That in no wise the nature of all things
For us was fashioned by a power divine-
So great the faults it stands encumbered with.
Malebranche, however, marks the rise of theological naturalism in Christianity. Before Malebranche, Rene Descartes and Francis Bacon had both argued for naturalistic explanations, but their reasons were very different. Descartes argued that strictly naturalistic explanations were more useful, but with theological naturalism Malebranche argued they were true. That’s an important difference. Religious beliefs are the most powerful, and evolutionary thinking had its start in the modern science program.
In fact explaining evil and inefficiency was only one of the religious motivations behind evolutionary thought. After Malebranche several other theological itches were scratched. For instance, science was increasingly uncovering nature’s detailed minutia. But god would not, as botanist John Ray argued fifty years after Malebranche, “set his own hand as it were to every work, and immediately do all the meanest and trifling’st things himself drudgingly, without making use of any inferior or subordinate Minister.”
These arguments, from theodicy and infra dignitatem, are only two examples from the complex web of beliefs that underlie and mandate evolution. One way or another something other than divine miracles were needed to explain how the world arose. After Malebranche, Anglicans and Lutherans aggressively promoted evolutionary thinking in geology, cosmology and biology. This theological naturalism movement continues to this day, and helps to explain the otherwise curious actions of evolutionists.
When you believe your ideas are true, rather than merely useful, then the ends justify the means. Hence we see today’s evolutionists misrepresenting science, blackballing dissenters, destroying careers, suppressing debate, manipulating media, education and public policy, and violating laws. All of this because, after all, they’re right.
Consider the case of the California Science Center (CSC), a Smithsonian Institution affiliate. Two years ago a group booked the CSC’s IMAX theater, in downtown Los Angeles, for a screening of Darwin’s Dilemma to be followed by a panel discussing evolution and the scientific evidence.
But Darwin’s Dilemma, featuring interviews of Intelligent Design advocates and evolutionists, is a film that questions evolutionary theory. Since evolution is a religiously-motivated theory that contradicts the science, such scrutiny and uncontrolled discussion could not be allowed. Furious evolutionists quickly censored the showing and canceled the event.
After then being sued for such crude censorship the CSC next constructed a cover-up lie. The evolution lie was that there was no censorship, and that CSC merely cancelled the event because of a press release. This lie was in stark contrast to internal emails. One CSC Vice President wrote that the main problem was that the event was sponsored by “an anti-Darwin/creationist group.”
And the CSC Vice President of Communications explained the origin of the lie. The CSC Chief Executive Officer instructed his staff to find a false pretense:
Jeff just called and is wondering if they violated an agreement -- like was this supposed to be a private screening or did they say it was a public screening? If they misrepresented the event, then we can cancel them.
So first the evolutionists censored the event, and then they lied, in order to cover-up their censorship. Next the evolutionists lied about the press release, claiming it implied the CSC was a sponsor of the event. But of course the press release says no such thing. In fact it explicitly states that “The screening is sponsored and hosted by the American Freedom Alliance.”
Next the evolutionists constructed another lie to cover-up their cover-ups. This evolution lie was that the fact that the CSC originally was willing to book the event proves there was no censorship. Again, internal emails shine a light on the endless trail of lies. They reveal that in truth, the booking was accepted only because there was a lack of vigilance. As one CSC Vice President wrote:
This screening event was booked through the Events Dept., and they were unaware of the nature of the groups involved. It has come to Jeff’s attention and he is “working on it.”
Similarly, another evolutionist from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County concluded:
Apparently the IMAX was booking events without CSC knowing about all of them, and when they found out they immediately cancelled the event.
The next evolution lie was about the court case. This was one case where the evolutionists could not fool the judge and lie their way through a trial, so they had to settle. So they lied about the settlement, saying they were right all along and that the sponsor and the Discovery Institute have not “learned their lesson.” Their claim to be right is like a chess player who resigns a game and then claims victory. When you pay the settlement costs, $110,000 in this case, it means you were wrong, not right.
Unfortunately this sort of misadventure is typical for evolutionists. Blackballing, censorship, manipulation, ruining academic and professional careers, lying to judges are all standard operating procedure. This happens all the time, only in this case they were caught. This is what your tax dollars are funding everyday.
To be fair to evolutionists, they believe that, ultimately, they are in the right. To an evolutionist, he believes he is in the right, because he knows evolution is true. If someone’s rights are occasionally trampled, or science sometimes is abused, it is a small price for safeguarding the truth.
This is what religion can do. There is no point to entering into a discussion with evolutionists—they know the truth already. I do not mean this as hyperbole. For I have tried many times to have meaningful discussions with evolutionists and, unfortunately, I have never found an exception. It would be like trying to talk sense into a religious fanatic because, in fact, evolutionists are religious fanatics.
Religion drives science, and it matters.