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Why Darwinism can be taught in schools but not ID

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(Terry Scambray, who contributed this piece, lives and writes in the Great Central Valley of California and  has published in New Oxford Review, Touchstone, Commonweal, The Chesterton Review and elsewhere.)

When Education Becomes the Tool of Tyranny

Until the 1960s public school personnel acted in loco parentis, “in place of parents,” meaning that during school hours, the school staff were quasi parents.   Apparently that has changed to in loco imperii, “in place of government”, meaning that parents now must conform to the dicta of the school.

         A recent rationale for parent replacement is a study by the University of Massachusetts and published in April in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.   (Disbelief in human evolution linked to greater prejudice and racism) This study based on surveys taken in 19 Eastern European countries, 25 Muslim countries and in Israel showed that skepticism about Darwinian evolution is linked to greater prejudice and racism.

Skepticism about Darwin, if laid beside the right variables could, I’m sure, be linked to an endless number of things like, a preference for coffee over tea or a preference for Chevrolets over BMWs.

Regardless, a doctrine that purports to show that all creatures, great and small are perpetually at one another’s throats, is now being divined as a civilizing force, encouraging social cohesion!   It makes one wonder, if this study shows more that Darwinists, or some sub-species thereof, do not understand evolution rather than that Darwin skeptics are bigots. 

This study is reminiscent of The Authoritarian Personality by Theodore Adorno which was published in 1950 as the post WWII world grappled with the devastating effects of the twin cults of Marxism and fascism.   Adorno’s book was based on surveys in which “traditionalists” scored higher on the F-Scale, F standing for fascism.    Adorno’s work evokes a tone of scientific disinterestedness that belies its intent which was to tarnish the great triumph of the West and especially America as bourgeois, populist societies who themselves were ripe for takeover by a Hitler or Mussolini.   

Also by the 1950’s the revisionists, encouraged by Stalin, had firmly planted the lie that fascism was born during the death throes of capitalism rather than as it truly was, Marxism with a national face.  This made it possible for Marxism once again to skirt death and live another day, indeed many more days even to our own time.

Adorno was part of the Marxist Frankfort School whose most prominent American advocate was Herbert Marcuse, whose doctrine was that tolerance was repressive; thus, people, the uncredentialed, the hoi polloi, deserve to be muzzled because they are incipient fascists.  

Max Horkheimer, another member of the Frankfurt School invented “critical theory”, another admirable sounding marketing gimmick which should be called, “selective critical theory” the purpose of which is to tear down repressive structures like religion and capitalism.  In other words, Freud and Marx engaging in a cultural full court press.

     Richard Hofstadter recycled Adorno in The Paranoid Style in American Politics, a book with a baleful influence on the credulous American intelligentsia who are predisposed to like imported European ideas, wines, cheeses and cars.

      But studies like these are really ad hominems dressed in social science babble which caused such great leaps forward because they were heralded by advance men like Sinclair Lewis and H. L. Mencken who, while demeaning their countrymen generally, showered Fundamentalists and Evangelicals with special disdain.  The most vociferous supporter of Darwin in Germany was the scientist and eugenicist, Ernst Haeckel, who was also a big influence on Lewis. 

In the March 14, 2022, New Yorker, Harvard historian Jill Lepore, reprises Mencken in her take of the 1925 “Scopes Monkey Trial.”  (Why the School Wars Still Rage | The New Yorker)   She sees the rubes of Mencken’s time as akin to our contemporary provincials who criticize schools for teaching Darwin, Critical Race Theory, and other progressive concoctions.

As the Harvard historian waxes: “But behind parents’ rights, lies another unbroken strain: some Americans’ fierce resistance to the truth that, just as all human beings share common ancestors biologically, all Americans have common ancestors historically.”    

  Ah, the mantra that Americans are addicted to sugary noble lies about their biological and cultural uniqueness is itself a noble lie that the intelligentsia continually uses against their fellow Americans.  It is repeated, for example, when dreadful events occur like the Kennedy assassination or 9/11, the epithet suggesting that Americans can’t stand the truth so they conjure up fantasies which declutter a complicated, messy world full of loose ends.  

Really?  Are everyday Americans more prone to self-delusion than other groups?   So truck drivers, mothers, firefighters, and roofers don’t live in messy worlds?  Apparently, according to their class betters, they are too insensitive to notice what’s around them!

