The Death of Evolution: Restoring Faith and Wonder in a World of Doubt

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This groundbreaking new book— The Death of Evolution: Restoring Faith and Wonder In A World of Doubt —reveals how a growing number of scientists see faith and science as complementary, providing an inspirational reaffirmation of faith for you and for Christians the world over.

For decades, Darwinian evolution has been taught in classrooms as gospel. But now, 150 years after the publication of Darwin's The Origin of Species, renowned scientists are acknowledging that evolution is...

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Overview

This groundbreaking new book— The Death of Evolution: Restoring Faith and Wonder In A World of Doubt —reveals how a growing number of scientists see faith and science as complementary, providing an inspirational reaffirmation of faith for you and for Christians the world over.

For decades, Darwinian evolution has been taught in classrooms as gospel. But now, 150 years after the publication of Darwin's The Origin of Species, renowned scientists are acknowledging that evolution is not only theory but speculation that has led to false conclusions about creation, science, and culture. There is change in the wind.

'As a scientist, you grow to assume that science will answer everything and that religion is fictional. There are mysteries that science cannot explain ... and divine inspiration may be a rational explanation.' —Dr. Andrew Parker, Biologist, Oxford University

The Death of Evolution is not a broadside polemic against Darwinism. Rather, it is an inspirational reaffirmation of faith that will restore your sense of wonder and awe.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310327455
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 8/5/2010
  • Pages: 176
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.40 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim Nelson Black, PhD, is with Sr. Sentinel Associates in Arlington, TX and is the former executive director of The Wilberforce Forum in D.C. He has written or collaborated on many bestsellers and has appeared on more than 400 radio and television broadcasts.

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Read an Excerpt

The Death of Evolution

Restoring Faith & Wonder in a World of Doubt
By Jim Nelson Black

ZONDERVAN

Copyright © 2010 Jim Nelson Black
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-0-310-32745-5


Chapter One

EVOLUTION'S WAR WITH FAITH

I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially the extent to which it's been applied, will be one of the great jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity that it has.

Malcolm Muggeridge, British journalist and media personality

Evolution's war against faith began with the publication of Darwin's book The Origin of Species, in which skeptics and atheists found theoretical scientific justification for their nontheistic beliefs. But for several decades the centuries-old alignment of science and faith, along with the obvious weaknesses of the new theory, kept the Darwinists largely at bay.

The first major shift occurred in 1925 when the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) was looking for a test case to challenge the Butler Act, a newly passed Tennessee law prohibiting the teaching of evolution in public schools. John Scopes, a high school coach in Dayton, Tennessee, responded to a newspaper ad looking for volunteers and offered to defy the law by affirming evolution while substitute teaching in a high school science classroom.

The Scopes trial drew worldwide attention when two heavy-hitting celebrities were conscripted to participate. Three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan, a devout Christian, joined the prosecution team and noted trial attorney Clarence Darrow, an outspoken agnostic, joined the defense. While the state won the case and allowed the Butler Act to remain on the books until 1967, heavily biased reporting by the celebrity columnist H. L. Mencken gave the world a distorted picture of the trial, portraying it as a battle between ignorant religious fundamentalists and highly rational scientific principles. Mencken's distortions were then amplified and dramatized in Stanley Kramer's 1960 film Inherit the Wind, featuring superstars Spencer Tracy and Fredric March in the leading roles.

Mencken's reports and Kramer's movie moved the war between evolution and religious faith into the public arena and became footholds that enabled Darwinism to gain significant ground and eventually to take over the academic landscape. Today the theory so dominates our official institutions that you would think evolutionists have won and religious faith is in full retreat. Like Elijah fleeing for his life from the prophets of Baal, we're likely to wonder if only a few of us remain who still believe in the Creator God.

But in spite of surface appearances, evolution has not won the day. As this chapter will show, almost all of the prominent scientists of the past were believers in Jesus Christ who were convinced that true science could not advance without the underpinnings of faith. Even now the percentage of prominent believing scientists, while not a majority, is significant and growing rapidly as new discoveries continue to discredit evolution and validate the Intelligent Design (ID) hypothesis, discussed later in these pages.

As we will see in this chapter, while a majority of scientists still cling to the Darwinist model, by far the majority of Americans do not. Outside the insulated, peer-controlled towers of academia there is a commonsense resistance to the effort to embed the theory into the public psyche. As this chapter examines the barrage of words evolutionists have used to discredit religious belief, you will be heartened by the rational and faith-affirming responses of Christian scientists who refuse to sacrifice faith for fantasy. These scientists are convinced that faith is not in opposition to knowledge; rather, it advances knowledge. And the knowledge they are uncovering will advance your faith.

The Shape of the Battle

The theory of evolution as Charles Darwin described it in The Origin of Species is a cold and heartless affair. Random mutation, savage competition for food and mates, natural selection over billions of years, and only the fittest survive. Yet with the adoption of evolution as the reigning dogma by many of our most influential institutions, many religious people have accepted Darwin's ideas instead of belief in divine creation.

