Evolutionists: Not So Open-Minded After All
The evolutionary community wants people to think that it is objective. Evolutionists consistently paint the picture that they are the ones who are open-minded and honestly seeking the truth. At the same time, they suggest that religious “fundamentalists” (their word) who believe the Bible, are narrow-minded and impervious to rational criticism. Atheist David Mills, in Atheist Universe, stated: “The religious individual tends to hold his beliefs rigidly, fanatically and with a closed mind—never seriously questioning the accuracy of his Church’s teachings. The scientist (read that, atheistic, evolutionary scientist—KB), however, is eagerly and open-mindedly searching for new theories and for evidence to topple old theories” (Mills, 2006, p. 155).
If it is the case that evolutionists are open-minded and constantly looking to adjust their theories, then we would expect them to be anxious to critically consider evolution, to welcome evidence that opposes key evolutionary ideas, and to promote open, two-sided communication about the difficulties inherent in the theory. What we actually see, however, is the exact opposite.
In 2002, the Cobb County, Georgia School Board decided to place stickers in biology textbooks concerning the theory of evolution. The sticker read: “This textbook contains material on evolution. Evolution is a theory, not a fact, regarding the origin of living things. This material should be approached with an open mind, studied carefully and critically considered” (“Judge: Evolution...,” 2005, emp. added). Is there any subject in our school systems that should not be studied with an open mind and critically considered? Apparently there is one subject that should be exempted from such scrutiny—evolution.
The U.S. government ordered the stickers to be removed because they were considered unconstitutional based on the “religious nature” of the sticker’s content. Notice, however, that the sticker said nothing about God, religion, or the Bible. U.S. District Judge Clarence Cooper, who ruled the sticker unconstitutional, stated: “Due to the manner in which the sticker refers to evolution as a theory, the sticker also has the effect of undermining evolution education to the benefit of those Cobb County citizens who would prefer that students maintain their religious beliefs regarding the origin of life” (“Judge: Evolution...,” 2005). This outrageous claim by Judge Cooper manifested the obvious agenda—that no critical examination of evolution would be allowed in the public school system.
In 2006, Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch, the executive director and deputy director of the National Center for Science Education, edited the book Not in Our Classrooms. In that volume, they insisted that the concept of an Intelligent Designer should not be allowed in the public school classroom. They further claimed that evolution is the only viable option that should be presented in science classrooms. In fact, contributing writer Brian Alters stated: “The responsibility of public school biology teachers is to teach evolution thoroughly and correctly” (Alters, 2006, p.106). Needless to say, Alters and his editors are unconcerned with helping students grasp the vast amount of scientific material that has nothing whatsoever to do with evolution. They view the public school systems as their tool, with the intended and stated purpose of indoctrinating students with evolutionary theory.
What happens when the theory of evolution is questioned? What should be done when students want to critically analyze evolution in order to test its veracity? Should students be encouraged to approach evolution with an open mind and let the merits of the theory speak for themselves? Absolutely not! Critical analysis of evolution must be avoided at all cost. Alters explained: “Should students critically analyze evolution in scientifically and pedagogically appropriate ways? Because of the strong possibility of student’ religious objections to the concept of evolution, and because students’ critical thinking skills can be improved in so many other areas of science, having students critically analyze evolution is ill advised and unnecessary” (Alters, p. 110).
In the last chapter of Not in Our Classrooms, Glenn Branch offered ideas about how to promote evolution. In his comments, he mentioned some things that promoters of evolution should avoid. He stated: “Supporters of evolution education are often challenged to engage in formal public debates on the scientific legitimacy of evolution and creationism.... Experience suggests that, as far as defending evolution is concerned, such debates are counterproductive: they presuppose and validate the false idea that creationism is a scientifically credible rival to evolution” (2006, p. 147, emp. added).
In his discussion about radio and television appearances, he warned: “The worst format—often on talk radio—is the debate, whether against a creationist guest (or even host) on the show or initiated by the show’s callers. Such a debate format is potentially as counterproductive as a formal public debate, so be wary of accepting the offer to participate” (p. 149).
What, then, should take the place of the “counterproductive debates” against creationists? He offered the following suggestion: “Rather than participate in a rigged creationist debate, hold your own public education event.... Invite only panelists who support evolution education—the point of the event is to present, not debate, the facts, and creationists have plenty of events of their own in any case” (p. 147).
There you have it. The way to promote evolution is to make sure that there is no opposition to your ideas. Many years ago, the Proverbs writer noted: “The first one to plead his cause seems right, until his neighbor comes and examines him” (18:17, emp. added). Evolutionists simply want to make sure that there are no pesky creationist neighbors available to answer them. Evolutionists understand that if students are given the opportunity to look at evolution with an open mind, study it carefully, and consider it critically, the theory collapses under its own, insupportable weight. So much for the open-minded objectivity claimed by atheists and evolutionary scientists!
Alters, Brian (2006), “Evolution in the Classroom,” Not in Our Classrooms, ed. Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch (Boston, MA: Beacon Press).
Branch, Glenn (2006), “Defending the Teaching of Evolution: Strategies and Tactics for Activists,” Not in Our Classrooms, eds. Eugenie Scott and Glenn Branch (Boston, MA: Beacon Press).
“Judge: Evolution Stickers Unconstitutional” (2005), [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/01/13/evolution.textbooks.ruling/index.html.
Mills, David (2006), Atheist Universe (Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press).
Scott, Eugenie and Glenn Branch, eds. (2006), Not in Our Classrooms (Boston, MA: Beacon Press).