Professor Lepore further insists that parents really have no choice in what the schools teach because “the idea of public education is dedicated to the cultivation of that bigger sense of covenant and obligation and toleration.”   Thus, their children must be taught the 1619 Project as well as the Mayflower story of 1620 and also the story of “Indigenous peoples” and also about the Europeans who arrived later and also about later arrivals including Hmong, Sikh, Guatemalan and many others.   

         In the first place, Professor Lepore knows that choices of what to present must be made because of time limitations as well as the fact that some things are more foundational than others.   Since Ms. Lepore knows this, is she attempting a bait and switch?   Appealing to tolerance and then once her pet narratives are accepted, she privileges them as part of the continuing parade of victim studies that inflict our schools and society.

        But taking her at her word, does she and her like-minded multiculturalists really want equal time for all ethnicities and groups to be subject to “critical theory”? 

Of course not, for that would mean that the Indian suttee tradition, the human sacrifice tradition of the Aztecs and the Incas, the slavery, cannibalism, internecine warfare and the imperialism of “Indigenous peoples” would have to be examined.  Of course, such an examination would not actually happen because Ms. Lepore and her esteemed colleagues would claim that such open discussion is repressive, hurtful, and involves judging “the other” by Western standards.

       But Western standards are based upon the words spoken by Jesus Christ: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.”  

      And the truth can best be arrived at by examining all sides of an issue.   Employing such a dynamic is the unique achievement of the West.  And though such an achievement is never safe from interlopers, the goal is inherent in its founding traditions like the dialectic tradition of the Jewish rabbis and of Plato’s dialogues; documents like The Ten Commandments, Roman law, Canon Law, the Magna Carta, the laws of the medieval Italian Republics, the Napoleonic Code, English Common Law, the American Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution with its guarantee of free speech.

Finally Ms. Lepore, in repeating Mencken’s version of the 1925 Scopes trial, fails to understand Darwinian evolution.   She thinks that portraying man as a “common ancestor” to apes will make him tolerant.   But the dynamic which caused all the transformations from molecules to man is, according to Darwin, natural selection, a weeding out of the unfit.  It is a destructive process and has never been shown to create anything new, like new legs, organs or wings which are necessary for such transformations as squirrels “evolving” into hawks or chimpanzees into copy editors.   Even over vast periods of time!

But, alas, Francis Galton, Darwin’s brother-in-law, saw this process of weeding out the unfit as the way to perfect society; thus, “the science of eugenics” was cooked up which, for Galton and his fellow utopians, meant expelling the human slag that impeded progress. 

          In Mencken’s melodramatic rendering of the Scopes Trial, William Jennings Bryan, the Great Commoner, is the foil who argues for a literal reading of Genesis as opposed to the progressives who argued for the teaching of evolution.  In fact, Bryan was not a Biblical literalist.  But what he did keenly see was that the demotion of humans as mere means to an end could lead, exactly as it did lead 20 years later, to the death camps of central Europe.

         Ronald Reagan in his 1965 speech, “The Myth of the Great Society”, tells of a group of distinguished college presidents who were concerned that federal monies had compromised academic freedom; they consequently proposed that taxpayers could specify an amount of their taxes to be sent to the respective colleges of their choice.   The proposal was going nowhere in Washington when, Francis Keppel, United States Director of Education, finally blurted out, “You don’t understand, under the plan proposed, we couldn’t achieve our social objectives.”  

 But what if these “social objectives” are not to our liking, Reagan asks?

Reagan concludes by reminding us that, “Education is the bulwark of freedom, but you remove it too far from the community and the parents’ control and education becomes the tool of tyranny.” 

18 Replies to “Why Darwinism can be taught in schools but not ID

  1. 1
    asauber says:

    “skepticism about Darwinian evolution is linked to greater prejudice and racism.”

    So I got this far and had to stop to comment.

    Darwin was Whiteness in a Racist Suit Jacket, but you can’t criticize him or you are a racist.

    Delicious.

    Andrew

  2. 2
    Silver Asiatic says:

    But the dynamic which caused all the transformations from molecules to man is, according to Darwin, natural selection, a weeding out of the unfit

    Right and whatever has not been weeded out, is “the fit” by that definition.
    “Skepticism about Darwinian evolution” has not been weeded out, so it contributes to fitness. It’s a good thing, in Darwinian terms. So, therefore, is prejudice and racism. Mutations created them and natural selection has preserved them for the benefit of the human race.
    But that doesn’t work very well for the social-change agents. They borrow Christian ethics and just pretend that evolution has given those values a priority over any others.

