Secular Humanist Indoctrination

Secular Humanist Indoctrination in Collier County Public Schools

9th Grade Biology textbook, Biology, by Miller & Levine, Unit 5 Evolution

Selected from Page 465, Evidence of Evolution

THINK ABOUT IT.  “Darwin’s theory depended on assumptions that involved many scientific fields.  Scientists in some fields, including geology, physics, paleontology, chemistry and embryology, did not have the technology or understanding to test Darwin’s assumptions during his lifetime.  And other fields, like genetics and molecular biology, didn’t exist yet!  In the 150 years since Darwin published On the Origin of Species, discoveries in all these fields have served as independent tests that could have supported or refuted Darwin’s work.  Astonishingly, every scientific test has supported Darwin’s basic ideas about evolution. (emphasis added)”

The above statement makes an assertion that Darwin’s theory has been validated through discoveries and tests in various fields of scientific endeavor.  Unfortunately, this assertion is not supported by the facts. In the pages that follow I will present clear evidence of significant controversy surrounding Darwin’s theory.  These observations do not come from Creationists who would be expected to hold opposing views, but from secular scientists who take issue with various aspects of Darwin’s theory.

My purpose in writing this paper is not to make a case for an alternative explanation of origins and evolution, but to make space for scientific inquiry and critical thinking.  Teaching Darwin’s theory as though it is a fact is at best misleading.  Secular scientists may be confident that they will resolve the controversies and that they will be able to present a unified evolutionary model.  However, at this time that is more a matter of faith in Scientism then a fact.  In many ways materialistic evolution is Secular Humanist dogma.  Our schools should be weary of pushing evolution as fact.  The courts have cautioned against creating preference for the religion of secular humanism:

Supreme Court, Abington Township v. Schempp 1963, “The state may not establish a “religion of secularism” in the sense of affirmatively opposing or showing hostility to religion, thus “preferring those who believe in no religion over those who do believe.” Refusal to permit religious exercises thus is seen, not as the realization of state neutrality, but rather as the establishment of a religion of secularism.”

District Court, Crockett v. Sorenson District Court 1983, The First Amendment was never intended to insulate our public institutions from any mention of God, the Bible or religion.  When such insulation occurs, another religion, such as secular humanism, is effectively established?

District Court, American Humanist Association v. United States 2014, “The court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes,” The 7th Circuit Court upholds decision, "Atheism is [the inmate's] religion, and the group that he wanted to start was religious in nature even though it expressly rejects a belief in a supreme being,"

Paleontology – the branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.

Darwin was very concerned about the lack of fossil evidence during his day.  He had this to say in Origin of Species,

"...innumerable transitional forms must have existed but why do we not find them embedded in countless numbers in the crust of the earth? ...why is not every geological formation and every stratum full of such intermediate links? Geology assuredly does not reveal any such finely graduated organic chain, and this perhaps is the greatest objection which can be urged against my theory".

It was Darwin’s hope of course that ongoing research would unearth those intermediate or transitional fossils.  The truth is Darwin had good reason to be concerned.  Let us hear from leading Paleontologists 120 years after publication of Origin.

DR. COLIN PATTERSON, Senior Paleontologist, British Museum of Nat. History, "You say I should at least 'show a photo of the fossil from which each type or organism was derived.' I will lay it on the line--there is not one such fossil for which one could make a watertight argument." "It is easy enough to make up stories of how one form gave rise to another.... But such stories are not part of science, for there is no way of putting them to the test. ...." HARPER'S, Feb.1984, p.56

Dr. DAVID M. RAUP, U. Chicago; Ch. F. Mus. of N. H., "The evidence we find in the geologic record is not nearly as compatible with Darwinian natural selection as we would like it to be. Darwin was completely aware of this. He was embarrassed by the fossil record because it didn't look the way he predicted it would.... Well, we are now about 120 years after Darwin and the knowledge of the fossil record has been greatly expanded. We now have a quarter of a million fossil species but the situation hasn't changed much. ....ironically, we have even fewer examples of evolutionary transition than we had in Darwin's time. By this I mean that some of the classic cases of darwinian change in the fossil record, such as the evolution of the horse in North America, have had to be discarded or modified as the result of more detailed information." F.M.O.N.H.B., Vol.50, p.35

Dr. NILES ELDRIDGE, Amer. Mus. N. H., "He [Darwin] prophesied that future generations of paleontologists would fill in these gaps by diligent search.... One hundred and twenty years of paleontological research later, it has become abundantly clear that the fossil record will not confirm this part of Darwin's predictions. Nor is the problem a miserably poor record. The fossil record simply shows that this prediction was wrong." The Myths of Human Evolution, p.45-46

It is noteworthy that Drs. Raup, Patterson & Eldridge represented institutions that held nearly 50% of the world’s cataloged fossils at the time of they made these statements.  They certainly had the credentials to make them.

