We simply cannot afford a mass rejection of evolution by 1/6 of the world’s population. Muslims are already behind in contributions to science and technology. If they reject evolution, there goes the hope that they could catch up. How many geniuses in this large population could we lose because of a culture that rejects evolution?* (A1)I was a little confused by what this man meant about not being able to "afford" it and "losing" geniuses. What does he think is at stake? Another of his comments was interesting, though. Part of his rationale behind desiring to educate Muslims about evolution is that by association they see evolution as an atheist and/or Western idea.
"If evolution is associated with atheism or appears as a choice, either evolution or religion, then there is no question-people will accept religion."* (B6)
I can understand how frustrating it can be when you believe in something and everyone ties certain stereotypes to it and won't even listen to what you have to say.
I do associate evolution with atheism. I have encountered defensive non-believing scientists on many occasions. I remember my biology teacher saying, "They want us to call it a 'theory.' But it's not, it's a fact."
Paired with the above article was a question and answer session with a non-believing author of a book on evolution. Mr. Werth is apparently convinced of the importance of evolution. As he says, “Talk to any biologist and they’ll tell you there is no understanding of biology without evolutionary theory…” ** (B6)
He explains how Christians have gotten in the way of evolution being universally accepted in the U.S. It's interesting to hear about the "battle" from his viewpoint.
It’s all to do with the power of religious force in our society…First, they put forth creation science (a move to use scientific facts and fossil records to discredit scientists’ versions of the history of the Earth and man’s creation), but the court struck that down. There’s no science in creationism. Then they developed the idea of intelligent design…but that didn’t wash at all because it didn’t have any scientific theory."Developed the idea" of intelligent design! As if the Bible hadn't been around before that and we suddenly invented it for the sake of argument!
Then there was the Dover case (which tried the legality of forcing teachers to educate students about intelligent design as an alternative to evolution) in 2006, and that was really the last gasp of intelligent design. The judges said no, (intelligent design) cannot be taught side by side with evolution. ** (B6)
Is this an important topic for Christians? I think it's rather telling when the front page of the newspaper as well as additional pages can be devoted to Darwin. It's also interesting that conservative Christians are seen as opponents of modern education. Darwin followers write articles like these, assessing how many people have accepted the "truth," how many have denied evolution and slipped away, which obstacles make it hard for the "truth" to be made known to all and accepted.
Doesn't this all sound a little like us when we talk about Christianity? It just seems a little like religion to me. Any kind of knowledge, when it takes the place of God, or, when it claims to have authority over God's word, is dangerous, in my opinion.
*Palpini, Kristin. "Darwin's Disciple." Daily Hampshire Gazette. January 10-11, 2009.
**Palpini, Krisin. "Why Darwin's theory slipping in U.S.-a talk with Barry Werth." Daily Hampshire Gazette. January 10-11, 2009