2 John H
Why "all" scientists
seem to believe that evolution is fact
By Kitty Foth-Regner
(Investigator 134, 2010
Take it from
world-renowned evolutionary atheist Richard Dawkins: "One thing all
real scientists agree upon is the fact of evolution itself," he wrote
in the November 2005 issue of the American publication Natural History.
"It is a fact that we are cousins of gorillas, kangaroos, starfish, and
bacteria. Evolution is as much a fact as the heat of the sun."
then, it's settled.
All real scientists agree, after all. It must be so.
Professor Dawkins: It turns out there are literally thousands of real
scientists who have publicly proclaimed their doubts about Darwinian
evolution. And no doubt there are many thousands more who keep their
doubts under their hats – for good reason, it turns out.
reason is revealed
in horrifying detail in Dr. Jerry Bergman's eye-opening book, Slaughter
of the Dissidents: The Shocking Truth about Killing the Careers of
Darwin Doubters (Leafcutter Press, 2008). In it, Dr. Bergman
describes the discrimination experienced by more than a dozen
Darwin-doubting American scientists, primarily in academia. And we're
not talking insults delivered at the water cooler. These men and women
have been denied tenure and awards, forced out, fired, blackballed,
even subjected to death threats – not because of what they did or said,
but because of what they believe.
this sort of Orwellian discrimination himself in the late 1970s; he had
become disillusioned with Darwinism, and lost his job at Bowling Green
State University for saying so. Professor Dawkins would no doubt try to
slap the "not a real scientist" label on him. But it wouldn't stick,
because Dr. Bergman:
nine college degrees – two of them Ph.D.s – from the Medical College of
Ohio, Wayne State University, The University of Toledo, and Bowling
Green State University.
taught college-level biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry,
anthropology, geology, and microbiology for more than three decades.
currently adjunct associate professor and research associate at the
Medical University of Ohio and professor of Biology and Chemistry at
Northwest State Community College.
800 publications appearing in 12 languages, including 30 books and
monographs, and has contributed to dozens of textbooks.
presented over 100 scientific papers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.
the "not a real
scientist" label doesn't fit any of the Darwin doubters whose cases are
presented in Slaughter of the Dissidents.
have already gained recognition through the amazing documentary Expelled:
No Intelligence Allowed; Dr. Bergman picks up where Expelled
host and narrator Ben Stein left off, delving more deeply into the
cases of Caroline Crocker and Guillermo Gonzalez. He also
introduces his readers to many other highly qualified scientists who
saw their careers derailed when their doubts about Darwinism came to
the attention of their superiors.
personal sacrifices, what's the harm?
Bergman points out
that so far, the majority of Americans still side with the Darwin
doubters. Surveys indicate that at least 44% believe God created the
earth and all the basic kinds of life, another 38% fall somewhere along
the continuum between creationism and theistic evolution, and only 9%
are pure evolutionists.
the product of the
American public school system – including a journalism curriculum
teaching, as far back as the ‘70s, that what we can't see is a figment
of our imaginations – I worry about my own exhaustively educated
generation, and those of the future. Now that atheistic Darwinism is
the only subject that can be safely taught in our schools and
universities … now that even a whiff of sympathy for Intelligent Design
is punishable by immediate dismissal … and now that the God of the
Bible has been booted clear out of public life … what will become of
our biblically ignorant citizenry not only in this life, but far more
importantly, in the life to come?
suggestions for supporting the fight to restore academic freedom in
this country, but it seems like an uphill battle. The politically
correct evolutionary worldview is championed by groups like the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for
Separation of Church and State; such groups are always standing by,
ready to snuff out any suggestion of a Designer with lawsuits that few
schools can afford to fight.
is also part of
the mainstream news media's dogma, as readers of most daily newspapers
can attest – and as Dr. Bergman demonstrates again and again.
for instance, the
case of Rod LeVake, a Minnesota biology teacher who was removed from
his high school biology class because he dared to criticize Darwinism.
Incredibly, at least one national news magazine felt compelled to weigh
in on his case. "Time portrayed creation-believing scientists as an
almost non-existent minority," Dr. Bergman reports, "claiming
‘reputable scientists who agree with LeVake can be counted on one hand'
… Time went so far as to portray Mr. LeVake as a hillbilly."
wonder we creationists
and Intelligent Design advocates are so often mocked by the highly
educated, who greet any suggestion of an alternative to Darwinism with
some version of: "Real scientists believe in evolution!"
thanks to Dr.
Bergman's efforts, we can at last explain why that may seem to be the
case: Darwinism appears to be the prevailing worldview because it is
the only one that is allowed in our classrooms, on our campuses, on the
pages of our mainstream newspapers and the lips of mainstream broadcast
of the Dissidents more convinced than ever that it's time for those
of us who care about academic freedom – and about proclaiming the truth
of the Bible – to fight this unconscionable censorship. Read this
outstanding book, and you'll no doubt agree.
Foth-Regner is a freelance writer and the author of Heaven Without
Her (Thomas Nelson 2008) – a memoir describing how, in the wake of
her beloved Christian mother's death, creation science pointed her to
the truth of the Bible and the gospel of Jesus Christ.
"MORE CONVINCED THAN
John H Williams
(Investigator 135, 2010
The review of Dr
Bergman's Slaughter of the Dissidents by American contributor
Kitty Foth-Regner (#134) is an example of confirmation bias — once
we've formed a view we subconsciously emphasise information which
reinforces it and downplay or ignore contradictory information. It's
impossible to be totally objective and disinterested; confirmation bias
is a subversive behavioral flaw because it may prevent us finding the
truth about an issue, allowing us to remain in our preconceptions and
convinced about the
vast majority of what comprises good science while acknowledging the
'known unknowns', the likelihood of misconceptions, and of changes
brought by challenging new data. I admit to some confirmation bias, but
I watch out for bad science or pseudoscience, await discoveries and
renewed scientific debate, and invite rebuttal.
