The Evolutionist Conspiracy

For either young earth creationism or intelligent design to be on the right track and genuinely scientific, both movements have to posit a conspiracy in the ranks of the scientific community to prevent “the truth” about creation from getting serious scientific attention. In my view, this it is not strong enough to say that this is false: it is laughable. Let me give you my strongest reason for making this strong statement: Fred Hoyle.

Hoyle was a great scientist, but as an atheist, he felt that the new “Big Bang” theory sounded too much like the Christian doctrine of creation out of nothing (creatio ex nihilo). Indeed, he came up with the designation “Big Bang” as a way of poking fun at it. He thus worked to support the alternative known as the “steady state” theory. During Hoyle’s lifetime, the Big Bang theory became the almost universally accepted scientific account of cosmological origins. Why? Certainly not because of an atheist, materialist conspiracy. But neither because of conspiracy by Christian astronomers and astrophysicists. No, the reason is much simpler. The Big Bang has prevailed because it fits the evidence. There are still alternative proposals and unanswered questions, but the most basic points of the Big Bang theory still remains the most plausible account, because of the evidence that has accumulated.

We know the universe is expanding because our scientific knowledge has kept expanding. Science works, because it tests everything against available evidence. Anyone who claims that they cannot get a fair hearing for their work because mainstream scientists are conspiring against them are either liars or delusional. Science is a great field for new ideas and overturning consensuses. All that is required is evidence. If young earth creationism could actually offer evidence for their positions, they would get a hearing. But they do not have evidence. What they offer, instead, are attempts to explain why the overwhelming evidence for evolution doesn’t really mean what it seems to. They are the ones engaged in a conspiracy, and not the mainstream scientific community.

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  • The Factician

    Great post.

  • Steve Martin

    Yes the claims of a conspiracy theory within the dogmatic anti-evolutionist section of the Evangelical camp (a significant section I’m afraid) is quite strong. And unfortunately, what should also be added, it is almost impossible to address, even with arguments that are included in posts like this. The problem is that the consiracy-theory claim is protected by the compromise-theory claim. ie. anyone that doesn’t agree with it is a proselytizing atheist or a compromising Christian – neither of which have arguments that need to be considered – the lah-lah-lah I can’t hear you strategy.

  • James F. McGrath

    Pay a visit to the Uncommon Descent blog (where my nickname is ReligionProf) – I am, according to them, a “secular professor”. If they mean a professor without religious faith, then they are wrong. If they mean a professor who teaches at an institution without a denominational affiliation, then Michael Behe is a secular professor too, by that standard.

  • Quixie

    These kind of conspiracy theories even extend to NT studies:I recently had an exchange with someone who insisted on Matthean priority (not just that it came first, but that it came in 41 C.E) stating that the scholarly consesus upholding Markan priority is but a conspiracy to discredit the patristic writers and the church.Steve (above) is right in saying that it is impossible to address their obvious fallacies because the adherents of these conspiracy theories aren’t really looking to examine evidence, but only to defend their “team”‘s tradition. “La-la-la . . . I can’t hear you”, indeed.Ó

  • J-Dog

    You’re way too smart for the posters at UD! If you are not careful, you will be branded as part of the Evil Darwinistatheistic Conspiracy – even if you ARE a religion Prof!BTW – Your new Membership card is in the mail.

