Feb 282007

Last Thursday night in the Lory Student Center Theater, Dr. Russell Humphreys presented evidence that our earth is only thousands – not billions – of years old. His goal in presenting the young-earth evidence was so his audience could “trust the Bible.”

The theater was packed with young-earthers and old-earthers alike, and after his talk, Dr. Humphreys faced provocative and insightful questions from Bible and young-earth skeptics. Humphreys held his ground rather convincingly, but it was obvious his skeptics continued to be just that: skeptical.

Scientists from both camps – evolution and creationism – have been trading fact-laden punches since the Scopes “Monkey” Trial in 1925. Trump cards from one side are trumped by the other side and so on, and thus the scientific rhetoric has accumulated like the winter snow.

My fellow students, if you do not buy into the science supporting a special creation, then I ask you to rethink these questions of origins on moral and religious grounds.

One argument we keep hearing from the evolutionist perspective is that evolution is “fact” and creationism is “faith” because it is directly tied to the Bible. Creation shouldn’t be considered or taught, we’re told, because it doesn’t deal with facts; it deals with the values of an archaic book.

Yes, creationism is inherent in the religion of Christianity, but what about evolution? Is it really an unblemished, unbiased science void of any religious stain?

No, it is not. Evolution is a religion just like Christianity is a religion.

Don’t believe me? Would you believe Michael Ruse, philosopher of science and professor at Florida State University, who said that evolution is “promoted by its practitioners as more than mere science. Evolution is . . . a secular religion – a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and morality. I am an ardent evolutionist and an ex-Christian, but I must admit that . . . evolution is a religion. This was true of evolution in the beginning, and it is true of evolution still today”?

Even the late Stephen Jay Gould from Harvard believed that evolution “substituted a naturalistic explanation of cold comfort for our former conviction that a benevolent deity fashioned us directly in his own image.”

M. Shallis, in the New Scientist back in 1984, wrote, “It is no more heretical to say the Universe displays purpose, as Hoyle has done, than to say that it is pointless, as Steven Weinberg has done. . . . Yet it seems that scientists are permitted by their own colleagues to say metaphysical things about lack of purpose and not the reverse. This suggests to me that science, in allowing this metaphysical notion, sees itself as religion and presumably as an atheistic religion . . .”

Isn’t honesty great? And what did Richard Dawkins say about evolution and atheism? “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”

To quote myself (Sterling Journal-Advocate, July 8, 2006, “The real truth about morality”), “The atheist who believes in nothing is just as religious as the Hindu who believes in everything. The evolutionist who believes the universe came about by natural causes is just as religious as the Christian who holds to Intelligent Design.”

Like all religions, evolution gives its believers a worldview, a cohesive set of beliefs, morals and values by which to make sense of and understand the world.

As zoologist Ernst Mayr wrote, “The Darwinian revolution was not merely the replacement of one scientific theory by another, but rather the replacement of a worldview, in which the supernatural was accepted as a normal and relevant explanatory principle, by a new worldview in which there was no room for supernatural forces.”

And this tenet of a naturally occurring and naturally sustained world cannot be overlooked; it is the evolutionary equivalent to believing that Jesus Christ rose from the grave.

According to Dawkins, “Even if there were no actual evidence in favor of the Darwinian theory . . . we should still be justified in preferring it over all rival theories.”

What kind of “science” is that? Evolution, then, is not merely a religion, but, according to Dawkins, a religion based, if needed, on blind faith that matter is all that has ever existed. Evolution is a faith – a faith in matter that originated from nothing.

The playing field has been evened, and next week I will explain the moral and ethical consequences that emanate from the religion of evolution.

Trevor Sides is a senior speech communication major. His column appears every Thursday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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