I'm gonna post more about this album soon - there's so much to say. But for now, just go out and buy it. It's the best thing I've heard in a long time. You may not agree with Derek on everything, but what he has to say about the church will kick you in the teeth and make you think, anyway.
There's an interesting article by John Derbyshire in today's National Review Online. Derb discusses the political left's contempt for anything that remotely smells of creationism, and their disdain and disgust for anyone who doesn't fall at the feet of evolution.
"What gets lefty juices flowing is those crazy Christian fruitcakes down in the Bible Belt, with their double-knit-clad preachers in cheap hairpieces, their reflexive patriotism, their dogged hostility to such obviously healthful and liberating practices as fornication, abortion, and homosexuality, and their obscurantism about evolution.
Ah, evolution! The touchstone of redneck religiosity! The ultimate litmus test separating the benighted from the enlightened, the foolish from the wise, the sheep from the wise shepherds — to put it in Leninist terms, the Whom from the Who! Do you believe in the theory of evolution? No? Then you shall be bound hand and foot and cast into outer darkness, into the place of wailing and gnashing of teeth! Don’t you know that only hicks and rubes and knuckle-dragging primitives deny the truth of evolution? Haven’t you seen Inherit the Wind? What brand of tobacco do you chew, in your shabby trailer parked back there in the hollow?"
And, while Derbyshire is eloquent in his defense of a people, and a President, who are strident in their views, he seems to miss the boat (or, at least, part of the boat – the stern maybe). Derb makes the same mistake in this article that most everyone makes when discussing the "creationism v. evolution" debate: that the two things are polar opposites. Now, I know that there are some Christians (the well-meaning people who taught my Sunday school classes, for example) who hear the word "evolution" and their knees jerk so hard that that they get a muscle sprain. The connotation of that word in the Christian community is predominately negative. But, there are a vast number of Christians who believe otherwise.
First, I think that the mistake that Mr. Derbyshire makes is addressing "Creationism v. Evolution," not "Creationism v. The Big Bang Theory." The two debates are light years apart from each other in scope. One can easily reconcile the ideas that: 1) God created the world, and 2) the creatures that he created participated in the evolutionary process. It seems like a much bigger deal to me to reconcile God's creation of the world with the idea that the universe was created by The Big Bang. Now, in his defense, everybody makes the same mistake – that the creationism and evolutionism are polarized. In most minds these days, they seem to have become polarized, and, in turn, they’ve become buzz words for specific agendas, rather than topics for debate.
Second, to pigeonhole all creationists as psuedoscientists (and all forms of creationism as psuedoscience) is unfair, and it is bad analysis. To presuppose that all creationists believe the same thing is egregiously wrong, just as stating that all evolutionists have identical beliefs would be wrong. There are plenty of serious scientists who believe that the universe has a creator. In fact, simple scientific theory would seem to give that idea some credibility. So, to approach the study of the creation of the world from that standpoint is no more “psuedoscience” than is approaching it from a viewpoint that says that there is no creator.
I am a huge fan of John Derbyshire. I think his logic is generally well reasoned and on the money, but in this case, he has only come up with half of the story. He’s fallen into the trap that most political writers fall in to: believing the political lie. This is not a black and white issue.
Now, before you jump down my throat and say, “That’s not what his article was about, knucklehead!” let me say this: Derbyshire is exactly right when he talks about the scientific snobbery of the left in their dismissal of anything remotely resembling religion in science. Anyone that’s gone to public school has seen that. I just think he’s propagating some of the same myths.
Why, yes, I do believe in miracles. I believe that Jesus made those blind guys see. I believe that the oil did keep burning. I believe that the children of Israel (and the adults, too) walked on dry ground. I believe that Lazarus was dead one minute, and not the next. And, I believe that miracles still happen.