Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Don't Shut Up About It by Gail Purath

The Staff at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History wanted our tour guide to shut up!

But he knew his First Amendment rights.  

So they quickly posted signs throughout the museum warning that our tour was "unauthorized" and didn't represent the views of their scientists. It was 1990, and I was on a tour led by scientists from the Institute for Creation Research.

It's a Theory, Not a Fact!
The theory of evolution, so vigorously protected by the Smithsonian scientists that day, continues to be the foundation for science throughout the world.  Reducing man to nothing more than an evolved animal without moral accountability, evolution has promoted (among other negative things) racism, communism, Nazism and eugenics.

Racism was a tenant of Darwin’s theory. He considered blacks and aborigines ‘sub-species,’ whom the more civilized races would one day “exterminate, and replace.”(1) 

Deciding Which Races Are Worthy of Life
Margaret Sanger, the admired founder of Planned Parenthood,(2) took Darwinism one step further and promoted eugenics (selecting which races should reproduce). She encouraged sterilization and birth control in a 1939 program called “The Negro Project.” And she felt “The most serious charge that can be brought against modern ‘benevolence’ is that it encourages the perpetuation of defectives, delinquents and dependents.”(3) Sanger didn't single out blacks, she also thought Italians were inferior.

Evolution has also under-girded oppressive government systems.

Karl Marx felt Darwin’s theory supported communism.  In a letter to Engels he wrote, "Darwin's book is very important and serves me as a basis in natural science for the class struggle."(4) 

Ernst Haeckel promoted 'the destiny of the master race' by developing a form of evolutionary Nazism which Hitler included in Mein Kampf (1925).(5)  Edward Simon, a Jewish scholar wrote, "I don’t claim that Darwin and his theory of evolution brought on the holocaust; but I cannot deny that the theory of evolution, and the atheism it engendered, led to the moral climate that made a holocaust possible.”(6)

No Eyewitnesses to the Beginning
Artwork by John Bell, copyright 1998-2007 ( used with permission
Because there are no human eyewitnesses to the origin of the world, neither evolution nor creationism can be proved scientifically. When the Smithsonian staff tried to silence our Creation Research tour in a public museum, they were not protecting the facts. They were protecting a faith-based theory that has spawned racism, communism, Nazism, and eugenics, all byproducts of evolution's atheism.

The Good News
On the other hand, when we promote Biblical creation, we promote a Creator who made men and women in His image for noble purposes, who loves and values all races equally, who fights oppression and brings life. WOW!  We can't shut up about that!

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Footnotes--each fact in my article is linked to the reference online or gives the book and page number. Check them out to confirm what I've written and learn more:
1-- This is explained in Darwin's book, Decent of Man, published in 1871,Chapters 6 & 7 
2--Planned Parenthood's "highest honor" according to their website is the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Margaret Sanger Award "presented annually to recognize leadership, excellence, and outstanding contributions to the reproductive health and rights movement."  It's ironic that one of its past recipients was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a member of a race that Sanger wished to eliminate!
3-- The Pivot of Civilization by Margaret Sanger (New York: Brentano’s, 1922), pp123.  For more Margaret Sanger quotes see Sanger, Founder of PP
4-- Social Darwinism in American Thought, 1860-1915, by Richard Hofstadter, (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1944), pp.31.
5- R. Milner, Encyclopedia of Evolution (1990), p. 207 [also 312-313].
6-- Edward Simon, Another Side to the Evolution Problem, (Jewish Press, 1/7/83), pp.248

Gail is author of Bible Love Notes and Bite  Size Bible Study.

To read some 1-Minute Bible Love Notes on this same subject check these out below:
Coke Evolved From a Rock
Nothing Magically Exploded 
Did Christians Ever Believe in a Flat Earth?


  1. stated what has been such a sad but true part of life here in SA. Thinking that we are special because of race, color or creed has caused great great harm to millions. Not to mention thinking that something that is so wonderfully and so precisely made could be evolved with every part working for the good of the other parts...only GOD could do this. Thank you for shining HIS light brightly once again. Blessings, Jan

  2. Gail...what a powerful article! As Christians, we have been guilty too many times of staying quiet when we should speak truth wherever we are. May we all have the boldness of speak up and share God's word, especially in secular places.

