March 10, 2020 | Jerry Bergman

Religion of Evolution Is a Big Ruse

 

Leading Darwinist Admits Evolution Took People from the Christian World into the Darker, Hostile World of Evolutionism

 by Jerry Bergman, PhD

Well-known Darwinist Michael Ruse in his 2016 book, Darwinism as Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution, documents that a social revolution occurred in the 18th century. Ruse is no minor figure in the scientific world. He is the Lucyle T. Werkmeister Professor of Philosophy, and Director of the Program in the History and Philosophy of Science, at Florida State University. Ruse has written or edited more than fifty books published by Harvard University Press, Oxford University Press, and other prestigious university publishers.

Raised as a devout ‘Christian,’ he says at age 20 his faith faded in college, never to return. He was so enamored with Darwin that he became a philosopher of science specializing in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.[1] He talks a lot about “our opponents, Christians, often the more evangelical kind.[2] Ruse admits that evolutionists are in a war against Christians and brags that the evolutionists are winning, partly due to his testimony in the most well-known creation court case, McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education (1982). Part of Ruse’s testimony is as follows:

Q: I note that your latest book is titled, Darwinism Defended. Does the title of that book suggest that evolution is in question and that evolution is in need of defense?

A: Certainly I hope not.…. I do not want to imply that the happening of evolution, as we understand it today, is in any sense under attack by credible scientists… Well, the happening of evolution is claims about the fact … and the fossil record is a function of the fact that we all evolved, developed slowly over a long time from, to use Darwin’s own phrase, one or a few forms.[3]

My online list titled, “3,000 Darwin Doubters,” shows this claim is false.[4] Ruse added to the following questions:

Q: Do you know of any scientists other than the so-called creation scientists who question the happening of evolution?

A: No, I don’t really think I know anybody I would call a scientist. I say scientist in the sense of professional, credible scientist.

Q: You say that scientists today agree that evolution happened.

A: Yes.

Q: Why is that so?

A: Well, quite simply, the evidence is overwhelming.

Q: What is the history of the consensus in the scientific community that evolution has happened? [5]

Ruse invokes the flat-Earth myth that was rejected over 2,000 years ago, as well as geocentrism.[6]:

A: Well, like everything, I think in Western intellectual thought, you could well go back to the Greeks. But probably the story, at least as affects us, of the scientific revolution picks up off Copernicus’ work showing that the earth goes around the sun and not vice versa. I think it’s true to say that Copernicus’ ideas and the ideas of the Copernicans spurred a number of things which led ultimately to evolution thought.

For example, …  Copernicus’ ideas put certain pressure on the [problem that the]Bible [is] taken literally. For example, in the Bible, it talks of the sun stopping for Joshua, implying the sun moves. And people pointed out– In fact, Luther and Calvin pointed out, even before Copernicus published, that this seemed to go against the truth of the Bible.

And as people began to accept Copernicanism, they started to say, “Well, you know, if one part is not literally true, maybe another part isn’t either.” … Finally, in 1859, Charles Darwin published Origin of Species. And I think it’s true to say that within a very short time… the scientific community was won over to evolutionism. And from that day on by the professional body of scientists, certainly by biologists, I don’t think evolution has ever been questioned.[7]

Then Ruse gets to his theory of how evolution from molecules to man works. Citing the creation law, he testified as follows:

Q: What is your professional assessment of [Section] 4(b)(2)?

A: “The sufficiency of mutation and natural selection in bringing about development of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds.” Well, it’s potentially a scientific statement. I don’t think that anybody has ever believed this.

Q: That mutation and natural selection are sufficient?

A: No. Charles Darwin didn’t and today’s evolutionists would certainly want to put in other causes as well….

In fact, the view that mutation and natural selection are sufficient is widely accepted. In an article written against Michael Behe, Professors Lang and Rice wrote, “Where Behe breaks with the scientific consensus is that he rejects that random mutation and natural selection alone are capable of producing new molecular functions” and new molecular functions produce evolution.[8] In Ruse’s testimony he contradicted himself as per the quote above that mutation and natural selection are sufficient:

Q: Do you understand the meaning of Section 4(b)(3)?

A: “Emergence by mutation and natural selection of present living kinds from simple earlier kinds.” Well, I take it this means this is what actually occurred. I take it, it means it occurred by naturalistic processes.[9]

Thus, he is here stating naturalism specifically by Emergence by mutation and natural selection “is what actually occurred” and his testimony is a step toward naturalism as the approved religion taught in government schools. In short,

Q: Doctor Ruse, having examined the creationist literature at great length, do you have a professional opinion about whether creation science measures up to the standards and characteristics of science that you have previously identified in your testimony here today?

A: Yes, I do.

Q: What is that opinion?

A: I don’t think it does.

Q: Does creation science rely on natural law which you identified as the first characteristic of science?

A: It does not. It evokes miracles.[10]

Of course, this response is pure name calling and an endorsement of the religion of naturalism.

Ruse scoffs at miracles, but believes everything came from nothing by chance, as if an explosion in a print shop produced a dictionary.  Artwork by J. Beverly Greene for CEH.

