Humanism vs. Christianity
The Polarization of America
by Patrick Vosse
Chapter 10 - Of Friends and Foes
There are two points I would like to make
in this chapter: 1) evolutionary scientists are not the
enemies of Christians and, 2) Christians are not the
enemies of evolution scientists. It may come as a
surprise to these "opponents", but both are on the same side. The
evolutionary scientist and the Christian have a common
foe, Humanism, and the interests of the true scientist and the Christian
need not overlap nor be in conflict. There is no need for the
polarization between the scientific community
and the Evangelical Christians.
A Word to the Evolutionary Scientist
The empirical scientist should
consider several issues when the subject of evolution
versus creation arises. The first
is that creation, as a part of the Christian religion,
is a revealed truth that is accepted by faith.
It is not falsifiable; therefore, it is not a subject
for the scientific method and empirical proof.
As such, it is not a subject for consideration by the
evolutionary scientist. The Creationism, i.e.,
creation activism, as discussed in Part 1 is poor theology
and even worse science. It suffers from the same
empirical arguments that plague Darwinism. It is not the role of the
scientist to consider a point of faith; that is the realm of
philosophers. The Evolutionist who comments on
creation cannot make those comments as a scientist–
only as a
philosopher or, if he is not a philosopher, he is only offering his
personal opinion. However, in either case, his observations cannot be
Second, it is important to make a
clear distinction between the empirical evolutionary
science and philosophical
Evolutionism. Those gaps in the evolution
hypothesis that challenge the empiricist are unknowns
that still need to be resolved. While the Evolutionist
would like to dismiss these in order to prematurely force the
hypothesis along the process of the scientific method,
the empiricist must deal with them. Perhaps some day these
gaps will be filled; but, until then, they do exists and evolution is a
hypothesis that will be worked and reworked–
it is not a theory and it is not a fact.
Third, the science of
evolution has been contaminated by philosophy
and this is a dangerous road to travel. As in the case of
eugenics, it can lead to pseudoscience.
Currently it is being used as a tool to justify a Humanist
agenda that is opposed to issues completely out of the
realm of science. The process by which evolution is used by Humanists as
a tool for advancing other Humanist issues is discussed in Chapter 13.
The supporters of evolution want to suppress challenges to the evolution
hypothesis in public schools. Is this
good science education? It must be granted that creation
cannot be taught in schools
because of the recent court rulings. However, should that prevent a
teacher from discussing the problems with the evolution hypothesis?
Fourth, how much academic freedom
exists for the empirical scientist
who wants to challenge the evolution
hypothesis and point out the gaps? What
kind of career path can he expect? And why do these barriers exist in
the area of evolution science and not in other areas of
science where such challenges are welcomed and even expected?
Fifth, consider the Christian
response in context. The Humanists are
expressly anti-Christian (see Appendix 3). They are
challenging all the Christian traditions that have been part of our
heritage for centuries. They have stated that religion,
in all forms, should be eliminated from society, a type of spiritual
genocide. Their implementation of this has been largely
through the ACLU attacking the teaching of creation
in the schools. The Humanists have cloaked their face
with the mask of evolution and aimed their gun at the
heart of Christianity. Most see only the mask, not
the one behind it. It is not surprising that Christians
associate evolutionary scientists (and,
perhaps all scientists by association) with the attacks on their
religion. But the attacks do not end with creation. As discussed in Part
3, Humanism is advancing on society in every area, at the expense of the
Sixth, does it really matter if evolution
is taught in public schools or not?
Can a student dissect a frog, learn anatomy, understand the function of
organs, and discuss the wonders of biology without a single word about
evolution? Of course, they can. In fact, many of the older Evolutionists
themselves got their basic understanding of biology
without learning about evolution because, at the time, evolution was not
taught in many schools. Evolution is, in
fact, an eddy in the stream of scientific knowledge. It synthesizes
elements from mainstream science: genetics, anthropology, statistics,
and geology. Perhaps it is the mainstream subjects that
should be taught in the public schools and evolution should be left for
those biologists wishing to specialize in the "eddy"
when they enter university.
A Word to the Creationist
As in the case of the evolutionary
scientist, there are several issues for the
Christian to think about when considering evolution.
