How a belief in evolution affects law and history
- Grady McMurtry
- April 04, 2020
People ask me constantly, "But, what part does evolutionary teaching have to do with the study of this or that subject?" For example, how does evolution affect art or music? Well, of course it does have a great affect on art and music; however, let us take a look specifically at how it affects the current study of history.
George Santayana wrote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
President Woodrow Wilson penned these lines, "A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know what it is today nor what it is trying to do. We are trying to do a futile thing if we do not know where we came from or what we have been about."
Likewise, the Bible puts it this way, "Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past." (Deuteronomy 32:7)
A recent study of 17 year old high-school students showed that 50% did not know when World War I occurred; 66% did not know when the Civil War took place; and, nearly 50% had no idea when the Constitution was written. How could this be? Simple. There has been little recent emphasis on the study of American history in our public schools.
Why? Because evolution is the new taproot of our education system. Many think that evolution has to do only with scientific endeavors, but this is not so. Evolution permeates history, law, art, music, and sadly theology. The main principle of evolution is that man is capable of improving himself, of moving upward, of continuously progressing to higher and higher levels of achievement. The evolutionist says that there are no absolutes, no laws, no rules, no roles, no standards of conduct.
What was one of the great events leading up to this change in thinking from a worldview which stated that there were absolutes? Charles Darwin first published Origins of Species in 1859. After reading it the dean of Harvard Law School, Christopher Columbus Langdell, started teaching that since man had evolved his laws must also evolve over time.
Langdell strongly advocated that it was judges who should guide the evolution of the interpretation of the Constitution. In the late 1800s he formulated the now common practice of studying case law - that students should study the decisions of human judges rather than what the Constitution actually said about a matter.
By 1920 the law of Blackstone, Blackstones Commentaries on the Law, the law book which educated our Founding Fathers and ruled our courts for over one hundred years, had become obsolete. Why? Because Blackstone taught that there were absolute right and wrong human behaviors. Blackstone reasoned his view on law from the Bible!
Langdell reasoned his worldview upon the tenets of evolution. His evolutionary view of law became known as "positivism" or "pragmatism" - that nothing is absolute, that nothing is transcendent, that everything is in flux, that all things are constantly changing.
Next, Roscoe Pound entered the picture to take up the gauntlet of Langdell. Pound taught at four law schools and was dean of both the University of Nebraska and Harvard Law Schools. He saw himself as a missionary of this new concept of evolutionary law. He wrote, "We have . . . the same task in jurisprudence that has been achieved in philosophy, in the natural sciences and in politics. We have to rid ourselves of this sort of legality and to attain a pragmatic [evolutionary], a sociological legal science." With his direction law would be an evolutionary force to guide the development of our society.
These teachings went on to have a direct affect upon our Supreme Court. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., stated that "The justification of a law for us cannot be found in the fact that our fathers always have followed it. It must be found in some help which the law brings toward reaching a social end." He was followed by others of like mind.
Justice Benjamin Cardozo declared, "I take judge-made law as one of the existing realities of life." Chief Justice Evan Hughes wrote, "The Constitution is what the judges say it is." Chief Justice Earl Warren expanded the concept to its full extent. He wrote, "The Constitution must draw its meaning from the evolving standards of decency that mark the progress of a maturing society."
Warren announced that law was no longer to be based on precedent but on social evolution. It was the Warren Court that struck down prayer and the reading of Bible verses in public schools. These actions have had disastrous effects on the public school campus of America.
How does this apply to my premise that evolution affects history? It is simple. If man is evolving, then whatever happened in the past is no longer relevant to us today, because we have evolved past it.
Today the federal government guidelines de-emphasize teaching history, especially history prior to the Civil War. (You cannot even find that George Washington was our first president in some high-school history textbooks.) Ultimately our schools are teaching about culture, not history. The evolutionary world view wants to teach only about who we are now, not who we were.
Evolution theory also affects public morality, a field called "evolutionary psychology." These psychologists believe that since man has evolved from other animals we can learn what is right and wrong from animals. Thus, their findings are that since monogamy, faithfulness in a mate, does not exist in nature, neither should it be expected in our society. To take this further then, murder or theft are not wrong because we live in a world run by Darwins statement of "nature red in tooth and claw." The evolutionist says that "to the victor belong the spoils."
Christianity reasons that man is a created being and does not change, and that apart from knowledge of the Bible man is inherently evil. To the Christian the Bible has a timeless application. Christianity is a historically based religion, a religion based in evidence. As Christians we have more than enough evidence to convict.
To a student taught evolution Christianity loses its effectiveness. If man is evolving past this old style religion, then who needs it? If man is capable of determining his own future, that he can mold himself in the way he wants, then who needs the God of the past?
Is there an answer, a rebuttal or a prescription to turn this problem around? Of course there is. We must teach a dogmatically conservative approach to law, history, art, music, science and theology.
Romans 12:21 says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
Today we face a world in which evolutionary thinking has had a major hand in shaping. What is the answer? We must all arm ourselves with the Truth. We are to be the salt of the earth. We are to be the ones who are to season the earth. We can and will stop this evolutionary world view when we get out and teach others what is right.
President Abraham Lincoln sagely noted that, "The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." He was a visionary who was speaking of our own time.
Who is running the government today? Those men and women who were being taught in the classrooms in the 1960s. Today we are reaping in our government leaders the evolutionary world view that was sowed into them in the 1960s.
We have been teaching atheistic evolution in our public school classrooms for two and a half generations. Russia has been teaching it for four generations. We are only one and a half generations behind them. If we do not want the chaos that exists in Russia to be the chaos of America tomorrow, then we must stop teaching evolution as the sole theory in our classrooms.
We need to start teaching Creation Science in the classroom as a viable scientific alternative to the various theories of evolution. If we start to teach a creation worldview once again, then history too will take on a whole new meaning and purpose in our public classrooms.