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What happens when you question evolution?

Here’s an answer from a surprising source: a secular philosophy handbook.  I came across this several years ago while taking a philosophy course at Heritage.  Under the section of philosophy of science is a little chapter entitled “Science is Laced with Ideology.”  The following are some excerpts.  If you don’t want to read the entire section the heart of it is in bold.  Everything within the quotation marks is exactly as it reads in the book (I didn’t insert the part in brackets).

The most alarming aspect in the progress of science is the reluctant acceptance of what Thomas Kuhn labeled a new paradigm.  Perhaps the most striking occurence of this phenomenon happened a few years ago in medicine.  For years an obscure Australian physician asserted that stomach ulcers are caused by a virus.  He was marginalized by the medical community, until someone mustered the courage to perform suitable expirements and found confirmation of the viral origin of ulcers.  Soon enough, the new “viral paradigm” started to spread, and today we hear clamours for the viral origin of mental disorders. 

This instance is by no means rare.  An established scientific theory is protected by scientific communities, who see their interest and their livelihood depending on continuing acceptance.  It is true that facts sooner or alter make inroads into prejudice, but there is no more dangerous enemy than someone whose prejudice is being attacked…

…All scientific theories depend upon unstated ideological assumptions.  These assumptions are only reluctantly brought out into the open, and philosophers of the twentieth century have been too condescending toward science to flatly criticize the underlying philosophical tenets that lie hidden within the roots of every science.  

The need for a thorough critique of ill-formulated foundations is prominently found in evolutionary biology. Every exact sicenctist can tell his or her own stories of the defensive reactions of evolutionary biologists, whenever the slightest word of criticism is voiced about accepted dogmas.  No physicist will feel irritated when someone, even a crackpot, walks into his office and begins to criticize the theory of relativity.  Quite the contrary: the physicist will listen to the argument and offer tentative counterarguments.  On rare occasions, the objector may be proved right.  By contrast, an evolutionary biologist who hears the slightest criticism of Darwinian teleology will take offense, become red in the face, and retort by a stream of invective.  If the offender is a student, he will see to it that the student is deprived of his fellowship (this is not a made-up story; it actually happened).  This unusual sensitivity to criticism is a sign of weakness.  A casual look at current debates among evolutionary biologists cannot fail to show a chasm of disagreement within the field.”

Excerpt taken from The Philosphers Handbook: Essential Readings from Plato to Kant, edited by Stanley Rosen.

To be fair, the same article previously concludes that “Science is the only bulwark against superstition” but at least there is acknowledgement of the ideology.  Interestingly, the conclusion that science is the only bulwark against superstition is also laced with ideology.

Scientists, because they are scientists, are not automatically cool, calm, collected beings devoid of ideology, bias, and an underlying worldview.  The above quotation makes that abundantly clear and we would do well, whenever engaging evolutionary/atheistic objections to the existence of God and the Christian faith, to expose what those are.



About hespelerbaptist

Equipping the saints for the work of the ministry.


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