In the first lecture of the Kanawha Creation Science Group’s annual conference, Dr. Joseph Mastropaolo opened up with comments to the following effect:
“Evolutionists have always claimed that they are scientists and are only opposed by religious fanatics, but, in fact, it is just the opposite: Science completely refutes evoultion and evolutionists are the religious fanatics.”
The basic thesis of Dr. Mastropaolo’s lecture is that the basic assumptions of Darwinism were present in the Greek Gaea-Cybele vitalism religion, that those basic assumptions [spontaneous generation [or abiogenesis], vitalism and evolutionism] have been refuted and that evolutionism is a dead faith.
He begins with what he dubs Evolution’s Secret Biography, noting that Anaximander and proponents of the Gaea-Cybele vitalism religion proposed something very similar to modern-day Darwinism. Specifically, he notes that they believed:
- in an early molten Earth
- life sprang from a prebiotic soup
- early life began in the sea
- ancestors were fish
- a human emryo was like a chicken embryo
- struggle eliminates inferior life
- the feather was homologous to a scale
- that soma [body] seeds, changed by environment and inherited are evolution’s mechanism
He notes that all of these ideas, modified and dramatized in pictures, are found in modern textbooks. In fact, he noted that much of Greek culture and knowledge has been romanticized and elevated by later cultures, who tried to emulate it. At any rate, a classical education incorporates exposure to much Greek philosophy.
He then elaborated on why early Greek philosophers came to these conclusions, giving the example of a butterfly. He noted that ancient philosophers observed that a caterpillar appeared on a leaf, changed into a chrysallis and then into a butterfly. The postulated that the caterpillar had come about by spontaneous generation and then evolved by stages into a butterfly. He notes that they were good observers, but that they missed the 1/16th inch green egg on the underside of the leaf. Their ignorance of this egg led to a false conclusion. Of course, now we know that a butterfly laid this tiny egg, which hatched a caterpillar, which formed a chrysallis and then blossomed into the same kind of butterfly that laid the egg. As such, this is neither valid evidence for spontaneous generation nor evolutionism.
He then recounted how experiments by Francesco Redi, Louis Pasteur and John Tyndall all overkilled the idea of spontaneous generation. A webpage called Can Life Arise From Nonlife? on Dr. Mastropaolo’s site neatly summarizes the points made in the Powerpoint presentation concerning the experiments in question.
He then recounted how several evidences given for evolutionism in textbooks are demonstrably frauds, forgeries or just plain false.
One of the examples given was the idea of a Sickle Cell advantage. I asked Dr. Mastropaolo to be more specific about this, noting that there have been claims that Sick Cell is beneficial to prevent malaria. He stated that he was glad I had brought this up, since evolutionists do not give the entire story. He stated that those who do not have Sickle Cell have a resistance factor of 0.9. Admittedly, those with a mixture of normal and Sickle cells have a slightly increased resistance factor of 1.0, but 1/4 of their children stand a chance of dying during infancy. Furthermore, those with full-blown sickle cell have a significantly decreased resistance to malaria, cited at 0.2 compared to the normal 0.9. Therefore any minor [and temporary] advantage over malaria gained by those with a sickle cell mixture is lost, making this disease of no survival value at all. In other words, the harm far outweighs any good.
After noting these flawed evidences for evolutionism, he noted how he has challenged many evolutionists to accept his challenge to prove evolution is science and creation is a religion at lifescienceprize.org, but that no one has yet accepted the challenge. He did this to underscore the fact that he believes evolutionism has no solid empyrical evidence.
After this aside, he made a case that the inclusion of such errors in textbooks violates most state educational laws on the grounds that textbooks must contain accurate information. West Virginia Education Code 18-2A-1 does in fact state:
“Textbooks adopted on the state multiple list must substantially cover the required content and skills for the subject as approved by the state board of education. Adopted materials must be current and information presented accurately.“[accent mine]
He then tried to make a case for evolutionism as violating federal law, citing the Establishment Clause and conflating evolutionism as a “Gaea-Darwin vitalism religion.” [I thought this line of argument went too far. There are other arguments that better make the case for evolutionism as a religion. Just because Darwin borrowed ideas from Greek philosophy that turned out to be false, being based on ignorance, does not mean that Darwin was practicing the Gaea-Cybele religion. Nor does it mean that Darwinists today practice such a religion. Similar beliefs or general points of agreement are shared between Christendom and the Republican party, but it would not be accurate to equate them. Darwinism can be said to be a secular equivalent of or at least great similar to the Gaea-Cybele religion [his original point], but we cannot claim that Darwinists are practicing said religion.]
He closed with a plea for more activism to root evolutionism, which he vehemently decried as anti-science, out of public schools and to replace it with devolution, the observable fact that life and the universe is becoming more disordered.