What are the Darwinists Afraid Of?

This column by Pat Buchanan is one of the best written pieces on evolution that have ever read. It seems like I remember Alma saying something like this to Korihor.

What are the Darwinists Afraid Of?
by Pat Buchanan
August 07, 2005 08:13 AM ESTIn the “Monkey Trial,” 80 years ago, the issue was: Did John Scopes violate Tennessee law forbidding the teaching of evolution? Indeed he had. Scopes was convicted and fined $100.

But because a cheerleader press favored Clarence Darrow, the agnostic who defended Scopes, Christian fundamentalism — and the reputation of William Jennings Bryan, who was put on the stand and made to defend the literal truth of every Bible story from Jonah and the whale to the six days of creation — took a pounding.

The aim of his defenders was not to prove Scopes innocent, but to humiliate the fundamentalists and persuade a higher court to throw out the Tennessee law. But today, Darwinism is in the dock. Dogmatic believers in evolution are facing challenges to the claim that their doctrine is established truth, scientifically proven.

“Intelligent design” is the banner under which evolution is being put under siege, and the methodology of attack is the one Darrow used on Bryan: Prove to us that your theory is true, because it seems to contradict common sense.

If, for example, we are told a forest is uninhabited and, while walking in it, come across a garden, with plots of tomatoes, beans, corn and cabbage, reason tells us someone lives here. The garden presupposes the existence of a gardener, for it reflects intelligent design. As does Stonehenge, that millennia old marvel of gigantic stones placed one upon the other in a fashion that is not accidental. Though we know not how it was done, an intelligent being did it.

The same is true of our universe. Not until recent centuries did we discover that the Earth is not its center but, with the other planets, revolves with mathematical precision around the sun. As a watch presupposes a watchmaker, an ordered universe argues for an ordered intelligence. Call it the First Cause, the Prime Mover, the Great Watchmaker, but this world appears to be no accident.

Our ordered universe was created out of chaos. Who or what created it? The latest theory of the evolutionists is the “Big Bang,” a gigantic explosion, eons ago, did it.

But from common sense and experience, when, ever, has an explosion created order? Explosions destroy. And if the Big Bang was due to an explosion, where did the chemicals come from? And who lit the firecracker that caused the Big Bang?

As a wag has put it, to believe an explosion created an ordered universe is like believing a hurricane roaring through a junkyard can create a fifth-generation computer.

And there are gaps in human evolution. Where are the missing links between lower and higher forms? Where are the intermediate forms? Why are they not everywhere? As for that picture on the wall of the biology class, showing a reptile crawling ashore, then moving on four legs, then dragging his knuckles, then straightening up, then walking on two legs, then becoming the man of today — is that really how it happened? Or is that a theory, a belief, an act of faith of the Darwinists? Is there really all that much difference between that picture and one of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden?

Science itself points to intelligent design. For most of man’s existence, we did not understand the laws of gravity, the laws of physics, the laws of chemistry. But applying those laws today we can send a rocket millions of miles and strike a distant planet, predicting impact to the minute. But does not the existence of these natural laws imply the existence of a lawmaker?

How can evolution explain the creation of that extraordinary instrument, the human eye? How can it explain DNA? Only in the last century did we understand that molecules can be broken down into atoms and subatomic particles, and the force that holds them together. Did all this come out of nothing? If it all came from something, where did the something come from?

What causes a disbelief in Darwinian fundamentalism, the Genesis of our secular elite, is not only Christian faith, but reason.

In an editorial, “But Is It Intelligent?” The Washington Post accuses President Bush, who spoke warmly of intelligent design, of “indulging quackery.” “To pretend that the existence of evolution is still an open question,” sniffed the Post, “is to misunderstand the intellectual and scientific history of the past century.”

The Post notwithstanding, we are not pretending. Evolution fails to answer the arguments of reason. And parents have a right not to have their children indoctrinated in an unproven belief system, one purpose of which is to destroy their faith.

A Solomonic solution. Let parents choose between having their kids spend a year in biology class cutting up those poor frogs and being indoctrinated in evolution ideology — or a year studying the Old and New Testaments as the greatest book of Western civilization and literature, and the basis of morality and ethics. As they say, freedom of choice.

To find out more about Patrick Buchanan, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at http://www.creators.com.

There you go, a thinking man’s answer not only to evolution, but the Big Bang theory of creation, and the existence of God. And he’s not even a Mormon.


9 Responses to What are the Darwinists Afraid Of?

  1. John,

    I don’t think most Mormons appreciate the force behind the eternal physical laws argument. It is based upon three lines of reason:

    1) God didn’t and couldn’t create anything, be it matter, energy or laws out of nothing.

    2) Laws are said to be eternal and uncreated.

    3) God is unable to perform ontological miracles, but is instead bound by some form of physical law which we do not yet fully understand. God does miracles within the bounds of natural law because He has not control over natural law.

    Now you are right that we don’t know what exactly these laws are that God is bound by, but to claim that God created our physical laws without being immensely constrained seems very contrary to these doctrines.

  2. I should also mention that we have samples (sometimes numerous samples) from about 20 or so species of hominids who lived over the past 6 million years that clearly resulted in homo sapiens. Needless to say the missing link criticism is pretty weak.

