“Using technology wisely, we can control our environment, conquer poverty, markedly reduce disease, extend our lifespan, significantly modify our behavior, alter the course of human evolution and cultural development, unlock vast new powers, and provide humankind with unparalleled opportunity for achieving an abundant and meaningful life.” —The Humanist Manifesto II[i]
“The revolution going on in the biological sciences, mainly in biochemistry, will make atomic energy look like child’s play … Therefore, and more urgently than ever, we need a revolution in our political and social institutions to cope with these findings … At this point, man will be remolding his own being. Theologians will protest but it is certainty itself that man will play God.” —Biochemist Philip Siekevitz[ii]
“No more deadly mythology has ever plagued mankind than the mythology of science … according to the mythology of science, science can and will do all things … Not only man, but also his world and weather shall be controlled.” —R. J. Rushdoony[iii]
There is no God, so man can and must be his own god. There is no meaning to existence, so man can and must create his own. And in return for giving all his faith to science, and all power to the state, man will be rewarded with an earthly paradise of his own creation.
The above statement may strike many of us as bizarre, and prideful to the point of self-destruction; but it does sum up the ideology of secular humanism. This is the ideology that permeates our public schools and is spoon-fed to the children who attend them.
Two current news stories illustrate how public educators seek to implement their humanist ideology.
In Florida, the State Board of Education has decided that the state’s public schools, for the first time, will teach Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution in their science classes.
In California, the state legislature is preparing to pass a law that will require public schools to teach “climate change”—better known as “global warming.”
The goal of humanist teaching is to persuade children that either God does not exist or else has no involvement in the real world, and that the state, wielding an all-powerful science, is the only possible replacement for God.
“Theory” vs. Theory
“[K]eep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called.” —1 Timothy 6:20
The Florida Board of Education voted, 4-3, on February 19, to include the theory of evolution in the public schools’ science curriculum. The board originally intended to describe evolution as a matter of “scientific fact,” but in the face of a public outcry against it, decided to label it a “scientific theory.”
But critics aren’t satisfied that the schools will teach evolution as “only a theory.”
“Adopting the Florida science standards with the insertion of ‘scientific theory’ at each appropriate place where the word evolution occurs may give a feel-good conclusion for many conservative Floridians, but in reality it strengthens to pro-evolutionary bias of these standards,” said Barbara Weller, an attorney with the Christian Law Association (www.christianlaw.org).
The problem is that, in ordinary usage, the word theory implies some degree of speculation and denotes an assertion not yet proved. But that’s not what the word will mean when Florida teachers use it, Ms. Weller said.
“Citizens who think the BOE has weakened the evolution stance by this insertion—believing that ‘theory’ casts greater doubt on the validity of evolution—are totally fooled,” she said. “The BOE has just emphasized that in science terminology, they have provided language that says,‘Evolution is beyond doubt, a near-certainty.’”
She quoted the new science standards.
“Recognize and explain that a scientific theory is a well-supported explanation of nature and is not simply a claim posed by an individual. Thus the use of the term theory in science is very different than how it is used in everyday life.”
“The word evolution was not used in Florida schools previously—although some teachers probably used it anyway,” Ms. Weller said. “The subject was covered by referring to ‘change over time.’”
Will evolution now be taught as just one of several competing theories of nature?
“That is difficult to assess,” Ms. Weller said. “If teachers are not aware of the redefinition of the word theory, they may well teach evolution using the popularly understood meaning of the word rather than the redefinition given in the standards.
“However, it seems clear that this is not the intention of the standards themselves. There is no indication at this point whether other theories will be taught. We can only hope that school boards will not limit their teachers to only teaching evolution, but will permit them to educate students more broadly in this subject. That issue is not directly addressed in the standards, even though the standards assume that evolution is the only viable option.”
Why Teach “Global Warming”?
“Snow cover over North America and much of Siberia, Mongolia, and China is greater than at any time since 1966.
“The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCBC) reported that many American cities and towns suffered record cold temperatures in January and early February … China is surviving its most brutal winter in a century.”[iv]
In California, state legislators are studying a bill, SB 908, that would require all public schools in the state to teach “climate change” as part of their science curriculum.[v] The bill’s chief sponsor, State Senator Joe Simitian, did not reply to Chalcedon’s invitation to discuss the bill with him.
The weather this winter has not been cooperating with the global warming prophets of doom (see article cited above), but that has not slowed down the global warming movement.
Why, when there is so much reason to doubt that there is global warming, should this doctrine be taught in California’s schools?
For an explanation, we need only to turn to the newest additions proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom to San Francisco’s city payroll, as reported by Neal Boortz:[vi]
- Director of the Mayor’s Climate Protection Initiative, at a salary of $160,720 a year;
- $800,000 ($100,000 apiece) for an eight-person Energy and Climate Program team;
- Head of the city’s Environmental Department, at $207,500 a year (heading a staff with a $14 million annual budget);
- $146,218 for a project manager for the climate action plan of the city’s public utilities commission;
- Assistant to the general manager for water enterprise, studying how climate change will impact the city’s water supply, $156,655;
- $130,700 for a “Greening Director” in the mayor’s office;
- $190,091 for a manager of environmental services at San Francisco International Airport;
- And $116,584 for a manager of emissions reductions and “sustainability programs” at the Municipal Transportation Agency.
