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Vol. V • 1982

Beyond Darwinism: Exposing the "Neutrality of Science" Myth
Ellen Myers

The collapse of the Darwinian evolutionist model is now taking place before our very eyes. It is demonstrated and hastened by the flood of information now bursting the confines of professional journals and conferences and spilling over into publications addressed to the general public. The insuperable scientific difficulties with Darwinism are thus becoming known to too many outside the Darwinist fraternity. Neither outright attack nor silence nor derision towards opponents of Darwinism will put the Darwinist Humpty Dumpty together again.

Why has the ailing Darwinist model been supported by the educational and scientific-philosophical "establishment" for so long when its weaknesses were known for years? In their recent frontal attack upon Darwinism noted British astronomers Sir Fred Hoyle and Chandra Wickramasinghe wrestle with this question. An Associated Press report on their new book, Evolution from Space. quotes them as follows:

Whatever Hoyle and Wickramasinghe may have had in mind when speaking of Darwinism's "social desirability" in the eyes of its supporters. the model has in actual fact been responsible for great social harm. This is because from its beginning it has served as a purveyor of respectability and epistemological support for a multitude of divergent and sometimes vicious and inhuman movements including eugenicism, Haeckelian monism, National Socialism and Marxism.2 The "Darwinist connection" to such movements has been investigated by many scholars and is by no means a secret, nor a specious and malicious assertion of opponents to Darwinism. However, the role of Darwinism in such movements needs to be made known widely and repeatedly. If we do well and we do to remember frequently the atrocities committed by the Nazis, and also by the Communist rulers of the Gulag Archipelago described so well by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, then we also need to be aware of the presuppositions at their ideological roots. Darwinist-influenced thought is perhaps their most important, and certainly their most purportedly "scientific" presupposition.

Hoyle and Wickramasinghe mention Darwinism's "grip on the educational system. It is perhaps in this area that creationists have been most effective. They have assiduously published the many "anomalies" of the Darwinist evolutionist model for many years. They have insistently and successfully challenged the educational and "scientific" Darwinist establishment locally, nationally and world-wide. Granted that they undertook their work as part and parcel of the defense of the Biblical Christian faith, they yet acted within the true spirit of academic freedom supposed to prevail in the public schools and colleges of free Western societies for both evolutionists and creationists, unbelievers and Christians. The acclaim now accorded to such as Hoyle and Wickramasinghe (or Francis Hitching's book The Neck of the Giraffe) has been largely facilitated by creationist pioneers like Henry Morris and Duane Gish. In view of the collapse of Darwinism today, and in view of the response of textbook writers and publishers to this development (not to mention grassroots efforts by creationists), it is to state the obvious to say that Darwinism's grip on the educational system is now broken.

Let us now deal with the supposed need for support of Darwinism in order to defend against "irrationalism." Once a scientific theory or paradigm has broken down on scientific grounds, it would seem in itself irrational to continue to cling to it on other than scientific grounds, if "rationality" be equated with empirical verification (and this equation is not universally accepted by rational men!). However, the deepest point at issue here is not so much a fear of "irrationalism" but rather tear of exposure of the purported "neutrality" of science, or the scientific method, as a myth. Some honestly believe that there is such a thing as "neutrality" in scientific investigation, and they attack Biblical creationism as unscientific because it sees its starting point in the Creator God of the Bible rather than the "data" themselves. It is time to point out to such honest but mistaken believers in the supposed "neutrality" of current "secular" scientific investigation that Biblical creationist scientists are in a sense more "neutral" than their unbelieving colleagues, and that "secular" Darwinism in particular has in fact never been "neutral" at all but rather presupposition and assumption-laden from its very inception.

A communications gap has long existed between the scientific/philosophical establishment on the one hand, and "rank-and-file" scientists and the general public on the other hand, about the manner in which scientific research should be and is carried on. As recently as 1953 this writer was taught in an introductory college class that scientific research must proceed "neutrally", that is, without value judgments and without preconceived assumptions about results. The class was told that one may tentatively pursue scientific research under the guidance of initial working hypotheses, but that these must be open to change depending on the actual facts observed. These principles, we were told, constituted the (one and only) "scientific method."

