TITLE: Evolution and the Scientific Community 8/11/15
By Richard McCaw
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Evolution and the Scientific Community
by Richard McCaw
As I use my imagination to unearth truth, my discoveries amaze me.
I imagine myself an atheist and investigative reporter in the evolution controversy. Outside the Ft. Lauderdale courthouse I approach probably the most outspoken evolutionary biologist of the 19th century, Thomas Henry Huxley, who had time-traveled into this century for the case. Although in a great hurry, he listens for a few moments.
“Mr. Huxley,” I begin. “You’ve heard the arguments on the evolution controversy, what is your response?"
He shakes his head, “Such absurdities! The fact of evolution cannot be denied.”
“But sir, why do you call evolution a fact?”
He knits his brow and says, “The scientific community has embraced it for years and no one has ever provided evidence of this intelligent designer and...and…” His thoughts trail off softly. “Give me a call,” he says and offers me his telephone number, which I tap into my laptop. And so we part.
In the courthouse elevator I overhear two lawyers discussing the issues.
One says “The scientific community has now dismissed almost every evolutionary story I learned in high school and university from Trueman’s Ostrea/Gryphaea to Carruthers’ Zaphrentis dlanouei.”
“Interesting,” says the other, “My own experience has been much the same. For over twenty years, searching for evolutionary lineages among the Mesozoic Brachiopoda has been equally elusive.”
But soon I am in the courtroom listening as the judge, Lord Monboddo, turns to Robert Virchow, the lawyer for the prosecution and asks, “Do you have any more witnesses, Mr. Virchow?”
Virchow replies, “Your honor, Sir James Simpson.”
The clerk of courts bellows the name and that gentleman slowly walks forward and takes his seat in the witness stand.
Virchow then asks, “Sir James, how do you respond to the arguments so far?”
Sir James tries to hide a smile. “May I provide some pertinent facts?”
“Certainly, Sir James,” says Mr. Virchow.
“For a long time,” Sir James begins, “science did not insist that doctors wash their hands, nor on spotlessly clean hospitals, even after Ignaz Semmelweiss discovered that germs were infecting patients. Not until Joseph Lister read what he had written did scientists recognize the danger of germs. Obviously, science’s tenacious hold on a particular view is like mist that wind drives away.”
A loud rumbling of chatter fills the courtroom until Lord Monboddo calls for silence.
“Your honor,” Mr. Wallace, the lawyer for the defense, suddenly asks, “May I be permitted to question Sir James?”
“Go ahead, Mr. Wallace,” Lord Monboddo replies.
Wallace then asks, “Do I understand, sir, that the intelligent design community still believes the book of Genesis to be foundational to the Bible?”
Sir James answers, “Sir, we believe that all foundational truths begin in Genesis.”
“But, Sir James, that smells of religious bigotry?” Wallace turns around with a sly smile toward the audience. “Many religions like Buddhism have nothing to do with Genesis.” Then he looks deliberately at Mr. Virchow and comments, “Yet, they have many devoted followers!”
Sir James retorts, “Mr. Wallace, many devout people call themselves Christians.”
Wallace looks taken aback. “What are you saying, Sir James? You all seem very bigoted.”
Sir James replies confidently, “Not everyone who calls Jesus ‘Lord’ is His genuine disciple. Like counterfeit dollars, sir, many are not true Christians. Good works do not make a genuine believer.”
Lord Monboddo suddenly intervenes. “Mr. Wallace, how does this affect the present issues?”
Wallace responds, “Your honor, the point is that bigotry has nothing to do with real science.”
Lord Monboddo prods him, “Get on with the issues, Mr. Wallace.”
Wallace continues, “Next question, Sir James. You believe the Bible is accurate?”
Sir James nods confidently, “I do.”
Wallace looks at the audience then turning to Sir James, asks, “You believe that Moses turned a rod into a snake, and that plagues out of nowhere suddenly came upon the Egyptians?”
Sir James turns red in the face, “I do, but your honor, how does slandering the Bible prove anything?”
Lord Monboddo says with some irritation, “Mr. Wallace, questioning Sir James on the Bible does not enlighten this case. Please deal with the issues."
Mr. Wallace then faces Lord Monboddo and says, “My point, your honor, is that intelligent Christians no longer support intelligent design. Science has irrefutably discarded such foolish ideas as a rod turning into a snake or diseases coming out of the sky.”
Lord Monboddo breaks in, “Gentlemen, time eludes us, so we must close for today. Sir James, this court does not mock anyone’s religion. You may both step down now.”
Much murmuring follows as everyone waits for Lord Monboddo to exit the court. Thereafter a scramble ensues as people quickly depart.
As I make my way through the crowds, I recall something my mother used to say, “The devil has been attacking the Word of God from the beginning of time. He attacked Eve in Eden and still uses doubtful characters to turn people away from God.”
Well, we certainly saw efforts in that courtroom today of an educated man endeavoring to shake another man’s faith. I can’t say if there’s a God, but if there’s a God and a devil, they were sure fighting in that courtroom today.
My grandmother used to say, “The Word of God shall stand forever.” Funny thing is that she always boasted that the Bible was the world’s best seller, and she was always bending over that big book and reading until late at night. Some mornings I even found her asleep in her rocking chair with the Bible on the floor near her feet.
There’s something funny about that book. That Mr. Wallace better be careful what he says about the Bible.
After that court session something kept spinning in my mind: My mother and grandmother always spoke of God’s miracles rescuing the Israelites out of Egypt. How could I accept the scientific community’s naturalistic views that left God out of everything?
I was now even more determined to pursue the truth for myself.
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