June 15, 2020 | Jerry Bergman

Journal Brags that Darwin Indoctrination Works

 

How to Make Indoctrination Sound Nice, Even Kind

by Jerry Bergman, PhD

Anti-creationists correctly state that few average creationists or intelligent design supporters can defend their belief. Pair one with a well-informed evolutionist and he or she will often lose the debate. In my experience, though, the average evolutionist likewise cannot defend his or her worldview. They just “know” evolution is true, but unless they undertake a long-term detailed study of the problems of evolution, or unless their career specialization concerns evolution, most scientists have little in-depth knowledge of the problems with evolution.

This assessment appears to apply to the author of the paper reviewed here published in Nature. Nonetheless, evolution prevails in government schools. The author of a new article in Nature, Ann Reid, boasts:

a decades-long effort aided by the scientific community is bearing fruit. Results published on 10 June show that the proportion of US secondary-school biology teachers who present creationism as a scientifically valid alternative to evolution fell from 32% in 2007 to 18% in 2019.[1] And the amount of class time devoted to human evolution shot up by almost 90%.[2]

But is this a success based on superior evidence? Part of the reason for the decline is that teachers “who present creationism as a scientifically valid alternative to evolution” have been terminated, or were threatened with termination, according to numerous studies and court decisions.

cartoon by Brett Miller

The Big Disconnect Between Academia and the Public

Another reason is that teachers who have been teaching creation may be likely less likely to admit it in surveys, given today’s hostile environment against creation and intelligent design. According to Gallup polls over the last two decades, about 80% of Americans believe in some form of creationism in contrast to only 3% of leading science academics. Another study found 40% of all Americans accept the view that humans did not evolve from some ape ancestor, but rather God created mankind in his present form no longer than about 10,000 years ago. One study found, among biology professors, only 0.02% accepted this creation view. One study in the March 1, 2019 scientific journal Evolution reported that even over 150 years after Darwin, 80 percent of Americans still reject the evolution worldview that teaches humans were not created by God, but rather evolved by natural selection. Conversely, the latest Pew research study found 97% of the academic scientific community accepted unguided evolution as the dominant scientific theory, not only of human origins, but of all biological diversity.

A survey by Professor Larson and Journalist Witham also published in Nature, found 93% of the members of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), America’s most elite body of academic scientists, are agnostics or atheists, and only 7% believe in a personal God.[3] This is close to the exact reverse of the figures for the American public as a whole. This contrast between the American public and college professors is also reflected in party affiliation. A recent Gallup poll found 60% of Republicans, 40% of Independents, and only 38% of Democrats self-identify as creationists. One University Professor concluded this bias in modern colleges is “a betrayal of everything that a university should be,” namely a cross section of Americans politically. Instead, few Republicans grace the professorate ranks. [4]

The Reid article in Nature defined evolution as follows:

Evolution teaches children that they and all living things have the same common ancestors, and that they and their fellow humans are much more similar than they are different. The genetic variation within the groups that we designate as races is much larger than that between those groups. Imagine a world in which every student learns this.[5]

For over a century evolution taught the opposite, namely proof of evolution lay in the fact of “inferior races”, as obvious in the following illustration:

Figure 1. Notice how the ape-man, a so-called missing link, is drawn very negroid in appearance, more so than even the distorted drawing of a chimp, which was drawn in profile to show the similarity of chimps and less evolved humans. From the Illustrated London News, 14 February 1925, p. 5. Drawing is by the French artist, Amédée Forestier.

Figure 2 Note the progression from a Chimpanzee to three claimed links leading up to modern man. Piltdown was proven to be a forgery that we now know consisted of a modern human skull and an lower jaw and teeth of an orangutan. It was considered close to modern man until the hoax was exposed in 1953.

