Scott Adams has been asking some non-committal questions regarding ID on his blog, and has been vociferously attacked, mostly by evolutionists, for bringing up his honest questions. By his own admission, he is being misquoted and misrepresented, which is leading him to believe that such people are not credible. I agree.
But the question arises in my mind, why do people get so hot about this? Even me, I get pissed off, and tend to use derogatory adjectives (arrogant, idiotic, illogical) when describing my ideological adversaries. Why?
1. The Evolution/Creation Debate Touches our World View Assumptions
People who are evolutionists rely on it for more than science – it is also a world view that answers or makes assumptions regarding religious questions about our nature, origins, and the nature or existence of god. Touching evolution, either positively or negatively, touches people’s under-girding philosophical and religious assumptions. And obviously, Creation Science is tied to a religious world view also.
2. By questioning evolution, we are questioning the establishment, who by nature want to remain in power.
What power, you ask? Well, if evolutionary theory suddenly went out of vogue in science and academia, what would happen? Senior Faculty positions might change hands, funding might suddenly change (just try to get Creationist-based science funding today). Threatening evolutionary thinking threatens people’s positions of power, and the flow of money.
3. By questioning evolution, we are casting doubt on something that people have a lot of ego, and life-work investment in.
What if one of your primary assumptions about life and God were suddenly shown to be wrong? What if someone is shaking your cage, making you feel insecure about what you believe? What if your whole scientific career was built on evolutionary thinking, and suddenly you find it may have been wasted? When we question evolution, we are threatening many peoples sense of self, since they have a lot of ego or work invested in evolution. Same goes for Creationists – when you try to discredit them, they may feel it as a threat to their long dedication to that world view.
4. Secularists often view religion as merely superstition, or having nothing to do with science.
Or, they think that a religious world view has in the past, and today hinders good science, making it a slave to theology and superstition. As I have posted previously in The Biblical Basis of Modern Science, history does not really show this – rather, this ruse was created by secularists like Voltaire during the Renaissance, not based on fact, but on their disdain for religion (which was somewhat understandable considering the corruption of the Catholic church).
History, according to some, indicates that Christianity supports real science.
But, like Jesus challenging the religious leaders, even if you are not questioning the validity of the evolutionist’s underlying approach (scientific method), if you question their implementation of the method, or their world view assumptions beneath their interpretation of data, they get offended because they think you are questioning the scientific method and threatening science with religion.
5. Both sides are guilty of aggregious straw-man arguments and failure to answer the questions posed.
Yep. When you misrepresent your opponent, and fail to answer his questions regarding your theory, you suck. I’m sure I’ve done this. I have no doubt that outspoken evolutionists do this almost to a man regarding ID and Creation Science. Perhaps we all need to heed the scripture
Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. James 1:18-20