There is an absoluteness to that statement, is there not? In this po-mo culture, such a black-and-white distinction is almost refreshing. We Americans can't bring ourselves to say that abortion is wrong, nor most sexual perversions... but here is something that a writer can absolutely rule out as dead wrong.
Normally, one thinks of such absolutism as coming from a religious background. The speaker believes he has access to an absolute revelation of truth. He may not be omniscient, but his source is; so he's comfortable making such pronouncements. It minds one of the Roman Catholic Church, during the Middle Ages, slicing its bread very thin -- and slicing up those who vary. Like Galileo, patron saint of modern evolutionists.
So what is the full statement? Here it is: "When it comes to science, President Bush is of two minds, one of which is wrong."
What outrageous, unambiguously un-scientific statement did the Pres make? Did he say that water is dry, or that up is down? Did he mispronounce "nucleotides"?
Now, here is the bit of the story that has ignited such a firestorm in the lamestream media:
Bush compared the current debate to earlier disputes over “creationism,” a related view that adheres more closely to biblical explanations. As Texas governor, Bush said students should be exposed to both creationism and evolution.Exposing students to "different schools of thought"! Anti-intellectual! Shocking! Assume crash position! Battle stations!
On Monday the president said he favored the same approach for intelligent design “so people can understand what the debate is about.”
“I think that part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought,” he said. “You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed to different ideas. The answer is yes.”
And so this essay is titled Please, Mr. President, embrace science. (Evidently, on the planet that this writer calls "home," Science is a monolith, and has made an absolute, unambiguous, inerrant and final statement of Truth and Fact. It owns Truth and Fact. By copyright. In fact, it owns the words "truth" and "fact," as well as the word "science," which no one can use without their written permission.)
So there are only two viewpoints: the writer's, and "unscientific" views. This amounts to an ipse dixit, meaning "he himself has said it" (-- or perhaps even haec dicit Dominus, "Thus says the Lord"). It is used of a Godlike pronouncement, brooking no hesitation or variance. The only proper response is, "Yes, Lord; I hear and obey."
But it isn't God issuing this word. In fact, this word contradicts actual words from God. It comes from a group who constantly bickers and revises and argues internally, but presents a united facade externally. (The resemblance to Rome once again suggests itself.) These godlike dictates come from the new priesthood, clothed not in surplices nor cassocks, but in white lab coats.
But they demand the utter and unquestioning conformity that only God has a right to demand.
So totalitarian is their demand for obedience that two sides cannot be presented, nor even acknowledged to exist. They must have the only game in town.
The average person finds this hard to understand. What harm can there be in acknowledging that matter didn't create itself, that such order and complexity didn't just roll out of a tumbler? Why can't even the muzzy, gelatinous, toothless vagueness of "theistic evolution" be suggested?
This breathtaking arrogance, this anxious paranoia, calls certain Scriptures to my mind. Chief is Psalm 10, where we read "In the pride of his face the wicked does not seek him; all his thoughts are, 'There is no God.'" At first blush, this appears to be a categorical denial of God's existence. Yet look down at verse 11: "He says in his heart, 'God has forgotten, he has hidden his face, he will never see it.'” Put it together, and one realizes that this wicked man is not denying that there is no God at all -- but that there is no God to worry about. Whatever God might exist, He has no bearing on the wicked man's day-to-day existence.
And so we're often told condescendingly that one may speak of creation in religion classes, but not in science classes. In other words, there is no God to worry about. He has His box, His ghetto; and He must keep to it.
This allows the Darwinian priesthood a deathgrip on the discussion, even on the terms of the discussion. Real life is under their rule. Religion is "over there," divorced from life. Our fantasy view of ourselves as gods unto ourselves need not be threatened, nor even questioned.
And while this modern Inquisition may not literally eviscerate heretics, it will do so to their reputation and, if possible, their career, and their very right to speak in public.
OTHER READING: Thomas Gilson has some good thoughts in Thinking Christian. So does Chuck Colson.
On the other hand, Jonathan Chait tells us that President Bush is stupid for advocating academic freedom on this subject (How Bush thinks: intuition over intellect). Chait is absolutely pathological on the subject of President Bush; he recently perpetrated a column actually attacking the President for being too physically fit! In a rational writer, this would be shocking. However, every time Chait writes on President Bush, we should all remember that he admits to and has defending being a Bush-hater.
The unintentionally funniest essay has to be Intelligent Design pushed by anti-science exremists. Note the spelling! It may be corrected by the time you click, but this is the original release! Not "exremely" literate! Gods on science, dunces on spelling. [UPDATE: they've corrected the title now. If only they'd corrected the content!]
Meanwhile, 400 scientists are skeptical of the Darwinian explanation. But we'll be told they don't count. Remember this rule: all scientists believe in evolution! If they don't, they're not real scientists!
Neat circle, huh?
Finally, Charles Krauthammer is clearly out of his depth on this subject in Let's Have No More Monkey Trials. His subtitle, "To teach faith as science is to undermine both," gave me some hope that he was going to apply his sharp pen to the materialistic Darwinists' unwarranted preaching of a religious philosophy as science. But no, he's just joining the elite chorus, demanding that only the dogma of the First Church of Darwin be preached in the local (government) parishes.
And my wife and I just look at each other and say, "Reason #4,372 why to homeschool."