Fair Play

Americans believe in fair play. If a football or baseball team doesn't show up, it forfeits the game. If the defense lawyer in a trial puts on no case, the judge is likely to declare a summary judgment to the plaintiff. You play by the rules, or you don't play. So why have so many evolutionists apparently decided that the rules don't apply to them? This pattern is surfacing once again in Kansas, where you may remember a huge controversy broke out a few years ago, and the evolutionists squashed any other teaching in Kansas. This time the new state board of education is holding hearings to consider revisions that a group of scientists and educators has called for. These would allow Darwin's theory of evolution to be taught in schools, but they would permit scientific challenges to Darwinism to be taught as well. In a hearing of this sort, you would expect the proposal to be argued on its merits. But instead, most evolutionists simply claim that the whole controversy is beneath them, and they try to make a laughingstock of their opponents. They act as if those simple Midwesterners are just too uneducated or unintelligent to understand the most basic scientific concepts. The title of Thomas Frank's recent book What's the Matter with Kansas?, a real putdown which deals with evolution and several other hot-button issues, says it all. In this particular case, the New York Times reports that "Darwin's defenders are refusing to testify at [the] hearings," although they do have an attorney there to argue their case for them. But for the most part, they have stuck to trying the case in the media, judging their opponents' claims unworthy without even really giving them a fair hearing. This has become a favorite tactic for many evolutionists when dealing with the claims of intelligent design. There's a good example of this in my forthcoming book, The Good Life, which tells the story of Lehigh professor Michael Behe. Behe published in 1998 a blockbuster book called Darwin's Black Box, in which he argued that the human cell is "irreducibly complex" and, therefore, could not have come about by evolution -- all of the parts had to operate at the same time. Nobody challenged him for a long while, and then along came Dr. Richard Doolittle, the leading authority on cell structures in America. He published an article citing a study that he said disproved Behe. Behe went back and then checked the study and discovered that Doolittle had completely misread it: It confirmed Behe. Behe brought the matter to Doolittle's attention, and Doolittle admitted it. But he continued to insist that his own argument was correct, and he never publicly retracted his article. How does a prominent scientist get away with such shoddy work? The pro- evolutionist forces have made it seem as if their arguments are the only ones worth considering, that's how. If Darwinism and naturalism are all there are, that's it, case closed -- criticisms from intelligent design theorists aren't worth bothering about. It's an effective tactic, all right, because in the Times article, a physics teacher complained that people at scientific conferences laugh at her simply for being from Kansas -- and she's pro-evolution! They have done their smear job well. If you live in Kansas, stand your ground and demand the evolutionists deal with the facts, not name-call. If you're from another state, watch out for this tactic and alert your friends to what is going on here. The evolution lobby simply will not debate the merits because they know they will lose.


Chuck Colson


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