Creationists, in contrast to evolutionists, teach that all humans are descendants of Adam. Consequently, all humans are “of one flesh” – members of one family and one ancestry. People groups exist, but not races.[6]

Advocating for Evolution Without Evidence

Reid writes she is working “closely with teacher groups, [and] scientists have united to advocate for education policies, advise on classroom resources and help rally public opinion” for evolution.[7] Advocacy is not teaching but indoctrination. In 1995, Reid wrote that she

began a long-shot project: trying to sequence the virus that caused the influenza pandemic of 1918 from preserved lung samples. We didn’t even know whether the viral genome could survive that long, or would still be present in preserved tissues. We did have an extremely powerful tool: evolutionary theory.[8]

After reviewing her paper, it was obvious that the “extremely powerful tool,” i. e, evolution, was irrelevant, and was only mentioned twice in her entire paper. The question of if a “viral genome could survive that long, or would still be present in preserved tissues” is purely a scientific question having nothing to do with the evolutionary belief that “all living things have the same common ancestor.” The question is rather about preservation processes. She continues:

Understanding evolution helped us to make educated guesses about how the virus might have changed between 1918 and the 1930s, when influenza viruses were first isolated. This enabled us to design reagents with the best chance of finding the killer virus. Once we had the entire sequence, evolution helped us to understand where the virus came from and how it moved between hosts.

These questions are all purely related to DNA and RNA sequence comparisons, not evolution as she defines it: i.e., all life coming from a universal common ancestor.

A Closer Look at Reid’s Evolutionary Research

The word evolution was used four times in Reid’s microbiology article, only twice in the text. In her own words, the evidence seemed to contradict evolution. She writes that comparisons of the 1918 nucleoprotein (NP)

with avian NP sequences consistently yields differences of 30–40%, indicating that the 1918 NP is different from known avian NPs. This does not seem to be simply a matter of evolutionary time, as a region of a viral NP gene found in a strain isolated from a bird captured in 1917 shows identical patterns of four-fold degenerate differences — 20–30% differences in comparisons with modern birds and a 44% difference compared with the 1918 pandemic virus sequence.[9]

Thus she has identified different viruses, adding the

gene sequence, in particular, seems to have been acquired directly from a source that is similar to viruses currently found in wild birds at the amino acid level, but very divergent at the nucleotide level, suggesting considerable evolutionary distance between the source of the 1918 NP and the currently sequenced virus strains in wild birds. In light of this conclusion, it is worth re-examining the data on the other four sequenced 1918 genome segments, to see whether a similarly unusual origin is possible.[10]

Thus, she found significant differences in her samples, which says nothing about evolution. The only other use of the word evolution was in the glossary. Under PHYLOGENETIC ANALYSES was written: “Analysis of the evolutionary connections between traits (for example, sequences). There are several different methods that can be used to analyze phylogenetic connections.” And under PARSIMONY ANALYSIS she wrote: “A type of phylogenetic analysis in which many possible trees are compared to find the tree requiring the fewest evolutionary changes.” A comparison of nuclear protein will produce some similarities and some differences, but she was unable to make any conclusions from these comparisons. Then she adds:

Due to the segmented nature of the influenza A virus genome (eight individual RNA segments), influenza viruses can undergo a process of genetic reassortment to produce new variant strains of virus. In a cell infected with two different influenza A virus strains, gene segments from each can be packaged into viable hybrid virus strains.[11]

This complex “genetic reassortment to produce new variant strains of virus” is a good example of intelligent design. Again, evolutionary theory is irrelevant. Viruses are designed to adapt and change, just as the human immune system is designed to adapt and change in response to new antigens. Cold and flu viruses have this inbuilt system that allows modification and adaptation to infect organisms that have resistance to other flu strains. Polio and many other viruses do not, so once a person has immunity to the polio virus, normally the protection lasts a lifetime. Variation of the wild type is well recognized, and not debated by creationists, so Reid’s point does not support Darwinian evolution.

NCSE: The Indoctrination Society

Reid continues:

In 2014, my conviction that understanding evolutionary theory is core to scientific literacy led to my becoming executive director of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) in Oakland, California. … devoted to ensuring that evolution (and, more recently, climate change) is taught accurately in US public schools. It was founded in the early 1980s, when advocacy for teaching creationism alongside evolution was spreading. We and allies made the case against creationism to textbook publishers, school boards, federal judges and more.[12]

Of course “ensuring that evolution (and, more recently, climate change) is taught accurately in US public schools” means it is taught to ensure that “all living things have the same common ancestor” — i.e., that all life evolved from non-living chemicals. No outside influence is allowed in this view: i. e., it is materialistic and atheistic. Around 1980, NCSE learned that Pennsylvania State University “surveyed teachers to learn how evolution was being taught. The results were shocking: only 51% were teaching the scientific consensus that evolution is unequivocally a fact. Clearly, there was work to do” to insure the rest were committed to Darwinism.[13] After years of advocacy a new survey was done, finding

a rise not only in the time spent teaching evolution, but also in the proportion of educators emphasizing the scientific consensus (now 67%). Clearly, things are moving in the right direction. [14]

