Saturday, May 13, 2006

Evolution Editorial

from the latest Gilbert:
(Regular type is the editorial, italics is my question/commentary)


The discipline of science arose within a Christian intellectual climate.
Anyone want to dispute this?

Yet this debt of origins is vigorously denied by secular scientists, who persist in promulgating the fiction that science is opposed to religion in general and Christianity in particular.
Why do they do this? What purpose does it serve them? What proof can they offer than science didn't arise within a Christian intellectual climate?

They present with persistent but false claims that science and religion are opposed when it comes to evolution.
Are you saying they are being dogmatic about their claims?

The problem, unfortunately, is compounded by other almost equally vocal scientists who, in their defense of religion, deny scientific evidence for evolution, easily playing into their opponents’ hands.
Someone's ignoring something here. For there is, indeed, evidence for evolution. Where's our Fr. Jaki expert? Doesn't he have something to say about this, being both a scientist and a religious man?

As always, we are fortunate to have G.K. Chesterton as our guide. Chesterton was not a critic of evolution per se, but he was a critic of Darwinism.
The media, the culture, and the school system often treat the two as one, don't they?

He was not afraid of scientific theories (providing they were scientific) but he was very much a critic of making social and religious philosophies based on scientific theories: “Science must not tell us what to think any more than the telephone must tell us what to say.”
Why must science not tell us what to think? Isn't that what scientists are searching for? The answers to life's questions, and therefore the ability to be able to think scientifically, which would greatly improve society, which tends to think dogmatically in religious terms?

Class, I'm out of town (writing this from the public library in downtown Birmingham, MI), so I'll leave this to you to discuss this over the weekend.

P.S. If the first paragraph of this editorial intrigues you, go get your subscription right now and ask to start with this issue. Then you can find out how our supremely talented editorial board concludes this editorial.


  1. I thought there'd be a lot more discussion on this editorial. GM more or less endorsed evolution in it.

  2. Well, you know, the media is all hype about evolution. Sometimes that means that we're all hip and cool about it, and it doesn't mean that much to us, the regular people, you know?

    I, for example, think that evolution is fine--as a theory still in the process of being proved, and not in the Darwinian (worm turns into man) sense, but more in the natural selection (worm adapts to a warmer climate) sense--and that is pretty much what JPII said on the subject, too.

    I only have a problem with those who pit evolution against the bible, or do the "young earth/old earth" arguments based on supposedly the bible, or take the "seven day" creation idea literally, etc. Either extreme isn't right. We didn't evolve from worms, and we weren't created in seven literal days (24 hours, as we now understand a "day" to mean.)

    So, Gilbert, as usual, shows intelligence with his comments and essays including on evolution. Maybe there isn't that much controversy in that?

  3. Well there shouold be controversy, if only to provide me with a steady stream of letters to the editor to publish.

    But evolution HAS been proven: microevolution has been demonstrated in the lab, as we say in the editorial.

    did you read Scott Derrickson's comments on evolution, in my interveiw with him?

  4. yes, I noticed his comment. Also, after reading the interview with Derrickson and the review of Emily Rose I decided to watch the movie. I haven't slept well since. And I look at the clock each time I wake during the night; then I sniff the air. Hopefully I'll soon be over this problem and will be well rested before the Conference.

  5. I haven't slept well since. And I look at the clock each time I wake during the night; then I sniff the air. Hopefully I'll soon be over this problem...

    We had a similar problem after seeing the movie. Our infant wasn't sleeping through the night yet, and wouldn't you know it, we suddenly noticed that he managed to wake a 3 a.m. every night. I had refilled all our holy water bottles immediately after seeing Emily Rose last fall, and starting sprinkling copious amounts of it on both our boys every night at bed time (and on my wife's and my bed). Still, the baby's 3 a.m. wakings persisted for some weeks.

    Scott was as wonderful person to interview, very gracious and cooperative. He currently is in pre-production for a film adaptation of Milton's Paradise Lost.

  6. I don't know if any of you saw The Simpsons this Sunday, but it centered around the "evolution vs. creationism" debate. I think that the way they portrayed the friction in the community highlights a lot of the problems regarding how the controversy is treated. On the one side, Lisa embodies the evolutionists, a self-described rationalist, devoted to truth and in the end, more gracious and charitable than the creationists, led by Ned Flanders, a nice man, but utterly intolerant of scientific research and any thought that strays from the strict confines of the Bible. I think that this oversimplification is rather pernicious, and that the stereotypes do not serve to represent different perspectives as it is to provide a sense of self-satisfaction and superiority of the Lisas of society.

  7. I have long fantasized about roasting Lisa Simpson on a spit (especially gratifying as she is a vegetarian).

  8. I'm a Simpsons fan, but their worst episodes are almost invariably the "Preachy-Lisa" ones.
    Didn't one character actually threaten to do your fantasy in one episode? Was in the "Lord of the Flies" episode or one of the "Treehouse of Horror" episodes?

  9. I honestly don't know, but I'd have cheered him on. :-)

  10. Chestertonian said: "But evolution HAS been proven: microevolution has been demonstrated in the lab, as we say in the editorial."

    Microevolution is true beyond a reasonable scientific (and commonsense) doubt. It can be and has been observed both in and out of the lab. Evolution in the sense of one kind of life-form turning into another has never been observed to turn into another form of life. Hence the reason why Evolution (with a capital E) is still theory.


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