Evolutionary advocacy is colonialist, by which I mean it seeks dominion not only in a limited and appropriate sphere — scientific theory about origins — but pushes out into others: education, psychology, religion, and more. Whatever the field, status anxiety furnishes a useful tool in expanding Darwin’s empire. With folks who know little about the relevant science, winning praise for intellectual sophistication, while avoiding social opprobrium, can be a powerful motivator.
Colonizing religion is an especially high priority — in other words, spreading the idea that to resist evolutionary thinking is not only poor science but also makes you a deplorable in the context of your faith community.
I’m a Jew, not a Christian, but as an anti-colonialist I always feel cheered by pushback from Christian friends against the idea that being a good Christian demands being a good Darwinist. Thus here’s a new book by a Catholic writer, John Zmirak, The Politically Incorrect Guide to Catholicism, that includes agood discussion of his church in relationship to evolution, intelligent design, and science in general:
[F]or far too many moderns, science has become a new religion all its own, whose authority bubbles up and overflows the narrow channels of disciplined experiment and responsible speculation. As we know from reading his journals and other works published after his death, Charles Darwin himself was so troubled by the problem of evil that he wanted to disprove God’s existence. It was essential to him, for personal and not scientific reasons, that natural selectionrule out entirely the possibility that some divine Design lay behind the process, or that man’s sudden eruption was part of God’s creative plan.In other words, natural selection must connect every dot and leave no room at all for any divine Purpose behind the processes of biology. Of course, as many critics of Darwinism and proponents of “intelligent design” like to point out, there are by necessity great big gaping holes in every version of materialistic Darwinism. The events we are trying to reconstruct took place long before any man ever walked the earth, and we cannot experimentally try to replicate them — taking millions of years to sit back and see if intelligent life randomly pops up somewhere else. Even then, how could we “prove” the absence of divine design? Why then do so many who claim that they are merely defending “science” from “dogmatic” creationism insist that school textbooks (including kindergarten texts) explicitly assert what science cannot possibly know one way or the other: that evolution is a purely material process that happened randomly, with no guiding purpose or design? In other words, that we must choose between atheist materialism or a Christian version of The Flintstones?
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