Programming the Judicial Machines
Part 2: The Cloak of Science
On December 20, 2005, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania "h[e]ld that the ID [Intelligent Design] Policy [in the Dover Area School District] is unconstitutional pursuant to the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment of the United States Constitution and Art. I, § 3 of the Pennsylvania Constitution.", in its Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District opinion (slip. op. at 3) (excerpts from this opinion include the following (some citations omitted)):
C. Federal Jurisprudential Legal Landscape
[***] The religious movement known as Fundamentalism began in nineteenth century America as a response to social changes, new religious thought and Darwinism. [***] Religiously motivated groups pushed state legislatures to adopt laws prohibiting public schools from teaching evolution, culminating in the Scopes "monkey trial" of 1925. [...]; see Scopes v. State, 154 Tenn. 105 (1927) [....]
1. An Objective Observer Would Know that ID and Teaching about "Gaps" and "Problems" in Evolutionary Theory are Creationist, Religious Strategies that Evolved from Earlier Forms of Creationism
The history of the intelligent design movement (hereinafter "IDM") and the development of the strategy to weaken education of evolution by focusing students on alleged gaps in the theory of evolution is the historical and cultural background against which the Dover School Board acted in adopting the challenged ID Policy. [***]
It is essential to our analysis that we now provide a more expansive account of the extensive and complicated federal jurisprudential legal landscape concerning opposition to teaching evolution, and its historical origins. As noted, such opposition grew out of a religious tradition, Christian Fundamentalism that began as part of evangelical Protestantism's response to, among other things, Charles Darwin's exposition of the theory of evolution as a scientific explanation for the diversity of species. [...]; see also, e.g., Edwards [v. Aguillard], 482 U.S. at 590-92 . Subsequently, as the United States Supreme Court explained in Epperson [v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968)], in an "upsurge of fundamentalist religious fervor of the twenties," 393 U.S. at 98 (citations omitted), state legislatures were pushed by religiously motivated groups to adopt laws prohibiting public schools from teaching evolution. [...]; see Scopes, 289 S.W. 363 (1927). [*****]
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, slip. op. at 7-8, 18-19 (Case No. 04cv2688) (United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania) (December 20, 2005).
The Courts Misunderstand the Issue
The courts really need re-programming because unfortunately, they routinely misunderstand the fundamental issue involved in cases dealing with the topic of evolution. (Many cases dealing with secular humanism are also ones dealing with evolution, since the two topics are interrelated because both have "evolved" from the religion of 18th-century deism.) (See: Programming the Judicial Machines (Part 1).)
The original United States Supreme Court decision involving evolution was the relatively brief Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97 (1968). The Opinion of the Court (Fortas, J.) framed the issue in such a manner as to hearken back to the mythology, emotional fervor, and zealous lawyering associated with the infamous "Scopes monkey trial", which supposedly pitted the "fundamentalist" Christians against the supposedly more "enlightened" modern science (see 393 U.S. at 98-99 and 98 n. 2).
The Epperson Court set up the mechanistic religion vs. "science" dichotomy that cases dealing with the topic of evolution took thereafter (see 393 U.S. at 103). Therefore, Epperson v. Arkansas enshrined the Scopes trial in the precedents of the Supreme Court of the United States, at this nation's highest judicial level--except with the opposite result.
And inevitably, the Epperson Court hearkened back to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black's decision in Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S. 1 (1947) in doing so:
There is and can be no doubt that the First Amendment does not permit the State to require that teaching and learning must be tailored to the principles or prohibitions of any religious sect or dogma. In Everson v. Board of Education, this Court, in upholding a state law to provide free bus service to school children, including those attending parochial schools, said: "Neither [a State nor the Federal Government] can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another." 330 U.S. 1, 15 (1947).
Epperson, 393 U.S. at 106 (alterations in original).
In a decision that seemed as intent upon re-deciding the Scopes issue as it was to determine the constitutionality of the Arkansas statue, the majority Opinion of the Epperson Court adopted the Scopes defense position of pitting religion against science--especially what the Court liked to term "fundamentalist" Christianity, against what it viewed as science.
The problem with this approach was: both sides of the issue were religious. Christianity was a religion, and evolution was a religion (an updated version of 18th-century pantheistic deism). But the Epperson Court didn't recognize that. Therefore, the Court misunderstood the issue.
