|Feature Article - July 2001|
|by Do-While Jones|
You may have noticed that evolutionists often attack the scientific credentials of any scientist who rejects the theory of evolution. They have to do this because:
The more time we spend defending ourselves, the less time we have to present factual data about the unscientific notions upon which the theory of evolution is based. That’s why we tend to ignore the personal attacks and focus on science.
Because we do this, our critics naturally claim that we don’t defend the credentials of scientists who reject the theory of evolution because we can’t. Since the charge is repeatedly made that all “real scientists” accept the theory of evolution, we will address that charge this month.
There is no question that some of the most famous scientists of all times believed in creation. Ann Lamont has written a book entitled 21 Great Scientists Who Believed The Bible. She devotes chapters to Kepler, Boyle, Newton, Linnaeus, Euler, Faraday, Babbage, Joule, Pasteur, Kelvin, Maxwell, and Werner von Braun. These men weren’t dummies, and they believed in creation.
Evolutionists, of course, will argue that these great scientists lived before Darwin, and weren’t acquainted with the theory of evolution or modern scientific discoveries. While that may be true of some, it certainly isn’t true of Werner von Braun (1912 - 1977). Furthermore, their argument is based on the false premise that the evidence for the theory of evolution is stronger today than it was in the sixteenth through twentieth centuries. In reality, it was easier to believe in the theory of evolution when the fossil record was much less complete, before spontaneous generation of life was disproved, before genetics and molecular biology were understood as well as they are today.
There are thousands of modern scientists who reject evolution. There is a partial list of them at http://www.christiananswers.net/creation/people/home.html. But evolutionists apparently believe that any modern scientist who rejects evolution has merely been brainwashed by Christian doctrine. For example, consider this email we received from “P”.
Subject: "Science is against the theory of evolution."
Dear Do-While Jones
I was interested to discover your web site at http://www.ScienceAgainstEvolution.org
You say: "The theory of evolution is not believed because of scientific evidence. It is believed DESPITE scientific evidence. Science is against the theory of evolution."
According to http://www.religioustolerance.org/ev_publi.htm, 95% of scientists (and over 98% of "life and earth scientists") in the US support the basic tenants of evolution. (A minority, like biochemist Michael Behe, claim there is evidence of an outside "designer").
You say: "We are a secular, non-profit corporation, not associated with any church. If you want answers about religious questions, ask a religious organization." But can you name one scientist who (a) is not a "Bible Literalist" and who (b) rejects evolution and supports the "young earth" hypothesis?
I look forward to hearing from you.
We visited the web site he referenced. It said,
According to Newsweek in 1987, "By one count there are some 700 scientists with respectable academic credentials (out of a total of 480,000 U.S. earth and life scientists) who give credence to creation-science..." That would make the support for creation science among those branches of science who deal with the earth and its life forms at about 0.14%. [italics and ellipsis used as on their web page]
So, even 14 years ago, Newsweek reported that there were 700 “real” earth and life scientists who rejected the theory of evolution. We will address the criteria for “respectable academic credentials” in a moment, but first we want to examine some data from that web page.
The web page presents two tables of data divided into rows representing race, sex, education, and income, etc.. One table contains data from 1991--the other from 1997. Unfortunately, the two tables didn’t use the same criteria for separating the data into rows, so it is difficult to compare them. In fact, the only common row is “Everyone.” The 1991 data showed 47% of all adults believed in creation, 40% believed in theistic evolution, and 9% believed in evolution. That only adds up to 96%, so presumably 4% had no opinion or did not respond. Then the web page said,
1997-NOV data is little changed. Note the massive differences between the beliefs of the general population and of scientists:
They want you to focus on the 5% versus 44%. But suppose it is really true (as Newsweek said) that in 1987 only 0.14% of all scientists believed in creation, and 10 years later 5% believed in creation (as this survey says). If the numbers given on that web page are correct, the number of scientists who believe in creation increased from 700 in 1987 to 24,990 in 1997!
Of course, we know we are comparing apples and oranges because the surveys probably used different definitions of “scientists.” We don’t know how the surveys were conducted, or how accurate they are. We are just reporting (not defending) numbers produced by our critics.
We don’t have any numerical data to support our belief that more and more scientists are rejecting the theory of evolution, but we think there is evidence that the trend is real. For example, we are seeing more stories about high school science teachers who are getting in trouble for presenting all the evidence for and against evolution in the classroom.
We just received an invitation to subscribe to WorldNet. Their advertisement said, in part,
The July edition of WorldNet--WorldNetDaily.com's monthly print magazine--consists of a breathtaking investigative report on the debate between evolutionists and creationists.
Titled "EVOLUTION: The basis of all life, or a fairy tale for scientists who reject God?" -- this issue is perhaps the clearest, most concise, and ultimately most devastating report available on the all-important issue of the origins of life.
