LEADER TIMES WEEKEND RELIGION ARTICLE FOR
July 25, 2015 by William H. Scarle, Jr. 813-835-0129
July 20, 1925 was the conclusion of the Scopes Trial in Dayton, Tennessee. William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow participated in their final verbal debate. This article is too short to say much about this event. However, it is of enough significance not to let it go by unnoticed.
The Tennessee law in question had nothing to do with religion. It simply forbade the teaching of evolution as a scientific truth, since there was no scientific evidence for it. The ACLU which funded the challenge to the law saw evolution as a necessary corollary to atheism and wanted it taught as indisputable truth. In other words the contest was not between science and Christianity; it was between atheism and Christianity. They lost the case, although you would have never known it from the press coverage.
It may be helpful to lay out the mental process which is behind calling evolution “scientific.” The question behind the debate is, “Where did it all come from, especially living things?” There are options here for an answer. However, the atheist eliminates God from the answer pool. There is no God. Therefore, the plethora of living things must have somehow created itself. Since it exists, its existence is proof that it created itself. No other explanation is possible and therefore it is a “scientific” conclusion.
Actually Bryan did a commendable job at offering a rebuttal to the assertion that evolution was “scientific.” He hammered down on the fact that there is no empirical evidence for it. The response of atheism to such a reasoned position is illustrated by a remark by H.L. Mencken on the trial. “On the one side was bigotry, ignorance, hatred, superstition, every sort of blackness that the human mind is capable of. On the other side was sense.” No one challenged Mencken. Atheism needs evolution and the press core was from large northern cities and predominantly atheistic. This was the “roaring twenties.”
The rational problem is, of course, that once you conclude that evolution is the mechanism that created life on the planet, the facts do not fit. Darwin knew that there was no paleontological evidence for evolution, but was certain it would be forthcoming. It missed its cue. It never showed up. What did appear was the Cambrian explosion which showed that all essential life forms appeared at the same time and without any intermediate steps.
Today we understand other scientific laws that make evolution impossible. Laws like the law of entropy which tells us things run down but cannot run up. New information laws that inform us that information can be lost but not gained unless it is added by an intelligent mind.
None of this makes any difference to the committed atheist. Evolution must be true because it is the only explanation available under a presupposition of atheism.
When the atheist begins calling the Christians ugly names the appropriate answer is from Psalm 19:1. “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the earth shows forth his handiwork.”
(Bill Scarle can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org). END-whs