Skip to comments.THE "BABY DOCTOR," BENJAMIN SPOCK, ON DARWIN AND MORALITY
Posted on 02/10/2003 1:34:15 PM PST by Remedy
Yale trained Benjamin Spock, M.D., is the author of one of the bestselling nonfiction books of all time, a guide for parents titled, Baby and Child Care. First published in 1946, it has sold over 50 million copies and has been translated into 42 languages. His writings and ideas have influenced so many millions of mothers that he has been called affectionately the nation's "baby doctor" (Spock and Morgan, 1989; Bell, 1966). His influence in the world has been so profound that Dr. Spock was named one of the hundred most important people in the twentieth century by Life magazine (Maier, 1998, p. 298). He also is widely considered the most influential child care authority of the twentieth century (Britannica Year in Review, 1998).
During his long and distinguished professional career, Dr. Spock taught at several of the nation's leading institutions of higher learning, including Cornell University, the University of Minnesota, and Case Western Reserve University. Always a good student, he graduated first in his class at Columbia University Medical School (Lewkonia, 1998, p. 825). His lifelong interest in, and love for, people made him develop into an astute observer of the human condition (Philpot, 1979). His interest in this field motivated him to author a dozen books and hundreds of articles on child care and the major social problems of our age. He was active in helping humanity in numerous organizations until he died in March of 1998, a few weeks before his 95th birthday (Lewkonia, 1998; Collum, 1998).
Dr. Spock was first introduced to Darwinism at Yale University, and he referenced Darwin and his ideas several times in his books. Even in his classic work, Baby and Child Care, under the subheading, "They're repeating the whole history of the human race," Spock wrote that watching a baby grow is "full of meaning" because,
the development of each individual child retraces the whole history of the human race, physically and spiritually, step by step. Babies start off in the womb as a single tiny cell, just the way the first living thing appeared in the ocean. Weeks later, as they lie in the amniotic fluid in the womb, they have gills like fish. Toward the end of the first year of life, when they learn to clamber to their feet, they're celebrating that period millions of years ago when our ancestors got up off all fours. It's just at that time that babies are learning to use their fingers with skill and delicacy. Our ancestors stood up because they had found more useful things to do with their hands than walking on them (Spock and Rothenberg, 1992, p. 301).
Spock Recognizes the Harm That Darwinism Did to Society
Dr. Spock eventually recognized the serious harm that Darwinism had done to people's lives and to society in general (Bloom, 1972). The insight Dr. Spock gained is the story of many individuals of our time. His biographer, Lynn Bloom, stated that it was inevitable that Spock, "frustrated in his attempts to express fully his views on various social or political issues in magazine columns," would elaborate his conclusions in a book. His book, which Bloom calls "Spock's spiritual autobiography," was "the distillation of a lifetime of his varied thoughts on the problems of modern western man, Americans in particular." In this book he concluded that
man has lost his belief in himself and his sense of direction because the concepts of evolution, of psychology, and of sociology have undermined the authority of religion and man's identification with God. They have induced man to belittle himself, to conceive of himself as merely an animal divisible into a number of mechanical parts and drives (Bloom, p. 213, emphasis mine).
In his spiritual autobiography, Dr. Spock notes that he was reared in a family "with stern morals even by New England standards." He then admitted that he tried to free himself from these strict standards throughout his adolescence and young adulthood because he believed then that a "knowledge of biology, psychology, and sociology should offer sufficient guides for a modern man." His lifetime of reading, practicing as a pediatrician, college teaching, talking with parents, and researching the problems of Western society caused him to,
come to realize that the worst problems of America-illegal war, racial injustice, unnecessary poverty, for example are caused not by lack of knowledge or means [to solve these problems] but by moral blindness or confusion (1970, p. 207, emphasis and bracketed item mine).
