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Evolution as the Great Teacher?

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[Originally published as Can Education Mimic Evolution?]

The Biomimicry Institute is a secular pseudo-scientific organization that attempts to educate people to believe that nature (or the universe) has a mind that has used the process of evolution to develop all of the complexity of life. Promoters of this organization recognize design in organisms everywhere and promote the idea that humans should work to mimic that design, but refuse to accept that the design is the result of a Designer. While naturalism and deep time are foundational principles of the institute, I have noticed that New Age spiritism also creeps into their philosophy as well. I say this because they see the earth itself as a living organism that works in conjunction with the lifeforms that are in operation on its surface.

Many people, not just inventors and engineers, have recognized biomimicry for centuries. This has profited them as they have used the designs found in creation to develop many advancements for the benefit of the human condition. For much of this time, most bright people believed design was not caused by random chance but was the result of real intelligence. Nature cannot think and has no intelligence. This means that Darwin’s natural selection is a dead idea. Organic adaptation is the result of internal programming from God, not an external result of action by nature.

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A recent article from the Biomimicry Institute builds on this bankrupt evolutionary idea and attempts to apply it to formal education. The article has the title, “6 Ways Education Can Mimic Evolution” and was written by a person with the name Alistair Daynes.

Here is the first manner in which this article states its premise:

Evolution never planned for greatness but achieved it anyway. Education needs to adapt to changing conditions and evolve to survive. How we think of objectives is misleading. The process of evolution is not a goal-oriented one. It does not have an end destination in mind or aims for an ‘A+’. The idea of standardized curriculum, with standardized tests in standardized classes, thrived in an era of industrialization. Our context has shifted radically. Education, like evolution, is better suited to following a process of trial and error, of experimentation and adaptation.

Isn’t this a lot of double-talk? Education has always had to adapt to changing conditions. Education, like many human endeavors, has changed over time. That is a definition of one type of evolution (change over time), but not the evolution the author and the institute believe in, where one lifeform can change into another lifeform. He describes this evolution as being a kind that is devoid of goals. But, such evolution has never been seen in any extinct or extant lifeform. So, it is not valid to even use it in this context. This type of evolution is dead! It exists only in the minds of evolutionists.

If we were to imagine adapting this imaginary process to education, what would it look like? Would there be such a thing as students? Would there be classrooms? Would teachers or instructors be required? What would the practitioners be applying trial and error to? How would they know what to experiment on? Who or what would adapt and to what?

In my experience, general education is a process where one who wishes additional knowledge or ability about something finds a way to interact with others who already have that knowledge or ability. This new proposed “evolution education” of the Biomimicry Institute seems to lack even a starting place for the process of knowledge acquisition.

So if something can really come from nothing, I guess the best form of knowledge would be to place people out in nature and leave them to their own devices to engineer the next generation of great ideas. Of course, this goes against all we know of human nature and is devoid of reality. As an engineer, I have found that inventions, processes, and machines all result from the recognition of a human need. There was usually a goal. The satisfaction of the need was the goal. I never found that a pile of steel or mechanical components ever evolved or achieved anything without intelligent input and effort. I think this concept applies to education as well.

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The marvelous animals and plants that humans mimic did not just happen, they were engineered, many with the innate ability for considerable environmental adaptation. The materialistic evolution story is becoming more and more ridiculous with each new scientific discovery that reveals more and more about the extreme complexity of life.

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind. (Job 12:7-10 NIV)

Richard William Nelson profile 2013

Written by Richard William Nelson

Richard William Nelson earned a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California following graduation from the University of California, Irvine, with a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry. For more than a decade Dr. Nelson has been writing and speaking on the scientific merits of biological evolution. Dr. Nelson has spoken nationally and internationally to audiences in churches, schools, universities, and community organizations. As the author of the book entitled Darwin, Then and Now, The Most Amazing Story in the History of Science using more than 1,000 documented references, Dr. Nelson advocates using the scientific method to assess the merits of the theory of evolution.

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