Editor’s Note: The following is a rebuttal to a Professor of Biology at a Florida Institution of higher learning, concerning a letter written to an advocate for greater transparency in textbook selection. It is paraphrased in part with permission.
As a scientist and professor of biology at Florida xxxxxxxxxx State College, I feel that it is important that I provide clarification regarding the following statements that you made.”Darwin’s theory is a theory and the biblical view is a theory, and our kids should be taught both in a balanced way.” The SCIENTIFIC definition of a theory is as follows: “a well substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world, based on A BODY OF FACTS THAT HAVE BEEN REPEATEDLY CONFIRMED THROUGH OBSERVATION AND EXPERIMENT. Such FACT-SUPPORTED theories are not “guesses’ but reliable accounts of the real world.” Biblical “theories” of creation in no way meet the criteria of the scientific definition of theories. Evolutionary theory, like gravitational theory, has an abundance of data to back it up! There is no such data to support any creation theory.
You also stated that “The science here is not proven on either side. There are lots of scientists on both sides of that equation: Creationism verses the theory of evolution.” The definition of SCIENCE is “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through OBSERVATION AND EXPERIMENT.” There are ABSOLUTELY NO systematic observations or experiments that in any way validate creationism, or any other religious beliefs about life on Earth.
There is no “balance” between creationism and evolution! Teaching both in a science class undermines the validity of science and legitimizes religion as a “truth”. There is a continual erosion of “belief” in science in this country, and if our students are not presented with real science, science that has stood the test of time, we will continue to fall farther and farther behind as the rest of the world moves forward in biology, chemistry, physics, and technology. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson said, “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.” It is the responsibility of every educator to take this statement to heart, teach our students TRUE SCIENCE, and prepare them to move America forward in the future.
Let me introduce myself. My name is David Baldner. My educational background is Business Administration, Professional Accounting and Strategic Planning. As an entrepreneur, I ran a packaging and blowmolding company in the consumer products field. During my career, I chaired several large national and regional business organizations.
I do not adhere to the common perception that to be a creationist you must lack a certain degree of intelligence and reason.
Although my formal training is not theology, I take the Bible and my Christian faith very seriously. As an adult who never stopped seeking the truth, I found many answers in support of my Christian beliefs. Logic has always been important to me when considering the reasoned evidence for my faith. Experience has taught me that knowledge and wisdom do not always go hand in hand. As a result, I don’t always assume things are true just because a person in a position of authority says they are true. I have spent countless hours researching the scientific data available in support of Creation by God as outlined in the biblical account.
You began your letter by describing the ‘scientific definition’ of the word theory. Merriam- Webster Dictionary defines theory as — an idea or set of ideas intended to explain facts or events; an idea that is suggested or presented as possibly true, but that is not known or proven to be true; the general principles or ideas that relate to a particular subject.
Several areas of science have their own definitions of theory, tailoring it to meet their idea of how the word “theory” should apply to them. This can create a distortion of the original meaning.
The scientific definition you describe implies that theory is based on “a body of facts that have been repeatedly confirmed through observation and experiment”. You suggest that scientific theories are fact supported and not guesses, but reliable accounts.
I think whoever constructed this definition did a good job of manipulating the true meaning of the word theory. Your example is gravitational theory and I expect all creationists would agree with that specific example.
Finally, you suggest that there is no data to support any creation theory. Nonsense!
First, creationists don’t have the problem with empirical science that you seem to imply. In fact, empirical science is a foundational tenant of creationism. Second, empirical science is only one form of science. Historical science deals with the origin of the universe and life itself.
It is in the discussion of origins that our opinions differ. In the realm of historical science, you can’t meet your own criteria. You have to deal in the past and make assumptions in areas where all the data is not known. Further, throughout history, scientific perspectives have changed many times. So, what appeared as fact at one point in time, may not be fact at another.
Let me address a ‘real world’ issue, as you described it. An evolutionist looks at the Grand Canyon with all its layers of sediment and concludes — look what a little water did over millions of years. A young earth creationist looks at the same body of evidence and concludes — look at what a lot of water did in a short period of time. Now we have two different theories. You stated there is absolutely no data to support the creation model. However, you would be wrong. Consider the following evidence…
Mount St. Helens – May 8, 1980, Mt. St. Helens erupted in Washington from a 5.1 earthquake. The eruption blew out the side of the mountain. Large areas were covered by ash. Ensuing eruptions formed fine layers in just hours. Within days green forests were turned to badlands. Spirit Lake, at the base of the mountain, was covered in trees and other debris. On June 10, mud flows from a breach in the lake, cut 100 foot deep zigzag canyons in the terrain below, complete with perpendicular side canyons in soft sand and mud. These canyons are similar to the Grand Canyon, but 1/40 the size.