By endorsing evolution Ruse admits he is endorsing a religion. He writes:

 “there was indeed a revolution [in the 18th century] and that naturalist Charles Darwin was at the heart of it. However, contrary also to what many think, this revolution was not primarily scientific… but more religious or metaphysical, as people were taken from the secure world of the Christian faith into a darker, more hostile world of evolutionism.[11]

In his book Darwinism as Religion, Ruse quotes extensively from everyone from historians to poets, novelists and even philosophers, to document his point of the darker more hostile world he ensures would be the court-supported view. Ruse stated it best, arguing from page 82 to the end of his 310-page book, “that evolutionary thinking became something more [than science]. It became a secular religion, in opposition to Christianity. In the second half of the nineteenth century and into the first part of the twentieth century Darwinian evolutionary thinking… became a belief system countering and substituting for the Christian religion.”[12]

Furthermore, Ruse agrees that Darwin’s goal was to murder God, and that he was very successful in achieving it.

Darwin knew his theory was much better than [the rival theory by Robert] Chamber’s . . . but it was evolutionary and materialistic nonetheless . . . When telling Hooker of his evolutionism, Darwin confessed that it was like admitting to a murder. It was murder . . .   of Christianity, and Darwin was not keen to be cast in this role. Hence the Essay [which became the Origin of Species, finally published in 1959,] went unpublished.[13]

The Consequences of Dark, Hostile Ideas

The result of rejecting Christianity and replacing it with Darwin in Ruse’s own life was disastrous. He writes,

“You are born. You live. Then you die. If you don’t think so, then you should! We come from an eternity of oblivion. We return to an eternity of oblivion…  In the end, you know truly that it doesn’t mean a thing.[14]

Ruse offers this view not only as his opinion, but as the supposed wisdom of past ages. He quotes celebrated Russian author Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910) who opined at one time, “everything we do and say ends up as ‘stench and worms.” Incidentally, Tolstoy later became a devout Christian.[15] Ruse then quotes Harvard Professor William James (1842-1910) who made the pronouncement, “We are all such helpless failures in the last resort.”[16]  He then jumps forward to the pessimist Albert Camus ( 1913-1960) who wrote that there “is but one truly serious philosophical question, and that is suicide.”[17]

In the end, Ruse claims that Darwinism as a religion will satisfy mankind’s craving for justice, love, purpose, and meaning. And yet he admits that the Darwinian world “is a bleak world indeed.”[18] As a committed Darwinist, Ruse attempts to rehabilitate his god, Darwin. On the last two pages of his book he writes, “ I can give you a good Darwinian account of Meaning in terms of our evolved human nature. This is not a weak substitute. This is the real thing.”[19]

Come Out from Among Them

Most ironic are the so-called Christian evolutionists who attempt to blend these two very opposing ideas – Darwinism and Christianity. Marvin Olasky, a former atheist converted from Judaism to Christianity writes, (although Wikipedia declares “Ruse is an atheist”) that Ruse finished his last book with some squirming, and had to add, “I am an agnostic.” That represents movement. Olasky writes, “Let’s pray that his progress doesn’t end there.”[20]

References

[1] Ruse, Michael. 2019. A Meaning  to Life. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, pp. ix-x.
[2] McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255 (E.D. Ark. 1982), p. xi.
[3] McLean v. Arkansas, p. 256.
[4] https://www.rae.org/essay-links/darwinskeptics/.
[5] McLean v. Arkansas, p. 257.
[6] Bergman, Jerry. 2015. “Copernicus, Heliocentricity, and the Catholic Church: What Really Happened.” CRSQ 51(3): 201-206, Winter.
[7]  McLean v. Arkansas, p. 258.
[8] Lang, Gregory I. and Amber M. Rice. 2019. Evolution unscathed: Darwin Devolves argues on weak reasoning that unguided evolution is a destructive force, incapable of innovation. Evolution 73-4: 862-868, March 1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/evo.13710.
[9] McLean v. Arkansas, p. 276.
[10] McLean v. Arkansas, p. 289.
[11] Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwinism As Religion: What Literature Tells Us About Evolution. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
[12] Ruse, 2017, book jacket and p. 82.
[13] Ruse, Michael. 1979. The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, p. 185.
[14] Ruse, 2019, p. 1.
[15] Ruse, 2019, p. 2.
[16] Ruse, 2019, p. 3.
[17] Ruse, 2019, p. 6.
[18] Ruse, 2019, pp. 97, 133, 134.
[19] Ruse, 2019, p. 169.
[20] Olasky, Marvin. 2019 “Eternity of oblivion? A philosopher looks for the meaning to life.” World Magazine, December 28, p. 26. Online at https://world.wng.org/2019/12/eternity_of_oblivion.


Dr. Jerry Bergman has taught biology, genetics, chemistry, biochemistry, anthropology, geology, and microbiology for over 40 years at several colleges and universities including Bowling Green State University, Medical College of Ohio where he was a research associate in experimental pathology, and The University of Toledo. He is a graduate of the Medical College of Ohio, Wayne State University in Detroit, the University of Toledo, and Bowling Green State University. He has over 1,300 publications in 12 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored are in over 1,500 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 40 books and monographs that he has authored or co-authored are in print. For more articles by Dr Bergman, see his Author Profile.

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