The Lurking Monster

How Naturalism has Crept into Science

            Unbeknownst to many, the monster of Doctor Frankenstein is actually alive. While it may not be an amalgamation of flesh and blood, it still claws for existence against the odds.  Born out of desperation, it clings to its power by changing history, hiding its dark past, and silencing any who oppose it. Its sinewy arms stretch across the globe, aggressively defending itself against those that would rise up against it; to its advantage, however, few people even believe the creature exists. Cobbled together throughout the ages in the shadows, this monster may have finally been revealed.  Methodological naturalism is its name, and the submission of all those around it is its game.

            Few realize the influence this has had on history. Quite literally, it has twisted our outlook on the past. Seemingly harmless history texts now portray a very different path in history than actually happened. One such occurrence is what is commonly known as the “Dark Ages.”  It is assumed that during this period of the middle ages, very little new knowledge or technology arose due to the suppression of religious dogmatism. Many have been lead to believe that, after the fall of Rome, there was a period of intellectual darkness[1].  The ancient people of that time are assumed by many to ignorantly believe that the world is flat. This has become a weapon for supporters of naturalism because they can now attempt to equate those who doubt Darwinism as flat-earthers; however, this postulation is founded on sand.  For many centuries, even in and before the so-called “Dark ages,” people were bright enough to understand that the world was actually round.  As early as 240 BC, a Greek mathematician by the name of Eratosthenes made calculations based on the assumptions that the Earth was indeed round. Eratosthenes was the librarian of Alexandria, a vast storehouse of knowledge. Without leaving the city, he accurately calculated the circumference of the Earth![2]  This happened well before 500-1500 AD, when the dark ages are said to have happened. Very few held the flat Earth view. Even the Bible in Isaiah 40:22 mentions the “circle” of the Earth, so it is silly to claim that the rise of the Christian church forced the flat earth view; instead, it was perfectly fine with the evidence suggesting that the Earth was indeed round.  This claim that people of the Dark Ages were dim-witted falls flat.

            Instead of being anti-intellectual, the Dark Ages were actually a time of fantastic growth in the formulation of the sciences. Author Rodney Stark makes a strong case that the rise of Christianity was actually necessary to the growth of what we can label as true sciences.[3] Stark explains that “…earlier technical innovations of Greco-Roman times, Islam, of Imperial China, let alone those achieved in prehistoric times, do not constitute science and are better described as lore, skills, wisdom, techniques, crafts, technologies, engineering, learning, or simply knowledge.”[4] Studies like geometry do not qualify as purely scientific simply because they only describe reality without attempting to explain it.  “Science is a method utilized in organized efforts to formulate explanations of nature, always subject to modifications and corrections through systematic observations.”[5]  Many civilizations had many great technological advancements, but none of it was, strictly speaking, science. Even China, which had existed in isolation for centuries and had made many advancements in that time, had never found the footing to allow science to stand. What was different in Europe?  What actually caused the rise of the scientific method? Again, Stark has an answer. “…the rise of science was not an extension of classical learning. It was the natural outgrowth of Christian doctrine: Nature exists because it was created by God. To love and honor God, one must fully appreciate the wonders of his handiwork. Moreover, because God is perfect, his handiwork functions in accord with immutable principles. By the full use of our God-given powers of reason and observation, we ought to be able to discover these principles.”[6] It was because of the rise of Christianity that science was founded, not despite it. The entire idea of the Dark Ages is bogus history that attempts to cover up the contributions that came from Christianity. Even the historical accounts of the ages following 1500 A.D. are tainted.  The “Enlightenment” and the “Scientific Revolution” are farce names developed to further entrench the separation between the rise of science from Christianity by implying that the people lived in intellectual rejection to begin with. The idea that God was wise and logical lead to the understanding that his creation was also logically made, and thus understandable, is truly painful to the materialist. 

            This deception sails further into history. In some accounts, Christopher Columbus wanted to set sail to prove that the Earth was round, not flat like the Church is again portrayed to assume. This is a misnomer since Columbus’s goal was to reach Asia, not prove the shape of our planet. Even though many refused to back him financially, it was not because of their refusal to accept that the Earth was round. It was actually because many of them disagreed with his calculations on how far Asia would actually be. Some suggest that, had North America not been there, Columbus would have run short on supplies before ever reaching Asia. Still, it is often claimed that this entire event was practically a fight between religious dogma and scientific truths, which surely warps the actual historical events in favor of the materialistic view of science. Why would anyone do this? “The reason we didn’t know the truth concerning these matters [Columbus and the bogus flat-earth argument] is that the claim if an inevitable and bitter warfare between religion and science has, for more than three centuries, been the primary polemical device used in the atheist attack on faith. From Thomas Hobbes through Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins, false claims about religion and science have been used as weapons in the battle to “Free” the human mind from the “fetters of faith.”[7] It seems that those under the sway of materialist doctrine will even attempt to alter history in order to distance themselves from anything tied to a creator they cannot control.

