By Charles Chandler | First Published: March 17, 2015
The headline was chilling: “A Fight for the Young Creationist Mind.” The accompanying article in the New York Times last November put into clear view the “evangelistic” efforts of some hardline evolutionists who are trying to use their brand of science to turn kids—especially those from Christian homes—against not only biblical creation, but God Himself.
Bill Nye, an educator, author, television host and agnostic known as “The Science Guy,” said in the article that he hoped his new book, Undeniable, would reach young children who have been taught at home to believe that God created the heavens and the earth.
He acknowledged that he wanted to convert children to his way of thinking—“that would be the best case,” he said—and explained that he hoped to do so when they were around 7 or 8 years old because “by the time you’re 18, you've made up your mind.”
The strategy is prevalent in the scientific community, where the battle often isn't so much about evolution vs. creation, but rather evolution vs. God.
“It’s driven by an attempt to eliminate God, and it’s just as much of an ideology as is any religion,” said Ken Boa, a noted Christian teacher, author and apologist.
“This anti-religious mindset has a kind of religious fervor to it. They regard it as a moral imperative because they believe these kids have been mistaught and are deceived. It’s being driven by a philosophy that’s not true science, but which imposes its interpretation on science and redefines science.”
The sobering truth is that the dogmatic teaching of evolution joins other more obvious threats to the minds, hearts and souls of youngsters, such as secular entertainment and media.
“It’s leaving [children] without a moral rudder,” said Ray Comfort, an evangelist, broadcaster and author who co-hosts The Way of the Master television program with actor Kirk Cameron.
“It is creating a generation that is subject to relativity. It says that we’re not human beings made in the image of God, but that we’re animals, and that we’re without any moral responsibility.”
Christian groups are fighting back, but they are challenged to find breakthroughs in a legal system that views any attempt to merely question evolutionary theory as a potential violation of church-state separation.
In Kansas, the nonprofit group Citizens for Objective Public Education has taken to the 10th U.S. Court of Appeals their objection to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) that have been adopted by 13 states and the District of Columbia. The standards call for strict teaching that biological evolution is “the process by which all living things have evolved over many generations from shared ancestors.”
The group’s lawsuit against the Kansas State Board of Education says the NGSS seeks to indoctrinate students into an atheistic worldview, starting in kindergarten.
The complaint says the NGSS results in young children receiving the teaching “before they attain the age and sophistication necessary to make an informed decision about it.”
One of the representing attorneys in the Kansas case is Kevin Snider of the Pacific Justice Institute, a nonprofit legal defense organization focusing on religious freedom, parental rights and civil liberties.
Snider said the case is rooted in the contention that the NGSS as applied in Kansas promotes a non-theistic religion “and by doing so they are trying to disrespect or denigrate theistic religion.”
The case was dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge but now is in the hands of the federal appeals court.
In Texas, which did not adopt the NGSS, public school teachers have fewer restraints regarding matters of scientific origin. Students there are encouraged to think critically and to examine all sides of the issues, says Barbara Cargill, who chairs the Texas State Board of Education.
“Having students critically analyze evolution is important,” Cargill said. “This is an issue where there is considerable disagreement and debate, so a sound teaching strategy is to discuss the controversy [and] allow the students to examine both the strengths and weaknesses of scientific evidence, and in so doing make up their own minds about the subject.
“We want to educate our students—not indoctrinate them by letting them hear only one side of the issue.” Comfort, who produced the film Evolution vs. God, said scientific theories omitting the Lord’s divine hand in creation are evidence of the Apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 8:7 that “the carnal mind is enmity against God.”
“You cannot have any building without a builder,” Comfort said. “You cannot have a painting without a painter. The painting is proof that there is a painter. The building is proof that there is a builder. And creation is absolute proof that there is a Creator.”
The almost fanatical refusal of many secularists and scientists to allow any possibility of God is akin to the intolerance aimed at Christians who stand for biblical truths on other controversial subjects.
“It’s the same sort of thing you find with the whole LGBT position [regarding same-sex marriage and homosexuality],” Boa said. “It’s not a question of equality. It’s a question of preferential treatment, and anything that doesn't agree with them is a hate crime, or you’re bigoted, narrow-minded and so forth. It’s the same thing here.”
For parents, the stakes could hardly be higher, especially with prominent evolutionists like Nye and Richard Dawkins, a staunch atheist, leading the charge to sway children.
Dawkins wrote a children’s book aimed at debunking the Bible titled The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True.
Dawkins’ view of God-fearing creationists is clear in this quote: “It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).”
As for Nye, in addition to his Undeniable book, he released the 2012 short video Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children.
Nye said in the video: “I say to the grown-ups, ‘If you want to deny evolution and live in your world that’s completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that’s fine, but don’t make your kids do it, because we need them.”
Clearly, it’s incumbent upon parents to sow the Gospel and biblical truths deeply into their children’s lives and to monitor anything that might adversely affect them.
“I read all the books my kids are assigned to read, and if they have something that is inconsistent with the Christian faith, we have a discussion about it,” said Kevin Snider, the Pacific Justice Institute attorney.
“It’s not that I don’t ever want them exposed to it, but I don’t want them to be exposed in a manner in which they’re vulnerable and have no critical thinking [skills] to challenge it. As parents, we have got to stay involved.” D 2015 BGEA