“I Need Feedback From People who don’t accept my Ideas.”
|Author: Jerry Bergman
Radio Interview with Jerry Bergman
Radio interview with Jerry Bergman on “Kansas Live,” August 16, 2006 produced in Wichita for American Family Radio. Dr. Van Stipdonk provided the transcription. The meeting at Wichita State was Friday, August 18th, room 208 of Hubbard Hall. Edited for space and clarity by Jerry Bergman
Host: We will talk with you more, Mr. Lehman, but thank you for sharing why Dr. Jerry Bergman will be coming to town. Dr. Bergman, this is a issue that has permeated our school system for a long time and several generations now have been taught that life comes from just matter and that evolution is fact and schools haven’t been given the opportunity to criticize it as you would any science theory in a classroom. Tell us about why you got involved with this particular issue and why it is close to your heart?
Dr. Jerry Bergman: I became very involved because at one time I was an atheist. I became disillusioned with atheism, what they were doing and what they weren’t doing. They seemed to spend all their time condemning Christians instead of going out and doing positive things. And when I began to question atheism, the question “is there a god?” naturally arose. The first thing I looked at is why–why are we atheists? Why do atheists exist? One of the main reasons why is that many scientists, and most all atheists, believe that we can account for the creation, not by a Creator, but by Darwinism. And so, one of the first things I questioned, since I taught biology (one of my majors in school), was if Darwinism was true. And so I slowly, but surely, evaluated each of the major arguments for Darwinism, one at a time, and concluded after a certain point that the idea simply was not true. And by Darwinism I mean the “from the goo to you by way of the zoo,” theory which expresses the major idea behind Darwinism.
Host: From goo to you by way of the zoo.
Host: That is a very simple way of putting it. I don’t understand why challenging Darwinism is so much of a threat. You can’t prove evolution by evidence any more than you can prove the creation theory. Yet they say, “Well, evolution is the only theory that has all this evidence to back it up.” And you say the evidence that they’re coming up with isn’t accurate. Tell us a little bit about DNA and what it tells you about the theory of evolution.
Bergman: Now that we understand more about how cells divide and how cells work at the cellular level, an area called molecular biology, we realize that its not only the complexity but that design is very apparent in life. For example, there is strong evidence for design in the DNA code. Not only design, but design at a far more complex level that we even thought a few years ago. We know that there’s a code which produces the amino acid sequence that produces protein, but now we realize that there are codes within this code that help to regulate the DNA, where it sits on histones, for example. So, as time goes by, we realize the cell is not only more complex, but it’s also more intricate and well designed, providing more evidence of design.
Host: And you say that orthodox evolutionists have claimed that certain things are true, and yet your finding is that that research is invalid. Do they accept any of the arguments against some of this, or is that what’s put college professors in jeopardy?
Bergman: When you come up with arguments against Darwinism, and begin to seriously question Darwinism, it can, and often does, put your job in jeopardy. For example, I have a list of almost 3,000 Ph.D. level scientists in the life science/physical science area that are what I call “Darwin doubters”. And I must be careful on who I put on this list because I don’t want to “out” anyone. I don’t want the scientific community to be aware of in the closet “Darwin doubters” because it could jeopardize their career. And so most people I ended up putting on the list are either retired or are well along into their career, or are on a position, such as in industry doing scientific research, that their exposure will not affect them. Many on my list are already out of the closet. They’ve written books and they’ve come out in support of intelligent design, or, creationism, so I don’t have to worry about “outing” them. But that is a concern when I made this list and I wanted to check to make sure that is it OK that someone is on this list and, a fair number, I estimate about a third, said “No way, this would really hurt my career. And so I don’t want to be on your list, but I’m very supportive of what you’re doing”. So I didn’t put them on.
Host: You’re in the process of doing a book that has not yet been released called The Long War By Darwinists Against Darwin Skeptics, documenting hundreds of these cases of blatant discrimination against professors because they are willing to question or not buy into the idea of evolution hook, line and sinker. Dr. Bergman, talk a little about this persecution. At Wichita State University, I have both my degrees from there, I received an F on the first paper I submitted with content about Jesus, and the Bible, and it was the only F I got, so I changed my major, and it changed the direction of my career because I knew if I was discriminated against by writing one paper, it affected my selection of what I was going to do at that university. That was just one minor student being persecuted. But you’re saying the professors themselves are being persecuted?