But the battle for the hearts and minds of civilized men and women isn't over just yet. With the growing importance of the ID movement, there is a strong scientific case for an alternative view. God has not been driven from the field, and debates between the rival factions are as heated as ever. As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, it's impossible to ignore the heated and often uncivil warfare being waged against creation by evolutionists. All of which makes one wonder: where is all this anger and invective coming from?

As we enter the second decade of the twenty-first century, it's impossible to ignore the heated and often uncivil warfare being waged against creation by evolutionists.

Bookstore displays are crowded with volumes from angry atheists: Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Daniel C. Dennett are only the best known of a dozen or more who have written bestsellers in support of atheism and Darwinian evolution. On the other side are eye-popping works by philosopher and former atheist Anthony Flew; the former head of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins; former Berkeley law professor Phillip Johnson; and Financial Times editors John Micklethwait and Adrian Wooldridge, all declaring that faith in God is, indeed, alive and well.

According to a July 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 87 percent of scientists believe that humans have evolved over time, while just 32 percent of Americans in general hold that view. And while 83 percent of the general public believe in God, the survey indicates that just one in three scientists would agree. Other polls suggest that the number of scientists who believe in God has remained stable at around 40 percent for the past ninety years-since the first national poll of scientists on this question was conducted in 1916.3 But the controversy is still raging and shows no signs of letting up.

For Richard Dawkins, the author of ten major works defending Darwinism and advancing an aggressively atheist creed, the fact that nearly half of all Americans (44 percent) believe God is the Author and Creator of life is tragic and profoundly disturbing. Equally troubling for the English author, 36 percent of poll respondents say they believe human life developed over millions of years, but that God guided the process. This means that a plurality of 80 percent of respondents to the Pew survey see the hand of God in creation while a mere 14 percent believe God had nothing to do with it. The remaining 6 percent are simply undecided.

In his latest book, The Greatest Show on Earth, Dawkins reports on similar polls in Great Britain and other European countries showing that Christian faith in those places is nearly exhausted; yet Dawkins is deeply disappointed that a mere 48 percent of his fellow countrymen believe God played no role in the development of human life, while a plurality of 39 percent believe he did, and the remaining 12 percent say they simply don't know.

Hardwired for Faith

For most of the last century, Darwinian evolution has been the only theory of origins presented in the nation's classrooms. School boards in the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom have consistently (and with legal backing) forbidden discussion of the weaknesses of Darwin's theory and likewise banned the teaching of creationism in any form. But as one British researcher reported, one-sided indoctrination may not be enough to change what children instinctively believe about God.

In a November 2008 broadcast appearance and public lecture, Dr. Justin Barrett, senior researcher at the University of Oxford's Centre for Anthropology and Mind, reported on studies showing that children tend to believe in God, regardless what they're taught in the classroom. "The preponderance of scientific evidence for the past ten years or so has shown that a lot more seems to be built into the natural development of children's minds than we once thought," he said, "including a predisposition to see the natural world as designed and purposeful and that some kind of intelligent being is behind that purpose."

From studies with children ages twelve months to five years, Barrett discovered that by the age of four children understand that although some objects are made by humans, the natural world is different. As a result, he said, children are more likely to believe in creationism than evolution, despite what they may be told by parents or teachers.

During a radio interview on London's BBC 4, Barrett said that anthropologists have found that in some cultures children believe in God even when religious teachings are withheld from them. "Children's normally and naturally developing minds make them prone to believe in divine creation and intelligent design. In contrast," he said, "evolution is unnatural for human minds; relatively difficult to believe."

Needless to say, the scientist's conclusions provoked an outpouring of angry rebuttals in Britain and elsewhere. But Barrett isn't the only one making such claims. According to Dr. Paul Bloom, a psychologist at Yale University, our minds are finely tuned to believe in God. This happens, Bloom said, because some of the cognitive capacities that have made humans so successful as a species tend to create a predisposition for supernatural thinking. "There's now a lot of evidence," he said, "that some of the foundations for our religious beliefs are hard-wired."

Dr. Olivera Petrovich of the University of Oxford found much the same things when she asked preschool children about the origins of natural objects such as plants and animals. She and her associates found that kids are seven times as likely to say the objects were made by God than by people. The responses are so strong, Petrovich said, that it's readily apparent that children have an innate concept of God, even without adult intervention: "They rely on their everyday experience of the physical world and construct the concept of God on the basis of this experience."

In his most recent book, Richard Dawkins expressed shock and dismay that high school students in the U.S. and Great Britain often rebel against the teaching of evolution in the classroom. Citing a report from a group of public school teachers attending a conference at Emory University, he wrote that some students "burst into tears" when they're told they will be studying evolution. One teacher said her students shouted, "No!" when she began talking about the subject. And in another classroom, a student demanded to know why they were being forced to study evolution when it was "only a theory."

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The Death of Evolution by Jim Nelson Black Copyright © 2010 by Jim Nelson Black. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Preface....................1
Acknowledgments....................5
Introduction....................7
Chapter One Evolution's War with Faith....................19
Chapter Two The Birth of the Evolution Myth....................49
Chapter Three Evolution and the Decline of Culture....................73
Chapter Four Making Sense of Faith and Science....................95
Chapter Five Restoring Meaning and Purpose....................121
Epilogue....................149
Notes....................155
Index....................167
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