Mud flows over the next 10 years cut hundreds of feet deep into solid rock. The topography of the Grand Canyon area shows three massive lake basins at the head of the Grand Canyon known as Hopi, Canyonlands, and Vernal Lakes. Given recent Mount St. Helens observations, it is not difficult to envision a scenario where one or more of these lakes may have broken through their boundaries, carving out the massive Grand Canyon in its path and leaving the delta we see today at the base of the Colorado River. https:// answersingenesis.org/geology/mount-st-helens/mount-st-helens-evidence- for-genesis/
Missoula Flood, Eastern Washington – Here is a realistic example of how the Grand Canyon was likely formed due to a catastrophic event in recent times. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missoula_Floods
Fossils – If life evolved over millions of years we would expect to find fossils from the earliest evolutionary period at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Yet fossils from this earliest evolutionary period are found in the top layers of the Grand Canyon. This is more consistent with what we might expect from a worldwide flood.
Evolutionary Dating – Rocks from the Precambrian layer at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, dated by Rb-Sr isochron, produced an age of 1070 million years old. When rocks from the top layer (youngest rocks) were dated by the same method, they produced an age of 1340 million years old. Almost 300 million years older than the oldest rocks. Reference — Answers in Genesis (AIG). In addition, the same rocks tested more than once showed significantly different dates.
Sedimentary layers – The constructs underpinning the biblical description of the earth before and after the flood event could account for a lot of the sediments covering 70% of the earth’s surface today. Historically speaking, we have no way of knowing for sure how much sediment may have existed prior to the flood. However, sediment exposed in the Grand canyon walls characterizes a catastrophic flood. The layers are of different sediments laid down one on top of the other. This identifies with sediments carried by ocean currents from different locations and then being laid down one on top of the other.
We observe that where the Rio Negro River flows into the Amazon River, the two flows don’t mix. As the Amazon flows into the Atlantic ocean, the sediments don’t mix with the salt water sometimes for many weeks. Instead, they float with the ocean currents. The mixture of various sediments do eventually settle out in layers. Layers in the Grand Canyon can often be seen in curved unbroken patterns This points to layers being pliable or wet when laid down. Trees lodged in multiple layers of sediment is more consistent with flood geology than long periods of time. http://www.icr.org/ article/classic-polystrate-fossil/
Let’s move on to your statement — “There are ABSOLUTELY NO systematic observations or experiments that in any way validate creationism, or any other religious beliefs about life on Earth.”
You appear unaware of the extent of the evidence on the other side of this discussion. The reason may be that in your education you were shown only the evidence purportedly supporting the theory of evolution. The science dealing with origins has been taken over by evolutionists, many of whom will do almost anything to promote their theory rather than choose to believe in a Creator.
Evolutionary thinking has permeated everything from our museums, television media and even our churches. Evolutionists treat their theory as fact, when it is absolutely not. As evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith says, “Evolution is unproved and unprovable. We believe it because the only alternative is special creation, and that is unthinkable”.
Rather than talk talk about other religious beliefs, let’s focus on the Christian biblical view.
I recommend the DVD “From Evolution to Creation” by Dr. Gary Parker. Dr. Gary
Parker talks about his journey from a seasoned evolutionary biologist, author of several books on evolutionary biology, to his final destination as a biblical creation proponent. Dr. Parker describes how he was formally educated in biology without ever hearing about the evidence for creation by God. Like you, he thought there was no evidence, because the evidence for creation was never allowed in the science classrooms. He just always accepted what his teachers and professors said was true. Even when he didn’t have the answers in his own field of expertise, he believed others had clear evidence for evolution in their fields. As he discovered, his assumptions were incorrect.
Rivers – Water alone does not typically cut downward through solid rock. If it did, there would be sizeable canyons everywhere there are longstanding rivers. That is not what we observe.
The University of California states — “One important aspect of the scientific process is that it is focused only on the natural world. Anything that is considered supernatural does not fit into the definition of science.” In effect, evolutionists try to restrict any outside challenges from anybody who believes that God is a better explanation for natural processes. Getting to natural processes without a supernatural God seems beyond all reason. Evolutionists often categorize challenges to evolution as science vs. religion. This approach muddies the waters. They portray religious fundamentalists trying to take over the science classrooms. In actual fact, people of faith just want the discussions about origins to include the evidence for God creating the universe and life itself, with purpose and natural processes as part of the process. I want my granddaughters, and all young people, to learn about all the evidence regarding origins so they can make informed choices. I don’t want their education to be selectively limited to evolution by their schools and universities. Should they choose to believe in God, it will not make them ineffective in the fields of science.
