February 23, 2009

Misses the real question....

Randy Barnett:

...Fair enough. But even with this admonition in mind, I will modify my claim only slightly: No avowedly creationist Republican candidate will be elected President of the United States. Not. Gonna. Happen. And if that creationist Republican candidate is far superior with respect to governing philosophy and executive experience and skills, as he or she may well be, it will be so much the worse for the country. Sorry Bobby, Tim & Mark. Republicans: Do NOT try this electoral experiment. Please!...

(Thanks to Glenn)

My guess is that Randy is off the mark here. The real issue has little to do with science*. (I am by the way a Catholic, and I think Creationism is quite silly. Darwinian evolution is the best model of biological science we have so far, and is not in conflict with Christian faith.)

The real issue is that natural science is commonly used--in a way that has nothing scientific about it--to attack Christian and Jewish faith. We absorb from the culture around us a vague idea that science (or history) has already answered the questions, and have clearly shown that there is no god, etc. Of course science doesn't say anything of the sort.

And this should be of concern even to, say, non-believing libertarians, because the same bogus methods are used to attack things like our civil liberties. Or our belief in our own Western civilization. How so? These things have always been supported by a quasi-religious assumption that they have authority, as things handed down from revered ancestors.

If you say that rights are "inalienable," for instance, you are expressing something analogous to religious faith. Something that can be destroyed by pushing the fraudulent idea that "science" has already debunked all those old fuddy-duddy notions, and that "experts" should be given a free hand to improve and bring-up-to-date. (Experts connected with government, of course.)

A Creationist is attacking an important problem with the wrong weapon. But I would gladly vote for a Creationist if the alternative were someone who vaguely implies that science has rendered things like nations and free speech and human dignity and economic freedom obsolete.

[*As an example of the sort of misuse of science I'm thinking of, I recently read some conservative secularist declare something like "we have no need of improbable events like virgin births..." But an action by God is inherently outside the realm of things we can assign probabilities to. The statement is absurd and meaningless, but many people will take it as good sense.]

Posted by John Weidner at February 23, 2009 11:28 AM
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