Evolution

Texas School Board Chair Hails Creationist Dietitian And Businessman As Biology Experts

At a Texas State Board of Education meeting last month, the Republican head of the school board defended the qualifications of a biology textbook review panelist who said that “creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”

SBOE chair Barbara Cargill defended the panelist, who is not a biologist but… a dietitian. Cargill defended another Creationism advocate on the panel, a businessman, because he has a degree in chemical engineering, saying that not enough biology teachers wanted to serve on the panel reviewing textbooks.

“They might be well-qualified in their own professional fields, but they are no more qualified to review biology textbooks than a biologist would be qualified to review a mathematics or engineering textbook,” Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network points out.

He also notes that Cargill’s claim that teachers didn’t step up to serve on the panels is baloney, as 140 of the 183 of the “individuals who applied or were nominated by State Board of Education members to serve as biology textbook reviewers” were educators, and the “vast majority of them have degrees and teaching experience specifically in biology.”

“Some of them are among the 28 individuals appointed as biology textbook reviewers. But all of the others were passed over for the dietician, business and finance professionals, and various chemical, mechanical, systems and civil engineers who used their positions on the review teams to promote completely discredited junk science attacking evolution (or simply to call for teaching “creation science based on biblical principles” in biology textbooks).”

Kansas Group Tries To Remove Evolution From Schools By Claiming Science Is A Religion

A Kansas-based group that “promotes the religious rights of parents, children, and taxpayers” is challenging the state’s science standards because they include the teaching of evolution, which the group claims is a religion and therefore should be excluded from science class.

As the AP reports, Citizens for Objective Public Education (COPE) claims that public schools “promote a ‘non-theistic religious worldview’ by allowing only ‘materialistic’ or ‘atheistic’ explanations to scientific questions.” The group argues that by teaching evolution “the state would be ‘indoctrinating’ impressionable students in violation of the First Amendment.”

COPE’s challenge [PDF] states that the teaching of evolution “amounts to an excessive government entanglement with religion” and violates the rights of Christian parents.

Indeed, COPE’s stated mission is to create “religious[ly] neutral” schools that do not promote “pantheistic and materialistic religions, including Atheism and Religious (‘Secular’) Humanism” - a category under which it includes “Darwinian evolution.”

The National Center for Science Education calls COPE’s lawsuit “silly” and “frivolous,” and the Baptist Joint Committee says COPE’s argument “makes no sense” and that the group is effectively saying schools should be “teaching no science at all.”

Just like the bogus “teach the controversy” or “teach both sides” refrains, COPE’s lawsuit is part of a long line of Creationist challenges to the teaching of evolution.

Religious Right heavyweight John Eidsmoe, a mentor to conservative politicians like Michele Bachmann, wrote in his 1984 book God & Caesar that conservative Christian activists should base their attacks on evolution on the premise that evolution is actually just as much a religious idea as Creationism, and therefore the two should be treated the same way.

Eidsmoe writes that the government “promote[s] humanism” through its “support for evolution.” He decries “secular humanism” as “the religion of the American public schools,” a result of successful push by humanists “to use the public schools to promote a religion of secular humanism.”

As Eidsmoe understands it, science classes that “contain evolutionary thought” are no different from schools that exclusively “promote Christianity or creationism.”

“Why should government ally itself with the faith of humanism?” Eidsmoe writes. “[J]ust as the government cannot actively promote Christianity, so also the government should not actively promote secular humanism.”

He claims that the “religion” of humanism “violates the fundamental beliefs of orthodox Christians,” and urges Christians to “demand that public schools which teach evolution teach creation also” or “ask that the humanistic materials be removed.”

COPE is clearly following the blueprint laid out by Eidsmoe, with its claim [PDF] that it is defending Christians’ “rights to not be indoctrinated by Kansas public schools to accept the materialistic/atheistic religious Worldview which the [Framework and Standards] seek to establish.”

Texas Textbook Reviewer Sheds Light On Creationist Efforts To Undercut Science Education

In a letter sent to the State Board of Education, Jimmy Gollihar of the University of Texas at Austin’s Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology describes the lengths to which creationists are going to undermine science and advance Creationism in Texas classrooms, as well as the help they are receiving from board chair Barbara Cargill.

While the panels reviewing science textbooks are supposed to be independent of the school board, Cargill worked closely with creationism advocates on the panels, leading Gollihar to note that Cargill aided “those who might reasonably be regarded as creationists.”

Gollihar’s letter details how the creationists who are serving on the panel not only lack any credentials but seem not to understand basic science, such as the one panelist, a dietician, who demanded that biology textbooks incorporate “creation science based on biblical principles.”

“With such a gross misunderstanding of science, it is hard to fathom that any other comments the reviewer made would have been helpful or even accurate, and it further underscores the unfortunate skewing of the panels away from real, practicing scientists,” Gollihar writes.

As Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network points out, Gollihar’s name was even added to the anti-evolution panelist’s comment.

“The net result of having a huge raft of non-scientists on the panels was that rather than checking for factual errors in the texts I was put into the position of having to painstakingly educate other panel members on past and current literature,” Gollihar continues. “[E]ven beyond the obviously ideologically-derived comments on the materials many of the comments found littered throughout those reviews make no sense whatsoever from a scientific viewpoint.”

