Wright is keenly aware that the origins debate and the greater science-religion landscape holds much more than the caricatured positions often presented. In the video below, Wright gives this solemn warning at the 3:04 mark:
Let’s put this thing on a broader canvas and let’s lighten up and have the proper discussion, instead of assuming that we already know, as soon as anyone mentions any scientific evidence for anything, “oh, they’re a Darwinian, they’re a liberal, they’re this that and the other.” Or, when somebody says they believe in God, “Oh, well you must be anti science then.” These are both trivial—actually childish reactions and we need to grow up.
Compare Wright’s wise cautionary words with Karl Giberson’s stereotypical attack on “Evangelicals” from the New York Times op-ed this week.
The rejection of science seems to be part of a politically monolithic red-state fundamentalism, textbook evidence of an unyielding ignorance on the part of the religious.
For Giberson, those who question the metaphysically-laden theory of evolution are guilty of a “rejection of science.” But Giberson sees hope, which in his world means some of those anti-intellectual fundamentalists are coming around to his position:
There are signs of change. Within the evangelical world, tensions have emerged between those who deny secular knowledge, and those who have kept up with it and integrated it with their faith. Almost all evangelical colleges employ faculty members with degrees from major research universities — a conduit for knowledge from the larger world. …
Scholars like Dr. Collins and Mr. Noll, and publications like Books & Culture, Sojourners and The Christian Century, offer an alternative to the self-anointed leaders. They recognize that the Bible does not condemn evolution and says next to nothing about gay marriage. They understand that Christian theology can incorporate Darwin’s insights and flourish in a pluralistic society.
Secular knowledge? For Giberson there is this thing called secular knowledge. It is a neutral, objective source of truth, free of metaphysical influence. It gives us things like “Darwin’s insights.” Then there is religious belief which must accommodate that “secular knowledge.” And of course to question evolution is to “deny secular knowledge.”
Giberson’s caricatures stand in stark contrast to Wright’s plea for more understanding. Ironically the Wright video above was produced by Giberson’s Biologos organization. Perhaps Giberson should watch it.