Interestingly, Justice Hugo Black (author of Everson) "reluctantly" concurred with the Epperson Court's decision--but not without reservation (see Epperson v. Arkansas, 393 U.S. 97, 109-115 (1968) (Black, J., concurring)).
Even Justice Black was bothered by the "creationism-is-establishment-of-religion-but-evolution-is-not" approach taken in Epperson v. Arkansas, for he wrote in his "reluctant[ ]" (393 U.S. at 111) (and doubt-filled) concurrence:
2. A second question that arises for me is whether this Court's decision forbidding a State to exclude the subject of evolution from its schools infringes the religious freedom of those who consider evolution an anti-religious doctrine. If the theory be considered anti-religious, as the Court indicates, how can the State be bound by the Federal Constitution to permit its teachers to advocate such an "anti-religious" doctrine to schoolchildren? The very cases cited by the Court as supporting its conclusion hold that the State must be neutral, not favoring one religious or anti-religious view over another. The Darwinian theory is said to challenge the Bible's story of creation; so too have some of those who believe in the Bible, along with many others, challenged the Darwinian theory. Since there is no indication that the literal Biblical doctrine of the origin of man is included in the curriculum of Arkansas schools, does not the removal of the subject of evolution leave the State in a neutral position toward these supposedly competing religious and anti-religious doctrines? Unless this Court is prepared simply to write off as pure nonsense the views of those who consider evolution an anti-religious doctrine, then this issue presents problems under the Establishment Clause far more troublesome than are discussed in the Court's opinion.
Epperson, 393 U.S. at 113 (Black, J., concurring) (bold emphasis added).
But Black apparently did not think that "the views of those who consider evolution an anti-religious doctrine" were "pure nonsense", for he then wrote:
In fact the Darwinian theory has not merely been criticized by religionists but by scientists, and perhaps no scientist would be willing to take an oath and swear that everything announced in the Darwinian theory is unquestionably true.
Id. at 114 (Black J., concurring) (bold emphasis added).
Actually, the problem with Darwinism (i.e., macroevolution) is not that it is an anti-religious doctrine; the problem is that it is inherently a religious doctrine. Its religious mythology is not Christian, but it is religious in the same sense that Greek and Roman mythology was integral to the Greek and Roman pagan religions. So, evolution has taken the place of Greek and Roman mythology in the modern civilized world. Evolution is paganism in disguise.
The Gaia Cloaking Machine:
Evolution Is a Sophisticated Version of Pantheistic Deism
The Dover Area court went on to say, on December 20, 2005:
Next, and as stated, religious opponents of evolution began cloaking religious beliefs in scientific sounding language and then mandating that schools teach the resulting "creation science" or "scientific creationism" as an alternative to evolution. However, this tactic was likewise unsuccessful under the First Amendment. [*****]
Among other reasons, the Supreme Court in Edwards [v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578 (1987)] concluded that the challenged statute did not serve the legislature's professed purposes of encouraging academic freedom and making the science curriculum more comprehensive by "teaching all of the evidence" regarding origins of life because: the state law already allowed schools to teach any scientific theory, which responded to the alleged purpose of academic freedom; and if the legislature really had intended to make science education more comprehensive, "it would have encouraged the teaching of all scientific theories about the origins of humankind" rather than permitting schools to forego teaching evolution, but mandating that schools that teach evolution must also teach creation science, an inherently religious view. Id. at 586, 588-89. The Supreme Court further held that the belief that a supernatural creator was responsible for the creation of human kind is a religious viewpoint and that the Act at issue "advances a religious doctrine by requiring either the banishment of the theory of evolution from public school classrooms or the presentation of a religious viewpoint that rejects evolution in its entirety." Id. at 591, 596. Therefore, as noted, the import of Edwards is that the Supreme Court made national the prohibition against teaching creation science in the public school system.
[***] For the reasons that follow, we conclude that the religious nature of ID [Intelligent Design] would be readily apparent to an objective observer, adult or child.
Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, slip. op. at 21, 23-24 (December 20, 2005).
