Saturday, February 11, 2012

Rendering Out Truth: 3 Critiques of Creationism (11 Feb 2012)

[A Pastoral Blog]

"What made Darwin such a great scientist and intellectual innovator?  He was a superb observer, endowed with an insatiable curiosity.  … It was this ability to observe interesting facts and to ask the appropriate questions about them that permitted him to make so many scientific discoveries and to develop so many highly original concepts." (11)

-          Ernst Mayr What Evolution Is (2001)

      Tomorrow is Darwin’s birthday, and as usual I’ve been thinking about his journey toward the truth of evolution; how he struggled with the data until he had that shining moment when it all came together and he ‘knew’ – even if he didn’t have all of the details worked out – that natural selection was the driving force behind the evolution of life on our planet! What an amazing moment that must have been; so difficult for him to assimilate; yet profoundly attractive—as the truth so often is.

Rendering Out Truth: 3 Critiques of Creationism II (12 Feb 2012)

[A Pastoral Blog, Part II]

2. Creationism as an Escapist Fantasy (21 May 2010)

 “Inspect every piece of pseudoscience and you will find a security blanket, a thumb to suck, a skirt to hold.”
-          Isaac Asimov, quoted in
Richard Dawkins’ 
Unweaving the Rainbow
(1998), p. 142)

A couple years ago I was re-reading Richard Dawkins’ Unweaving the Rainbow, a wonder-book that he addressed to poets and artists.  I had read it twice before, and on this read I was particularly struck by the above quote from Asimov in the chapter on superstition and pseudoscience.  Dawkins was addressing how these belief systems hijack our sense of wonder and awe; side-tracking people into a pretense of knowledge that either has no foundation or that has been dis-proven outright.  As I read about the various systems of pseudo-knowledge, I was suddenly reminded of creationism; and saw into it at a much deeper level.