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No. 257 "Vital Articles on Science/Creation" November 1994
The New State Religion: Atheism
by Jerry Bergman, Ph.D.*
Copyright (c) 1994 by I.C.R.
All Rights Reserved
* Dr. Bergman is on the science faculty at Northwest State College,
It seems that atheism has become the official stance of America's
school system. One way in which many schools and teachers are
attempting to indoctrinate students is by the use of new terms to hide
the actual intent of the policy maker. For example, the current
euphemism for an atheist is a _nontheist_ or _naturalist_. Even if a
naturalistic explanation is not true, scientists must still try to
explain all events from this worldview. That the atheistic belief
structure is the norm in science was forcefully brought out by Nobel
Laureate Weinberg as follows:
Among today's scientists, I am probably somewhat atypical in
caring about such things [as God]....on matters of religion, the
strongest reaction expressed by most of my fellow physicists is a
mild surprise and amusement that anyone still takes all that
seriously. Many physicists maintain a nominal affiliation with
the faith of their parents...but few...pay any attention to their
nominal religion's theology.... Most physicists today are not
sufficiently interested in religion to even qualify as practicing
In Carl Sagan's words, the cosmos -- the physical universe -- "is all
that is or ever was or ever will be." No Gods, angels, devils, or
other spirit creatures exist -- only that which scientists can measure
with their instruments -- which means they believe that only the
visible, physical, tangible, universe exists. Of course, these
scientists have a belief structure, which Harvard's Stephen J. Gould
notes includes the conclusion that humans are "...a wildly improbable
evolutionary event ..." and "...a cosmic accident..." and that if
the evolutionary tape were played again and again, humans would not be
expected -- even if it were replayed a million times or more. This
worldview stands in direct contrast to the creationist's belief that
humans were fashioned for a purpose. The dominant view of naturalistic
scientists is that we are only "a detail" of history and do not exist
for a purpose. The only purpose of life, they teach, is that which
we arbitrarily give to it if we so choose. Gould feels that it
liberates us to give life any purpose we want which, he believes, is not
nihilistic, because it offers us "maximum freedom to thrive, or to fail,
in our own chosen way." The religious worldview, in contrast,
believes that some morals and values are superior to others and, in the
long run, living a moral God-fearing life is most conducive to
happiness. This conclusion has been well documented by empirical
Knowing that their functional atheism could hinder them from
obtaining grants or public support, scientists often skip around these
conclusions in their writing and teaching. Some, though, are open and
honestly reveal their atheism. One example is William B. Provine,
professor of biological science at Cornell. He notes that at the
beginning of his class about 75% of his students "were either
creationists or believed in purposive evolution" guided by God or a
divine power. Research on his incisive, direct, hard-hitting teaching
on origins (how students often describe his lectures) reveals that the
number of creationists and those who "believed in purposive evolution"
dropped to about 50% by the end of the course. No one has hauled him
into court for his openly indoctrinating students in atheism, and
indeed, scientists in general have applauded him.
Scientists generally not only support Provine's one-sided teaching
but are determined not to allow the other side in the classroom.
Further, science orthodoxy teaches that human existence has no God-given
purpose, but is a chance event, a blip on the radar screen in the
infinity of time. No God had any part in the creation. The authors of
one of the leading biology textbooks openly state:
Darwin compiled enough support for his theory of descent with
modification to convince most of the scientists of his day that
organisms evolve without supernatural intervention. Subsequent
discoveries, including recent ones from molecular biology,
further support this great principle -- one that connects an
otherwise bewildering chaos of facts about organisms.
This view has the backing of the scientific community and the state,,
and attempts by professors to discuss favorably another view, when
challenged by the university or state, have in the past proved
It is obvious that an attempt to censor the teaching of "the other
side of atheism" in the college classroom is nothing more than a blatant
attempt to insure that only one side of the controversy is presented.
Those professors whom the nontheistic naturalistic evolutionists believe
will influence the students in a positive direction toward theism are
often fired, censored, or "reassigned."
If naturalistic evolution is true, why do its true believers have to
use political or bullying tactics to quiet creationists (as this author
knows from personal experience)? Why do they censor evidence in favor
of creationism in textbooks, and intimidate creationist students and
teachers to accept the evolutionist party line under penalty of failure,
dismissal, or worse? The reason must be that nontheists have determined
(for deeply held philosophical reasons) that others must be taught to
believe as they do and accept only atheism or naturalism in science.
Another more important reason may be their intolerance toward
creationists. Those who criticize creationists rarely define the term.
A creationist is one who believes that God created or directed the
creation of the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. The
core of the opposition of universities and the state is against any
theistic worldview. The writer has yet to find, in a review of dozens
of college biology textbooks for class selection, a single one in the
past decade or more that espouses or objectively discusses even theistic
evolution in a positive way, let alone special creation. Even the idea
of progress is anathema in biology:
If evolution is held to be progressive, then it is all too easy
to see it as being directed, following an arrow of improvement
through time. And that is all too redolent of the notion of
"divine" design of pre-Darwinian days.... "There is a profound
unwillingness to abandon a view of life as predictable progress
...because to do so would be to admit that human existence is
nothing but a historical accident. That is difficult for many to
And as Gould stresses, the very idea of progress is a "noxious" idea in
biology that must be avoided, because it hints that God exists,
something that the science establishment cannot stomach. Conversely, he
views human consciousness as a "quirky accident" that just
happened. No wonder one who believes that life has a divine purpose
and that a creator God exists is so poorly tolerated and not to be
trusted in the classroom. An unbiased viewpoint forces the conclusion
that America has now adopted a state religion, supported by billions of
tax dollars and enforced by the power of law. That state religion is
atheism. Many scientists are decidedly not neutral on the topic of God.