Table I shows the increase in some major social problems that have occurred in the past half century alone. Obviously these problems are due to several factors, a major one being the secularization of society and what Dr. Spock calls "a moral blindness." Dr. Spock concluded that this moral blindness that produced many of our modern social problems was the direct result of modern secular teachings resulting from Darwinism, Freudianism, and other humanistic philosophies. In Spock's own words, the major reason for our most serious social problems was the weakening of the influence of religion that resulted especially from the influence of Darwinism and our increasingly secular society:
The teachers in the early colonial schools and universities of the United States were predominantly Protestant ministers whose principal aim was to teach religious principles and to train more ministers, who became the next leaders of the community. . . . By the second half of the nineteenth century the discovery of evolution and the development of various behavioral sciences further weakened the authority of the churches as educators. As the need for schools and universities mounted they were established increasingly by towns and states. Now the Supreme Court has forbidden in public schools even the vaguest of prayers (Spock, 1970, p. 207, emphasis mine).
Dr. Spock realized that many of the movements with which he had once agreed had caused an enormous amount of harm in our society. As a result of his insight, he admitted that he had "come full circle, in the end, to a feeling that it is crucial, in all issues, to consider the moral dimension" when trying to solve social and societal problems (1970, p. xiii). The major source of morality in the West, he realized, was the Judeo-Christian heritage, which has been seriously undermined by Darwinism, Freudianism, and the secular humanistic philosophies taught in our schools and by society as a whole. In his words, he "grew up with the century" (Spock and Morgan, 1989).
Unfortunately, Spock's insight about these issues came late in his life when there was little he could do about them. While he recognized that Darwinism was harmful, he had assumed the theory was supported by verifiable scientific facts. His own references to the alleged evidence for Darwinism have been refuted long ago. For example, we now know that almost every concept noted in the quote above from Spock's Baby and Child Care book was wrong. The theory that an embryo repeats its evolutionary history has been shown to be based on forgeries (Wells, 2000; Bergman, 1999; Frair, 1999). Furthermore, neither embryos nor fetuses have "gills like fish." Spock recognized that evolution had done much harm in society, but his belief that the evidence which supported evolutionism blocked him from doing much about the problem. This illustrates the importance of stressing current research, which shows that most of the icons used to support evolution are either outright frauds or based on extremely tenuous and debatable evidence (Wells, 2000).
Acknowledgments: I wish to thank Bert Thompson, Ph.D.; John Woodmorappe, M.A.; Clifford Lillo, M.A.; and Wayne Frair, Ph.D., for their comments on earlier drafts of this article. *Dr. Bergman is on the Biology faculty at Northwest State College in Ohio.
References @ source url
*Dr. Bergman is on the Biology faculty at Northwest State College in Ohio.
Darwin and the Descent of Morality Quite aside from Darwinism as science, which it is not, Darwinism itself leads directly and inevitably to Social Darwinism, an extremely destructive philosophy with suitably destructive social impacts -- impacts that have become increasingly apparent in our culture in recent decades with the rising dominance of Darwinism in our public schools.
It is a costly pity that we as a culture have not achieved the clarity of thought and found th courage to say to Darwinism, simply, "Show me", and if it cannot, "Get out of the classroom!" It hasn't (shown us), it won't and it cannot, Folks. When do we give this scientific quackery a decent burial? 1 posted on 11/28/2001 10:21 PM CST by Phaedrus
Actually, that's completely false. THe God-necessary-for-morals argument is easily demolished. It may take actual thinking to construct rights and morals without a god, but that doesn't mean it's not an effort worth undertaking.
You've missed the point completely. The argument is not about morals per se -- anybody can invent a system and call it "morals."
Rather, the argument is about absolute morality -- without which concepts such as "unalienable rights" make no sense except as a matter of convenience.
The standard-issue FR libertarians (and objectivists in general) claim that one can by reason alone discover and prove the existence of absolute morality. Such claims do not stand up to logical scrutiny, however -- and evolutionary theory (which they tend to defend with vigor)provides empirical evidence to that effect.
To: betty boop
All I can say is, the burning urge to "get rid of" God to explain the universe as an automaton executing a program that Nature wrote entails a tremendous amount of self-deception, antirationality, and illusion. But it certainly appears to be roaring along as a "going concern" in the popular mind these days. Mankind has paid a heavy price for all this; and in all probability will continue to do so just so long as social (and evolutionary) Darwinism continue to enjoy what today passes for "intellectual respectability.
