Re: [asa] Brownback on evolution

From: PvM <>
Date: Thu Jun 07 2007 - 16:40:58 EDT

In DON'T KNOW MUCH BIOLOGY By Jerry Coyne, Coyne exposes some of the
flaws in Brownback's 'arguments'

<quote>According to Brownback, we should reject scientific findings if
they conflict with our faith, but accept them if they're compatible.
But the scientific evidence says that humans are big-brained, highly
conscious apes that began evolving on the African savannah four
million years ago. Are we supposed to reject this as "atheistic
theology" (an oxymoron if there ever was one)? The religious
conviction that "man" is unique in ways that really matter is
compelling in many ways—surely our language, art, music, and science
itself are unique products of life on this planet—but holding our
uniqueness to be a dogma immune to scientific analysis is an arrogant,
and ultimately foolhardy, declaration of authority.

This attitude has enormous political—and educational—implications.
What happens if scientific truth conflicts with a politician's
"spiritual truth"? This is not a theoretical problem, but a real one,
as we see in debates about stem-cell research, abortion, genetic
engineering, and global warming. Ignorance about evolution may be
widespread, but it's not nearly as dangerous as dogmatic certainty
about the real world based on faith alone.</quote>

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Received on Thu Jun 7 16:41:25 2007

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