Q. Rick Perry, at a campaign event this week, told a boy that evolution is ‘just a theory’ with ‘gaps’ and that in Texas they teach “both creationism and evolution.”
According to a 2009 Gallup study, only 38 percent of Americans say they believe in evolution. If a majority of Americans are skeptical or unsure about evolution, should schools teach it as a mere “theory”? Why is evolution so threatening to religion?
A. I know it is a hard truth for some, but scientific facts are not determined by majority vote.
A certain percentage of Americans appear to reject the truth of evolution, but even in those polls where “non-accepters” is a majority, it doesn’t make them correct. There are objective truths in science and history even though there are refinements in knowledge in all disciplines. Digging deeper into some polls one finds that a lot of Americans are theistic evolutionists: where evolution is seen as a mechanism or instrument of a higher power.
Many of us see no particular discrepancy between the idea of a purposeful universe created by God and the overwhelming evidence in support of evolution. Indeed, although I have frequently argued that “purpose” is not something one can determine scientifically, it is absolutely clear that there is no shred of evidence pointing away from core evolutionary theory.
| Aug 25, 2011 12:48 PM