Monday, April 21, 2003

Nonsense from the WSJ From former Wall Street Journal editorial page editor Robert Bartley comes this amusing thought:

"On net, religious impulses are probably growing. September 11 persuaded others besides George Bush that evil is an active force in the world. The science of the Big Bang and DNA looks much more like the work of a creator than the cold world of Newtonian Laws and Darwinian evolution. And at least indirectly the horrors of the 20th century showed that the latter provides no moral compass."

You can find the whole column here. Except for the opening sentence, very little of what Bartley says is true.

The most recent developments in biology and physics look like the work of a creator only to those determined to misunderstand them (or deliberately misrepresent them, as is more often the case). That Darwinian evolution provides no moral compass is not surprising given that it is a scientific theory, and as such has nothing to say about morality whatsoever. The claim that in some way the "horrors" of the 20th century are in some way the responsibility of Darwinism does not become true simply because it is repeated so frequently. A more plausible argument is that the horrors of the Inquisition and the Crusades, not to mention the more mundane, recent horrors of violence against abortion providers or homosexuals, show that Christianity does not offer a sound moral compass.


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