First, science is not the enemy and Christians need not be
afraid of science. Scientists devote their life
to discovery. What are they discovering? God's
glorious creation. Science has
opened new doors that show us more of God’s glory every day. Astronomers
have shown us the vastness and beauty of the universe.
Physicists have shown us the minute particles that are smaller than an
atom but have the energy that fires stars. None of these
discoveries denies the existence of God, they reveal his existence. It
is not science that is the Christian’s foe, nor the scientist; it is the
philosophers who use science as their tool. They do so
inappropriately. They impose their philosophical
beliefs on a science and make it their own. This lends credibility to
their position. But it is a stolen credibility.
There are empirical
scientists who also hold to the philosophy of Humanism,
but when they speak, they speak as philosophers not scientists.
Richard Dawkins is a foremost evolutionary biologist–an empirical scientist with excellent
credentials. But he is also a Humanist in the strict and
complete sense. When he uses evolution to deny or even challenge the
existence of a divine influence, it is Richard Dawkins
the philosopher/Humanist speaking, not Richard
Dawkins the empirical scientist. He would, of course, deny the
distinction but, as we have discussed above, issues of divinity are not
within the purview of science and it is only the
philosopher who speaks on the subject legitimately.
Second, the exact process of how God
created the world is not clear and Christians
are not united on this matter. As mentioned in Chapter 2, there are
many takes on creation within the Christian community. One of the
positions on creation, as we discussed, is Theistic Creationism
that allows evolution to take place
according to the laws of nature that are integral with
created matter but provides for the direct intervention of God at
certain points. Remember those "giant step" discussed in Chapter 6? They
resulted in evolution being a 1 to 1 followed by 84 zeros long
shot–virtually impossible by natural means alone. However, what if we
allow that God intervened in those giant steps: life,
eukaryotic cells, consciousness, and man? Intelligent
Design is another position. Even though it
suffers from the same difficulties as evolution
scientifically, it points out the many possibilities where science
and theology can have a basis for conversation and
can merge without too much compromise.
Third, the science of
genetics brought us closer to a workable hypothesis for
evolution. As we learn more about God's
creation, it is possible that the
odds for evolution will be reduced. It is possible that, some day in the
near future, a bright, young scientist will discover
that one missing piece to the puzzle. Would that change anything in the
theology of Christianity? It does not
prove there is no God, so the atheists do not get anything from it (they
already act as though the discovery happened). It would not change the
Gospel one bit: The message of man’s sin and restoration
through Jesus and our personal relationship with Jesus would
not change. In fact, the sermons of the most conservative
Evangelicals would not change in any way because how God
created the world and all the things in it is irrelevant. Christians
believe that he did create everything and that is enough.
should not be caught in the same trap that the "Political",
"Philosophical", and "Social" churches have (Chapter 4). God
is so far above human understanding that he cannot be discovered by
reason. That is why the terms "philosophy of religion" or "Christian philosophy"
are oxymoronic. They are meaningless because the only way we can know
God is through his revelation and through a personal
relationship. Attempts to prove the existence of God are futile at best.
As Jesus says, "God is spirit". The spiritual
existence is not bound by the physical existence and not subject to
discovery through the scientific method. If
challenged by the Humanist to "prove there is a God", do not go through
fruitless mental exercises to attempt to prove there is a God on the
terms of human wisdom. God does not need your help. Each of us is called
by the Holy Spirit, some respond and some do not.
Those who respond do not need proof; and those who do not
respond will not be convinced by any attempts to prove God’s existence
in empirical terms. They will just search for
alternative, physical, and empirical explanations. When challenged to
"prove God exists", just respond with, "prove God does not exist, and
please use the scientific method."
A Word to the Evolutionist and Humanist
By now, I hope the Reader will
understand that I am not anti-evolution per se as
far as this discussion is concerned. My difficulty is when someone
presents it as something it is not. It is not a scientific theory
or fact. It is a hypothesis in development.
Evolution (as opposed to Evolutionism) is not a philosophy
but a science and, as such, cannot address
philosophical questions such as the existence or
non-existence of God. In this regard, the Evolutionist
might consider several issues in this conflict between
Creationist and Evolutionist.
First, would it not be more honorable to
be honest about the Evolutionist agenda and acknowledge the mix of
science and philosophy that comprises Evolutionism? Richard Dawkins should at least be given
credit for doing just that in his The God Delusion.
