(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first article ever written for The PLAIN TRUTH. But it was not published until 21 years later. This was written five years before the first issue of The PLAIN TRUTH was published, and by that time it had been forgotten in an old file. In going over it again recently, I thought our readers of TOMORROW’S WORLD would enjoy reading it.)
by Herbert W. Armstrong
MOST of us are outraged when we hear of the wrong being inflicted upon Russian childhood by Russian propagandists. The Soviet Government has compelled the teaching of Communism to Russian children. Thus the Bolshevists expect to make Russia safe for their particular beliefs.
Yet we give our silent assent to the practice of far more dangerous methods upon our own children.
This device of controlling education, so that the citizen’s ideas are fixed long before he arrives at the years of discretion, is one of the oldest of human customs. If children are caught young enough, their minds can be definitely shaped to accept partisan propaganda for truth.
And now the propagandists for evolutionary science — a theory utterly unproved and by its very nature not subject to definite proof — a theory which makes it impossible to believe the Bible — a theory which strikes at the very roots of fundamental Christian doctrine — have succeeded in having their doctrine taught as established truth in our colleges not only, BUT THEY ARE PUTTING THE BASIC FOUNDATION OF THE EVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT INTO YOUR CHILD’S MIND IN THE HIGH SCHOOLS, AND EVEN IN THE. ELEMENTARY GRADES.
Wide-Open Door to Your Child’s Mind
So subtly is this done that few, indeed, have realized it. We have simply failed to realize the deep-rooted nature of the doctrine of evolution. And so we left wide open the door of our own children’s minds to an easy acceptance of evolution as truth — and a consequent rejection of fundamental Christianity.
It is highly important for us to realize that evolution is the very basis upon which most of the natural sciences have been developed.
Evolution is, in fact, itself a basic CONCEPT. It is a POINT OF VIEW directly antagonistic to the fundamental Christian point of view. It is the concept that life has developed and advanced, over long ages of time — millions of years — from the simple to the complex — from unintelligence to modern civilization. It is the point of view that we are always advancing — everything growing better and better. It is the antithesis of the Biblical teaching of the sinful nature of man, the need of redemption, or of any sudden supernatural Creation. It is the concept of NATURALISM — the viewpoint that miracles and all things supernatural are an utter impossibility. It is the concept which discards every miracle — every mention of the supernatural — in the Bible as the silly, superstitious folklore of an undeveloped past. It is the concept which looks upon man as sufficient unto himself — which denies the possibility of any interference from God — WHICH HOLDS THAT ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE WITH MAN, BUT NOTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD.
That is the Concept
That is the evolutionary concept. That is the point of view from which the orthodox scientist proceeds. That, then, has become the approach by which all subjects are studied and scientific (so-called) dogmas fixed. That is the concept — the viewpoint — which is injected INTO THE TEXTBOOKS USED IN HIGH SCHOOLS, AND EVEN IN THE ELEMENTARY GRADES. That is the concept which our tax-supported public schools are injecting subtly into the immature young minds of your children and mine. Even grade-school textbooks are written from this point of view. You’ll find it in the geographies and the histories. It is time for us to awake to the danger.
Listen to the words of Maynard Shipley, president of the Science League of America, and a foremost evolutionist. Evolution, says Mr. Shipley, is the very root of the entire tree of modern natural science. “If you destroy the root,” says Shipley, “the tree will fall.” Let us realize, too, that evolution strikes at the very ROOT of the entire tree of fundamental Christianity. And if we permit evolution to destroy the root, the entire tree will fall.
“What the friends of science are really supporting, or trying to protect,” says Shipley, in a recent article in which he defends the teaching of evolution in tax-supported schools, “is the validity of the method of science, and the moral right and duty of the workers in field and laboratory to make known to the students in our tax-supported educational institutions the full results of their researches.” In other words, science is fighting for the right to teach your children and mine, in the tax-supported schools, “the full results of their researches,” which means, simply, the evolutionary concept — the anti-Bible point of view — the Antichrist doctrine with which Satan is poisoning the minds of millions.