Statements such as “Scientists have been crucial to ensuring accurate coverage of evolution in science education” implies indoctrination. And force is required to insure orthodoxy is imposed. [15] Nonetheless, resistance against their advocacy existed, such as in Texas

where a creationist-friendly faction had long held sway over the state board of education, professors wrote opinion pieces, testified to school boards and rallied colleagues. Similar scenarios played out in Arizona, Iowa, New Mexico, South Carolina and elsewhere.

The NCSE campaign of intimidation included, such as in Kansas, professors being fired or threatened with academic termination. One Black student was denied his Ph.D. even though all of his course work and his Ph.D. thesis were completed.[16]

Defending the Worldview at the Center of the Debate by Silencing the Opposition

Reid writes that,

Sadly, evolution is not the only area of science that needs defending. States often dilute or distort the topic of climate change in science standards. In communities where global warming is not widely accepted, teachers avoid controversy by sending mixed messages about humans’ role in it, or by skipping the issue.[17]

Empirical science does not need defending. Facts do not require defending; opinions and beliefs do. A worldview (the word in bold that headlines Reid’s Nature opinion piece) requires defending because one’s worldview is based heavily on beliefs and values.  She adds that in 2005

a federal court found that ‘intelligent design’ (like its ancestor, ‘creation science’) lacks scientific merit and is a religious belief. Hence, it cannot, constitutionally, be taught in science classrooms in public schools.[18]

Both evolution and creation are worldviews. The courts labeled the Darwinian worldview ‘science’, and the creation worldview as ‘religion’. This category error gave evolutionists the right to indoctrinate students in their worldview and exclude information on the competing worldview.

Dr Bergman has published 3 books of true stories of careers ruined by Darwinist censors.

Darwin’s Religious Reformation

Professor Michael Ruse concluded in his book Darwinism as Religion that evolution is also a religion, a faith-driven worldview.[19] In 310 pages Professor Ruse documents the fact that “Darwinian thinking, in particular since the publication of the two great works On the Origin of Species and The Descent of Man, has taken on the form and role of a religion. One in opposition to the worldview taught by Christianity, from which in major respects it emerged.”[20] He documents that Darwin the man, “absolutely, totally and completely… changed our world” by suppressing the Christian worldview.[21] This suppression continues today.

Professor Ruse adds that the forerunner of Darwin, David Hume, “tore into the foundations of Christianity with a vigor that has yet to be equaled, even by those dubbed the new atheists… he was scathing about some of the traditional arguments for God’s existence,”  namely the “argument from design [today called Intelligent Design] was subjected to detailed and withering critical discussion” by Hume.[22] The world Darwin shattered was Christianity. With it, Darwin shattered the Christian worldview, by “breaking the hold of the Church” on society.[23]

Specifying the Enemy

Ruse in his book focuses on those he calls our Darwinists “opponents, Christians, often the more evangelical kind.”[24] 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, 529 F. Supp. 1255 (E.D. Ark. 1982). Ruse agreed with the view that Darwin’s goal was to murder God, a goal that he was very successful in helping to achieve, writing that

Darwin knew his theory was much better than [the rival theory by] 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.[25]

Is Victory Through Indoctrination Something to Be Proud Of?

As Ann Reid also brags, evolution is winning, not by facts but by indoctrination. Having to “defend” evolution implies indoctrination is going on. That is contrary to the values of science. According to University of California Professor John Ellis, if the present “indoctrination of college students is allowed to continue,” ensuring the denial of academic freedom and the right to comprehensive education, dire results will ensue.[26] The goal of education is to develop students’ reasoning powers. This should require professors to teach students how to think, not what to think. Students need to learn how to debate ideas, especially controversial ideas such as evolution and global warming. No debate is allowed according to Ann Reid who argues for “defending” a worldview that 40 percent of Americans reject. The end result of indoctrination instead of education is sadly predictable: “most students after four years on a college campus show no improvement either in ability to reason or in general knowledge.”[27] Academic fields ranging from math to physics to engineering, do not require “defending.” Reasoning and understanding are critical skills that need developing. Evolutionism, though, requires defending, especially against reality.