Foth-Regner, a (Young
Earth) creationist believer in Intelligent Design (ID), states that
"real science confirms Genesis, not Darwin" but it "doesn't get a
hearing in our schools, which have been teaching anti-science
worldviews", with students "learning only evolutionary fairy tales".
One wonders what she means by "real science" and presume that it's
different to what is generally understood as science, which is
inherently secular, doesn't indulge in fairy tales, and is demonstrably
journalist and copywriter, and her review is pitched to a Christian
readership. She's unhappy about a 'subject' she calls "atheistic
Darwinism" and is sweepingly dismissive of those who give
"Darwin-doubters" (creationist scientists) a hard time. If she'd had
some familiarity with Darwin's life she'd know that he was the
'greatest' of the Darwin-doubters! He independently presented the same
theory involving natural selection as Alfred Wallace, one still valid
especially now that we know so much more about evolutionary biology and
what's known as the Neo-Darwinian Synthesis.
first line set
the tone, describing Richard Dawkins as an "evolutionary atheist", when
he's a world-class biologist, ethologist and evolutionary scientist,
whose job, until 2008, was Simonyi Professor for the Public
Understanding of Science – hence his role in taking on creationism –
and who also happens to be a well-known atheist.
contrast Dr Bergman is a Young Earth Creationist (YEC) and promoter
of ID first and foremost, while his alter ego operates as a scientist:
this is what Dawkins alludes to in his quoted phrase, "all real
readers are quite familiar with Dr Bergman, a prolific writer and
degree-collector. Since the late 1990s he's had ample opportunity to
explain his version of a 6,000 year old world for this magazine, but
when repeatedly challenged by me (the latest in #127) to do so, no
response has been forthcoming. If the scientific evidence for
creationism is so abundantly clear, why is it conspicuous by its
leads a 'double
life' as a "biologist, geneticist, chemist, biochemist, anthropologist
and microbiologist" and as a relentlessly active, heavily involved
creationist. He's teased skeptical Investigator readers by
promising explanations but not following through, given examples of
creationist scientists (Galileo, von Braun) or a former atheist (Flew)
who's become a deist, and misrepresented natural selection as "survival
of the fittest" (in #129).
years ago Dr Bergman contributed a chapter as a biologist for In
Six Days, and quoted biblical passages to support his belief that a
mythical 'Adam' was "instantaneously" created. Is this behaviour
consistent with the 'real scientist' that Ms Foth-Regner extols? For
those not au fait with the science of the supernatural, could the
'biologist' bit of Dr Bergman please provide evidence for that
Foth-Regner regards Dr Bergman as an elite scientist (yet to be
demonstrated) and a hero-apologist of creationism and 'creation
science' (which he is). Her review was first published online in Discerning
Reader (19/5/2010), a self-confessed Christian site, which is
"dedicated to promoting books that bring honor to God", while "it tries
to help Christians avoid being unduly influenced by books and teachers
that are not honoring God".
statistics she quotes
("at least 44% of Americans believe God created the earth and all basic
kinds of life") are irrelevant, and constitute argumentum ad populum.
She may be aware of a Gallup poll which reported that "57% of Americans
also believe in UFOs, 54% in angels, 51% in ESP, 39% in the devil, 29%
in astrology and 10% in ghosts and witches", and a recent poll has
shown that 20% of Americans believe that their President is a Muslim!
writer ought to
be impartial and disinterested, which in this case doesn't apply since
Ms Foth-Regner was a "guest reviewer" who was guaranteed to give a
fulsome tick of approval. Discerning Reader is pro-creationist,
anti-evolution and pro-God, so it's no surprise that she found herself
"more convinced than ever"!
of the Dissidents or seen Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,
so am unable to critique them. However, I'd advise a healthy dose of
skepticism, having begun researching the case of Minnesota biology
teacher Rod LeVake. There is substantial criticism of Expelled
on the net such as Expelled Exposed. I strongly recommend a few
hours on the Amiable Atheist and Bay of Fundie websites
for insights into Bergman's book and into Ms Foth-Regner's beliefs —
especially illuminating when she enters into a dialogue with 'Mr
Amiable'. Bergman's dissertation-size (thus disallowed) blog reply to Bay
of Fundie is a classic!
truth behind the
fiction promoted by Dr Bergman and Ms Foth-Regner is not about the
scientific validity of creationism, but part of a culture war being
waged, primarily in the USA, between the conservative/fundamentalist
right and the liberal left. The former characterise evolutionary
science ("Darwinism") as akin to atheism, communism, fascism and
societal decline, in attempting to return the Christian (Designer) God
to classrooms, thus saving America sliding down "the path of doom". The
strategy is to attack 'Big Science' persistently, distort it, produce
anti-science propaganda such as Expelled, dumb down the debate,
cry foul over academic freedom, and pursue a non-rational agenda.
whinge about the "unconscionable censorship" of creationism, I refer Ms
Foth-Regner to a salient example: the 2005 Dover School debacle.
Following its defeat the on-going spin of the Discovery Institute and
its "real scientists" applies the polish of faith, while having at core
the misrepresentation of science, history-denial, loaded and emotive
language, pseudoscience, substitute logic, fake ‘evidence' and the
crushing burden of being comprehensively wrong.
Bay of Fundie:
Expelled Exposed, Michael
Shermer, Scientific American, May 2008