinian Theory to distance themselves from the issue of origins, it is nevertheless a relevant subject that should be confronted and examined in the science classroom.
A typical end result that takes place when a student questions or verbalizes doubts concerning Darwinian evolution in the classroom is they are singled out by their sometimes insecure teacher. They may be ridiculed for daring to question their teacher or intimidated by being labeled disruptive. It may seem to be asking much from middle or high school age students, but this response should only serve to encourage these students concerning their faith. The Lord told us that we would suffer for His sake and He is the Creator of the universe. Standing up for Him and being rejected may feel upsetting on a personal level; however, we are reminded that the prophets, the Apostles and many other great men and women of faith stood as witnesses (martyrs) before us were also mistreated.
History recounts to us the common tale of scientists rejected by their peers, many of whom were also Bible believers who suffered great persecution for daring to question the scientific status quo.
- Arrhenius (Ion chemistry. Not a believer, but his work was ridiculed when first published)
- Alfven, Hans (Galaxy-scale plasma dynamics,. He was derided for decades because gravity was thought to be the preeminent force in cosmological physics)
- Bakker, Robert (Fast, warm-blooded dinosaurs. He is also a Pentecostal preacher and committed creationist who promotes theistic evolution)
- Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan (black holes in 1930, ridiculed for 50 years before being vindicated with a Nobel Prize in 1983)
- Chladni, Ernst (meteorites in 1800 which at that time were considered the way UFO’s are viewed today)
- Crick & Watson (DNA. They were not ridiculed with the exception of but they were instructed to drop their research. They continued it as "bootleg" research)
- Damadian, Raymond V. (Invented Magnetic Resonance Imaging-MRI. He was denied the 2003 Noble Prize many believe for being a vocal Creationist)
- Doppler (Optical Doppler effect. It was rejected for two decades until the cosmological “red shift” was discovered)
- Folk, Robert L. (Existence and importance of nanobacteria. His work originally received a hostile reception claiming his nanobacteria were too small to exist)
- Galvani, Luigi (Bioelectricity, originally hailed as the “frogs dance instructor” for his seminal work in bioelectricity)
- Harvey, William (Circulation of blood, 1628. A Christian who credited Lev. 17:11 for his work in understanding the circulatory system)
- Krebs, Hans (ATP energy, Krebs cycle, his work was both ignored and ridiculed for the first ten years)
- Galileo (Supported the Copernican viewpoint and was imprisoned and hounded by the Catholic Church during the Inquisition)
- Gauss, Karl F. (Non-Euclidean geometry. He kept secret his discovery of non-Euclidean geometry for thirty years because of fear of ridicule. Lobachevsky later published similar work and was ridiculed. After Gauss' death his work was finally published, but even then it took decades for Non-Euclidean Geometry to overturn the Greek mathematically “pure” view of geometry, and to win acceptance among the professionals)
- Binning/Roher/Gimzewski (Scanning-tunneling microscope Invented in 1982. Other surface scientists refused to believe that atom-scale resolution was possible, and demonstrations of the STM in 1985 were still met by hostility, shouts, and laughter from the specialists in the microscopy field. Its discoverers won the Nobel prize in 1986, which went far in forcing an unusually rapid change in the attitude of colleagues)
- Goddard, Robert (The Father of liquid fueled rocketry and rocket-powered space ships was pilloried by fellow scientists and others for his work)
- Gold, Thomas (Deep non-biological petroleum deposits, derided for his theories concerning space dust and his abiogenic petroleum theory)
- Gold, Thomas (Deep mine bacteria, same as above)
- Lister, Joseph (Sterilization and a devout believer in Jesus Christ whose antiseptic theories were adopted only after ridicule and incredulous hesitance)
- Maiman, Theodore (Developed the first laser. His boss said no to his ‘optical maser’ idea. Maiman received funding only after threatening to quit and pursue the laser in his garage. Even so, ongoing research was a battle, and his funding was pulled twice)
- Margulis, Lynn (Endosymbiotic organelles. In 1970 Margulis was not only denied funding but also subjected to intense scorn by reviewers at the NSF. “I was flatly turned down,” Margulis said, and the grants officers added “that I should never apply again.” Textbooks today quote her discovery as fact; that plant and animal cells are really communities of cooperating bacteria. The paper was initially heavily rejected, as symbiosis theories had been dismissed by mainstream biology at the time. Weathering constant criticism of her ideas for decades, Margulis is famous for her tenacity in pushing her theory forward, despite the opposition she faced at the time)
