“atheistic theology posing as science”

The best man running for president? Got to be Senator Sam Brownback, a man who lives his Christian faith in the public square, without apology.

Part of this has included going into the lion’s den of the secular-humanist media and explaining his stance on evolution in an op-ed in the New York Times. Evolution, which, somewhat akin now to global warming, is treated as an article of faith by the secular crowd. Which is why one will see the locution, “belief in evolution.”

In Sam Brownback’s words:

The most passionate advocates of evolutionary theory offer a vision of man as a kind of historical accident. That being the case, many believers — myself included — reject arguments for evolution that dismiss the possibility of divine causality.

Ultimately, on the question of the origins of the universe, I am happy to let the facts speak for themselves. There are aspects of evolutionary biology that reveal a great deal about the nature of the world, like the small changes that take place within a species. Yet I believe, as do many biologists and people of faith, that the process of creation — and indeed life today — is sustained by the hand of God in a manner known fully only to him. It does not strike me as anti-science or anti-reason to question the philosophical presuppositions behind theories offered by scientists who, in excluding the possibility of design or purpose, venture far beyond their realm of empirical science.

The senator is hardly anti-science, and, despite the lack of charity among some in the ranks of secular humanists (e.g. Richard Dawkins), is hardly a knuckle-dragging troglodyte seeking to impose a fundamentalist Christian religion on America.

Sam Brownback concludes his essay on evolution with this:

While no stone should be left unturned in seeking to discover the nature of man’s origins, we can say with conviction that we know with certainty at least part of the outcome. Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.

Which illustrates the religion of the unbeliever. Religion, requiring its adherents to swear fealty to its dogmas, posing in the sheep’s clothing of logic and science. But which can tolerate no views that may conflict with a God-less, random, universe.

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8 comments

  1. (somehow this was previously posted to the wrong topic, sorry about that)

    “The most passionate advocates of evolutionary theory offer a vision of man as a kind of historical accident. That being the case, many believers — myself included — reject arguments for evolution that dismiss the possibility of divine causality.”
    It is telling that he doesn’t reject the theory because there is no evidence to support it. He rejects it because he finds the consequences of the theory conflicts with his theology. He therefore is rejecting a scientific thory on an unscientific basis. And yet he maintains that “It does not strike me as anti-science”. Well I suppose it may not be anti-science, but it isn’t science either.

    “Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order”
    We know nothing of the sort. This is a religious conviction and such should have no basis for the rejection or acceptance of scientific theories. Only evidence and data should determine the fate of scientific theories.

    “Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.”
    Wow, so he states quite flatly that one should pick and choose which science to believe based on one’s religious presuppositions. Science is not based on any “atheistic theology”, which is an oxymoron if I have ever heard one. Science is not based on any theology. It is nonreligous not anti-religious. I hope our next president understands the distinction.

    Our current bible believing, anti-science president has certainly done a heck of a job.

  2. Brownback is hardly pro-science; the passage you quoted (and which I mentioned in my original take-down of his ill-researched editorial, here shows that he’s only “for” science that supports his particular brand of faith.

    “Man was not an accident and reflects an image and likeness unique in the created order. Those aspects of evolutionary theory compatible with this truth are a welcome addition to human knowledge. Aspects of these theories that undermine this truth, however, should be firmly rejected as an atheistic theology posing as science.”

    This is a pretty dogmatic statement based on faith (specifically the two inconsistent creation stories at the beginning of Genesis), and without providing any evidence for this “truth” Brownback therefore rejects anything that seems contrary to his beliefs. That is not how science proceeds or how to foster healthy intellectual development and critical thinking, Brownback’s assertions being more in line with fundamentalist ministries like Answers in Genesis than actual scientific discourse.

  3. Hi John,

    The title of your post caught my eye. Definitely agree that many scientists (eg. Richard Dawkins) extrapolate beyond what the scientific evidence infers. They indeed do dress up atheistic philosophy/theology as science.

    However, I would disagree that the science of biological evolution is atheistic by definition. I, along with many evangelicals (including I believe, most evangelical biologists), do accept the framework of evolution (including macro-evolution) as the best description of how life developed on earth. (Check out my short review of several books on the topic by evangelical biologists at http://evanevodialogue.blogspot.com/2007/05/evolution-and-faith-from-evangelical.html )

    More importantly, we believe that the idea of God creating through evolution is compatible with the Christian faith, an Evangelical expression of this faith, and a faith that does not compromise the divine inspiration and authority of the scriptures.