There is no doubt about the philosophical
flavor of his thesis. And there is no doubt about his use of evolution
to support his philosophy and visa versa. This
violates the process of the scientific method by
subverting rigorous scientific investigation with popular opinion, and
reasoned explanations instead of empirical
experimentation. But at least he is honest enough to use "truth in
Second, why not admit that the evolution
hypothesis is a working concept,
constantly changing, and not yet fully developed because there are gaps
that cannot be explained by it? These gaps in the
explanation, such as eukaryotic cells development and
animal consciousness, cannot be dismissed as "happening by luck" – that
is not scientific. Would it hurt to admit that more work has to be done?
A scientist would answer, no. A Humanist
with an agenda that needs to use evolution as a tool would
Third, why not open the subject of
evolution to close examination and challenges by peers.
If they are wrong, that can be worked out in the journals. If they are
right, this can only help to strengthen the scientific process and point
research to a more productive direction. The fact that those scientists
who find difficulties with the evolution hypothesis are
silenced has the definite aroma of rotting fish about it. And it causes
the scientist to adapt his work to the "accepted
position," a position that will not jeopardize his career. Stefan
Bengtson gives us an example:
Paleontologists are traditionally famous (or infamous)
for reconstructing whole animals from the debris of death. Mostly they
cheat. ...If any event in life's
history resembles man's creation myths, it is this sudden diversification of marine life when
took over as the dominant actors in ecology and evolution. Baffling (and embarrassing) to Darwin,
this event still dazzles us and stands as a major biological
revolution on a par with the invention of self-replication and the
origin of the eukaryotic cell. The animal phyla emerged out of
the Precambrian mists with most of the attributes of their modern
If they do not cheat, their work is ignored. Consider the following:
Paleontologists have paid an enormous
price for Darwin's argument. We fancy ourselves as
the only true students of life's history, yet to
preserve our favored account of evolution by
natural selection we view our data
as so bad that we almost never see the very process we
profess to study.
Is this a case of altering the
observations to agree with a faulty hypothesis? I guess truth is in the eye of the beholder. Has the
objectivity of the evolutionary scientist been
compromised by the philosophical agenda of the
Let us consider one more example of
erroneous (to be kind) observations. In the 1890’s
Ernst Haekel produced drawings of the human embryo in
various stages of development.
Haeckel proposed what is called the "recapitulation
theory." He claimed that each
successive stage in the development of an individual represents one of
the adult forms that appeared in its evolutionary history. His drawings
overemphasized the similarities of the stages human embryos with lower orders of organism. It was a fraud and
modern embryologists have discounted his theory. However, as late as
1986, the Reader’s Digest Book of Facts contained an article that
confirmed the erroneous theory of Haekel. Today it is still lives as an
It should be noted that some
Evolutionists-Humanists still use
embryonic replication as a justification for
abortion. Their argument goes something like this:
Since the embryo replicates human evolution, it does not start out as human and
embryonically evolves into a human. Therefore, the undeveloped embryo is
not yet a human and there is no moral inconsistency in killing it.
The bias and fraud in this argument is obvious when one considers that
embryonic evolutionary recapitulation has been rejected by scientists for decades.
Is it possible that evolutionary
and Evolutionists could unite in a common cause? I
suppose stranger things have happened, but I cannot think of any. I
would like to propose a Plan of Action to end the conflict between
Evolutionists and Creationists and bring a bit of
rationality into the mix. It will take some compromise, and a bit of
tongue biting on everyone’s part–but here goes.
1. Abandon the activism of Creationism.
I said there would be some compromise
required, but this is not as bad as it might first appear. The direct
battle to have creation in any
form taught in public schools has been lost in the liberal
courts. Of all the issues regarding a public school
curriculum than might be offensive to Christians,
Creationism is probably the least important. What
about encouraging safe premarital sex, "celebrating" homosexuality,
prohibiting prayer groups on campus even if not a part
of the official school program, etc. Step back and look at the broad
picture, the foe is Humanism and it is only using
evolution as a tool and as a distraction. Its
complete agenda is detailed in Appendix 3 and is gradually creeping into
the public schools – and society in general. If,
somehow, Creationists were successful in getting
creation into school curricula, would it make any
difference? It is not the job of teachers to bring their students to
Christ – and correctly so. That is the job of the Christian
The place for Creationism
is in Sunday schools, not public schools.