    But, alas, Francis Galton, Darwin’s brother-in-law, saw this process of weeding out the unfit as the way to perfect society; thus, “the science of eugenics” was cooked up which, for Galton and his fellow utopians, meant expelling the human slag that impeded progress.

    Evolution has no direction and therefore is not destined for utopia. Fitness is not for a perfect society but for survival and reproductive success, no matter what the cost. There’s selection pressure and competition within individual organisms as well as within the species (thus different races) – and this means competition and conflict, not harmony.
    But trying to argue with Darwinists who ignore the consequences of their own theory is mostly useless.

  3. 3
    relatd says:

    Don’t you know? EVERYONE is a racist. It’s all part of the Marxist class warfare plan. First, you create the Eternal Victims Class, which includes Black people, and the most recent addition, Asians. The Eternal Enemies Class is ALL White people. You then instruct the media to publish all this racist stuff, including a photo of a Black girl holding a sign: Stop Killing Us. Just leave out the fact that Black people kill other Black people.

    Darwinism reduces people to animals as opposed to rational human beings. ID can’t be taught because it points to God. If ID got accepted, all hell would break loose. Countries would turn into theocracies overnight and you couldn’t condone sexual deviancy.

  4. 4
    chuckdarwin says:

    Darwinism reduces people to animals as opposed to rational human beings. ID can’t be taught because it points to God. If ID got accepted, all hell would break loose. Countries would turn into theocracies overnight and you couldn’t condone sexual deviancy.

    Why is this such a hard nut for people to swallow? People are animals, whether we want to acknowledge that fact or not, irrespective of “Darwinism.” As such, we are subject to the same biological economics of supply and demand that applies to every other creature on the planet. In the West, and particularly in the US, we constantly try to deny this fact by cloaking our species with notions like imago dei or human exceptionalism or some other such childish mechanism of denial, and actively try to push that fact as far into the background as possible. But as John Adams famously said: Facts are stubborn things. Get over it. already……

  5. 5
    relatd says:

    CD at 4,

    The usual, followed by the usual. Humans, unlike animals, build things and make things. We organize our societies. We can, unlike animals, ask ourselves: How then shall we live? Too bad that some think they can behave poorly and without consequences. As opposed to others who live not just by laws, but by rules involving self-restraint and appropriate action. Get over the fact that living like animals does not apply to human beings who civilized themselves in speech, in dress and in behavior.

    Personally, I would rather imitate the latter group.

  6. 6
    asauber says:

    CD translated: “I’m saying, I’m an insect who dreamt he was a man and loved it, but now that dream is over, and the insect is awake.”

    Andrew

  7. 7
    ET says:

    Being classified as an animal doesn’t mean we are not different from the other animals. It doesn’t mean we get to act like them. THAT is the problem. We are clearly different and shouldn’t act like they do.

    Teaching kids that they are “just animals” has ramifications. Teaching them that blind and mindless processes produced the diversity of life is child abuse.

  8. 8
    chuckdarwin says:

    ET/7
    Child abuse? You and Richard Dawkins need to get a sense of perspective…….

  9. 9
    Seversky says:

    Relatd/3

    Don’t you know? EVERYONE is a racist.

    At last, we agree! Yes the potential for racism is in all of us. It is a human problem.

    And who designed us this way, according to Christian belief? The same being who punished Adam and Eve – and humanity in perpetuity – for just being curious. And who designed them to be curious? I’ll give you one guess.

    First, you create the Eternal Victims Class, which includes Black people, and the most recent addition, Asians. The Eternal Enemies Class is ALL White people.

    Have you heard of the Great Replacement Theory? Now that’s victimization.

    Just leave out the fact that Black people kill other Black people.

    The fact that black people kill black people does not justify or excuse white police killing black people with excessive force. They are supposed to be better than that.

    Darwinism reduces people to animals as opposed to rational human beings.

    We are classified as animals by taxonomists. We are still rational human beings. There is no conflict between the two and I don’t consider myself to be reduced to anything by being classified as an animal.

    ID can’t be taught because it points to God.

    ID can’t be taught as science in high school science classes as an established scientific theory because it isn’t. You will be happy to know that doesn’t stop a small number of high school science teachers openly teaching it in the science classes in breach of the Constitution and their professional, ethical and contractual obligations as teachers.

    Countries would turn into theocracies overnight and you couldn’t condone sexual deviancy.

