As a young Christian (many, many years ago) I was honestly open to the idea that we are the product of evolution. But I had never really investigated the matter for myself. Honestly, I believed it was a big waste of time. “Why bother?” I thought. “After all, it is quite possible that evolution is simply the process God used to create humanity. It is perfectly reasonable both in terms of logic and theology.” I thought this way years ago, and I still generally think this way today. Indeed, numerous scientists have pronounced Human Evolution (I’ll just call it “HE” for short) to be an absolute fact, saying the evidence for it is totally “overwhelming.” (For examples of such pronouncements, check out the endnotes below.)1
The subtext of these pronouncements is this: “Either you believe in HE, or you are an idiot. You are guilty of SCIENCE DENIAL.” The evidence is supposedly so powerful that soon the whole world will come under the sway of this theory. Such discourse betrays the same attitude as the Borg in Star-Trek: “Resistance is futile!”
In fact, many theologians have jumped on this bandwagon and are now promoting biblical interpretations that harmonize the book of Genesis with HE. As I said, I don’t have a problem with the idea that the Bible might be compatible with HE. But I do have a problem with the way they portray the scientific evidence: It is so persuasive that we all must adjust our interpretation of the Bible. Again, “Resistance is futile!”
My apathy about this topic suffered a violent death when some very intelligent friends and family members (who all reject Christianity) kept waxing eloquent to me about all of the powerful evidence for HE. When I perceived a connection between their rejection of Christ and their belief in HE my curiosity was piqued. So, after decades of putting it off, I finally began my quest. I began reading numerous books written by proponents of HE. I worked through endless journal articles, textbooks, and online lectures. I found information about the history of the theory, details about many “pre-human” fossils, gobs of material on human genetics, evolutionary psychology, and many other topics. However . . . I found very little material that even attempted to prove that the theory is actually true; just lots of stuff that already assumes it is true. I kept thinking I had missed something. “Where’s the part where they explain why I should believe this whole thing?”
I was deeply disappointed. To be sure, a couple of books did actually cover numerous pieces of evidence for HE. But it was only a couple. (In coming weeks I will discuss the evidence that I found in these books and elsewhere.) The vast, vast majority did not.
Most of the literature I encountered was thick on gigantic confidence but thin on evidence. Indeed, I believe it is this very confidence that keeps the theory afloat, not the evidence itself. That is, it is the self-assured posture of the advocates of HE that leads people (including scientists) to think it is true. You see, something can seem true merely because a bunch of smart people strongly believe it’s true, repeatedly say it’s true, and confidently act like it’s true. For instance, In 1902 thousands of people in the city of St. Pierre (on the Caribbean island of St. Martinique) were convinced by the local experts that the volcano towering over their city was not going to erupt, despite numerous indications that it was ready to blow. These experts were very confident that everything was just hunky-dory. “No need to relocate,” they said. And the chief editor of the local newspaper worked hard to spread their message. Together, all of these scientists and public intellectuals convinced themselves, and most of the city, that they were perfectly safe. Thus, for thousands of people the claim that “everything is hunky-dory” seemed true-downright certain-because so many intelligent people believed it. Nonetheless, on May 8, 1902 the volcano erupted and instantly killed all of them (30,000 people). Again, something can seem true merely because a bunch of intelligent people say it’s true, say it with confidence, and say it a lot. But that doesn’t make it true.
And that is exactly what is happening with evolutionary theory, and HE in particular. Because of the strong, loud, and confident pronouncements from scientists and other intellectuals that “evolution is an absolute scientific fact” it seems like it must be true. It feels like it must be true. Therefore, it is accorded the same status as scientific theories that are unquestionably factual, such as gravity, heliocentrism, and the laws of electromagnetism.
Because of this gigantic confidence it is assumed that anyone who questions HE is on a par with someone who believes that the earth is flat, Santa Claus is real, and Elvis is alive. Thus-in universities and colleges-a system of rewards and punishments has been developed that prevents most professors who openly question the theory from advancing in their academic careers, while those who embrace the theory are allowed to advance with no such hindrances. Many professors have been fired, denied tenure, and viciously harassed for openly questioning evolution. Numerous examples of this kind of academic repression can be found at https://freescience.today/stories/.
And this is where my journey here-in this blog, writing under this pseudonym-begins. Currently, there is not a single book on the market that summarizes all of the evidence for and against HE. I’m bound and determined to write and publish such a book so others can understand the issue better (without having to suffer through intolerable tedium and confusion like I did). I’m working toward getting a PhD for two reasons: to conduct further research and to have increased credibility when I approach a publisher with my manuscript. But all of this means I can’t (yet) openly write against HE. Why? Because if faculty members in my department discovered my rejection of HE, I might not be allowed to graduate with a degree, and I might be blacklisted from most mainstream universities. Thus, I write in secret. This is why I am writing under a pseudonym. It would be foolhardy for me to do otherwise. Remember, “Resistance is futile!”
However, I’m dying to share what I’ve learned. And that is why I am here. I want to help others understand this topic. I’ve discovered that if one looks past all of the bluster, hand-waiving, and chest-thumping, one finds that the evidence for HE is actually very meager. Indeed, it is totally underwhelming. The evidence does not at all justify the claims that are being made; and the paltry nature of the evidence utterly condemns the ostentatious displays of certainty that parade across our television screens and the pages of popular magazines. This is the evidence I want us to examine in the coming weeks.
1. “The accumulated evidence for human evolution is now overwhelming.” Bernard Campbell. Human Evolution. 4th ed. (New York: Routledge, 1998), xiii.
“We are apes descended from other apes, and our closest cousin is the chimpanzee, whose ancestors diverged from our own several million years ago in Africa. These are indisputable facts” Jerry A. Coyne. Why Evolution Is True. (New York: Penguin, 2009), 192.
“Use of the word overwhelming to describe the accumulated evidence of human evolution borders on understatement. . . . For those familiar with the evidence, there is no doubt whatsoever—we evolved.” Daniel Fairbanks. Evolving: The Human Effect And Why It Matters (Amherst, NY: Prometheus, 2012.), 12.