Friday, October 22, 2004

Evolution Enters Scarborough Country

The following exchnage took place on the MSNBC chat show Scarborough Country this past Thursday. The panelists were Pat Buchanan and Robert Reich. The full transcript is available here.


REICH: Look, I am not talking about anybody being fanatics.

But I have come across, Pat, people who believe very passionately, and I respect them, but they believe very passionately that evolution, scientific evolution is just not truth, that Adam and Eve literally, literally, were put on the Earth as the first man and woman, and we should not in our schools teach evolution. We should teach creationism.

Now, I happen to—I don‘t agree with that. I think that that simply puts facts and analysis and logic aside. They don‘t want to think about science. They don‘t want to even have a discussion about science. And to me, that is dangerous. That‘s dangerous for our democracy. Jefferson would not have approved of that. Washington would not have approved. Our founding fathers believed in the enlightenment notion of deliberation and logic and facts and analysis.

BUCHANAN: Well, I think that there‘s—no one objects to the teaching of evolution as a theory and, quite frankly, Darwin and all the rest of it as historical figures and enormous impact of it.

But I think people do object, Robert Reich, to it being taught as something like religious truth, when they don‘t believe it to be that.


I think you'd be hard-pressed to find a single biology teacher in the country who presents evolution as “something like religious truth”. And Reich is entirely correct that fundamentalists don't want to think about or discuss science. Buchanan's comment is the standard defense used by people who want to oppose evolution without seeming irrational.

This exchange came in the midst of a discussion about the role of religion in modern American politics.

Earlier in the interview, Buchanan read from an article that Robert Reich wrote for The American Prospect some time ago:


“The underlying battle of the 21st century,” says Robert Reich, “will be between modern civilization and anti-modernist fanatics, between those who believe in the primacy of the individual and those who believe that human beings owe blind allegiance to a higher authority, between those who give priority to life in this world and those who believe that human life is no more than preparation for an existence beyond life, between those who believe that truth is believed solely through scripture and religious dogma and those who rely primarily on science, reason and logic.”


Before moving to my present digs in Virginia I lived in central Kansas for three years. While there I listened to the local fundamentalist radio station almost every day. I also spent a lot of time browsing through the local Christian bookstore, reading fundamentalist literature, perusing their websites, and attending their conferences.

From that experience I learned that Reich's description in the paragraph above is no caricature. The sort of Christianity I encountered in Kansas was every bit as anti-intellectual, anti-science and anti-independent-thought as Reich is describing. And the number of people who subscribe to conservative religious faiths has been growing steadily for many years now. I don't know what to do about that, but it is definitely cause for concern.

1 Comments:

At 10:10 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is funny that indívidas such as these 2 evolutionists who seem to believe that their own theories and believe system that they wholly profece to believe is their truth, and nothing else but the truth about the reality of how every thing came to be. Because this is what they want to believe due to a few men highly intelligent as many of us are, decided to suddenly change their own personal beliefs apart from everything that had previously been taught as testimonies to the world as true historical accounts of man kind experiences,realities and the true history of man kind as recorded historical. Let's just trow away all human kind recordings of its history and just try a new twisted theory and enforce it as truth down everyone's throats and sell it as tRuth and scientific logic, well...as a logic thinking human being,which is what we all are if we all do our deligent searching,we all know that evolution is nothing but a mere theory sold by a mere man. A man of money, powerful position and well funded by the interested parties who were invested in him, none of evolutionary theories have ever been observed which in turn makes your theories and theologies about your beliefs in Evolution just as religious as any other religion because realistically that is all your system or beliefs is all about, religion aka system of beliefs! What observable facts or studies do any scientist have of evolution??? None! Not one single one! It has never been observed scientifically therefore cannot be studied or proven to have happened. They keep using examples of "Adaptation" which is a totally different aspect of the nature of species capabilities and use the term "Evolution" to define their beliefs. They use birds changing their physical attributes as evidence for evolution and categorize it as evolution when in fact is adaptation. Another famous one they use as evidence for their evolution theories is a bacteria study they conducted and the bacteria evolved into another type of bacteria but the only reason why they are able to brainwash the masses with their specific wording and twisting theories with false information, the bird didn't become another species, it is still a bird therefore there was no evolution process involved in his adaptation ability, some changes took place in his body to adapt to the new environment, same will happen to humans but they don't evolve into another species either. The same with the bacteria, it is still bacteria, it simply mutated into a diferent strain of bacteria, it didn't become a cell or a bug, it is still a bacteria so therefore again no evolution there, did not become another species. They call Christians ignorants, and a cause for concern but everything they believe is historically backed up, evidence based, archeologicaly based but please!!! Let's put all those facts aside and keep pushing our evolutionary theories and ideologies which anyone with half a brain could deduce as pure bull crap, 100% un-observable, 0% evidence to back it up and last bUT not least just pure fancy mushy blah blah blah... with all due respect both you individuals are too high on yourselves, bring it down to real logic, go back further and open your mind or for better words "Get Your Heads Out Of Your Deep Assholes" LOL!!!

 

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