Via email, senior fellow Casey Luskin insisted that the Discovery Institute does not intend to stifle the teaching of evolution:
We oppose teaching religious views like creationism. Although ID is a science, we oppose mandating it in public schools. What we DO SUPPORT is teaching the scientific evidence for and against evolution in public schools. (This is not the same as teaching ID.)
These alleged gaps in neo-Darwinian theory include frustrated attempts to reconstruct life’s origins, the fossil record’s discontinuous progression, and the inability of natural selection acting upon random mutation to create functional adaptations.
Perhaps we should be suspicious of such skepticism. After all, Casey Luskin is a Christian, as are many Tennessee biology teachers. Can religious folk be trusted to mold the malleable Play-Doh inside teenaged skulls?
Richard Dawkins famously accused anyone who doesn’t believe in evolution of being “ignorant, stupid, or insane,” and maybe he’s right. Yet he joins Francis Crick in proposing extraterrestrial intelligence seeding the Earth as a plausible explanation of life’s origins—which sounds like a green Intelligent Designer wearing spring-loaded antennae.
If iconic atheists entertain sci-fi creationism, why should supernatural conjecture be met with such derision?
It seems that the greater part of this mainstream condemnation is rooted in intellectual one-upmanship and humanist snobbery. In highfalutin circles, being called a “creationist” is just one step up from being labeled a “racist.”
Darwin’s On the Origin of Species laid down the unifying concept in biology and revolutionized the field. But as elite scientists’ ideas trickled down to worldly bandwagoneers over the last century and a half, pop evolution became the new evangelicalism. Academics and self-styled sophisticates float placidly in watered-down Darwinian notions. For them, evolution is a matter of faith, superior to all others by virtue of infallible science. Any public dissent toward their fashionable orthodoxy is met with ridicule and ostracism, as with the present outcry over Tennessee’s “creationist Monkey Bill.” Like the biblical literalists they hysterically criticize, many lay evolutionists are grossly ignorant of their own intellectual roots and mentally incapable of a nuanced worldview.
Dayton, TN hosted a persecution similar to the one against intelligent design nearly 90 years ago during the famous Scopes Monkey Trial. Playing into an ACLU-orchestrated media spectacle, the young John Scopes was charged under the Butler Act for teaching evolution. Back in those days, Darwinists could still maintain a rebellious swagger. Self-congratulatory progressives continue to identify with Scopes as a right-thinking hero and deride the populist William Jennings Bryan as a sweaty, boneheaded villain.
I paid a visit to the courthouse in Dayton a few months ago. One item in the display cases immediately caught my attention. It was a copy of George William Hunter’s A Civic Biology—used by John Scopes in his class—opened to page 195. One passage reads:
Although anatomically there is a greater difference between the lowest type of monkey and the highest type of ape than there is between the highest type of ape and the lowest savage…there is an immense mental gap between monkey and man.
How many culturally sensitive shmoes have read that page with a mixture of smug approval and pious distaste for the word “savage”? Of course, the next page is safely hidden:
At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure…the highest type of all [are] the Caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.
Had they been able to turn to page 263, they would find even more juicy tidbits from the evolutionary perspective:
Just as certain animals or plants have become parasitic on other plants or animals, [biologically inferior humans] have become parasitic on society…corrupting, stealing, or spreading disease….If such people were lower animals, we would probably kill them off to prevent them from spreading.
In 1925 the ACLU financed a world-famous lawsuit to protect the right to teach human evolution from A Civic Biology. Today, they would call the textbook (listen carefully for that hissing lisp) a rabid racist screed. But the only alternative to evolving group differences is human exceptionalism—either human populations somehow evolved uniformly or all men and women of all races were created equal. How ironic that the ACLU now leads the fight against the only conceivable alternative to genetic determinism: nonmaterial causes.
Politically correct science writers insist that innate racial differences have long been discredited, yet they steadfastly deny intelligent design. To them, evolution is a fact—except for human biodiversity. It’s like a stud-hungry nympho who tells her diminutively endowed boyfriend that size doesn’t matter.
These guys must have evolved a digestive ability to have their cake and eat it, too.
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