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Monday, June 13, 2005

Slamming Creationism

The blogosphere is buzzing about a recent editorial in the Times of London by Oxford University professor Richard Dawkins defending evolution and dissing creationism. In a piece provocatively titled "Creationism: God's Gift to the Ignorant," Dawkins writes:

Admissions of ignorance and mystification are vital to good science. It is therefore galling, to say the least, when enemies of science turn those constructive admissions around and abuse them for political advantage. Worse, it threatens the enterprise of science itself...

The creationists' fondness for "“gaps"” in the fossil record is a metaphor for their love of gaps in knowledge generally. Gaps, by default, are filled by God. You don'’t know how the nerve impulse works? Good! You don'’t understand how memories are laid down in the brain? Excellent! Is photosynthesis a bafflingly complex process? Wonderful! Please don'’t go to work on the problem, just give up, and appeal to God. Dear scientist, don'’t work on your mysteries. Bring us your mysteries for we can use them. Don’t squander precious ignorance by researching it away. Ignorance is God's gift to Kansas.

The Kansas reference is a dig at efforts in that state to enforce the teaching of creationism and de-emphasize evolution in the public schools.

I wonder how many newspapers in the US -- even in the Blue States -- would have the courage to reprint this editorial?