However, the actual relationship between theories and concrete research does not fit this teaching, and has not done so for over a century since Darwin, to be exact. A scholar tracing the history of Darwinism in America has written:

Norman Macbeth, a Yale-trained attorney examining Darwinism from the general public's perspective, has confirmed this state of affairs as follows:

Macbeth then demands certain qualifications of this view, including the stipulation that "(t)he scientist must part wrth his theory cheerfully the moment it is proved to be contrary to anyfact, great or small."5 This stipulation, of course, would in effect restore the traditional scientific method, and with it the kind of "neutrality" expected from science by the outsider. But this traditional scientific method based upon submission to empirical findings is precisely the method which Darwin was one of the first to overthrow and to replace by the new "hypothetical methodi"

It was incidentally a professing Christian, Francis Bacon (1561 1626), who was primarily responsible for the formulation and establishment of the traditional scientific method and its purported "neutrality", stressing "experimentation and induction from data rather than philosophical deduction in the tradition of Aristotle,"6 Modern scientific advancement was largely shaped by the Reformation,7 that is, by a movement within Christianity squarely based upon the Bible. To the Christian, Biblical creationist, scientific research has ever been, in Johann Kepler's or perhaps Michael Faraday's words, lo think God's thoughts after Him." This means that the Bible-believing scientist does not view himself as supreme ruler and director of his research and his material. He is not as it were God himself. He rather does his scientific research in humility under God the Creator and Sustainer of all things. He is "neutral" in the sense of emptying himself of all his own, or his fellow men's preconceived assumptions about the world God created in His (and not man's) counsel, omniscience and omnipotence. He does not classify himself (as "realist, "nominalist", "mechanist" etc.) according to human schools of thought, another aspect of his "neutrality" as between men resulting from his commitment to the Creator God of the Bible.

Now the unbelieving scientist or philosopher defines scientific "neutrality" radically otherwise. To him, scientific "neutrality" means deliberate exclusion of belief in God from the outset of scientific research. But of course this very exclusion itself constitutes a deliberate abrogation of "neutrality". Moreover, in the name of "neutrality" about God the door is opened to definite preconceived notions adopted from other men; in fact, such research must of necessity reflect the opinions or value judgments of the researcher and cannot be purely objective or "neutral,"8

Finally, the concept of "neutrality" as defined bythe unbelieving scientist or philosopher, in addition to being impossible to translate into actual practice, also prejudges through its very essence (exclusion of belief in God) the answer to questions about origins. It is an elementary truth that we human beings did not make ourselves, nor the universe in which we find ourselves. We must therefore account for ourselves and the universe as given ("data"), Their givenness is inescapable. Thus when we ask how, by whom or what, they were given, the answer positing a transcendent personal Giver must be permitted in the name of "neutrality" itself. This answer isjust as "rational" (though not empirically observable) as an answer positing eternal matter in motion "directed" by chance plus time (equally not empirically observable). Neither answer is itself "neutral" absolutely, nor are absolutely "neutral" answers possible about origins, and thus about scientific research in general which also originates ultimately in the origin of the "given", which we and the world are.9

The "crime" of Biblical creationism is that it is drawing increasing attention to the fact that the vaunted "neutrality of science" is a myth. Darwinism, explicitly and frankly starting with assumptions and the "hypothetical method", with deduction from philosophical premises rather than the humbler traditional inductive method (though it, too, professed a "neutrality" it did not in fact possess), received its just deserts: destruction at the hands of "given" reality pointing, in Hoyle's and Wickramasinghe's words, "clearly and decisively to a cosmic origin of life an `intelligence' . . or God."10 To the creationist, Bible-believing Christian, this is the expected vindication of Romans 1:18-20,

1 "British Pair Find a Controlled 'Cosmic Origin' of Life, Wichita Eagle-Beacon, December 11, 1982, p. 212.
2 See Ellen Myers, "Monistic Evolutionism as a Pseudo-Paradigm," CSSH Quarterly, Vol, V, No.2 (Winter 1982), pp. 14-28.
3 George Daniels, editor, Darwinism Comes To America (Waltham, MA: Blaisdell Publishing Co., 1968), p. 42.
4 Norman Macbeth, Darwin Retried (New York: Dell Publishing Co., 1971, First Delta Printing 1973), p. 7.
5 Ibid
6 Henry M. Morris, Men of Science. Men of God (San Diego, CA: Creation-Life Publishers, 1982), p. 35.
7 See Robert K. Merton, Social Theory and Social Structure (Glencoe, IL: Free Press, 1957), Chapter 18, "Puritanism, Pietism, and Science."
8 This fact has been recognized by numerous unbelieving scientists and philosophers themselves. For an especially enlightening discussion, see lmre Lakatos, and Alan Musgrave, editors, Criticism and the Growth of Knowledge (Cambridge University Press, 1970), esp. p. 91ff., reviewed in CSSHQ Special Reprint *t2,
9 Major Christian thinkers and defenders of the faith, notably Cornelius Van til and Rousas John Rushdoony, have done invaluable work in showing the impossibility of "neutrality" about anything whatsoever, including empirical data.
10 Wichita Eagle-Beacon, loc. cit.

"Beyond Darwinism: Exposing the 'Neutrality of Science' Myth"
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