Saturday, June 02, 2007

Brownback on Faith and Reason

In case you missed it, Senator Brownback wrote an excellent op-ed in the New York Times. The piece is called "What I Think About Evolution" and the Senator has an appropriately thoughtful take on the subject. But I think especially good the first couple paragraphs on the lack of thought in the current debate on the issue (and in our media culture in general):

In our sound-bite political culture, it is unrealistic to expect that every complicated issue will be addressed with the nuance or subtlety it deserves. So I suppose I should not have been surprised earlier this month when, during the first Republican presidential debate, the candidates on stage were asked to raise their hands if they did not 'believe' in evolution. As one of those who raised his hand, I think it would be helpful to discuss the issue in a bit more detail and with the seriousness it demands.

The premise behind the question seems to be that if one does not unhesitatingly assert belief in evolution, then one must necessarily believe that God created the world and everything in it in six 24-hour days. But limiting this question to a stark choice between evolution and [young earth] creationism does a disservice to the complexity of the interaction between science, faith and reason.

It's also worth noting the superb job the Senator does defending the value of the human person against the materialism implicit in so much Darwinian propaganda1. This erroneous philosophy cuts directly against the notion of human rights, as Walker Percy describes so well in this selection.

1. Stephen M. Barr points out in First Things (e.g., this article, which requires a subscription to access) that Darwinism need not be materialistic.

Sam Brownback, "What I Think About Evolution," New York Times (May 31, 2007).

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