Pharyngula

Evolution Sunday?

Today is Evolution Sunday. It’s that day when participating ministers will say a few supportive words about evolution from their pulpits, or as I prefer to think of it, when a few people whose training and day-to-day practice are antithetical to science will attempt to legitimize their invalid beliefs and expand their pretense to intellectual authority by co-opting a few slogans.

As you might guess, I’m not exactly against the event, but I definitely do not support it. I’m sure a few readers are going to complain that I should be praising these efforts to get people to take baby steps in the right direction, but I just can’t do it.

I’m sorry, but when I see people in chains shuffle a few steps at the behest of their jailer, my heart isn’t in to shouting, “Hooray! You’re free!” You have a choice. You can go to church today, and among the hymns and prayers and magic rituals and chants to nonexistent beings, you can hear a few words in support of science; or you can refuse to support the whole rotten edifice of religion and stay home and read a good book. Which alternative do you think I would support?

Instead, I’m going to encourage you all to participate in my Enlightenment Sunday project. Skip church every week. Ignore the pleas of your priests. Donate money and time to charities of your choice directly, rather than through the intermediary of the church bureaucracy. Improve your brain with books and videos and conversations about science. Think skeptically. I’m sure the participants in Evolution Sunday mean well and are sincere in their wish to reconcile faith with science, but we’ll do far more to promote reason in this country if we withdraw from all participation in the church and let religion wither away from disuse, than we will by encouraging these modern day witch-doctors to spread their delusions.

Comments

  1. #1 David Marjanovi?
    February 11, 2007

    In other words, “for heaven’s sake, don’t argue with them, you will LOSE! Just keep reading the Bible!”

    Well, it could simply be a repetition of “the Bible teaches the way to go to heaven, not the way the heavens go”. Maybe the good man believes it’s outright blasphemy to abuse the Bible as a science textbook. There are such people, even though they seem to be surprisingly rare in the USA.

    Catholic theology, for example, has long ago given up on the God of the Gaps, and has found that the untestability of God’s existence dovetails very, very nicely with the whole Free Will issue.

    Of course, that logic still hangs in mid-air, and can be considered needless baggage… but I can’t see how it really conflicts with science.