Darwin';s Evolutionism: Why Continued Belief in It Has Little to Do with the Scientific Facts

PureInsight | August 19, 2002

Supposedly, in long past ancient times, the earth was quiet and lonely. The desolate earth had neither animals nor plants. Lakes and ponds were without even a piece of duckweed. Oceans and seas stretched to the horizon without even a piece of seaweed.

One day by chance, thunder and lightning rolled over the primordial soup in the ocean with a roar. The gale howled, whipping up the water into crests. Instantly, thunder and lightning caught the highest wave and smashed it into pieces. Even the water molecules inside were broken down. The result combined with the atoms of carbon and nitrogen in the air and formed molecules of amino acids. Alternatively, preformed organic molecules fell onto the earth from meteorites. This is said to be the origin of life on earth.

Amino acids accidentally formed into proteins which formed the simplest forms of organism, the microbes. After numerous “accidental” combinations, the microbes evolved into simple forms of plants and animals. Again, through an unknown number of “accidental” events, the simpler forms of animals evolved into fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals, and eventually the primates that are said to be the ancestors of humans.

This is a contemporary version of the origin of species. It is modified from Darwin’s original version based on more recent findings from scientific research. The evolutionists call the above process of change, “evolution,” and characterize the process as one of “survival of the fittest through natural selection.” Many of the spontaneous mutations cause the loss of necessary functions and so eliminate variants of species, or whole species, because that form of life is less able to survive and thus propagate under the conditions of the earth where they roam.

However, serious scientists have also proposed that the elimination of life forms can be brought about by the random occurrence of spontaneous mutations. Without any external help from intelligent beings, the extinction rate would apparently exceed the rate of creation of newer, fitter species, if mutations did in fact occur randomly. A scientist once used an analogy. Place on a dinner table a bag of flour, a box of chocolate, a bag of sugar and some eggs. After many successive coincidences, you find these ingredients on the table have turned themselves into a plate of delicious chocolate cake.

In theory, no one can say that the above event is impossible, but we know the probability of success over any given interval is very low. Based on the theory of periodic annihilation of life on earth, evidence for which has been observed by scientists, there is just not much probability of those ingredients turning themselves into a chocolate cake.

Evolution was first proposed by a Westerner. The peoples of the East never had such ideas during the thousands of years of the Buddha and Tao schools. But today, amongst those who believe in evolutionism, the majority of them are from China, followed by the former Soviet Union and the Soviet block countries of eastern Europe. The special common characteristics of these countries are: authorities prohibit personal beliefs [e.g., religious beliefs] and indoctrinate Marxist state-sponsored beliefs. The former Soviet Union utilized all its might to criticize Mendel's and Morgan's theories of genetics. It became a joke of scientific history but Lamarck’s unsubstantiated ideas of evolution occurring because of physiological characteristics acquired during an organism’s lifetime being passed along to the progeny were nonetheless successfully disseminated. Since 1949, the Chinese government has continuously been suppressing and persecuting all facets of religious belief, while at the same time, propagating atheism, 'Scientific Communism', and the 'Theory of Evolution'. 'Scientific Communism' was completely discarded by the whole of China because of the economic failures its application induced. Atheism was always theoretically fragile, unprovable, and was hard hit by the various shifts in thinking brought about by the reforms. Now atheism is on the wane. Only the 'Theory of Evolution' still holds a place in the minds of many Chinese, many of whom profess a belief in it.

In fact, evolutionism cannot really be considered a belief to many Chinese. Belief is only distinguished from 'disbelief' when it is based on the result of reflective thinking and selecting what to believe or not believe. If there is no thinking involved that makes a clear distinction, no process of thought, no freedom of choice, then how can that be “belief”? Belief is meaningful when, in itself, it is an outcome of freedom of thought and choice. Denying an individual the right to diverse thoughts, forbidding the mental activities required for making comparisons and preferences, is tantamount to depriving one of the freedom of belief. Under these conditions, how is it possible to speak of freedom of belief? Like atheism and communism, Darwin’s evolutionism is another concept that was forced upon Chinese people. The concepts may be sugar-coated with science, but they were forced into the heads of Chinese people by the Chinese government.

