The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Wall Street Journal backs creationism

It's one thing to have a financial paper that uses editorial space to promote cutthroat social Darwinism where economics are concerned. Survival of the fittest, baby, and if you can't hack it on the free market, tough noogies!

But now they're giving us a flippity-flop when Darwinian thought is applied to such fluid, contestable issues as natural science. Why, they're even arguing for (gasp!) relativism.

It's a crying shame that there isn't a popular scientist out there to put evolution into language that even a WSJ op-ed writer could understand. The continued attempts to inject religious dogma into America's science classrooms should shame us as a nation in the 21st century, but prominent newspapers are suggesting that maybe there's something to the idea that the world is 6,000 years old-- and any observable phenomena to the contrary are demonic tricks.

President Bush pushed this debate well into the public spotlight by remarking that intelligent design should be taught in addition to random evolution. Whatever the merits of this debate, it's interesting that the "religious right" is co-opting the arguments of the left. With "diversity" a worthy goal in education, why not present students with "both sides"? That way no one is left out and everyone is included.

The question alone has to be infuriating for the left. It's nice to think that there was once a golden period in education when the pursuit of truth was paramount. But from the elementary curriculum to politics in college classrooms, education has always been determined by cultural and political movements. Many of the elite schools were themselves founded to sidestep one prevailing orthodoxy or another. So for years we've had a new god in education and he goes by the name of "diversity." Not to be confused by the worthy goal of striking barriers to education once placed in the path of minority groups, this form of diversity has been the principal vehicle for a liberal intellectual agenda that wasn't otherwise up to intellectual speed.

Wow. The diabolical "liberal intellectual agenda" claims that we should study our world instead of saying "The man in the sky did it!" After all, that's how we split the atom, eradicated smallpox, and explored the surface of Mars. In the "pursuit of truth," has the Wall Street Journal ever recommended reading scripture to anticipate the markets? Doubtful.

There's a simple way to defuse this absurdist "debate," in my opinion, which is to remind people that science is study of the observable, and religion is belief in the unobservable. That's my pitch. They're two entirely different things. Science is something you confirm or disprove based on verifiable observation. Religion is having faith despite the absence of observation. Karl Popper must be spinning in his grave.

DC Media Girl directs us to another fine, fine article pointing out the utter absurdity of creationism. Or should I say Third Wave Creationism-- I made that up myself.