  3. Gail..again we see that our world view is foundational for it affects our whole decision making processes.
    Are we not thankful that God has graciously shone light into our dark hearts? (II Cor 4:6)

    I applaud your application oriented Christianity. C Glenn

  4. Gail - Well done article in 600 words or less!! Thank you for your insight.


  5. What a joke, atheism has nothing to do with evolution or the Holocaust. Hitler was a christian deal with it, he had the backing of the Vatican. Atheism is quite simply the lack of belief of deities. Do you really worship a entity who told someone to kill his son to follow him. That is quite disgusting.

  6. In response to the above comment: Billy Sunday once said, "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than going to a garage makes you an automobile."

    Neither Hitler nor the Vatican's decisions during Nazism are true representations of Christianity.

    It's true that evil has been done in the name of Christianity, but far more evil has been done in the name of Atheism.

    And more good (hospitals, relief aide, etc.) has been done in the name of Christianity than any other religion, and certainly more than in the name of Atheism.

    It's a fact that Communism was based on Atheism and responsible for horrible atrocities. It's a fact that Darwin gave up his beliefs in God to advance theories that dehumanized certain races of man. You can disagree with my beliefs about God, but not with these facts.

    And your comments about Christianity are based on misunderstandings, not facts. Christ voluntarily gave His life for the sins of mankind.

  7. Fact: the earth is 4.5 billion years old. Fact: human beings share a common ancestor with chimpanzees. You can disagree with my beliefs about God, but not with these facts. If you doubt these facts, I would be happy to share with you the overwhelming evidence for them. Science does not require eyewitnesses and in fact has forensic tools far more reliable than eyewitness testimony.

    The eugenics of Sanger and Hitler are based on the ideas of artificial selection--ideas that long predate Darwin. People have known for a long time how to breed desirable traits in dogs, for instance.

    What Darwin showed was that nature performs selective breeding too--natural selection. It's not a good or bad thing that nature does this--it just is what it is. The fact of natural selection in no way justifies eugenics. It's like saying that because nature floods houses during hurricanes, I am justified in flooding my neighbor's house with a fire hose. It just doesn't make sense.

    I completely agree that the some people have used evolution to justify terrible acts, but that's no reason to doubt the science. People have done terrible things with nuclear weapons, but that's no reason to think that quantum mechanics is false. Let's start holding people accountable for their actions and stop blaming abstract ideas.

  8. I have studied what you call "overwhelming evidence" and come to very different conclusions. You're wrong to assume that creationists are less intelligent than you are. And don't assume we are not students of science.

    In fact, according to scientific method, the age of the earth and ancestry of man are not scientific facts.

    We all approach evidence with a predetermined mind set and use that evidence to prove our belief system. Evolution is just as much a faith-based belief as creation. I believe the evidence points to creation, you believe it points to evolution. Neither you nor I can prove how the earth or man originated.

    Darwin's natural selection theory has some huge inconsistencies scientifically--the development of the human eye is one.

    To quote Darwin himself from Chapter 6 of the Origin of the Species: "To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree."

    Darwin believed in natural selection by faith.

    I think what intrigues me most is the dogmatism of evolutionists. If evolution is correct, why aren't its inconsistencies taught in public schools? Why do most evolutionists ignore/disguise the "fact" that evolution is simply a theory? There's nothing scientific about limiting knowledge or preventing inquiry.

    And maybe I'm wrong, but your remarks also sound a bit angry. I'm not sure why our disagreement about origins would make you angry.

  9. Gail, I don't know what I said to make you think that I am angry or that I assume that creationists are less intelligent than I am. Neither is true. You say some things that demonstrate a misunderstanding of evolution and while I'm interested in correcting those misunderstandings, it's more important to me to make the case that you need not find evolution threatening. If you are indeed a student of science, then once you cease to find evolution threatening, acceptance of its truth will naturally follow.

    It's true that scientists approach evidence with a predetermined mind set (a theory), but we then seek to *disprove* the position, not prove it. The theory of evolution is not at all faith-based. It is accepted for two reasons:
    1) It makes observable predictions
    2) After many attempts, no body of evidence contradicts it

    What Darwin believed about evolution or what Newton believed about physics is irrelevant. Their theories have been replaced with more powerful ones that are accepted because of the evidence, not because a dead smart guy believed them. If Einstein on his death bed declared that he came up with general relativity because of a voice in his head, it would make no difference. The theory is accepted because of the evidence.

    The evolution of the human eye (and the cephalopod eye and the insect eye) are well-understood. This criticism is way out of date. And even if it were not, it would still simply be an appeal to ignorance.

    Why aren't the inconsistencies of evolution taught in schools? I'm not sure which inconsistencies you mean, but the real reason is probably because we do a terrible job of even teaching the very basics of evolution. If we can't even teach the basics, how are we going to teach an advanced topic like inconsistencies? There are points at which general relativity and quantum mechanics break down as well, but we don't even teach those in college for the most part, because it's hard enough just teaching the core ideas.

    Also, why would we choose evolution as the theory in need of special treatment in which we highlight its shortcomings so prominently? Should we do the same for the germ theory of disease or the gravitational theory of orbits?

    You called me out for using the layman use of "fact", so I'll call you out for using the layman use of "theory" when you say that evolution is "simply a theory". A theory is the most powerful part of scientific understanding, capable of much more explanatory power than a mere "fact", so I don't know what "simply a theory" could mean. And I don't know why you say that people are disguising something when it is called "The Theory of Natural Selection" in every textbook I've seen.

    But again, these misunderstandings are a symptom. The true cause of our disagreement is that you find evolutionary theory threatening to your religious beliefs and values. Your article is all about the terrible things done in the name of evolution. The main point of my response was that people can use all kinds of things to justify their bad behavior; we should not be choosing which scientific theories to accept based on the acts done in their name. Theories should be judged based on their evidence. And with an open mind, the evidence for evolution is overwhelming.

    By sheer numbers, there are far more Christian people who accept evolution than atheists who accept evolution. They have a found a way to be true to their beliefs and science at the same time. I would encourage you to do the same.

  10. You’re right, I made some assumptions based on my perceptions and experiences, and I was wrong. Such is the danger of assumptions/theories.

    Guilty men have been acquitted and innocent men imprisoned on convincing evidence. New technology (like DNA testing) has overturned some of those verdicts.

    We accept laws like the law of gravity because we see them in operation every day. You can’t compare these things to a theory of origins. The only way that you can be sure of evolution is to know 100% of all that can be known about our origins. Even if there were eyewitnesses, you would need faith to trust their honesty and memory.

    You can say the same to me about Christianity, and I would agree. Christianity is a matter of faith. Even though there are eyewitnesses to Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection from the grave, and an historic book documenting God’s history with man, I must trust those eyewitnesses and that book. And that takes faith.

    I’m not a scientist, but I’ve read enough scientific material to know there are huge gaps in the fossil record, there are no fossils of life forms in the actual process of morphing, there are no current examples of macroevolution, evolution violates the Second Law of Thermodynamics (law of increasing entropy), the human eye does not fit a pattern of natural selection, etc.

    I have no doubt that you have explanations for these inconsistencies, but your explanations are based on your basic premise that evolution is true, not on the evidence.

    We wouldn’t gain much by going back and forth about these various inconsistencies. Unless I have faith in the theory of evolution, I won’t have faith in theories about these inconsistencies.

    Again, you could say the same about me. You could point out what you see as inconsistencies in the Bible or Christianity, and I believe I could adequately explain why these things are not inconsistent. But, unless you accept my basic theory—That Christ is the Son of God who died for the sins of those who believe in Him—you will not believe my explanation of what you perceive as inconsistencies.

    I don’t find the theory of evolution threatening. I just don’t find it convincing and I believe it is based on premises that can lead to harmful conclusions/actions.
    Continued in next comment...

  11. If someone committed a crime in the name of evolution that had nothing to do with evolution, it would be lame to blame it on evolution. But eugenics is based on Darwin’s belief that certain races are lower life forms.

    The same is true for Christianity. Some people commit hate crimes in the name of Christianity, but they aren’t representing Christianity. However, people who bug their neighbors to come to their church (maybe even in an obnoxious way), are acting on Christian beliefs that teach us to warn our neighbors that they need Christ to save them from hell. I may not agree with their methods, but I’d agree with their premise.

    I believe the basic premises of evolution are God-less and lead to godlessness. But I think many evolutionists actually live according to a basic set of morals put in their hearts by God (Romans 2:12-16), which prevents them from sanctioning the natural outcomes of the theory of evolution.

    I suppose there are some Christians who are evolutionists. I’m aware of a very small minority of Christians who believe a theory called Theistic Evolution, and I’m aware of young earth and old earth creationists. But I would need to see documentation to accept your statement that more Christians than atheists believe in evolution.