Ironically, while the almost sacrosanct theory of evolution is coming under spectacular scientific assault from every direction, at the same time its adherents have ushered in a new censorship movement in America.
* Roger DeHart, a Washington high school teacher, had been teaching evolution to his 9th- and 10th-grade students for 10 years in the Burlington-Edison School District when a student filed a complaint against him for criticizing Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. He was prohibited from teaching biology after that.
* Community college instructor Kevin Haley in Oregon was also condemned by other faculty for questioning evolution.
* Minnesota high school science teacher Rod LeVake was banned from teaching biology due to his criticism of Darwinism.
We believe that there would not be so much opposition to science teachers who take a balanced approach to teaching evolution if there were not so many science teachers who are presenting scientific arguments against evolution.
We get criticized for using fairy tale analogies, but we can’t help seeing a similarity to the story of The Emperor’s New Clothes. Wise people knew the emperor was naked, but they were afraid to say so because they were afraid to appear to be fools. When one little boy blurted out the truth, then other people had the courage to agree. We believe that there are many other scientists like DeHart, Haley, and LeVake who realize the inadequacy of the theory of evolution to explain the origin of life, and are just now willing to state what they know to be true because other scientists have broken the ice by saying that the emperor has no clothes.
But, some might argue, DeHart, Haley, and LeVake aren’t really scientists. They are just high school science teachers.
If high school science teachers aren’t really scientists, then we have to accept the fact that a large segment of the general public (specifically, people who have high school diplomas and no higher education) were taught everything they know about science from unqualified non-scientists. This line of reasoning leads to the conclusion that many people have been taught that evolution is true by non-scientists who don’t know what they are talking about.
We consider science teachers to be real scientists. We think engineers are real scientists. We don’t limit the term “scientist” to professors of evolutionary biology.
In 1999, Dr. Stephen Taylor wrote,
The Creation Research Society currently has a membership of 650 scientists, each one holding a Master’s degree or above in a recognized field of science. In a recent article Dr. Russell Humphreys, physicist at Sandia National Laboratories, New Mexico, estimates that there are around 10,000 practicing professional scientists in the USA alone who openly believe in a six-day creation. 1
When asked to name a “real modern scientist” who believes in creation, we might start with Henry Morris. Of course, evolutionists will immediately object, claiming he isn’t a real scientist. Why? Because he believes in creation. From an evolutionist’s point of view, anyone who believes in creation can’t be a real scientist. Therefore, scientists like Henry Morris, John Morris, Larry Vardiman, Steve Austin, and Duane Gish can be discounted immediately because they work for the Institute for Creation Research. Likewise, evolutionists won’t acknowledge Michael Behe, Andrew Snelling, Donald deYoung, and Kurt Wise, regardless of their academic credentials, because their creationist leanings are well-known.
This is another example of how evolutionists use circular reasoning. Circular logic concludes that no “real scientist” rejects evolution because the very fact that he rejects evolution means he isn’t a “real scientist”.
My late friend Jim Rieger used this method to distinguish a scientist from an engineer:
When a scientist makes a discovery, he immediately thinks, “This is an amazing new discovery. Where should I publish it?” When an engineer makes a discovery, he immediately thinks, “This is an amazing new discovery. How can I make a buck with it?”
Engineers are scientists who use scientific knowledge to design products (or invent procedures) that are commercially profitable. Scientists may speculate about how planets are formed, but not one of them has ever actually made a planet. On the other hand, when engineers claim they know how to build a space probe that can reach those planets, they actually have to build it. This means that engineers tend to be brought back to reality more often than college professors.
ALL my friends with Ph.D. degrees who are college professors believe in evolution. NONE of my friends with Ph.D. degrees who work in the defense industry believe in evolution. When I mentioned this in a private email to an evolutionist, he replied:
This is known in the talk.origins newsgroup as the Salem hypothesis, namely the observation that creationists who claim to have academic credentials generally turn out to be engineers rather than scientists. There are a number of theories to explain this tendency, of which yours is one. One could also argue that engineers are more inclined to accept black-and-white rule-based explanations whereas scientists are more likely to think abstractly about the underlying mechanisms. Whatever the reason, it is an interesting trend.
Notice that if one is an engineer, he only “claim[s] to have academic credentials,” and isn’t really a scientist, in the words of that evolutionist. In response to his next-to-last sentence, one could argue that engineers are more inclined to accept only actual experimental results, whereas scientists are more likely to accept fanciful theories (if told skillfully enough).
Why does it matter who is a scientist and who isn’t? Because our society has been conditioned to accept the notion that any sentence that begins, “Scientists say …” is undeniably true. The general public has been told that scientists are unbiased, objective individuals who are never wrong. If you can’t trust what scientists say, what can you trust?