Not only does the fossil record not support Darwinian evolution, it directly contradicts the theory.  The fossil record suggests the sudden appearance of many animal types during what has been called the Cambrian Explosion. Here are just a few statements on this point.

Dr. RICHARD DAWKINS, Cambridge, "And we find many of them already in an advanced state of evolution, the very first time they appear. It is as though they were just planted there, without any evolutionary history. Needless to say, this appearance of sudden planting has delighted creationists. ...the only alternative explanation of the sudden appearance of so many complex animal types in the Cambrian era is divine creation..." The Blind Watchmaker, 1986, p229-230

DR. STEPHEN J. GOULD, HARVARD, "The Cambrian Explosion occurred in a geological moment, and we have reason to think that all major anatomical designs may have made their evolutionary appearance at that time. ... Contrary to Darwin's expectation that new data would reveal gradualistic continuity with slow and steady expansion, all major discoveries of the past century have only heightened the massiveness and geological abruptness of this formative event..." Nature, Vol.377, 26 10/95, p.682

DR. NILES ELDRIDGE, Curator, American Museum Of Natural History, "The classic cases of 'living fossils' reveal a more pervasive conservatism: there seems to have been almost no change in any part we can compare between the living organism and its fossilized progenitors of the remote geological past. Living fossils embody the theme of evolutionary stability to an extreme degree.  FOSSILS, 1991, p.100

The fact of the matter is that the fossil record does not support Darwin.  Drs. Gould and Eldridge actually came up with an alternative evolutionary theory they called Punctuated Equilibrium, because it was consistent with the observations made in paleontology.  That is that animals maintain their basic characteristics for perhaps millions and millions of years and then abruptly develop new body plans and traits thereby leaving little or no transitional fossils in their wake. 

DR. STEPHEN M. STANLEY, Johns Hopkins Univ., "In fact, the fossil record does not convincingly document a single transition from one species to another." THE NEW EVOLUTIONARY TIMETABLE, 1981, p.95

Yet this biology textbook states that the field of paleontology supports Darwin’s theory.  That is patently untrue.

Embryology – the branch of biology and medicine concerned with the study of embryos and their development. In the context of evolution - Embryonic Recapitulation or Biogenetic Law

A contemporary of Darwin, Dr. Ernst Haeckel a German biologist, put forth the hypothesis that embryos follows the same development sequence as the sequence of its evolutionary ancestors in a process that came to be called Recapitulation.  That is that the embryonic development mirrors its evolutionary development.  Haeckel is purported to developed drawings that showed a comparison of embryos of different animals at different stages of development.  The similarity of the embryos at early stages of development gave good evidence of common ancestry, or so the theory went.  Only problem was that the good doctor faked the drawings to get the desired result.  

DR. R. H. DOTT, Univ. of WI and DR. R. L BATTEN, Columbia Univ. "Much research has been done in embryology since Haeckel's day, and we now know that there are all too many exceptions to this analogy, and that ontogeny does not reflect accurately the course of evolution." EVOLUTION OF THE EARTH, p.86

DRS. SIMPSON & BECK, "Haeckel misstated the evolutionary principle involved. It is now firmly established that ontogeny does not repeat phylogeny. "Intro To Biology, 1965,p.273

DR. KEITH S. THOMPSON, Academy of Natural Sciences, "Surely this biogenetic law is as dead as a doornail. It was finally exorcised from biology textbooks in the fifties. As a topic of serious theoretical inquiry, it was extinct in the twenties." American Scientist, 5/6, 1988, p.273 "Ontogeny and Phylogeny Recapitulated"

Dr. Ashley Montagu, "The theory of recapitulation was destroyed in 1921 by Professor Walter Garstang in a famous paper. Since then no respectable biologist has ever used the theory of recapitulation, because it was utterly unsound, created by a Nazi-like preacher named Haeckel." Montagu-Gish Princeton Debate, 4/12/1980

Dr. Michael Richardson, British Embryologist, “It looks like it’s turning out to be one of the most famous fakes in biology”. Science magazine 1997

"EMBRYONIC FRAUD LIVES ON," "Although Haeckel confessed...and was convicted of fraud at the University of Jena, the drawings persist." New Scientist, p.23, 9/6/97

Embryology does not provide evidence for Darwin’s theory.