He notes that actual biologists are being sidelined in the process as he was “among a small minority of panelists that possessed any post-secondary education in the biological sciences.”

By stacking the panels with advocates of Creationism, the bodies did “not in any way reflect the distribution of viewpoints within the scientific community.”

First, it would seem that the selection process for reviewers is lacking, at best — politically motivated at worst. Coming into the live review session in Austin, I fully expected that as a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin I would be the least-qualified member on the panel. My fears of inadequacy would soon subside; it seems that I was in fact one of only two practicing scientists present; indeed, I was among a small minority of panelists that possessed any post-secondary education in the biological sciences. Given the high interest amongst the scientific community in improving science education in Texas, I doubt that the make-up of the panel reflected the application pool in any way.

In fact, I know that several of my colleagues who hold PhD or equivalent degrees in their respective fields were passed over in the selection process. Instead, we had several well-known creationists and even a Fellow of the Discovery Institute, an Intelligent Design think tank. Beyond the established creationists, apologists for “creation science” were scattered throughout each of the review teams. This does not in any way reflect the distribution of viewpoints within the scientific community. It is impossible to conclude that the teams reviewing textbooks were anything other than grossly skewed and obviously biased.

The net result of having a huge raft of non-scientists on the panels was that rather than checking for factual errors in the texts I was put into the position of having to painstakingly educate other panel members on past and current literature. Somewhat unsurprisingly, a reviewer from another table, who is also a well-known creationist without any training in biology, was quite proud that he was the one reviewing the sections on evolution for his table … with no scientific counterpoint to be had. As a result, even beyond the obviously ideologically-derived comments on the materials many of the comments found littered throughout those reviews make no sense whatsoever from a scientific viewpoint and are absolutely not germane to the content prescribed in the TEKS [Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills].

Secondly, I and other members of my group grew increasingly concerned with both the actions and presence of Chairwoman Barbara Cargill during the review of course materials for high school biology. We appreciated her kind words about our service to the state, but we were taken aback by the sheer amount of time spent with other panel members, especially those who might reasonably be regarded as creationists. From our vantage, Ms. Cargill was clearly trying to steer the independent review process by providing specific guidance and direction to the two other teams. She appeared to be pointing to specific locations within certain texts and encouraging the members of the panel to recommend changes to the publishers. It is our understanding that the review process should be absent of any undue influence from SBOE members.

...

Finally, I have recently been made aware that a reviewer from another team made what appears to be a grossly misrepresentative comment to the publisher. For example, in the review of the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt textbook, an incredible resource, a panel member comments:

I understand the National Academy of Science's strong support of the theory of evolution. At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator and parent, I feel very strongly that "creation science" based on Biblical principles should be incorporated to every Biology book that is up for adoption. It is very important for students to use critical thinking skills and give them the opportunity to weigh the evidence between evolution and "creation science."

This is disturbing for a number of reasons. The author of this comment has obviously not mastered the material contained within the TEKS, especially 2C. With such a gross misunderstanding of science, it is hard to fathom that any other comments the reviewer made would have been helpful or even accurate, and it further underscores the unfortunate skewing of the panels away from real, practicing scientists. Moreover, while I entered into this process hoping to improve it, I now find that my name appears on the final document containing this comment! At no time did I ever sign anything resembling such nonsense. In fact, the author of that comment and I never worked on anything together. I do not know how this inaccurate statement and my name have been paired, but because I am a professional in good standing I strongly ask you to please remove my name from anything that does not have my direct signature when providing materials to the public. To do otherwise is to potentially sully my reputation. In sum, the review process is either broken or corrupt.

In hopes of the former, let’s learn from this and ensure that the next generation of students from our state is equipped with a solid foundation in the biological sciences and can compete globally. Future panel members should be experts in the irrespective fields, preferably practicing scientists up to date on the modern information that students need. If necessary, it might be useful to partition the TEKS to academics and professionals who deal with these topics in their work and research. We should absolutely not see network, mechanical or chemical engineers, dieticians or others making decisions or pressuring publishers to change books on biology. Let biologists do biology. We’re actually pretty good at it.

Texas Conservatives Demand Science Textbooks Incorporate 'Creation Science Based On Biblical Principles'

Creationists advising the Texas Education Agency, the state’s board of education, are no longer even trying to hide the fact that they want to insert pseudo-scientific material grounded in religious beliefs into public school science textbooks. Terrence Stutz of the Dallas Morning News reports that evolution detractors appointed to the review boards are urging the textbook publishers to ignore the Supreme Court (along with science) and push Creationism, or be rejected.

One of the panelists reviewing the biology textbooks, a nutritionist, said that “creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”

Religious conservatives serving on state textbook review panels have criticized several proposed high school biology textbooks for not including arguments against Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.

The review panels include several creationists. They urge the State Board of Education to reject the books unless publishers include more disclaimers on key concepts of evolution.

One reviewer even suggested a rule requiring that each biology book cover “creation science.” That would run counter to a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The decision banned the teaching of creationism in public school science classes.



“I understand the National Academy of Science’s strong support of the theory of evolution,” said Texas A&M University nutritionist Karen Beathard, one of the biology textbook reviewers. “At the same time, this is a theory. As an educator, parent and grandparent, I feel very firmly that creation science based on biblical principles should be incorporated into every biology book that is up for adoption.”

