CBP: How did you come to a saving faith in Jesus?
Ken: Like most people, I have always inherently believed in some form of God. Unlike most people, I realized that if my belief was to have meaning, I would have to submit myself to God’s sovereignty (offered through the sacrifice of His Son). I believe the vast majority of people in our society excuse themselves from the second step – ostensibly keeping Darwinism as their “escape hatch” that science has some power too, and maybe God is not all He claims to be.
CBP: Most ID vs. Darwinism books are written by scientists for scientists. You’ve written for parents/kids/educators. Why?
Ken: I’ve taught public school science for over 25 years, and I’ve heard many arguments and exchanges from everyday people that maybe scientists don’t hear first hand. Common folks with “benign” faith need straight answers to their issues as well, yet sometimes these scientists write at a level above the very people who constitute the biggest need - such as those mentioned in #1 above. Besides being written in a clear and concise level for the common reader, Reclaiming’s other strength is its breadth of coverage. Many excellent books exist covering various aspects of evolution’s weaknesses, often to a deep level. Reclaiming covers all major challenges to Darwinism in one book, and gives enough information on each to make a solid point without getting into what could be dizzying details.
CBP: Is the science behind the debate too complicated for non-scientists?
Ken: Not if you take the time to distill essential points to their bare essence. I have taught this information to kids as early as 6th grade with great success. In fact, youth sometimes has a clarity to see the issues without preconceptions so often found in adults. Reclaiming offers this clarity, and “cuts to the chase” to get to the heart of the issue.
CBP: What is the Theory of Evolution?
Ken: Again, with maximum clarity, evolution says “The science in the system is sufficient to create the system.” Who can find any operational system where the components self-organized without intelligent assistance? People must inherently believe this because if you ask any “person on the street” if he or she truly believes monkeys turned into humans all by themselves, you would be hard pressed to find agreement in even the most non-spiritual.
CBP: How is Darwinism a “failed theory”?
Ken: The science Darwinism commandeered for over 100 years has now gone against it. Challenges to evolution are coming from all scientific specialties, such as astronomy, physics, molecular biology, genetics, and paleontology – even math. Perhaps most telling is that staunch Darwinist in the previous generation are passing away, and they are not being replaced with new young minds coming out of science. Darwinism is not being extended into new scientific frontiers – it’s a dead end pursuit.
CBP: What do you mean by luck vs. intent?
Ken: “Self-made” is a term that seems to bring the concept home the quickest. If all we see around us is one huge accident, then luck was all it took. That’s like saying if your builder dropped off all the materials to build you new house, and a tornado hit the glue, boards, nails, glass, doors, etc., and sent them into a whirlwind, you could come back and find your house built. (Assuming, of course, you could account for the accidental production of nail, glue, boards, etc., as well). Phrases like “Intelligent Design” and “Irreducible Complexity” means the act of an intelligent agent is detectable, “information” must have intelligence as a source, and the order we see around us has to be the result of intent channeling great power.
CBP: Another part of your book explains mathematical impossibilities – can you give us an example?
Ken: Try dealing a royal flush with five cards from a standard deck of 52 cards. Your odds of getting an ace-king-queen-jack-ten of the same suit are about one in 600,000 tries – and the cards do not have to come in any order. To get one average sized protein of 250 chained amino acids (out of the AA “alphabet” of 20), your odds through luck arrangement is one followed by 320 zeros. Darwinists used to tout the “billions and billions” of possibilities out in space, but billons times billions is only 18 zeros.
CBP: What is chemical evolution? Natural evolution?
Ken: Many people do not realize that before you have a living cell, chemicals must first evolve completely without the aid of “natural selection” for the bigger the molecule – like DNA – the more susceptible it is to degradation, not survival. Molecule biologists now agree that getting a metabolizing cell through pure luck was more fantastic than that bacterial cell becoming a human. And what good are certain macro-molecules like DNA before a cell appears, and what’s to protect them until a cell is formed. Reclaiming calls it the “fire, aim, ready” approach.
