Intelligent Design Theory Challenges Darwin in Schools

Tom DeRosa grew up Catholic. He attended Roman Catholic grade school in Brooklyn and spent his high school years at a Catholic seminary. Faculty and students voted him “Best Seminarian” in 1964, but one year later, instead of taking vows to enter the priesthood, he became an atheist.

His encounter with Darwin in college led to that decision. “After a year of college, I went home and denied my faith to my parents,” DeRosa said. “There was a point where I became so rebellious that I yelled out ‘no God.”’


It was liberating. “I remember saying I’m free, I’m liberated,” DeRosa recalled. “I can do what I want to do, man is in charge.... It was a rebel­lion.” It lasted 13 years until DeRosa, by that time an established public school science teacher, encountered Christ after he learned that grace was a free gift of God.

Not just his theology but his science underwent a complete change. Today, DeRosa is founder and president of the Creation Studies Institute and author of Evidence for Creation: Intelligent Answers for Open Minds.

DeRosa is not alone in having had his faith derailed by Darwin. Dr. Kennedy has noted that teams which use surveys to share the Gospel with students on Fort Lauderdale beaches report that those who reject Christ often do it because they believe Darwin disproves the Bible.

What students don’t know, because their public school instructors can’t tell them, is that evolution is a theory without a factual foundation. Biochemist Michael Denton, in his book, Evolution: A Theory in Crisis, said evolution was a ‘... highly speculative idea for which there is no really hard scientific evidence.

“Problemswith Evolution”

Evolution claims, for example, that life evolved from molecule to man by a series of biologi­cal baby steps—tiny mutations over millions of years. There is no historical evidence for that claim.

“Millions upon millions of fossils have been col­lected to date,” DeRosa writes in Evidence for Creation, “but there is no evidence of transition fossils, that is, fossils of organisms in an intermediate stage of devel­opment between steps on the evolutionary ladder.”

Darwin’s idea that life marched forward, mutation by mutation, from “simple” cell to complex organism is also undermined by what biochemist Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box, calls the “irreducible complexity” of even the most microscopic living sys­tem. It turns out that “sim­ple” is a grotesque mis­nomer to describe a living cell, which is, itself, enor­mously complex and popu­lated by intricate subsys­tems—all needed for cell function.

Behe points out that the tail used by a bacteria cell for propulsion has at least 40 operational parts, each of which is required to turn the tail up to 100,000 rpm. As DeRosa explains, “If one of those parts failed to function, the tail would cease to work. Without the tail, the cell could not move; and without move­ment, the cell would die for lack of nutrients.”

Darwinian theory can’t account for how such irre­ducibly complex living systems came into existence. It “has been completely sterile with respect to explaining these molecular machines, the basis of life,” said Behe.

That suggests a problem with evolution. “When you try to use a certain theory in science,” Behe said, “and it doesn’t work for you for a long time, then you get the idea that perhaps that’s not the right theory that you should be using and itmight betime to consider something else.”

“Intelligent Design”

The alternative Behe and others are pushing proposes that living systems dis­play distinctive marks of intelligent design. It is an idea being met with resis­tance from the scientific establishment. The American Association for the Advancement of Science adopted a resolu­tion last fall opposing efforts to teach Intelligent Design in public school science classrooms.

Also, last fall a fight erupted in Ohio when the state Board of Education consid­ered a proposal to teach students alterna­tives to Darwinism, including Intelligent Design. One group opposing the proposal, Ohio Citizens for Science, labeled Intelligent Design advocates “our local Ohio Taliban.” Dr. Patricia Princehouse, one of the group’s founders, dismissed Intelligent Design as“a lobbying effort,” during a Coral Ridge Hour interview.

The Ohio public disagreed. One poll found that 78 percent believed that, along with evolution, “students should also be able to learn about scientific evidence that points to an intelligent design of life.” The Ohio Board of Education concurred, vot­ing last fall to allow alternative theories to be taught in Buckeye state public schools. A similar proposal has been approved in Cobb County, Georgia.

Other attempts to teach students Intelligent Design have failed. The state Board of Education in West Virginia unanimously rejected such a proposal in February. Several years ago in Burlington, Washington, high school biology teacher Roger DeHart was reassigned, after he supplemented his curriculum with materi­als critical of evolution.

“ACLU Steps In”

The fracas began when a student com­plained and the American Civil Liberties Union stepped in with a threat to sue if the school district didn’t censor DeHart. attorney Clarence Darrow, Scopes’ attorney in the famed “Monkey Trial,” advocated teaching evolution alongside creationism. He considered itbigotry to teach just one

Authorities required DeHart to get preap­proval for all materials presented in class and then reassigned him. His replacement had a physical education major. DeHart later left the school system to teach else­where.

“I think American schools teach too little about evolution,” said DeHart in the video Icons of Evolution. “A lot of the infor­mation about evolution is taught uncritically.”

That’s just fine for the ACLU. Its current campaign to censor competing ideas from public school classrooms reverses the stance the group took in 1925 when itrecruited John Scopes to challenge a Tennessee law forbidding the teaching of evolution. Back then, ACLU . attorney Clarence Darrow, Scopes’ attorney in the famed “Monkey Trial,” advocated teaching evolution alongside creationism. He considered itbigotry to teach just one view of human origins. Now the ACLU tries to stop another origins the­ory from being taught.

“So Implausible”

Nonetheless, Dr. Jonathan Wells, author of the book, Icons of Evolution, believes Darwin’s demise is near. “I think in fifty years, Darwinian evolution will be gone from

the science curriculum,” he told The Coral Ridge Hour “I think people will look back on it and ask how anyone could, in their right mind, have believed this, because it’s so implausible when you look at the evidence.”

The Coral Ridge Hour looks at the evo­lution/creation controversy in August with spe­cial messages from Dr Kennedy and short news segments examining the consequences of Darwinism and the growing challenge from the Intelligent Design movement. In addition, Truths That Transform, Dr. Kennedy’s daily radio program, devotes the first two weeks of August to the origins issue and evolution’s implausible claims.

FLIP-FLOP: American Civil Liberties Union attorney Clarence Darrow, addressing the jury during the 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial,” believed it was bigotry to teach just one view of human origins. The ACLU now fights efforts to teach Intelligent Design theory alongside evolution in public schools.

BLIND CHANCE? Charles Darwin acknowledged “the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe as the result of blind chance or necessity.” His contemporary defenders dismiss that view, vigor­ously opposing Intelligent Design theory instruc­tion in public school science classes.


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