The Creator On Trial – Part 6

Summary and Conclusions

“The Case for a Creator” is quite repetitive, and I have skipped several chapters to avoid boring the reader. Many of the contributors advance the same arguments. Here are the most common ones:

  1. Natural processes cannot get “something from nothing,” but God can. This is also called the First Cause argument. A corollary states that God is eternal and was not created from nothing, but the energy and matter in the Universe are not eternal and therefore must have been created.
  2. If evolution theory cannot answer every single mystery about the origins and development of life on earth, particularly the unique capabilities of homo sapiens, then creation by God and (for some believers) God-directed evolution, must be the answer.

I have addressed both of those assertions in earlier sections and will not repeat those arguments here other than to say that imagining a supernatural being that can perform miracles that defy the laws of nature requires a leap of faith over a logical and evidential vacuum. It has no resemblance to science, and certainly has no place in a science class.

Criticizing evolution theory has become a losing game for creationists.  Scientists are accumulating more and more evidence validating the process, backing creationists into an inexorably shrinking corner.  The Catholic Church, now acknowledges that Darwin’s theory is valid, and claim it as part of God’s plan.  They still distinguish man as a creation of God, but evidence of transitional species is gradually eliminating even that last stronghold of creationist belief.

After the Dover trial, one might think that the push to teach creationism in public schools would have been totally discredited and defunct.  It might have been, but for the actions of George W. Bush, who infamously asserted that schools should “teach the controversy” in their science classes. This reinvigorated the ID movement, and several states immediately passed laws to include the teaching of Intelligent Design.

“With the president endorsing it, at the very least it makes Americans who have that position more respectable, for lack of a better phrase,” said Gary L. Bauer, a Christian conservative leader. “It’s not some backwater view. It’s a view held by the majority of Americans.”

Even if that were correct, it is a logical fallacy known as argumentum ad populum…if many believe it, then it must be true.  Earlier in our history, a majority of our citizens thought that slavery was acceptable, and that women should not have the right to vote. Those ideas have changed, and secularism is growing as membership in most faiths is declining in the US.

Since then the pressure to teach creationism has not lessened, and another tactic has arisen; teaching the doubts about evolution. Organizations like Americans United and ACLU constantly offer evidence that many public schools are teaching creationism and disparaging evolution.  It’s a constant struggle and its proponents are determined, motivated by their religious faith.

ID is not science.  It has no business in a science class.  As Judge Jones said in the Dover trial, ID is religious belief.  Corrupting science classes with religion degrades our schools to quasi-churches.  That may be what religious fanatics want, but it is profoundly threatening to the intellectual development of our young people. Man is a curious animal who seeks answers and understanding of the natural world. Religious faith discourages scientific inquiry in any area that threatens church dogma.

A final thought: Jonathan Wells, the first interviewee in this book, has been quoted as saying “Darwin is an emperor who has no clothes,” a reference to the famous Hans Christian Andersen tale.  Wells seems to be suggesting that the clothes represent the evidence supporting evolution, which he is implying is nonexistent.

While it must be acknowledged that evolution theory still has some holes, the evidence supporting it is hardly nonexistent, and those holes in Darwin’s clothes are gradually being mended as scientists accumulate more and more data. But pity the poor potentates of intelligent design like Jonathan Wells.  Lacking any direct evidence of a supernatural designer, the poor fellows have a terrible predicament: They must try to cover themselves with the few remaining threads from the shrinking holes in Darwin’s royal robes.

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