December 16, 2014

In Their Own Words XXIV: Wisdom Tooth



As I’ve written this series it has morphed and taken on different shapes and characteristics. At first it was intended to point out the absurd religious comments of godless men. It was originally to be an ongoing series of posts of quotes from atheists, skeptics, naturalists, methodological naturalists, empiricists and ungodly existentialists. It was to show the flawed end to their logic when they made anti-theistic comments. It was also to show the obvious disdain in their anti-biblical vitriol that spewed forth from their thinking. 

As I have written this blog my walk has become closer with God. I am now trying to see more of the positives in people. This series is changing in accordance with that shift and has now grown to include exceptionally profound quotes from men and women that had it right all along because they kept their faith, and thinking rooted in the Bible. The theme for the series expanded because some of the insightful and profound things that come out of believer’s mouths are hard to ignore and sometimes warrant mentioning more than once. With this precept in mind I present William Jennings Bryan, a Christian and former Democratic presidential candidate of the United States in 1896, 1900 and 1908. 

Why, these men would destroy the Bible on evidence that would not convict a habitual criminal of a misdemeanor. They found a tooth in a sand pit in Nebraska with no other bones about it, and from that one tooth decided that it was the remains of the missing link. They have queer ideas about age too. They find a fossil and when they are asked how old it is they say they can't tell without knowing what rock it was in, and when they are asked how old the rock is they say they can't tell unless they know how old the fossil is. ~ William Jennings Bryan

It should be noted right from the beginning that William Jennings Bryan was a leading American politician from the 1890s until his death in 1925. He was a dominant force in the Democratic Party until his death. He was an opponent of Darwinism on religious and humanitarian grounds. He was known for his avid opposition to the theory of evolution and was the key prosecution witness speaking against it at the Scopes Monkey Trial which pretty much set the stage for permanently putting evolution in schools and precluding Creationism from society as a valid explanation of human beginnings. What we also see in the Scopes Monkey Trial is the US court system being used to undermine the validity of the Scriptures and biblical inerrancy by arrogant godless men.

William Jennings Bryan of course is referring above to the infamous tooth in the Nebraska Man debacle by evolutionists back in the 1920’s. A single solitary tooth was described by Henry Fairfield Osborn in 1922, on the basis of a tooth that rancher and geologist Harold Cook found in Nebraska in 1917. An entire transitional species was created based on the existence of this single tooth. It turns out the tooth was misidentified as anthropoid (a higher primate) by Osborn, who over-zealously proposed the idea of a transitional Nebraska Man in 1922. This tooth was soon found to be that of a peccary more commonly known as a feral pig when further bones were found. A retraction was made necessary by 1927 to correct the scientific blunder. From this one little tooth we gained quite a bit of wisdom and insight into the scientific method of the time and perhaps even now. We see that, like other science theories and methods, they are not immune to error.

His comment above is interesting because of the irony it presents about science, the draconian measures by which evolution was instituted in the American educational system and the Machiavellian manipulative effects it has on our government and cultural systems. All were dangers Bryan was well aware of and that is exactly why he opposed them at the turn of the 20th century. He makes these statements about the fossil record used to support evolution and how sporadic and riddled with lack of evidence it is. It virtually has no leg to stand on to support its argument because it is nearly empty of transitional lifeforms or transitions between species. He makes a further dig at the evidence by making another valid statement. The evidence science uses to support its evolutionary claims is subject to interpretation and often, the interpretation is victim to horrendous error and mistakes as in the case of Nebraska Man. If this was the case with Nebraska Man, how many other theories or ideas based on weakly-supported theories has modern science (therefore society) fallen victim to?

So, although Nebraska Man was not a deliberate hoax, the classification proved to be a rather substantial mistake. It exposed a gaping hole in the scientific method/process. How many so-called scientific evidences passed off as fact are in actuality, merely misinterpreted data or misunderstood information? This further begs the following question: How many of modern theories and identification sciences are prone to serious flaw and error due to presupposition and interpretation errors? 

Based on this one incident alone it should be considered highly probable that all hastily arrived at theories and scientific decisions should be looked at with a jaundiced eye. When we add to this blunder things like the study of Phrenology, Eugenics, Social Darwinism, Darwin’s notions of heredity, Einstein's cosmological constant, Linus Pauling’s Triple Helix and finally Piltdown man, we see that things can quickly get ugly…even for people that are held in high esteem at the pinnacle of science. As a matter of fact, there is now evidence to possibly prove that things do indeed travel faster than the speed of light.

Sadly, since the time of Nebraska Man and the Scopes Monkey Trial, science as a know-all and tell-all for man’s origins and truth as gained a death grip on our educational system, our government and society at large. So much so that modern society has no room for any form of Creationism, God or the Bible except as an afterthought or worn-out overused myth.

After the Scopes Monkey Trial, Bryan would end up writing a summation he had intended to use. As an excellent biblical and moral thinker he would hit on further valid points that should sound a bell in the head of believers but will ring hollow in a modern non-believer. Bryan realizing that science and faith can exist side-by-side did not malign science outright but rather painted them as awkward but viable companions.

Science is a magnificent force, but it is not a teacher of morals. It can perfect machinery, but it adds no moral restraints to protect society from the misuse of the machine. It can also build gigantic intellectual ships, but it constructs no moral rudders for the control of storm tossed human vessel. It not only fails to supply the spiritual element needed but some of its unproven hypotheses rob the ship of its compass and thus endangers its cargo. ~ William Jennings Bryan

Very well said Mr. Bryan, very well said.

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