By Brian Nixon, Special to ASSIST News Service
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO (ANS – August 4, 2016) — As a liberal studies major in my undergraduate years at Cal State, Stanislaus, I was trained, in essence, to be a jack-of-all-trades, a master of none. In it’s entomological sense, the word liberal meant, “broad,” and “wide.” My education followed suit.
I had to take courses in science, math, art, history, music, psychology, English, literature, astronomy, and the like. The broader, the better. And though I was a music minor, I was exposed to an assortment of great subjects from biology to Bach. I’m glad I took the route I did; it sparked my interest in a wide variety of subjects (my curiosity stays with me to this day).
So it’s no wonder that after my graduation I went into teaching. The year was 1995. And to my surprise, my first teaching assignment was not in the arts (as I loved), but in the sciences. I was hired at a small private school to teach Jr. High and High School science, earth science, life science, physical science and biology, to be exact. With my strong liberal arts education under my belt (and an innate love of science that I had since a child), I wasn’t at all intimidated—at lest for a time.
As I began my lesson plans a question hit me: how was I to approach the subject of evolution? The school was a Christian school, so I thought I knew the answer — provide an overview of the major viewpoints and let the student come to a cogent conclusion based on the facts — with faith of the family in view, of course. That sounded good to me. I went to see the headmaster, Michael Jackson (yes, his real name). And he agreed with my conclusion: teach all the viewpoints, but stress how evolution is lacking in scientific support.
Huh? That was a foreign statement. I just spent years in college sciences classes where the professors were telling me that evolution was a fact — something beyond a shadow of doubt. It just so happened that my biology professor proudly proclaimed to the class, evolution is no longer a theory, but truth. And though I had hunches that he was overstating the claim, who was I to doubt the professors.
As I prepared for the science classes — and started teaching — I began to read a lot about the science-religion debate. I read from both sides of the issue. And the more I read, the more I came to see Michal Jackson’s point: evolution did lack critical data in its conclusions. And even more so, I began to see a trend in scientific thought that led me to find that science was as much a worldview (or faith) as was religion. A few books began to paint a whole new view of evolution. And these books weren’t written by religious men, per se; but by trained scientists and educators. The books I read included Evolution: A Theory in Crises (Denton), Darwin on Trial (Johnson) and Of Pandas and People (Kenyon). I later picked up Michael Behe’s book, Darwin’s Black Box, which led to more books like Icons of Evolution (Wells). In all, I came to the conclusion that evolution wasn’t as tight an argument as I was taught in college.
Books became teachers on a subject that was seldom discussed with balance in the public arena. Books helped end the evolution emergency for me (it was an emergency because I was teaching the subject to inquisitive students wanting to know why evolution seemed so out of whack with what they experienced in real life: “Teacher, things just don’t appear, do they?” “And how did nothing create something?”).
And with Douglas Axe’s recent release, Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life Is Designed, the reality of Darwinian macro-evolution — as taught in the public arena — is becoming more evanescent, the emergency is lessening.
Using what Axe calls The Universal Design Intuition — as best seen in cellular biology — Axe makes a convincing case that the universe just couldn’t happen. It logically flows that design infers a Designer (an old argument, but one with new insight with current scientific findings). As Evolution news reports, “Dr. Axe restores the place of intuition alongside intellect in considering the question of life’s origins” .
Again, as Evolution News reports, “Starting with the hallowed halls of academic science, Axe dismantles the widespread belief that Darwin’s theory of evolution is indisputably true, showing instead that a gaping hole has been at its center from the beginning. He then explains in plain English the science that proves our design intuition scientifically valid. Lastly, he uses everyday experience to empower ordinary people to defend their design intuition, giving them the confidence and courage to explain why it has to be true and the vision to imagine what biology will become when people stand up for this truth” .
And what makes Dr. Axe’s easy-to-read book so engaging isn’t just what he’s postulating, but by whom it’s being postulated: Dr. Axe studied at U.C. Berkeley, did his graduate, doctoral work at Caltech, and his postdoctoral research at Cambridge, later holding a research position at the University of Cambridge. If those aren’t science credentials, I’m not sure what are.
But better than just writing about it, I encourage you to read it. You can find out more information here:
Photo captions: 1) Dr. Axe teaching. 2) Undeniable: How Biology Confirms Our Intuition That Life is Designed. 3) Brian Nixon with ANS founder, Dan Wooding, during a visit Dan made to Albuquerque.
About the writer: Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, and minister. He’s a graduate of California State University, Stanislaus (BA) and is a Fellow at Oxford Graduate School (D.Phil.). To learn more, click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Nixon.
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