And once again, I read something stupid in Newsweek and feel the need to respond. Today on Neutiquam Erro: Creationism vs. Darwinism.
What a fundamentally stupid battle this is. The problem here, as it so often is elsewhere, can be summed up in one simply word: Dogma. And I'm not just looking at the Church here, because both sides are guilty.
The core ideas of these supposedly antithetical camps - that God created Man and that all living creatures evolved over time - are not at all difficult to reconcile. If one accepts the hypothesis that God created the universe, then it stands to reason that He also constructed the rules by which the universe plays - those quirky equations we call natural laws - and the initial arrangement of matter and energy in the universe, then it's not difficult to argue that all things that ever have or ever will come to pass were inherent in the rules of the games and the starting positions of the pieces. This view seems to give even greater glory to God than traditional Creationist rhetoric; surely the accomplishment of crafting Adam pales before the triumph of arranging these intricate dominoes such that billions of trillions of years after the first one was nudged we're all sitting around debating the point? What's more, it reconciles nicely with Darwinism; if evolution is indeed provable from first principles, then it too is inherent in the the rules of the game, and part and parcel of the process.
The problem with the Creationist perspective - at its core a belief that God created Man - is that over the years it has become burdened with heavy layers of dogma, to the point where the essence of the argument is approximately as visible as God Himself. Folks are taught in church and Sunday school that God wrote the bible, a difficult statement to swallow and a clear slight to Messrs. J, P, E, and D, as well as the Council of Nicea - and attempts to treat Biblical accounts as parables or allegories are generally termed heresy. The Bible tells us that the universe took six days and then God took a day off, but it provides no indication of when He communicated that information to mankind. This alone should provide adequate basis for inspecting the ideas independently of the ideology, because clearly the ideology can't even manage to be entirely self-consistent.
The problem with Darwinist camp - supporters of a scientific theory explaining biological differentiation and progression - is that to many it has become an article of faith rather than a scientific theory - so much so that its proponents have bolted on additional memes to bolster their crusade. Darwin said nothing about the initial origin of life on Earth; that present proponents propose prepending the appearance of protoplasm from primordial prut is a perilous precedent. This isn't the extension of the theory so much as it is the bolting together of two disparate theories into an ideological framework. There's no scientific reason to connect these two theories; each is independently testable and each could be true independent of the other's veracity. And for the record, Darwinism has no position on the origin of the universe - nor should it.
It seems like the only reason for this (ongoing) battle is that each side is intent on not only proving themselves to be right, but to be 'Right', and as a result they've each expanded their ideological positioning into a pair of complete, competing frameworks. And frankly, that's just dumb.