Chemistry – the branch of science that deals with the identification of the substances of which matter is composed; the investigation of their properties and the ways in which they interact, combine, and change; and the use of these processes to form new substances.

A hypothesis gained prominence shortly after Darwin published his book.  It was called “spontaneous generation” meaning that life could spring forth from non-life.  Dr. Louis Pasteur, who believed in the Creation, began to challenge the idea.  Pasteur’s simple, but elegant swan-necked flask experiments not only put to rest the organic life-from-non-life idea, but also set the foundation for the law of biogenesis: life only comes from life.

However proponents of Darwinism needed an explanation for first life to support the broader theory of evolution.  In 1953, University of Chicago graduate student, Stanley Miller, working with Nobel Prize Laureate Harold Urey, simulated what they proposed was the make-up of the early atmosphere in a brilliantly conceived laboratory experiment. This "reducing" atmosphere contained hydrogen (H), methane (H+C), ammonia (H+N), and water vapor (H+O), but no free oxygen. By sending an electric spark (simulating lightning) through the mixture they succeeded in producing some simple amino acids, the building blocks of proteins and other organic compounds, and claimed a great triumph for evolution.

However, as science continued to gain more knowledge it became abundantly clear that the Earth's atmosphere had oxygen well before life showed up on the planet. We have found oxidized minerals in rocks of every supposed age. Cells, whose ancestors are thought to pre-date the evolution of photosynthesis, likewise contain evidence that they lived in the presence of oxygen.

There are other problems with the experiment as well. The amino acid mixture that was produced contained only a few of the many compounds that are necessary for even "simple" life. And, the amino acids were of both left and right-handed varieties, while life uses only left handed. Finally, the controlled nature of the experiment created conditions that would never be expected in the environment of that time. Reference to this flawed experiment remains in textbooks to this day as support for a materialistic evolution viewpoint.

But it gets worse for Darwin.  In a lecture at the University of Waterloo in 2016, Rice University’s Dr. James Tour, Professor of Chemistry stated that

biologists take abiogenesis as a given, i.e., prebiotic chemistry bringing life from non-life.  We have no idea how the basic set of molecules, carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins, were made and how they could have coupled in proper sequences, and then transformed into ordered assemblies until there was the construction of a complex biological system, and eventually to that first cell. Nobody has any idea on how this was done when using our commonly understood mechanisms of chemical science. Those that say that they understand are generally wholly uninformed regarding chemical synthesis...  They have been grossly misinformed. And no wonder: few biologists have ever synthesized a complex molecule ab initio. If they need a molecule, they purchase molecular synthesis kits, which are, of course, designed by synthetic chemists, and which feature simplistic protocols.  I will tell you as a scientist and a synthetic chemist,” Tour said, “if anybody should be able to understand evolution, it is me, because I make molecules for a living, and I don’t just buy a kit, and mix this and mix this, and get that. I mean, ab initio, I make molecules. I understand how hard it is to make molecules.”

That wasn’t all professor Tour had to say on the subject, “From a synthetic chemical perspective, neither I nor any of my colleagues can fathom a prebiotic molecular route to construction of a complex system. We cannot even figure out the prebiotic routes to the basic building blocks of life: carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. Chemists are collectively bewildered. Hence I say that no chemist understands prebiotic synthesis of the requisite building blocks let alone assembly into a complex system.”

“I've asked all my colleagues, National Academy members, Nobel Prize winners. I sit with them in offices. Nobody understands this. So if your professors say, "It's all worked out" -- your teachers say, "It's all worked out," they don't know what they are talking about. It is not worked out. You cannot just refer this to somebody else. They don't know what they are talking about. Polysaccharides organic carbohydrate molecules required for life is a prime example of the problem.  Their origin?  Per Dr. Tour, “Synthetic chemists do not have a pathway and the biologists do not have a clue.”

Dr. Sir Frederick Hoyle an astronomer and mathematician who researched the origin of first life once said that the probability of life arising on earth by chance would be like having a cyclone go through hundreds of junkyards leaving a fully assembled 747 behind.  He was adamant that life could not have gotten started on the Earth.  However, he did not look for a creator, but rather alien life forms that may have intentionally or unintentionally seeded life on earth. 

About the best that can be said about inorganic to organic chemical evolution is that scientists may someday find a way forward, but for the time being chemistry cannot be used to support evolution.