Bergman: Very commonly so. In fact, of the 3,000 names that I have on my list I contacted about half of them were and a good percent of these, I would say about 95%, related some incident of persecution or some problem they had, (denial of promotion, or denial of degrees, or they were denied tenure and they had to go in the closet or had to find work elsewhere. It’s actually unusual not to have problems. Most of the people that I talked with had some problems; some had severe problems.
Host: What’s the source? I mean, it can’t be one particular person controlling all this. Have the universities selected these liberal or evolutionist type professors throughout the years, and now other professors are beginning to say “we don’t agree with this” is that what’s causing the problem?
Bergman: Well, there are a lot of reasons for the problem. One is that, as I found out when I was an atheist, many are very militant and very determined to wipe out religion–they walk around with hatred in their heart. They’re going to do what they can to eliminate theism. And, one of the main ways that people use to support the idea of a creator is to look at whether or not evolution is true. They realize that if people accept creationism, atheism is problematic. And they realize that creationism and intelligent design, and any attack on Darwinism, is a threat to their worldview. Even people like Lynn Margulis, who is an atheist herself, but she has major reservations about Darwinism, has been attacked. In her writings she talks about the fact that some scientists are viciously against her, even though she is an evolutionist. But she feels that the Darwinian mechanism is incorrect, that a theory that she has proposed is the mechanism of evolution. Namely, a theory called endosymbiosis, and some variations of it, where not only cells can move into other cells, but also genes can be moved from one cell to another cell or from one organism to another organism.
Host: We’re talking with Dr. Jerry Bergman, who will be a guest speaker coming up this Friday evening, 7:00 pm at Wichita State University’s Hubbard Hall in room 208. It is free and open to the public. He will be talking about the persecution and, some of the distress in our college campuses when a professor either does not agree with the theory of evolution, or would at least like to be able to express the idea that there may be a god who created us. The issue in Kansas is not the age of the Earth, but whether God had anything to do with creation. Are you aware of the creation-evolution, conflict with the Board of Education that has been going on here in the State of Kansas?
Bergman: I’m quite aware of what’s going on here. And what the Board is trying to do is allow criticism of Darwinism. They’re not trying to force the teaching of either creationism or intelligent design, but simply to allow students to critically evaluate Darwinism. Even that is pretty non-threatening, I would think, but has caused the Darwinists to go ballistic. And they are determined that no criticism of Darwinism will be allowed in the schools. Now they wouldn’t say it that way. They would say, “Well, there is no criticism of Darwinism. It’s been proven true and therefore there’s no valid criticism of it.” And, therefore, they say, “Criticism of Darwinism is only opening the door to teaching creationism.” And, by and large, most creationists that I know, and all the creationist organizations that I’ve been a part of, do not want to force creationism in the schools. All creationist and intelligent design organizations, as far as I’m aware, only want the right to be able to freely criticize Darwinism if the teacher elects to. Basically what they want is academic freedom, and that is, by and large, resisted by movements that want to shove Darwinism down the throats of students (and with incredible intolerance).
Host: We’ll go ahead and, I’ll let you take a short break here and listen in, as David Lehman explains about the college students on the campus. Mr. Lehman, since you’re a consultant and involved in this arena, are you aware of how the students feel about giving the freedom to be critical of a scientific theory? I mean, that’s what science is all about, checking it and shaking it and, writing down the results. And, so far, I have never seen a half-monkey and a half-man, in the process of evolving, so, what are the students on campus saying?
