Posted by: Mr. C | June 1, 2008

The Real Problem with Darwinism- Dinesh D’Souza

D’Souza presents an interesting take on how prevent the proliferation of atheism in the guise of science in the public school classroom.

Full text follows:

The real problem with Darwinism in the public school classroom is that it is often taught in an atheist way. Textbooks by biologists like William Provine and Richard Dawkins routinely assert that evolution has done away with the need for God. The claim is that chance and natural selection have demonstrated that we can have design–or the appearance of design–without a designer. In this sense Darwinism becomes propaganda for atheism.

Typically evangelical Christians seek to counter this atheism by trying to expose the flaws in the Darwinian account of evolution. This explains the appeal of “creation science” and the “intelligent design” (ID) movement. These critiques, however, have not made any headway in the scientific community and they have also failed whenever they have been tried in the courts. Fortunately there is a better way.


Consider this: the First Amendment to the Constitution prohibits public schools from teaching or promoting atheism in any way. How do I know this? Well, the religion clauses of the First Amendment protect the “free exercise” of religion and at the same time forbid the “establishment” of religion. Courts have routinely held that the free exercise clause protects not only religious beliefs but also the absence of religious beliefs. If you are fired from your government job because you are an atheist, your First Amendment rights have been violated. In other words, the term “religion” means not only “religion” but also “atheism.”

Yet if the free exercise clause defines religion in a way that includes atheism, then the no-establishment clause must define religion in the same way. So the agencies of government are prohibited from “establishing” not only religion but also atheism. This means that just as a public school teacher cannot advocate Christianity or hand out Bibles to his students, so too public school textbooks and science teachers cannot advocate atheism.

I’d like to see Christian legal groups suing school districts for promoting atheism in the biology classroom. No need to produce creationist or ID critiques of Darwinism. All that is necessary is to parade the atheist claims that have made their way into the biology textbooks and biology lectures. The issue isn’t the scientific inadequacy of evolution but the way in which it is being used to undermine religious belief and promote unbelief. If the case can be made that atheism is being advocated in any way, then the textbooks would have to be rewritten and classroom presentations changed to remove the offending material. Schools would be on notice that they cannot use scientific facts to draw metaphysical conclusions in favor of atheism.

In this way Darwinism in the public schools would no longer be a threat to religion in general or Christianity in particular.

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Responses

  1. Speaking as both an agnostic and as an evolutionary biologist, I thoroughly agree that public schools should not teach atheism, and should be prosecuted for doing so.

    However, I am unaware of any public school system that uses Dawkins as teaching material. I’m sure there are isolated instances of teachers promoting atheism (just as there are instances of teachers promoting Christianity), but D’Souza’s piece strikes me more as a solution in search of a problem.

  2. “Textbooks by biologists like William Provine and Richard Dawkins routinely assert that evolution has done away with the need for God.”

    D’Souza is a liar. No books written by Dawkins are used in any United States high school biology classrooms, and no biology textbook used in the United States mentions the word “God”.

    Dinesh D’Souza is a political writer and he knows nothing about science.

    Both gravity and biological evolution are scientific facts. Nobody calls gravity atheistic, and there’s no reason to call evolution atheistic. Evolution conflicts with the religious belief called magical creation, but who cares? The only religious people who deny the facts of evolution are uneducated hicks.

    Dinesh D’Souza, I don’t care about your breathtaking stupidity, but I don’t like your compulsive lying. You should be ashamed of yourself. You are using your dishonesty to attack science education. That makes you a traitor. I strongly encourage you to get out of my country. If it was up to me liars like you who attack education would be put in prison.

    By the way, it’s called biological evolution, not “Darwinism”. Only creationist morons like D’Souza use the word Darwinism.

  3. Myrmecos= an example of an intelligent comment that contributes to the debate

    bobxxxx= a flaming comment that adds nothing and only makes himself look bad

  4. Actually…. all of bobxxxx’s comment is on the money. I mean we are talking about a man who seriously proposed allying with Iran to help fight the liberals at home.

    All bob does wrong is show human emotion… which if you don’t you are obviously an emotionless robot.

  5. I second the sentiments of Myrmecos and Bobxxxx. I teach high school biology and don’t know of any books used by the likes of Dawkins.

  6. All that is necessary is to parade the atheist claims that have made their way into the biology textbooks and biology lectures.

    D’Sousa is making a specific factual claim here. If he knows, or should know, that this factual claim is untrue . . . well, is it really so unfair to call him a liar?

  7. By the way, Caleb, I could not help but notice that your avatar for your comments appears to be a photograph of you in your uniform, on a blog where you are actively advocating for the Intelligent Design movement.

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the provisions of AR 670-1, which prohibits the wearing of the uniform “[i]n connection with the furtherance of any political or commercial interests”.

  8. John,
    Thanks for catching that. I hadn’t thought of changing my avatar because I have another wordpress blog where I write about my experiences as a Chaplain Candidate.
    Thanks for the heads up, I have made the change.

  9. bobxxx WAS wrong in his post, as the author of this article is not a creationist and it is with this misunderstanding that he rambles on about such. This has pretty much the same effect as D’Sousa’s misunderstanding that biology lessons bring an atheist slant into the teaching of evolution – although D’Sousa at least didn’t suggest that biology teachers should ‘get out of my country’.


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