Why Academics Embrace Evolution

By Marylou Barry© 2009

The fool has said in his heart, "There is no God," Psalm 14 tells us. Why, then, do so many educators make atheism and its cousin naturalistic evolution their creed, to the point of depicting the rest of us as fools and simpletons? Why do the elite, who pride themselves on their power of critical thinking, buy so uncritically into what has been called "a fairy tale for grownups"?

Amazingly, some have been quite willing to answer this question, and their candor is both surprising and refreshing. So then, why do they embrace evolution?

"… Because they fear that we shall revert to believing in a divine plan," wrote the late Gordon Rattray Taylor, British author, broadcaster and former chief science advisor to BBC Television.

"… Only because it supposedly excludes a creator," said Dr. Michael Walker, former senior lecturer in anthropology, University of Sydney.

"… Not because it can be proved by logically coherent evidence to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible," wrote the late D.M.S. Watson, chair of evolution at the University of London.

"Evolution is unproved and improvable, we believe it because the only alternative is special creation, which is unthinkable," wrote the late Sir Arthur Keith, physical anthropologist and head of the Anatomy Department at London Hospital. "… Materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door," wrote Richard Lewontin, former professor of genetics at Harvard University.

Yet none puts it more plainly than Dr. George Wald, Nobel Prize winner and professor emeritus of biology at Harvard University.

"I do not want to believe in God," Wald admitted to Scientific American magazine. "Therefore I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generation arising to evolution."

Sir Julian Huxley, the late president of UNESCO and grandson of Darwin's colleague Thomas Huxley, put an even finer point on the argument:

"I suppose the reason we leaped at the origin of species was because the idea of God interfered with our sexual mores," he wrote.

"We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom," concurred his brother, the late author Aldous Huxley.

"I want atheism to be true," New York University philosophy professor Thomas Nagel elaborated, "and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn't just that I don't believe in God and, naturally, hope that I'm right in my belief. It's that I hope there is not God! I don't want there to be a God; I don't want the universe to be like that."

How ironic that Charles Darwin, after a lifetime of turning the scientific world on its head, began in later years to question his own conclusions.

"Often a cold shudder has run through me," Darwin wrote in a letter to his friend and colleague Charles Lyell, "and I have asked myself whether I may have not devoted myself to a phantasy."

OK, let's see if I've got all this straight:

Our children are barred from learning about Creation in school because it is politically incorrect to question the accuracy of an old man's "phantasy," even though the old man did so himself; and …

Teachers are prohibited from offering an alternative explanation of how we got here because the academic elite don't want to be reminded that the Creator of the Universe doesn't approve of their sexual behavior; and …

Intelligent Design is not an option for consideration in college because tenured philosophy professors "don't want the universe to be like that"; however …

The parents of students are still required to prop up this charade with their tax money, despite the fact that only 13 percent of Americans even believe in naturalistic evolution! "Most professors continue to teach evolution in the universities out of fear," explains Dr. Phillip E. Johnson, retired professor of law at the University of California Berkeley and spokesman for intelligent design education. "This fear is that of not being tenured, of not getting research grants, of not being published, and of not being accepted by their peers. So to be accepted, to be published, to be granted research money, and to be tenured by their university, they must follow the party line, which is evolution. This is how the academic game is played."

Thanks, Doctor. I think I get it now.

So, don't expect to hear a cumulative mea culpa out of academia any time soon, because that would go against the character, not to mention the economy, of that institution. But it's plain to see that the freedom to teach alternative concepts in the classroom has gone full circle, and the tail is now wagging the dog.

The once-revolutionary theory of evolution has become the powdered wig of the 21st century. Most people agree that wearing it doesn't make very much sense, but nobody wants to be the first to take it off.

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