Plenty Coups and Believing in Evolution (repost from BCC)

This is a repost from, July 2009. I’ve got something coming that requires this context, so rather than link to it (which no one will read), I’m going repost in its fullness. There are some fundamental misunderstandings by the science attackers (and make no mistake an attack on evolution is an attack on science as such). What’s at stake is the rational inquiry that has driven the successful scientific advances of the last few centuries. But these new perspectives can be hard to contextualize. This can be devastating. It requires new ways of thinking. Sometimes, when one of our youth enters the university to study the modern life sciences, and some well meaning, but basically biologically uniformed, person throws up strings of out of context quotes from general authorities to attack the solid and well-founded life sciences, they give the impression that the student must choose between the gospel and science. Because these new students have not developed the resources to handle such logically and spiritually flawed approaches, they wander away. Some never to return. People who conflate the role of science and religion do immense damage to both faith and science. Let’s start here and talk about what it takes to sometimes reorient in a new world in which a fundamental restructuring of simplistic creationist literalism is necessary.

I’ve been thinking about evolution of late. Not so much about evolution as such, but about people’s resistance to it. I’ve been thinking about the fear that some experience as they face the prospects that a new scientific age is bringing to an end their way of seeing the universe. The simple creationism of a Harry Potter-like God that was appropriate in the Seventeenth Century, and which we borrowed from the Greeks, is giving way to more complex conceptions and more Mormonism-informed perspectives. Continue reading Plenty Coups and Believing in Evolution (repost from BCC)

Intelligent Design: snake-oil science cries ‘whaa whaa whaa’

It always seems surprising when I hear LDS people arguing for the Discovery Institute’s fundamentalist evangelical campaign of Intelligent Design as if there were some science behind the idea. ID was exposed long ago as a backdoor attempt to get creationism taught in the schools. This was made abundantly clear in the Dover Trial, in which ID was put under the microscope and found to be a fuzz ball rather than a living organism—by a conservative Christian judge nonetheless. It’s an idea without a modicum of scientific merit. There are no scientific institutes, programs or organizations that recognize it as a science. Still, myths persist. Here are a few. Continue reading Intelligent Design: snake-oil science cries ‘whaa whaa whaa’