  • Wakefield Tolbert

    Conspiracy?Well–I don’t know about THAT. At least not in the way you phrase it, Prof. Keep in mind though that the Big Bang may have beeb universally accepted at first. This is not the case by and large. Even where we have this singularity then what Michael Ruse has called the “provisionally” atheistic doctine of “no gods allowe” must kick in to make sure no one gets theistic content out of this. Intended or NOT. Regardless of what Hoyle thought at one time, no serious researcher today thinks that the BB answers once and for all its own origins. Stephen Hawking among others argued imaginary time dimensions (though later rebuffed this) to find a way from the singularity notion of popping into existence. Others note that perhaps akin to the quantum level its just that something IS behind the BB but we have infinate information loss trying to backtrack to that point.This dog fight ain’t over, pardner.Elsewhere in science/public school education: AS I wrote to an aquaintence recently, it is not so much a “conspiracy” among atheists, but yes, there is an active idea in modern public education, already a train wreck, to make sure that only one direction in some philosophical stances are heard. While the exact connection to Darwinian thought and modernist PC notions in education on everything from sex to advocacy for socialism can be admittedly nebulous, it is there nontheless.”TOM:The real problem comes in when you have this combined with organizations that CLAIM to “merely” be defending “science.” The National Science Foundation here in the States claims this, as do dozens of other outfits and tax exempt clubs that have “science” in the letterhead or local citizens councils (so they say) like the South Carolinians for Science Education, the National Association of Biology Teachers, and so forth. What is interesting, as pointed out by writers like Dinesh D’Souza, for example, is that in all this worry and froth over “failure to teach REAL science” in the public schools and how our schools are failing us and religious types get in the way of this, there is something mission. Actually several things. First, a look at just what certain kinds of science are showing results. Second, why are other nations making better use of their resources? Third, you NEVER hear in all this “science” jabber any such thing as a lawsuit to a public school about the meaning of tectonic plate movement, photosynthesis, or the ACLU getting upset over the mishandling of Boyle’s Law or Issues in Entropy and meanings for the Universe. Yet ask a high school student about any of these or Einstein’s famous equation and you’ll likely get little response outside the science team. Yet no lawsuits. Two reasons, says Dinesh. One, education is not the actually goal here. And certainly little about science is what spills beer at the biology conventions. It IS ABOUT Darwinian evolution being taught. ONLY—-that aspect of science. Second, and more importantly, the issue is not so much inculcation of ideas even on this but a way to “mitigate” superstitious “belief” and “supposition”, which is exactly how religion is seen by these Enlightenment wizards of public education advocacy. Thus for example, Richard Lewontin, science will establish itself as the only access to reality and source of Truth. All else is mush and gush. Says he “The objective of science education is NOT to provide the public with knowledge of how far it is to the nearest star and what genes are made of. Rather, it is the problem of getting them to reject irrational and supernatural explanations of the world, the demons that exist only in their imaginations, and to accept a social and intellectual apparatus, science, as the only begetter of truth.” WHY SO?? The issue is clear. For the defenders of Darwinism, no less than for the critics, religion, not education per se, is THE PROBLEM, to be overcome.Paul Blanchard, long held in esteem as one of the “pioneers” of public education here in the US and a leading member of the Humanist’s association, proudly boasts of education’s accomplishment. Singular, it seems. Says he ..“we might not be able to teach Johnny to read or write or count to 10, but by god, we’ve got him for at least 16 years of his life in the (public schools) and that tends to mitigate against superstitious belief.” John Dewey, famous educator, John Dunphy, Supreme Court judge Oliver Wendell Holmes (who once said he saw no difference in the moral attributes of a human being versus a baboon), and a Darwinian attorney who helped formulate “positive law”, Clarence Darrow of the nonsensical circus Scopes Trial fame (which was also a setup and media fake, BTW), made similar statements up and down his career path of empathy for murderous predators and that fact that all morals are relative. And we don’t mean your sister. Educrat warrior Richard Rorty also made similar noises and hopes, per him, that those “fundamentalist” kids entering into college could be turned around in opposition to what mom and dad thought at home and disdains this “quaint notion” that our kids are ours to teach. For Rorty, college will finish the job missed in high school in turning kids to his side of secularism: Rorty notes that students are fortunate to have had people like him around “under the benevolent “Herrshaft” of people like me, and to have escaped the grip of their frightening, vicious, dangerous parents…we are going to go right on trying to discredit (the parents) in the eyes of your children, trying to strip your fundamentalist religious community of dignity, trying to make your views seem silly rather than discussable.”Helen Calderone, as well as Margaret Sanger in her day, (who was, like Peter Singer, big on infanticide and sterilization and sex as the noble path to human salvation) tells us that public education and specifically the ethics of new sex and other orgasmic discoveries (which she says the orgasm is the divine and ultimate goal of human development) asks “what kind of person are we to evolve” and proudly answers that the new “sexual human” should be forcible removed from the negative influences of parents and church and other “oppressions” that teach people to keep their pants zipped until marriage. For Calderone, orgasm is akin to a religious experience and is the prime directive and thus ultimate goal for the human race. To achieve this, the public schools will be the force, the “anvil” on which (per Sanger), the “rotting corpse of Christianity will finally be crushed and swept away.” How nice.Sanger’s views on race and euthanasia and eugenics are not often heard today. Nor her hatred of “unfit” classes of human “debris”, nor her addiction to Demerol and her promiscuious sex life with multiple “voluntary partners”, as she called them. Nor much about her committed Darwinian ethics that included removing undesirables from the earth including those who found comfort in spirituality and not just those of us not qualified to go to Cambridge or Harvard or had too many rugrats to feed at the tenement housing. But now that Planned Parenthood and other spin-offs and brainchilds she began or inspired are in full swing and teach the kiddies that cucumbers are just as good as real men, who cares? As you know by now Richard Dawkins takes no prisoners. In the UK it seems he’s issued a set of DVDs called Growing Up in the Universe, based on his Royal Institution Lectures of children. The lectures promote (per one reviewer) “Dawkins secular and naturalistic PHILOSOPHY for life.” Popular brain researcher and fellow Darwinian spear carrier Daniel Dennett picks up and urges that the schools finish the job by promoting the idea of religion as a purely materialistic brain phenomenon. Says Dennett, parents just need to step aside here. Privacy, legal norms, and freedoms we take for granted now are passé in the New Liberation: “some children are raised in such an ideological prison that they willingly become their own jailers…forbidding themselves any contact with the liberating ideas that might well change their minds….the fault lies with the parents who raised them. Parents don’t literally own their children the way slave-owners once owned slaves, but rather are their stewards and guardians and ought to be held accountable by outsiders for their guardianship, which does imply that outsiders have a right to interfere.” Psychologist Nicholas Humphrey argued in a recent lecture that just as Amnesty International works to liberate political prisoners around the world, secular teachers and professors should work to free the kiddies from the “damaging influence” of their parents’ religious instruction. “Parents have no god-given (sic)license to enculturate their children in whatever ways the personally choose; no right to limit the horizons of their children’s knowledge, to bring them up in an atmosphere of dogma and superstition, or to insist they follow the straight and narrow paths of their own faith.“Dawkins’ notion of domestic tranquility and parental rights? Similar but more aggressive even than Rorty’s:” Isn’t it always a form of child abuse to label children as possessors of beliefs that they are too young to have thought about?“Noting that the Constitutional provisions of the freedom of religion and the privacy of the home and childrearing have upper limits he just can’t tolerate, Dawkins follows up by adding that “how much do we regard children as being the ‘property’ of their parents? It’s one thing to say people should be free to believe whatever they like, but should they be free to impose their beliefs on their children? Is there something to be said for society stepping in? What about bringing up children to believe manifest falsehoods?”Strong language of the use of force and parental rights from the Panda Thumb gallery. Not to be outdone (and guess who can match even this), Christopher Hitchens writes “How can we ever know how many children had their psychological and physical lives irreparably maimed by the compulsory inculcation of faith?” One wonders if Hitchens might be a mite damaged in some degree or another. He concludes that “If religious instruction were not allowed until the child had attained the ‘age of reason'(sic), we would be living in a quite different world.” I’m quite sure he’s right. More than he knows. Noted biologist E.O. Wilson wants educators to make sure the kids know from here on out that the brain is the product of evolution only and that “free moral choice is an illusion……if religion….can be systematically analyzed and explained as a product of the brain’s evolution, its power as an external source of morality will be gone forever.” A prospect no doubt he finds exhilarating. Physicist Stephen Weinberg, popularly quoted favorably in many physics textbooks and covered for nifty quotes, says “I personally feel that the teaching of modern science is corrosive of religious belief, and I’m all for that……if scientists can destroy the influence of religion on young people, then I think it may be the most important contribution that we can make.”There went all the claims to scientific neutrality. They just leaped (or more likely got knocked) out the window of the lab. Carolyn Porco, a researcher at the Space Science Institute in Colorado, at a 2006 conference on science and religion said “ We should let the success of the religious FORMULA guide us…..Let’s teach our children from a very young age about the story of the universe and its incredible richness and beauty. It is already so much more glorious and awesome and even comforting than anything offered by any scripture or God concept I know“In a “libertarian” magazine called Reason, Jonathan Rauch applauds a development he calls “apatheism” which he defines as a “disinclination to care all that much about one’s own religion, and an even stronger disinclination to care about other people’s” Rauch argues that many self-proclaimed Christians today are really apatheists. It is not a lapse, he says, but rather “an achievement” worth a gold start and he hopes the entire culture will soon follow suit. Dennet for his part does throw a bone to believers. A gnawed one. And a snide one at that.He says that like other extinct ritual and culture now enshrined in museums or species confined to zoos now that their world has been bulldozed, religious people should have their churches removed OR turned into repositories–akin to zoos–for the amusement, entertainment and “enlightenment” of non-believers, the so-called BRIGHTS, the rational materialists who can “handle the world with science and not superstition.” Note the word “amusement”, and not “reverence” or “respect.” On Cosmic Log, a site I visit once in a blue moon, one poster chimed in to say religion should be destroyed as it hinders embryonic research that could have saved his grandpa. This is worse than untrue, as in reality it is the ADULT stem cells, not the embryonic ones, doing all the heavy lifting in research, though you never hear of this and to mention Adult stem cells in the media you’d think we were talking unicorns and elves. But, yes, Virginia, there REALLY IS such a thing as ASCs. Others mocked the “Christer types” who are “always getting in the way” and of course George Bush is the new incarnation of the Devil for not allowing forced Federal funding (though private is allowed) for stem cell research if using human zygotes. On and on it goes. The irony here is overwhelming and almost funny if not so dangerous. Dennet’s bone (and bones of contention, for that matter) would be somewhat more meaningful if this were true honor of the great strides and respect showed to such that Christianity made to science (indeed, as the Soul of Science suggests, the VERY backbone) and development from animism and primitivism to the modern world’s encoding of law and justice and reason.” All hail science education social neutrality???? Indeed.