“Only Science” Should be Taught in Science Classrooms
On September 1, Science magazine published a letter from Heslley Silva, evolutionary biologist and professor at the University of California, Irvine and the University Center of Formiga. The letter is titled, “Intelligent Design Endangers Education.”1 In the letter, several recent victories for Creation and Intelligent Design in science classrooms across the world were highlighted. Apparently, Silva, just like so many of his colleagues, believes that teaching kids to follow the evidence—that the presence of design always, without exception, implies the existence of a designer—“endangers” their education, and should be “spoken out against” by scientists. That, however, is not the extent of the irrationality and self-contradiction of the naturalist mantra. In a call-to-arms, Silva charged the Science audience, “The global scientific community must work to ensure that only science is taught in science classrooms.” We would, by-and-large, agree with that statement. Why, then, was Silva’s request self-contradictory?
Silva and his evolutionary colleagues subscribe to the notion that “science” only allows natural, observable, experimental phenomena2—no supernatural realm with a God Who miraculously created the Universe allowed. The problem with such thinking, as we have noted elsewhere,3 is that it is impossible to explain the Universe without resorting to supernatural activity—and even many naturalists acknowledge that fact.4 The origin of the laws of science, the matter/energy of the Universe, life, and genetic information, for example, have no rational explanations from a purely naturalistic perspective. They require a supernatural Cause.5 So Silva and any other naturalists who agree with him in their belief that science should only allow for natural phenomena must inevitably contradict their own position when attempting to explain several characteristics of the Universe.
Bottom line: if the scientific evidence demands the existence of a supernatural Creator, why would scientists define science in such a way that a Designer/Creator is precluded? And further, why would acknowledging that the evidence points to an intelligent Designer of the Universe “endanger” children? There are certainly answers to those questions—but it is certain that they are not rational answers, because they cannot be, according to the evidence. “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4).
1 Heslley Machado Silva (2017), “Intelligent Design Endangers Education,” Science, 357:880.
2 Teaching About Evolution and the Nature of Science (1998), National Academy of Sciences (Washington, DC: National Academy Press).
3 Jeff Miller (2012), “The Atheistic Naturalist’s Self-Contradiction,” Reason & Revelation, 31:53.
4 Jeff Miller (2017), “Atheists’ Design Admissions,” Reason & Revelation, 37:134-143.
5 Jeff Miller (2017), Science vs. Evolution (Apologetics Press: Montgomery, AL), revised and expanded.