Tag Archives: NCSE

Is Darwinian evolution compatible with belief in God and robust religion?

Here’s Casey Luskin to explain the facts about God and evolution: (21 minutes)

About Casey Luskin: (just a snippet)

Casey Luskin is an attorney with graduate degrees in both science and law. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Earth Sciences from the University of California, San Diego. His Law Degree is from the University of San Diego. In his role at Discovery Institute, Mr. Luskin works as Research Coordinator for the Center for Science and Culture. He formerly conducted geological research at Scripps Institution for Oceanography (1997-2002).

Luskin is also co-founder of the Intelligent Design and Evolution Awareness (IDEA) Center, a non-profit helping students to investigate evolution by starting “IDEA Clubs” on college and high school campuses across the country. For his work with IDEA, the Intelligent Design and Undergraduate Research Center named an award honoring college graduates for excellence in student advocacy of intelligent design (ID) the “Casey Luskin Graduate Award.”

If you can’t see the video, then you can check out this article by Casey from Salvo magazine.


Whenever someone avers belief in “God-guided evolution,” it’s important to clarify what is meant by “evolution.” It can mean something as benign as (1) “Life has changed over time,” or it can entail more controversial ideas, like (2) “All living things have a universal common ancestry,” or (3) “Natural selection acting upon random mutations produced the complexity of life.”

When the average theistic evolutionist says he believes that “God used evolution,” what he often actually means is that God supernaturally intervened at various points in Earth’s history to direct the course of life. He accepts evolution in sense 1 above, and maybe sense 2 as well, but has doubts about sense 3. This viewpoint differs dramatically from the standard neo-Darwinian paradigm that currently reigns in biology.

As defined by its proponents, neo-Darwinism is a blind process of natural selection acting upon random mutations without any guidance by an external agent. According to the architects of this theory, the evolutionary process has no goals or predetermined outcome, and is by definition unguided. Under this view of life, human beings are accidents of history—and not just their bodies, but their brains and behaviors as well, including their moral and religious impulses. Thus, true neo-Darwinian theistic evolutionists (and they are out there) claim that, somehow, God guided an unguided process.

But many of those who adopt the “theistic evolutionist” moniker actually reject neo-Darwinism and hold a view that’s much closer to intelligent design, that is, to the belief that an intelligent agent has actively intervened—in a meaningful and detectable manner—to guide the development of life. The Evolution Lobby, however, will never be satisfied until such people fully capitulate to the Darwinian view.

And a bit later in that same paper:

Evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala makes this argument, stating, “Mutations are random or chance events because . . . [they] are unoriented with respect to adaptation.”

[…]Ayala continues:

The scientific account of these events does not necessitate recourse to a preordained plan, whether imprinted from the beginning or through successive interventions by an omniscient and almighty Designer. Biological evolution differs from a painting or an artifact in that it is not the outcome of preconceived design.

Ayala concludes that, “in evolution, there is no entity or person who is selecting adaptive combinations.”12 Again, that doesn’t sound like a religiously neutral model of biological origins.

Indeed, in surveying how mainstream biology textbooks define Darwinian evolution, we learn it is a “random,” “blind,” “uncaring,” “heartless,” “undirected,” “purposeless,” and “chance” process that acts “without plan” or “any goals”; that we are “not created for any special purpose or as part of any universal design,” and that “a god of design and purpose is not necessary.”13 If those don’t entail claims that cut against theism, what would?

Moreover, if Darwinian evolution is irrelevant to faith, why do so many atheists cite it as a reason for abandoning religion? A 2007 poll of 149 evolutionary biologists found that only two “described themselves as full theists.”14 Likewise, a survey of biologist members of the NAS found that over 94 percent were atheists or agnostics.15 It’s no coincidence that Eugenie Scott—the de facto head of the Evolution Lobby—signed the Third Humanist Manifesto, or that the world’s most famous evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins, is also the world’s most famous atheist. In Dawkins’s own words, “Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.”16

He is one of my favorite people to listen to, because he is very very direct and definitely is not clouding the issues, the combatants and what each side is really trying to achieve. There is a lot of noise and obfuscation in this debate. But if you watch Casey’s video, you will get everything as it really is.

Is Eugenie Scott right? Are there no peer-reviewed papers supporting ID?

The video above is discussed in this must-hear podcast, featuring Casey Luskin.

The MP3 file is here.


On this episode of ID The Future, Casey Luskin puts to rest once and for all the common assertion by opponents of intelligent design that there are no scientific papers supporting the claims of ID. This wasn’t true in 2005 when Eugenie Scott of the NCSE stated it on MSNBC and it certainly isn’t true six years later. Luskin discusses the most recent scientific paper, by Stephen Meyer and Paul Nelson, and talks about the importance of the peer-reviewed scientific literature: “These papers collectively make a case that intelligent causation is necessary to produce the sort of biological complexity that we are discovering in the cell today.”

If you listen to the podcast, Luskin goes over some of the recent peer-reviewed papers that support ID. But much more importantly, he proves that Eugenie Scott is a liar. She is literally caught in a lie in the video above. She claims that there are no peer-reviewed papers that support ID. Stephen Meyer cites a peer-reviewed paper that he authored. Eugenie Scott claims that the paper does not mention ID. Casey Luskin reads from the paper. The paper explicitly supports ID. Eugenie Scott lied in order to defend her religion of naturalism from the scientific publication that falsifies it.

