One of my favorite early Steve Martin routines went something like this: “Would you like to make a million dollars and pay no taxes? OK. First, make a million dollars. Now, just don’t pay any taxes; and if somebody from the IRS asks you about it, just say … ‘I forgot!'”

Nonsense? Sure. But funny, especially as Steve delivered it? You bet.

But there’s some absurd nonsense, not especially funny, being taught our school kids every day, in almost every school in America.

Darwin’s theory of evolution.

“But it’s science,” you say. No, not really. Certainly, not yet, if it ever will be. It’s a theory, an extremely farfetched, unproven theory and – at its base, its fundamental core – terribly unscientific!

To me (and I’ll explain, so stay with me) this theory is exactly like Steve Martin’s joke. It starts with a wish, a desire, proceeds through a ludicrous construction or process, and leads to a preposterous conclusion.

But this unfunny joke has been taken very seriously by a host of scientists, and now most educators, and it has been universally accepted as “fact” by most universities and school systems. And woe to the teacher, from grade school through college, who dares to question this improbable, unproven theory. If he or she dares to suggest or present the alternative theory of Intelligent Design – the vastly more plausible notion that this incredible universe and all living things point logically to a Creator with an intelligence far beyond our feeble comprehension (no matter how many Ph.D. degrees we might have among us) – lawsuits and intimidation will surely follow that teacher.

In one of his many excellent and substantive mailings, D. James Kennedy drew my attention to Tom DeRosa, who grew up Catholic in Brooklyn and spent his high-school years at a Catholic seminary. He was voted “Best Seminarian” in 1964, but one year later, instead of taking vows to enter the priesthood, he became an atheist.

His encounter with Darwin in college led to that decision. “There was a point where I became so rebellious that I yelled out, ‘No God!’ I remember saying, ‘I’m free, I’m liberated,'” DeRosa recalled. “I can do what I want to do; man is in charge! It was pure, exhilarating rebellion!”

That rebellion soured after a while, and after 13 years as a respected public-school science teacher, he experienced a spiritual awakening that completely changed his perception of existence – and science. He’s now founder and president of the Creation Studies Institute and author of “Evidence for Creation: Intelligent Answers for Open Minds.”

Did his IQ leak out his ears? Did he cease being a scientist? Far from it; he became a real scientist, an honest seeker after truth who could look at facts without a predisposed belief and actually see the obvious all around us.

As a real scientist, he looked again at what he’d gullibly accepted in college. And, examining the prevalent claim that life “evolved” from molecule to man by a series of biological baby steps, tiny mutations over millions of years, he realized there is no historical evidence for that claim. He writes, “Millions upon millions of fossils have been collected to date, but there is no evidence of transition fossils, that is, fossils of organisms in an intermediate stage of development between steps on the evolutionary ladder.”

Had you thought about that? If all life on this planet were actually in a process of “evolution,” would every species evolve in lock step, regardless of different environments? Or wouldn’t there be all the intermediate steps still in evidence, at various places around the globe? Wouldn’t there be plenty of evolving apes, tending toward homo sapiens, in the jungles and rain forests, possibly developing verbal skills and capable of elementary math and reasoning?

None such. Ever. Nada. Apes have always been apes, and humans always human (though some of us less so than others).

I wonder if any science teachers today ever share with their students that Charles Darwin acknowledged “the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe … as the result of blind chance or necessity.” If the originator of the theory of evolution and the author of “The Origin of Species” (the book which later students eagerly used as an excuse to leave a Creator out of the picture) couldn’t imagine everything we see and know happening without some design and purpose – why should any of us?

Why indeed?

Could it be that this whole evolution idea has grown out of a deep desire to escape the implications that necessarily accompany the concept of an infinite Intelligence, a Creator? If humans want to prove some theory, no matter how farfetched and self-serving, they will inevitably find some “evidence” that they can wedge into their theory.

Some years ago, Johnny Carson had a lady on his “Tonight Show” who had a large collection of potato chips, each of which she said resembled some famous person. And if you looked at the chip from a certain angle, and maybe squinted just right, you could see what she was referring to. While she bent down to carefully select another chip, Johnny removed one she said looked like George Washington, and replaced it with one he had under his desk. Then, when she had straightened up, he “absentmindedly” picked up the substituted chip and put it in his mouth, crunching loudly. The horror on her face was a huge laugh for the audience, and Johnny quickly relieved her, handing back the George Washington potato chip, intact.

This decades-long scavenger hunt, in which intelligent and educated seekers keep digging up artifacts to “prove” an unprovable and patently unscientific concept, is very much like the potato chip lady on “The Tonight Show”: You see what you want to see. Whether it’s there or not.

I’m grateful to Joseph Farah and the editors here at WND for letting me take this space each week. This topic, I feel, is so important – and I’ve got so much to say about it – that I’ll pick up here, in this space, next week. I hope you’ll stop by.

Related special offers:

“The Case Against Darwin”

“Tornado in A Junkyard: The Relentless Myth of Darwinism”

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