“Now the veil is dropped,” Dan Quinn of the Texas Freedom Network writes. “Some of the reviewers are clearly oblivious to the fact that teaching religious arguments in a science classroom is blatantly unconstitutional.”

The National Center for Science Education and Texas Freedom Network found that the Creationists on the textbook review boards have also:

• asserted that "no transitional fossils have been discovered"

• insisted that there is no evidence for a human influence on the carbon cycle

• claimed that there is no evidence about the effect of climate change on species diversity

• promoted a book touting "intelligent design" creationism as a reliable source of scientific information

• denied that recombination and genetic drift are evolutionary mechanisms

• mischaracterized experiments on the peppered moth as "discredited" and as "fabrication[s]"

Due to the size of the Texas market, textbooks tailored to the state’s standards could be used across the country, making the ramifications of the Creationist influence even greater.

Swanson: Mark Twain Was 'Demon-Possessed'

Two of our favorite Religious Right broadcasters got together yesterday, and as you probably already guessed, the conversation was quite educational and informative. For example, we learned from Kevin Swanson, the Colorado pastor and host of Generations Radio, that Mark Twain was controlled by Satan.

Swanson explained his theory about the demonic possession of Twain, among others, while appearing on TruNews with host Rick Wiles.

“Mark Twain was probably the strongest apologist against the Christian faith that America’s ever seen,” said Swanson, claiming that Huckleberry Finn was an “attack on the Christian church” by exposing Christian hypocrisy on issues like slavery. “He mocks Christianity throughout and Huckleberry Finn is an atheist himself.”

Swanson argued that “his book is extremely, powerfully, cynically against the Christian faith” because Twain was possessed by demons.

“Mark Twain himself I believe turned out to be demon-possessed,” he said, citing Twain’s book Letters from the Earth, which he called “one of the most acidic, horrific, evil books I think ever, ever written by any human being in the history of mankind.”

In fact, at different points in the interview Swanson argued that Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were also possessed by demonic forces.

Swanson had some harsh words for Charles Darwin as well, calling him a “sadist” who was also “insane.”

“He suffered from multiple, multiple forms of insanity and he confessed himself to be a sadist who enjoyed torturing small animals to death and dreamed of killing and murdering people,” he charged. “Charles Darwin was an extremely evil man, and I think he was ultimately the root of what happened with Adolf Hitler and eugenics and racist programs.”

How Computers Debunk Evolution

Amazingly, Jerry Newcombe of Truth In Action Ministries disproves the entire theory of evolution every day when he logs into his computer. In a column arguing that the “Cambrian explosion” debunks evolution (actually, it doesn’t), Newcombe begins by saying that logging into a computer and entering a password makes it clear “how impossible evolution is”:

Every time I log into a computer and have to enter my password, I'm reminded of how impossible evolution is.

One little mistake on the keypad, and I can't log in. There's even a website where I seem to be in permanent "log-in purgatory." I can't login ever. Granted, it's operator error. But still...

How does this tie to evolution? Because if evolution were true, then we are to believe a whole series of complex sequences managed to get everything right---repeatedly.

Well, there you have it. Take that, science!

Louie Gohmert Mocks Supreme Court Justices and Gay Marriage Supporters for Believing in Evolution

While Justice Antonin Scalia has problems believing in biology, Rep. Louie Gohmert takes issue with any Supreme Court justice who understands evolution. On last week’s edition of Washington Watch, Gohmert spoke to conservative activist J. Christian Adams about the court’s decisions in the DOMA and Prop 8 cases, which he had previously warned signal the collapse of civilization.

Gohmert reacted to the court’s rulings by quoting “the wisest man in the history of mankind,” King Solomon, while lamenting that his wisdom was “ruined” by engaging in polygamy (which also happens to undermine Gohmert’s case that there was just one definition of marriage in the Bible).

“He should’ve stuck with one man and one wife and I think he’d stay wise the rest of his life,” Gohmert said of Solomon, “but during a period of wisdom he said, ‘There is nothing new under the sun,’ and the holy quintet [the Supreme Court] had not apparently realized that, they really thought this was something new and improved.”

The congressman then delved into the world of philosophy: “From a philosophical standpoint, you know, we got intellectuals on the court who are believed to support the idea that evolution is how mankind got here and there is an ongoing evolution occurring. And I can’t just help but wonder, as these brilliant intellectuals have gotten to this point, how marriage between two men fits into the evolving of producing higher offspring that make the species higher and better.”

Adams added the justices have sought to “change the laws of nature” and “alter what is reality,” while Gohmert referenced a Chiffon margarine commercial to warn the justices that they “shouldn’t mess with Mother Nature.”

Corsi and Rios Explain How Evolution, the ACLU and 'Powerful Jewish Forces' Will Destroy America

Today on her radio program, Sandy Rios of the American Family Association hosted right-wing author and WND reporter Jerome Corsi to talk about his new book, The Bad Samaritans: The ACLU’s Relentless Campaign to Erase Faith from the Public Square. Corsi, who has written top conservative books such as Unfit for Command and Where’s the Birth Certificate?, told Rios that the ACLU is trying to “eliminate God and attack the family” in order to “make the United States a socialist country” that ultimately “takes away our freedoms.”

