Creation Resource Sheet
DARWINIAN FUNDAMENTALISM: IMPACT ON LAW AND SCIENCE
Law, morality, religion, are to [the proletariat] so many bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.
(Karl Marx (in Noebel))
A religion may be defined as a worldview, a set of basic premises that define how we understand the world around us and our purpose in it. From these premises we derive our philosophies and values, and from our values we develop morals to protect and achieve those values. How does the evolutionary worldview fit in the scheme of things like science, philosophy and religion?
Modern science required certain premises to develop. Chief among those premises was a belief in an orderly, regular state of nature. Experiments means nothing and applied science is impossible if we have no faith that an experiment with the same inputs will provide the same results.
This faith in a lawful state of nature which many of us take for granted today has not been the norm through history. For example polytheists, such as many of the ancient Greeks, believed nature was the plaything of many gods. These gods were capricious and inconsistent in their activities. Thus while polytheists could be excellent observers of nature, they lacked the necessary faith to take the next step and apply their knowledge in a systematic manner with assurance that tomorrow nature would act like it did today.
Many other cultures took a skeptical view about the reality and constancy of nature, particularly in the Eastern world. Again, men in such cultures were sometimes skilled observers, but they made little attempt to formulate “laws” based on an understanding of nature as real, not illusionary. (Morris 1988)
Only among the monotheistic cultures was a proper foundation for science laid. Men believed in a lawful universe because they believed in a lawgiving creator of it. So something like modern science is built upon religion, or more specifically on a philosophy of nature that is itself built on religion. Not all religions are compatible with this philosophy of nature and with modern science. But the point is, such philosophies and belief in science are built on certain religions, they are not intrinsic competitors. Moreover some religions are compatible, and some incompatible, with science as we know it. That is, some provide the proper foundation for science, and some lack that foundation.
The table below explains what has happened as the foundations for modern science have been eroded. Science was founded on a belief in a lawful nature created by a lawful God. Secular humanism, which basically equates to atheism and Darwinian fundamentalism, eliminated the Lawgiver while continuing to assert the existence of a lawful universe “just because.” Thus modern science was retained, but at the cost of a missing foundation. This was Modernism.
In the last generation the predictable result was Postmodernism– if there is no Lawgiver, then “laws” are a human invention, not an objective reality to which nature (or humans in the case of moral law) must conform. Consistent postmodernists thus deny objective reality to science, describing it instead as a mental construct we impose on the universe for our own purposes.
|Theistic Philosophy of Nature – Natural Law
|Modernism – Natural Law
|Postmodernism – No Law
|Monotheistic Religion – Lawgiver
|Naturalism (Atheism) – No Lawgiver
|Atheism – No Lawgiver
Modernists are embarrassed by Postmodernism but they cannot refute it because they share the premises of Postmodernism. Several years ago modernist physicist Alan Sokal managed to get a politically correct article filled with science jargon that was actually gibberish published in Social Text, a leading postmodern journal (Detroit News). He ridiculed the inability of postmodernists (who now rule most universities outside of the hard sciences) to objectively evaluate truth and falseness, logic and irrationalism. But he didn’t convert anyone, because from their standpoint his ridicule was simply a reflection of the only thing left when you remove an almighty God from the equation: power plays between humans struggling to defeat one another and impose their rules on one another for selfish purposes. Ridicule is not rational argument, and rational argument is little use against someone who has determined, based on atheistic premises, that ones’ mind is a product of purposeless chance processes.
The teaching of Darwinian fundamentalism appears to correlate with a decrease in belief in science and a scientific worldview, based on studies of high school and college students. (Piel, Wieland) The available evidence also suggests that teaching from a creationist standpoint produces students with a superior understanding of science. For example, home school students are far more intensely committed to creation studies and a biblical worldview than the general population, and average as high as the 85th percentile on standardized tests. (Rudner) Private schools are more likely to teach from a creation worldview than government schools, and score much higher on standardized science tests (roughly 65th percentile to 45th percentile in general).
The common claim of Darwinian fundamentalists that teaching science from a creationary point of view will harm students is false. Science was founded and overwhelmingly developed for centuries in just such an environment. While many “intellectuals” in history have been atheists (such as Voltaire and Rousseau, Marx and Engels, etc.) the founders of most sciences have been openly Bible-believing creationists. (Morris 1985) This includes giants like Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Johann Kepler, Charles Babbage, Louis Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Gregor Mendel and Michael Faraday. Modern biblical creationists continue to do fruitful work in all areas of actual science (Ashton), from plant transformation genetics to fusion power to cancer research to inventors like the Raymond Damadian, creator of the MRI. Ironically their leading critics, Darwinist intellectuals like Drs. S.J. Gould, Richard Dawkins and Eugenie Scott, rarely have a patent to show for their contribution to “science.”