Many intellectuals raised suspicions and opposed Darwin’s evolutionism when it was first introduced in China. Many even openly expressed their concern for its validity. Unfortunately, the general public immediately put labels on the opposing scholars such as “anti-science” and “distrustful of the Chinese Communism Party.” In the past, in China one could ill afford any of these labels. At the time, if one made the slightest criticism of what the Chinese Communist Party advocated, he would be thought to be opposing the Party, and would end up in either a re-education camp or even in jail. Back then it was even illegal to listen to the Chinese broadcast of “Voice of America.” Anyone caught listening to the “Voice of America” would serve five years in jail on the charge of listening to the radio station of the enemy. Scientific research that had not been approved officially in China was regarded as “an evil cult from the middle class.” Anyone who dared to concur with an “evil cult” would bring himself nothing but trouble. On the other hand, very few intellectuals had an opportunity to even learn any of the “evil cults” because of the government’s complete blockage of information. For example, in 1978, a college freshman gave a talk about ecology, a science widely known outside of China. A professor at his college scolded him and called ecology “an evil cult from the middle class.” The story reveals the loss of freedom of speech and its horrible long-term impact on man’s thinking.

Prominent Chinese intellectuals were deprived of freedom of speech. They could do nothing but watch the prominent place that evolutionism was afforded in the science arena in China, along with atheism and scientific communism. A Chinese intellectual would have to choose between two tortures: be a prisoner of the mind or a prisoner in the jail. Gradually Darwin’s theory of evolution became an indisputable “fact” in the closed world of Chinese society. In China, Darwin’s evolutionism ended up as the dominant theory because alternative theories were denied entry into China. The social environment in China is comparable to a culture medium in the biological laboratory used for growing microorganisms. When the microorganisms grow happily in the culture medium, believing that they are free in their littler world, they do not know their lives will soon be sacrificed to meet the goals of the researchers who set up their culture medium.

Those intellectuals who believe in evolutionism are not all addle heads. Many who believe in evolutionism are extremely intelligent. But their environment has a great and determining impact on human thought. When you live in a culture where you are denied any nourishment to cultivate independent thinking, and where you have no access to any knowledge that promotes independent thinking, it becomes very difficult for you to draw the correct conclusions, no matter how clever you are. Many intellectuals in China claimed themselves to be evolutionists. However, after they left China and learned some alternative theories, they experienced doubts about the theory of evolution, and even renounced it.

According to a 1982 Gallop poll, about one quarter of Americans and more than a quarter of British people believed in samsara and reincarnation. About two-thirds of the population in both countries believe that their lives continue to exist in a certain form after death, and such life is not limited to reincarnation and thus can exist independently of the body. The fact that a life exists indefinitely and the fact that evolutionism maintains that human beings evolved from non-humans--these two facts seem contradictory. Therefore, it is reasonable to estimate that a large proportion of the population in these countries do not believe in evolutionism. If we take into the consideration that more and more research on reincarnation has been conducted since 1982, and that the evolutionism has became less and less of an unassailable principle as various branches of modern science develop and made discoveries providing evidence contradicting it, the current percentage of people who do not accept evolutionism should be higher than during the survey of 1982.

The percentage of Westerners who believe in evolutionism is smaller than in the former Communist countries and China because they have more freedom, especially freedom of belief. They are free to reject any belief forced upon them, and are free to renounce or change their own belief any time based upon the latest research findings and evidence. In 1987, there was a news report in the newspaper in the United States about the parents of some students accusing the school authority of forcefully inculcating evolutionism to the students. When I read the news article I found out that it was about a middle school teacher who kept students in his classroom after school for a class on Darwin’s evolutionism without the consent of the students. One of the parents immediately accused the school of violating the students' freedom of belief after one of the students in the class went home and informed his parents.

Dear readers, we should think, seek, and validate the truth of science with our brains, courage, and in light of the facts. If you are a person who pursues science seriously, please continue to read all the facts on this issue. With a sincere and friendly heart, I am providing you some thoughts and scientific facts to take into consideration while you are enjoying the freedom to think and choose what you want to believe.

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