1) The social Darwinism mistake.
From the Boston Globe article, “Evolution is controversial in large part, [
Darwinism pertains to biology, and biology alone. It is neither a social theory nor an economic theory. Granted, many scientists and nonscientists alike have been enamored with the sheer elegance of natural selection over the past century and a half. History has been littered with sociologists and economists such as Herbert Spencer, T.H. Huxley and Karl Marx who could not resist the temptation of (inappropriately) applying
Supposedly, even Darwin himself considered the social manifestations of natural selection, but his conjecture was never pursued further than a few idle thoughts in letters to personal friends. This could hardly serve as the basis of widespread dissolution of Darwinian biology as certain creationists have argued. Creationist, David N. Menton, PhD states: “When man ceases to give credit to God as Creator, he generally gives the credit to nature (evolution). Not only is nature then perceived as ‘creator’, but also man's guide for morality and behavior.” As obtuse as this statement seems to me, after reading it a few times I guess I can see why Old Testament literalists would take issue with Darwinism taken to social and moral extremes. As someone who understands Darwinism, I would reassure Dr. Menton that biologists are not out to steal his morality or his faith in God—he can have them. We just want science taught in science class and religion taught in religion class.
2) Science as knowledge; religion as belief.
The Globe article says that “according to a
This disturbing statistic demonstrates my point exactly that science as taught today is not presenting evolution in a responsible way. Every new finding since Darwin published Origin of Species in 1859 has corroborated his theory of natural selection and disproved the Biblical teaching of an earth lifespan of 10,000 years; yet more believe the latter than know the former. Science should not be subject to the wiles of democratic votes. Just because millions of red-state troglodytes believe something doesn’t make it true. Likewise, Galileo was nearly executed because he disagreed with the erroneous conventional wisdom of the day about planetary motion*. Our school systems are charged with turning out the next generation of scientists and researchers who will have a lot of problems to solve; let’s not prolong this conspiracy of ignorance any longer.
The Globe article states: “But
I feel that E. O. Wilson is one of the least understood philosophers of our time. His book Consilience has been much maligned by religious people as being anti-religious, and having read this work a few times, I cannot see the argument. As a scientist
3) Evolution vs. Mythology.
The Globe article says: “If the book raises hackles, though, it also raises critical questions. Given the inherent conflict between evolution and a literal reading of Genesis, does it really matter what evolution's advocates say? Or are creationists bound to attack evolutionary science regardless? And to what extent does
Intelligent design is the theory du jour. It maintains that plant and animal species are too complex to be a product of gradual evolution and some higher intelligence must be responsible. Arguments fly back and forth, and evolutionists cite biochemical and genetic mechanisms and physical evidence in the form of fossils to support their theory that chemicals and energy can form single-cell life forms which in turn evolve over time into complex organisms. [Kenneth Miller’s Finding
The Globe article says that “
Eugenie C. Scott, an anthropologist who is executive director of the
*thanks to Vorkosigan at www.dailykos.com
This blog has also been published at dailykos here.