Yes. As noted in one of my earlier posts, poor Darwin is just decimated by Gertrude Himmelfarb in Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution (copyright 1959!). She explores the historical context, noting the views and commentaries of friend and foe alike, and concludes that Darwin's works are a rhetorical sham, although she is too polite to put it this way. His "theory" is so broad and indistinct that it can be employed to explain everything, in retrospect, and thus it explains nothing. She notes, among many other things, that Darwin's mediocre treatises were not unique but "an idea whose time had come", a rallying point for those "intellectuals" unenamored of Christianity. It is delicious vindication for those of us who have come to learn as adults that Darwinism is sheer atheist propaganda, and it is amazing that it has been available since 1959. Himmelfarb is brilliant, clearly a genius, and her work deserves wide recognition and circulation. She is married to Irving Kristol, a "reformed" Liberal who has written for The Wall Street Journal (and I'm sure other publications), and her son is Bill Kristol, one of the founders of The Weekly Standard. She is a close friend of Robert Bork (Slouching Towards Gomorrah - I'm sure everyone here knows of Bork). 181 posted on 12/01/2001 6:33 PM CST by Phaedrus
The blood-stained 'century of evolution' Those attacking Christianity sometimes point to the many religious wars and atrocities perpetrated in the name of Christ and the Church. They forget that not everyone self-labelled Christian truly follows Christ. Also, that many times more people have been killed this century, most by their own governments, than in all religious conflicts, ever.1 And this slaughter happened because of philosophies openly hostile to biblical Christianity, and flowing directly from evolutionary belief. About 130 million (not including the hundreds of millions killed by abortion) were slaughtered this century in the name of atheism, whereas all those killed in the name of Christ in all of recorded history was at most around 17 million. See James Kennedy and Jerry Newcombe, What if Jesus had never been born? Thomas Nelson, Nashville, 1994.
Stand to Reason Commentary - The Real Murderers: Atheism or ... My basic case is that religion doesn't promote this kind of thing; it's the exception to the rule. The rule actually is that when we remove God from the equation, when we act and live as if we have no one to answer to but ourselves, and if there is no God, then the rule of law is social Darwinism-- the strong rule the weak. We'll find that, quite to the contrary, it is not Christianity and the belief in the God of the Bible that results in carnage and genocide. But it's when people reject the God of the Bible that we are most vulnerable to those kinds of things that we see in history that are the radical and gross destruction of human lives.
History Today: Social Darwinism revisited. On May 16th, 1904, Galton read his paper `Eugenics: Its Definition, Scope and Aims' to a meeting of the Sociological Society (founded the previous year) held at the London School of Economics. Galton urged its members to disseminate eugenics as a national religion. Some were prepared to, notably George Bernard Shaw, who decried a civilisation in which men and women `... select their wives and husbands less carefully than they select their cashiers and cooks'.
Yet Galton's assertion of the significance of selection continues to resonate. Was he present in spirit on February 12th, 1998, (again at the LSE), when W.G. Runciman of Trinity College, Cambridge, proposed the construction of evolutionary sociology to the Darwin Seminar? The latter is a forum for discussing neo-Darwinism, that dynamic school of biology which includes Richard Dawkins and John Maynard Smith. The evolutionary biologists now have allies in psychology, and the neo-Darwinians now claim that all the social sciences should adopt an evolutionary perspective.Fact Sheet-Social Darwinism The ideas of racial supremacy and the survival of the fittest race reached it's zenith with the National Socialist party of Nazi Germany. In his book, Mein Kampf or "My Struggle," Adolf Hitler shares his views of Social Evolution. He writes, "The Jews formed a sub-human counter race, predestined by their biological heritage to evil, just as the Nordic race was destined for nobility."
Hitler, however, can't take full credit for these warped thoughts. The notions of racial superiority were written earlier by Freidrich Nietzsche. Nietzsche, who is most famous for his "God is dead" philosophy, adapted Darwin's ideas and promoted a "superhuman" or "super-race" philosophy. He took the idea of natural selection and suggested that warfare, eugenics and the merciless extinction of inferior races was appropriate.
