What Sam Brownback Thinks About Evolution Tuesday, June 5, 2007Posted by h3nry in anti-evolution, creationism, evolution, faith, fundamentalism, God, rationality, religion, Sam Brownback, science, United States.
This is a bit of delayed post due to my travelling for work, but anyway…
This article, written by Republican Senator Sam Brownback, outlines his views on evolution, and has been debunked and ridiculed – as it should be – by fellow bloggers such as Pharyngula, the Friendly Atheist and readers of Richard Dawkins’ site. Here is my own two cents of worth.
It is often the case that people who do oppose evolution are the ones who do not understand it. In the two paragraphs show below, Brownback has shown just how much he does not know:
There is no one single theory of evolution, as proponents of punctuated equilibrium and classical Darwinism continue to feud today. Many questions raised by evolutionary theory — like whether man has a unique place in the world or is merely the chance product of random mutations — go beyond empirical science and are better addressed in the realm of philosophy or theology.
The most passionate advocates of evolutionary theory offer a vision of man as a kind of historical accident. That being the case, many believers — myself included — reject arguments for evolution that dismiss the possibility of divine causality.
First, I am tired of reading that evolution is all about chance and random mutations (and therefore, we are a mere product of historical accident). Natural selection is an algorithm that is not based on randomness and chance, and by definition an algorithm is the opposite of randomness. Second, there are areas of uncertainty within the theory of evolution, but that is the nature of science. Science is about making progress in our understanding, and it is perfectly natural to have problems in theories. Quantum theory, for example, has many intriguing, unsolved mysteries, as well as competing theories – but that does not make it invalid.
The question of evolution goes to the heart of this issue. If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true. If, on the other hand, it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it.
But Senator Brownback, it is a fact that evolution happens, supported by the many many evidence we gathered in various and sometimes unrelated disciplines of science – genetics, geology, paleontology, embryology, medicine (micro-organisms evolve to develop resistance to drugs), just to name a very few. You cannot argue against facts. Turn your think head around, don’t twist with science to fit your blind faith beliefs.
You cannot “believe” in the so-called micro-evolution yet rejecting the same, proven mechanism at a “species” level. This sort of view is a completely hypocritical. Either you reject evolution or accept it – in the same manner of Richard Dawkins’ famous quote “If you’re not on the side of reason, you’re on the side of superstition”. The so-called macro-evolution is proven – speciation has been observed (I will do a summary of this in a future date and provide a link here to it).
It seems that Senator Brownback has a more sinister motive here – he tries to appeal to both the scientifically-minded and the religiously-minded by stating that he believes in science (by accepting micro-evolution) yet being a faithful Christian (by accepting a guiding intelligence – God). Needless to say that this is completely dispicable.
Senator Brownback says he cannot accept evolution if it implies a materialistic and deterministic view without a guiding intelligence. This is an argument that is all too familiar to us. Evolution is a proven fact. Get over it, Senator Brownback, if you cannot stomach the way science has enlightened our understanding of the natural world because of your child-like blind beliefs, beliefs that we had to have before the coming of science, before the age of reason.