"There is always a philosophy for lack of courage."—Albert Camus

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Adam-ant And Eve-olutionary

Tomorrow night at sundown begins Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the anniversary (according to tradition) of the emergence of Adam and Eve as sentient beings, exactly 5766 years ago.

In light of that, it seems appropriate to take a moment to express gratitude for the tremendous strides taken in the past year by the movement pressing for recognition of the concept of Intelligent Design.

Their victories have been widely noted, but perhaps more important than those is the fact that the strategy has been successful in "winning even when they lose". By this I am referring to the fact that a great many Evolutionists, in their effort to stave off the onslaught of this new challenge to their orthodoxy, have begun to use the following defense: "Intelligent Design addresses a philosophical question on which Evolution is silent. Evolution addresses a scientific question on which Intelligent Design is silent. Therefore I.D. has no place in the Science classroom."

When they win with that argument they score only a Pyrrhic victory. They are surrendering the main bludgeon that has been used against religion for a century and a half, namely the fact that its central premise is contradicted by Evolution. Think about it.

6 comments:

Greg said...

Enjoyed the post, Jay. Although, I do have one word definition to ask about..

...the emergence of Adam and Eve as sentient beings, exactly 5766 years ago.

While Adam and Eve were indeed sentient, wasn't it their consciousness that was significant?

And on a completely different subject, does anyone here watch Leno? I haven't in a while, but I know he sometimes does "Headlines" and another segment called "Jaywalking." Well, I think the Reform Club could have a game called "Jay Headlines." Honestly, I think I can spot a "Jay headline" a mile away. If it were a TV game show, I could probably win some money (unless Tom Van Dyke entered the fray).

James Elliott said...

When they win with that argument they score only a Pyrrhic victory. They are surrendering the main bludgeon that has been used against religion for a century and a half, namely the fact that its central premise is contradicted by Evolution. Think about it.

Jay, your party-line-to-the-extent-of-factual-inaccuracy is really getting old. One can be in favor of evolution and have absolutely nothing against religion. In fact, that's the story with most people who study and/or believe the evidence for evolution. This oft-repeated and widely mistaken meme that evolution is the anti-religion is just plain fallacious, and really tiremsome to boot.

The Classic Liberal Anonymous said...

James,

While I agree with you in theory, there are many evolutionists who believe (and use) evolution as *proof* against religion.

It may be true that the vast majority of those who do are not rigorous scientists, but they do exist nonetheless.

The failure of our education system is on display every time one of these "pro-evolution==anti-religion" bigots (sorry, I can't think of a better word right now) starts writing opinion pieces in the daily fishwrap.

And yes, there are just as many on the other side of the issue who are equally bigoted.

Tlaloc said...

"When they win with that argument they score only a Pyrrhic victory. They are surrendering the main bludgeon that has been used against religion for a century and a half, namely the fact that its central premise is contradicted by Evolution. Think about it."

Hmmm. Thinking about it. Uh huuh. Yeah. Okay my conclusion is that you are full of it.

Evolution has never been a bludgeon used by the scientific community against religion. Rather Christianity with it's massive inferiority complex after it's reign became known as the "Dark Ages" has tried to subvert and deny science that is inconsistent with it's literal interpretations.

The genesis story in literal form has never been the "central premise" of Christianity. The central premise may have to do with the long haired hippy guy who was killed by the local conservatives for saying how great it'd be to be nice to everyone for a change.

Jay you are straying from run of the mill religious fervor into sheer delusional behavior when you make such absurd comments on the nature of science and religion.

Evolution has a very long history of acceptance by people who are both scientifically literate and religious. It has an equally long history of conflict with people who are scientifically illiterate and fundamentalist.

Tlaloc said...

"While I agree with you in theory, there are many evolutionists who believe (and use) evolution as *proof* against religion."

There are racists who mistakenly use evolution to support their pet theories as well. Who cares? The point is that no matter how many people choose to abuse the theory it is not wrong because of it. The theory is only right or wrong based on what it says, not based on what others claim it says.

Ed Darrell said...

". . . there are many evolutionists who believe (and use) evolution as *proof* against religion. . ."

A vanishingly small number, well short of "many."

I mean, name a dozen. There are 80,000 advance-degreed, practicing biologists in the U.S. My experience suggests 40,000 to 60,000 of them are believers, many devout.

Name some who use evolution against evolution, and provide some indication that they are significant in number. I don't think that's accurate.