Poisoning Minds of Millions
By that harmless-sounding phrase “the method of science,” Shipley means human investigation and research, proceeding from this anti-Bible point of view. “Science commands our respect,” he proceeds, “on the ground that its method is for all time true — the method, not of tradition or revelation or authority [that is, not of belief in the authority of the Scriptures or of revelation], but of discovery, careful observation, research, experimentation, comparison, testing, analysis, synthesis.”
Shipley purposely omitted the chief factor in the “scientific method” which leads to colossal error — false reasoning. baseless speculation, unfounded hypotheses, erroneous theories and suppositions, unfounded and careless guesses! He continues: “We want to know, not what somebody said that somebody else said, many centuries ago [what Moses said God said], but precisely: ‘What are the present facts in the case?’ These facts, as fast as discovered, must be set in order, then interpreted and accounted for [according to the evolutionary concept, of course], not in accordance with tradition or unsupported logic, but in accordance with all the knowledge at the moment available. OUR BOYS AND GIRLS ARE ENTITLED TO THE FULL BENEFITS OF THIS METHOD — THE METHOD OF SCIENCE.
“Why, indeed,” continues Shipley, “should not all boys and girls be taught at least the elementary principles of biology and geology and astronomy, all of which, I repeat, are dependent on evolution for their proper understanding? … Perhaps few would deny that we owe the best that modern culture affords to ‘all the children of all the people.’ TOMORROW THEY WILL BE VOTERS, who may be called upon to decide whether Biology and Geology, which necessarily involve processes of evolution, shall be taught at all in Twentieth Century America. Above all, OUR CHILDREN MUST LEARN THAT ALL CONTEMPORARY INVESTIGATION IS … FIRMLY BASED UPON THE EVOLUTIONARY CONCEPT.”
Satan’s Most Powerful Weapon
Does the overwhelming significance of Mr. Shipley’s remarks break upon your mind? Surely Mr. Shipley, president of the Science League of America, has thrown down the challenge. His statements should prove a stirring call to arms to every real Christian! By way of illustrating further the Satanic spirit of the whole movement, the same issue of the same magazine which printed Mr. Shipley’s article also printed an excellent outline of fundamental Christian belief, under the glaring caption “FUNNYMENTALS,” in a spirit of ridicule.
The forces of Antichrist are organized. The war is on. Not a war of flesh and blood — of firearms and armies and navies — but a subtle, insidious war ON OUR CHILDREN’S MINDS! Better a thousand times to have our children’s bodies slain in a physical war, than have their minds destroyed in this intellectual war of Satan. I repeat, that EVOLUTION IS SATAN’S MOST POWERFUL MODERN WEAPON. It is Christianity’s greatest enemy.
Attack Upon Our Children
I want you to note briefly, now, a few examples of the method of attack upon our children. I quote from the opening paragraphs of the ancient history textbook of Myers, used in many high schools:
“1. The Antiquity of Man — We do not know when man first appeared upon the earth. We only know that in ages long past, when both the climate and the outline of the continents were very different from what they are at present, primitive man roamed over them with animals now extinct; and that, about 5000 B.C., when the historic curtain first rises, in some favored regions there were nations and civilizations already venerable with age, and possessing arts, governments, and institutions that bear evidence of slow growth through very long periods of time.
“2. The Prehistoric and the Historic Age — The uncounted millenniums which lie back of the time when man began to keep written records of what he thought and did, and of what befell him, are called the Prehistoric Age. The comparatively few centuries of human life which are made known to us through written records comprise the Historic Age.
“3. How We Learn About Prehistoric Man — How, in the absence of written records, are we to find out anything about prehistoric man? In many ways we are able to learn much about him. Thus, for instance, we may regard existing savage and semi-savage races as representing the prehistoric state of the advanced races. As it has been put, what they now are, we once were.”
Reverse of Fact
This is a glaring example of false theory. The savage of today represents degeneration — not advancement. Yet this false supposition, antithesis of the truth, is used as evidence of a false concept.
