Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to Protect Evolution

A student recently asked me this question:

How do you answer the accusation that those who doubt evolution are all creationists, and therefore not credible scientists?

Here is my response.

Evolutionists often try to protect their theory by appealing to the warfare thesis. The warfare thesis, which first gained popularity in the nineteenth century, states that the relationship between science and religion is primarily characterized by conflict. This model for understanding the science/religion interface has been shown to be erroneous many times over. Historians no longer take it seriously, except as part of the history of evolutionary thought. Evolutionists, however, continue to appeal to the warfare thesis as a rhetorical device.

This argument is one of many that reveal that evolution today has little going for it. In fact, one need not be a historian to see through this particular version of the warfare thesis. Anyone remotely familiar with the origins debate knows that evolution skepticism goes far outside creationist circles. Indeed, if evolutionists are genuinely interested in locating religious bias in the origins debate, they ought to look closer to home. Evolutionary thinking arose from religious claims that mandate a naturalistic origins.