Without the negative connotation, “evolution” simply means “change over time.” It’s the weasel word “natural” that seeks to leave God out. Believers in Intelligent Design do not necessarily believe the Earth must be “young” to refute evolution – that the 7 days of Genesis had to be literal 24 hour days. Since God is not confined by time, a millennium and a picosecond are equivalent in meaning to Him (2 Pet. 3:8), and one can still reconcile every fact in Genesis with what can be proven in science. (The “Big Bang?” “Let there be light – BANG!”) This is part of the strength of Reclaiming. It takes the very “old Earth” science that Darwinists try to use, and dismantles it on their own turf. Furthermore, if some scientific principles and laws are valid as part of the process, they are still HIS laws that operate only where and when intended at His good pleasure, and God still gets all the credit.
CBP: A popular misconception is fossil records. Can you explain why that’s a problem for evolutionists?
Ken: The most glaring error is the lack of fossilized intermediates to support gradual change. They simply do not exist in anywhere near the quantity necessary, and those few evolutionists do tout can be shown to be immutable species in their own right. Evolutionary “trees” have always been more imaginative that substantive, supported much more by artwork of what was thought to have existed than what has been found to exist. Other problems like the Cambrian Explosion where all animal phyla appeared virtually overnight, and the fantastic genetic “rewrites” necessary for supposed “good mutations” cannot be explained or reconstructed in laboratories under the most controlled and intentional settings. Finally, genetic comparisons that used to seem to favor Darwinism (chimps are 99% genetically like humans) are now under fire (the closet genetic land animal to a whale is a cow, but how?). The bottom line is now, “If you want to be a Darwinist, better stay far away from the actual fossil evidence so you can hypothesize at will.”
CBP: How can Christians combat the mindset of evolution taught since our youth? What action should we/can we take?
Ken: Just learn the basics of challenges to natural evolution from books like Reclaiming. You will find it does not take a “rocket scientist” to understand it all (though Werhner von Braun held lunchtime Bible studies at Cape Canaveral), and you can stand your ground with atheists whose edifice is now crumbling. We must avoid losing credibility by not realizing the Bible and valid science can coexist. Failure here sometimes leads to legalistic theology that certainly leads religious squabbles that invariably leads to losing the court cases and the very people we hope to win for the Kingdom.
If we band together, I fully believe we can accomplish the same thing we did with smoking laws. For years and years everyone knew the dangers of smoking. Yet we put up with breathing second-hand smoke, dirty ashtrays, and musty smelling clothes for a long time because we demurred to a small few who would have us believe smoking wasn’t that bad, or knew the truth but felt they had a right to impose their will on the majority. But once society banded together, it took less than five years to relegate smokers to private places where they still had the right to practice their preferences, but not at the expense of the rest of us. Hence the title, Reclaiming Science from Darwinism.
CBP: What are you working on now?
Ken: The original text of Reclaiming was too long, so I extracted those chapters dealing strictly with issues related to human existence. They are being assembled into a new book with a working title of The Myth of Accidental Human Existence hopefully due out next year. This new book will still be science-based. But, by necessity, it must also examine issues such as values, morality, language, information, biological vs. spiritual, etc., so it will contain more philosophical arguments and Scriptural references that Reclaiming. Whereas Reclaiming hopes to get them into the vestibule, maybe Myth will get them into the sanctuary.
CBP: How did writing this book impact your own spiritual walk?
Ken: Honoring God will always involve a certain amount of faith that requires your heart to believe because you choose to – otherwise it wouldn’t be called “faith.” But for me, being able to add to the brain that mountain of incontrovertible facts defeating natural evolution makes God much more real. Also, teaching alternatives to evolution in public school science classes can be an invitation to trouble. I’ve experience some, but I have also developed more of a willingness to stand on the truth in love, and trust the Lord to be there. The occasional “dark clouds” have been more than dissipated by seeing His plan revealed when the sun (Son) showed the purpose for the difficulty on the other side.