As mentioned earlier, there are many versions of
creation among the Christian
community. Which one would you put in the
public schools? It is far better to teach about creation in the
individual churches with their own interpretation of Genesis.
And this brings us to the real job of
the Christian – getting people to the Sunday school to
hear the message in the proper environment. If the energy, money and
other resources spent on trying to fight the Evolutionists
were spent on evangelism, the
objectives would be reached without the confrontation that has caused
some to be "immunized" against Christianity.
2. Accept that evolution is a hypothesis, as defined by the scientific method,
and not a scientific theory or fact.
OK, now it is the authentic
evolutionary scientist's turn to compromise. But is this
really a compromise? Isn’t this just admitting the truth? And as it says
in the Bible, "The truth shall set you free." Such an
admission really does not change anything except that if frees the
scientist to be honest. Scientists will continue to
make their iterations on the evolution hypothesis
to get closer to solving the gaps that
currently exist. Evolution will continue to be taught in
public schools and universities. All this does is bring
the study of evolution in line with the scientific method,
something that should have occurred all along.
3. Separate the science of evolution from the philosophical agendas that are using evolution as a tool
Now it is the Humanist and
Evolutionist's turn to compromise and this one may be
a bit more difficult to accept. Is it science or
pseudo-science if science is mixed with opinion,
philosophy, or urban myth then offered as an
established scientific principle? How would the Evolutionist’s position
on evolution change if all references to the Humanistic
agenda were removed? How would the current status of evolution in the
scientific community change if all references to atheism
It is not proposed here that the
Evolutionist change any opinions, only to avoid
mixing apples and oranges. Keep the science of evolution
pure and separate from philosophical
opinions. If a philosophy cannot stand up to scrutiny
without warping science to support it, perhaps the philosophy needs to
4. Teach evolution in schools in an honest way – warts and all.
I hope the Evolutionist understands that the Christian objection
to evolution is only partially because of the atheistic spin given to it–the philosophy added.
There is also an objection to the fact that evolution is taught contrary
to the principle of the scientific method. Here
is a proposal that will require compromise on the part of everyone.
evolution as a hypothesis and
clearly state the "Giant Steps" and the fact that, at this time,
natural selection has a very low probability
of satisfactorily explaining these gaps.
speculative reference to how the gaps can be explained.
Say nothing about a divine influence and say nothing
about a physical world that is self-existing and self-guiding (for
which there is no proof). This is philosophy
not science – keep it out of the science
students to think about evolution in the light of
the scientific method and how they might
solve the problem. Whether their solution involves a divine
influence or not is their choice and should not be
prohibited by the school system.
A Place for Everyone and Everyone in Their Place
I am a scientist and an
engineer and I am a "born again" Christian.
I love science. I love mathematics. I love
philosophy. And I love Jesus. All my loves
coexist without conflict and without jealousy. It is possible for a
Christian to appreciate science. In fact, many scientists are Christian.
The Christian who explores the world of science can see the
manifestation of God in ways that he would otherwise miss.
Science can show us more about creation
so that we can appreciate the glory of the Creator all
the more. The Christian should respect and accept science and the
As a scientist and an
engineer, I am aware of the discipline necessary in these professions.
They are concerned with the nuts and bolts of the physical world and how
it works. The spiritual is not part of that venue and not subject to
discovery by scientific means. There are "scientists" who attempt to
find that part of our conscience where "God" resides or try to
explain away biblical miracles by natural phenomena. That
is a misuse of science–
to explain Spaceland (or
Spiritland). However, although the spiritual is not subject to
scientific analysis, it does exist. And even if it is not part of one’s
professional life, it can be part of one’s personal life.
When I was in university, I had the
opportunity to dissect a human cadaver. My laboratory team consisted of
three students beside myself. The day we were to begin actual cutting is
one I will never forget. As the first incision was made, we all stopped
and just looked at the person on the table. What struck all of us was
the humanity of that person. He was not just a living organism. Not just some inert biological
tissue. Nor was he just an animal with a consciousness. We had all
dissected other animals in previous courses but this was different. He
was a human being who had a spirit. Throughout the semester
that thought never left us. It has never left me to this day. Darwin
was wrong in his unsubstantiated opinion that human
intelligence is different from animal in quantity not quality. There is
something very unique about human intelligence, emotion, and awareness
that is not present in any other animal. Some might say that difference
is the human spirit.
