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28 August 2012

The Unintended Consequences of Evolution Denial, Pt. 1

Bare with me for these posts because it's not sociological per se, but it is rooted in my passion for teaching science--sociology being a science and all. It's well-trod ground, but nonetheless, here is my contribution.

There's been a lot of talk about this video of Bill Nye "slamming" Creationism:

I talk to my classes regularly about this issue and make a point similar to what I think Nye was insinuating. It goes like this. Science--at its core--is empirical; it trusts our senses. When we look at a thermometer, we trust that it is telling us something real about what it is measuring. Religions--at their core--are super-emperical; they look beyond our physical senses. There is no such thing as a "theometer" because we cannot measure the metaphysical. In a perfect world, there should be no conflict between religion and science because the two simply look at different worlds; however, history gives us countless examples of religion inserting itself into the realm of the observable. (For the record, there have been some recent statements by activist atheist scientists [e.g. Richard Dawkins] in which they insert themselves equally inappropriately into the realm of the unobservable.) The fundamentalist assertions of what are mostly Evangelical Christians that deny the theory of evolution ironically place this specific religion (and religion as a category even) on some pretty precarious ground.

I will elaborate in the following post.

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