    I’ve been a Christian for 36 years, I’ve had fellowship with Christians throughout the United States and overseas, and I read and study a broad range of interdenominational Christian literature, books, and periodicals. And none of my experiences/reading/study would validate your statement. Is it a theory?

    I respect your right to believe in the theory of evolution, but I find it interesting that you think it is only misunderstandings or lack of adequate teaching/knowledge that leads people to believe in anything other than evolution. There are Christian men who have devoted their lives to science, reviewed all of the evidence and come to very different conclusions than you. It’s not about knowledge or education. It’s about faith.

    Nor do I find a separation between Christianity and science. I believe God created science and wants us to discover the wonderful world He created, and I’m convinced we know only a small part of what we can learn.

    I would be glad to continue this debate based on the motivations and results of faith/belief, but if you want to debate the scientific evidence, I will refer you to those better equipped than I am. Just let me know.

  12. Hi Gail,

    The truth is the truth regardless of the implications. Even if accepting evolution meant that life is meaningless, merciless and amoral, it wouldn't make it any less true. That being said, I think that your fears are unwarranted.

    There is nothing about the theory of evolution that supports racism. In fact, it supports the opposite. No creature is "more evolved" than another, because evolution has no goal or direction. A caterpillar and a monkey are both equally evolved, because they have been evolving for the same amount of time from a common ancestor. Each is best suited to its environment. I can balance a checkbook better than a lion, but a lion can better chase down a gazelle.

    By understanding common descent we can see that we are intimately connected will all life, not as superiors and inferiors, but as distant cousins. As I said before, racism and eugenics are implications of breeding and artificial selection with a particular goal in mind, not the blind, directionless process of natural selection.

    To employ evolution in defense of fascism or communism is to confuse an "is" with an "ought". The theory of natural selection describes how the world *is*, not how it *ought* to be.

    It *is* the case that earthquakes happen. Does that mean that we *ought* to shake buildings and make them fall down? It *is* the case that organisms less suited to their environment are less likely to breed. Does that mean that we *ought* to prevent those less suited from breeding? I hope that you can see how this logic is flawed.

    If people like Sanger, Hitler and Marx cited Darwin's theory in support of their ideologies, they did so by misrepresenting it and making unsound leaps in logic.

    As for the arguments you raise against the science of evolution, they are easily dismissed. Micro-/Macro-evolution is an artificial distinction. The second law applies only to closed systems. Organism don't actually "morph" in their lifetimes. Ring species are current day examples of speciation. Blah. Blah. Blah.

    The more important issue is that you believe absolute knowledge is required for acceptance of evolution and that you must believe it on faith before you can interpret evidence for it. This is not how scientific theories are evaluated. All you have to do is understand what predictions the theory of evolution makes and see if there is evidence that falsifies it. Do we find rabbit fossils in the cretaceous layer? Do we find any genes in humans and dolphins not shared by rats? If you repeatedly fail to disprove the theory's predictions, then you should naturally start accepting it more and more.

    Ken Miller, a prominent Christian and evolutionary biologist, said that he accepts evolution because he does not believe in a deceptive God. Given the overwhelming evidence, either God created us using evolution, or he is deceiving us into thinking that he did.

  13. Thanks, Greg for the interesting debate.

    I feel you are missing my point(and perhaps you feel the same way about me).

    I'm not fearful of evolution, but I think it is a harmful belief. Ideas lead to actions.

    Actually, I think it is evolutionists who are fearful of Intelligent Design/Creationism. What were Smithsonian scientists afraid of (in my original article)? If Intelligent Design makes no sense, why were they worried that someone would overhear our tour explaining the exhibits? It seems like they were saying people must be told what to think because we wouldn't necessarily come to the same conclusion if we looked at the evidence without their predetermined explanation.

    You say that Sanger, Hitler and Marx misrepresented Darwin, but what about Darwin's own words which claim certain races are subspecies/lower life forms? That seems to be exactly what Sanger and Hitler were saying. I say all three are wrong. I believe my African American brothers and sisters are fully human and always have been, created in the image of God just like the rest of mankind.

    I don't believe all evolutionists agree with Sanger, Hitler and Marx, I'm just saying these three were operating on a Darwinian principle. Even if they'd never heard of evolution, they shared the same ideas, and those ideas are harmful whether they lead a person to confusion about God character (Theistic Evolution), atheism or racism.

