Re: Desperate Measures
- Paul: Colson's essay on withholding of copyrighted
BreakPoint with Chuck Colson
The Evolutionist Establishment Turns to Blackmail
November 1, 2005
If there's one word that could be used to describe the
evolutionist establishment right now, that word would
To prove this, one only need look at the latest news
coming out of Kansas. The Kansas State Board of
Education has adopted new standards that will
permit the teaching of intelligent design as part of
science curricula. Let me repeat that: The standards
don't mandate the teaching of intelligent design. They
permit it. And they don't prohibit the teaching of
evolution. They allow both sides of what has become a
genuine scientific controversy to be taught.
Now, most of us would call that academic freedom. But
the opponents of intelligent design see it as
backwoods, Bible-pounding, flat-earth fundamentalism.
They're accusing intelligent design advocates of
introducing religion or philosophy into a scientific
The latest developments in the battles show exactly
who is close-minded and who isn't. This past week, the
National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the
National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) announced
that they would no longer allow
their copyrighted materials to be used in any
curriculum that challenges Darwin's theories. This is
serious business; the materials provided by these two
organizations form the core of any biology curriculum
in the United States.
The heads of the NAS and the NSTA released a statement
that read in part: "Kansas students will not be well
prepared for the rigors of higher
education or the demands of an increasingly complex
and technologically driven world if their science
education is based on these standards. Instead, they
will put the students of Kansas at a competitive
disadvantage as they take their place in the world."
So their solution to this alleged "disadvantage" is to
put the students at a real disadvantage. This is
nothing less than a case of blackmail: "You teach our
philosophical beliefs, or else you can't use our
accredited science course materials."
The NEW YORK TIMES unwittingly gets to the heart of
the controversy when it writes that the intelligent
design theorists "would single out evolution as a
controversial theory and change the definition of
science itself so that it is not restricted to the
study of natural phenomena." Wait a minute: science
"restricted to the study of natural phenomena"? That
means all science is shaped by a naturalistic view of
the world. But naturalism is not a scientific
theory or fact. It's a philosophy.
So, you see, intelligent design theorists are the ones
who are trying to free science to pursue truth
wherever it leads, shaking it loose of philosophical
restraints. This is exactly what Francis Bacon, the
"father of modern science" and a Christian, did in the
sixteenth century, when he abandoned
Aristotle's philosophical presupposition that the
universe is eternal and decided instead to follow
science wherever it leads. That, according to
Professor Harold Poe at Union University, allowed the
modern scientific revolution to take place.
And that's exactly what is at stake here. If the
intelligent design movement succeeds, we would have
nothing short of a new scientific revolution --
freeing science to pursue truth wherever it leads. No
wonder the hidebound traditionalists -- that is, the
evolutionists -- are desperate.
> BreakPoint with Chuck Colson:Victor:
> So, you see, intelligent design theorists are the ones
> who are trying to free science to pursue truth
> wherever it leads, shaking it loose of philosophical
> restraints. This is exactly what Francis Bacon, the
> "father of modern science" and a Christian, did in the
> sixteenth century, when he abandoned
> Aristotle's philosophical presupposition that the
> universe is eternal and decided instead to follow
> science wherever it leads. That, according to
> Professor Harold Poe at Union University, allowed the
> modern scientific revolution to take place.
> And that's exactly what is at stake here. If the
> intelligent design movement succeeds, we would have
> nothing short of a new scientific revolution --
> freeing science to pursue truth wherever it leads. No
> wonder the hidebound traditionalists -- that is, the
> evolutionists -- are desperate.
Christian attempts to use science (not the same as evidence) to
support the Bible reject the most important part of our epistemic
history. The truth is that Western science was historically founded
on Aristotle's first principle. The Bible predicted and identified
this idea as the first principle (arche) of the last days: the
assumption that matter (all things) does not change.
Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626) argued against Aristotle's deductive
methods. Deduction starts with axioms, elementary assumptions. The
structure of knowledge is built up and tested by applying logical
rules. If a statement is logically consistent, it must be true. The
lowest level in this structured system, the simplest statements about
"how the world works", were known as arche, first principles.
Bacon advocated the method of induction that starts with many
observations and tries to find simple powerful statements "of how the
world works" that fit all observations. If an idea or theory
conflicts with an observation of nature, induction says that the idea
must be abandoned. The idea that the scientific system is free from
deduction, reliance upon a first principle, is a myth.
1. Mathematics is itself deductive, built upon axioms in a logically
consistent manner. Modern science is largely mathematical. In fact
mathematics is used as a reasoning tool. If a process can be modeled
with mathematics, then it is assumed that our ideas are consistent
2. The early Christian philosophers, did not abandon Aristotle's
first principle, but rather used it to define new concepts and new
mathematical techniques. Our first principle, and theirs, is the
assumption that Peter predicted, that matter does not change as a
relation, that it does not age in an orderly manner.
a. All the basic definitions of physics, the Western concepts of
time, matter and energy, depend on this assumption. The entire
structure of scientific reasoning was founded upon the Aristotlean
assumption that matter cannot change.
b. Even our experimental system depends on this assumption. If matter
changes as a relation, we could not detect it locally because all of
reality would be affected, even our instruments and units of measurement.
Is science really free from its first principle? Consider the following:
Scientists claim that a cesium clock beats an unchanging rhythm that
we even use to define the unit of distance. Yet no cesium atom in
distant galaxies beats the same tempo as local ones. Scientists
invent undetectable cosmological expansion, where empty space
stretches light, so that we do not have to accept a simple observation
of nature. Does our first principle take away our freedom to think
Scientists claim that orbits are clock-like and follow our
mathematical laws of gravity. Yet no orbit in the arms or disk of
galaxies, even our own, is clock-like or follows our laws of gravity.
Scientists invent undetectable, mathematical dark-matter that
surrounds every galaxy to make the observed orbits fit our assumption
that matter does not change. Does our first principle really free us
to accept observations, or does it force us to fit nature to our most
The most distant views of the heavens, the three Hubble deep images,
show that primordial objects were highly compressed. Clearly these
tiny galaxies are visibly ejecting and expanding their arms and defuse
structure. (Twelve times the Old Testament mentions that a
firmament, a dense place is continually being pounded out and spread
out). The observations clearly show that matter and motions in the
early universe were expansive. Why is it that scientists are not
allowed to accept what is visible? Perhaps a first principle really
takes away our freedom to think apart from science's dogma.
Are scientists really free to pursue truth wherever it leads? Or do
they always force nature to fit our elementary assumption that matter
does not change? Clearly the Bible states with grammar that it does
change. Why do scientists reject what we see in simplicity and invent
a universe that is 99% undetectable?
The Apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 2:8. "See to it that no one
takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to
the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles
[stoicheia] of the world [kosmos -orderly system], rather than
according to Christ." The word "see" is blepo and is in the
imperative. Watch out. Be aware. Be on guard. Look - see. We are to
be on guard against the stoicheion, the elementary assumptions, the
first principles of philosophy, that take one captive like military
prisoners. Stoicheion are the first principles for a system of
scientific thinking. Yet Christians embrace these elementary ideas
invented by the pagans philosophers and teach them to our children.
Can God really make foolish the scientific system itself? Can He do
what the Bible says He will, take the wise of this age with their own
wisdom? We should never tailor the Bible to fit our scientific
culture. The simple literal words of the Bible really do free ones
mind. Think about it.