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TO members of the Hindu faith cows are sacred animals. In many parts of India cows are allowed to roam free, and must never be harmed, even if they cause damage to crops. A cow lying in the road must not be disturbed, even though it may be a nuisance to traffic and other road users. Has the theory of evolution become a “sacred cow” which must never be challenged or disturbed? The reactions of many of its adherents suggest that it has.


OPEN AND HONEST DEBATE

In a letter published in the Daily Telegraph (9th February), a group of religious leaders, including two Church of England bishops, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain and a member of the Evangelical Alliance, plus Professor Lord Winston, the fertility pioneer, and Professor Sir Martin Evans, winner of the Nobel Prize for Medicine, urged an “end to the fighting over Darwin’s legacy.” They wrote, “We respectfully encourage those who reject evolution to weigh the now overwhelming evidence, hugely strengthened by recent advances in genetics, which testifies to the theory's validity.” In other words, “Keep quiet and stop criticising Darwin!” On February 14th a group of 10 scientists who disagreed, also had a letter published. They wrote: “A much more open and honest debate is needed. If we lose a spirit of critical inquiry, even about Darwinism, we dishonour the pursuit of science.”


PUZZLED BY HOSTILITY

The reaction of some evolutionists suggests that they are afraid that if those who oppose evolution continue to do so more and more people will realise that “the emperor has no clothes.” Whilst we can understand secular evolutionists being upset by criticism of what is basically their rationalist doctrine, we are puzzled by the reaction of some Christians. A Church of England vicar who supported one of our recent events told us he was astonished by the hostility of people in his church. Sadly, this attitude is all too common, and many churchgoers never have the opportunity even to consider the creationist point of view because what they can read or hear is censored by their leaders.


A SICK COW

Why on earth should Darwin’s theory be above criticism? Darwin himself invited this. In the Introduction to The Origin of Species, he wrote, “I am well aware that scarcely a single point is discussed in this volume on which facts cannot be adduced, often apparently leading to conclusions directly opposite to those at which I have arrived. A fair result can be obtained only by fully stating and balancing the facts and arguments on both sides of each question; and this cannot possibly be done here.”


We have a short answer for those who ask us to stop criticising evolution: “No way!” The flaws in the theory are getting bigger and increasingly difficult to conceal, and we will continue to expose them. Evolution is not a ‘sacred cow’, but a ‘sick cow’, which needs to be put down — and the sooner the better!


Is Evolution a Sacred Cow? By Geoff Chapman EDITORIAL Spring 2009