I took my first degree at a Jesuit
university and all students, no matter what their major area of study,
had to minor in philosophy and theology.
I have loved analytical thinking ever since. However, in spite of the
background I spent much of my youth exploring "Liberalland". Winston
Churchill once said, "If a man is not a liberal
when he is young, he has no heart. If a man is not a
conservative when he is older, he has no head." And so it has been with
me. The thing about philosophy is that it is not dealing with absolute
truth and so tends to be a bit unstable, a moving target. As Mark Twain
"When I was a boy of
fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old
man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how
much the old man had learned in seven years."
Any philosophy is based
on a few assumptions and assumptions are not absolute. Over time, the
assumptions that form the basis of any philosophy may change–
usually do. As a result, there are many philosophies,
all well reasoned, and some are diametrically opposed. One man’s truth
can be another man’s heresy. Such is the realm of reasoned knowledge. So
difficult is the discovery of knowledge by reason, some
philosophers have said we can only know what we can experience
in the physical world–
no truth can be known by reason
Philosophies are not
usually comprehensive. A particular philosophy may be
correct in one circumstance or application, but invalid in another. As a
result, we tend to have more than one philosophy at any given time. As
Shakespeare put it, "There are more things in heaven
and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy."
It is for these reasons that I oppose the imposition of one’s philosophy
on others. In the area of philosophy, one size does not fit all.
As Secular Humanism grows
in influence, its proponents are increasingly inclined to impose their
philosophy on all society. Liberal courts stretch the
interpretation of the Constitution
prohibiting Congress from "establishment
of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof",
to prohibit extracurricular prayer in schools and any
discussion that includes "God". A small businessman can be
forced to hire a homosexual even though his customers
may object and he will loose business. Traditional values are being
prohibited, not so much though persuasion of the society to accept
Humanism, but through imposition by sympathetic courts. The problem with
courts that have an agenda is well stated by Aristotle, "Law is mind without reason."
As long as Humanists are
compelled to impose their philosophy on society, it
will be difficult for the conflict between evolution and
creation in schools
to be resolved…or the war between Humanism and Christianity.
Aristotle’s observation is as correct today as it was
2500 years ago, "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to
entertain a thought without accepting it." How better to teach our
students than to give them a variety of ideas and guide them in critical
thinking for themselves. Albert Einstein once
said, "Few people are capable of expressing, with equanimity, opinions
which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most
people are even incapable of forming such opinions." What better way to
correct that deficiency that to remove the restrictions the courts have
imposed regarding evolution and creation.
Let us open the schoolroom windows and
let unfettered knowledge blow in.
As I completed writing this book, I was
compelled to revisit this chapter. When I wrote the chapter, I had done
considerable research and had experience with the evolution-creation
debate. I thought the conflict could be resolved reasonably and
compromise was possible. I was wrong. If the issue was simply evolution
vs. creation, compromise, as discussed in this chapter might be
possible; however, the problem is much bigger than evolution and
I debated whether to omit this chapter
entirely. Then I reconsidered. We need to see the reasonable side of the
argument and the fact that a civil solution is possible. As you will see
as we progress through the following chapters, reason and civility might
be a "bridge too far." The reason, as discussed in Parts 3 and 4, is
that evolution is merely a part of the Humanist agenda; an important
part, but not the entirely. It is a tool for the advancement of the
other issues described in the Humanist Manifesto. To compromise, as
discussed in this chapter would defeat the ultimate objective.
I invite the
Reader to consider this while progressing through the remainder of the
book. If compromise based on common sense is not possible--Why not? I
propose that Humanists cannot compromise because to do so would mean the
abandonment of their philosophy. Christians cannot compromise without
turning away from their faith. Humanists who soften their position
usually move completely toward Christianity. Christians who compromise
their faith end up with "collective salvation," a
religion without God.
 Bengtson, Stefan, "The Solution to a Jigsaw Puzzle," Nature,
vol. 345 (June 28, 1990), p. 765-766.
 Gould, Stephen J. The Panda's Thumb, 1980, p. 181-182.
 Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167.
Copyright © 2011 by Patrick Vosse
All Rights Reserved