(Following a mechanistic "rubberstamping" approach toward applying the Epperson precedent, the Edwards Court (mentioned in Dover Area) maintained the religion vs. science dichotomy and viewed the issue through that interpretive lens. And by that time (1987), the Edwards Court had the Lemon test (1971) to assist their efforts to do so.)
(But see: Justice Antonin Scalia (joined by then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist)'s Dissent from the Court's Edwards Opinion.)
However, it is the religious doctrine of pantheistic deism (the "Gaia" concept of the "evolving" or "re-inventing" universe) that acts like a giant cloaking machine--and the cloak it uses is science.
The modern history of the religious doctrine of macroevolution extends back to the early modern era: to the 17th and early 18th centuries--to materialistic pantheism's notion of the "re-inventing universe".
Some of the 17th-century English political radicals, in addition to being "Levellers" (an early form of socialism), were also pantheists. Pantheists believed that the universe was mystically divine (the concept of "Nature", which by the time of the 20th century was also called "Mother Nature" or "Gaia" (especially by New Agers).). To them, God was not a personal entity; rather, God was a cosmic force inherent in all things. (This pantheistic viewpoint blends with Eastern mysticism.)
The pantheistic worldview blends or cooperates with naturalism and materialism (that is, the worship of the matter in Nature itself), and is often associated with socialism in the political realm. Eighteenth-century writers, by the way, tended to use the term "atheism" to generally indicate deism. And in a way, materialistic deism is atheistic: if the universe is all there is, then the universe is the deist's "god" or idol. He worships the creation rather than the Creator. This is effectively the same as saying there is no God outside the material universe--that the material universe is all there is.
Deism's (Materialistic Pantheism's) Re-Inventing Universe
In 1720, a deist, self-described pantheist called John Toland (1670-1722) culminated his "freethinking" career with the publication (originally written in Latin) of Pantheisticon: [...] To which is prefix'd A Discourse upon the Antient and Modern Societies of the Learned, as also upon the Infinite and Eternal Universe. [....] (English translation: London, 1751 ed.). On pp. 14-15 of the English translation (emphasis is in the original; spelling has been modernized), Toland described the beliefs of those he called pantheists:
[***] They are called, for the most part, pantheists, upon account of an opinion concerning GOD and the UNIVERSE, peculiar to themselves; but diametrically opposite to the Epicureans, Chaologists, and Oneiropolists, as they acknowledge no first confusion, no fortune, much less chance, to be the maker of the world. Notwithstanding they deliver their sentiments, concerning the cause and origin of things, in conjunction with Linus, the most ancient, most authentic, and revered oracle of mysterious science, saying,
All things are from the whole, and the whole is from all things.
(In the footnote (p. 15), the phrase is translated "All things are from the All, and the All is from all things".)
Toland further explained (p. 15) (emphasis is in the original):
This short sentence, which they always have in their mouth, requires to be fully explained, wherefore we shall here briefly clear it up, by adjusting exactly words to things.
They assert that the universe (of which this world we behold with our eyes is but a small portion) is infinite both in extension and virtue, but one, in the continuation of the whole, and contiguity of the parts: immoveable according to the whole, as beyond it there's no place or space, but moveable according to the parts, or by distances in number infinite: incorruptible and necessary both ways, to wit, eternal in existence and duration: intelligent also by an eminent reason, and not to receive its denomination from our intellectual faculty, unless by a slight similitude: finally, whose integrant parts are always the same, and constituent parts always in motion.
Interestingly, Toland appeared to attribute intelligence to the material creation (the universe was "intelligent also by an eminent reason"), thus depicting the universe in terms of a "mind"--which is essentially the same as the concept of a "divine universe" (Nature or Gaia), advocated by pantheists. Toland conceived of Nature as Universal Mind: a self-creating, self-perpetuating force--like evolution.