Your message asserts that you have all the answers and they revolve around evolution. So let’s test that.
Matter, energy and physical laws like magnetic fields and gravity exist. Where do you think they came from?
In its absolute simplest form, living things are made from non-living parts. Yet life has never been observed to come from non-life. Every attempt to build life from non-life has failed. Considering we now know that even the simplest cell is highly complex, what is the source of the first living cell?
Even though we share some common features with chimps there are about 40 million individual evolutionary events separating chimps from humans. Of these about 35 million DNA bases are different. Humans have 689 genes that chimps lack and chimps have 86 genes that humans lack. This means 6% of the gene complement differs between humans and chimpanzees, irrespective of individual DNA base pairs. Evolution theory contends mankind evolved from primates. At least 61 different primates make up earth’s total primate population of about 1.6 million. There are 7.3 billion humans living today, 4550 x the primate population. If evolution theory is valid there should be about 277,500 new species spawned from humans. There are none. How do you explain this?
Missing Link theory reeks of deception — Piltdown Man was a hoax; Nebraska Man was contrived from an extinct pig’s tooth; Java Man was 100% human; Ramapithecus was fabricated from a few teeth later discovered to be from a modern orangutang; Lucy was an ape; Peking Man was a hoax and the fossils have since disappeared; Cro-Magnon Man was indistinguishable from modern man; Neanderthal Man was human and its primitive features due to pathological conditions or disease; Archaeopteryx was highly publicized by National Geographic in July 1998 as the missing link between birds and dinosaurs. I still have the magazine and am amazed at the claim of factual detail put forward in the pages describing the event. This was later discovered to be a Chinese farmer’s hoax and an embarrassment to National Geographic. Why do evolutionists need to create false evidence and at the same time allege that there are so many legitimate intermediate fossils?
Evolution theory claims that beneficial mutations are key to developing new life forms. Yet testable science now verifies that harmful mutations dominate the mutation process, ranging from fruit flies to humans. Growing numbers of defects in the human body suggest we are de-evolving quite rapidly. How does evolution build new body plans in this environment? In fact, how does it build them at all?
Simple caterpillars transform into beautiful butterflies and moths in a matter of days, not millions or billions of years. How can this be explained without God? According to the University of California, this would be outside the area of science, but should it be?
The complex interdependent DNA, RNA and Protein model can only exist if God exists. This is because the protein that makes DNA can only be made from the coded instructions on the DNA itself. Now, remove God and explain this to me from an evolutionary perspective?
Evolution theory requires extensive transitional fossils. Darwin was worried by the lack of fossil evidence and claimed that if the fossil evidence was not found, then his theory would not be valid. Since then millions upon millions of fossils have been discovered, yet on May 20, 1982, the New Scientist reported, “The main problem in reconstructing the origins of man is lack of fossil evidence: all there is could be displayed on a dinner table.” This is a common observation about the lack of agreed upon transitional fossils. The textbooks and museums claim intermediate fossils exist in quantity. From the research I have done I am not convinced. Convince me!
Our body is the sum total of interdependent, irreducibly complex organs and systems that must be present from the beginning to be viable and to replicate.The eye is irreducibly complex. There is no purpose for the eye until it is fully formed. It is the same for the heart, lungs, kidneys, brain, stomach and the reproductive system. None of these complex interdependent organs and systems exist or function on their own. Unless they all existed together right from the beginning, there would be no human life.Without any action on our part, our heart beats at a rate of about 100,000 beats per day. Suggesting that the heart is the product of a mindless, random series of events is simply foolish. Our circulatory system has 60,000 miles (100,000 kms) of blood vessels, arteries and capillaries for transporting blood. The primary vessels flow from the heart through the body and back to the heart again. If the flow of blood was not perfectly designed to make the return trip from the beginning, we would have bled to death. Similarly, our blood clotting mechanism has no purpose until it completes several stages of development. Yet without this clotting mechanism you would bleed to death from a single cut.How does evolution theory get from non-life to organized, interdependent, irreducibly complex organs and systems, complete with the consciousness we see in life?
Your last paragraph is very concerning. You reject God in the best interest of science, yet most of the fathers of modern day science were believers in God — Newton, Pascal, Lister, Herschel, Simpson, Bacon, Morse, Maury, Compton, Da Vinci, Durham…
It didn’t seem to prevent them from making great discoveries.