Germany not only exterminated Jewish people in the name of racial purity, but also used forced sterilization on the physically and mentally handicapped, and murdered infants with similar handicaps. Estimates of how many disabled people died under the Nazis range up to 250,000. One must wonder how the roots of the "survival of the fittest" philosophy have affected the latest world conflicts including the atrocities in Kosovo, Somalia and Sudan.
What's Wrong With the Science Establishment? Scientists in the United States, supported by wealthy families who adopted eugenics as a hobby, helped build the activist engine of eugenics. They were not on a crackpot fringe of science, but in its mainstream and often in its leadership. They had great respectability, as well as access to large fortunes, and they succeeded in making eugenics a fad of the early twentieth century. Professors taught it in many colleges and universities, and it was especially strong in Ivy League institutions that trained the "power elite" who largely ran the country from 1930 onward. Besides its racial and class bias, eugenics involved a deep and relentless prejudice against people with mental and physical disabilities. Its bias against the disabled was-and is-even deeper than its racial bias.
The American Eugenics Society outlasted the other eugenics groups and, in late 1972, decided to change its name to Society for the Study of Social Biology (SSSB).* This group still exists; it is an affiliate of one of the key science groups; and many of its members still pursue traditional eugenics areas such as population control and genetics. Yet the Society's current president recently claimed that "the whole concept of eugenics is as foreign and distasteful to us as it is to anyone else."4 He and other Society leaders declare that the group now has nothing to do with eugenics. To call such statements puzzling would be a vast understatement.
The American Association for the Advancement of Science ("the Association" or AAAS) is the prestigious group that in 1975 accepted the Society for the Study of Social Biology as an affiliate.
Established in the 1840s, when science in the United States was a tiny enterprise, the Association now has a staff of 300, includes nearly 300 scientific and engineering societies as affiliates, and claims about 140,000 individual members. One need not be a laboratory scientist, or an engineer, in order to join; the group also accepts "science educators, policymakers, and interested citizens." Perhaps more "interested citizens" should join and keep an eye on what this powerful group does. It is deeply involved in science education, as Rebecca Messall noted, and it also has substantial influence on Congress. Its large headquarters is conveniently based in Washington, D.C. Besides its lobbying operation, AAAS has eight fellowship programs that place scientists and engineers on congressional staffs and in governmental agencies such as the State Department.5
Alan Guttmacher, the physician who led Planned Parenthood and had been vice president of the American Eugenics Society, certainly agreed. Advocating "the wisdom of carrying out safe non-discriminatory abortion," he said it would lead to "a rather dramatic drop in birth rate," and declared that: "We must become pragmatists. In order to meet the population problem, we have to overcome some of our squeamish ethical concepts."
The Dark Side of Evolution On May 2, 2002, Mark Warner of Virginia became the first governor to publicly apologize to the many thousands of people who were sterilized against their will during the eugenics movement in the United States. Through 1979, about 8,000 people in Virginia were prevented from being able to have children because they were considered to be unfit.
A Yale University study has shed light on the dark side of evolution in the form of social Darwinism. Social Darwinism is the application of evolutionary principles to humans, most notably in the form of eugenics. As a result of the eugenics movement in the United States nearly 100,000 people were sterilized, many against their will. These sterilizations were legal in many states even as recently as 1974.
Rebecca Messall -- The Evolution of Genocide My greatest mistake as a pro-life person was in thinking Roe v. Wade arrived by itself. I didn't want to link abortion to other controversial subjects, which scared or confused me, detracting from the obvious atrocity of butchering a living, unborn child. Because of my narrow focus, I ignored the horrific world-view and the socio-political-financial machinery fueling abortion.
I realized that evolution by natural selection has been the fundamental pro-life issue since Darwin himself. His argument that biologically inferior people threaten to deprive intellectually superior people of food and resources established a scientific-sounding rationale for genocide, which is used today by the abortion-based population control and family planning establishments, as well as others bent to this day on improving the race by laboratory methods.
