Over the years, I’ve found that evolutionists are less and less willing to even discuss the possibility that their conclusions about origins might be wrong. I received a letter from a supporter recently who was very concerned about an article she read in the quarterly journal, American Educator. Now, this journal is intended for classroom teachers who want to read about “educational research and ideas.” Unfortunately, the article this supporter highlighted contained little research, but a lot of indoctrination into evolutionary ideas.
The article is titled, “An Evolving Controversy: The Struggle to Teach Science in Science Classes” (Summer 2012, pp. 12–23). The authors, Michael Berkman and Eric Plutzer, are professors of political science at Pennsylvania State University. They have written about the creation vs. evolution controversy before, but this article highlights their bias toward evolutionary belief in stunning ways.
Berkman and Plutzer performed a survey of high school biology teachers nationwide to determine whether these teachers believed in evolution or creation and how their beliefs affected their teaching. But before the authors even discuss the results of their research, they make a case for evolution/millions of years—part of which is based on ideas that even evolutionists reject! And then they end their argument by claiming that evolutionary ideas are a foregone conclusion:
Although the details are subject to revision based on new and better evidence, the fundamental hypothesis of common ancestry has been verified so many times, by so many independent kinds of experiments spanning different scientific specialties, that there is no longer serious debate that evolution has occurred. (p. 15, emphasis theirs)
There’s no more debate? So scientists have actually observed and proven the process of molecules-to-man evolution? This should be big news even to evolutionists! Of course, no one has observed (and no one ever will) molecules-to-man evolution. But what “evidence” do the authors present? One of the examples that they rely on to demonstrate that evolutionary ideas are beyond debate is the supposed “missing link” known as Tiktaalik.
Tiktaalik was a fish believed to have been able to walk on land (using its fins). But when evolutionists discovered similar fossilized tracks that they dated at 9 million years older than Tiktaalik, they had to rethink their entire hypothesis! And yet, they still wholeheartedly hang on to their evolutionary beliefs about Tiktaalik. (For more information on Tiktaalik, read Dr. Dave Menton’s articles here www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v1/n1/story-walking-fish and here www.answersingenesis.org/articles/aid/v2/n1/tiktaalik-fishy-fish.) Really, Tiktaalik is just a lobe-finned fish (the Coelacanth is a lobe-finned fish—it was once thought to be a transitional form until scientists found it living in our present world).
And how about all the cases in the evolutionary model where there is nothing to work with but hypotheses? No matter, says Berkman and Plutzer, “the absence of fossil evidence supporting a transitional feature is not sufficient cause to reject the hypothesis that these species existed; it may just mean that fossils of transitional species have yet to be discovered or that such fossils never formed” (p. 14). Incredible! In other words, they have no proof, but they “know” these “missing links” existed and that the fossils are out there somewhere, all based on their faulty evolutionary starting point—so don’t bother arguing with them about it!
Berkman and Plutzer’s weak case for evolution/millions of years is followed by an analysis of their survey of high school biology teachers. As expected, they treat the title “creationist” as an extremely negative one—and use negative language in general in regard to teachers they call “creationist.”
Now, the way Berkman and Plutzer present it, the public schools are full of biblical creationists who are out to eliminate any form of respectable science. But what are their criteria for being a “creationist”? They write, “We classified 13 percent ( a very small number by the way) of the teachers as advocates of creationism because they spend at least one hour of class time on intelligent design or creationism and use that time to present it in an affirming manner” (p. 17). And what do they mean by an “affirming manner”? The teacher presents intelligent design or creationism as “a valid, scientific alternative” and says that “many reputable scientists” agree.
According to the article, these same teachers spend anaverage of 11.6 classroom hours on evolutionary ideas—compared to one hour on what may not even be biblical creation! And they’re upset because the teachers who do present some form of creationism or intelligent design . . . are telling the truth—that there are scientists who believe in some form of creation or intelligent design and that there is evidence that supports it.
One of the teachers surveyed made it clear that he presents creation and evolutionary ideas, but he does not share his personal views with students—he lets his students make an informed decision about what they believe. But the authors won’t accept that solution. Instead, they labeled him an “advocate of creationism.” Later in the article, Berkman and Plutzer even connect a belief in creation with a lack of college education in evolution. Basically, they’re saying that if creationists were to take more college courses in evolution, they would understand that evolutionary ideas are right and change their minds.
Of course, Answers in Genesis does not advocate government-mandated teaching of biblical creation in classrooms. However, we do advocate teaching students to think critically about the claims of evolution/millions of years, but Berkman and Plutzer don’t seem to support that.
So what practice will Berkman and Plutzer accept from teachers? Indoctrination, plain and simple. Their stamp of approval is placed on the following method of teaching:
Overall, strong advocates for evolution teach evolution not only as the NRC recommends, but in a way that gives little support to modern creationists. They clearly articulate evolution as an accepted scientific fact. Many contrast it with religion in a way that suggests to students that one can find ways to reconcile religion and science. (p. 17)
Further proof of their advocacy for indoctrination comes in their instructions concerning students who are still not convinced of evolutionary ideas: “To the extent that students are not convinced by the evidence before them, they should simply be encouraged to explore the available evidence further, in the reputable, peer-reviewed literature, and by enrolling in higher-level courses” (p. 23).
Really, the goal of these authors is to discredit creationists and encourage compromise among Christians. It’s all part of the erosion of biblical authority in society. Many in the secular world know how necessary Genesis is to the rest of Scripture, and they’re willing to sacrifice teaching students to think critically about the claims of Scripture versus the claims of evolutionary ideas—all to ensure that their viewpoint is the only one heard.
These authors are not researchers in the true sense, for they are agenda-driven educators who want students to be indoctrinated in evolution. Most kids from church homes go to the public schools. Parents need to understand what most public school educators are indoctrinating their children in—atheistic evolution. And remember, two-thirds of children from Christian homes will walk away from the church by the time they reach college age! Make sure you read the book Already Gone that details the research conducted on this.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
(This blog was written with the assistance of researcher Steve Golden.)