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How to Say Nothing in 864 Words

The best thing that could happen to evangelical Christianity — not to mention orthodox Judaism or, deo volente, radical Islam — would be the arrival of an ironical and winning antagonist of evolution. Listening to the faithful grow ever more … Read More

By / June 1, 2007

The best thing that could happen to evangelical Christianity — not to mention orthodox Judaism or, deo volente, radical Islam — would be the arrival of an ironical and winning antagonist of evolution. Listening to the faithful grow ever more insecure, make a complete hash of science, and furiously try to Brillo away the color and brilliance of 300 years of Enlightenment thinking, has got me wishing that some charismatic rabbi, the one from Northern Exposure, say, will infilitrate the op-ed pages and cable news channels to argue from wit as much from design.

Instead, what we get are photos of serene beachscapes, turning foliage, righteous white noise read as wisdom, and essays like this one from Sen. Sam Brownback:

It does not strike me as anti-science or anti-reason to question the philosophical presuppositions behind theories offered by scientists who, in excluding the possibility of design or purpose, venture far beyond their realm of empirical science.

A theory developed according to the scientific method has no philosophical presupposition; philosophy follows from the aggregration of determined fact. Steven Pinker may say that evolutionary psychology is actually an uplifting explanation for human behavior, but he'd be a bad scientist if it were not uplifting and for that reason alone he discounted it as an explanation.

Faith seeks to purify reason so that we might be able to see more clearly, not less. Faith supplements the scientific method by providing an understanding of values, meaning and purpose. More than that, faith — not science — can help us understand the breadth of human suffering or the depth of human love. Faith and science should go together, not be driven apart.

Reason says that human beings are conceived through sexual intercourse and birthed after about a 9-month gestation period in the womb of a post-pubescent female. Faith says a winged apparition descended from the sky and implanted a human fetus inside the virgin womb of a bronze age Jewess. Here's what the word "supplement" means:

1 a : something that completes or makes an addition b : DIETARY SUPPLEMENT 2 : a part added to or issued as a continuation of a book or periodical to correct errors or make additions 3 : an angle or arc that when added to a given angle or arc equals 180°

I need a vitamin supplement after this graph:

While no stone should be left unturned in seeking to discover the nature of man’s origins, we can say with conviction that we know with certainty at least part of the outcome. Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order.

The number one film at the box office this weekend is likely to be about how man is repeatedly an accident, brought on by alcohol, low inhibitions and even lower feminine standards. And Brownback has enough physiological attributes in common with a Silverback gorilla that even the most fanciful definition of "likeness" cannot disqualify them.

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