This same nonsense (or something close to it) was posted to the ASA list a
couple of weeks ago, under the title "The Root of Terrorism." As far as I
can recall, it received a few dismissive replies; you can check the archives.
How can one respond to something like this? I suppose for the immediate
issue, one might point out that:
1) The most recent terrorists and their enablers, as fundamentalist Moslems,
were almost certainly anti-evolution.
2) The Harun Yahya being quoted is a pseudonym of a Turkish creationist
movement, a part of Islamic fundamentalism there (though not of the terrorist
variety, to be fair I should mention that the hyahya.org site has a
condemnation of the recent terrorism).
But of course the bigger question is why such arguments are repeated and
believed so strongly. Often we see "evolution" or "Darwinism" blamed for
every evil under the sun, most of which were flourishing long before Darwin.
And not just by far-fundamentalists like fans of Harun Yahya and the ICR, but
by intelligent Evangelical Christians who should know better. Like Nancy
Pearcey for example, whose less virulent but similar comments last year
caused me to write an essay called "Evolution and Immorality: Is Sin Darwin's
It seems to me that the root of this problem is that many Evangelical
Christians are strongly conditioned to believe two things about evolution:
1) It is mutually exclusive with Christianity
2) It is a cause (though one is unlikely to get a coherent explanation of a
mechanism) of declining morality.
I suppose the first step could be getting people to articulate *why* they
believe these two things, and go from there. But most people with this view
seem to have little if any interest in actually examining the theological or
other presuppositions behind their beliefs, or about giving deep thought to
any issues, especially theological.
For those who are willing to think, I think the point must be admitted that
"evolution" *is* used to justify a variety of evil, atheism, materialism,
etc. But (and this is key), people must be made to understand that this
*usage* is wrong, every bit as wrong as using Einstein's theories to justify
moral relativism. The problem is not with the science, but with the
philosophical baggage some attach to the science.
It has been pointed out many times that, as Christians, we should not allow
heathens like Richard Dawkins to dictate the metaphysical *meaning* of any
science. As long as so many Christians accept the Dawkins-like theology that
natural explanations exclude God from the picture (as opposed to a Biblical
theology that recognizes God's sovereignty over nature), they will be forced
to oppose evolution with every argument they can muster, be it the irrational
rantings of Harun Yahya or the somewhat more rational work of the Discovery
Institute. So much strife, and harm to our witness among the scientifically
literate, because rather than defending the God of healthy Christian theology
(ultimately revealed in Christ), Christians are defending the God (of the
Gaps) that Richard Dawkins doesn't believe in.
> I would really appreciate it if you could forward this link to
> several ASAers who would be in a better position than I am to
> respond rationally to it. I was really surprised to receive
> unsolicited email from persons I have never met who made the
> assertion that "evolution" is to blame for the World Trade Center
> I responded to the sender, trying to make a distinction between
> science theories and "isms", but he disagreed and referred me to
> http://www.hyahya.org/disaster1.php as the source of his ideas.
> I have tried to make the point that blaming a scientific idea for
> terrorism is about as fair as blaming all Moslems for it. (this
> prejudice exists, and innocent people are being harmed by it, but
> it is unjust).
> Anyway, this would be an opportunity for ASA to be a voice of
> reason crying in the wilderness, if we could respond to the issue
> on the web site. Whom shall we send?
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado | SteamDoc@aol.com
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cats"
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