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Don’t Know Much Biology

This deserves a read: University of Chicago professor Jerry Coyne has published an essay at Edge taking on Republican presidential hopeful Senator Sam Brownback’s (R-KS) views on faith and evolution, as expressed in Brownback’s May 31 New York Times op-ed.

The Senator, who raised his hand at a Republican presidential debate in May to indicate that he ‘didn’t believe in evolution,’ wrote in the Times that there “cannot be any contradiction” between faith and science. Specifically, he claims to “reject arguments for evolution that dismiss the possibility of divine causality,” even as he accepts “microevolution, [or] small changes over time within a species.”

Coyne argues that rejecting the claims of science where they contradict the claims of faith, as Brownback does, is tantamount to “a rejection of the whole institution of science.” A specialist in evolutionary biology and a seasoned veteran of the creationism wars, Coyne nevertheless describes himself as “mortified” by Brownback’s display at the Republican debate. He argues:

Brownback’s misunderstanding of science is more dangerous than his ignorance of evolution, and should be disconcerting to educators and parents hoping to see their children educated properly.

Read Coyne’s entire essay, “Don’t Know Much Biology,” at Edge.