- Mayer, Julius R. (The Law of Conservation of Energy. Mayer's original paper was contemptuously rejected by the leading physics journals of the time. The rejection ridicule and deaths of his children left him suicidal and institutionalized)
- Marshall, B (Ulcers caused by bacteria, helicobacter pylori. A truth that was resisted by the medical community until Marshall infected himself with H. pylori and cured it with antibiotics)
- McClintlock, Barbara (Mobile genetic elements, "jumping genes", transposons receives the Nobel Prize at 81 years of age after 32 years of being ignored and ridiculed)
- Newlands, John A. (Pre-Mendeleev periodic table whose “law of octaves” and early periodic table work was ridiculed when presented, and was not published by the Chemical Society)
- Nottebohm, F. (Neurogenesis: brains can grow neurons. After twenty years as a ridiculed minority, Nottebohm's work with songbird brains was finally taken seriously, and the biologists of today now recognize that the age-old dogma was wrong: brains do regenerate neurons after all. As of the late 1990s the information has not yet reached most of the biological community, nor the general public.)
- Ohm, George S. (Ohm's Law. Ohm's initial publication was met with ridicule and dismissal. His work was called “a tissue of naked fantasy.” Approximately ten years passed before scientists began to recognize its great importance)
- Ovshinsky, Stanford R. (Amorphous semiconductor devices. Ovshinsky's breakthrough invention of glasslike semiconductors was attacked by physicists and then ignored for more than a decade. Ovshinsky was bankrupt and destitute when finally the Japanese took interest and funded his work resulting in the new science of amorphous semiconductor physics)
- Pasteur, Louis (Germ theory of disease. Pasteur saw no conflict between science and Christianity. In fact, he believed that ‘science brings men nearer to God’ and was a devoted Christian, but like Semmelweiss before him, was ridiculed for his theories concerning microorganisms)
- Prusiner, Stanley (Existence of prions, 1982. Prusiner endured derision from colleagues for his prion theory explaining Mad Cow Disease, but was vindicated by winning the Nobel prize in 1997)
- Rous, Peyton (Viruses cause cancer. However, although Rous's observations were indicative of what would one day be a widely held belief, that is, that some cancers are virus induced, his work was not well accepted in 1911)
- Semmelweis, I. (Surgeons wash hands, puerperal fever. He was so vilified that he suffered a nervous breakdown and never recovered)
- Tesla, Nikola (Earth electrical resonance or “Schumann” resonance. Tesla's fame rivaled that of any other inventor or scientist in history or popular culture but due to his eccentric personality and his seemingly unbelievable and sometimes bizarre claims about possible scientific and technological developments, Tesla was ultimately ostracized and regarded as a mad scientist. Tesla never put much focus on his finances. It is said he died impoverished, at the age of 86)
- Tesla, Nikola (Brushless AC motor. Same as above)
- J H van't Hoff (Molecules are 3D. As a relative newcomer and unknown, he was attacked and ridiculed for proposing that a 3D tetrahedral structure would explain many problems in chemistry. His foes rapidly went silent, and finally his ridiculous cardboard models won the first Nobel prize in chemistry in 1901)
- Warren, Warren S (Flaw in MRI theory. Warren and his team at Princeton tracked down a Magnetic Resonance anomaly and found a new facet to MRI theory: spin interactions between distant molecules, including deterministic Chaos effects. Colleagues knew he was wrong, and warned him that his crazy results were endangering his career. Princeton held a "roast", a mean-spirited bogus presentation mocking his work. Warren then began encountering funding cancellations. After approx. seven years, the tide of ridicule turned and Warren was vindicated)
- Wegener, Alfred (Continental drift hypothesis proposed in 1915 was not accepted until the 1950s, when numerous discoveries provided evidence of plate tectonics)
- Wright, Wilbur & Orville (Flying machines. The Wright brothers were preacher’s kids who refused to work on Sundays. After their Kitty Hawk success, the Wrights flew their machine in open fields next to a busy rail line in Dayton Ohio for almost an entire year. American authorities refused to come to the demos, and Scientific American Magazine published stories about “The Lying Brothers.” Even the local Dayton newspapers never sent a reporter, but they did complain about all the letters they were receiving from local “crazies” who reported the many flights. Finally the Wrights packed up and moved to Europe, where they caused an overnight sensation and sold aircraft contracts to France, Germany, Britain, etc.)
- Zwicky, Fritz (Existence of dark matter in1933. Known in the astro research community as “Crazy Fritz,” Zwicky investigated orbit statistics of galactic clusters in 1933 and concluded that the majority of mass had an invisible unknown source. He was ignored, dismissed as an eccentric.)
- Zweig, George (Quark theory. Zweig published quark theory at CERN in 1964 calling them ‘aces,’ but everyone knows that no particle can have 1/3 electric charge. Rather than receiving recognition, he encountered stiff barriers and was accused of being a charlatan)
The history of science is peppered with these examples of those who stood against the prevailing scientific establishment of what was thought to be the scientific consensus only to be rejected and ridiculed by their peers. Are those scientists who embrace the evidence for special creation any different? What of those classically trained scientists with impeccable credentials in the Discovery Institute who espouse the Theory of Intelligent Design? Could it be that the majority of those we credit with the academic keys to the kingdom are locking out anything and anyone who runs afoul of their litmus test of what constitutes real science, e.g. a blind unswerving allegiance to naturalism and the Darwinian Theory that exalts it?
We want to encourage all students and parents who are taking a stand against the indoctrination that is taking the place of education in our public schools specifically with regard to the teaching of biology. At the Creation Studies Institute we understand just how tough it can be to stand firm in the righteousness and truth of the Lord, especially when it is our young people who are taking such a stand. Make no mistake about this; the teaching of only one explanation, e.g. the naturalistic and materialistic evolutionary paradigm while allowing no substantive criticism to be voiced concerning that explanation, is indoctrination not education. No student is being taught to think critically in the public school science classrooms, neither are they encouraged to do so. They are instead brainwashed with the “molecules to men” Theory of Evolution and all criticism or information to the contrary is disallowed.
It is extremely important for all who believe that God is the Creator of all things to remember that the teaching of Evolution is the Goliath that all who trust in God’s Word face daily. By the world’s standards the Theory of Evolution is big and scary, but by the Lord’s standards it is a paper tiger. A great spiritual Law that has been tested and found to be completely trustworthy is the following: “truth liberates and error binds.” We know the truth and we are set free to see the world the way it actuality is. Those who embrace lies are left in darkness, the Bible calls them educated fools (a paraphrase of Romans 1:22).
So what shall we say to these things? Do not be surprised at the opposition. We can and should learn the fundamentals of the Theory of Evolution. We should ask pertinent questions. Those who embrace this naturalistic worldview will not be happy about it if you confront the brainwashing, censorship and deception the evolutionary faithful use to squash any and all who oppose them. We need to remember that questioning presuppositions is a basic tenet of good science. The rest of the class (unless they turn on you too and that is a distinct possibility) will at least benefit from the fact that you are raising doubts concerning this flawed Darwinian Theory. Remember, evolution (change over time) takes place, but it is truly adaptation and not evolution. The concept they are promoting is a baseless lie, e.g. that things become increasingly more complex over time via natural selection and beneficial mutation thereby changing themselves into completely different life forms.
In conclusion, there is another important truth that may help you in the future and it is the concept of “picking your fights” wisely. Discerning when to take a stand will be extremely beneficial we confront the darkness. By letting our lights shine we dispel the darkness and we grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord. Don’t be offended by the system or the negative response you may get from speaking the truth in love. It’s not personal. It is just a reflection of the spiritual warfare surrounding us. Remember, we cannot lose! Because of our faith in the Lord we are already “more than a conqueror through Christ who loves us.”
Steve Rowitt, Th.M., Ph.D. (c)
Chief Technical Advisor
Creation Studies Institute