lundi 31 août 2009

Why is teaching evolution so IMPORTANT?

Here is a link. (E zero C) is the short url for it.

Here is an extract (yes, it is Dawkins writing):

To return to the enlightened bishops and theologians, it would be nice if they’d put a bit more effort into combating the anti-scientific nonsense that they deplore. All too many preachers, while agreeing that evolution is true and Adam and Eve never existed, will then blithely go into the pulpit and make some moral or theological point about Adam and Eve in their sermons without once mentioning that, of course, Adam and Eve never actually existed! If challenged, they will protest that they intended a purely “symbolic” meaning, perhaps something to do with “original sin”, or the virtues of innocence. They may add witheringly that, obviously, nobody would be so foolish as to take their words literally. But do their congregations know that? How is the person in the pew, or on the prayer-mat, supposed to know which bits of scripture to take literally, which symbolically? Is it really so easy for an uneducated churchgoer to guess? In all too many cases the answer is clearly no, and anybody could be forgiven for feeling confused. Think about it, Bishop. Be careful, Vicar. You are playing with dynamite, fooling around with a misunderstanding that’s waiting to happen — one might even say almost bound to happen if not forestalled.

Playing with dynamite? Why? If evolution were true, if doubting it were outside the reasonable or the sane, as he says ... here:

Evolution is a fact. Beyond reasonable doubt, beyond serious doubt, beyond sane, informed, intelligent doubt, beyond doubt evolution is a fact. The evidence for evolution is at least as strong as the evidence for the Holocaust, even allowing for eye witnesses to the Holocaust.

... why is it so dreadfully catastrophic to disbelieve it?

When Sherlock Holmes heard Dr Watson explain about heliocentrism, and the latter made sure he had completely understood, he said: "now I shall be in a hurry to forget it". Why? "Because it makes no difference for life on this earth with which I am concerned." I am quoting A Study in Scarlet (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) from memory. But for our daily life now, what should be so important about billions or only thousands of years, of Adam or of some kind of apes (like Ramapithecus, not like its present day other descendants, according to evolutionism, chimps and gorillas)?

I was asking in French about Dawkins' colleague, Michel Onfray (short url if there be no immortal gods, no heaven no hell, no angels and no devils, and no day of judgement, against whom is it then sinful to neglect the one world there is? Equally, if there be no creator, if we have no immortal souls, what is so grave about neglecting it? Whom are we then thankless against, and what are we then neglecting to take care of?

It used to be said for atheism, that precisely for this reason it was more tolerant than religion. We have just seen Dawkins rejecting tolerance and broadmindedness in this matter for the most bigotted narrowmindedness there is now, beside some versions of Islam and of Communism. Why?

I can only say: either it is a move to back up "the other side" against - the combination of Islam and Christian Fundamerntalists! - OR it is about "free sex", about "come on baby, were nothing but mammals, let's do it like they do in the Discovery Channel" - except that of course "free sex" is very unlike general mammal behaviour in excluding, often enough, babies. Either it is very partisan polemics or it is squint-eyed publicity for pills and other things that Christian couples do not even like to talk about.

Hans-Georg Lundahl
Paris IV, BpI/G. Pompidou
18/31 August YooL 2009

PS, Here is Chesterton quoted on the matter (read link, scroll slowly down a page or two while reading). Short url:

11 commentaires:

  1. is index to this series in English against Evolution.

  2. "As all men naturally wish to know the truth, so also there is in them a natural desire to flee errors and to confute them when opportunity is given"

    St Thomas Aquinas, On the Unity of Intellect, first sentence of ch 1

  3. For a Christian evolutionist, this poses the problem: if evolution is literally true, if the story in Genesis one is literally false, why did God not give us that one truth and deliver us from that one error when opportunity was given, i e when Moses was writing the Genesis?

    For a philosopher who does not depend as such on divine revelation, the fulfilment of this desire, in so far as it can be had without direct help of divine revelation, this poses the problem: why silence one side of the twain that try to confute the error (seeming or real) of the other?

  4. It would seem that the answer lies in the rules of logic, which do not permit us to definitely deny something unless it has been legitimately ruled out. And in the fact that the literal account of Genesis has not been legitimately ruled out. Which means that evolution cannot pose as the one remaining possibility after all others have been ruled out, unless Christianity itself rules out the literal truth of Genesis one and of Genesis two. Which traditionally it does not. But that again shows, evolutionist Dawkins is not simply a philosopher seeking truth as best he can.

  5. Or if the factual remnants dug up from earth really ruled out the literal truth of Genesis one - which there is the scientific part of creationism saying it is not so.

    Dawkins wants bishops to abuse their authority so as to silence the scientific criticism on his bad science. Why?

  6. Maybe Bonaventura and Thomas knew the answer: the opponents of Christianity believe in the unity of intellect.

    Maybe Dawkins means: the unique mind of mankind is rationally convinced of evolution, so any creationist thought lingering around in our days must be an irrational hangover from the days when the unique mind of mankind did not yet exist or was as simple and undeveloped as to be creationist?

    But then: is there - even in philosophy - a unique mind for all mankind? Saints Bonaventura and Thomas Aquinas say no.

  7. My old article on another blog, Resist Meta Man deals with this evolutionary haunt of an "emergent unique mind for all mankind".

  8. Umberto Eco, adressing himself to Martini whom he prudently did not call Cardinal Archbishop of Milan - there are indeed Catholics, called Traditional Catholics to whom that man is not functioning so - said that there were more millenarists around in atheistic circles than in religious ones. That would explain the anxiety for "evolutionary truth" - something which the pretended evolutionary origins will not explain at all.

  9. Michel Onfray - in the Opus, to my comment of which I above linked, see comment for correction of title and author's name - on p. 28 said man has an immoderate appetite for ... lying to himself.

    Funny that it is the evolutionist (the "French Dawkins", so to speak) who says that, and the mediæval creationist (as St Thomas was insofar that he considered the first chapters of Genesis as literal truth) that says we have a natural appetite for truth.

    But if Onfray were right, why should - on evolutionary premisses - the natural appetite for truth prevail above the infinite appetite for lying to themselves?

    Once again, I fear they hanker for the unity of intellect in mankind. Their evolution will not give them a divine day of judgement, when every difference during all human history shall be resolved, who was right, who was wrong, who was innocently or who was culpably wrong. They use their hoped for progress as a human substitute. And that is terrible.

  10. And they oppose the traditional Christian view, because Christians who hold to it ... well, do not contribute to their unchristian progress.

  11. Citing this material
    Feel free to cite as :
    <a href=""> Creation vs. Evolution : Why is teaching evolution so IMPORTANT?
    Or as:
    <a href=""> Creation vs. Evolution : Why is teaching evolution so IMPORTANT? </a>