Desperate Measures

If there's one word that could be used to describe the evolutionist establishment right now, that word would be desperate. To prove this, one only need look at the latest news coming out of Kansas. The Kansas State Board of Education has adopted new standards that will permit the teaching of intelligent design as part of science curricula. Let me repeat that: The standards don't mandate the teaching of intelligent design. They permit it. And they don't prohibit the teaching of evolution. They allow both sides of what has become a genuine scientific controversy to be taught. Now, most of us would call that academic freedom. But the opponents of intelligent design see it as backwoods, Bible-pounding, flat-earth fundamentalism. They're accusing intelligent design advocates of introducing religion or philosophy into a scientific debate. The latest developments in the battles show exactly who is close-minded and who isn't. This past week, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced that they would no longer allow their copyrighted materials to be used in any curriculum that challenges Darwin's theories. This is serious business; the materials provided by these two organizations form the core of any biology curriculum in the United States. The heads of the NAS and the NSTA released a statement that read in part: “Kansas students will not be well prepared for the rigors of higher education or the demands of an increasingly complex and technologically driven world if their science education is based on these standards. Instead, they will put the students of Kansas at a competitive disadvantage as they take their place in the world.” So their solution to this alleged “disadvantage” is to put the students at a real disadvantage. This is nothing less than a case of blackmail: “You teach our philosophical beliefs, or else you can't use our accredited science course materials.” The New York Times unwittingly gets to the heart of the controversy when it writes that the intelligent design theorists “would single out evolution as a controversial theory and change the definition of science itself so that it is not restricted to the study of natural phenomena.” Wait a minute: science “restricted to the study of natural phenomena”? That means all science is shaped by a naturalistic view of the world. But naturalism is not a scientific theory or fact. It's a philosophy. So, you see, intelligent design theorists are the ones who are trying to free science to pursue truth wherever it leads, shaking it loose of philosophical restraints. This is exactly what Francis Bacon, the “father of modern science” and a Christian, did in the sixteenth century, when he abandoned Aristotle's philosophical presupposition that the universe is eternal and decided instead to follow science wherever it leads. That, according to Professor Harold Poe at Union University, allowed the modern scientific revolution to take place. And that's exactly what is at stake here. If the intelligent design movement succeeds, we would have nothing short of a new scientific revolution—freeing science to pursue truth wherever it leads. No wonder the hidebound traditionalists—that is, the evolutionists—are desperate.


Chuck Colson


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