Headteacher Christina Wilkinson, of St. Andrew’s Church of England school in Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire, caused a stir on social media recently when she tweeted: “Evolution is not a fact. That’s why it’s called a theory!1 There’s more evidence that the Bible is true.”2 She was responding to another headteacher, Tom Sherrington from London, who was encouraging teachers to hold to science when it comes to teaching the origin of life.
The Guardian newspaper printed Sherrington’s and leading atheist and Darwinist Richard Dawkins’s response to Wilkinson:
Sherrington wrote: “Sigh. I sincerely hope your students aren’t told that. Take them to a natural history museum.”
His original posts, which sparked the exchange, had read: “For me, it is critical that teachers do not water down the science to accommodate religious perspectives if that means sacrificing the acceptance of evidence.
“This applies to science and RE teachers. New Earth creationism and more subtle variants of Intelligent Design are a denial of science and I think all teachers need to be conscious of that.”
The evolutionary biologist Prof Richard Dawkins said Wilkinson was misusing the word theory. “Scientists call evolution a theory only in a special scientists’ sense, which is NOT the same as the layman’s ‘tentative hypothesis’,” he said.
“This is so often misunderstood that I now recommend abandoning the confusing word ‘theory’ altogether for the case of evolution. Evolution is a fact, as securely attested as any fact in science. ‘We are cousins of monkeys and kangaroos’ can be asserted with as much confidence as ‘Our planet orbits the sun’.”3
Once again we see not only the bias of the secular worldview in Sherrington’s and Dawkins’s comments but also a confusion over a valid distinction between two different types of science: historical science and observational science. For instance, historical science has to do with one’s beliefs about distinct, non-observable events that happened in the past. On the other hand, observational science encompasses finding out about how things in the present world operate and being able to repeat, observe, and test those findings. What needs to be understood is that there is an important difference in how both sciences work. Observational science involves investigation in the present while historical science deals with how something came into existence in the past and, consequently, is not open to investigational confirmation.
Rejecting evolution is not the rejection of science . . . but the rejection of an ideology.
Evolutionists often fail to make this distinction when it comes to the debate over the origin of life. This can be seen in Dawkins’s statement: “‘We are cousins of monkeys and kangaroos’ can be asserted with as much confidence as ‘Our planet orbits the sun’.” It is through investigation and observation—the basis of scientific theory—that we observe that our planet orbits the sun; however, no one has ever observed humans evolving from prior species.
Therefore, when it comes to the debate over the origin of life we must understand that evolution, the idea that life came about by a common ancestor, is part of historical science and not observational science. The problem with historical science is that it is not possible to actually reconstruct the history and origin of something if it were an unobservable event that took place in the past. Those who hold to supernatural creation are not claiming that science and the Bible are irreconcilable but that evolution and the Bible are irreconcilable. Rejecting evolution is not the rejection of science, as Sherrington and Dawkins believe, but the rejection of an ideology.
The debate over the origin of life is not a battle between science and the Bible. It is a battle between the two different worldviews of naturalism and biblical theism, and how science is to be interpreted in light of them.
Unfortunately, it is the naturalistic worldview that now dominates our own culture, as can be seen in the removal of creation from the school system. In the article, the Guardian noted:
The government banned the teaching of creationism in science classes in UK schools 18 months ago. It said funding would be withdrawn from any free school that taught theories that run “contrary to established scientific and/or historical evidence and explanations.”
While the government, who is controlled by secular thinking, talks about having equal rights, it is becoming increasingly evident that the issue is not about having equal rights but about having superior rights for those in power to eradicate any teaching that reminds them of their sinful behavior and their need to find forgiveness in Jesus Christ.
Secularists know that they cannot win a debate over these issues; therefore, they have to silence their opposition by force. Freedom of speech is quickly becoming a right only for those on the Left. The goal of the secularist seems to be to silence those who disagree in order to achieve their end: the suppression of truth (Romans 1:18).