Creationism, Evolution, Faith and Reason
One of the trip wires of journalism is located along the fault line between creationism and evolution as explanations for the origin of man and other things.
Our Readers Who Comment are having a mostly civilized debate on this today because of Steve Hendrix's story about a Liberty University professor who takes his biology class to the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in hopes of strengthening a biblical view of natural history.
That view, of course, has big trouble with Darwin and the theory of evolution.
Our readers are using their interpretations of science and religion to argue their points. While the majority of early comments ridiculed the creationist position, its defenders soon joined. Humor and sarcasm (not always the same thing) abound. Several readers wonder why the Post is bothering us with this story --- while readership of it and the length of the comment string grow by the minute.
We'll start with this exchange:
ajeffrey824 wrote, "...Evolution is just as much religion than creationism. Even those Christians who reject a young Earth do so based on their own beliefs... Follow a persons morality and ultimately I will discover his theology -- be it evolution, atheism, creationism, communism, or any other type of "ism"."
To which whorton1 replied, "...Evolutionary biology is absolutely NOT religious. It is a set of theories which attempt to explain the origin and development of species based on the observation of measurable evidence. Religion, on the other hand, deals with the spiritual. It's not supposed to explain things scientifically... Both science and religion are vital to humanity, and they can and should inform each other where they can, but substituting one for the other only undermines both."
Geot wrote, "This article seems to lump all Christians who believe that God created the world into a single group. A group which interprets the Genesis account to describe a 6 day period that occurred 6000-10,000 year ago. It is sort of a straw man, one that attributes the characteristics of a vocal minority to the whole. One that is also easy, and apparently entertaining, to pillory."
TwoCentsWrth wrote, "For extra credit the professors should have the students read the testimony from the Dover, PA trial in 2005. It was especially enlightening to see that the human chromosome 2 shows evidence of having merged from two separate chromosomes similar to two distinct ones that other primates have. That was a real test for evolution and it passed."
chris15 wrote, "Only a fool would expect balance between superstition and science. These misguided people are creating their own reality, which is fine as long as they stay out of mine."
slim2 wrote, "They also brought the head of the university's physics department to make the case some people can walk on water."
Nosmanic wrote, "I don't care if you believe that evolution was done by God as long as you don't believe Darwin's Therory is a conspiracy to corrupt Christian or pushing your believes on other people which I think is almost impossible for Americans to NOT do."
jimkahan asked, "Gee, can I go to the Air and Space Museum to prove to my students that the Earth is flat?"
jollyolympian wrote, "It's weird. I went to 12 years of Catholic school, and we were always taught evolution. In our biology classes, sure, God made evolution happen, but they were never mutually exclusive... I don't understand the science vs. religion debate. It doesn't have to be either/or..."
Bill1230 wrote, "...The enormous complexity of life at the biochemical level largely demolishes the argument for evolution. Darwin never anticipated the complex biochemical mechanisms necessary to sustain life, and simple statistical analysis dictates that these myriad mechanisms could not have evolved by chance..."
jneps replied, "...don't assume that the thousands of scientists who have unequivocally established the validity of Darwinian evolution are stupid enough to be in error. Common sense will tell you that the scientific method, which has allowed man to split the atom and walk on the moon, is as valid here as in any other scientific demesne."
jr_cville wrote, "...this piece of journalism is irresponsible, in my opinion, because it props up a dogmatic, literal interpretation of the Bible without questioning it. The subtext of the story: If Creationism has its own college class dedicated to it, then it must have merit, right?... If the overwhelming scientific consensus is true, and life on Earth evolved over billions of years through mutation and natural selection, that shouldn't make it any less mysterious and awe-inspiring."
jocali wrote, "...We readers deserve better from the Post. Strong though the temptation may be to create (ha) buzz through cheap and easy shots like calling anyone who isn't a biblical literalist a "Darwinist", I plead to your better editorial angels for journalistic restraint. Let's apply a little fact-based editorial judgment before printing stories that distort reality, scientific or otherwise, for the sake of juicy, contrived controversy..."
tedplaw wrote, "I have a crazy uncle who believes he was abducted by aliens. Why doesn't the WP do a story about him, since you're doing stories on people who believe ridiculous nonsense... failure to print their stories shows that the WP has an anti-alien abductee bias."
checkers2 wrote, "So until evolution offers real tangible proof, rare as it might be, to me it is not real science, just conjecture. All of the debate is really about two unprovable theories- creation & evolution. One group wears ties to church and attempts to discover how they are supposed to relate to each other and their God; the other group wears white coats to the digs and attempts to discover a reason why their life is so miserable. But both are scientific theories that will never be proven, just accepted on one side or the other."
sql_yoda replied, "checkers2 - the idea that an intelligent designer created the world as it is now, in a scientific theory, would first require you to prove that the designer exists. this cannot be done. it cannot be a scientific theory because it cannot be disproven. i am rapidly tiring of these same stupid arguments"
andrewpatejr wrote, "It's regretful that Liberty students are not fully exposed to the beauty of Darwinism, which is, in reality, NOT opposed to Christian understanding, but to the contrary, quite compatible with its finest expressions."
sjoyce4 wrote, "I was disappointed that this story never once referred to the irrefutable scientific method of radiological and Carbon 14 dating... Creationists...always ignore, skip over or refuse to debate this piece of science. The obvious reason, it would seem, is that they haven't invented a rebuttal... That level of pure science (the Laws of the Universe) are irrefutable."
garryh, in an extended post, concluded by writing, "The way I see it, both religion and life have evolved over time and will continue to do so. Someday, I hope that people glory in the uniqueness of our fleeting existence, rather than embrace bigotry to anoint their selves as morally superior."
We'll close with jamesd1, who wrote, "40 percent of Americans are functioning retards, I guess. Darwin bad. Jesus good. Pro Choice bad. Pro Life good. Taxes bad. Freedom good. Foreigners bad. Americans good. Sex bad. Abstinence good. Science bad. Supernatural good. "If I close my eyes super-duper tight and wish really really hard it has to be true." What a country. We're doomed."
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