June 19, 2024 | Jerry Bergman

A Creationist Offers Kind Words to Evolutionists

In one regard, Dr Bergman can compliment
evolutionists. Aside from their blind spot,
they often view reality accurately

 

 

by Jerry Bergman, PhD

I spend much of my day reading books and articles written about evolution by evolutionists. Most of what they write is based on a defensible view of scientific realism. But when they write about evolution, an astute reader has to separate empirical fact from evolutionary speculation.

I have been doing this for over a half century. It comes quite easily to me now. Most evolutionists, except for their one major blind spot, have a very good grasp of the reality involved in their observable science. Their one blind spot is this: they assume, and fully believe in, evolution from molecules to man. Since no direct evidence exists for this belief, they fill in the gaps with what they consider to be plausible speculations.

Courageously Defending Reality (Except in Evolution)

Darwin champion Richard Dawkins—aside from this giant blind spot—correctly and courageously maintained the realistic, observable fact that sex is binary, even when it provoked strong opposition against him.

the former Oxford University professor was accused of “transphobia” and “violent speech” for stating that “sex is binary,” …. Dawkins said it is “wrong” to claim “lived experience and personal choice trump biology,” and transgender activists are “tyrannical.”[1]

Another example was in the atheist magazine Skeptical Inquirer whose sister journal Free Inquiry has published some of my articles.[2] I subscribed to the Skeptical Inquirer for decades and read many excellent articles, such as the one described below, until I retired and had to cut back on expenses.

In its March-April 2024 issue, the Skeptical Inquirer described the tragedy where poor children suffer from lack of vitamin A in countries where rice is the staple food. In many Asian countries, diet consists mostly of a few bowls of rice per day, but this results in vitamin A deficiency. This deficiency is responsible for a million deaths annually—mostly of children—and another half million cases of blindness—again, mostly in children. Rice can be genetically modified to produce beta carotene which converts to vitamin A after digestion. Rice plants contain beta carotene in both the stems and leaves, but none in the rice grains. Modifying the plant to produce beta carotene in the grains, producing what is called “golden rice,” prevents enormous human suffering. The science was defensible, but the opposition was hysterical.

One result of this breakthrough was the anti-GMO “Frankenfood” hysteria. It led to aggressive opposition against the golden rice project. Some anti-GMO supporters even claimed that GMOs are inherently “racist” and “colonialist” because they are products of Western science. Only in 2022 was large-scale golden rice cultivation achieved in the Philippines which was then distributed to the country’s at-risk population.[3]

Another example reported by evolutionists was well stated, except their blind spot marred the report. I highlighted the blind spot in italics:

in New Zealand, where the government decided that public school students in science classes should be taught that Mātauranga Māori, or the Maori “ways of knowing,” are equivalent to Western science. These indigenous traditions and beliefs are steeped in mythology, god-beliefs, and superstition. It’s as if the United States started requiring that creationism be taught alongside the theory of evolution as equivalent explanations for life’s diversity. The approach will only further hamper science literacy in that country, which is already experiencing significant losses in standing relative to other developed nations.[4]

The evolutionist authors correctly reported a well-supported principle: science must not cater to ideology, but must remain evidence based. They never mentioned the largest blind spot of all: their own censorship of valid criticisms of evolution!

Science is society’s best means of advancing human progress precisely because it focuses on demonstrable achievements and evidence-based results … Giving up this essential neutrality principle or suggesting that science is inevitably differentiated based on the researcher’s background is corrosive to the entire enterprise. …. In November 2023, thirty-nine scientists issued a paper and a clarion call saying that there is a censorship crisis in science being motivated by science journals and organizations seeking to prevent harms to social justice—and undermining academic freedom in the process. Publication of legitimate and potentially important research is being suppressed in the name of not harming the dignity of certain groups. Hundreds of scholars have been punished for controversial statements and findings, the scientists report.[5]

Creationists have written extensively about censorship by evolutionists. Ironically, judging by the Skeptical Inquirer that Robyn Blumner writes for, she is guilty of the same sin she condemns in her article.

This capture of science by the ideology of the moment is a dangerous trend. It is not only bad for science, it is bad for society: divisive, anti-meritocratic, and causing scientists to self-censor and conform their findings to predetermined social justice demands. Science depends on us getting past this. [6]

What, then, about the ideology of Darwinian evolution? Should that ideology censor its critics?

The Case of Forrest Mims

And yet this is exactly what has happened in the science war against those who have major evidence-based questions about evolution.[7] One example is the case of Forrest Mims who, in his new book, tells about his experience facing discrimination because he was critical of evolutionary dogma.[8]

Forrest Mims’ dream was to write the amateur scientist column in his favorite magazine, Scientific American. The problem was Mims was not a Darwinist but rather believed that the existence of life was due to an intelligent creator. Aside from that, he was widely regarded as a gifted scientist.