            Fast-forwarding back to present day, we see that some of our infamous materialistic monster’s tampering has had some influence. In academia, especially in the biological sciences, Neo-Darwinism holds sway. Atheists and agnostics are in the vast majority in many key roles. For example, 65% of the biologists in the National Academy of Sciences were atheists, 29% were agnostic, and a mere 6% were theists.[8]  “According to a national survey of faculty at both four-year and two-year colleges and universities published in 2007, more than 60% of all college biologists consider themselves atheists or agnostics.”[9] Even outside of the field of biology, atheism and agnosticism are strangely high, with them being 34% and 30% respectively in academia.[10]  Clearly, they hold the high ground in the United States when it comes to science and research positions. With the power of their positions, they have been able to filter out who comes into their inner circle and what topics can be published. Effectively, they have redefined science as only being materialistic. Famous scientist Carl Sagan summed up this mutated view of science when he said, “The Cosmos is all that is or was or ever will be.”[11]

            But why does this matter for us? What does Frankenstein’s eyesore have to do with us? To be blunt, it has far more impact on our nation than many seem to know.  Only recently were the efforts made to reach the public’s attention starting to show signs of success. In 2008, a documentary called “Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed,” helmed by activist Ben Stein, hit theaters. The focus of the film was how the freedom of speech and inquiry are becoming restricted. One example presented in the film was the story of Dr. Richard Sternberg, a highly accomplished scientist. He was the managing editor of The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, when he allowed the publication of Dr. Stephen Meyer’s article “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” after it had passed peer review. Even though the peer review process did not see fit to weed out the very short blurb in the conclusion about Intelligent Design, Dr. Sternberg was targeted and blamed for what some thought was a traitorous act. Many took it upon themselves to make sure he was punished. Sternberg “…faced retaliation, defamation, harassment, and a hostile work environment…” that attempted to force him to resign from his prestigious positions.[12] Despite two federal investigations that found clear evidence of abuses against him, the smear campaign has done major damage.  But why was Dr. Sternberg targeted so venomously? He was actually a supporter of evolutionary theory at the time. What strategy is there that would cause the neo-Darwinian establishment attack one of its own? Clearly, they have something to hide.

           In fact, hiding the evidence is one of the most common methods of dominating the Intelligent Design debate.  Silencing any criticism is one method, and many more examples of it are presented in the “Expelled” documentary and on the Discovery Institute’s website[13]; however, shrugging it all off as unscientific is another way to push critics under the rug.  Self proclaimed skeptic Michael Shermer claimed “Intelligent Design is a remarkably uncreative theory that abandons the search for understanding at the very point where it is most needed.”[14] The Union of Concerned Scientists says, “A scientific theory is supported by extensive research and repeated experimentation and observation in the natural world. Unlike a true scientific theory, the existence of an “intelligent” agent can not be tested, nor is it falsifiable.”[15] Both of these sources have cleverly explained away any reason why they should ever recognize Intelligent Design without even addressing the evidence within the argument itself.  Straw man arguments are abundant when it comes to critiquing Intelligent Design. For many, this has been an escape from what some claim to be microwaved creationism; however, it is quite the cop-out.

