According to Darwin Day Celebration, there were 729 events scheduled in 45 countries for Darwin Day 2009, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth.
In response to the celebration of Darwin Day at the University of Oklahoma, and their invitation to Richard Dawkins to speak, Trinity Baptist Church collaborated with others in order to provide an opportunity for Academic Freedom.
The response involved hosting a conference at our church, “Designed For Faith”, a presentation at OU by John West and Casey Luskin, both from the Discovery Institute, and a debate at OU between Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski and Darwinian philosopher and historian of science Michael Ruse, as well as producing some printed information.
Now this kind of endeavor by a church occasions the query from Christians, should churches be involved in challenging “scientific claims” or exposing the weaknesses of Darwinism and the bias of state education? Many in academia have no question, but rather state emphatically, the church should not be involved since that is mixing religion and science and/or violating separation of church and state; in other words, the churches should mind their own business and leave educating young people to the public school and university system.
Should churches be involved in such issues? My answer is emphatically and unequivocally YES! Consider the following:
• The church is concerned about truth in every forum.
• Education, which includes every area of life, is a major responsibility of the church.
• It is “public” education, and last time I checked, Christians are citizens.
• Taxes pay for education and Christians pay taxes.
• Christians are called to be “salt and light” in every area of life.
• The societal impact of education, e.g. laws, mores, what constitutes knowledge, etc., also affects the church.
• Democracy requires the involvement of citizens and not just “experts”.
• Democracy requires that all biases are both free to be presented and challenged.
• Academic freedom oftentimes requires the church to expose academic bias.
• Progressive education was designed to be a science-based system, and since education involves all areas of life, it will necessarily seek to speak scientifically in areas that are beyond the legitimate bounds of science, which left unchecked, is unbridled naturalism.
• Darwinism reduces man to an animal to be studied and manipulated, which stealthily transforms science into metaphysical naturalism, and history compellingly reveals that is something far too ominous and dangerous to be left to the corrective hand of “science”.
• Darwinism creates moral perspectives drawn from animal behavior; the result being that if animals do it, or some humans do it, then it is natural. Alfred Kinsey’s research was not only flawed in many ways, but this underlying Darwinian presupposition tainted everything. Kinsey’s study on human morality changed what is deemed normal sexual behavior. Interestingly, Kinsey was a zoologist.
• Churches have always been involved in education, and that is why the vast majority of primary and secondary schools and universities in the United States were founded by Christians, e.g. Harvard, Yale, etc.
• Darwinism desacralizes man so that he is nothing more than the sum of his physical being. This leads logically to the idea that man is merely a product of material antecedents and therefore has no free will, which is not a livable worldview and further degrades man as man.
• Scientific education is never merely learning a set of facts, for that is not possible and that is not education. Education necessarily involves interpretation of facts, and what is and is not moral to do with such facts.
• Materialism untempered by the remnants of a Christian milieu is callously cruel as demonstrated by men like Stalin and Hitler and by movements like American eugenics, abortion on demand, etc. The solution of scientific materialism may be to help the helpable, but it is also to rid the gene pool of the truly helpless and weak.
• The “self correction” fallacy of science demands the church be involved. The truth is that scientific errors often go uncorrected for decades, costing innumerable lives, and/or doing irreparable harm. This has happened in a host of areas, but to mention a few: eugenics, mischaracterizing of “junk” DNA, Haeckel’s ontogeny and phylogeny, the myth of a 1% difference in chimpanzees and humans, all of which were based upon the denial of special creation and a Darwinian view of origin and life.
Therefore, the real question is why would the church not be involved?