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No Faith in PBS

Steven Mahone

Focus on the Family president James Dobson recently described the eight-hour evolution series shown on PBS as "pure, unadulterated propaganda," and claimed it was "anti-Christian" in its intent. Dr. Dobson also characterized himself as being quite "agitated" at the program's content, so it's rather doubtful that he'll authorize a Veggie Tales version of the series for his younger audience. Too bad, since unlike Dr. Dobson, most young people are eager to learn about what "unadulterated" nature can truly tell us about ourselves.

Instead, Dr. Dobson subscribes to his own version of how to account for our origins. One that encompasses his religious faith under the guise of a euphemistic title like "Intelligent Design." He can even produce a few Ph.D. credentialed scholars to lend their support! (It might be interesting to note that the tobacco and dioxin manufacturers were also able to produce Ph.D. testimonials when their backs were against the wall.) Of course, none of this changes a thing when it comes time to evaluate the evidence; and make no mistake about it, the evidence overwhelmingly points to a common biological ancestor for every form of life on this planet. What an intimate and phenomenal achievement to ponder!

There is a book for sale in the Focus on the Family library called How to Stay Christian in College. The title alone says quite a bit about the whole evolution/creation controversy. It's telling, because you will find no counterpart for it in any biological research lab or archeology department in the world. It's simply not necessary. No longer does science answer to religion -- science answers only to the facts. The invariant physical laws of nature apply equally to the Presbyterian as they do to the Polynesian. Dr. Dobson may wish for science to affirm the Designer, but as Oxford Biologist Richard Dawkins so aptly puts it, "the Watchmaker is blind."

James Dobson wants faith and science to meld seamlessly. Not just any faith, mind you, but the very one endorsed in his mass mailings each month. There should be little doubt, then, why he has taken exception to PBS's series -- it's because Dr. Dobson has much to account for. But faith has no requirement of proof; it can be sustained with an appeal to emotion and desire. Evolution doesn't have such an advantage. In fact, true science is utterly and completely devoid of faith. If you think about it, this is precisely how it MUST be! Faith and science are two separate concepts and to use one to justify the other only serves to diminish them both.

It is a rare event when a truly new discovery is made in science. It is even more rare when such a discovery turns out to be revolutionary. A coherent and verifiable scientific theory that explains our human origins would certainly qualify as such. Darwinian evolution has met the challenge. It has been unaffected by faith, or metaphor, or hearsay and it cares not who believes. If there is an intelligent designer who is ultimately responsible, then so be it. In reality, it would change nothing. Our DNA proves it. The fossils found in every geologic stratum on earth proves it. Our science proves it. And the message is the same: we are a "brother to dragons, and a companion to owls" (Job 30:29).
 

Published:
  2001-12-15

Categories:
  Christianity, Evolution

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