  3. Brother Tom says:

    I have no idea how that double post happened. My apologies. And such a long post! Ai ai ai.

  4. Brother Tom says:

    Pat Buchanan may indeed be a “thinking man” and this argument may appeal to many “thinking men,” but only to the ignorant ones. Please understand, I don’t mean “ignorant” as an insult. The most brilliant people are ignorant of one thing or another. Pat Buchanan happens to be ignorant of biology, among other things, to be sure. Which is understandable. We can’t learn everything. It takes a lot of study to learn how life works at the molecular level and to get to the point where you can really understand that Darwinism does a very good job of explaining how life evolves. Descent with random modification and natural selection of traits that increase reproductive fitness happened and is happening and is responsible for the variety of life on the planet. If they were to put forth the effort to study and understand the evidence, anybody with functioning mental capacities would agree that the evidence supporting this conclusion is overwhelming to the point of being beyond doubt.

    About the origin (as opposed to evolution) of life on our planet, Darwinism can’t really go there. All scientists can do is speculate, based on what is known to be possible, as to the nature of the first self-perpetuating entity and how it arose. I don’t know if it did, but it is theoretically possible that a self-perpetuating entity arose spontaneously through random collisions of the right combination of molecules (nucleotides being a popular speculation). Granted, it’s a highly (HIGHLY) improbable event. But given enough time even the most unlikely of events will occur. If you load the back of a bulldozer with thousands of dice it is highly improbable that when they are dumped out they will all land on 1. But it is possible, and given enough dump trucks and enough time it would happen.

    I’m saying more than I wanted to. What I really want to say is that Darwinism has nothing to do with religion. It makes no mention of God. It does not argue against the existence of God. It is simply an explanation of how living things change over time. People who use scientific fact to argue anything about the nature or existence of God overstep the restrictions that science puts on itself. Science deals in what is physically observable and demonstrable. It describes the physical phenomena that happen around us. It can do no more than that. Morality and meaning are beyond its realm. By the same token, religion can’t make any claims as to the nature and mechanisms of physical phenomena. Religion is about meaning and purpose in life and how we treat one another and how we interact with God. No true principle of the Gospel can ever be refuted by scientific study.

    So the question I would ask is “Why are believers afraid of science?” There is no reason to fear if our faith is based on the spiritual and not on the physical.

  5. I don’t know a lot about science, but I do know quite a bit about Mormon doctrine and some about science. And those people who think that God is bound by the same laws of physics and chemistry that we teach in our universities are being presumptuous, in my opinion. Just because God is bound by law doesn’t mean we know what those laws are, and for all we know, the laws of physics and chemistry that we teach in our universities are God-made laws that only apply to those tiny parts of all Creation that we can observe from our puny vantage point with our radio and Hubble telescopes and primitive laboratories. While it is certainly true, according to Mormon doctrine, that God had to obey uncreated and eternal law in order to become God and to create our world and universe, there is no certainty that mankind has yet discovered what those uncreated and eternal laws are. For all we know, the natural laws we have discovered and described may be a local phenomenon. We have absolutely no way to test whether or not they are truly universal.

    The presumption of those who have made a religion out of science is almost infinite. As Einstein said, “Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former.”

  6. Will is right on. Anon is a little extremem but leaning in the right direction.

    I’m quite surprised that you didn’t include any qualifications for some of Buchanan’s more outrageous claims. You can’t honestly totally agree with the following:

    That the intelligent design of a garden is at all like that of a forest.

    That a watch is at all like an animal. (Who created the animal? Easy, it’s parents who were created by their parents and so on… This difference is highly significant.)

    That there are no “transition” fossils.

    That the garden story is as supported by evidence as is evolution. (Not the mechanisms or pathways mind you, but the fact that things evolved.)

    That creationism has answered more questions than has evolution about past and present life.

    I should also mention that many of his ideas are quite contrary to Mormon doctrine, such as:

    That God is the First Cause.

    That God created material.

    That God created physical law.

    These arguments are central to most creationists but are all strictly against Mormon doctrine. That is why it is high time that Mormons stopped jumping on the creationist band wagon and came up with their own arguments based in their own doctrine.

  7. Jared says:

    Ditto Will and Anon. I’ve explained my objections to intelligent design elsewhere.

    “And he’s not even a Mormon.”

    No, but his sister, Bay, is. I was cleaning my ward building when she walked in to attend a meeting. I had recently seen her on TV so I recognized her. Participants of the meeting signed in, so I checked the name to be sure.

    Try Google searches if you don’t believe me.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Will’s right. This is a bunch of garbage and an embarrassment to the Right. Buchanan has had some good observations over the years, but this isn’t one of them. ID is a anti-science, anti-modernity, anti-reason political movement that has no support in logic, reason, or evidence. Politicizing our children’s education is a travesty.

  9. will says:

    John, there may be areas in which Pat Buchanan is brilliant, but on this subject he is pathetically ill-informed. In this article, he resurrects the corpses of hackneyed arguments that are now, in addition to being fallacious, reeking from decay. It’s painful to see a good man embarrass himself thusly.

    If my criticism seems over the top, try running this article by a real biologist and see what kind of reaction you get.

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