           Philip Kitcher wrote a book called Living with Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith. As a proponent of Neo-Darwinism himself, it was rather surprising to read how he approached the issue of Intelligent Design.  Instead of the typical “bash” or “ignore” methods, he said “It is easy to understand why many scientists … find the “not science” strategy attractive. After all, it is a quick way of dismissing the opposition, one that shortcuts the tedious work of analyzing the proliferating texts the opponents produce.”[16] Still, he didn’t think that approach was viable, also seeing it as simply an escape from the debate. Instead, he called Intelligent Design a ““dead science,” a doctrine that once had its day in the scientific inquiry and discussion, but has rightly been discarded.”15 Kitcher starts out with an almost agreeable view of the claims of intelligent Design advocates, agreeing that it is scientific even without experiments, just like the studies of astronomers, theoretical physicists, oceanographers, or even those who study animal behavior.[17] But the hopes for a quality argument against Intelligent Design soon deflated when Kitcher started holding up many of the flimsy proofs for evolution that have already been soundly debunked. His arguments included anatomical and genetic homology,[18] archaeopteryx,[19] and his biggest argument was the presence of junk DNA. [20] Junk DNA refers to the nearly ninety percent of the human genome that does not code for proteins. It has long been assumed that the way life works was that DNA produced RNA, which in turn produced the proteins that build up and help our body run. This process has even been called the “central dogma of molecular biology,” even at the textbook level[21]. With that foundational postulation, finding that only about nine percent of the human genome produces proteins made it easy to explain all the excess by claiming it was leftovers from previous evolutionary stages that no longer have use. Kitcher seems to think this is the nail in the coffin of those who doubt evolution’s validity; this common conclusion, however, has now turned to junk itself. A recent study called ENCODE[22] has not only undermined the junk DNA conclusion, but made it look quite foolish. Studies through ENCODE have found that there is vastly more specified complexity to the parts of the DNA that do not code for protein than ever imagined. New types of RNAs are being discovered, along with the realization that a single stretch of DNA can be deciphered into multiple products, depending on which introns and exons are removed or combined after transcription. To claim that this ninety percent of the genome is simply evolutionary leftovers is the simple assumption from those who are desperate to cling to their failing theories. The new findings, interestingly enough, have come from an Intelligent Design perspective. After all, to even desire to check those regions of DNA for function is to assume it is not in fact junk, otherwise it would be a waste of many years. If it isn’t junk, then it must have a function. If it all has an important function, then we see little evidence for the random mutational method of new traits being added through evolution.

           Even Kitcher, in his valiant attempt to defend neo-Darwinian evolution against doubters, has fallen short. He will not be the last to do so.  Many more will follow by smearing, oversimplifying, and redefining terms in their attempts to subdue any dissent from their canon.  Through a blurring of lines, many scientists have swayed politicians and laymen to them. They claim science is key, yet use shoddy philosophy, theology and improper debating tactics to undermine the science of those who see the cracks in the foundational theories of evolution by natural selection. It is rare now for science to be met with science. Why would that be? Apparently, the neo-Darwinian establishment has been exposed. The haphazardly stitched together sets of circumstances that are only held together by zealous dedication have been revealed. It turns out that Frankenstein’s monster is the emperor with no clothes. He is desperate to hold onto his composure, prestige and power in the face of the growing opposition. The monster cannot hide in the shadows any longer. His hold on the fundamentals of science, philosophy, and even religion, are tightening; but there are many thinkers who are breaking free of his influence. At first it was one by one, but now, the people are being awakened in droves, their minds opened to the sly influences of materialistic naturalism. The truth may still be hidden from the masses, but any who seek it out earnestly will be able to rediscover it. 


[1] Theodore Mommsen, Petrarch’s Conception of the ‘Dark Ages’ (Cambridge MA: Medieval Academy of America, 1942)

[2] Doug Steward, “Erathosthenese,” http://www.famousscientists.org/eratosthenes/

[3] Rodney Stark, For the Glory Of God (Princeton University Press, 2004)

[4] Stark, For the Glory Of God, 125.

[5] Stark, For the Glory Of God, 124.

[6] Stark, For the Glory Of God, 157.

[7]  Stark, For the Glory Of God, 123.

[8] John G. West, What are the religious views of leading scientists who support evolution? (Discovery Institute, 2009)  http://www.discovery.org/a/10171.

[9] West, What are the religious views of leading scientists who support evolution? http://www.discovery.org/a/10171

[10] West, What are the religious views of leading scientists who support evolution? http://www.discovery.org/a/10171

[11] Carl Sagan, Cosmos  (Random House, 1980)

[12] Richard Sternberg, Smithsonian Controversy http://www.richardsternberg.com/smithsonian.php

[13] http://www.Discovery.org

[14] Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters; The Case Against Intelligent Design (Times Books 2006)

[15] Union of Concerned Scientists, Science, Evolution, and Intelligent Design http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity/what_you_can_do/why-intelligent-design-is-not.html#.V5bcS5OAOko

[16] Philip Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith (Oxford University Press 2007), 8

[17] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 9

[18] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 48-57

[19] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 67

[20] Kitcher, Living With Darwin: Evolution, Design, and the Future of Faith, 57-60

[21] Miller and Levine, Biology, Prentice Hall, 2014

[22] https://www.encodeproject.org/

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