Evolutionists weren’t too worried when scientists said evolution was true and preachers said it wasn’t. But now that thousands of scientists (not counting engineers and high school science teachers) are saying publicly that evolution isn’t true, that’s a big problem for evolutionists. Scientists have much more credibility (in their opinion) than mere preachers do. The general public might believe what scientists say. Therefore, the evolutionists have to convince the public that the scientists who reject evolution aren’t really scientists--they are just high school science teachers, engineers, or skillful debaters posing as scientists.
We would like to recommend the book In Six Days (why 50 scientists choose to believe in creation) edited by John F. Ashton. It is a collection of fifty essays, each written by a different scientist. Each author’s (impressive) academic credentials are listed at the beginning of his or her essay. They span a wide variety of academic disciplines. They aren’t all engineers! (But some are.)
The 50 essays are, on average, seven pages long. Each one gives the author’s reason for believing in the Biblical creation story rather than the theory of evolution. We have to give this book a (Cr+) rating for “strong Christian content”, but nearly every essay has strong scientific arguments for creation and/or against evolution.
We should have compiled a matrix--with 50 rows (one for each scientist) and one column for each scientific argument used--to tabulate which arguments were used by which scientists. This would have shown which arguments are most convincing to most scientists.
Although we failed to count the number of times every argument was used, we did notice that the second law of thermodynamics was mentioned by seven of the fifty scientists. Specifically, they were Jeremy Walter and Stanley Mumma (two engineers), Larry Vardiman and Don deYoung (two physicists), Ker Thompson and John Baumgardner (two geophysicists, but Baumgardner also has B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering as well as his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Geophysics and Space Physics), and Geoff Downes (forestry research, but he learned about thermodynamics in a physical chemistry class).
We, too, believe the second law of thermodynamics is one of the most powerful arguments against evolution. We have not used it on our web site because we haven’t found a way to explain it in a way that the general public can understand. These seven men give it a valiant try, and nearly succeed.
The problem is that thermodynamics is a one-semester mechanical engineering course that mechanical and electrical engineering students are generally required to take to graduate. Physics majors probably have to take it, too. It is a course that students usually try to put off until their junior or senior years because it is a tough course, which many students flunk.
To explain why the second law of thermodynamics prohibits evolution, one must rely on concepts appreciated only by people who have received a passing grade in thermodynamics. People who don’t understand thermodynamics make stupid counter-arguments about snowflakes or open systems.
Perhaps someday we will try to explain why the theory of evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics. Meanwhile, the best we can do is recommend you read the essays in In Six Days written by the seven scientists mentioned above.
Evolutionists can’t seem to separate science from religion. They sometimes imply (or even state outright) that the scientists who reject evolution do so because religious brainwashing has prevented them from being able to think rationally. Remember, the email from “P” challenged us,
But can you name one scientist who (a) is not a "Bible Literalist" and who (b) rejects evolution and supports the "young earth" hypothesis?
What has religion got to do with science? We don’t even ask our members what their religious beliefs are, let alone snoop into the religious beliefs of scientists we only know by reputation. However, we are quite confident that Harun Yahya isn’t a “Bible Literalist.” The last two chapters of his excellent 20-chapter book, Evolution Deceit, urge the reader to accept the Islamic faith. Therefore, he can’t be a Bible Literalist, but that is beside the point.
We certainly agree that most of the scientists who reject evolution believe the Bible, but it is unclear which is the cause and which is the effect. Do scientists reject evolution because they believe the Bible, or do they believe the Bible because they reject evolution? (On the other side of the coin, most atheists are evolutionists. Are they evolutionists because they are atheists? or are they atheists because they are evolutionists?)
Several of the scientists who wrote chapters for In Six Days say they were once atheistic evolutionists who didn’t accept Christianity and creation until after they realized that the theory of evolution is scientifically bankrupt. Their rejection of evolution did not come from some Christian brainwashing which prevented them from thinking rationally. They rejected the theory because the scientific evidence is overwhelmingly against evolution.
We try as hard as we can to examine evolution from the point of view that it is a scientific theory, and examine it as critically as one might examine cold fusion or global warming. But whenever we do, an evolutionist tries to drag religion into the discussion, as “P” did in his email.
In this essay we have departed somewhat from our usual approach by addressing the academic credentials and religious beliefs of scientists who reject evolution. But we want to end with our usual appeal. We don’t want you to let personalities or religious arguments affect your decision. We want you to evaluate the theory of evolution itself--not the people who believe in it, or the reason people believe in it. We want you to look at the theory of evolution from a purely scientific viewpoint. When you do, we think you will find that science is against evolution.
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Ashton, In Six Days (1999) Page 284