Darwin argued that charitable acts by civilized men lead to evolutionary degeneration:
With savages, the weak in body or mind are soon eliminated; and those that survive commonly exhibit a vigorous state of health. We civilized men, on the other hand, do our utmost to check the process of elimination; we build asylums for the imbecile, the maimed, and the sick; we institute poor-laws and our medical men exert their utmost skill to save the life of every one to the last moment . . . Thus the weak members of civilized societies propagate their kind. No one who has attended to the breeding of domestic animals will doubt that this must be highly injurious to the race of man. It is surprising how soon a want of care, or care wrongly directed, leads to the degeneration of a domestic race; but excepting in the case of man himself, hardly any one is so ignorant as to allow his worst animals to breed.3
Darwin himself evidenced how evolution made bigotry an academic exercise when he applauded the extermination of "savage races" and "anthropomorphous apes:"
At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will certainly exterminate and replace the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes . . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla.7
In his book, Behe shows how, at the one-cell level, life is a self-contained system of indispensable moving, chemical parts, so mutually dependent on each other that absent even one part, the system would not exist. Behe named this observation "irreducible complexity." By physical necessity, all of the molecules of even a one-celled life must have burst forth together as an integrated operating system.
Human Embryo Research After the Genome In the mid-nineteenth century the German anatomist Ernst Haeckle could claim that the human embryo was a simple cell containing merely "homogeneous globules of plasm."ii Prior to the advent of molecular biology, no one knew otherwise. Lacking a precise scientific account of the microscopic physiology of miniature human life, if one believed the human embryo to be anything more than a splatter of sticky protoplasm, one had to look outside of scienceand often to religionto defend speculation about unseen details of hidden form and animation.
The Orwellian terms "pre-embryo" and "potential human being" no longer have any scientific validity.
The genome is simply the sum of hereditary information for the species. Written in the molecular language of DNA and organized into genes, the genome encodes all the instructions the organism needs to synthesize cellular building blocks and develop from an embryo into a unique, mature individual with a beating heart, sensitive fingers, and a brain that even in toddlers vastly outclasses the most advanced computers. Although microscopic in size, the human genome is enormous in its information content. Its 3.1 billion nucleotide base pairs are arranged along a double helical strand of DNA that, if removed from a single cell and stretched out, would measure more than five feet long, but only 50 trillionths of an inch in thickness.iii If written out as a book, the human genome would take up the equivalent of 200 volumes the size of a Manhattan telephone book at 1000 pages each. It would take 19 years to read aloud without stopping, at 5 bases per second, the entire sequence of the genome within the nucleus of the human embryo.vv
If the embryo were not so busy, he or she might take a moment to wink at the thousand scientists who labored for 15 years to sequence the complete human genome. Hailed as "a massive project on a scale unparalleled in the history of biology,"ii and at a cost of hundreds of millions of dollars, the Human Genome Project has yielded a staggering volume of data. The only problem is that science knows how to read only a small portion of the genome. The underrated human embryo can read it all.
Nihilism and the Law All I can say is this: it looks as if we are all we have. Given what we know about ourselves, and each other, this is an extraordinary, unappetising prospect; looking around the world, it appears that if all men are brothers, the ruling model is Cane and Abel. Neither reason, nor love, nor even terror, seems to have worked and made us "good", and, worse than that, there is no reason why anything should. Only if ethics were something unspeakable by us could law be unnatural, and therefore unchallengeable. As things stand now, everything is up for grabs.
Those who stood up and died resisting Hitler, Stalin, Amin and Pol Pot - and General Custer too - have earned salvation. Sez who?
Do Laws and Standards Evolve? Douglas W. Phillips, Esq. Holmes and his contemporaries laid the foundation for legalized abortion, no-fault divorce, the legalization of homosexuality, and the rejection of the Framers' vision for Constitutional interpretation. Today, most courts have embraced an evolving standard for Constitutional interpretation, rejecting the notion that the Constitution must be interpreted in light of the meanings intended by the Framers.