I think we are at risk of having a group like the ACLU remove God from America. This war on God, the ACLU’s roots—and I trace it in ‘Bad Samaritans’ back to its communist and very leftist roots in the 1920s—the ACLU since its founding has had an agenda to remove God. You cannot make the United States a socialist country unless you first eliminate God and attack the family. Marx said that religion was the opiate of the people and so therefore we who believe in Jesus Christ and take religion seriously are viewed as stupid or uneducated. The fundamental perspective of our founding fathers, which is what I believe, is that unless we have God at the core of the United States we lose our freedom because Thomas Jefferson when he wrote the Declaration of Independence declared our freedoms are unalienable, they’re given to us by God. If you eliminate God then it’s the state that gives and takes away our freedoms.

Rios, who earlier asserted that secular Jews often “turn out to be the worst enemies of the country,” asked Corsi about the “powerful Jewish forces behind the ACLU.” Corsi said that such forces are trying to make America “abandon the Judeo-Christian tradition” and therefore abandoning “values that are fundamental lynchpins of our freedom.”

Rios: I know that there are powerful Jewish forces behind the ACLU; can you just say a word about that very briefly, what’s that all about?

Corsi: There has been a real union between Jews in America and the Democratic Party ever since President Truman agreed with the partition of Palestine and created the state of Israel in 1948 at the UN. But my book is arguing for a Judeo-Christian faith, which is the heart of America. We cannot abandon the Judeo-Christian tradition. If we do we are abandoning our whole values that are fundamental lynchpins of our freedom.

After a discussion of the ACLU’s involvement in the Scopes Monkey Trial, Corsi said that the group is using evolution “to destroy America and eliminate our freedoms.” He said that the ACLU wants to make it so “we can’t have God in our hearts and our schools and our prayers and our public square” and that people don’t hear the “good scientific arguments” for Creationism.

He later maintained that the organization’s support for marriage equality and reproductive rights are part of “the destruction of the family and the attack on God,” which the ACLU hopes will prepare America “to embrace radical socialism.”

The ACLU is trying to say that science is evolution and anyone who doesn’t believe in evolution is just completely uneducated and stupid. That argument just doesn’t make any sense at all. I think there’s good scientific arguments for Intelligent Design, for Creationism of various kinds and theories. I mean look at the scientists nowadays coming with the Big Bang theory; the Big Bang theory sounds an awful lot to me like Genesis, and then God created light, that’s the beginning. So I think the idea that because we’re now so educated and so sophisticated we can’t have God in our hearts and our schools and our prayers and our public square, this is again something that is going to destroy America and eliminate our freedoms if we allow it to continue to happen.



The attack has been not only on God but on the family. Now we have the ACLU promoting same-sex marriage, promoting a whole sexual agenda and abortion, fighting since the beginning in the 1920s for Margaret Sanger and Planned Parenthood. The destruction of the family and the attack on God, taking God out of the public schools and out of the public square, this is not just by accident. It is part of the ACLU’s plan to move America in a godless direction, preparing it to embrace radical socialism, which is really just scientific materialism.

Arizona Republicans Propose Anti-Evolution Education Bill

A group of Arizona Republicans are out with a new bill to undermine the teaching of evolution and subjects such as climate change and cloning in the classroom. The National Center for Science Education called the legislation another “instance of the ‘academic freedom’ strategy for undermining the teaching of evolution and climate change.”

The proposed “teach the controversy” bill is a stealthy attack on evolution as it tries to make science classes give equal weight to nonscientific beliefs and theologies. It’s the equivalent of including claims made by the Flat Earth Society in a geology class, all for the sake of “balance.”

A. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL ENDEAVOR TO:

1. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT IN SCHOOLS THAT ENCOURAGES PUPILS TO EXPLORE SCIENTIFIC QUESTIONS, LEARN ABOUT SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE, DEVELOP CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY AND RESPECTFULLY TO DIFFERENCES OF OPINION ABOUT CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES.

2. ASSIST TEACHERS TO FIND EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PRESENT THE SCIENCE CURRICULUM AS IT ADDRESSES SCIENTIFIC CONTROVERSIES. TEACHERS SHALL BE ALLOWED TO HELP PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND SCIENTIFIC WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.

B. THE STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION, THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION, COUNTY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL DISTRICT GOVERNING BOARDS, SCHOOL DISTRICT SUPERINTENDENTS, SCHOOL PRINCIPALS AND SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS SHALL NOT PROHIBIT ANY TEACHER IN THIS STATE FROM HELPING PUPILS UNDERSTAND, ANALYZE, CRITIQUE AND REVIEW IN AN OBJECTIVE MANNER THE SCIENTIFIC STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF EXISTING SCIENTIFIC THEORIES COVERED IN THE COURSE BEING TAUGHT.

C. THIS SECTION PROTECTS ONLY THE TEACHING OF SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION AND DOES NOT PROMOTE ANY RELIGIOUS OR NONRELIGIOUS DOCTRINE, PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST A PARTICULAR SET OF RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OR NONBELIEFS OR PROMOTE DISCRIMINATION FOR OR AGAINST RELIGION OR NONRELIGION.

Sec. 2. Intent

The legislature finds and declares that:

1. An important purpose of science education is to inform students about scientific evidence and to help students develop critical thinking skills necessary to becoming intelligent, productive and scientifically informed citizens.

2. The teaching of some scientific subjects, including biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming and human cloning, can cause controversy.