“4. Divisions of Prehistoric Times The long period of prehistoric times is divided into different ages which are named from the material which man used in the manufacture of his weapons and tools. The earliest epoch is known as the Paleolithic, or Old Stone Age; the following as the Neolithic, or New Stone Age; and the later period as the Age of Metals…. The man of the Old Stone Age saw the retreating glaciers of the last great ice age, of which geology tells us…. The length of the Old Stone Age no one knows; we do not attempt to reckon its duration by centuries or millenniums even, but by geological epochs. But we do know — and this is something of vastly greater moment than a knowledge of the duration of the age — that the long slow epochs did not pass away without some progress having been made by primeval man, which assures us that though so lowly a creature, he was a creature endowed with capacity for growth and improvement. Before the end of the age man had learned to use fire.”
Contemporary, NOT Successive
These supposed successive cultures named from materials used, are even today, contemporary, and were not successive.
Someday intelligent people will laugh at these fables, believed in as advanced science today.
Can you reconcile these teachings with the veracity of Holy Scripture? Here, in a high school textbook, is a common example of the evolutionary concept as the basis of knowledge. The high school student is taught, not as theory, but as indisputable fact, the imaginary existence of long geological ages — that our forefathers were low savage and semi-savage races, from which modern civilization has developed. Does the high school youth question the authority of such statements? Naturally not. He accepts them as truth. And thus the evolutionary point of view is planted securely in his mind. He takes this concept for granted. A young mind in which such basic ideas have been grounded is well prepared to accept evolution as such when he reaches his freshman year in college.
The Tools of Science
The tools of modern science are OBSERVATION and REASON. Science, especially the natural and philosophical branches, is largely occupied with explaining things observed. The errors of science lie not in inaccurate observation and measurement. The mistakes and absurdities of science may be traced to its uniform insistence of explaining and interpreting everything observed from the evolutionary concept.
Dr. More, in his book, The Dogma of Evolution, well says: “Scientific men do carefully sift the accuracy of observations and measurements, while they are at the same time singularly indifferent toward the manifest absurdity of many of the ‘scientific’ hypotheses.”
I do not say that all science is false. Indeed, there is no conflict whatever between TRUE science and the Bible. True science is Truth. And the Word of God is Truth. Truth does not contradict itself. Religion, indeed, owes much to modern science. The more practical and mechanical branches of science have produced much which contributes toward our daily comfort, happiness, and well-being.
We may well realize that, insofar as the modern scientist confines his efforts to pure observation and measurement, he is invariably careful, cautious, accurate, and trustworthy.
The Scientists’ Mistake
His tremendous mistake consists in his false REASONING: from the viewpoint which rejects the power of God, and the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures as the Word of God. “The fear of the ETERNAL is the BEGINNING of wisdom,” and of knowledge. When our learned scientist scoffs at the miracles of the Bible; when he denies to God the power to interfere in any supernatural way with the works of His own Creation, and “receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God,” which “are foolishness unto him”; then his vaunted “wisdom of this world is FOOLISHNESS with God.” That, as nearly as I can express it, is the Bible definition of when we may accept the findings of science, and when they should be rejected.
It is well for us to bear in mind that all of the phenomena of nature which our modern scientists explain from the evolutionary viewpoint are more rationally explained from the viewpoint of “the fear of the ETERNAL,” which is the BEGINNING of wisdom and knowledge.
Humanity Was Groping
The pity of it all is that, when the modern scientific movement was generated by such men as Copernicus and Galileo, humanity was groping in a degenerated age of darkness, ignorance, and superstition.
Paganism, falsely labeled “CHRISTIANITY,” held a deceived world in ignorance. The world was supposed to be flat. The sun and the moon were thought to be only a few miles distant. Religion revolved on a concept of God as literally near to the earth.
Such ignorant conceptions were taught as Bible doctrine. Indeed, many scientists today believe such ridiculous notions to be the teaching of the Bible. But the Bible nowhere says the earth is flat. Job knew the earth was round, and he knew of the distance from the earth of the various planets and the stars. The ignorant conceptions associated with a flat earth were merely the heritage of the medieval Dark Ages, under a degenerate, apostate, and paganized religious domination.
Yet, today science holds up the example of how, in the day of Copernicus, Religion fought the development of a true knowledge of astronomy by Science, and how today we realize that Religion was wrong, and Science was right.