 

Genetics – the study of heredity and the variation of inherited characteristics.  The genetic properties or features of an organism, characteristic, etc.

Genetic researchers continue to wonder at the complexity of the genetic systems that govern cell development in all living things.  DNA contains the instructions for building organisms which includes the bill of materials detailing everything that will be required for function, the production schedule regulating when each individual component must be in place and the blue print showing where everything must go.  If all the materials aren’t available where and when they are needed, it can be lethal.

In the latter part of the 20th century genetic research had made significant progress in mapping DNA and identifying some of its functions.  Geneticists discovered wide swaths of DNA that did not code for a protein.  The consensus at the time was that this non-coding DNA was vestigial and no longer served a purpose.  We evolved out of the need for that particular function.  The term “Junk DNA” was coined to describe the non-coding DNA in our genome.  However, in the early 21st century the Encode project conducted the most complete research on the human genome and determined that over 80% of the so called “Junk DNA” actually had critical functionality.  Applying the results of this new research has opened promising avenues for treating cancer.  One wonders how much time was lost because scientists thought this vast region of DNA was junk.  This is an instance where the Darwinian paradigm may have retarded research. 

The DNA code is more robust that any computer code, which requires a creative mind.  After all where does code/information come from?  For evolution to be true, the information in DNA must arise randomly and then new information must be added randomly so that the organism evolves.

Renowned former atheist Dr. Antony Flew, Professor of Philosophy of Science at numerous universities ultimately rejected atheism because of the complexity found in the genetic code and the inter-workings of DNA & RNA.  He co-authored a book with Roy Varghese, There is a God; How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind.  In the last debate before his death in 2004, at New York University, he declared that he ‘now accepted the existence of a God’ (p. 74). In that debate, he said that he believed that the origin of life points to a creative Intelligence, almost entirely because of the DNA investigations.

“What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinarily diverse elements to work together. It’s the enormous complexity of the number of elements and the enormous subtlety of the ways they work together. The meeting of these two parts at the right time by chance is simply minute. It is all a matter of the enormous complexity by which the results were achieved, which looked to me like the work of intelligence” (p. 75).  “Can the origins of a system of coded chemistry be explained in a way that makes no appeal whatever to the kinds of facts that we otherwise invoke to explain codes and languages, systems of communication, the impress of ordinary words on the world of matter?’ (p. 127).

Perhaps the most significant challenge to Darwinian theory arising from genetics is the apparent degeneration of the genetic code.  Every time a cell replicates there are copying errors.  Most of the errors are neutral, some are harmful, very few are beneficial and in rare instances errors are lethal.  Over the course of a human lifetime a significant number of mutations will have occurred. The ratio of beneficial to harmful mutations is such that a species is more likely to go extinct from the accumulation of harmful mutations before the accumulation of beneficial mutations would result in the advancement of the species.  As our understanding of the genome improves we have discovered that some number of mutations are transferred to our offspring.  As a result, each generation starts with a baseline genome containing more harmful mutations than the previous generation and then goes on to create more mutations through copying errors.  The term for this is called Genetic Entropy, the apparent decay of the genetic code due to an accumulation of copying errors “mutations” that occur during replication. Dr. John Sanford, a respected geneticist conducted extensive research into the effects of Genetic Entropy on the human genome.  He found that if the current mutation rate has been consistent over time (uniformitarianism), then the human race should be extinct by now.  Or stated another way applying our current state and mutation rate backwards into time suggests the human race is less than 10,000 years old!

I believe it will be genetic research that finally dethrones Darwin.

Geology – the science that deals with the earth's physical structure and substance, its history, and the processes that act on it.

How does geology tie into Darwin’s biological evolution theory?  Is it to say that the early conditions on the earth were favorable for spontaneous generation, that is, life from non-life?  That hypothesis has been debunked as was discussed in my comments on chemistry.  The primordial conditions were not favorable for abiogenesis. 

This is an instance where the field of geology is thrown on the evolution bandwagon of sciences that supposedly support Darwin’s theory.  The problem is that the study of the earth provides no evidence for or against biological evolution.  It is an appeal to non-existent authority.

Physics – the branch of science concerned with the nature and properties of matter and energy. The subject matter of physics, distinguished from that of chemistry and biology, includes mechanics, heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.

I thought this might be another field of science thrown on the bandwagon for biological evolution, but I did a quick search and found a possible tie-in.  In a short clip by Dr. Richard Dawkins, Applying Darwinian Evolution to Physics he refers to the Anthropic Principle, sometimes referred to as “fine tuning”, which postulates that the physical constants present in our universe are set precisely to the measurements required to support life on Earth.  Even a small variation of a single constant would result in the extinction of all life.  How does it come about that our universe is precisely set to support life?  Did it come into being with all of the required settings by chance?  Once again probability becomes an insurmountable problem for evolution theory. 