3. Some teachers may be unsure of the expectations concerning how they should present information on such subjects.

Roy Moore: Evolution and Gay Marriage Incompatible with the Constitution

Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice-elect Roy Moore appeared on City On A Hill Radio to lash out at marriage equality and the theory of evolution, warning that they undermine the Constitution. Moore, who has argued that same-sex marriage leads to divine punishment and will “destroy this country,” maintained that the Founding Fathers “would be up in arms” over President Obama’s endorsement of marriage equality as it will “destroy the very foundation” of America.

What we’re doing in this country is—if Washington and Jefferson and Madison, name one, if they were alive today would be up in arms. None of them, federalists or antifederalists, never believed that it would come to this. Those that were for big government like Hamilton, Washington, Adams would never have believed that our courts would be doing what they’re doing today, that people would be trying to change the definition of marriage. We don’t take a moment just to stop and clear our eyes and our ears and think: what is happening when a President of the United States can get up and say we need to redefine marriage? You know, when they do that they are attempting to destroy the very foundation on which this country was built.

Moore also denied the theory of evolution and said it was warping people’s understanding of the Constitution by covering up its Biblical precepts. “Evolution has so distorted our way of thinking,” Moore said, “we know we were created but they say we evolved from whatever, something out of the ocean, you’ve got to understand that evolution affects your mental processes.” He explained that evolution makes people think that they are “smarter” than their predecessors while the Constitution shows that “human nature doesn’t change.”

Barbara Moore: Judge Moore I want to ask you, as you read the United States Constitution you can see that biblical concepts and precepts are within that Constitution, everything from separation of powers because of the sinful nature of man, and I would think that any Bible believing Christian would feel that when they look at our United States Constitution, wouldn’t you say?

Roy Moore: I think they don’t and I think there’s a reason they don’t and I think the reason like you see it maybe because you’ve studied a little bit but I think it’s not evident to those who have lost the knowledge of God. What I mean to say by that is you know we started by teaching history at the beginning of the program and it’s like going to football games and seeing who wins and who loses and going to football games and forgetting the rules. If you know the rules it makes the game more interesting because you know there is some way they get to the end of the game and win or lose and you got to go by the rules. We’re not going by the rules because we don’t think the rules matter anymore.

Evolution has so distorted our way of thinking. It’s not just about where we came from. Of course, we know we were created but they say we evolved from whatever, something out of the ocean, you’ve got to understand that evolution affects your mental processes. When you think you have evolved then you think you’re better than those who have gone before you. If you’re better than those who have gone before you then you won’t make the same mistakes, you won’t think the same way, you know better, you’re smarter. The point is, human nature doesn’t change and human nature is what the Constitution sought to restrain.

Ken Ham Explains How the Theory of Evolution Leads to Same-Sex Marriage

Criticizing the theory of evolution is not just one of a variety of Religious Right priorities, but is central to their cause as many social conservatives believe that evolutionary thought is the culprit behind much-despised notions like secular government, feminism and moral relativism. As leading young earth creationist Ken Ham explained at the Family Research Council’s Watchmen on the Wall conference, belief in a non-literal interpretation of Genesis is even responsible for President Obama’s support for marriage equality:

Fischer: 'Evolution is Completely Irrational and Scientifically Bankrupt'

During yesterday's program when Bryan Fischer was warning that electing a "spiritually-compromised" Mormon like Mitt Romney would weaken and endanger America, he was restating his theory that liberals and the media are now going to start attacking Romney's faith, claiming that if the media thinks that the beliefs of Evangelicals are odd, then "what Mormons believe is in coo-coo land."

That somehow sent him off on a tangent about science, during which he declared that he didn't believe in global warming or evolution because he is "committed to science."  And since "evolution is completely irrational and scientifically bankrupt," the "most logical thing in the world" is to believe that God created the universe:

Sadly, Fischer never got around to explaining how the theory of evolution is even remotely related to the laws of thermodynamics or how the latter undermines the former, as he eventually got back and track and returned to his anti-Mormon diatribe.

Kirk Cameron Warns 'The Anti-Christian Agenda' Wants People to think they are 'An Evolved Amoeba'

Kirk Cameron appeared on Washington Watch Weekly with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council today to promote “Monumental,” where he praised the conservative movement and warned that Americans are forgetting the ideas of their forefathers. Just as Cameron told David Barton and Rick Green on WallBuilders Live that people must either choose whether they believe in God or put their “faith in the idea that we all from evolved from slime,” Cameron warned that “the anti-Christian agenda” wants to trick people into thinking they are “evolved amoeba” in order for them to lose their religious faith and liberty.

Cameron: The bottom line is we have so enjoyed sitting in the shade of the trees planted by our forefathers that we have gotten lazy, we’re sitting under the tree, enjoying the shade, and we’re not planting their seed with our children. That’s beginning to change, thank God, I love seeing the homeschool movement, I love seeing these conservative movements and the gospel being proclaimed boldly and fearlessly, not just in America but around the world. And then there’s an agenda to want to cut us off from our past, there are those who want to hide the past and our Christian heritage and if you can do so people lose their identity and they are looking for a new identity. If the anti-Christian agenda will say, ‘here’s your identity, you’re an evolved amoeba who ought to just go do whatever you want and don’t let anybody tell you different.’ Then they can get you to throw your faith, your character, your courage, and your liberty right out the window.

