by Jason Carlson and Ron Carlson
In the past two weeks the debate over the teaching of Intelligent Design theory in our nation’s schools has intensified. President Bush has weighed in, supporting academic freedom and the right of students to examine competing theories on the origin of life. Numerous television news programs have featured stories on the debate over Intelligent Design. Even the most recent issue of TIME magazine features the debate prominently on its cover titled, “Evolution Wars”.
In the midst of all of this attention and debate over the role of Intelligent Design theory in our nation’s classrooms, the critics of Intelligent Design continue to assert that Intelligent Design theory is unscientific, is nothing more than a faith position, and therefore should not be taught in our nation’s schools. In our article from last week we responded to these charges and highlighted a number of the flaws in the arguments of Intelligent Design’s critics. However, as a follow-up this week, we would like to further explore this idea that faith does not belong in the classroom.
We find it very curious that the Secularist critics of Intelligent Design continue to assert that “faith does not belong in the classroom”, while at the same time claiming that only the theory of naturalistic evolution provides a truly credible, “scientific” explanation for life’s origins. We find this curious because the theory of naturalistic evolution is packed full of faith propositions. In fact, the vast majority of the theory of evolution has no scientific evidence to support it, but rather is almost totally assumed by faith. Let’s examine some of the more glaring examples of faith disguised as science in the theory of naturalistic evolution:
First, naturalistic evolution claims that in the beginning there was nothing, just a vast, empty void of darkness. And then suddenly, miraculously (oops… there’s that tricky faith), there was a huge explosion, which evolutionists call the “big bang”. Out of this “big bang”, where nothingness exploded, sprang all of the elements, all of the matter, all of the physical stuff that would eventually lead to the entire cosmos and even to life on Earth.
Now, this idea of the “big bang” raises some legitimate questions: How does nothing explode? How does nothing produce all of the elements and physical material in the universe? How does nothing lead to something, anything, let alone the immense complexity that we see displayed in our universe? The naturalistic evolutionists have no answers for these questions. They simply assume, by faith, that somehow the “big bang” took place.
A second example of the faith of naturalistic evolutionists is found in regards to the origin of life on Earth. The theory of naturalistic evolution states that sometime around 4 billion years ago there was a primordial, inorganic soup of nauseous chemicals bubbling away here on planet Earth. While this primordial stew was simmering, suddenly these non-living chemicals combined to miraculously (oops… faith again) form the first living single cell. This original living single cell eventually multiplied, grew fins, crawled out of the sea, swung through the trees, started walking upright, and is now reading this article.
However, once again, this claim that non-living matter spontaneously generated life raises some serious questions: How does non-living matter ever turn into living matter? How do inorganic chemicals turn into life? Didn’t Louis Pasteur and others disprove the notion of spontaneous generation roughly 150 years ago? The naturalistic evolutionists have no answers for these questions. They simply assume, by faith, that somehow, contrary to all known laws of science that spontaneous generation occurred to create the first living single cell.
A third example of the faith of naturalistic evolutionists is found in regards to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, also known as the problem of Entropy. The theory of naturalistic evolution declares that life has progressively evolved to greater and greater levels of organization and complexity. However, the problem with this idea is that it runs totally contrary to the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, a proven law of science, which says that all things run down from a state of organization and complexity to states of disorganization and chaos.
Here again, the naturalistic evolutionist must face some important questions: How can evolution defy this basic law of science? Why is it that evolution is the one exception to the rule of the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? Where else have we ever seen any proof of natural processes defying the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics? The naturalistic evolutionists have no satisfactory answers for these questions. They simply assume, by faith, that somehow evolution was able to overcome the problem of Entropy and the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics.
We could go on and on listing the faith propositions found in the theory of naturalistic evolution. The point of all of this is that the Secularist critics of Intelligent Design are simply being dishonest when they claim that the theory of evolution is a purely “scientific” explanation for the origin of life. Naturalistic evolution is full of faith propositions. Thus, if the Secularists of the world want to prohibit the teaching of Intelligent Design from our nation’s classrooms, they must find other grounds than simply continuing to claim that it is invalid because it is a “faith position”. Naturalistic evolution is every bit as much of a faith position as is Intelligent Design.
Therefore, let us offer a suggestion, either we keep faith out of the classroom altogether, prohibiting the teaching of naturalistic evolution and Intelligent Design, or we allow students the academic freedom to equally analyze and critique these competing faith positions on the origin of life. If naturalistic evolution is as scientific as the Secularists claim, they’ll have nothing to worry about.