Today’s letter-to-the-editor appears in The Advocate of Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It’s titled Evolution is its own religion. We’ll give you a few excerpts, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. As we usually do we’ll omit the writer’s name and city, but at the end of his letter we’re told that the writer is a retired pastor. Okay, let’s get started:
Oh my, there she goes again. In her letter included in your newspaper dated May 18 entitled “HB116 promotes creationism,” Barbara Forrest continues to promote one version of origins as the only acceptable one for public educational institutions.
He’s referring to this, which we’ve mentioned before: HB116 promotes creationism, by Barbara Forrest. It’s about a bill pending in the Louisiana legislature, about which we wrote: Another Weird Creationism Bill. Okay, back to today’s letter:
I make three points in response. First, it appears to me that the biblical information does not necessarily resolve the old- versus new-earth issue, even for Bible-believing people.
That’s fine, but we already know that there are creationists in both camps, so how they read scripture to determine the age of the Earth isn’t that important an issue. Let’s read on:
Second, empirical science never has — nor can it — resolve the issue of origins. Empirical science observes and studies what is and what has been found from the past. The interpretation of this data, so as to form a conclusion(s), requires the use of certain philosophical presuppositions, thus philosophical science.
Uh huh. And if those “philosophical presuppositions” include the belief that scripture is the final word about science, then yes — whatever science says about origins can’t possibly be true. We continue:
Third, and most important, it appears to me that Forrest is actually doing exactly what she says she is trying to prevent — that is advocating that government schools, funded by the taxpayers of all presuppositional viewpoints, should teach as science a view of origins and developmental processes that require commitment to one religious view.
Religious view? What’s he talking about? The rev attempts to clarify for us:
Yes, I said religious view. Humanistic evolutional theory has the characteristics of a religion. Carl Sagan in his best-selling “Cosmos” begins with these words: “The cosmos is all there is or ever will be.”
So what? The rev clarifies further:
This represents a statement of faith, having nothing whatsoever to do with empirical science. He also said, “our loyalties are to be to the species and the planet.” This sounds like worship. Sagan appears to be a very committed man of faith, proclaiming the gospel of the cosmos.
Ah yes, “the gospel of the cosmos.” Here’s more:
It seems clear to me that such thinking adheres to the fundamental elements of religion. It consists of faith (the cosmos as eternal reality), worship as the reasonable obligation of faith (loyalties owed to the cosmos), and revelation of the intricacies of that faith (the prophetic material of Sagan’s Cosmos).
Faith, worship, and revelation. Oh yeah — that’s Carl Sagan! Moving along:
For decades now Forrest and so many like her in the scientific/academic arena have with “evangelistic” zeal used their bully pulpits to dominate the discussion regarding appropriate curriculum in government schools.
There oughta be a law! Oh wait — there is. The government can’t establish a religion. Hey — wouldja believe it — even the Louisiana Constitution, in Article I, Section 8, says: “No law shall be enacted respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
Anyway, here’s how the retired preacher concludes his letter:
Our children deserve better. Honest critical thinking requires it.
Yeah, honest critical thinking — like the kind you get with that good old fashioned, down-home, foot-stompin’, psalm-singin’, floor-rollin’, rafter-shakin’, old-time creationism. Nice letter, Rev!
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