Toland thought the material universe was self-perpetual--even to the point of giving rise to new species of life. He went on to say:
From that motion and intellect that constitute the force and harmony of the infinite whole, innumerable species of things arise, every individual of which is both a matter and form to itself, form being nothing else than a disposition of parts in each body. From whence therefore we may conclude, that the best reason, and most perfect order, regulate all things in the universe, in which there are infinite worlds, distinguished from one another, as other parts by their peculiar attributes, although, with regard to the whole, there are no parts really separate. Things moving by parts in no wise take away from the perfection of the universe, as thereby new perfections are produced, by a never-ceasing principle of generation. Neither is the constant dissolution of many things, that result from those parts, an hindrance to its perfection, inasmuch as this is a point of the greatest perfection; for nothing of the whole perishes, but destruction and production succeed each other by turns, and all by a perpetual change of forms, and a certain most beautiful variety and vicissitude of things, operate necessarily towards the participation, good, and preservation of the whole, and make, as it were, an everlasting circulation.
Toland, Pantheisticon, 1751 ed., pp. 16-17 (italic emphasis is in the original; bold emphasis has been added).
"[N]ew perfections are produced, by a never-ceasing principle of generation." "From that motion and intellect that constitute the force and harmony of the whole [i.e., the universe itself], innumerable species of things arise [....]" "Neither is the constant dissolution of many things, that result from those parts, an hindrance to its perfection, inasmuch as this is a point of the greatest perfection; for nothing of the whole perishes, but destruction and production succeed each other by turns, and all by a perpetual change of forms [....]" This is the concept of natural selection in embryo--the oft-cited Darwinian "survival of the fittest". The idea that an intelligent universe perpetually generates new species and destroys old ones, and perpetually changes the forms in order to reach a higher and higher goal of perfection: this is the essence of classical Darwinian evolution. And its basics were expounded in 1720 in John Toland's Pantheisticon.
Toland then went on to quote Diogenes in a footnote (p. 17): "One all things sprung, and are to be dissolved into, and confounded with, the same again." This sounds similar to the notion of reincarnation.
(To support the idea that 18th-century deists could also be pantheists, consider this biographical entry regarding the American Revolutionary Ethan Allen: an acknowledged deist, a rarity among the American founding generation):
General Allen possessed strong powers of mind, but they never felt the influence of education. Though he was brave, humane, and generous; yet his conduct does not seem to have been much influenced by considerations respecting that holy and merciful Being, whose character and whose commands are disclosed to us in the scriptures. His notions with regard to religion were such, as to prove, that those, who rather confide in their own wisdom than seek instruction from heaven, may embrace absurdities, which would disgrace the understanding of a child. He believed, with Pythagoras, that man after death would transmigrate into beasts, birds, fishes, reptiles, & c, and often informed his friends, that he himself expected to live again in the form of a large white horse.
William Allen, A.M., An American Biographical and Historical Dictionary [....] (Cambridge, MA: William Hilliard, 1809), p. 14.)
Commenting on one of his footnotes, John Toland further stated (p. 17) (emphasis is in the original): "[...], That from One all things are made, and shall be reunited to the same. Finally, the force and energy of the whole, the creator and ruler of all, and always tending to the best end, is GOD, whom you may call the Mind, if you please, and Soul of the universe [....]"
So to Toland, God was merely the universal mind or soul--that is, equated with the supposed "divinity" of the universe itself.
Toland took the view that his (materialistic) pantheism was his century's form of scientific mysticism, the heirs of those intellectuals who studied "the knowledge of the most abstruse things" and "the sublimest mysteries": the Druids and disciples of Pythagoras (p. 95). The pantheists' true doctrine was esoteric; that is, it was hidden to the public until the right time should emerge, in which conditions were ripe for its acceptance:
But perhaps it may be imputed as a fault to the PANTHEISTS for embracing two doctrines, the one external or popular, adjusted in some measure to the prejudices of the people, or to doctrines publicly authorised for true; the other internal or philosophical, altogether conformable to the nature of things, and therefore to truth itself: And moreover for proposing this secret philosophy, naked and entire, unmasked, and without any tedious circumstance of words, in the recesses of a private chamber, to men only of consummate probity and prudence. But what person, unless equally ignorant of the disposition of the human genius [that is, intellect], and what's transacted in nature, doubts that they act wisely? The reason of what I say is manifest. For no religion, no sect, can brook a contradiction, much less can endure that their doctrines should be charged with error or falsity, and their ceremonies with vanity or folly. [***]
Toland, pp. 96-97 (spelling has been modernized).