This is held up as an example of the present struggle between Science and Religion over the question of Evolution, and Science assures us we will one day look back with the same amusement at present-day fundamental conceptions of a Creating God, that we now look back upon the Dark-Age belief in a flat earth. The fact is, that, developing in an age of ignorance and mental degeneration, the exponents of modern science have accepted the Middle-Age concept of religion which was pure paganism, the antithesis of the BIBLE teaching, and proceeded upon their present evolutionary concept more because of their reluctance to accept the religious doctrines of ignorant paganism falsely calling itself Christian, and the BIBLE doctrine of Special Creation, than because of any evidence of evolution. Evolution is wholly the result of inductive processes of reasoning.
Greatest Weapon Against Mental Poison
The greatest weapon against the insidious poison of evolutionary propaganda is sound Bible TRUTH.
Not the ridiculous ideas of the ignorant Middle Ages — but SOUND BIBLE TRUTH. It is lack of sound Bible teaching which alone must be blamed for the spread of the Devil’s greatest intellectual weapon.
Science never has, and never will discover any evidences in nature which contradict sound Bible Truth. They may find much which disputes careless, willful, and false interpretations of the Bible.
And the ASSUMPTIONS, GUESSES, HYPOTHESES, THEORIES, and INTERPRETATIONS and CONCLUSIONS placed by science upon its observed and measured findings may run diametrically counter to sound Bible doctrine, and to Truth.
But a true UNDERSTANDING of the Bible — a rare thing, indeed — will always prove the key and the very basis for the understanding of all things. Truly, of all the things in which human man falls short, he has no greater shortcoming than a lack of UNDERSTANDING.
What Can We Do?
We come, now, to the question:
What can we do about it?
Our schools and our colleges are handicapping your child and mine, before they start out in life, by substituting false propaganda for Truth — by implanting the ready-made doctrines of Antichrist in the plastic minds of youth. Virtually every college graduate is an evolutionist, today. The evolutionist confidently assures us that only the ignorant and the superstitious reject the “truth” of evolution.
Science is fighting for the right to teach all children — the FUTURE VOTERS, as Mr. Shipley so significantly remarks — the atheistic, Bible-rejecting evolutionary concept. It is fighting to destroy, in youth, all belief in a Creating God and in the Word of God.
Science knows we poor human beings are prone to formulate our views and opinions according to what we have been taught — we take for GRANTED that which we are taught from childhood. It knows that if it succeeds in its present insidious crusade, another generation will take evolution for granted as a pure matter of course.
A doctrine unproved and unprovable will thus — and only thus — be universally accepted as Truth. Christianity will be destroyed. Religion will degenerate to the low plane of pure morality — a morality which will be outmoded.
Editor’s Note: This article was written in 1927. All these predictions have come to pass! They now are the condition in the “civilized” world !
This gigantic trend is the latter-day spirit of Antichrist. It is the final, mighty, masterful crowning thrust of Satan — by far the most effective weapon he ever managed to employ.
Out of it already has sprung the new religion of Antichrist, popularly known as Modernism — a religion which accepts the moral teachings of Jesus, but denies everything fundamental in God’s Word. A religion which answers the true Bible definition of the religion of Antichrist — that which “denies that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh.”
Editor’s Note: This situation is one of the reasons for AMBASSADOR COLLEGE.
“CHRISTIANITY,” wrote Elbert Hubbard, “supplies a Hell for the people who disagree with you and a Heaven for your friends. The distinguishing feature of Christianity is the hypothesis that … through Adam’s fall we sinned all. Christianity is a combination of morality and superstition, and they never form a chemical mixture. Man is the only creature in the animal kingdom that sits in judgment on the work of the Creator and finds it bad.”
But Elbert Hubbard knew nothing of TRUE Christianity. He knew about the paganized religion in its hundreds of denominations, falsely branded “Christianity.”
Had Elbert Hubbard, Robert Ingersoll, Tom Paine, Emerson, Jefferson, and other skeptics, agnostics and atheists known the PLAIN TRUTH as revealed in the Bible, they never would have been atheists or agnostics. They lived in a deceived world of spiritual darkness, where TRUTH was turned into irrational superstition.