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← Religion, evolution can live side by side

Sonic's Avatar Jump to comment 42 by Sonic

I’m glad Shermer compiled his list of six reasons that make people resistant to evolution; that was food for thought. But then he’s flat wrong to say all the fears are baseless, and I’ll start with Shermer’s reason number two:

2. Belief that evolution is a threat to specific religious tenets. Many people attempt to use science to prove certain religious tenets, but when they do not appear to fit, the science is rejected. For example, the attempt to prove that the Genesis creation story is accurately reflected in the geological fossil record has led many creationists to conclude that the Earth was created within the past 10,000 years, which is in sharp contrast to the geological evidence for a 4.6 billion-year-old Earth.
For Biblical literalists, evolution directly contradicts their belief that the Bible is a literal historical document. So Shermer’s claim is blatantly untrue, and that baffles me completely. Is he lying to himself about this? I can’t see what payoff he gets for getting this point so blatantly incorrect.

Of course, for Biblical literalists, Biblical inconsistencies also contradict their tenet that the Bible is a literal historical document -- and that just goes to show you can’t reason with these people, because they can’t reason with themselves. And this brings me to Shermer’s reason number one:
1. The Warfare Model of Science and Religion. The belief that there is a war between science and religion where one is right and the other wrong, and that one must choose one over the other.
Did Shermer write “warfare model” to mean aggressive behavior on the side of science? Is Shermer trying to change some behavior on the side of science? I’m sorry Shermer, but this is reality: Biblical literalists will continue their war on science, no matter what you do. Now read this explicit denial of science and deal with it!
Article XII.

WE AFFIRM that Scripture in its entirety is inerrant, being free from all falsehood, fraud, or deceit.

WE DENY that Biblical infallibility and inerrancy are limited to spiritual, religious, or redemptive themes, exclusive of assertions in the fields of history and science. We further deny that scientific hypotheses about earth history may properly be used to overturn the teaching of Scripture on creation and the flood.

Compare Article XII. to Shermer’s 1. and 2. -- Shermer plainly denies this evidence that’s easily available to him on the subject. And what course of action can Shermer recommend? To tell Biblical literalists, “Just don’t be Biblical literalists,” and then the problem is solved? He’s pissing up a downspout.

I’m sorry, I don’t know Shermer’s work outside of this essay, but here he impresses me as a fundamentalist in the sense he holds an ideological position dogmatically, and I mean dogmatically in the sense he seems immune to evidence.

Fri, 27 Nov 2009 15:51:00 UTC | #417391