Why is it, despite the advances of science and secularist education, so many Americans still doubt evolution? While many blame theism, a pair of Yale psychologists are suggesting another factor – that our minds are hard-wired from birth to see design in the world around us. In "Promiscuous Teleology" — Is This Why So Many Reject Evolution? Al Mohler discusses this idea:
Bloom and Weisberg believe that the minds of children are, in
effect, hard-wired to see design in nature and the world around them.
The "intuitive psychology" they describe means that children infer a
design in the world they experience. They assume an intelligence
behind what they observe, and assume that a creative intelligence is a
necessary part of any explanation of why things are as they are.
This, they argue, leads to a basic resistance to science.
Mohler quotes the authors, who of course, are evolutionists trying to "overcome" people’s resistance to "science" (a.k.a. evolution. please).
One significant bias is that children naturally see the world in
terms of design and purpose. For instance, four year-olds insist that
everything has a purpose, including lions ("to go in the zoo") and
clouds ("for raining"), a propensity that Deborah Kelemen has dubbed
"promiscuous teleology." Additionally, when asked about the origin of
animals and people, children spontaneously tend to provide and to
prefer creationist explanations.
Just as children’s intuitions about the physical world make it
difficult for them to accept that the Earth is a sphere, their
psychological intuitions about agency and design make it difficult for
them to accept the processes of evolution.
Mohler responds to this "evolution is science" and "there is no design or purpose" undercurrent
Just as obviously, Bloom and Weisberg, speaking on behalf of the scientific establishment, assume that there is no purpose or design behind the cosmos.
Mohler argues that these pscychologists have pitted science against faith by claiming that science denies any design, while faith teaches design. And unfortunately for them, childhood psychology sees design in the world. But rather than being a flaw to be overcome, Mohler argues that this may actually be evidence that we are made by God to understand things as being made.
The earliest lessons taught in Sunday School are filled with what
Deborah Keleman calls "promiscuous teleology" — the teaching that
God’s design lies under every aspect of nature. The hard-wiring for
design these psychologists identify as the problem may well be yet
another sign of the imago Dei — the image of God that
distinguishes humanity from all other creatures (another claim directly
rejected by the scientific establishment).
Of course, this "hard-wired" belief in design frustrates evolutionary scientists who deny design or intelligence behind the creation. Mohler alludes to the fact that this "childish framework" may also be present in adults, not because it is childish, but because it is true.
Many polls indicate that a majority of Americans reject the dominant
evolutionary theory and believe in some form of divine creation. This
frustrates the evolutionary scientists to no end. But they are asking
Americans to reject what they learned in Sunday School in favor of a
theory that insists that the universe is a great cosmic accident. It’s
not just children whose brains are hard-wired to reject that.