Darwin’s Desperate Disciples

As everyone knows, the purpose of any good library is to broaden our horizons—offering information from many different perspectives. But not long ago a school district created controversy when it did just that: when it voted to include in school libraries books offering a critical perspective of Darwinian evolution. It all began when the Melvindale-Northern Allen Park School Board in Detroit voted to place books critical of Darwinian evolution in its school libraries. You might have thought that scientists, of all people, would welcome rigorous inquiry into controversial subjects. But instead, Darwin's defenders went ballistic. The National Center for Science Education, an evolutionist watchdog group, immediately issued an Internet alert urging members to send letters to the "Detroit News" condemning the board. Director Eugenie Scott told the press the books selected for school libraries were "bad science," that they were "frankly religious," and that some were even "a joke." But all this was sheer bluster. Scott knows that among the 19 titles were books authored by Michael Behe, Michael Denton, and Dean Kenyon—all well-respected, tenured biology professors at secular universities. The case these professors make against Darwinism is not religious but scientific. It's based on things like the "gaps" in the fossil record, the pervasive pattern of sudden appearance of new life forms followed by long periods of no change which contradicts completely the theory of evolutionary change. The case is based on the irreducible complexity of living things—which suggests they could not arise by any gradual, piecemeal process. Like a watch or a mousetrap, many living things consist of pieces that have to be assembled from the outset or they won't work at all. People like Scott know there's a serious scientific case to be made against Darwin, so why do they keep pushing the religion button? The answer is that they are worried: Thanks to just these arguments, the monopoly that Darwinism has held in public schools is disintegrating. In response, defenders of Darwinism are seeking to construct a united front for the public, denouncing all criticisms of Darwinism as anti-scientific.   Yet, enforcing a single perspective in the science classroom is ITSELF anti-scientific. The very point of scientific inquiry is not to protect pet theories from criticism, but to get at the truth. As biologist Jonathan Wells asks, "Should [students] be permitted to think for themselves, or should they be indoctrinated by one party in the controversy while all other views are officially banned?" I'm happy to report that reason finally prevailed over anti-science hysteria in Detroit. Books offering scientific criticisms of Darwinism can now be found on the shelves of school libraries. Why not donate a good science text to your own public school library, like "Of Pandas and People?" It provides students with the facts that Darwinists are trying to suppress. It outlines the case for intelligent design, which is proving the most serious challenge to macroevolution since Darwin published his theory more than a century ago. Of course, if you do bring in a book like this, the Darwinist book-banners won't like it. You might even spark a controversy. But it would be a genuinely scientific thing to do.


Chuck Colson



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