Eminent scientist, Oxford University zoologist, and author Richard
Dawkins openly says that his best selling book, _The Selfish Gene_,
...brings home to people _the truth_ about why they exist,
something they previously took for granted. No one had given
them such a ruthless, starkly mechanistic, almost pointless
answer. "You are for nothing. You are here to propagate your
selfish genes. There is no higher purpose to life." One man
said he didn't sleep for three nights after reading _The Selfish
Gene_. He felt that the whole of his life had become empty, and
the universe no longer had a point. Another way of putting it is
of people losing religious faith. People now felt they
understood what it was all about, where previously they had been
fobbed off with religious pseudo-answers.
And as to the effect of evolution on the development of Dawkins' ideas,
he makes it clear:
It was a mind-blowing experience to discover Darwinism and
realize there were alternative explanations for all the questions
with traditional religious answers. I became irritated at the
way the religious establishment has a strangle-hold over this
kind of education. Most people grow up and go through their
lives without ever really understanding Darwinism. They spend
enormous amounts of time learning church teachings. This annoys
me, out of a love of truth. To me, religion is very largely an
enemy of truth.
Dawkins is very open about his views -- all theism is to be condemned,
including theistic evolution. How effective has been what now amounts
to a relentless campaign to banish any support of the theistic worldview
in our public schools and colleges? Eugenie Scott, the leader of the
world's largest organization dedicated to advancing naturalism and
counteracting the work of creationists bemoaned, "...maybe there is
_something_ we can do to raise our _esprit de corps_....it's tough out
here in the trenches where 49% of American adults think man was created
in his present form 10,000 years ago."
While some allege that there is no conflict between theism and
Darwinism, the fact is that the majority of leading evolutionists are
atheists, or at best nontheists for whom God is irrelevant to their
daily lives and their views about the natural world and the
universe. In an extensive study of scientists, Roe found in her
sample of sixty-four eminent scientists that only three were actively
involved in a church and "all of the others have long since dismissed
religion as any guide to them, and church plays no part in their
Probably a majority of evolutionists would agree with Julian
Huxley's pronouncement that "Darwinism removed the whole idea of
God as the Creator of organisms, from the sphere of rational
discussion." Others might go further and accept the Dawkinsian
view that the idea of a Creator is refuted by our human inability
to account for His origin. A minority might echo Ashley
Montagu's statement that "There is no incompatibility between
belief in God and the belief that evolution is the means by which
all living things have come into being." But I suspect they
would, in some cases at least, echo it with more than a trace of
When one compares the pessimistic, nihilistic worldview that
evolution teaches -- that life has no purpose or reason -- with the
Judeo-Christian worldview that men and women are a special creation of a
loving, caring God who provides for them and will guide them through the
trials and travails of life, a God whose love for us is so great that He
created the universe and all of its wonders specifically for our benefit
and has given us the opportunity of everlasting life in paradise, it is
obvious why most Americans prefer the latter view. In Scott's words, "I
have been saying for years that the reason creationists can win the
allegiance of some of the general public is that all we scientists do is
present evidence, but creationists go after the heart and soul. In the
words of Tom Lehrer, 'They have all of the good songs.'"
1. Weinberg, Stanley. _Dreams of a Final Theory: The Search for the
Fundamental Laws of Nature_. Pantheon Books, New York, 1992. p.
2. Sagan, Carl. _Cosmos_. Random House, New York, 1980. p. 4.
3. Gould, Stephen. _Wonderful Life: The Burgess Shale and the Nature of
History_. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1989. p. 291.
4. Ibid., p. 44.
5. Ibid., p. 291.
6. Ibid., p. 323.
7. Cox, Harold and Andre Hammonds. "Religiosity, Aging, and Life
Satisfaction" in _Journal of Religion and Aging_ 5(1/2), 1989. p.
8. Provine, William. _Creation/Evolution_, 32, 1993. p. 62-63.
9. Campbell, N., L. Mitchell and J. Reece. _Biology: Concepts and
Connections_. Benjamin/Cummings Publishing Co., Redwood City, CA,
1994. p. 258.
10. _Bishop V. Aaronov_, 723 F. supp. 1562. ND Ala, 1990.
11. Johnson, Phillip. "The Creationist and the Sociobiologist: Two
Stories About Illiberal Education," _California Law Review_, 80
(4), 1992. p. 1071-1090.
12. Johnson, Phillip. _Darwin on Trial_. Regnery Gateway, Washington,
13. Lewin, Roger. "A Simple Matter of Complexity" in _New Scientist_
141, 1994. p. 40.
14. Ibid., p. 40.
15. Dawkins, Richard. "Interview" in _Omni_ 12 (4), Jan. 1990. p. 60-61.
16. Ibid., p. 87.
17. Scott, Eugenie. "Good Songs" in _Science_ 263 (5154), Jan. 21, 1994.
18. Gilson, Robert J. _Evolution in a New Light: The Outworking of
Cosmic Imaginism_. Pelegrin Trust, Norwich, England, 1992. p. 68.
19. Roe, Anne. _The Making of a Scientist_. Dodd, Mead, and Company,
New York, 1953. p. 62.
20. Ref. No. 18, p. 68.
21. Ref. No. 17, p. 310.
This "Impact" was converted to ASCII, for BBS use.
Comments regarding typographical errors
in the above material are appreciated.
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