Pharyngula

Working together against the creationists…

Red State Rabble declares that we must stand united against the common enemy, creationism and such anti-scientific forces of unreason that threaten our secular institutions. That’s a nice, fuzzy statement, which I personally suspect is unrealistic and unworkable, but let’s give it a try.

Our first test: the Pope has made an interesting statement.

Pope Benedict XVI on Monday issued his strongest criticism yet of evolutionary theory, calling it “unreasonable”.

Speaking to a 300,000-strong crowd in this German city, the former theological watchdog said that, according to such theories derived from Charles Darwin’s work, the universe is “the random result of evolution and therefore, at bottom, something unreasonable”.

He has also just spoken out against secular societies—it seems that secularism is a greater problem than radical Islam.

But the section on Islam made up just three paragraphs of the speech, and he devoted the rest to a long examination of how Western science and philosophy had divorced themselves from faith — leading to the secularization of European society that is at the heart of Benedict’s worries.

I presume we all going to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in agreement that the Pope is wrong, he has completely misrepresented evolutionary theory, and that he should not be concerned about secular society—it is every person’s privilege to refuse to participate in any religion? We should all deplore his fallacious intrusion into a scientific matter, and all of us who are together on the side of science should unambiguously repudiate his opinion.

In the spirit of our shared community, I’ll step aside and refrain from chewing out the Pope, and defer that privilege to my colleague, Ken Miller, who is always willing to draft letters criticizing those who harm the cause of getting the public to recognize the validity of science. Perhaps he can draft a rollicking good letter telling the Pope where he can get off? I think it should definitely mention that Pope Benedict’s clerical status gives him absolutely, positively no credibility or status in assessing biological issues, and perhaps points out that we all stand as one against efforts to undermine science, whether they’re made by a creationist pope or some uppity god-hating atheist.

It should be something we can all agree on.

To unity!