Another dishonest attempt by AiG to link evolution and morals
John Stear, April 2004
Answers in Genesis's
(AiG) in their email newsletter
Weekly News of 9 April 2004, attempt,
again, to establish a link between evolution and moral behaviour. In an effort to support their argument they refer to an Australian National University research study for which no reference is given.
I attempted to track down the research study AiG referred to and came up with the following data from the International Social Science Survey Australia (ISSSA) which was written by Jonathan Kelley of ANUTECH, the business arm of the Australian National University. Kelley's article Australians' views about the theory of evolution concludes with the observation -
" ...Darwinianism [sic] does ramify into other aspects of culture, but it does not appear to have the demoralising, anti-social effects that many have feared."
In their Weekly News AiG says:
For years, many people—even some Christians—have scoffed at the idea that a decline in morality could be linked with evolution.
I've no doubt thinking people will continue to "scoff" at AiG's claims. But even if it could be established that a causal link exists between evolution and moral behaviour, that would in no way undermine the validity of evolution, nor would it prove that creationism is anything more than Bible based pseudo science.
Misconception: "Evolution leads to immoral behavior."
Index to Creationist Claims
Also in their Weekly News AiG throws in a partial quote by Dr. Michael Walker, a Catholic, who was then Senior Lecturer in Anthropology at Sydney University -
"One is forced to conclude that many scientists and technologists pay lip-service to Darwinian theory only because it supposedly excludes a Creator."
Although Dr Walker's statement has little to do with AiG's argument, their use of it does provide yet another example of YECs' willingness to use quotes selectively or out of context. The quote, as referenced by AiG, was from an essay on page 44 of the October 1982 issue of Quadrant Magazine. I searched out that particular issue and found the full text of Dr Walker's statement:
"One is forced to conclude that many scientists and technologists pay lip-service to Darwinian theory only because it supposedly excludes a Creator from yet another area of material phenomena, and not because it has been paradigmatic in establishing the canons of research in the life sciences and the earth sciences." [my emphasis]
When one reads the entire paragraph (the portion omitted by AiG is in italics) Dr Walker's meaning is changed dramatically. Note that AiG end their quote at the word "creator" and even have the effrontery to include a full stop (period) after that word where none exists in the original.
Dr Walker's essay To Have Evolved or To Have Not? That is the Question, from which AiG selectively quotes, is of no assistance to the YEC cause or their argument in this case. The essay does not condemn Darwinism per se but merely questions how those scientists Dr Walker claims pay lip service to Darwin's Theory can use it to explain the emergence of human culture. Nor does Dr Walker support creationism which he refers to as "scientifically bankrupt" and "sterile bible [sic] bashing". The main point of discussion in his essay is the emergence of Man as a moral and spiritual being and he believes that neither biology nor the Bible can explain this. He discusses the proposition that any attempt to explain the emergence of human culture within evolutionary theory is wrong and the key to discovering when and how this occurred lies in the period somewhere between 20,000 and 5,000 years ago when written records began to be used.