    Certainly we’d agree that aspects of evolution that undermine the truth of creation (eg. That there is no purpose for the universe or that humans are not created in the image of God) should be firmly rejected. However, we do not believe that macroevolution is one of these aspects.

    Thanks,

  4. LOL What a load of rubbish. Try reading up on the ontological logic of religion, as opposed to the epistemiological logic of science. Science is a fundamentally different form of reasoning.

    I’d put my health and well-being in the hands of a scientist over a priest anyday.

  5. The Authentication of Genesis!!

    On or before August 15, 2007, a book is scheduled to be published.
    It’s title is “Moses Didn’t Write About Creation!!”, written by
    Ephraim. The “Big Bang” and evolution theories, plus the doctrines
    of current creationist factions, shall be exposed as being in error.

    After fifteen years, the truth of Genesis will finally be available to
    the public, blowing all previous attempts to explain Genesis
    “out of the water”. This book will be the most notable biblical
    authentication since the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is the first and only
    book written that explains the difference between the “six days of
    Moses” and the “seven days of Creation Week”.

    It is also the only book to completely explain the events that lead to
    the Extra-Celestial Civil War, also known as “the war in Heaven”.
    Comprehensive coverage of the war is given, when it ended, and how
    it affected the ancient history of our universe.

    Finally, it explains the Messiahship of Jesus, and reveals how He was
    really half Judean (for royalty) and half Levite (for priesthood). It also
    explains to non-believers the sanctity of God’s marriage to Israel, and
    why Jesus had to die first before the gospel could be preached to gentiles.

    The ISBN is 1-4241-8220-4.

    Herman Cummings
    PO Box 1745
    Fortson GA, 31808
    Ephraim7@aol.com
    (706) 662-2893

  6. Dan, priest vs. scientist isn’t the choice. Both serve different purposes.

    One goes to a scientist (I presume you mean of the medical sort) for one’s physical health; to a priest or pastor or rabbi for help with one’s spiritual health.

  7. Jack,
    “One goes to a scientist (I presume you mean of the medical sort) for one’s physical health; to a priest or pastor or rabbi for help with one’s spiritual health.”

    I couldn’t have said it better.

    However, that certainly doesn’t appear to be what John Luke’s original post was about. John’s comments squarely claim that Christianity aids us with understanding of the physical world, whereas the conclusions of science are basis for belief (as in spirituality, I presume).

    The fact is, however, that politicians like Sam Brownback would dangerously subvert science education in America, judging from his ridiculously ignorant editorial. You might want to pass the word to Sam (and this blog’s host) that religion offers us nothing in the way of physical health.

  8. Clearing the Air About Genesis

    No one else, presently walking on this Earth, is an expert on Genesis. Do not even listen to anyone else trying to expound what Genesis is saying, or what “creationism” is, for they do not understand the text, and are speaking from ignorance. There is no “creation account” in Genesis. There is no such thing as a “creation/evolution” contest. It is “evolution” verses the “Observations of Moses “, given to Moses by God in 1598 BC, in biblical order, as revealed by the Living Word in the Gospels.

    The world of theology (and creationism) has never understood Genesis, so of course they would not have told us the truth, since they never did their “homework”. Each day in Genesis, from Gen. 1:2 thru 2:3 was a 24-hr day , shown to Moses, taken from seven different weeks (1 day from Creation Week, 6 days from 6 restoration weeks), and each week was from a different geologic age. The seven days conveyed to Moses were not linear.

    Genesis chapter two covers about a 200 yr period, starting in about 7200 BC, and has nothing to do with chapter one. There was no “evolution”. There was Creation, followed by extinction, then six periods of restorations, with five more extinction events in between, ending each era of mankind. With the third era of mankind (the second restoration), God “redesigned” mankind to be in His image, after His likeness, in about 64 Million BC.

    If you have comments, issues, or questions, direct them to me (ephraim7@aol.com), or read the book “Moses Didn’t Write About Creation!”. Have I made myself clear?

    Herman Cummings
    PO Box 1745
    Fortson GA, 31808
    Ephraim7@aol.com

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