    Are you in favor of theocracies? Judging by some of the ones we have around today they are much more dangerous to one’s health than a little sexual deviancy – whatever you mean by that.

  10. 10
    chuckdarwin says:

    You are perfectly free to teach ID in private and parochial schools. Or to home school your progeny. Who knows, the newly comprised, Catholic-dominated Supreme Court is likely to give you tax vouchers for your efforts….

  11. 11
    relatd says:

    Seversky at 9,

    Cut the dog doo-doo, OK? You just want to imitate the cool kids who look under rocks for racists.

    You think the Adam and Eve story was about curiosity? Very wrong. God gave both preternatural gifts, including immortality. Re-read Genesis. God gave them one command but a literal creature appeared and lied to them. They chose – God gave them Free Will – to disobey His one commandment to them. The Bible records an actual event. Don’t lose sight of that.

    There is definitely a conflict between humans as classified by scientists and humans as classified by God. The Catholic Church states that humans cannot be explained in purely scientific terms. Science, by definition, excludes the supernatural, but the Catholic Church can combine the two realities. The reality of God and His active role in Creation.

    The Constitution? What are you talking about? The Constitution or protecting your personal belief system? Have you contacted the FBI about this? Has anyone investigated this? Or are you just lying there, bleeding from ideas that exist only in your head?

    Sexual deviancy – “whatever you mean by that.” Let’s see: Sex in marriage only. Anything that is not sex in marriage only.

  12. 12
    relatd says:

    CD at 10,

    Take a deep breath. The Constitution guarantees freedom of religion. I’ve read about freedom from religion on the message board where I’m a moderator. It seems to center on drugs, sex and booze.

  13. 13
    chuckdarwin says:

    Relatd/12
    What message board do you moderate?

    The 1st Amendment guarantees freedom of religion and freedom from religion at minimum. If you are a Jeffersonian, like I am, your interpretation is that the 1st Amendment creates a wall of separation between church and state. Unfortunately, with our new “Trump” court, we are going to see a lot more pandering to religion for the foreseeable future….

  14. 14
    ET says:

    Yes, chuck, child abuse. Authority figures, blatantly lying to unsuspecting children in the guise of education, is child abuse. Get it? Teaching kids that lies = truth is child abuse.

  15. 15
    ET says:

    seversky:

    ID can’t be taught as science in high school science classes as an established scientific theory because it isn’t.

    You, being ignorant of science and biology, don’t get to say. The nonsense that is being taught as science violates common decency.

  16. 16
    chuckdarwin says:

    ET/14

    But it is just as probable, perhaps more so, that Christianity is the Big Lie. So who’s kidding who around here?

  17. 17
    relatd says:

    CD at 13,

    I can’t tell you where I’m a moderator. Keep in mind that what you call pandering to the religious, the religious saw the Supreme Court pandering to secularists with the original Roe v Wade decision of 1973. There are two groups and we need to learn to live together. Some people – not saying you – act like this.

    Oh, the Supreme Court legalized what I want. They’re doing a good job. Who cares if they’re mostly old white men. Followed by. The Supreme Court did what I wanted again! Hurray for the Supreme Court.

    Then…

    The Supreme Court says that Roe v Wade was wrong. That there’s nothing in the Constitution about a right to an abortion, so we’re sending that issue back to the States.

    So, how were they pandering? Their reasoning was sound. What did the Supreme Court base their 1973 decision on? “Penumbras” and “emanations” from the Constitution? That’s really vague as in really vague, plus some vague right to privacy.

  18. 18
    bornagain77 says:

    I think I will park this right here: “(James) Shapiro responded by saying that Darwin’s effect on biology was wholly negative.”

    Evolution With and Without Multiple Simultaneous Changes
    William A. Dembski – June 29, 2022
    Excerpt: Granted, (James) Shapiro is not a fan of intelligent design. But in personal conversation I’ve found him more anti-Darwinian, if that were possible, than my intelligent design colleagues.
    Specifically, I (William Dembski) remarked to him that I thought the Darwinian mechanism offered at least some useful insights. (James) Shapiro responded by saying that Darwin’s effect on biology was wholly negative.
    https://evolutionnews.org/2022/06/evolution-with-and-without-multiple-simultaneous-changes/

    James A. Shapiro, is a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Chicago.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_A._Shapiro

    Given that arch-Darwinist Jerry Coyne is also at the University of Chicago, I bet Coyne is none too happy with his colleague’s strong opposition to Darwin. 🙂

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