steveb at creek-and-cowley.com
Fri Jun 14 18:37:20 PDT 2002
On Fri, 2002-06-14 at 21:30, Don Smith wrote:
> Timothy Bauscher wrote:
> > I think that evolution is fact, and i am certainly glad
> > that we have a decent scientific explanation for the way
> > life changes on our planet. Catholics (i'm catholic) seem
> > to accept evolution as a method of God's work, but i've
> > noticed that Christians will cut their own heads off before
> > they will accept evolution as a theory. I'm not trying to
> > start a flamewar about this, i'm just curious really.
> Please don't say that about Christians, it is the fundamentalist
> Christians who believe that. They believe every word in the bible is the
> revealed truth directly from God and since evolution theory contradicts
> the creation story, it must be wrong.
Those people do exist ("fundies"), and they are irritating because of
their closed-mindedness, lack of intellectual rigour, and obvious desire
to push others around. There seem to be particularly large numbers of
them in the U.S.
However, evolution's status as a scientific theory is generally way
over-rated and it is remarkable how little serious criticism it
receives. Darwin himself de-emphasized the idea of evolution by natural
selection, and came to favour sexual selection. That's just one of many
problems with it. I don't think any reasonable person really disputes
that evolution occurs (by various means), but that's a very far cry from
saying that it is sufficient to explain the shape of life as we see it
now. It's a fair enough criticism that we don't have a better theory,
but that doesn't mean "evolution" is RIGHT - it has such huge gaping
holes in it that it's way premature to say that.
Good Christians should be more concerned about the issue than many seem
to be. Why? Because it's really an ethical problem, not a theological
one. Too many biologists have become colossally arrogant regarding
their subject, to the point where they assert as truth obvious
unprovables like "nature is completely random", and seem to believe they
are responsible for creating natural life.
One could ignore them and laugh at their obvious stupidity - but...
Unfortunately these people have started to tread into other values we
hold dear. When they start talking about idiotic and blasphemous ideas
like patenting genes, we should be concerned. We should REALLY be
concerned when they start doing things like producing seeds which grow
into sterile crops (so farmers, after abandoning their traditional
plants, are forced to keep buying seed from the company). That last is
a tactic Microsoft can only dream of putting into practice. This sort
of stuff displays a basic lack of respect for life, and I believe that
is truly dangerous in people with the power they hold.
So, although we know there are extremes to this argument, it's neither
necessary to paint one side as bible-thumping fundies, nor to paint the
other side as demented atheist monsters who'll destroy us all by
creating horrible virii. There is still a significant debate well
within the bounds of reason.
Disclaimers: I am both a scientist (Physicist) and a Christian. Also, I
like to argue and I haven't had a good debate for too long...
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