Flood News

April, 2020

What Happened to Hope?
An Answer to the Question:
Does it Matter That Christian Universities are Teaching Evolution?

I have taken several approaches to answering this question in the past. Most often the primary sources are biblical. This approach, while theologically important, does not motivate the majority of people to reconsider their position. While most of our supporters are believers in biblical creation, and do not support the theory of evolution, even the misnamed "theistic evolution," that is not always sufficient to initiate a concern with enough conviction to push for change.

I realized that the impact had extended to the health and safety of our children, and believed that the data would back up that fact. It did, and the analysis is what follows here.

Robert Wright

          Two polls conducted in the last twenty years reveal a disturbing trend. The data is often used to imply that the more educated an individual is, the more likely they are to believe in evolution. And, that the less educated a person is, the more likely they are to believe in God. When the data is reviewed more closely, another fact becomes clear: as individuals progress through their education and are more fully indoctrinated in the theory of evolution, the less likely they are to believe in God, and to attend church regularly. The relationship is clear, and quantifiable.

            A 2005 Gallup poll revealed that as education continued, with its accompanying exposure to evolutionary teachings, church attendance decreased. 72% of those who attend church regularly believed that God created human beings as they began their education, but by the time they completed their higher education, only 44% held that same belief. Among those who did not attend church regularly, their belief in God declined just as significantly, from 48% prior to their education experience, to only 9% at completion.[1]  

          A 2017 Pew research poll was equally as compelling.[2] Conducted twelve years after the Gallup poll, the effect of evolutionary teaching on those receiving higher education had a similar effect. In this poll, only 66% of those who begin their college experience believed in God, while upon graduation, the number had declined to 45%. While the final numbers are comparable, the decline in belief of those entering the education system at the higher level can be related to the “generational effect” of evolution now having been taught to the parents and grandparents in these Christian families.

          Teaching evolution in our schools, particularly in Christian universities is not a victimless endeavor. Faith, and the hope it offers, is negatively affected by the indoctrination of students through secular science education and the evolution it includes. The Gallup researchers reached the conclusion that, “Belief that God created humans in their present form decreases as education increases.”[3] The effects this change has had are frightening. During this time frame, from 2007 to 2017, the National Center for Health Statistics reported that suicide rates for persons age 10-24  increased from 6.8 per 100,000 to 10.6 per 100,000 persons, with suicide surpassing homicide rates among this age group during this same time frame.[4] In addition, drug overdose deaths in 2017 increased to 21.7 per 100,000 persons, up from approximately 8 per 100,000 in 2005.[5] Undoubtedly new pressures have been introduced on society during this time frame. And just as these new pressures are being felt by youth and young adults, they are being taught they cannot believe in God as creator or enjoy the hope this belief offers. When they need Him most, they are being encouraged to discard or “reconcile” their religious belief with an anti-God evolutionary theory. Both of these events, the increase in suicide deaths, and the increase in drug overdose deaths demonstrate a profound loss of hope. Suicide is an attempt at escape. Drug abuse is an attempt at escape. When circumstances are overwhelming, and there is no hope of an external rescue from someone with the ability to do so, despair is the consequence. When God has been discounted and dismissed, there is no hope for many of these young people. The indoctrination into evolution theory has left many of them hopeless and in despair.

          High schools and universities all over the country have already, or are now giving in to the pressure to teach evolution. This pressure has come from a variety of sources. The current efforts are largely led by other academic institutions and teacher’s unions.[6] However, they have been emboldened by the attitude of the public. A People for the American Way poll conducted in 2000 found that 20% of those surveyed believed that only evolution should be taught in class. Another 29% felt that evolution should be taught but mentioning creationism as a “belief” was acceptable. And a further 17% believed that God-directed creation should be taught in religion class, while evolution was taught in science class. Only 13% of respondents thought evolution and creation should be given equal treatment.[7] This is among average Americans.