Morality Without God? Our founders also recognized that only a virtuous people would deserve the continued blessings of liberty that had been bestowed upon them. Moreover, virtually all of our nation's founders believed that a virtuous people was a necessary pre-condition for self-government, and that virtue could not be had or sustained without religion. President Washington, for example, noted in his Farewell Address that "reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle." Benjamin Rush was even more blunt: "Where there is no religion, there will be no morals."
Reply To Judge Richard A. Posner on The Inseparability of Law and Morality Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
The Case For and Against Natural Law That federal judges, Mr. Bork included, have not been learned in the natural law is one of the educational misfortunes of our age. When the time is out of joint, we can repair to the teachings of Cicero and Aquinas and Hooker about the law of nature, in the hope that we may diminish man's inhumanity unto man. The natural law lacking, we may become so many Cains, and every man's hand may be raised against every other man's.
Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.), the Roman Stoic philosopher, said this concerning the natural law:
There is in fact a true law--namely, right reason--which is in accordance with nature, applies to all men and is unchangeable and eternal. By its commands this law summons men to the performance of their duties; by its prohibitions it restrains them from doing wrong. Its commands and prohibitions always influence good men, but are without effect upon the bad. To invalidate this law by human legislation is never morally right, nor is it permissible ever to restrict its operation, and to annul it wholly is impossible. Neither the senate nor the people can absolve us from our obligation to obey this law, and it requires no Sextus Aelius to expound and interpret it. It will not lay down one rule at Rome and another at Athens, nor will it be one rule today and another tomorrow. But there will be one law, eternal and unchangeable, binding at all times upon all peoples; and there will be one common master and ruler of men, namely God, who is the author of this law, its interpreter and sponsor. The man who will abandon his better self, and in denying the true nature of man, will thereby suffer the severest of penalties, though he has escaped all other consequences which men call punishment. Francis W. Coker, Readings in Political Philosophy (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1938), 151. Probable origin Chapter 11. How Plato Has Been Able to Approach So Nearly to ...
WallBuilders | Resources | Evolution and the Law:"A Death ... Perhaps the first individual successfully to champion this belief was Christopher Columbus Langdell (1826-1906), dean of the Harvard Law School. Langdell reasoned that since man evolved, then his laws must also evolve; and deciding that judges should guide the evolution of the Constitution, Langdell introduced the case law study method under which students would study the wording of judges decisions rather than the wording of the Constitution.
Under his case-law approach, history, precedent, and even many of the principles specifically enshrined in the governing documents, were deemed hindrances to the successful evolution of society. As John Dewey summarized:
The belief in political fixity, of the sanctity of some form of state consecrated by the efforts of our fathers and hallowed by tradition, is one of the stumbling blocks in the way of orderly and directed change. 
Harvard Professor Steven Wise summarizes this radical revolution in legal theory occasioned by the adoption of Darwins principles:
"To understand the strong normative appeal of evolutionary models, one must first appreciate that American law, like biology at the time of Darwin, faces the problem of providing a theory of creation which does not invoke a Supreme Being." E Donald Elliott, "The Evolutionary Tradition in Jurisprudence," 85 Columbia Law Review 38, 91 (1985). Elliott, who believes that the manner in which law is affected by the ideas that it routinely borrows from other disciplines has been largely unexplored, sets sail by chronicling how the Darwinian idea of evolution has affected the jurisprudential work of such legal scholars as Holmes, Wigmore and Corbin. Id. See also Jan Vetter, The Evolution of Holmes, Holmes and Evolution, 72 Cal. L. Rev. 343, 362 (1984) ("Holmes The Common Law is first of all an account of legal change, and its object in this respect is to exhibit the workings of Darwinian evolution in law"). Evolutionary jurisprudence was often shunned during the middle half of the twentieth century due to that periods association of evolution with Spencers racist and reactionary Social Darwinism. Elliott, at 59, 76. It is shunned no longer. Id. See Roger D. Masters, Evolutionary Biology, Political Theory and the State, in Law, Biology & CultureThe Evolution of Law 171 (Margaret Gruter & Paul Bohannon eds., 1983). 