Toland heaped ridicule and criticism upon orthodox religions: a sentiment he shared with fellow deists. The reason, then, why materialistic pantheists (who went under the name of deists) didn't explain their full views was because they knew that it was contrary to, and opposite to, the prevailing religion of their era: Christianity.
The Pro-Life Response
The Christian response existed in the 18th century, too. Jonathan Edwards, in his "Miscellaneous Observations", written for his own edification, commented on deism, particularly in response to a work by deist Matthew Tindal: Christianity as Old as the Creation, or, the Gospel, a Republication of the Religion of Nature (1730) (which declared that Christianity was the same thing as natural religion, and that there was no need for revelation). Toland and Tindal were both part of the same circle of English deists.
Basic tenets of what became known as Darwinian (in the 19th century) (later still, neo-Darwinian in the 20th century) evolution were present in 18th-century deism (a religion that attempted to gradually move away from Christianity, step by step, to proceed toward outright religious secularism). Some deists (materialistic pantheists) thought, that not only was the world eternal, but it was self-generating (that is, re-generated by the "force" within nature itself, which was vaguely identified with the Universal Mind: an impersonal concept of God). Therefore, claiming that God's creations are the result of material self-generation later became the basic premise of the religious philosophy collectively called the Darwinian evolutionary theory (or Darwinism) (i.e., macroevolution through natural selection, later elaborated to include genetic mutation, and allied with the related doctrine of chemical evolution: that life arose from non-life in a so-called "primordial soup" (a false notion, by the way)). Thus, the basic concept of evolution was not newly-minted in the 19th century by Charles Darwin; it was merely a more sophisticated rehash of old deistic (Toland would say pantheistic) arguments.
That matter self-generates itself from matter (without the aid of any personal First Cause) is of course philosophical naturalism, the modern dogma of 21st-century evolutionary theory. Hence, chemical evolutionists (advocates of the false "primordial soup" notion that life arose from non-life) confidently asserted that all matter came only from previous matter, and that organic life arose from inorganic molecules (the principle of abiogenesis that goes back to the time of the ancient Greek philosophers). The false assertion that matter could not be produced by a personal First Cause (that is, a Personal Entity both immanent and transcendent of the material universe) gradually led the deists to exclude God--until evolutionists excluded Him entirely from His role as Creator.
What modern courts don't recognize is this: Underlying the whole evolutionary superstructure is the "re-inventing universe" of pantheistic deism. But note: This is actually a religious viewpoint.
Since the historical evidence (subject to interpretation by paleontologists, based upon their observations of ancient fossils) actually reveals that gradual, step-by-step macroevolution over a long period of time did not occur in the earth's past history--then the key pillar propping up a tottering neo-Darwinism is 18th-century deistic religion (that is, materialistic pantheism).
Natural laws in science are physical laws: the proven laws of the material universe created by God; whereas in law, the term "natural law" refers to the moral laws created by God in order to guide mankind's moral behavior, and natural law jurisprudence is the legal philosophy based upon the sovereignty of God as moral governor. The one thing the two definitions of the term have in common is that, in truth, both the physical laws of the universe and the moral laws to guide humanity were created by God. Thus, denying the one (that God is the Creator of the universe) inevitably involves the denial of the other (God's sovereignty over mere human government). That is why deism and its offspring, religious secularism (i.e., secular humanism), have proven to be so destructive to human culture: when ultimate sovereignty is deemed to reside in mere humanity, then human authority tends to become self-centered and despotic.
Modern evolutionary theory is but the "souped-up" (as in the so-called "primordial soup"), re-energized form of the old materialistic pantheists' idea of a self-perpetuating universe, in which matter arose from only matter, and in which the universe itself drove a perpetual succession of species to arise in ever-ascending order, onward toward a supposed height of perfection.
But--a reasonable interpretation, as free as possible from the bias of hostility toward God (otherwise known as sin), can interpret these scientific results as revealing not only the existence, but also, to some extent, the personal nature of God. The Bible actually indicates that, through scientific investigation (i.e., empirical observation), one can infer the existence of God by observing his material creations:
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:18-20) (English Standard Version)
It is time to rethink mechanistic jurisprudence--it is time to re-program the judicial machines--in favor of creation--for the sake of human rights and human dignity.
For further reading, see: Programming the Judicial Machines (Part 1)
Scripture quotation is from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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