    I've read that Darwin was not in favor of mistreating those races he called "lower life forms," but he was sure they would become extinct. This is just one of many proofs that his theory is flawed.

    I know there are a small minority of Theistic evolutionists like Ken Miller, but I think they are deceiving themselves to think we can combine two opposing views about a God who calls Himself the Creator. Either God created man in his image with purpose and meaning from the beginning, as the Bible clearly states. Or God sat back and watched and wondered at the "blind, directionless process of natural selection."

    Those are two very different gods, and I believe only One of them exists. I'm not doubting Miller's Christianity, just his logic in this one area.

    I don't believe absolute knowledge is required for acceptance of evolution any more than I think absolute knowledge is necessary to believe in Christ. I think faith is necessary for both. And without absolute knowledge, neither can be proven true.

  14. Hi Gail,

    I agree that the advocates for the acceptance of evolution are afraid of Intelligent Design and Creationism. As a Texan, and I constantly have to worry about our religiously-motivated Board of Education legislating what science to teach my children rather than leaving science to the scientists. ID/Creationism advocates fail to get traction through the standard scientific process of publication and peer review. When the issue is brought to trial, they also fail to demonstrate that their is any scientific merit to their ideas. So, instead, they play by a different set of rules and try to promote their ideas by any means possible.

    I don't find the ideas of ID/Creationism to be dangerous per se, but I'm concerned for our place in the an increasingly technological world if our children fail to understand the scientific method and become satisfied by non-answers to scientific questions. Modern biology is incomprehensible without an understanding of evolution.

    I support your right to say whatever you want on a tour of the Smithsonian, but I also support the right of the Smithsonian to clarify their position and avoid confusion. Many children visit the museum on field trips and they probably didn't want kids going home telling their parents that a Smithsonian tour guide was teaching them about Noah's ark. If my child came home and said that, you can be sure that the Smithsonian would have some 'splaining to do.

    As for Darwin, he could have been a complete fruit loop spouting all kinds of craziness about racism, baby-eating and UFO conspiracies--that is irrelevant to whether or not there is any racist content to the theory of evolution itself. There is nothing about common descent or natural selection that would justify racism. To condemn an idea based on who promoted it is to commit the "genetic fallacy."

    I fail to see the incompatibility of Christianity and the theory of evolution. Doesn't God control the weather? Must God control the weather by miracles? Or is it okay for a Christian to understand the physical mechanisms by which weather patterns come about? Does God create rainbows or are they result of light refraction? Aren't these two options compatible?

    A close friend of mine is a professor at Calvin College (Christian Reformed) and does evolutionary biology research. For the past ten years or so, the college has been teaching the scientific consensus on evolution with little conflict. You might be interested in this book by some Calvin College professors on how evolutionary science and Christianity are compatible:

  15. Hi Greg,

    As I said in previous comments, evolution is a faith-based extrapolation of the evidence…and so is intelligent design. I see no reason one faith-based extrapolation of evidence should be taught at the exclusion of all others unless the job of schools is indoctrination,not education.

    You make a lot of generalizations in your comments without any documentation, especially the first paragraph. I think these are your opinions.

    I agree that most scientists are evolutionists, but majority opinion is still opinion. The majority are often wrong.

    There are non-religious ID believers. Here's a website that has some articles about this this:

    I’m concerned that our children won’t understand scientific method also. But my concern is the dogma they are taught about evolution which prohibits critical thinking. I’m “pro-choice” when it comes to scientific theories.

    By the way, our tour in the Smithsonian wasn’t about Noah’s Ark.

    I don’t condemn a theory based on who promoted it. I was responding to your comment that Sanger and Hitler misrepresented evolution by their racist actions. I was pointing out that Darwin's theory is racist.

    I have no problem believing that God designed nature to operate according to certain principles. My problem is believing God used random natural selection to create the world.

    Theistic Evolution assumes God wasted millions of years of the strong killing the weak to create a good world. That just doesn't fit His character as revealed in the Bible.

    I would refer you to Hugh Ross, a creation scientist. Here’s one of his YouTube videos: I haven’t actually listened to this video, but I’ve heard Ross speak in person.

    Thanks for helping me reexamine why I believe in creation,

  16. Thanks to you too, Gail. Best wishes.

  17. Thank you both for presenting your point of view so purposefully. I am further encouraged in my faith in our Creator, and challenged to dig deeper to be better equipped for similar conversations... :)


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