The following article was my response to an article I read in the Guardian. It was published in the Guardian of March 25th 2010. I just discovered that it was published. Below is the original article as I sent it to the Guardian. A man named (Dr) Douglas Anele (who teaches Philosophy at the University of Lagos) wrote a series of reply (about five) to the Vanguard “debunking my claims”. His article also appears in numerous other publications. See the links below to read some of these.
I refer to the article published in the Guardian (February 19th, 2010) authored by one Leo Igwe. I take it as a duty to give my own humble and prompt reply to this very article. Indeed, this is not the first time the author would write the media about the theory and teaching of evolution as a science in our public and private schools. Evidently the author and his Centre for Inquiry have been trying to advance a course which, hitherto, has not been bought by the appropriate authority. While I acknowledge that under a democratic setting, any citizen has the right to call to question, nay, even challenge openly matters of national interest which he/she thinks is inimical to the progress of the country, yet reason and judgment demands that such should be done in a way that it is not biased and such persons should be clear in his points as much as possible so that the public will stand a good chance of seeing things properly. Here, I am not trying to defend a clueless point or challenge a seemingly “superior” one, but the author of the article in question was perhaps totally biased and intentionally obscured about some very important points which if he had thought deeply and unbiased, couldn’t have missed. True, he may not have enough space to have given a “detailed” write-up, but knowing that the article would be consumed by the public demanded that he tried as hard as possible to be “detailed” at any cost.
To the author, evolution is a fact but religion is not! To him, religion is the root cause of our under-development as a nation, “a reflection of the poor and low standards of science education in our institutions”! To him, a man cannot be a great scientist or an engineer without eating evolution! To him, stakeholders in education are doing “a great disservice by neglecting, de-emphasizing or discouraging the teaching of evolution in schools. They have created a situation where our science students cannot compete with their counterparts in other parts of the world. They have created a situation where the Nigerian educational system cannot be reckoned with globally”.
These claims are totally biased and false. They have no solid foundation. First, religion, Christianity in particular, is a fact and creation is a fact. The truth of the creation of the universe is based on evidence, and the evidence is based primarily in Scripture as the inspired Word of God, and secondarily in nature.
All rational creatures acknowledge that science have been of great blessing to humanity. That is undisputable. Right from the beginning of civilization in ancient Egypt to the scholastic era of the middle ages and down to our time, the importance of man using his brain to think of scientific solutions to ease or otherwise solve some of his physical problems are too obvious. Now, to claim that religion, Christianity in particular, discourages scientific inquiry or that true religion is against science is pure fallacy. What the author was saying in essence was that evolution is the embodiment of science and to deny evolution is to deny science! But science has been around centuries before evolution came on board, and to those that do not tread the slippery paths of the evolutionists, science has done well without evolution till this very day. And even while evolution was accepted by the majority of scientists in the West, there was never a time when there weren’t a very considerable number of notable scientists and great minds remaining loyal to the old truth of creation, disagreeing totally with the logic of evolution. The fact that a man eats all or part of the “facts” of evolution does not make him a wit better than those that don’t at all.
Darwin published his Origin of Species in 1859. Instantly it became a very controversial issue but majority of scientists in his day and after bought his theory. Ironically, great minds in the scientific world in his time and thereafter have never accepted the idea. James Clark Maxwell, the discoverer of the electromagnetic theory was “a very committed Christian whose philosophic consideration of his faith led him to some of his greatest scientific discoveries”. He died a creationist. Thomas Edison even claimed that “the existence of an intelligent Creator, a personal God, can to my mind almost be proved from chemistry”. He also died a creationist seventy-two years after evolution erupted. Alexander Fleming (d. 1955), a Nobel laureate, the discoverer of the penicillin and first among his equals, was a creationist. Obviously Albert Einstein, a Jew, was a creationist and once said that “God does not play dice with the world”. We can continue to mention them, even from different spheres of life, but space will not permit.
The theory of evolution had left and would leave men without any moral compass for there is no justification for moral behavior under such theory. If man evolved and has nothing to do with a Creator, who is he then responsible to? How does he come about a conscience, a feeling of guilt when he does evil? In fact, how does he know what is evil? Evolution creates far more problems that it claims to solve; more questions than it claims to answer. Early fears that evolution would brutalize humanity were not unfounded. A man named Herbert Spencer, a proponent of social Darwinism, “opposed the betterment of the unfortunate because it might hinder the selection by survival of the fittest”. Marx and Hitler justified war on the same ground. These were hard-core evolutionists.
Nigeria has done well in the past without evolution (the 60s, 70s and early 80s) and we shall do well again without it. Corruption, laziness, unpatriotic figures in our schools and government, and not religion, are what is responsible for Nigeria’s sorry state in science and technology. States in the US are removing evolution from their curriculum. Many of his adherents, having being disillusioned, are abandoning that way for the more simple and noble path of creationism. Christendom (the mass of people that call themselves Christians) might have failed Nigeria as we can see all manner of stupidity in their rank, like the witch-hunting and superstitious-related abuses Leo Igwe mentioned, but Christianity (the religion itself) has not and will not. Certainly, evolution cannot solve Nigeria’s problems! It will be the height of wickedness to introduce evolution to primary or secondary school curriculum. The alarming increase in the rate of abortion among teenagers, divorce, drug addiction, murder, suicide, immorality and so on in the West is directly related to the teaching of evolution. Statistics have proved this again and again.
Rather than pushing for the teaching of a theory that leaves more problems than it “solves”, leave more questions than it “answers”, let us support and increase our efforts to ensure that religious knowledge and moral behaviors are properly taught and emphasized in all our schools from the nursery level to the tertiary, and even in states and federal houses. Then students shall be diligent in their studies, teachers in their teaching and political leaders would be responsible and patriotic and thus we shall excel and shine as a nation, not only in science, but in all areas of our national life. Our colleagues on Masters and Doctorates programmes in the West are shining bright, we are also shining here too with full confidence that we can stand shoulder to shoulder with Western graduates and be more productive if we find an enabling environment, and yet we do not believe in evolution nor do we have to.
>Olatunji, Owolabi Temitayo
In case you want to read his replies, see the following links.