Monday, September 29, 2014
How can Evolution and Religion co-exist?
He begins by saying that Evolutionary Science and Religion are diametrically opposed to one another and the only way to be a religious Scientist is to be guilty of "misrepresenting both science and religion." On Barash's first point I wholeheartedly agree. Religion says that there was a creator who designed the universe to be the way that it is, Evolutionary Science says that there was no creator and the universe with all things in it simply took their shape randomly. Everything, according to Evolutionary Science, says Barash, is random. So from the very starting point, Religion (a belief in a Creator) and Evolutionary Science immediately begin contradicting each other. He notes that there are some notable scientists like Stephen J. Gould who hold that the two spheres don't overlap and each can be true, but Barash correctly points out that both Religion and Evolutionary Science contradict eachother and therefore cannot both be true. I agree Dr. Barash, I agree.
Barash then concludes by positing the idea that this evil world is evidence against a good God. He says, "living things, including human beings, are produced by a natural, totally amoral process, with no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator." There are so many things wrong with that statement, it is hard for me to know where to begin. For some reason, Dr. Barash thinks that evil in this world is an evidence against a good Creator. But within 5 minutes of reading the Bible, one finds that the Creator has cursed this world and everything in it, so evil in the world actually accords with the Bible's version of a Creator. Secondly, contrary to his assertion of there being "no indication of a benevolent, controlling creator," there are many indications of a benevolent, controlling Creator. Thirdly, it is impossible for an "amoral" process to create morality. If an "amoral process" has in fact produced advancement in organisms as Barash would have us believe, then it stands to reason that human morality is stifling the advancement of our species. For example, why do we build hospitals go on humanitarian trips to offer aid to those who are suffering? How can our species advance if we keep allowing the weak and sick to reproduce? Our morality is preventing the weak and sick from dying off and thus our race is not making the great advancements that it could be, through this wonderful "amoral process!" Morality therefore, under Barash's view, is simply an evolutionary deformity, a sickness in itself. He would have us believe that moral behavior is actually immoral. Isn't it immoral to hold back the advancement of an entire race? Isn't it immoral to oppose the very force that has governed the production of all living organisms? Of course he would never say such a thing, but there is no other conclusion once you assert that advancement and improvement owes its existence to an "amoral process." (I won't even mention that he began his statement by suggesting that this "amoral process" was actually evil and that the existence of this evil was therefore according to his reasoning evidence against the existence of a good God. Apparently, the process is both amoral and evil. That's a neat trick.)
In other words, if students want to believe in both religion and evolution, they have to start with the assumption that Barash's claims are true, and then they have to figure out how to make their beliefs fit with his version of truth. He apparently will no longer seek to defend his incoherent and dangerous ideas, it's our responsibility to accept them as true and then do some "challenging mental gymnastic routines" to make our views conform to the "truth" of his.
Well played Barash, well played.