Thursday, May 7, 2009

Scary Matthews Interview

This week on CNN Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Republican Congressman Mike Pence about science and evolution. The usually cogent Matthews challenged Pence with the following stream of anti-intellectualism:

There are people on your side of the argument who believe that all the prehistoric bones that have been discovered in the world, all the dinosaur bones, and all that stuff, was somehow planted there by liberal scientists to make the case against the Bible. There are people that really are against science in your party. Who really do question ... the science behind evolutionary fact that we were taught, you and I, in our biology book. They don't accept the scientific method. They believe in belief itself.

Pence retorted that he knew of no one who held such views, but Matthews would have none of it. What is scary is that this bizarre stream of inaccuracies and scientism is not coming from an Internet chatroom or the local pub. Chris Matthews is a long-time political commentator and usually quite insightful. And this same Chris Matthews, when it comes to evolution, suddenly sounds like a crackpot. This level of anti-intellectualism, coming from such an unlikely source, is scary.

Matthews' tirade may have seemed similar to a religious inquisition to some. But in fact, Matthews' tirade was a religious inquisition. Matthews attempted to intimidate and shout down Pence with a series of false allegations. On penalty of humiliation and defamation, Pence was to assent to the religious theory of evolution. Of course evolution is not a fact, and it is not the product of some magical "scientific method." The fossil data do not particularly help, and no halfway serious thinker holds to Matthews' strawman. There is no need to, but evolutionists cannot understand that.

This reminds me of a debate in which an evolutionist asked me if I believe in the fossil record. Evolutionists' belief is so strong that they profoundly misunderstand the nature of the data and how it bears on their creation story. To them, evolution is a fact and all evidence supports it unequivocally. Their zeal blinds them to their own anti-intellectualism. Matthews was demanding Pence's assent to evolution--a religious theory--and his charge was that dissenters are religiously driven. Look in the mirror Chris.