Battlepanda: Evolution won't Kill God


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Evolution won't Kill God

Jacob Weisberg has an article in Slate arguing that belief in evolution is likely to undercut the faith-formation process because it's an empirical, evidence-supported explanation of how we got here. It's convincingly written. However, didn't the Catholin church also fear that Galileo's heretical theory that the earth went around the sun was going to destroy the belief in God? Almost 400 years later, the most powerful country on the face of the planet is also overwhelmingly religious, despite a grudging acceptance that their planet is not the center of the universe.

As an atheist, I think Weisberg underestimates the resiliance of faith. Sure, the current rhetoric surrounding religion is threatened by evolution. But our basic, human need to believe is not. I know of Taiwanese lab scientists who hold yearly rites offering incense and other offerings to the rats they killed in the course of their experiments and asking forgiveness. Their superstition does not stop them from doing excellent work in a field where evolution is the bedrock. As an atheist myself, I really don't know if this stubburn need for faith is a good thing. But I do know that it's here to stay.