          A 2017 article published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information and the American Society for Cell Biology, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, encouraged teachers to provide “Religious Role Models” who accept evolution, and to use what they call “Cultural Competence” as a tool to discourage disagreement with evolution. . These practices have been developed into a procedure called ReCCEE that leads university teachers through six processes to indoctrinate students and gain acceptance of evolution. This article encourages the promotion of the idea that rejecting evolution is culturally intolerant. They call this approach “Cultural Competence.” In effect, if students believe in God and creation, they are told that they are being prejudice and bigoted. This article also encouraged the differentiation between “Atheistic Evolution” and “Theistic Evolution.” This approach is encouraged in spite of the fact that biologists “do not believe theistic evolution is compatible with evolution.”[8] They do not believe theistic evolution is acceptable or the desired outcome. Theistic evolution is used to open the door, but it is not the final destination. The goal is acceptance of evolution, without any efforts to include God. They simply use those who attempt to reconcile with evolution, their “Religious Role Models” as steps in the process to gain acceptance. Several methods have been constructed to measure their success at creating “acceptance” of evolution. These include the Measure of Acceptance of the Theory of Evolution (MATE), the Inventory of Student Evolution Acceptance (I-SEA), and the Generalized Acceptance of Evolution Evaluation (GAENE). With these evaluation tools in place, the indoctrination of students has itself become a science. It is not surprising then that this article reported that only 25% of biologists are religious, with evolutionary biologists being “markedly irreligious,” with only 10% believing in God.[9]

Students are made to feel guilty for their belief in God, using the principle of “cultural competence.”  Christians do not want to feel they are being unfair, or intolerant, and so often fall prey to these attacks. In this case, tolerance is being replaced by acceptance. With the knowledge that absolute truth exists, there is no need for acceptance of false belief. This does not mean there should be intolerance. Allowing others to believe as they choose and being tolerant of those beliefs is an important principle. Accepting these beliefs, when they are in opposition to know absolute truths is not. Believing in absolute truth does not make anyone a bigot or intolerant. There should be no confusion between absolute truth, which is our belief, and tolerance, which is how we behave towards others with differing beliefs.

          The discussion of a theory like evolution, even if unproven, is the norm for science. Theories are often discussed and reviewed prior to being proven. However, it is considered prudent to review the ramifications of teaching a theory as fact before embracing it, particularly in universities sponsored by religious institutions. If there was an expectation that teaching the idea of evolution would have a damaging effect on the belief of students attending the institution, then it would be reasonable to not embrace the unproven theory as fact. Especially if the reason students were attending the institution was because of its religious affiliation. There is no other valid reason for a religiously sponsored university to exist if it is not teaching within the religious beliefs of the faith. Religiously sponsored universities should be the most concerned about the effects referenced here, and yet they continue with their efforts to force feed evolution to students.

          At some stage a tipping point will be reached where so many people have been indoctrinated into evolution, and its necessary rejection of Biblical Creation, that even rewriting the curriculum will not turn the tide. With so many parents being the product of these same institutions, resistance to these theories is declining, as has been reported by the universities themselves. Perhaps a realization of what this trend has cost our children will turn the tide. There are many who may not be convinced by the decline in regular church attendance. But the increase in suicide and drug-related deaths that has accompanied it should cause anyone to reconsider the cost of allowing an unproven theory to so fully consume our educational institutions, particularly those that claim to be religious schools, or are funded by churches.

 

[1] Gallup, American Beliefs: Evolution vs. Bible’s Explanation of Human Origins, March 8, 2006

[2] Pew Research Center. Key Findings About Americans’ Belief in God. 2017

[3] Gallup

[4] Sally C. Curtin, “Death Rates Due to Suicide and Homicide Among Persons Aged 10-24: United States, 2000-2017,” NCHS Data Brief, No. 352, Oct 2019.

[5] Holly Hedegaard, “Drug Overdose Deaths in the United States, 1999-2017,” NCHS Data Brief, No. 329, Nov 2018.

[6] "NSTA Position Statement: The Teaching of Evolution." National Science Teachers Association. 2013.

[7] DYG, Inc. "Evolution and Creationism in Public Education: An In-depth Reading Of Public Opinion." March 2000

[8] Kathryn E. Perez, “A Call to Use Cultural Competence When Teaching Evolution to Religious College Students: Introducing Religious Cultural Competence in Evolution Education (ReCCEE),” CBE Life Sciences Education, v16(4), Winter 2017.

[9] ibid.

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