Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Evolution, Science, and Atheism.

On the subject of a very peculiar question ("does evolution imply atheism"), I must answer an emphatic "no". Evolution, in of itself, has no relevance to religion, gods, the divine, the supernatural, or anything else beyond the biological descent of lifeforms. When your particular idea of god is solely dependent on a specific origin of life that is contradicted by evolutionary theory, than that deity shouldn't have stuck its feet where it didn't belong, and can be rightfully decimated for daring to tread where science has clearly shown the error of your ways. Otherwise, gods whose applicable creation stories, if any, do not overlap with evolutionary theory are left intact, and as inconsequential as ever, comfortably beyond the realm of objective verifiability.

And, then the broader question of whether science itself implies atheism is similar. If the god's descriptions do not have any observable, objective, testable influence on reality, than it is unverifiable, beyond the realm of science, and thus irrelevant. This doesn't imply atheism, because it doesn't suggest that these supernatural beings do not exist. It has a dismissive agnosticism towards them, because they do not matter in regards to objective scientific inquiry. Now, if one was asking whether a purely scientific view of the world, holding everything to that standard of proof, necessitates atheism, than I would say yes. And I would also argue that this is probably the most intellectually honest way of doing things. But, then again, I'm a bit biased...

7 comments:

Stacy said...

I agree. Understanding evolution does not lead to atheism. Hanging out w/atheists that point out things that you would normally never think about - leads to atheism.

Most people go through life and never think about Noah's Ark, or Moses parting the Red Sea, or miracles of any kind until someone points out to them that these stories are unrealistic.

Catholicism is still so strong because they accept science.

Creationism on the other hand, is in for a rude awakening. IMO

Asylum Seeker said...

"I agree. Understanding evolution does not lead to atheism. Hanging out w/atheists that point out things that you would normally never think about - leads to atheism."

True that.

"Creationism on the other hand, is in for a rude awakening. IMO"

I hope so. They've been a fitful slumber for some time now, and screaming about persecution whenever we try to stir them. They're so adorable when they are completely unaware of reality.

pboyfloyd said...

Well, to a Creationist it emphatically 'does'.

He who hath underthanding will thay, thpethifically, that thpethation ith Thatan'th detheit!

Tho! That putth the thupernatural tmall thphere(ball) thquarely back on your theeolders!

(GOD can only be underthtood as thircular argumentth and micthed metaphorth!)

pboyfloyd said...

That'th, "thmall thphere"..

.. thorry, miththpoke!

Stacy said...

It'th eathier to underthtand a lithp when you hear one rather than read one . Ith that intenthional? Or do you have a problem w/your keyboard?

pboyfloyd said...

Started off, "He who hath.." and some demon possessed me to run with the lisp thingy!

Asylum Seeker said...

Demons? On my blog? I am offended. I don't need competition.