Blackadder’s Lair

The home of many a cunning plan

The Dogma of Evolution

As a follow-up to my Expelled review, I’ve long noticed that critics of evolution often talk about evolution being a “religion”, supported by “faith” rather than reason, supported by a scientific “orthodoxy” that considers any questioning of evolutionary “dogma” to be “heresy”, and so forth. I find this rhetorical tactic a bit odd. Based on such statements, you would get the idea that the average critic of evolution thinks of religion as an insult, of faith as something bad, of heresy as good, of orthodoxy as stultifying, and dogma as unreasoned and unreasonable. In short, he attempts to degrade and insult evolution by comparing it to religion, which is odd, given that the average critic of evolution is not only religious, but objects to evolution precisely on religious grounds.

The truth is that religion, faith, orthodoxy, and dogma are all good things. Faith is not the enemy of Reason, it is her sister. Dogma is not an unnecessary evil, but a necessary good. Orthodoxy is liberating; it is heresy that is stifling. I can understand the rhetorical effect of using these terms in this way, and certainly opponents of evolution are not the only ones who do this, but it seems to me that any battle we win in this way will be a Pyrrhic victory.


April 26, 2008 - Posted by | Evolution

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