One of numerous examples of his genius was a hand-held instrument he invented, about the size of a paperback book, that accurately measures ozone levels. The amount of ozone in a column of air is measured in Dobson units (DU). One DU represents the number of ozone molecules in a 0.01 mm layer of pure ozone at Earth’s surface at a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius and an air pressure of 1 atmosphere (14.1 psi or pounds per square inch). The device he called TOPS (Total Ozone Portable Spectrometer) achieved a measurement of  276.2 DU compared to the satellite value of 271.3 DU, less than a two percent difference.[9] Feats such as this are why Discover Magazine wrote that Mims is one of the “50 best brains in science.”[10] In 1993, Mims was called the modern Edison. He was given the Rolex Award for Enterprise, equal to 73,000 dollars today, to support exceptional individuals’ inventions.[11]

Mims’ Difficulties at Scientific American

Jonathan Piel, in an employment interview, asked Mims what magazines he had written for in the past. Mims listed magazines such as Texas Parks and Wildlife. But then he made the mistake of mentioning that he also wrote for some Christian magazines on bike rides for church kids. Piel jumped back, asking in amazement, “You said Christian magazines?!”[12]  Then Piel firmly demanded to know, “Do you accept the Darwinian theory of evolution?” Mims responded by mentioning some of Darwin’s own doubts about his theory. Piel inferred Darwin may have had these doubts, but Mims was not permitted to have those same doubts and, at the same time, work for Scientific American.

The three chapters in Mims’ book on this event makes it clear that, to write for Scientific American, one must uncritically accept Darwinism, and no tolerance is allowed for those who doubt. If this could happen to someone like Forrest Mims with an exceptional reputation in science, it could happen to anyone. Scientific American had published three of his columns, all three of which earned accolades. But because of holding doubts about Darwin, Mims’ career at Scientific American was finished. As a result, the longest-running column in Scientific American’s history was also finished. The choice was between a multi-award-winning scientist and nobody. Piel chose nobody.

Bias on Display

So much for intolerance in science. Blumner’s well-chosen words quoted above seem ironic in this regard: “Giving up this essential neutrality principle or suggesting that science is inevitably differentiated based on the researcher’s background is corrosive to the entire enterprise.”

Scientific American has for years regularly published ads supporting atheism and atheist organizations, but it has refused to publish paid ads for creation journals written by credentialed scientists. This, too, is highly ironic, given the fact that the founder of Scientific American, Rufus Porter, was a creationist! He once wrote that we must “acknowledge God as our Creator.”[13]

This is why I call censorship against Darwin doubters the blind spot of evolutionists. Those who engage in censorship sometimes get bit by it themselves. In April of 2023, the Journal of Controversial Ideas published a paper signed by twenty-nine scholars titled, “In Defense of Merit in Science.”[14] The New York Times columnist Pamela Paul covered the fact that this article documenting cases of censorship was rejected by several mainstream science journals. It seems that standing up for science is not immune from censorship itself.

Summary

It is ironic that those who condemn censorship in science at least in some cases are themselves some of the worst censors of science. Those subject to the most censorship, even when their scientific credentials are impeccable, are ones who question the veracity of Darwinian evolution. One can censor the truth for only so long. Eventually, the truth must prevail. This hope is what keeps critics of Darwinian evolution motivated.

Dr Bergman has published three volumes with true stories of how Darwinists systematically censor and ruin the careers of Darwin skeptics.

References

[1] Napier, S., “Dawkins Foundation leader speaks out against ‘dogmatic social justice’ infiltrating science,” https://www.thecollegefix.com/dawkins-foundation-leader-speaks-out-against-dogmatic-social-justice-infiltrating-science/, 23 May 2024.

[2] Bergman, J.,  “Religious beliefs of scientists: A survey of the research,” Free Inquiry 16(3):41-46, Summer 1996.

[3] Blumner, Robyn E., “Defending science against social justice dogmatism and identitarianism,” Skeptical Inquirer 48(2), March-April 2024.

[4] Blumner, 2024.

[5] Blumner, 2024.

[6] Blumner, 2024.

[7] Bergman, J., Censoring the Darwin Skeptics: How Belief in Evolution is Enforced by Eliminating Dissidents, revised 3rd edition, Leafcutter Press, Southworth, WA, 2024.

[8] Mims, F., Maverick Scientist, Make Books, Santa Rosa, CA, www.make.co, p. 148, 2024.

[9] Mims, 2024, p. 148.

[10] Discover Magazine,  https://mindmatters.ai/2024/01/citizen-scientist-forrest-mims-tells-his-remarkable-life-story/, p. 43, December 2008. 

[11] Mims, 2024, pp. 188-189.

[12] Mims, 2024, p. 136.

[13] Mims, 2024, p. 131. See Rufus Porter’s full quote in our 14 Oct 2020 article.

[14] Abbot, D., A. Bikfalvi, A.L. Bleske-Rechek, et al., “In defense of merit in science,” Controversial Ideas 3(1), 2023.


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 1,900 publications in 14 languages and 40 books and monographs. His books and textbooks that include chapters that he authored are in over 1,800 college libraries in 27 countries. So far over 80,000 copies of the 60 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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