Reid opined that “teachers did the bulk of the work, but numerous scientific societies pitched in with advice and advocacy.” As Reid notes, “researchers at Pennsylvania State University in University Park surveyed teachers to learn how evolution was being taught. The results as noted, 51% were unequivocally teaching the scientific consensus that evolution is a fact.[28] The fact that 49%  of biology teachers, all of whom had a bachelor’s or higher degree in biology (the normal requirement needed to teach biology in all states) had some or major doubts about evolution documents that these highly-educated professionals were not persuaded by their college indoctrination in evolutionary dogma.

Reid concluded that, “I’m glad scientists are helping to give young people an understanding of evolution as they navigate our complicated world.[29] By indoctrination into a specific worldview, students do not gain an understanding of evolutionism any more than students in totalitarian countries have a good understanding of the various existing forms of governments. To respond to this threat requires Christians to be aware of the threat and to provide some of the tools to appropriately respond.

Conclusions

Evolutionists have a monopoly in education not because they have won the debate, as shown by the fact that 49%  of biology teachers are not committed to Darwinism. They have dominated only because the legal system, with the help of mainstream media, has locked out any meaningful debate. This is an implicit admission of the weakness of Darwinist arguments. If their government funding disappeared, and if they had to make converts in other ways, using reason and evidence, their worldview would not prevail. Einstein did not use lawyers to argue in the courts for teaching relativity in all government schools. His evidence and logic persuaded most physics of the theory’s validity.

Ann Reid and her evolutionist accomplices in academia and the media ignore the fact that “Nothing in science can ever be said to be fully resolved… It advances because scientists maintain a skeptical attitude and are prepared to challenge  even the most strongly held beliefs and opinions.”[30] Evidently, the only exception is Darwinism.

See also: “Darwinist Tormentors Cry Over Torment Caused by Their Victims,” 21 May 2020.

References

[1] Plutzer, Eric; Glen Branch and Ann Reid. 2020. Teaching evolution in U.S. public schools: a continuing challenge. Evolution Education Outreach 13:14.

[2] Reid, Ann. 2020. Good News: US Classrooms are Warming to Evolution. Nature 582:351, June.

[3] Larson, Edward. J., and Larry Witham. 1998. Leading scientists still reject God. Nature 394:313, July.

[4] Ellis, John M. 2020. The Breakdown of Higher Education: How It Happened, the Damage It Does, and What Can Be Done. New York, NY: Encounter Books, p. 19.

[5] Reid, Ann. 2020. p. 351. Emphasis added.

[6] Ham, Ken and A. Charles Ware. 2019. One Race One Blood: The Biblical Answer to Racism. Green Forest, AZ: Master Books.

[7] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[8] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[9] Reid, Ann H.; Jeffery K. Taubenberger and Thomas G. Fanning. 2004. Evidence of an absence: The genetic origins of the 1918 pandemic influenza virus. Nature Reviews Microbiology 2(11):909-914, December.

[10] Reid, 2020, p. 351. Emphasis added.

[11] Reid, et al., 2004. p. 912.

[12] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[13] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[14] Reid,2020, p. 351.

[15] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[16] See Jerry Bergman. 2018. Censoring the Darwin Skeptics. How Belief in Evolution is Enforced by Eliminating Dissidents. Southworth, WA: Leafcutter Press.

[17] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[18] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[19] Ruse, Michael. 2017. Darwin as Religion. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

[20] Ruse, 2017, p. ix.

[21] Ruse, 2017, p. v.

[22] Ruse, 2017, pp.13-14.

[23] Ruse, 2017, p. 14.

[24] McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education, 529 F. Supp. 1255 (E.D. Ark. 1982), p. xi.

[25] Ruse, Michael. 1979. The Darwinian Revolution: Science Red in Tooth and Claw. Chicago, IL: The University of Chicago Press, p. 185,

[26] Ellis, 2020, p. 172.

[27] Ellis, 2020, p. 171.

[28] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[29] Reid, 2020, p. 351.

[30] Price, Bill. 2016. Unsolved Science: Enigmas the have Puzzled the Greatest Minds. New York, NY: Metro Books


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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