The Yawning Chasm

The NYT, in Evolution Book Sees No Science-Religion Gap, had the following to say of the National Academy of Sciences' third book on evolution and the creationist mythologies:

"But this volume is unusual, people who worked on it say, because it is intended specifically for the lay public and because it devotes much of its space to explaining the differences between science and religion, and asserting that acceptance of evolution does not require abandoning belief in God."

Unfortunately, the yawning chasm between rationality and creationism necessitates such a footbridge.

What's left once a person reconciles evolution with religion?


Deism, or moderate theism, or Catholicism, or Judaism, or Buddhism, or whatever other religious tradition of choice is compatible with science. There's also nonliteral interpretation of the best bits of the Bible as moral allegory, religious ritual, religious community, music, art, literature, and, most wondrous of all, the fabulous world of opening one's eyes to . . . understanding and appreciating the world.

Imagination is much better stimulated by recognition that modern theories of biological evolution offer the best explanation for the observable fact of biological evolution. Yes, Virginia, there really is a chimp ancestor in your family tree! Grounds for rejoicing. Yes, you really can count bacteria not only as your distant ancestors but also as the power houses of your cells and the photosynthetic machines that capture Ra's munificence. More grounds for rejoicing.

In an ideally rational world, it would not be necessary to pander to religious sensibilities so that some might open their closed minds to the wonders of reality. In an ideally rational world, there would be no need for supernatural mythologies or fantasies of special creation. In an ideal world, the nation whose Founding Fathers considered it expedient to entrench separation of Church and State would have honored and protected that prescient ethos by providing an educational system commensurate with the nation's wealth. In an ideally rational world, the wall would have been built higher rather than ignoring the fundamentalist sappers who were tunneling under the wall.

Brochure from NAS (pdf)


atheism, biological evolution, creationism, deism, education, fundamentalism, intelligent design, religion, science, supernatural, theism,

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