How Does the World View of the Scientist & the Clinician Influence Their Work? Does the world view of the scientist influence his work as an investigator conducting research and as a clinician treating patients? Many scholars in the history of science would answer that question with a resounding "Yes." Some, like Thomas Kuhn in his widely quoted "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions," have argued that the scientific process is less than an objective critical empirical investigation of the facts. They claim the work of scientists is greatly influenced by their culture, by social and psychological environment, by what Kuhn calls the "paradigm"--that is to say, the preferred or prevailing theories, methods and studies of that particular discipline, and above all by their world view--their specific beliefs about "the order of nature." Kuhn writes that two scientists with different views of the "order of nature" . . . see different things when they look from the same point in the same direction . . . they see different things and they see them in different relations to each other." And we might add that they tend to see and to accept those data that conform to or make sense in light of their world view. So evidence exists that the world view of scientists and the presuppositions that view implies may influence not only the problems scientists choose to investigate but also what they actually observe and fail to observe.
Darwinism and the Law A considerable number of scientists who espouse the Christian faith, but believe that acceptance of evolution is a sine qua non of science, advocate what is known as theistic evolution. Under this perspective, the Creator created time, space, and matter, and at times intervened in the natural processes to assist the evolving of life on earth. This was especially the case in reference to humanity, but the Creator left the overwhelming majority of life changes up to the natural workings of evolution.
This union of evolution and theism may seem to work for many religious scientists but it does not sit well with many scientists who believe that the methodological naturalism of macroevolution is inconsistent with belief in an intelligent designer. For example, Douglas Futuyma, a widely recognized author of an evolutionary biology college textbook, speaks of the inconsistency of holding to the belief of purposeful creation and also evolution: "Some shrink from the conclusion that the human species was not designed, has no purpose, and is the product of mere mechanical mechanismbut this seems to be the message of evolution."
Law professor Phillip Johnson believes this struggle to maintain Christian faith in a God who has created the universe and life and yet accept evolutionary naturalism, with its purposeless mechanism, has caused many evolutionary theists to be defensive, seeking to justify themselves within academia rather than to influence the academic community. Johnson poses the dilemma for such a believer: "If the evolutionary scientists are right, then believers in God are deluded. People who think God is real either do not understand the meaning of evolution or for personal reasons are unwilling to follow the path of scientific understanding to its logical conclusion in naturalism."
Berkhof speaks for many Christian theologians when he argues that evolution and theism are not compatible:
This [theistic evolution] has often been called derisively a stop-gap theory. It is really a child of embarrassment, which calls God in at periodic intervals to help nature over the chasms that yawn at her feet. It is neither the Biblical doctrine of creation, nor a consistent theory of evolution, for evolution is defined as a series of gradual progressive changes effected by means of resident forces (Le Conte). In fact, theistic evolution is a contradiction in terms. It is just as destructive of faith in the Biblical doctrine of creation as naturalistic evolution is; and by calling in the creative activity of God time and again it also nullifies the evolutionary hypothesis.
Did America's Founding Fathers Believe in Creationism? In fact, all the signers of the Declaration and the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, as well as the delegates to the various sessions of the Continental Congressat least so far as knownwere men who believed in God and the special creation of the world and mankind. Nearly all were members of Christian churches and believed the Bible to be the inspired Word of God.
Alabama Chief Justice Defends Ten Commandments Monument Moore, a conservative Christian, said he turned down a request to place a monument to atheism in the building's rotunda and that he would not allow a similar monument to the Hindu faith, Buddhism, Islam or any other religion. "That is not the place from where our system of justice was drawn," he testified.
Existence of God - List of articles by William Lane Craig
The Psychology of Atheism There seems to be a widespread assumption throughout much of the Western intellectual community that belief in God is based on all kinds of irrational immature needs and wishes, but atheism or skepticism is derived from a rational, no- nonsense appraisal of the way things really are. To begin a critique of this assumption, I start with my own case history.
