December 28, 2006
Opposing Creationism vs. Opposing Religion
There has been a fair amount of discussion recently about whether evolution and religion are compatible. Or, perhaps more to the point, whether we should oppose religion by pointing out the evidence against it that evolution provides or whether we should promote evolution by pointing out that there is nothing in evolution that precludes the existence of a Creator. As is often the case, I'm of two minds about this, as is Skepchick sraiche.
On the one hand, I think that evolution definitely is in conflict with a literal reading of the bible. It also seems to get along just fine without the existence of a Creator. On the other hand, I know that some people would be perfectly willing to accept evolution if they could be convinced that it wasn't a threat to their religious beliefs.
In reading Freethinkers, I was struck by the repeated examples of the conflicts between the hardliners and the compromisers in several political conflicts — the abolition of slavery, gaining women the vote, etc. In each case, the compromisers eventually won.
This led me to think that perhaps compromise is the best way. But then I read a blog entry recently on Pharyngula in which PZ Myers was discussing NARAL seeking to moderate its position in an attempt to attract moderates. PZ Myers was opposed to this, stating that it was proper for a politician to compromise, but not for an advocacy group. The goal is not to move to the center, but to move the center.
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