The Natural History Museum (London) — a Temple to Darwinism part 5, Normal Service is Resumed
In the previous article in this series, I described how the magazine Nature, on behalf of the Darwinian Establishment, reacted furiously to the suggestion by the Museum that Darwinian evolutionary theory might not be established truth. It is now clear that the Museum has lost that battle, and that normal service has been resumed, as my visit in 2009 (mentioned in part 1) demonstrated.
A devoted Darwinian is now in charge. The current director is Michael Dixon, who took up his post in June 2004. His attitude was clearly revealed in an article he wrote in the Guardian newspaper¹, in which he criticised the decision to remove the teaching of evolution from the curriculum in Israel and Turkey. The reasons stated by these countries were not on grounds of religion, although it is possible that there may have been a hidden agenda along those lines. Dixon’s objections would then be understandable. However, his scientific claims in defense of Darwinism might be considered by some to be rather exaggerated:
- The heading of the article claims that Darwinism is the “only evidence-based explanation of life”.
- “The fantastic diversity of life and the molecular composition of life past and present in our collection is clear, concrete, accumulated evidence of evolution”. He then complains that “evolution is still questioned”.
- “Since its inception in the late 19th century, evolutionary theory has been thoroughly challenged and rigorously tested across a range of scientific disciplines by tens of thousands of scientists around the world. It is considered irrefutable scientific law”.
- “Darwin’s theory of evolution not only underpins all biological science, it has an immense predictive power. From understanding the emergence of antibiotic-resistant organisms, to the ways in which different species might respond to global warming — emerging as new pests or sustainable sources of food — human health and prosperity will depend on decisions informed by evolutionary evidence”.
So human health and prosperity, even the survival of the planet, are at stake! Wouldn’t it be terrible, then, if the theory turned out to be false?
Readers will not be surprised to discover Dixon’s education policy: “So how should we respond to overt or insidious attempts to undermine this vital scientific concept? We must — of course — teach it in schools as the core part of any science curriculum. And we must speak up to defend scientific evidence and rational debate”. I’m sure we can all agree with that last sentence. However, two relevant questions are:
- Has Darwinian theory passed these tests?
- Is Dixon a good example of someone putting this into practice, or is he rather dogmatic and blinkered?
He eventually concludes: “As the top science attraction in the UK, the Natural History Museum will always be a refuge for those who want to discover more about the natural world. We will continue to defend Darwin’s legacy, the theory of evolution — the only evidence-based explanation for the epic, wonderful diversity of life on Earth”.
A refuge from what? Presumably from open-minded, unbiased debate.
In two previous articles I have listed at length the many reputable scientists, and others, who have rejected Darwinism². Is it fair to claim then that it is established science? Even Darwinians themselves sometimes express reservations about the limits of the theory³.
2009, under Dixon’s directorship, saw the completion of a £78 million project to deliver the second phase of the Museum’s Darwin Centre. It will also come as no surprise then that in the same year the statue of the founder Richard Owen was replaced by one of Charles Darwin. One can, of course, argue that Owen’s view of the world had been disproved, replaced by Darwinism, and therefore that it is only right that the statues should have been swapped. It still seems odd to me that the statue of the founder of the Museum, which had been there for 128 years, should be replaced.
It is also interesting to note that Darwin was buried in Westminster Abbey, a very high honour. The Abbey is the most important building of the Church of England. It is strange, therefore, that the person probably most responsible for attacking, and some would say destroying, the Church’s world-view, should be honoured there. This just goes to show the power of the scientific Establishment.
A national museum has a special responsibility because visitors will assume that it is authoritative, that it has State approval, that the State has endorsed its message. In 2009 people were queuing up in order to be, in my view, indoctrinated at the Museum. In modern times we are told to respect science, which is held up as a model of correct, rational thinking. I do indeed respect any science wherever this is the case. Unfortunately this has sometimes become a naïve, simplistic worship of anything called science, whether or not it has passed the necessary tests.
1. The Guardian, October 3rd 2018. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/oct/03/darwin-theory-evolution-schools-earth
2. It’s rather long, but if interested, please see:
Has Darwinian Evolutionary Theory Been Scientifically Established?
This question is frequently answered in the affirmative by its advocates. The truth is that it remains debatable and…
where both articles are included.
3. for examples see: