Cultural Spin Zone
|By: Jim Virkler; ©2008|
Evolutionary theorists have captured not only the hearts of a vast majority of science professionals, but the education and media establishments as well. Consider this: the educational establishment controls almost constant attention of our young people for approximately 35 hours per week. In public schools, our children’s science teachers are the product of a higher education establishment overwhelmingly pro-evolution. Media journalists are intensely pro-evolution. With the combined effect of these influences we may conclude that our population has been heavily indoctrinated with evolutionary concepts. Perhaps partly as a result, Pope John Paul’s 1996 address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences supported evolution, thereby strengthening its credibility for a large segment of religious people. It is, therefore, all the more remarkable that only about 40% of Americans endorse evolution.
The non-scientist population has been relentlessly propagandized to the extent that many people, not having made an impartial study of the evidence, pro and con, claim confidently that evolution as “science” has been “tested and proven.” This is not so. Even Christians familiar with the fallacy variously called “argument by concensus,” “appeal to authority” or “the bandwagon fallacy,” have used the authority of the scientific, educational, media, and religious establishments as one of their primary reasons to accept evolution. Speaking as a science educator, I feel strongly that scientific concensus is a good thing if bias, philosophy, special interest, and worldview are minimized. In science, we should not filter truth about the natural world through the filter of philosophical preference. Even the leaders of the scientific, educational, and media establishments may acknowledge the existence of such filters when considering the explanation for life’s uniqueness and diversity.
Let us add a theological dimension to this truth search discussion–something scientists boldly tell us we are not permitted to do. When we consider the uniqueness of God’s highest creative achievement–modern man–we realize, with David of old in Psalm 8, that the Creator has “crowned [man] with glory and honor.” Belief in either naturalistic or theistic evolution is problematic when we attempt to reconcile it with archaeological evidence showing a well-defined “cultural explosion,” a burst of technological, artistic, and spiritual advancement, in very recent geological times. It is also problematic if we regard holy scripture as divinely inspired in passages such as these verses: “Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of?” (Deut. 4:32-33 NIV). Are you judging scripture based on the opinions of others? Exercise caution!
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