Here’s an excerpt from the paper that Eugenie Scott claims doesn’t support intelligent design:

Does neo-Darwinism or any other purely materialistic model of morphogenesis account for the origin of the genetic and other forms of CSI necessary to produce novel organismal form? If not, as this review has argued, could the emergence of novel information-rich genes, proteins, cell types and body plans have resulted from actual design, rather than a purposeless process that merely mimics the powers of a designing intelligence? The logic of neo-Darwinism, with its specific claim to have accounted for the appearance of design, would itself seem to open the door to this possibility. Indeed, the historical formulation of Darwinism in dialectical opposition to the design hypothesis (Gillespie 1979), coupled with the neo-Darwinism’s inability to account for many salient appearances of design including the emergence of form and information, would seem logically to reopen the possibility of actual (as opposed to apparent) design in the history of life.


Yet it is precisely for this reason that current advocates of the design hypothesis want to reconsider design as an explanation for the origin of biological form and information. This review, and much of the literature it has surveyed, suggests that four of the most prominent models for explaining the origin of biological form fail to provide adequate causal explanations for the discontinuous increases of CSI that are required to produce novel morphologies. Yet, we have repeated experience of rational and conscious agents–in particular ourselves–generating or causing increases in complex specified information, both in the form of sequence-specific lines of code and in the form of hierarchically arranged systems of parts.


There is a third reason to consider purpose or design as an explanation for the origin of biological form and information: purposive agents have just those necessary powers that natural selection lacks as a condition of its causal adequacy. At several points in the previous analysis, we saw that natural selection lacked the ability to generate novel information precisely because it can only act after new functional CSI has arisen. Natural selection can favor new proteins, and genes, but only after they perform some function. The job of generating new functional genes, proteins and systems of proteins therefore falls entirely to random mutations. Yet without functional criteria to guide a search through the space of possible sequences, random variation is probabilistically doomed. What is needed is not just a source of variation (i.e., the freedom to search a space of possibilities) or a mode of selection that can operate after the fact of a successful search, but instead a means of selection that (a) operates during a search–before success–and that (b) is guided by information about, or knowledge of, a functional target.

And the conclusion:

An experience-based analysis of the causal powers of various explanatory hypotheses suggests purposive or intelligent design as a causally adequate–and perhaps the most causally adequate–explanation for the origin of the complex specified information required to build the Cambrian animals and the novel forms they represent. For this reason, recent scientific interest in the design hypothesis is unlikely to abate as biologists continue to wrestle with the problem of the origination of biological form and the higher taxa.

Those are just a few excerpts.

According to Eugenie Scott, this paper “doesn’t mention intelligent design”. She is a liar.

In listening to this podcast, it really struck me how proponents of evolution must lie in order to defend their religion – the religion of naturalism. You would think that the refutation of naturalism by the Big Bang cosmology would cause these naturalists to abandon the religion of naturalism, and be open to the reality of non-material intelligent causation. But it’s not the case. Naturalists must necessarily oppose the progress of science. They oppose the Big Bang cosmology. They oppose the cosmic fine-tuning. They oppose origin of life research. They oppose the fossils found in the Cambrian explosion. They oppose findings showing the high requirements for habitable galaxies, solar systems and planets.

It’s a case of religion versus science. The speculations of a blind-faith religion against the experimental results of scientific research. The anti-ID people have the religion of naturalism to defend, and the pro-ID people have the science.  One side is willing to lie about nature, and the other side tells the truth about nature.

If you missed it, my previous post noted how the list of pro-ID peer-reviewed papers is now up to 50.

Darwinism-advocates at NCSE now want to indoctrinate children in global warming

From the Washington Times.


On Monday, the National Center for Science Education, a nonprofit group that denounces intelligent design and supports an evolution-only curriculum in the classroom, will expand its mission. The organization of scientists, anthropologists and others is turning its attention to climate change, and it will mount an aggressive effort to teach the nation’s schoolchildren that climate change is real and is being driven by human activity.

“For 20 years, we’ve helped teachers cope with what we can only describe as societal or political problems in teaching evolution. They’re running into the same opposition in teaching climate change,” NCSE Executive Director Eugenie Scott said. “We worry, because of our experience with evolution, that basic science is going to be compromised as a result of this political and ideological opposition. Good science needs to be taught.”

Critics point out important distinctions between the defense of evolution and the promotion of climate change, since the latter carries more obvious and immediate policy implications. Alarmists call for broad federal policies to combat climate change, such as President Obama’s proposed “cap-and-trade” legislation, which is designed to limit carbon emissions. Although that measure is on hold, a law imposed by the European Union requires all airline companies to pay for their carbon emissions during flights in and out of Europe. Officials at the United Nations have even called for a global tax on carbon dioxide emissions.

I’ve always said that there are only two beliefs that are accepted by most people that I do not accept. Darwinian evolution and man-made catastrophic global warming. I always find it telling when the people who push an ideology go after children, in order to indoctrinate them when they have the least understanding of how the real world works. Look at how the Darwinists and the global warmists handle criticism – by attacking and silencing anyone who dissents from their orthodoxy. That should tell you everything you need to know about their ability to win a debate. Notice also how they are not pushing for more Big Bang cosmology, fine-tuning or Cambrian explosion in the schools. That would not be germane to their secular leftist agenda.