Thursday, May 31, 2007

Moving forward on climate change, backwards on evolution

President Bush announced that the US will push for global greenhouse gas emissions targets (correction: the word is "goals") in a post-Kyoto framework by the end of the year. It may be cynical attempt to undermine the G8 summit and the other post-Kyoto plans. Even if so, the fact that the Bush Administration feels it necessary to be so openly disruptive is a sign they are concerned that the other G8 members could actually be successful in advancing a post-Kyoto strategy. A moral victory, either way.

While I'm hesitant to veer off my main topic into the head-scratching debate in this country about evolution, the op-ed piece by Republican Presidential candidate Sam Brownback in today's NY Times requires a response, other than the spit-take I performed while reading it.

In a recent post, I wrote:

... the ten Republican candidates for President were asked if “anyone here does NOT believe in evolution”. Three of the candidates raised their hands.

Brownback was door #3. The column, presumably intended as self-defense, tries, and fails miserably, to show how faith and reason can peacefully co-exist:

The scientific method, based on reason, seeks to discover truths about the nature of the created order and how it operates, whereas faith deals with spiritual truths.

Hmmm. You see, Brownback believes in evolution, just not the "exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence". The column about bridging science and faith devolves to this:

While no stone should be left unturned in seeking to discover the nature of man’s origins, we can say with conviction that we know with certainty at least part of the outcome. Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.

Don't worry America, I'll defend you from the immoral scientific hordes.

That doesn't sound like science, or even like religion, which is analyzed and questioned by theologians every day. It sounds like irrational fundamentalism.

In essence, his thesis is: religion, or his religion, is the truth, and cannot be questioned. Aspects of that theory should be firmly rejected as theology posing as science.

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