Lehman: What we find is a lot of professors are very antagonistic against any kind of even theistic evolution, and so atheistic evolution is the only thing that’s allowed. Now, some would say, “Well, we believe in a god, but they still believe in the evolutionary model completely; hydrogen, an odorless, colorless, tasteless gas, given enough time, becomes people. They postulate mechanisms that they expect that will cause this to happen, but I have never heard of a mechanism that actually could be, even be theoretically, workable. You don’t get a code from a random process, as Dr. Bergman will explain, the code is there already, and you can have variation within the kind, but you don’t go from one kind to another. Environments change that may cause triggers to operate, like your immune system. We lose information, but will never gain information from a random process. Nobody that I know on the campuses has ever come up with anything that would demonstrate even a workable model of how evolution could occur at anytime, at anyplace. We’ve had talks on this for 6 months on campus. Professors and graduate students and others have come, and we appreciate their coming, but they’ve been very critical.
Host: And so this is a very heated war and I believe it’s down to the root of principalities and powers fighting for the truth to actually be taught to a generation that will base their behavior on their core beliefs about from where they came from. Dr. Bergman, what do say about why we’re not seeing one-half monkey, one-half man in the process of evolving, and all the different things that debunk the idea of evolution, having real evidence that’s tangible today, to the students? What do you hope to achieve from your talk, or to help these colleges on behalf of the students that will go through their courses?
Bergman: I strongly believe that we need academic freedom. We need the right to discuss this issue–that’s the main concern that I have. Darwinism now has blinded people to important research areas. And in order to look into these areas, for example the degeneration of the genome, we need to realize that maybe Darwinism doesn’t explain everything. Maybe other theories are more viable. This is the problem that Lynn Margulis has. She’s looking at another theory and she is getting much resistance. She is an atheist, and an evolutionist, but she’s looking at a different mechanism–so she hasn’t been totally ostracized from the academic community, but, nonetheless, she’s written a fair amount about academic freedom and the problems that she has had in her career. And so it is a major problem when this straitjacket is put on people, that they can look at the universe only in one way, and attempts to look at it in other ways, which may support, or may not support, creationism or intelligent design; they don’t want people to go into this direction. And if they see where you are going, there’s resistance. They say, “Well, I see where you’re going and I don’t like this. I disagree with you.”
Host: Do you think it’s an underlying spiritual battle for the truth of acknowledging a god?
Bergman: I think that is at the core of a lot of it, and one reason why we have such a dichotomy today is that creationists and intelligent design and those who oppose Darwinism, can get into the churches, and so they hear the other side. The schools only hear one side and so, therefore, the country is more and more dichotomized, not because religious people are necessarily inclined to accept creationism or non-religious people are more inclined to accept evolution, but because the forum where most non-religious people are at, as the schools, accept only one view. The forums where the other side, the religious, are at accept the other view. Therefore, this has dichotomized the nation. I see this country being divided right in half between the red states and the blue states, so to speak, and I see this as very divisive and very harmful. We need dialogue. I need feedback from people who don’t accept my ideas. I need people to critically evaluate my ideas. And it’s hard to get that because they don’t critically evaluate them. They sit there and condemn the person, and this is what I see over and over, like what we see in Kansas with the Board. They rarely criticize what the board is doing; in fact I don’t think most people know what the Board is doing. They criticize the Board itself. They say they’re bringing Kansas back to the 12th century, back to the dark ages, and they’re idiots (all name calling). They’re not evaluating the issues. And this is one problem I had with the atheist movement. Many are very nice people; some of the nicest people I’ve known in my life are atheists. But, many were vicious, determined to wipe out religion, and they were not ethical in the ways that they did this. They were in many ways very dishonest in how they tried to do this.
Host: I’d like to hear from you about how you were transformed from an atheist to what I assume is a Christian today. If you would, you might think about that while we ask David Lehman to tell us once again when you’ll be speaking and where. And I understand not only at WSU, but also at one of the local churches here in town on Sunday. So David, if you would, tell us again when Dr. Jerry Bergman will speak here in Wichita?
Host: Do you have any comment, or anything that I maybe need to ask you or haven’t asked you before we go, to back to Dr. Bergman to hear about how he became a Christian?
Transcript ended here. Other media promoting the meeting:
Christian Newswire: http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/42676709.html
Evangelical News: http://www.evangelicalnews.org/indiv_pr.php?pr_id=6578
One Comment on the show follows:
Great. Two more people who don’t know the difference between a science classroom and a church, and wish to declare the two even grounds for non-scientific discussion. If I’d been there, I would have probably thrown a chair!