The Tulsa Beacon is disinclined to join the celebrations in honor of the bicentennial of Darwin's birth (and the sesquicentennial of the publication of The Origin of Species). Instead, the Beacon chose to mark the occasion by publishing an editorial decrying the state university's involvement in Darwin Day festivities and the expected arrival of
The Beacon's editorial writer chose an interesting strategy with which to combat the enthusiasm of Oklahoma's intelligentsia for Darwin's legacy. How better to combat pointy-headed intellectualism than with slope-browed creationism and a display of densely concentrated ignorance and misinformation? By that token, the Beacon editorial is a brilliant success.
Evolution indoctrination at OUIf indeed the University of Oklahoma has set out to “prove” evolution, it must be the only educational institution in the world doing so. Scientists don't “prove” evolution. They seek out and compile the results of experiments and field work. Do the results strengthen the theoretical framework in which they operate or do they argue for changes? The framework (the “theory”) within which biology operates is evolution (and has been for more than a hundred years). The Beacon editorial writer is evidently of the “only a theory” school of thought—although “thought” is probably the wrong word. He doesn't know that theories are organizational principles for the organization of observed facts.
February 5th, 2009
What is the difference between education and indoctrination?
The line between conveying information with an open mind and a mindset that parallels religion is being crossed this year at The University of Oklahoma with a 12-month celebration of the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin.
While devoting huge resources to a campaign to “prove” that evolution is not a theory, the scientific brain trust at OU will virtually ignore parallel theories of the origin of man—including Creation Science and Intelligent Design.
OU will trot out Oxford professor Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, to try to convince students and the public that there is no God and science has all the answers.We can be quite certain that Dawkins will give no aid or comfort to the god-botherers while he's in Tulsa, but we can be just as certain he will not argue that science has all the answers. No scientist argues that. None.
Of course, so far science has all the good answers; that is, the answers that do anyone any good. Answers derived from religion or faith are notoriously weak, unreliable, and disputed by the thousands of contending sects. Pity, that, but true.
Darwin became infamous 150 years ago when he wrote The Origin of Species. He speculated that all life evolved from lower forms and that men were derived from the apes.One more time: Darwin did not say that we descended from apes. He argued that humans and apes have a common ancestor. The ancestor certainly had many apelike characteristics, but it wasn't a gorilla or chimp or orangutan. Could we finally get this right, pretty please?
His unproven theories were all that the humanist movement needed to attack the Bible and any belief system that hints at the existence of a supreme being.
OU has a website devoted to this worship of Darwin and evolution. It’s clear from the content of that website that organizers believe that evolution is a fact and that if other theories are mentioned, they will be discounted or ridiculed.The “worship of Darwin and evolution”? Excuse me while I take a moment to genuflect.
Do things change? Certainly. But species don’t evolve into other species. Dogs don’t turn into cats. Monkeys don’t turn into men.
It's not worship, Mr. Editorial Writer. It's acceptance of a successful theory. “Other theories”? Sorry: there aren't any. It's simple: no results, no acceptance. Those who prate about intelligent design and irreducible complexity and curiously warped versions of information theory won't get any respect until they produce some results. That's the reason for the well-deserved ridicule. Sad, perhaps, but completely understandable.
In fact, even secular scientists are doubting the viability of evolution concerning the origin of life. The laws of thermodynamics and common sense tell us that things don’t get better—they deteriorate.In a word: No. Even the tiny, tiny handful of credentialed scientists who deny evolution know better than to use the laws of thermodynamics. They leave that to the hardcore creationists (some of whom probably also know better, but can't resist an argument that still stirs up the troops).
While we're at it, how about a nice list of those “secular scientists” who doubt evolution's viability? Unless you count a batch of goofy engineers, an addled semi-mathematician or two, and the occasional wacky physician, you don't have any, do you?
The biggest case against Darwin’s evolution is the fossil record. There are no viable transition fossils when there should be millions if you buy into his theory.The “missing link”? No “transition[al] fossils”? If we were playing creationist bingo, there's hardly any possible configuration of entries on a bingo card that wouldn't have scored a win by now. The writer has packed so many tired old creationist talking points into one editorial that it must be under tremendous pressure. Surely we must be close to the point of a massive explosion.
Where is the missing link? There isn’t one in the fossil record.
Evolution science is not really science but a religion. That is why it cannot stand honest scrutiny or tolerate other views. It takes more faith to believe that men came from monkeys or a primal soup struck by lightning than it does to believe that God created the Earth and mankind in seven days.Boom! Ka-pow!
Both are religious beliefs. Oklahoma students should be exposed to both theories (including Intelligent Design). Instead, the public school system in Oklahoma has bowed to the pressure of secular humanists and insisted that there is only one theory to explain the origin of man—evolution.Now we're back to worshiping Darwin some more.
Incidentally, the origin of life cannot be proven by the scientific method, which requires observation and testing. No one was around when life began and no scientist—no matter how many degrees he or she has—has been able to recreate life in the laboratory.“Were you there?” Ken Ham would be so proud!
Here’s the worst aspect of this story. State tax dollars are going to support the celebration of a mad scientist who infected the world with a new religion that teaches that God cannot exist.Damn those schools who use tax dollars to teach science when they could be teaching religion! The writer began by asking the difference between education and indoctrination. He is firmly on the side of indoctrination, isn't he?
OU has stacked the deck for humanism and against other religions. Creationism and Intelligent Design should get equal time in this huge “celebration” of Charles Darwin.That's right: humanism is a religion, too. And see how “equal time” just slipped in? Other creation myths need not apply, though. There's only two theories!
There is a God and that belief is held by the vast majority of Oklahoma taxpayers. Withholding that truth from our students does them a disservice and damages our society.This just in: Tulsa editorial writer proves the existence of God by simple declarative statement. Nice job! Let me try:
Evolution is a fact. Evolution is a very successful theory. Evolution has no credible competition. Get used to it.
I slipped into imperative mode at the end there, but the simple declarative sentence is fun to write. It's harder to prove the assertions that simple declarative sentences contain, but the content of my sentences derive from a vast intellectual enterprise known as science. The Beacon's editorial writer prefers faith, so in a debate over scientific matters, he loses. Sorry, guy, but science is evidence-based.
When we tell our college students that they are nothing more than animals, why do we act surprised when they act like animals?Who is acting surprised? Young people have always acted like animals. Of course, it's just possible that Mr. Editorial Writer was a virgin all the way through college and alcohol never touched his lips during the entire four (five? six?) years he was an undergrad. Unlikely, but at least possible. Unlike any of the arguments in his editorial.