Barton Blames Theory of Evolution for State-Level Separation of Church and State

On Monday, Janet Parshall hosted David Barton to use Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an opportunity for Barton to spew his right-wing reading of U.S. history and the Constitution. While Barton does not have degrees in history or law, he claimed that the theory of evolution was responsible for the Supreme Court’s ruling in Everson v. Board of Education, which found that the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause applies to the states because it was incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment — because it led to legal positivism.

As Barton explains, law students who learned about the theory of evolution, which he objects to since he believes the Founders settled “the entire debate on creation and evolution” and opposed the theory, consequently believed that the Constitution should evolve, and in turn made the Establishment Clause apply to the states. Barton has consistently opposed the Supreme Court’s definition of the Establishment Clause and its application to states and localities, even going as so far to tell Jon Stewart that he believes cities can even implement Sharia law, although he later denied saying it.

Barton: This may sound weird but it was the theory of evolution, we think it’s a science debate it is not, if you apply the theory of evolution to law you say, ‘wait a minute we can’t be bound by a two hundred year old document, we’ve evolved past that, what we need to have is an evolving document that meets the needs of society today and who best to evolve the document but judges, they’re the ones who deal with the law,’ so we got into this thing of what’s called legal positivism or evolutionary law, living constitution, and we started teaching that in the law schools in the 1920s. Take kids in the law schools in the 20s and, get this, they’re now in legal practice in the ’30s and now in the ’40s they’re adults with twenty years under their belt and they get appointed to the US Supreme Court and so in ’47 they simply implemented what they’ve been taught in law school twenty-five years earlier.

Santorum Calls For Public Schools To Undermine The Teaching Of Evolution

During a meeting with the editorial board of the Nashua Telegraph, Rick Santorum urged public schools to begin teaching claims that undermine evolution, no matter their scientific veracity. He blamed “the left and the scientific community, so to speak,” for the inability of schools to teach about the role of God or a Creator, and said that “maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things.”

Such attacks on the teaching of evolution are nothing new from Santorum, who attached language in the Conference Report of the No Child Left Behind Act that says a “quality science education” include topics that challenge biological evolution as part of his “teaching the controversy” campaign. He also endorsed the Dover, Pennsylvania school district’s requirement that teachers offer textbooks on “Intelligent Design,” which was developed by proponents of Creationism, and the teaching of “Intelligent Design” was declared unconstitutional in Kitzmiller v. Dover. In fact, the “teach the controversy” approach originates from the anti-evolution Discovery Institute, and the National Center for Science Education points out that evolution “is not scientifically controversial, nor are resources for each side of comparable quality – evidence for evolution comes from peer-reviewed literature whereas evidence against evolution is built on flawed assumptions and popularized misconceptions.”

Watch:

Santorum: There are many on the left and in the scientific community, so to speak, who are afraid of that discussion because oh my goodness you might mention the word, God-forbid, “God” in the classroom, or “Creator,” or that there may be some things that are inexplainable by nature where there may be, where it’s better explained by a Creator, of course we can’t have that discussion. It’s very interesting that you have a situation that science will only allow things in the classroom that are consistent with a non-Creator idea of how we got here, as if somehow or another that’s scientific. Well maybe the science points to the fact that maybe science doesn’t explain all these things. And if it does point to that, why don’t you pursue that? But you can’t because it’s not science, but if science is pointing you there how can you say it’s not science? It’s worth the debate.

New Religious Right Video: Secularism Means Doom For America

One of the sessions at the recent Values Voter Summit featured a showing of a new half-hour video produced by the American Family Association called “Divorcing God: Secularism and the Republic.” (Back in the summer it was being promoted as "Divorcing God: Secularism, Sexual Anarchy, and the Future of the Republic.") The video features an array of Religious Right leaders and academics, whose argument can be summarized this way:  America, whose greatness is decaying because the country has turned its back on the God who inspired the founding fathers, is doomed if it continues to allow secularists to push religion into the closet.  It's time for Christians to fight back.

And just to be clear, the God in “one nation under God” isn’t any old generic God, but the same Christian God who made western civilization possible.  It’s familiar to anyone who has followed the Religious Right’s “Christian nation” rhetoric, filled with founders’ quotes about religion and  attacks on the Supreme Court’s rulings on church-state separation.

Among the stars of the video is Princeton University’s Robert George, the Religious Right’s favorite intellectual. George, a leader of the National Organization for Marriage, is one of the authors of the Manhattan Declaration, whose signers fancy themselves potential martyrs for opposing abortion and LGBT equality in America. Others include Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute; Michael Farris, homeschooling advocate and chancellor of Patrick Henry College; and Matthew Spalding, of the Heritage Foundation. The founders clearly believed that God punishes nations, says Dacus, and when countries allow their societies to become amoral, there’s a price to be paid, not just by those individuals but society as a whole.  The video suggests that the current fight between secularists and those who want to preserve the country’s divine foundation is the last stand for the future of freedom on planet earth.

