Why do people pretend that religion isn’t responsible for creationism?
If there’s one characteristic of faitheists and accommodationists when facing the issue of American creationism, it’s their refusal to see the palpable fact that religion is the source of that creationism. While this seems trivially obvious to those who have followed the creation/evolution controversy, people like Chris Mooney, Karl Giberson, Kenneth Miller and the like will blame almost everything but religion for the hold of creationism on American minds. Yes, they will indict those nasty Biblical fundamentalists, but the 46% of Americans who are young-earth creationists aren’t all fundamentalist Christians! Indeed, although the Catholic Church officially accepts evolution, fully 27% of American Catholics think that modern species were created instantaneously by God and have remained unchanged ever since, while 8% do not know or refuse to answer. Those Catholics certainly aren’t seen as “fundamentalist Christians.”
I submit this to Dr. Giberson: the reason why creationism is so prevalent is because of people like you: people who believe in ludicrous things because it makes them comfortable. Yes, Karl, you’ve managed yourself to overcome your own religious bias with respect to evolution, and have even tried to turn your coreligionists toward Darwinism. But you’ve failed, and now you see no solution, although that the solution is under your nose. It’s to abandon religious belief, something about which you surely have doubts, no? Until the grip of faith on America is loosened, we’ll always be putting out these brushfires, fighting rearguard battles against creationist incursions into public education.
We would have none of these problems if America weren’t so full of observant Christians like yourself. Why can’t you see that, Karl? It’s not just the fundamentalists.
A few observations and comments:
1) I think that the figures cited for Catholics is surprising to me and indicative of the church in many others
Surprising - that in a theology where it is truly “agnostic” on whether professing a “belief” in the reality of Biological Evolution is ok (paraphrasing here, the official theology is you can “believe” it or not, as is your want, as long as your faith allows you to follow the Church and your faith isn’t challenged by it, and you don’t try and apply its concepts to understanding “humans souls”) that only 27% of American Catholics don’t “believe” in evolution. Remember, this freedom in what to believe in Evolution was made official in Vatican II in the 1960’s (~ 100 years after Darwin) and it took ~ 500 years for the Catholic Church to take Galileo off its banned books list. It shows why Evangelicals are so terrified of a “belief” in Evolution. With no “active” theology to oppose something that is a epistemological challenge to their religions only 27% will maintain it.
a) that the Church is so “ambiguous” on such an important secular subject. It allows for a larger “market” i.e. the universe of those in the US who can be marketed to is larger if one doesn’t exclude those who do understand it as a reality and it allows the Church to sponsor and get money from institutions like Notre Dame.
b) how ready the Church is to slowly accept such concepts as Evolution so slowly - look how long it took them to accept ideas like those of Galileo and Darwin. Imagine how long it will take for them to accept other modern ideas like Birth Control, Married Priests, tolerance of Homosexuality etc. etc.
c) Maybe the time between when the subject is raised and when it is accepted is decreasing (look at the difference in time between the the acceptance of Galileo and Darwin)?