Defender's Guide to Science and Creationism

Mark Vuletic

Assertion

Acceptance of evolution makes one better disposed towards atheism.

Analysis

I. The sense in which this is true is equally true of many other truths creationists accept.

It is true that accepting evolution probably makes people somewhat better disposed towards atheism than they otherwise would be. However, precisely the same thing can be said about agreeing that the Earth revolves around the Sun or, for that matter, realizing that billions of people throughout history have been afflicted with horrible suffering for no apparent reason. Should one therefore assert that heliocentrism is a demonic lie propagated by biased philosophical naturalists? Should one assert that anyone who believes that there is such a thing as a children's cancer ward has been deceived by Satan? No more so should one deny the evolutionary history of life just because it raises questions which may require certain religious presuppositions to be rethought, adapted, or abandoned.

II. In practice, no slippery slope to atheism

If the claim is that acceptance of evolution places one on a slippery slope that inevitably leads to atheism, then the contention is demonstrably false, given that most evolutionists go to their graves believing there is a god. The creationist strategy appears to be to focus on atheistic evolutionists (such as Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, Daniel Dennett, and P. Z. Myers) as exemplars of those who accept evolution, and to ignore or dismiss as aberrations evolutionists who believe in a god (such as Kenneth Miller, Francis Collins, Francsico J. Ayala, Owen Gingerich, Robert Pennock, and the more than 13,000 signatories to the Clergy Letter Project).

Last updated: 16 Feb 2016

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