All told, $1,908,468—almost $2 million a year—for 15 new municipal government positions. That figure does not include benefits, the cost of office space and other resources, salaries and benefits for supporting staff, and who knows what other expenses.
The threat of global warming provides unprecedented opportunity to grow the government, to give it more power and authority, and to allow it to engulf more taxpayer dollars. “Green” has become the symbol of the environmental movement, but it is also the symbol of money. It takes a lot of “long green” to “go green.”
We need only imagine San Francisco’s new “green” government positions created for every other city and town in California, repeated on the state and county levels, and continually multiplied by the fertile bureaucratic mind, to arrive at a truly awe-inspiring sum of money, all of it to be raised by higher fees and taxes.
Citizens will not consent to bear such burdens unless they are taught that only decisive action by their government can “save the planet”; but first they must be taught the planet needs saving. Hence the need for “Climate Change Education” in California’s schools.
“Long before having arrived at this part of my work [chap. 6], a crowd of difficulties will have occurred to the reader. Some of them are so grave that to this day I can never reflect on them without being staggered …” —Charles Darwin[vii]
“But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would anyone trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?” —Charles Darwin[viii]
“Man is the result of a purposeless and materialistic process that did not have him in mind. He was not planned. He is a state of matter, a form of life, a sort of animal … akin nearly or remotely to all of life and indeed to all that is material.”
It does seem strange that the last of the open-minded Darwinists was Darwin himself. Indeed, he realized that his own presuppositions rendered his conclusions totally unreliable: he couldn’t trust any thought that came out of a glorified monkey-mind (including, presumably, the thought that man is descended from apes). But the mindset of Darwinists today is much better represented, in all its wrongheaded certainty, by the Simpson quote.
We have no space here to debate the evidence for or against Darwinism. Suffice it to say that as Bible-believing Christians, we reject the doctrine.
The point to be made is that a materialistic theory of evolution is absolutely indispensable to secular humanist dogma—that’s why they cling to it so tenaciously. The humanist very badly needs to get God out of the picture and has long relied on Darwinism for that. Once the Creator is ousted from the creation, man is free to set up his own supreme creation, the state, as the supreme source of all law and morality, and his own science as the only source of knowledge.
When R. J. Rushdoony published The Mythology of Science in 1967, there was no Save-the-World-from-Manmade-Global-Warming movement, and creationists had yet to mount a serious cultural challenge to Darwinism. But the grand messianic claims of humanist science, education, and government were already the dominant cultural paradigm. As Rushdoony observed, “For many, Darwin’s most significant contribution was the abolition of God and purpose, of teleological evolution.”[x]
Public education and its intellectual leaders have for generations been inspired and enabled by Darwin. Rushdoony saw this clearly, 41 years ago: “‘Our modern cosmological myths are devoid of moral and spiritual content’ [Rushdoony quoting Donald Cowan].
“The absence of this content is a philosophical necessity. Just as law cannot be set above God without becoming a god over God, so a moral law cannot be set above scientific man without infringing upon his sovereignty. It is significant that increasingly ‘scientific’ educators, after [John] Dewey, refuse to hope for a ‘changed’ society and speak rather of the goal of a ‘changing’ or controlled society, always fully controlled and always in process for process’ sake. The radical ‘freedom’ from all law save process leaves this new god-man free to reign in a hell and chaos of his own designing.”[xi]
It would be hard to find a better description of the 20th century than that.
A Dangerous Folly
“Global warming is a total crock of s***.”
Mr. Lutz is too kind. It’s not just a crock, but in the wrong hands, a dangerous crock as well.
Congress, for instance, plans to abolish the incandescent light bulb, to be replaced by millions and millions of “energy-saving” bulbs, which contain mercury vapor, a toxic and sometimes lethal substance. If you should drop one of your mercury bulbs and break it, be prepared to evacuate your house and call in a hazmat team.[xiii]
“Profane and vain babblings, and … science falsely so-called” paints an accurate picture of science education in our public schools today. Use an uncontested “theory of evolution” to pry God off His throne, scare children half to death with a global warming nightmare, and then assure them everything will be all right, once they allocate unlimited power and infinite money to the state.
The antidote to this—as Chalcedon has been preaching for 40 years—is Christian education, either in a Christian home or at a Christian school, or some creative combination thereof. To send Christian children to humanist public schools all day, every weekday, from the time they’re old enough to walk to the time they’re old enough to shave, immersing them in a total secular worldview, is hardly the way to train them up in the way that they should go (Prov. 22:6). But it does seem an excellent way to train them to believe in an omniscient secular science and in government as the sole means of salvation. Along the way, they’ll also pick up helpful tips on abortion and transgenderism.
If you haven’t already done so, isn’t it about time you thought about taking your child out of public school?
[ii] Quoted by R. J. Rushdoony in The Mythology of Science (Vallecito, CA: Ross House Books, 1961; 2001 edition), 108.
[iii] Ibid., 123.
[iv] Lorne Gunter, “Forget Global Warming: Welcome to the new Ice Age” National Post, Feb. 25, 2008, http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/columnists/story.html?id=332289.
[x] Rushdoony, 117–118.
[xi] Ibid., 107.