List of Articles by Matt Slick on Atheism Atheists are people who, whether they like it or not, have the law of God written on their hearts (Rom. 2:15). They are subject to the same laws of our country (and other countries). They have a sense of right and wrong. They must work with people and being unethical in society would not serve them very well. It is practical and logical for an atheist to be ethical and work within the norms of social behavior. Atheists, generally, are honest, hardworking people.
Atheists' morals are not absolute. They do not have a set of moral laws from an absolute God by which right and wrong are judged. But, they do have a legal system with a codified set of moral laws. This would be the closest thing to moral absolutes for atheists. However, since the legal system changes (slavery was legal 200 years ago but is not now), the morals in a society can still change. At best, these codified morals are "temporary absolutes." This can be a problem as the norms of society shift and the ethics shift with them. In one century abortion is wrong. In another, it is right. Well, is it or isn't it right? If there is a God, killing the unborn is wrong. If there is no God, then who cares? If it serves the best interest of society and the individual, then kill. This can be likened to something I call, "experimental ethics." In other words, whatever works best is right. Society experiments with ethical behavior to determine which set of rules works best for it. Unfortunately, however, social experimentation is often harmful.
Four Models of Western Religious Thought
Humanist Manifesto I & II
Writings of Marx and Lenin
Writings of Spangler, Ferguson, etc
Stood there boldly
Flamin' in the sun
Felt like a million eons
Felt like number one
The height of arrogance
I'd never believed that strong
Like a rock
I was eighteen
Didn't have a care
Looking for missing links
Not a fossil to spare
But I was foolish and
Like a rock
My hands were steady
My eyes were clear and bright
My Descent had purpose
My posts were quick and slight
And I held firmly
To what I believed was right
Like a rock
Like a rock, I was right as Darwin could be
Like a rock, nothin' ever got to me
Like a rock, I was something to see
Like a rock
And I flamed arrow straight
Unencumbered by the contrary weight
Of all these Creationists and their facts
I stood proud, I stood tall
High above it all
I still believed in my evolution, religiously
Twenty years now
Where'd they go?
I don't know
sit and I wonder sometimes
Where they've gone
And sometimes late at night
When I'm bathed in the monitors' light
The Creationist comes callin' and is mostly right
And I recall
Like a rock. Flamin' arrow straight
Like a rock, pingin' from the gate
Like a rock, carryin' Darwins' weight
Like a crock
Like a rock, the sun upon my skin
Like a rock, hard against the Inherited wind
Like a rock, I see myself down again
Like a rock
p.s.: Loved your poem! :^) Just humming right along....
[This ping list for the evolution -- not creationism -- side of evolution threads, and sometimes for other science topics. To be added (or dropped), let me know via freepmail.]
"I was proud of the youths who opposed the war in Vietnam because they were my babies." --Benjamin Spock, 1988
Prominent participants in the antiwar movement included Dr. Benjamin Spock, Robert Lowell, Harry Belafonte, and Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.--from The Oxford Companion to American Military History. Copyright © 1999 by Oxford UP.
Michael S. Foley is assistant professor of history at the City University of New York's College of Staten Island. Mike on his related future projects: "One will be an edited collection of letters to Dr. Benjamin Spock in which ordinary Americans expressed their views of the war in Vietnam. Amazingly, Spock appears to have kept every letter written to him (his papers are deposited at Syracuse University) and during the mid and late 1960s much of his mail focused on Vietnam.
As the candidate of the People's Party, Spock ran for president in 1972. The People's Party was a coalition of radical organizations which called for free medical care, legalization of abortion, publicly funded child care, a guaranteed minimum family income, and the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. military forces abroad. In the 10 states where his name appeared on the ballot, Spock received 79,000 votes. From RESIST
From Dr. Martin Luther King: Later that month, King and Benjamin Spock developed plans for "Vietnam Summer," a project which would mobilize grassroots opposition to the war by developing a nationwide network of volunteers. King, along with Joseph Rauh, vice-chairman of Americans for Democratic Action, organized another antiwar group, "Negotiation Now," which sought to obtain one million signatures from people opposing the War.
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