Republicans, Darwin and God

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I’m always interested in two primary topics: U.S. Politics and religion (especially their relationship to each other)and because I work evenings I have missed the last few presidential debates. So, Wednesday morning, this CNN.com story caught my eye; the headline: “Debate evolves into religious discussion” seemed to have been written just for me!

The lead paragraph captured my interest right away:

“During the first GOP presidential debate last month in California, three Republican candidates raised eyebrows by indicating they did not subscribe to Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution, a widely accepted scientific concept about the origins of life.”

“Raised eyebrows”? The CNN writer has apparently not been paying attention to the relationship between the Religious Right and the Republican Party — I’d be surprised if any of the Republican candidates mounted any whole-hearted defense of Darwin’s theory . . . or perhaps I’m just a bit guilty of stereotyping Republicans.

I’m admittedly not a student of evolution but, as I understand Darwin’s theory, we all evolved from some other life form so any dedicated religious person would have to reject it because most every monotheistic religion holds that God created man in His image and, according to some sources, this happened just about 10,000 years ago.

An interesting and short read on the subject of Darwin’s theory is available at National Geographic online; at this link they provide a preview into a longer article titled “Was Darwin Wrong?” (and a link to print the entire article).

Some interesting facts from this preview article:

“According to a Gallup poll drawn from more than a thousand telephone interviews conducted in February 2001, no less than 45 percent of responding U.S. adults agreed that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” Evolution, by their lights, played no role in shaping us. . . . 37 percent of the polled Americans were satisfied with allowing room for both God and Darwin—that is, divine initiative to get things started, evolution as the creative means . . . only 12 percent, believed that humans evolved from other life-forms without any involvement of a god. (This) statistical breakdown hasn’t changed much in two decades. Gallup interviewers posed exactly the same choices in 1982, 1993, 1997, and 1999 . . . the creationist conviction—that God alone, and not evolution, produced humans—has never drawn less than 44 percent.”

Not that it matters what I think but my personal view is that Intelligent Design Theory wraps the whole argument up nicely (and logically). The obvious complexity of this world is not likely to have been a random event.

Links:

CNN.com: Debate evolves into religious discussion

National Geographic: Was Darwin Wrong?

Latter Day Saints Messenger and Advocate: Defending Religion in America?

What bloggers are saying:

Regaining the Center: 2008 Presidential Religious Tests

Phonelesscord: Raise Your Hand if You Don’t Believe in Evolution, in a Subtle/Nuanced/Well-Reasoned Way

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News and commentary by: Whymrhymer can also be found at the Blogger News Network and at The American Chronicle Family of Journals

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3 thoughts on “Republicans, Darwin and God

  1. “but my personal view is that Intelligent Design Theory wraps the whole argument up nicely (and logically). The obvious complexity of this world is not likely to have been a random event.”

    The flaw in this argument (which I used to subscribe to myself) is that you are rejecting the purely scientific (i.e. sans-deity) explanation because the series of events that led to our current world seem too improbable. Yet you are willing to completely suspend disbelief to accept the premise that there exists an omnipotent deity with the power to literally alter reality.

    Keep in mind that 90% of current scientific understanding was until very recently understood to be of a supernatural nature. (obviously I made the 90% number up, but you know what I mean).

  2. No! You misconstrue my argument. You are assuming that I believe in a “deity” or, even worse, an “omnipotent deity with the power to literally alter reality.” All I’m advocating is a bit of logic.

    My argument (which may or may not be the equivalent of ID theory) is that something that exists that is as complex and as perfect as the species we find in this world cannot possibly be just a random event. ID calls it “intelligence” and that is, no doubt, what gets some people riled up — but, as far as I know, there is no better word for it. Don’t confuse it, however, with this deity who created the world in six days or with any deity that is supposed to be wringing his hands while sitting and watching the human race destroy itself. That is the god that we created to help us make sense of this world

  3. ID is a belief not a theory. Those who hold it have already crossed the line and believe in a god of some sort. To suggest that man is 10,000 years old, at the oldest, and was put on earth by a god again is a belief. But to imply that the earth is about 10,000 years old flies in the face of measurable evidence. Through legitimate science, it can be shown how various life forms have evolved and continue to mutate (and evolve). You must admit it is a pretty big lead of faith to suggest evolution has worked for all other life forms but for some reason man is different…

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