Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Heart of the Problem

Commenter Bunc on Mike the Mad Biologist's ScienceBlog has succinctly put his finger on the real reason why the whole evolution debate is such an issue. If I may paraphrase:

Part of the problem is that this is seen as atheist evolutionists versus theistic creationists. The fundamental issue is not this--it is scientific literacy versus ignorance.

The reason that many popular versions of theistic philosophy in America are "dangerous" is not because theism is a direct threat--the problem is that many prominent theists, namely American Christians, are fundamentally opposed to naturalistic theories that exclude their god from the creation of mankind (and everything else).

The interesting thing, if you ask me, is that there are well-spoken and intelligent Christians out there who don't have any problems with evolution (or science) and in fact actively promote understanding of it. If you're looking for a breath of fresh air on the subject, I recommend James McGrath's Exploring Our Matrix.

This whole issue cloaks itself as a religious debate--but it isn't. It has nothing to do with theism per se. It has everything to do with promoting ignorance over science.

1 comment:

Dharma said...

Well said, that man.

Unfortunately, ignorance is bliss for a lot of people. Almost all the Christians I have known have it in their heads that the concept of evolution is evil and they will do whatever it takes to NOT allow that evil in their lives - even if that means sticking their fingers in their ears and shouting 'LALALALALALALA NOT LISTENING!!!!!!!!' - and I mean that literally.

I used to be a theist until I got into hospice work and saw death on a daily basis. Now I don't know what to believe.