Logical Gal and Darwin

14 Feb

I love our daily newspaper for the practice it gives me.  I get to think through a reasoned response to illogical essays/letters to the editor, short on rationalism.

Wednesday marked Charles Darwin’s 205th birthday.  A former middle school science teacher wrote a column celebrating Darwin as one of humanity’s greatest thinkers.

He then moved to why evolution should be taught in the schools, citing the topic as a means to give children practice in combining critical thinking with observation and evidence.

I’m all for critical thinking.  But what is ironic is that ‘faith-filled’ followers of Evolutionary Theory have to overlook the absence of evidence in the fossil record in order to hold on to their theory.  They have to substitute a philosophical preference for good science.

We ordinary logical Janes and Joes celebrate and support any and every effort to get both kids AND adults to think.  Thinking is difficult and most of us shy away from exercising that muscle.  Instead we settle for hackneyed phrases and comfortable emotional crutches to deal with life.

I was willing to be generous and overlook the writer’s infatuation with evolution until he set up a false dichotomy and communicated that there was only one flavor of Christians who believed God created everything.

He asserts that the ‘battle is over’ between those who support a scientific approach to understanding our origins and those who believe in creationism.  He then characterizes the latter group as being “6-day, young-earthers”.

There certainly is room at the orthodox Christian table for both old and young-earthers.  But it galls me when non-believers want to portray Christians as being ‘slack-jawed fundamentalists yokels who are afraid of science’.

In an effort to distance all thinking folk from the ‘narrow-minded’ Christians, the author acknowledges the existence of denominations of the monotheism community, the religious liberals who DO buy into evolution.  But if evolution theory teaches an undirected random and blind process of change, then there is no room for a personal God.

Christians and non-Christians alike should embrace clear thinking.  Our commitment, no matter our spiritual background, should be to follow the evidence where it leads and to look for Truth. Yes, there might be consequences we don’t savor, but Truth ought to trump our particular preferences.

Finally misleading portrayals of ‘the other side’ are harmful and unkind.  It is possible that we might inadvertently fall into the Fallacy of the Bifurcation, thinking that there are only two choices when, in fact, there are more.  We must have the humility to admit we are wrong and thank the one who pointed it out. That is called intellectual honesty.

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