Why would Dawkins raise this issue which appears to support a guided creative process?  Well you see the odds may be astronomical, but if you have an infinite number of universes, then the chances are reasonable that at least one of those universes would have the required constants and the ideal conditions for life to form.  In order to deal with the challenges raised by the Anthropic Principle, secular scientists have postulated the so-called Multi-verse hypothesis. 

Dr. Dawkins confidently says since our universe has all of the necessary conditions there really isn’t any reason to think life could not arise by chance.  The Multi-verse hypothesis is a very convenient proposition for adherents of a materialistic evolutionary process.  This hypothesis cannot be tested and therefore cannot be falsified.  Unless you chose to have faith in the multi-verse hypothesis, physics does very little to support biological evolution as envisioned by Darwin.

Molecular Biology – Molecular biology is a branch of science concerning biological activity at the molecular level. The field of molecular biology overlaps with biology and chemistry and in particular, genetics and biochemistry.

Finally, we have a field of science that supports Darwin’s evolution theory, albeit rather narrowly.  This is probably a good place to describe Darwin’s basic theory which is that all life evolved from a common ancestor through the accumulation of small random changes with natural selection arbitrating the evolutionary pathways.  The reductionist view of micro-evolution, i.e., small adaptations that result in a new variety of species is broadly accepted.  These biological adaptions can be triggered by environmental factors, such as climate, food sources and predator population.  The process of adaptation occurs through changes in an organism’s gene frequency relative to advantages conferred by a particular characteristic. 

However, this is where the sufficiency of natural selection breaks down relative to Darwinian evolution.  In 2009 16 leading biologists and philosophers of science were invited to the Konrad Lorenz Institute for Evolution and Cognition Research in Altenberg, Germany to discuss the state of evolutionary research.  The invitation included the following,

“We are grappling with the increasing feeling … that we just don’t have the theoretical and analytical tools necessary to make sense of the bewildering diversity and complexity of living organisms”.  

In a book titled, THE ALTENBERG 16 

Will the Real Theory of Evolution Please Stand Up? author Suzan Mazur wrote an expose of the evolution industry, which included the following comments from attendees.

 “Basically I don’t think anybody knows how evolution works” (Dr. Jerry Fodor, p. 34).

“There are people spouting off as if we know the answer. We don’t know the answer” (Dr. Stuart Kauffman, p. 54).

“Darwinism and the neo-Darwinian synthesis, last dusted off 70 years ago, actually hinder discovery of the mechanism of evolution” (Dr. Antonio Lima-de-Faria, p. 83).

“Oh sure natural selection’s been demonstrated … the interesting point, however, is that it has rarely if ever been demonstrated to have anything to do with evolution in the sense of long-term changes in populations. … Summing up we can see that the import of the Darwinian theory of evolution is just unexplainable caprice from top to bottom. What evolves is just what happens to happen [ellipsis in original]” (Dr. Stanley Salthe, p. 21).

“Do I think natural selection should be relegated to a less import role in the discussion of evolution? Yes I do” (Dr. Scott Gilbert, p. 221).

“She [Lynn Margulis] sees natural selection as ‘neither the source of heritable novelty nor the entire evolutionary process’ and has pronounced neo-Darwinism ‘dead’, since there’s no adequate evidence in the literature that random mutations result in new species” (Mazur, p. 257).

“At that meeting [Francisco] Ayala agreed with me when I stated that this doctrinaire neo-Darwinism is dead. He was a practitioner of neo-Darwinism but advances in molecular genetics, evolution, ecology, biochemistry, and other news had led him to agree that neo-Darwinism’s now dead” (Dr. Lynn Margulis, p. 278).

“The point is, however, that an organism can be modified and refined by natural selection, but that is not the way new species and new classes and new phyla originated” (Dr. Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini, p. 314).

There is significant controversy among secular scientists on Darwin’s core theory.  So much so, that nearly 1,000 Ph.D scientists have signed onto a statement, A Scientific Dissent from Darwin,

"We are skeptical of claims for the ability of random mutation and natural selection to account for the complexity of life.  Careful examination of the evidence for Darwinian theory should be encouraged" (http://www.discovery.org/f/660)

It is inconceivable that science textbooks would treat Darwin's theory as being supported by evidence.