Rebuttal: “Teachers Back Away From Evolution In Class” by Jesse Emspak

I originally posted this on Facebook in January, 2011; I’ve decided to re-post it here.

Rebuttal

“Teachers Back Away From Evolution In Class” by Jesse Emspak | January 27, 2011

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/105982/20110127/teachers-back-away-from-evolution-in-class.htm

This article is loaded with misinformation and fallacious arguments. It is nothing more than a weak attempt to promote a theory that is rapidly being exposed as illogical, unscientific, and anti-religious.

“Teachers who are unable or unwilling to teach the theory of evolution in biology might be one reason U.S. students are falling behind in science, according to new research.”

Evolution plays absolutely no role in the vast majority of scientific endeavors. For the engineer, chemist, and physicist, evolution is a complete non-issue. Even in the biological sciences, the issue of origins is completely irrelevant to for those doing actual research. The only scientists for whom the origins of life is even an issue is for those who specialize in the study of origins!

“The National research Council recommends that teachers introduce to students the evidence that evolution actually occurred, and use it as a unifying theme in different areas of biology.”

First, the National Research Council (NRC) operates under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), a blatantly anti-Christian, anti-religious organization that seeks to use “science” to replace belief in God with belief in secular humanism. Secondly, every evidence used to support evolution has repeatedly been shown to be fallacious and/or just plain false. The NAS seeks to indoctrinate, rather than foster critical thinking of the evidence for and against evolution.

“Teachers may want to avoid controversy, but the problem, Berkman says, is that it undermines science as a mode of thought and means of finding out about the world.”

Most teachers want to teach their students critical thinking skills, but are afraid they will lose their jobs if they even suggest that their students to approach evolution critically. I know – I used to be a public school science teacher.

“Not having biology taught properly, Berkman says, makes it harder for students to understand science later on.”

I agree. Indoctrinating students with evolution, rather than teaching them to evaluate the pros and the cons of the theory, has stunted students’ understanding of science.

“The theory of evolution states that life forms will change over time in response to their environment, and the fraction of individuals in a species with one or more inherited traits will differ. The cause is natural variation within species, which affects how well they survive in a given environment — or not. Sometimes species will split into two or more different ones, and sometimes they will die out.”

This is the fallacy of equivocation. Actually, what is being described is natural selection, not evolution. Evolution is the idea that all modern species descended from a single common ancestor over million of years. Natural selection is observable, measurable, testable science. Common descent is neither observable, nor testable, nor measurable. It is philosophy disguised as science. The fallacy is equating evolution, meaning natural selection or change over time, with evolution, meaning common descent. Same term, two entirely different meanings, and one does not necessarily follow from the other.

“The simplest way to solve this problem is to change the ways people who will become teachers are taught the subject before they ever get into a classroom, Berkman says.”

Indoctrinate the teachers so they can indoctrinate the students.

Some teachers try to present both sides, he notes, but the problem with that is that it puts science in the same class of knowledge as an opinion, as though well-established principles could be debated.

This is the fallacy of begging the question, also known as a circular argument. We cannot question whether evolution is a fact, because evolution is a fact. We cannot debate whether evolutionary principles are well-established, because evolutionary principles are well-established.

Neo-Darwinian evolution is nothing more than an anti-religious philosophy posing as science, held together by smoke and mirrors, and is rapidly being exposed as such. Articles like this only serve as an attempt to shore up public opinion and make people thing they’re stupid if they approach the issue critically and logically rather than simply accepting it blindly. It makes me angry that most people lack the interest, information, and/or the skills to understand that the belief that Mankind came from goo is irrational and just plain stupid. It makes me even angrier that this irrational belief in evolution is one of the key reasons people reject the Bible, and therefore reject Jesus Christ, and therefore spend eternity in Hell.

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Thoughts on the death of Trayvon Martin

A verdict of “Not Guilty” has been rendered in the trial of George Zimmerman for the death of Trayvon Martin. Some have decried the verdict as a travesty of justice, while others have applauded the verdict as justice prevailing. Here are my thoughts:

What actually happened on February 26, 2012?

While some of the bare facts of the events that led to Martin’s death are known, many crucial facts are unknown. It is unknown whether Martin attacked Zimmerman, or whether Zimmerman attacked Martin. While it is known that Zimmerman lost track of Martin about 3 ½ minutes before the shooting, it is unknown whether Zimmerman found and followed Martin, or whether Martin came back and began following Zimmerman. The only two people who knew what actually happened between 7:09 and 7:18 pm were Zimmerman and Martin. Zimmerman’s version is biased to protect himself; and Martin’s version will never be heard. The truth is, the truth can never be known. There is simply not enough evidence.

Was the shooting racially motivated?

Unfortunately, the answer is probably, at least in part, yes. However, there was probably racism on the parts of both Zimmerman and Martin. Undoubtedly, one of the reasons Zimmerman was suspicious of Martin was because he was an African-American teen in a predominantly Caucasian neighborhood. Zimmerman was looking for anyone who did not seem to belong; Martin fit Zimmerman’s profile. However, I also suspect that others would have also aroused Zimmerman’s suspicions. A white teen with drooping pants, a scruffy looking middle-aged white man loitering, or a Goth twenty-something would have also gotten his attention. Zimmerman was a wanna-be cop out looking for anyone he could find to feed his vigilante mentality. Martin, on the other hand, was also probably suspicious of Zimmerman because he is a white male. Many (but certainly not all) African-Americans are taught from a young age not to trust white people, especially males in positions of authority. While I certainly do not claim to know how Trayvon was raised, some of the comments I heard from his parents during the trial revealed their own racial bias. Children tend to pick up on their parents’ attitudes and beliefs, so it’s reasonable to conclude that Trayvon held similar racial biases. Did Martin’s racial views lead him to circle back and attack Zimmerman, as Zimmerman’s supporters have claimed? We’ll never know. So, while I believe racial bias was involved, I also don’t believe it was the only motivation. How much of a role racism played, I don’t know; only Zimmerman knows for sure.

Was Zimmerman justified in shooting Martin?

This is really the crux of the controversy. Unfortunately, the answer depends on facts we can never know, as well as how one defines what justifies the shooting of another human being. Under Florida law, there was not enough evidence to convict Zimmerman of the unjustified shooting of Martin. However, this doesn’t really answer the question. There is a wide spectrum of beliefs as to what justifies the taking of another person’s life. At one extreme end, some argue that taking another life is never justified. At the other extreme, some argue that if a person feels threatened in any way, they should be able to take a life to defend themselves. Between these two extremes lies wide range of views. The problem is that most of the views people hold are entirely subjective reflections of the individual worldviews held by each person. There is no universally accepted standard for determining right and wrong. As our country continues to move further away from the foundation of Biblical truth on which it was founded, our collective standard of right and wrong will continue to become more and more subjective and incongruous. Even if all the facts were known beyond a shadow of doubt, I suspect we would still be divided over the issue of whether Zimmerman was justified in shooting Martin.

The aftermath: Media coverage and politics

For me, the most disturbing aspect of Trayvon Martin’s death is the politicizing of the tragedy by the media and politicians on both sides of the aisle. Both sides have played the so-called “race card,” and there has been deliberate distortion of the facts by both conservatives and liberals to further their agendas. For example, NBC News edited the tape of Zimmerman’s call to police. In the edited tape, aired on the March 27, 2012 broadcast of the “Today” show, Zimmerman is heard to say, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.” The actual, unedited phone call:

Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.

Dispatcher: OK, and this guy — is he black, white or Hispanic?

Zimmerman: He looks black.

Even the photos selected have been blatantly biased. The most widely-distributed photos of Martin show a very young looking boy. Others have used photos of completely different people to try to make Martin look like a muscular thug. Very seldom is the last known photo of Martin shown, taken nine days before his death. Images evoke emotional responses; and, unfortunately, emotions count for more than truth.

Young-looking Trayvon

Young-looking Trayvon

Fake Trayvon Martin photo

Last known photo of Trayvon, 9 days before his death.

The racially charged comments and reporting by both liberals and conservatives has been disgusting, yet not at all surprising. Racism sells newspapers, boosts television ratings, and advances political agendas. There are thousands of senseless murders every year that barely get 20 seconds of attention on the local news, or maybe a paragraph buried someplace in the back pages of the local newspaper. The only reason anyone outside of the Sanford, Florida area ever heard the names of Trayvon Martin or George Zimmerman is because the politicians and media decided they could exploit the case to their advantage. The senseless death of Trayvon Martin is tragic; the politicizing and marketing of the case is repulsive. Yet, because our society has lost its foundation in the truth of God’s Word, such ghastly exploitation is the accepted norm. Since racism and divisiveness boost ratings and political donations, politicians and news reporters will continue to abuse the truth to gain selfish advantage. The coverage and political commentary have demonstrated yet again that ethics and truth have become irrelevant in American culture.

Was George Zimmerman a hero defending his neighborhood from a juvenile delinquent thug? Or, was Trayvon Martin the innocent victim of racist vigilantism? Or, is the truth someplace between? The truth no longer matters. The truth now depends entirely on your worldview.