If you thought the misinformation, indoctrination, and viewpoint suppression perpetrated by Big Tech, schools, and the corporate media were limited to politics, think again. One of the many fronts of the war for the right to dictate what you believe is the scientific, religious, and metaphysical debate over where you came from.
A recent University of Michigan survey claims “Evolution now accepted by majority of Americans,” or 54 percent. Salon declared the debate over, posting the headline “Science quietly wins one of the right’s longstanding culture wars,” calling it a “setback for purveyors of pseudoscience.” What role does information suppression play in this trend?
In 2006, an article in the journal Nature reported “70 years of enforced atheism and official support for darwinism in the Soviet Union” were causing a public backlash against evolution in post-Soviet Russia. During the Soviet era, virtually everyone accepted Darwinism, largely due to government indoctrination and a lack of intellectual freedom. Could a similar intolerance be responsible, at least in part, for increased public acceptance of evolution in the United States?
More than 1,100 scientists have signed a list agreeing they are “skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.” As a scientist, I’ve signed that list. But as an attorney, I can attest that many of these scientists — and others who are afraid to sign the list — face discrimination because they won’t toe the Darwinian line.
Earlier this year physicist Eric Hedin published a book titled Canceled Science, telling how Ball State University investigated him after he briefly covered intelligent design in an interdisciplinary elective seminar. When science faculty are prohibited from merely mentioning minority scientific viewpoints, it’s no wonder that many students gravitate towards Darwinism. They’ve heard nothing else.
Big Tech also makes it hard to find scientific information that challenges Darwin. In 2020, the journal BioEssays published an editorial calling for “mandatory” disclaimers and “color coded banners” on search engines to warn people about “factual errors” on websites supporting intelligent design. Yet while these websites are being targeted, Wikipedia is perpetuating biased and inaccurate information about the Darwinism/intelligent design debate.
Wikipedia’s “intelligent design” entry editorializes within the first five words that such a belief is “pseudoscientific,” and editors notoriously resist changes that add balance or accuracy. This led Wikipedia’s co-founder Larry Sanger, a self-described “agnostic who believes intelligent design to be completely wrong,” to slam the entry as “appallingly biased. It simply cannot be defended as neutral.” Yet Wikipedia is undoubtedly where countless people become informed — and misinformed — about evolution and intelligent design.
Wikipedians justify censorship of pro-intelligent design views by citing a “consensus” that’s enforced by the scientific community and education system. In the United States, public schools almost universally teach evolution in a pro-Darwin-only fashion that censors any science that challenges the status quo.
Consider the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which take what the New York Times called “a firm stand that children must learn about evolution.” Out of 50 states, 44 have adopted these standards or something like them. They call for students to learn that “common ancestry and biological evolution are supported by multiple lines of empirical evidence,” with no mention of counterevidence. Does this require simply knowing about evolution and understanding the arguments, or does it force students to affirm “support” for evolution?
The NGSS inform students that similarities among vertebrate embryos indicate common ancestry, parroting many biology textbooks which overstate the degree of similarity between fish, bird, and mammal embryos. But neither the NGSS nor many textbooks mention peer-reviewed studies showing that vertebrate embryos start development differently. As a 2010 paper in Nature explained, “Counter to the expectations of early embryonic [similarities], many studies have shown that there is often remarkable divergence between related species both early and late in development.”
In high school, the NGSS teaches that “similarities in DNA sequences” across different species also support common ancestry. But the NGSS ignores that the scientific literature is replete with conflicts between DNA-based evolutionary trees.
An article in New Scientist, titled “Why Darwin was wrong about the tree of life,” observed “[m]any biologists now argue that the tree concept is obsolete and needs to be discarded.” It quoted scientists saying things like “We have no evidence at all that the tree of life is a reality” or “We’ve just annihilated the tree of life.”
Likewise, a 2012 paper in Annual Review of Genetics could not reconcile universal common ancestry with the genetic data, and concluded “life might indeed have multiple origins.” The NGSS ignores such studies, presenting dumbed-down science in support of neo-Darwinian theory.
