By Mike Riddle
Updated from an article published in:
Christian News, Boise, ID
public school textbooks are highly respected by teachers, parents and
especially students. But do these textbooks and their authors truly
warrant such a high standing in our society? This month’s article will
clearly demonstrate that the answer is "No"!
In the area of science we should question all
information and train ourselves to be critical thinkers. For instance,
much that has been taught as fact about evolution has later turned out to
be wrong or excused as "being the best answer we knew at the time." Since
writers of "approved" science textbooks hold an evolutionary worldview and
they present information as being factual or as the only possible
explanation. For instance, in a current biology textbook the following
statement is made:
"But all researchers agree on certain basic facts.
We know, for example, that humans evolved from ancestors we share with
other living primates such as chimpanzees and apes." Miller and Levine,
Biology, 2000, p. 757.
Is this a true statement? No! The authors’ use of
the word "all" indicates that either they have not done their research or
they are deliberately being dishonest. In reality, there are thousands of
scientists today who reject evolution and believe in creation as the
explanation of origins. To view a partial list of these scientists and
their credentials go to www.icr.org and
Also, the phrase "certain basic facts" is misleading since, in
reality, there are no facts to support evolution. This is why evolution is
referred to as a "theory", model, or hypothesis.
When studying about origins we must critically
examine what we read by asking ourselves questions such as:
- Who is making the statement and what are their
- Has all the information been provided or only
selected data that supports a given theory?
- Does anyone disagree and offer alternative
- Is the outcome consistent in all cases or are
- Are there any assumptions that the reader is not
- Are explanations presented without suitable
- Are attacks on alternative explanations valid or
is there a distortion of data in order to discredit other views?
- Are logical fallacies being committed, e.g. ad
hominem (personal) attacks, etc.
Look for fuzzy words and phrases that indicate
uncertainty or doubt about the claims being made. Examples of such phrases
- We believe or we think
- Given enough time, it will happen
- It might work
- It could possibly have occurred
- My guess is. .
- It seems like. .
- This must have. . .
These phrases should be a "red-flag" alerting the
reader that the author has apparent confusion and uncertainty about
so-called "factual" claims. For example, in the Prentice Hall Biology
2002 textbook, authors Miller and Levine, make the following statement:
"Those life forms must have evolved in the
absence of oxygen…"
The phrase "must have evolved" is a clue that
even though scientists don’t conclusively know how it happened, they are
unwilling to accept any other possible explanation. This is not science;
rather it is dogma masquerading as science.
We need to practice identifying statements where
misinformation is being passed off as science. For instance, can you spot
any problems in the statements below?
#1: "Humans also have vestigial organs. We have a
set of miniature tailbones at the base of our spine - which obviously no
longer support a tail.... The appendix is a vestigial organ that does not
seem to serve a function in digestion today." Miller and Devine,
Biology, 2000, p. 284
This is an example of presenting false and deceptive
information because it is well known that without the coccyx and its
attached muscle system, humans would need a radically different support
system for their internal organs. To state that the appendix is a useless
(vestigial) organ because it does not seem to function in the digestive
system is also misleading. While the appendix does not appear to play a
role in digestion, research has established that it plays a role in our
immune system as well as other vital functions.
#2. "No wonder life as we know it today did not
exist during the Precambrian – there was no oxygen in the atmosphere to
breathe!" Earth Science; Geology, the Environment, and the Universe,
Glencoe and McGraw-Hill, 2002, p. 585.
The phrase "no oxygen in the atmosphere" is an
incorrect statement. The Bulletin of the American Meteorological
Society in 1982, reported evidence that oxygen was abundant in the
early Earth’s atmosphere.
#3."Since the 1950s, Miller and other researchers
using modifications of Miller’s apparatus have made most of the 20 amino
acids commonly found in organisms,…" Biology: Concepts and Connections,
Campbell, Mitchell, Reece, 2000, p. 321.
This is a deceptive statement since well-known
scientific information has been omitted. Although Stanley Miller did
produce amino acids in his laboratory, they were the wrong mixture for
supporting "life". Most textbooks usually omit the fact that amino acids
come in two shapes, left-handed and right-handed, and that only
left-handed amino acids are used in proteins to make life. The Miller
experiment and all subsequent experiments have always produced a mixture
of left- and right-handed amino acids, which is a poison to life.
Biology and other science textbooks are full of
misleading statements, incorrect information, and deception by omission of
vital facts. Students need to be taught to critically analyze the "facts"
and come to their own conclusions about the value of any given theory.
Mike Riddle has worked in the computer and education
field for over 25 years. He has a degree in mathematics from Southern
Colorado University and a graduate degree in education from Pepperdine
University. He has managed training organizations for US Sprint Worldwide
Technical Training and Microsoft's Worldwide Technical Sales and System
Engineer Training. Mike was an officer in the U.S. Marines and is a former
national champion in track and field.
Mike is the president of
Christian Training and Developmental
Services, and in 2005 Mike Riddle began working for
Answers in Genesis at the US
headquarters in Kentucky. He travels around the country teaching and
delivering seminars on the Biblical and scientific truths of creation.
Mike's background in creation ministry includes:
o Creation/Evolution: Does it Matter What We Believe
o Science and Education: The Origin of Life
- Developing a creation science education and
training program on the Internet for the Institute for Creation
Research, which is available at
- Teaching at the Institute for Creation Research
- Developing and instructing a college level course
on creation and science
- Conducting seminars on many topics concerning
creation at all levels
(primary grades through adult)
- Speaking at Christian leaders conferences around
the country on the importance of creation to church doctrine
- Authoring two books on creation and science