September 4, 1999
DARWIN DETHRONED IN KANSAS
As students begin their new academic year,
Kansas science teachers are horrified. The Kansas Board of Education has
dethroned Darwinism, removing from state standards references to evolution
as the underlying principle of biology. The vote allows 304 local school
boards the freedom to teach evolution, and most say they will do so.
However, schools can begin to teach an
alternative theory, that an ''intelligent design'' lies behind the universe.
One town which will do so is Pratt, population 7,000, which is considering
using a textbook, ''Of Pandas and People,'' which says an ''intelligent
agent'' is a more compelling explanation than evolution for nature's wide
While this theory is sneered at by many high
school biology teachers, there is a solid, growing scientific consensus that
''the universe we inhabit appeared to be expressly designed for the
emergence of human beings,'' as Patrick Glynn writes in ''God: The
Darwin argued that the origins of life could be
explained by blind mechanisms, a ''curious accident in a backwater,'' as
Bertrand Russell put it in his 1935 classic, ''Religion and Science.''
However, a consensus has grown among today's
physicists that there is nothing random at all about the arrangement of the
cosmos. ''The picture of the universe bequeathed to us by the most advanced
twentieth-century science is closer in spirit to the vision presented in the
Book of Genesis than anything offered by science since Copernicus,'' writes
Glynn. His evidence:
- George Gamow, who had worked on the atomic bomb, proposed that the
world began in a similar original cataclysm now called the ''Big
Bang'' theory. In 1964 Bell Lab physicists discovered cosmic background
radiation which was an echo of the Big Bang 15 billion years earlier.
- Brandon Carter, an astrophysicist and cosmologist from Cambridge
University, on the 500th anniversary of Copernicus's birth in 1973,
reported that the most minuscule change in the physics of the universe
completely eliminates the possibility of life. He noted that any
tinkering with the gravitational constant in relation to
electromagnetism, would have resulted in a universe with no stars like
our sun. For example, gravity is 10 to the 39th power weaker than
electromagnetism. If it had been 10 to the 33rd weaker, stars would be a
billion times less massive and would burn a million times faster. If the
nuclear strong force were 2 percent stronger, the universe would lack
- Astronomer Fred Hoyle, who invented the phrase, ''Big Bang,'' argues
that ''the universe has to know in advance what it is going to be before
it knows how to start itself.'' This mystery involves intricate
coordination from the galactic level down to the subatomic one, and
across multibillion year tracts of time. ''An explosion in a junkyard
does not lead to sundry bits of metal being assembled into a useful
working machine,'' he writes. Only God could arrange it all.
Thus, the initial philosophical assumptions that
underlie the modern secular worldview have been shattered - ironically
enough, by science itself. Sensing that the scientific winds were shifting
in its favor, the Vatican hosted an assembly of contemporary physicists in
Pope John Paul lectured: ''Any scientific
hypothesis on the origin of he world, such as that of a primeval atom from
which the whole of the physical world derived, leaves open the problem
concerning the beginning of the Universe. Science cannot by itself resolve
such a question: what is needed is that human knowledge that rises above
physics and astrophysics and which is called metaphysics; it needs above all
the knowledge that comes from the revelation of God.''
The Institute for Creation Research in El Cajon, Cal.
has published 33 questions they suggest students ask dedicated
evolutionists. A few of them for kids who want to have some fun:
- How does evolution explain the emergence and development of sexual
reproduction given that both male and female physiology would have to
- Document from the fossil record the transitional forms leading up to
the first fish, from their assumed invertebrate ancestors, or the
transitional forms that led up to any dinosaur?
- Describe one undisputed example of a creature that was transitional
between fish and amphibian, or between a non-flying insect and a flying
- True or false? Life appears abruptly and in complex forms in the
fossil record and gaps appear systematically between various living
I applaud the Kansas Board of Education for putting fresh air in musty
high school science courses.
Copyright 1999 Michael J. McManus.
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