If evolution is true, why don’t medical doctors ever think about it?
We came across a few interesting little snippets today. Did you know that most medical doctors never think about evolution? In fact, they aren’t even taught evolution in medical school. Did you know that?
It seems that most doctors believe in evolution like most people believe in God. That is, while they may remain reluctant to express explicit disbelief, evolutionary theory as an explanation for human beings plays no role in their everyday practice. You might say that regardless of their expressed belief or disbelief in evolution, they have a functional disbelief in evolutionary theory.
Most people who say they believe in God live their lives and hold beliefs no differently than their atheist friends and neighbors. You might say that regardless of their expressed belief or disbelief in God, most people are functional atheists. In the same way, most doctors practice medicine no differently than their creationist friends and colleagues. That is, in their practice most doctors are functional creationists.
The reasons why doctors do not study—or even think about—evolution are not mysterious. Let us explain.
First, you should know that virtually no scientific discipline outside of biological evolution cares about evolution.
And there is a reason for this. Every other discipline of science—especially medical science—is built on the foundation of nature exhibiting design and predictable systems.
Let’s say it again, because it is a truth never taught, but nevertheless always caught by any student of science: Every scientific discipline (and especially medical science) is built on the foundation of design in nature.
Consider this insightful account from a practicing brain surgeon (bold emphasis added):
Doctors don’t study evolution. Doctors never study it in medical school, and they never use evolutionary biology in their practice. There are no courses in medical school on evolution. There are no ‘professors of evolution’ in medical schools. There are no departments of evolutionary biology in medical schools.Dr. Michael Egnor in article entitled, ‘Why would I want my doctor to have studied evolution?’ https://evolutionnews.org/2007/03/why_would_i_want_my_doctor_to/
The fact above is not the disconnected view of a single doctor. Consider the same sentiment expressed in the opening paragraph of an article at The Public Library of Science (PLOS), a nonprofit specifically organized to accelerate progress in science and medicine (bold emphasis added):
Evolutionary theory unites all aspects of modern biology. So, wouldn’t you want your doctor to understand how evolutionary theory explains the development of drug resistance in bacteria? Or any other host of clinical ailments? I know I would! Unfortunately, medical curricula in the United States do not explicitly integrate evolutionary theory into coursework and training.https://scicomm.plos.org/2018/01/26/why-medical-practitioners-should-be-scientists-and-not-mechanics/
Unfortunately? Why is this situation unfortunate? It may be inconveniently the case for evolutionary biologists who wish their science was perceived as valuable to anything important. But the only way this state of affairs would be unfortunate rather than inconvenient is if the first sentence in the quote above was true.
Is evolutionary theory necessary to study photosynthesis? To study the digestive process? To study reproduction? To study pollination? To study any of the life systems? The answer, not surprisingly, is no. In fact, a survey of actual scientific publications shows that a knowledge of Darwinian evolution is not even necessary to study biochemistry.
You see, the inconvenient truth of “modern biology” is that it unites exactly nothing about any useful—that is, applied vs theoretical—scientific discipline, including biology.
The opening paragraph from an article in Current Biology at cell.com expresses the same sentiment. Perhaps we should say the same lament:
Evolution by natural selection is something most biologists freely talk and argue about but, perhaps surprisingly, it is not on the lips or curricula of most medical students. The teaching of medicine asks little of students to consider the implications of Darwin’s work.https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(02)01375-1.pdf
“Perhaps surprisingly?” Does this sound surprising to you? It should not. Evolution by natural selection is rarely on the lips of anyone, including “most biologists” outside of a class on evolution. But especially not on the lips of doctors, for reasons we will show below. For now, consider a further quote from Dr. Egnor (bold emphasis added):
If you needed treatment for a brain tumor, your medical team would include a physicist (who designed the MRI that diagnosed your tumor), a chemist and a pharmacologist (who made the medicine to treat you), an engineer and an anesthesiologist (who designed and used the machine that give you anesthesia), a neurosurgeon (who did the surgery to remove your tumor), a pathologist (who studied the tumor under a microscope and determined what type of tumor it was), and nurses and oncologists (who help you recover and help make sure the tumor doesn’t come back). There would be no evolutionary biologists on your team.Dr. Michael Egnor, Ibid.
