‘A Disgrace to Biology’

Retiring Biology Professor Hits Out at Evolutionism and its Fruits.

on December 1, 1997

Originally published in Creation 20(1):40, December 1997

When Professor-Dr P.W.J. van Oordt retired from his position at the University of Utrecht (Netherlands), in his farewell address he made some memorable remarks which caused a significant ‘stir’ among some of his atheistic colleagues.

The remarks are reproduced here, with minor editing, by kind permission of (and references supplied by) Dr van Oordt.

‘To call Christians and Jews stupid and—with a modern abusive word—“fundamentalistic”, and even to laugh at them because of their faith in the truth of the biblical account of creation, is a disgrace to biology. Likewise, attempting to undermine the reliability of the creation history with evolutionistic arguments is unworthy of science. Let us, biologists, rather look at ourselves and realize with shame that we have hardly uttered a sound when [extreme] capitalism, communism, and national socialism emerged as fruits of evolutionism. However different from each other they may be, all those social and political movements have a common basis in evolutionism.1 A tree is known by its fruit.

Here, I want to pronounce sharply against one of these fruits, namely against the ethical consequences of evolutionism. Nowadays, philosophers like Peter Singer say it out loud, that it is time to use human embryos instead of animals for biomedical experiments.2 It is argued that, different from laboratory animals, human embryos cannot feel, and since man is in fact nothing but an animal species (that like all others arose by chance during evolution), it is better to carry out experiments on unconsciously living human foetuses than on animals. This, in my opinion, is a terribly bad fruit of evolutionism. Against that point of view I want to set the high position of mankind, created in the image of God, and because of that responsible for a careful control of the earth and all that lives on it’.

Footnotes

  1. R. Hooykaas, Evolutie en ethiek, 5 Bezinning 1950, pp. 137–142. R. Hooykaas, Geschiedenis der natuurwetenschappen. Van Babel tot Bohr. A. Oosthoek’s Uitgeversmaatschappij NV, Utrecht, 1971.
  2. P.A.D. Singer, Moral and ethical perspectives, lecture during the 24th General Assembly of the International Union of Biological Sciences, Canberra, Australia, 16–22 October 1988. Singer is a well-known Australian philosopher and ethicist who has written on ethics for Encyclopaedia Britannica. Leaning on his evolutionary presuppositions, Singer is an ardent supporter of animal rights, abortion, and euthanasia. He has written sympathetically of infanticide.

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