Several years ago the Detroit News asked readers if it was possible for science to prove the existence of God. My published answer:
- In logic you cannot use an assumption to prove itself.
- Science was founded on a belief in a transcendent Lawgiver– God – over nature.
- No one has ever justified an alternative source for the existence of the laws of nature.
- Therefore, science cannot prove God because it is founded on belief in God in the first place.
Not only does Darwinism, in its attempt to justify atheism, destroy the basis for science. It also distorts the objectivity and purpose of legal and moral standards. In the moral realm, as Marx points out above, laws cannot be a reflection of God’s will but must instead be selfish inventions of men in Darwinian competition with other men. In such a case moral/legal laws are not constructed for the good of all men but rather for the good of those in power, who establish those laws. Law becomes an instrument with which to suppress and oppress opponents, rather than a protector of all people. In recent generations this shift from law as an instrument of protection to law as an instrument of power and coercion has become more and more apparent in politics and judicial activism. (Bovard) The role of Darwinian fundamentalism as the driving force in this shift has been documented by a number of authors. (c.f. Eidsmoe)
Tenets of Darwinian Fundamentalism
Darwinian fundamentalism is not science, despite frequent claims that their beliefs are somehow scientific. The foundational dogmas of Darwinian fundamentalism are:
- There is no God, or he is scientifically irrelevant.
- Thus, life formed from non-life by natural processes.
- Life evolved from simple to complex by natural processes.
- All life is descended from a common ancestor (or a very small number of common ancestors).
- Morality and law are human inventions, not divine. They evolved because they somehow are helpful in producing more offspring.
- There is no purpose to the universe, nor in our own lives beyond our own selfish desires.
Note that none of these dogmas are “scientific” – none is based on direct observation, nor can they be experimentally tested in the historical sense. Instead, Darwinian fundamentalists treat them as unquestionable dogma and demand that all data be interpreted in a manner consistent with these dogmas. This is consistent with the behavior all religions expect of their adherents. Darwinian fundamentalists may claim their beliefs offer the best interpretation of scientific and historical data, but this does not make the foundational beliefs “science.” Nor does it justify suppression of other views or conflicting evidence.
Ultimately there can only be one totally correct interpretation of reality – one true religion. All others will develop various inconsistencies as they attempt to explain more and more evidence within their worldview. It is less important to consider what Darwinian fundamentalism can explain then what it cannot explain. (After all, flat-earthers –to the extent they ever existed (Russell) – can explain a good deal of geographical data. It’s the data they can’t explain that is significant.) This explains why Darwinists are so fanatical in persecuting anyone who dares criticize Darwinism, even without saying a word about creation. (Pearcey) It’s their religion, their beliefs about themselves, the world, and the (absence of) accountability of man to God that is at stake. No one gets bent out of shape because of the strange lady down the street who thinks the Earth revolves around the moon. It doesn’t threaten their core beliefs.
In a broader sense, Darwinian fundamentalism is similar to many other religions. Not just variants of atheism like Marxism and Secular Humanism, but religions like Shintoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, various animistic/spiritist faiths like voodoo, New Age teaching and eastern religious philosophies all depend on an interpretation of nature similar to the Darwinian dogmas listed above. If anything like the biblical creation model – a recent universe and mature creation by an almighty, personal Creator – is correct, they cannot be true. This helps explain why creation doctrine is so fiercely opposed. People who do not know God’s love for them and the Gospel message, or harden their hearts against it, will tend to oppose the creation doctrine God’s Word is built upon as well.
References & Further Study
Ashton, John, ed., In Six Days: Why 50 Scientists Believe in Creation (Sydney: New Holland, 1999).
Bovard, James, Lost Rights: The Destruction of American Liberty (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1995).
Breese, David, Seven Men Who Rule the World from the Grave (Chicago: Moody, 1992).
Detroit News editorial, “A Wakeup Call for Academia” 5/26/96.
Eidsmoe, John, “The Crisis of the Constitution: From Biblical Absolutes to Evolutionary Humanism,” in The Proceedings of the 1992 Twin-Cities Creation Conference, pp. 123-130.
Morris, Henry, The Long War Against God (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1988)
Morris, Henry, The Biblical Basis for Modern Science(Grand Rapids: Baker, 1985)
Noebel, David, Understanding the Times (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1991).
Pearcey, Nancy, “Scopes in Reverse,” Access Research Network.
Piel, Kevin, “A Comparison of Animistic Beliefs Between WELS and Public School Students,” Lutheran Science Journal 10(1):3-8.
Rudner, Lawrence, “Home Schooling Works,” Home School Legal Defense Association.
Russell, Jeffrey, Inventing the Flat Earth (Greenwood,1997).
Veith, Gene, Postmodern Times (Eugene, OR: Crossway Books, 1994).
Wieland, Carl, “Pagan Panic,” Creation Ex Nihilo 15(1):18-21.
Revised 17 Jan 2002