When the public lacks access to scientific information that challenges evolution — because Darwin-doubting scientists are hounded out of academia, schools refuse to acknowledge peer-reviewed science that contradicts the standard evolutionary paradigm, and Big Tech obscures accurate information about intelligent design — we don’t have to wonder why public support for evolution is increasing. Under such a dogmatic system, what outcome would be expected other than increased support for evolution?
To be clear, I’m not proposing some conspiracy theory. No conspiracy is needed to understand that power structures often systematically marginalize people and viewpoints that are in the minority, and that’s exactly what’s happening here….
The above comes from a Sept. 7 story by Casey Luskin in The Federalist.
Luskin holds a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Johannesburg, a law degree from the University of San Diego, and works at the Discovery Institute in Seattle.
As far as Intelligent Design goes, I pretty much agree with the views of Dr. Peter Kreeft and the late Fr. Benedict Groeschel in that ID is not useful for empirical science, but can be excellent in traditional philosophy-the latter of which is unfortunately not taught in many academic institutions anymore.
Wikipedia also states that the research done by Dr. Joseph Nicolosi Ph.D was pseudoscientific, to which I reply: “If that is true, perhaps all of psychology is pseudoscientific then.” But his work was indeed true, good, and beautiful and thankfully is still being carried out by his son, who also has a Ph.D on psychology.
Some days it is truly an embarrassment to read CCD.
Next thing you know it will be publishing articles saying the moon produces its own light, because that’s what the Bible says.
Then don’t read it.
Intelligent Design as purveyed by Michael Behe is pseudoscience.
Intelligent Design as endorsed by St. Thomas Aquinas is solid metaphysics.
Let’s not confuse nor conflate distinct domains of inquiry and argument.
When it comes to evolution and intelligent design, I think that Dr. John F. Haught of Georgetown University offers us the best way forward. Evolution is the means through which God continually creates, always drawing us forward. Working with science, rather than offering resistance, we will eventually need to reconsider the old notion of a static universe and original perfection in much the same way that we no longer think the sun revolves around the earth.
For Catholics this issue was resolved decades ago. Read St Pope John Paul II’s book on Genesis. In the book he clearly states that it is possible to accept the findings (specifically evolution) of the hard sciences (physics, chemistry, biology, etc.) and remain a faithful Catholic/Christian. Catholics do not have to accept a literal understanding of the creation accounts of the Bible. Our fundamentalist Protestant brethren twist themselves up like pretzels when they assert the earth is 6000 years old and deny the findings of empirical science because their faith is tied to a very unconvincing literal interpretation of the Scriptures.
I don’t think evolution is opposed by the ID scientists. (It is clearly not the same as so-called “creation science.”)
Am I wrong? If so, please provide a reference to the ID scientists stating that.
Wikipedia calls it “creationism” and even makes it a religious and political matter, although I do see that the Discovery Institute has broadened their scope, to include what is religious and political.
Even high school students, in good schools, aren’t to use wikipedia as a source. It’s known for its sometimes biases and inaccuracies; and I’ve observed some myself.
I wouldn’t trust it for science, history, theology or anything else without checking out the sources.
Don’t believe everything on FaceBook or Twitter either, or even California Catholic Daily for that matter. Do the work of researching and thinking yourself.
I think wikipedia is more problematic than the Discovery Institute. And, it’s interesting that Dr Luskin, a geologist, got his law degree at USD, a Catholic university.
No I think that is too benign an interpretation. it’s what they want you to think.
Can you provide any reference to an ID scientist expressing opposition to evolution as such?
I have a priest friend who has a relative working for them and I’ve read a little of Michael Behe (who also seems to be maligned by wikipedia because he is a “devout Catholic” with a large family, which, apparently, his wife and he homeschool).
Remember, the Big Bang Theory, when first proposed by a Jesuit, was opposed as being religious.
I think they have no problem with evolution, except when one version is taught as a matter of entirely random chance (part and parcel with atheism) and guidance by a Creator or some intelligence is automatically excluded from consideration.
I’m open to being corrected, if wrong about the ID scientists. Thank you.