And, a final quote from Dr. Egnor (again, bold emphasis added):
I am a professor of neurosurgery, I work and teach at a medical school, I do brain research, and in 20 years I’ve performed over 4000 brain operations. I never use evolutionary biology in my work. Would I be a better surgeon if I assumed that the brain arose by random events? Of course not. Doctors are detectives. We look for patterns, and in the human body, patterns look very much like they were designed. Doctors know that, from the intricate structure of the human brain to the genetic code, our bodies show astonishing evidence of design. That’s why most doctors–nearly two-thirds according to national polls–don’t believe that human beings arose merely by chance and natural selection. Most doctors don’t accept evolutionary biology as an adequate explanation for life. Doctors see, first-hand, the design of life.Dr. Michael Egnor, Ibid.
“The design of life.” The difference between evolutionary biology and every other discipline of science can be summed up in a single word: design.
Doctors are not unique in seeing and practicing science based on a rightly assumed design in nature. If you think about it for a moment, all of science is built on the study of predictability, patterns, and systems in nature. All of those terms have meaning only in a world characterized by design.
Without design expressed in nature as predictable patterns or systems that can be understood and leveraged for practical knowledge, science would not be a thing. So it is safe to say that any so-called scientific discipline that is not based on the study of predictable patterns or systems in nature cannot yield practical knowledge.
Evolutionary biology is built on the foundation of the exact opposite of design: Evolution is built on the sole, and overt basis of no design in nature. Evolutionist Richard Dawkins famously built his entire “blind watchmaker” thesis on his view:
. . . biology is the study of complicated things that give the appearance of having been designed for a purpose.”Richard Dawkins, The Blind Watchmaker (New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1996), p. 1. The subtitle of this book is, Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design.
Biology, according to evolutionists is merely the study of “complicated things” that appear to be designed, but they are not.
The co-discoverer of the most designed biological system ever observed, Sir Francis Crick, said in his autobiography that,
. . . biologists must constantly keep in mind that what they see was not designed, but rather evolved.Johnson, Wedge of Truth, p. 153, quoting Francis Crick, What Mad Pursuit (New York: BasicBooks, 1988), p. 138.
Biologists may need to keep such a crazy idea in mind. But the rest of us do not.
Thankfully, doctors and medical schools feel no need to take part in a so-called science discipline that fails to align with a useful reality. We can be glad, for example, that along with evolution they do not waste their time studying astrology, aromatherapy, or reiki.
Evolution supposedly explains the origin and inner workings of every doctor’s patient as being the product solely of randomly occurring disorder and the complete unpredictability supplied to natural selection in replicating genomes!
Is that what you want your doctor to believe?
Evolutionists claim that natural selection brings some ordering principle to the random disorder of genetic mutations. But this claim is demonstrably false, as we have shown here, with The Natural Selection Paradox.
As Dr. Egnor continues to explain in the cited article above, doctors do, in fact, deal with the effects of evolutionary developments in life. But doctors do not use evolutionary thinking to solve problems, they use evolutionary thinking to explain how and when things go wrong to create their patients’ problems. Most evolution-explained issues doctors see are the true results of random genetic mutations: cancer and birth defects.
In this sense, the only time doctors might think about evolution is as the problem, not the solution. Evolution in the sense of random genetic changes that produce all manner of sickness and disease is a fact, and nobody denies it.
But such evolutionary theory cannot explain the origin and existence of human beings.
Doctors know this. Medical schools know this. Most patients know this.
Why then, do not those talkative evolutionary biologists know this?
Think about it.