Another DVD being handed out at the Values Voter Summit hit similar themes about the importance of the nation’s foundation on biblical principles.  It features a 2010 “State of the Nation” speech delivered by Ken Ham of Answers in Genesis at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.  Ham argues that the nation is threatened by the teaching of evolution and by the Supreme Court. “There really is no such thing as separation of church and state,” says Ham, who warns that “Christianity in this nation is becoming outlawed more and more in various quarters.”  Ham blames the decline more on church leaders than on secularists.  The Bible is the “absolute authority,” he says, but too many Christians have undermined the authority of scripture by compromising on the truth of the 6,000 year-old earth and great flood described in Genesis.  And that means quoting the Bible in policy debates on abortion and gay marriage has lost its effectiveness.

Meanwhile, French scholar Denis Lacorne has just published Religion in America: A Political History (Columbia University Press, 2011), in which he examines two competing narratives about American identity.  One derives from the secular values of the Enlightenment and reflects a desire to preserve liberty by freeing it from the power of an established church.  The second ties American identity to the Puritans and Protestantism.  These two narratives are reflected in competing notions of church-state separation evident today in our politics and on our Supreme Court.  At a presentation at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. this week, Lacorne suggested that what he calls the neopuritan narrative was developed in the first half of the 19th century by historians who wanted to resurrect the influence of the Puritans, who he says were generally ignored by the founding fathers in their debates over religious liberty and whether or not to make the Constitution an explicitly Christian document.  (They chose not to.)

 

Bryan Fischer's Speech To The Values Voter Summit

During his address to the Values Voter Summit, Bryan Fischer made the same claims he always made: Islam is evil and Muslims are traitors, LGBT equality threatens freedom, and the Constitution protects only Christians (not Mormons). After posting clips from the speech of Fischer attacking gay rights and the theory of evolution, we decided to post his speech in full.

Remember that presidential candidates Herman CainMichele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich have all appeared on his show, along with past candidates Tim Pawlenty and Mike Huckabee. In addition, Fischer is the spokesman for the organization, the American Family Association, that co-hosted The Response prayer rally with Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Part I:

Part II:

Fischer: Rights Endangered If President Believes In Evolution

The theory of evolution was a central topic in Bryan Fischer's speech to the Values Voter Summit, where he argued that the presidential candidates should reject evolution. "I submit to you that not a single one of our unalienable rights will be safe," Fischer said, "in the hands of a president who believes that we evolved from slime and that we are the descendents of apes and baboons." Fischer called the separation of church and state "mythical" and argued that a result of secular government and the theory of evolution result in mass murder like in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Maoist China.

Watch:

WallBuilders Enlists Christopher Columbus & Reconstructionist Eidsmoe in Christian Nation Crusade

David Barton’s WallBuilders is tireless in pushing its “Christian nation” version of American history.   Today it encourages its supporters to “Celebrate Columbus Day!” and to read John Eidsmoe’s Columbus and Cortez: Conquerors for Christ.  

Eidsmoe is the Christian Reconstructionist cited by Michele Bachmann as her mentor and major influence.  He is also a colleague of Roy Moore, who lost his job as Chief Justice of Alabama’s Supreme Court when he refused to obey federal court orders to remove a Ten Commandments memorial he had installed in the state courthouse.

As we have reported, Eidsmoe believes that feminists “violate the normal order” that God put in place for husbands to head households, that “homosexuality invites the judgment of God upon all of society,” that gays will turn the military into a “cesspool of immorality,” and that public education is brainwashing students to believe in secularism and evolution.  Ryan Lizza recently reported that Eidsmoe was uninvited from a Tea Party event last year after addressing an event in Alabama commemorating Secession Day and telling an interviewer that it was the state’s “constitutional right to secede,” and that “Jefferson Davis and John C. Calhoun understood the Constitution better than did Abraham Lincoln and Daniel Webster.”

Eidsmoe’s book on Columbus has an introduction by Peter Marshall, another “Christian Nation” advocate who served with Wallbuilders’ founder David Barton as an “expert” to Religious Right members of the Texas Board of Education pushing massive revisions to social science textbooks.  Marshall writes:

In his customary careful and thorough manner, John Eidsmoe has pierced through the obfuscating fog of twentieth-century humanist bias and judgments that have obscured the truth about two of the most controversial figures in American history, Christopher Columbus and Hernando Cortez. Using earlier sources, he has presented us with a well-researched, even-handed, and fair treatment of both their Christian motives for their incredible exploits, and the very real mistakes they made .This is a valuable contribution toward restoring a true Christian perspective on our American past.

WallBuilders’ Columbus Day email celebrates Columbus’ belief that he was being led by the Holy Spirit and complains that modern scholarship has denigrated Columbus specifically because of his religious motivation:

It is especially because of Columbus’ religious motivations and convictions that today he has become a villain for most modern educators and writers, who regularly attack and condemn him.

That echoes Eidsmoe’s book, which claims, “A scholarly desire to correct the historical record is not the primary reason [for modern criticism of Columbus]…No, the attack is directed toward values – biblical values and the Christian civilization that is based on biblical values.”

Eidsmoe writes:

The reason may of us find history boring is that we fail to see the sovereign hand of God at work as history unfolds. The way you look at history depends in large part upon your world view….For the Christian, history is, or should be, the unfolding of God’s plan for the human race. For the Christian, the discovery, exploration and settlement of the Western Hemisphere takes on a whole new dimension of meaning as God works through imperfect vessels like Columbus, Cortez….and others who bring salvation to the inhabitants of the Western world through the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

He decries the effort to “move this nation away from its Christian foundations” in order to “remake America into a secular or pagan society….If the Christian professions of Christopher Columbus and others can be proven insincere, if their deeds can be downplayed and their sins and shortcomings magnified, then this element of America’s Christian past can be discredited and set aside.”

Florida Lt. Governor Rallies "Christians To Step Up And Lead This Country"

Florida Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll addressed Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition’s pre-debate gathering in Florida yesterday, where she went on the attack against the media, scientists, blasphemers, secular Americans and all those who don’t fit into her idea of a “righteous government.” We made a compilation of her speech’s most remarkable moments, but the whole speech, courtesy of the Associated Press, is worth watching:

You know the Bible says faith is believing in what is not seen, today unfortunately many in the media would like nothing better to ridicule Christians: they promote 'The Da Vinci Code,' they place doubt in the public’s mind that Christ was not risen and they condemn the 'Passion of Christ,' yet they sensationalize stories that call for the end of prayer in school and removing the name of God from our country’s pledge. Ladies and gentlemen, these are very sad times when we allow the minority to poison the minds of the majority. This is exactly what dictators and socialist rulers did.



Man does not have all the answers, some of our political leaders bow down to scientists and let them have the stage to push their evolution, but there’s nothing, nothing a scientist can make, that is exactly like what God creates.



Trust Him to give you the strength to fight back against those who want to take God out of our country. Trust Him to give you the wisdom to speak out against injustice and blasphemy of His name. Trust God to guide your path to bring about a righteous government. …

Ladies and gentlemen, Christianity is in a fight and it is one of the greatest trials we have seen in modern times. Without a doubt, America and her people are in grave need of prayer, divine guidance, protection, to have good, solid Christians to step up and lead this country on a proper moral path. I firmly believe that if we magnify God, our problems will be minimized.
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Evolution Posts Archive

Brian Tashman, Monday 02/10/2014, 11:25am
Rev. Mark Creech of the Christian Action League – the North Carolina affiliate of the American Family Association – is furious at Pat Robertson for his criticism of Creationism, arguing in a column yesterday that believing in evolution amounts to “blasphemy.” After linking evolution to Nazism and communism, Creech alleged that Robertson is undermining both the Bible and science: “God is the one who established all scientific laws, and good science will always point to Him. That's why we need not fear there will ever be a discovery of some scientific fact that... MORE
Brian Tashman, Friday 02/07/2014, 12:05pm
As we reported on Wednesday, televangelist Pat Robertson — for at least the second time — dismissed Young Earth Creationism as “nonsense” that is “making a joke” of Christianity. Robertson made the remarks in response to the debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the leader of the Creation Museum and Answers In Genesis. One thing that made Robertson’s comment’s surprising is that his own Christian Broadcasting Network regularly features fawning stories about Ham’s Creation Museum. CBN’s website even promotes an essay by Kelly... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 02/05/2014, 12:35pm
Back in 2012, televangelist Pat Robertson provoked the ire of Young Earth Creationists when he rejected their claim that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old. Today on the 700 Club, Robertson responded to the debate between Bill Nye and Young Earth Creationist leader Ken Ham — who criticized Robertson’s remarks on creationism as a “destructive teaching” that “gives more fodder to the secularists” — by once again rebuking Young Earth Creationism and the chronology system designed by James Ussher. “Let’s face it, there was a bishop [... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 02/04/2014, 4:25pm
Creation Ministries International is furious that Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced a “Darwin Day” resolution to honor Charles Darwin’s birthday. The group claims that such a move is actually an “authoritarian” and unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment’s establishment clause and protection of the freedom of speech. Also, apparently it advances infanticide, violence and Nazism. Why are the atheists asking the government to endorse something that is so blatantly wrong and obviously a bait and switch tactic? What’s at stake? There are only... MORE
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 01/28/2014, 12:00pm
According to Alan Keyes, President Obama’s recent statement that he doesn’t think marijuana “is more dangerous than alcohol” makes him just as bad as the hijackers in the September 11 attacks. Keyes, who was Obama’s GOP opponent in the 2004 U.S. Senate race in Illinois, writes in Renew America today that “Obama himself” may have “long-term individual damage” from smoking pot when he was young, which Keyes believes has “grave implications for the welfare of the nation as a whole.” The right-wing activist is also upset about TV... MORE
Brian Tashman, Wednesday 01/15/2014, 3:35pm
Lady Theresa Thombs, the Republican candidate for the Texas State Board of Education who rails against evolution, “socialist higher education” and “Devil worshipers,” today shared a Facebook post calling for “Straight Pride.” When several commenters mocked her post, Thombs responded that she doesn’t hate gay people and only thinks that gay people are sinners, just like murderers: “We are not bigoted or hateful. Jesus said to love the sinner but hate the sin. God gives you free will to do what you want. But murder is a sin, but even a murderer... MORE
Brian Tashman, Thursday 01/09/2014, 2:25pm
At a debate in Fort Worth on Monday, a Republican candidate for the Texas state board of education warned that the board is currently “using your tax dollars to brainwash our children into socialist issues and ideas.” The candidate, Lady Theresa Thombs, also decried “people from socialist higher education” who support the teaching of evolution, a subject still hotly debated in the Texas Education Agency. “We know we didn’t come from monkeys!” she exclaimed. Thombs made her remarks at a debate hosted by a Tea Party group, the 912 Project Fort... MORE