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The Frauds of Evolution #14: A Divine Foot in the Door

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To read the series in order you can begin with “The Frauds of Evolution: Part 1” 

I’ve been wanting to respond to Richard Lewontin’s “divine foot in the door” comments for some time. A lot of creationists besides myself have recognized the central significance of Lewontin’s remarks to the creation vs evolution controversy and I hope this is a subject you pay particular attention to.

Conspiracy of Collusion?

Is there an ungodly conspiracy among scientists to dishonestly promote the idea of evolution (i.e., the common ancestry of all living beings) and the idea of deep time?

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Evolutionist authority in paleontology, Richard Lewontin, had this to say about how evolutionist scientists conduct their argumentation and how they pursue scientific investigation:

Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a prior commitment, a commitment to materialism.

It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.

The eminent Kant scholar Lewis Beck used to say that anyone who could believe in God could believe in anything. To appeal to an omnipotent deity is to allow that at any moment the regularities of nature may be ruptured, that Miracles may happen.

This quote from Richard Lewontin has been cited by creationists on numerous occasions—and for very good reason. Lewontin explicitly states the “rules of the game” of evolutionary propaganda. As one of the “High Priests” at the very top of the profession of paleontology, Lewontin knows whereof he speaks. This is an authoritative and accurate description of the nature of the argumentation made by evolutionist scientists and academicians.

To put it in ordinary language, Lewontin is confessing to a con job, a fraud.

Empiricism: the theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience. Stimulated by the rise of experimental science

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Evolutionists present evolutionary propaganda as empiricism at work. Lewontin authoritatively informs us that evolutionary argumentation against supernaturalism is not empiricism at all.

The entire evolution crusade is thoroughly assumptive and a priori in nature. The logic is a priori every single step of the way.

Evolution happened; that’s their story and they are sticking to it. And because it “happened,” all empirical evidence must be pieced together with the presupposition that evolution happened, and the evidence must be forced to fit into the basic assumption.

This is a faith-based devotion to an “a priori adherence to material causes.”

Naturalism a Religious Faith

Need I state the obvious? What Lewontin is describing is not empiricism but a religious faith. It is the religious faith of philosophical Naturalism in practice. This practice involves the debate tactic of masking assumptions and presenting them to the world as conclusions rather than as premises. That is simply dishonest argumentation.

Lewontin has essentially “spilled the beans” and brought the lurking beast out of the closet: the Evolution enterprise is, from beginning to end, an “apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter” what. That materialism is “absolute.” No ground can ever be conceded to an alternate explanation under any circumstances.

It’s like the proverbial boxing match that has been fixed by the actual boxers in the ring and the boxers’ managers: the conclusion is predetermined from the start before any actual investigation has begun. There is never any actual test of the proposition itself.

The evolution vs creation debate has never been an honest argument on the part of evolutionists; not with Darwin, and not with anyone since. The actual authorities in the field of paleontology like Richard Lewontin know this. Niles Eldredge, former Curator of the American Museum of Natural History, has confessed to pretty much the same things (see here, ref to his book, “Time Frames” pg. 142-144).

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If you view the evolutionary propositions presented to you from inside the “set of concepts,” you are unable to see what is going on. The moment you no longer share those same “set of concepts” and question the nature of the “apparatus of investigation” (radiometric “dating,” for example), the invisible suddenly becomes visible. You see it for what it is.

Straw Man Arguments and Argument by Anecdote

In the online open forum, Quora, which uses a question and answer format, the following was presented:

Q: 99 million year old fossils preserved in amber have been found in Myanmar. What do young Earth creationists have to say about this evidence that PROVES the Earth is far older than 6000 years?

A: Oh, the usual ways:

    • They will sweep it under the rug.
    • They will claim that the evidence is fake.
    • They will claim that dating doesn’t work.
    • If nothing else, they will claim that there is an ungodly conspiracy among scientists.
    • Or that Satan made it to look that old to lure us away from God.
    • Or that God made it to look that way to test our faith.

…in about that order.

Veterans of the creation vs evolution controversy have heard all of this countless times before. Of the six reasons stated by the writer, three of them constitute straw man arguments, and are an example of the mindless parroting of other evolutionists’ propaganda.

I suppose if you look hard enough and long enough you can find an anecdotal example of some deluded soul who will claim that the evidence is fake, or that Satan manufactured the evidence in the ground or that God “made it look that way to test our faith.” These are, of course, absurd statements. Likewise, you may find an example of some creationist somewhere who avoids certain evidence and “sweeps it under the rug.

I’ve been following creationist literature for decades now, and I’ve never come across an example of any of these claims. The writer of the query answer is either mindlessly parroting baseless propaganda or, alternately, is a conscious perpetrator of caricatures.

Regarding the other two propositions, when it comes to The Dating Game of deep time assumptions (principally radiometric “dating”), it is, indeed, a conspiracy to cover up the fact that the dating conclusions are superimposed upon, not deduced from, the data.

It is not unfair in the least nor a stretch of logic to characterize the process described by Lewontin as “an ungodly conspiracy among scientists.”

That certainly sums it up for me!


“The struggle between science and the supernatural” asserted by Lewontin is a false dichotomy. We creationists assert that the regularities of nature are precisely what we would expect based upon the premise of a supernatural act of creation by a faithful, steadfast, dependable God.

The regularities of nature are ordained by God and, yes, those regularities of nature may be superseded at will at any moment by the omnipotent God who holds those regularities in His own power.

Miracles can and have happened. The universe came into being where before there was only God. Life began at the will of the Creator, the Living One.

  • A path opened in the middle of the Red Sea so the Israelites could cross over.
  • The sun went backward for the space of an hour.
  • Water was made into wine.

And a man who was crucified and dead for three days rose from the dead and ascended into heaven to assure the promise of eternal life to all who would have faith in him.

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Written by Tom Shipley

I am a former atheist and was an evolutionist during my college days, but came to faith in Christ at the age of 20. I regard my pro-creation activities as part of the work of the kingdom of God. I believe that a very tough, strident and unapologetic stance against evolution is called for though I may soften my tone if and when Mark Armitage and David Coppedge, fired for their creationist beliefs, are given their jobs back. Articles copyright Tom Shipley. All Rights Reserved.

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