Based on the definition of religion, your teachings on evolution and secularism qualify as a religion. Evolutionists require great faith to believe that something can be created where there was nothing solely by natural causes. It begs the question, what cause invoked
the natural causes, if it were not a supernatural event? They require faith to believe that every celestial body in the known universe can be created with unique properties and individual beauty by natural causes. They must have faith that life can be created from non-life despite the prevailing scientific evidence to the contrary. They must have faith that random events and time can produce amazingly complex cells and that these cells can come together naturally to form living creatures with unique abilities, structure and
beauty. They require faith that the underlying assumptions of the dating methods used are accurate, in the light of opposing evidence. You have a belief system which, despite how you position it, is far from factual. To study science in isolation from the evidence for a Creator God is simply wrong. Real science should look at all the possibilities and shouldn’t restrict access to information to suit a particular world view. If, like the monarch butterfly, the evidence points to the supernatural, that evidence should not be ignored.
Remember, we are talking origins and the existence of God, not empirical science to which we all agree.
Christopher Columbus didn’t create the new world. He found it as it already existed. Like Columbus, scientists explore a universe they didn’t create. They are limited to exploring and acting upon what already exists. As smart as many scientists are, they are not the Creator. They are the created. Now, two relevant stories…
First, about 10 years ago I was in a Christian book store in the Gulf Coast Town Center near you. I was looking for apologetic material for my research. A young girl beside me was noticeably frustrated and I asked her why she was upset. She told me that she was studying biology at university and out of all the young people in her class she appeared to be the only one who believed in God. She said that every time she raised a question in defense of her God, the professor dismissed her as though she were ignorant of real science. This kind of classroom influence makes many Christians upset with the impact educators have on the minds of students passing through the science classrooms today. Sadly, the exclusive teaching of evolution in our schools and universities is one of the biggest reasons that atheism is the fastest growing religion in North America today.
Second, I was on a flight to Panama City, Panama. I was sitting beside a young research scientist working for the Smithsonian Institution. He was heading to their research facility just outside of Panama City, Panama. My wife had given me a beautiful Smithsonian pictorial coffee table books about our complex universe, earth and life that I had ever seen. Starting with the big bang, the book tried to describe how the universe, earth and life evolved over billions of years. I told the young man about the book. I commented that I found it odd that, in the 8 or 9 pages of introduction, there was not one mention that God may have had a role in the creation of such beauty, complexity and life. The young man smiled and said, “Yes, it is pretty ridiculous isn’t it”. He then told me that if he or anybody else challenged the prevailing evolutionary thinking at the Smithsonian, they would find themselves at best in a career freeze or worse, be squeezed out of their job.
Should you be interested in broadening your perspective about origins, I recommend that you start with the websites of the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) www.icr.org, Creation Ministries International (CMI) http://creation.com/, Answers in Genesis (AIG) https://answersingenesis.org/, Creation Data Institute (CDI) https:// www.creationdata.com/, and there are many others. Another DVD or on-line presentation strongly recommend to you is Evolution’s Achilles Heels. In this presentation 15 top PhD scientists discuss the fatal flaws of evolution theory.
Twenty-five years ago there was a very limited amount of apologetic information available for truly understanding the creation issue. Today, there are hundreds of professional quality resources available which shine the light on scientific evidence for our Creator and provide reasonable answers to tough questions, like the speed of light and the age of the earth issue, etc. If you are interested, I can make many recommendations that will help you understand that those who question evolution theory, do so on solid ground.
I want to acknowledge that science has a very important and pivotal role in our
human achievements. It always has been and hopefully always will be. Most creationists that I come in contact with are very pro-science. They love new research and discoveries that benefit the human condition. However, they also believe that there is well grounded evidence for their belief that God exists and created us for a purpose as revealed in the Bible. Although not specifically a science text, the Christian Bible describes scientific knowledge not discovered by scientists for centuries after the Bible was written. The book, Scientific Facts in the Bible by Ray Comfort, covers this information well.
When you search the Internet you will find a lot of criticism of creationism. There is a growing anger directed at Christians and creationists for their belief in God. Much of this anger is provoked by our schools and universities teaching a one sided view of origins. It is encouraged by the exclusivity of evolution theory, taught as fact, throughout our society today. Many of our churches unwittingly make the situation worse by not teaching apologetics (reasons for one’s beliefs) in the churches themselves.
In the end, if evolution theory is right about origins and there is no God needed, we will all end up as the same dust in the ground. However, if evolutionists are wrong about origins, which I believe they are, great damage will have been done to those who were led away from their Christian faith by the schools and universities of our time.
By: David Baldner David Baldner is a founding member of the Creation Data Institute — www.CreationData.com. CDI’s purpose is to help people discover the absolute truth of God’s creation, His inspired Bible and the nature and teachings of Jesus Christ through expanded instruction of the reasoned evidence. These truths are foundational to Christian beliefs about our origins, why we exist, and our hope for the future.
David’s background centers on his own entrepreneurial pursuits as a CEO of a major packaging company and chairing several major business and non-business organizations. In more recent years he has followed his passion for biblical truth.