Imagine, if you will, a Korean tourist visiting the United States for the first time. She decides to bring her sister a book as a gift from America. When this woman spies a sign that says “Adult Bookstore,” she heads straight for it—only to be taught a shocking lesson: that the word adult can mean very different things. Tourists aren’t the only people confused by words with more than one meaning. American school kids can be confused, too—especially when the word in question is evolution. When our children open their biology textbooks, they learn about microevolution—small-scale hereditary changes that occur through mutations and recombinations. Microevolution is a well-known process of observable changes like the color of moths or the shape of a finch’s beak. But textbooks leap straight from these minor differences to macroevolution—the theory of large-scale and long-range evolution, like the emergence of moths and finches in the first place. Macroevolution is entirely speculative, with no direct observable evidence. It is little more than a philosophy—the assertion that all life arose by purely natural causes acting by chance. But this crucial difference is never explained in biology textbooks. And so high-school kids end up with biology texts that treat macroevolution as though it were just as certain as microevolution. For example, a textbook from Saunders College Publishing says: “Evolution is no longer merely a theory.” A textbook from Prentiss Hall proclaims that “evolutionary change is undeniable.” But do they mean micro- or macroevolution? Equivocating on the two meanings creates the impression that macroevolution has the same factual status as microevolution. And so students are indoctrinated in a Darwinist philosophy that teaches that life has no ultimate purpose, that we are simply matter in mindless motion. Sometimes that philosophy is taught openly. A Prentiss Hall textbook states that “evolution works without any plan or purpose.” In a book called Science on Trial: The Case for Evolution, biologist Douglas Futuyma makes the issue crystal clear: “[While] some people shrink from the conclusion that the human species was not designed,” Futuyma writes, “this seems to be the message of evolution.” Is this the message your kids are absorbing from their school books? For help in deciphering the arguments for evolution, one of the best resources is a booklet called “Education or Indoctrination,” published by the Access Research Network. Like that imaginary Korean tourist, your kids will learn that words can have many different meanings. And they’ll also learn how to unmask evolutionary philosophy when it masquerades as fact.


Chuck Colson


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