Evolution and the Secular Worldview—The Fury of the Elites on Display

Albert Mohler | President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary | Friday, January 10, 2014

Evolution and the Secular Worldview—The Fury of the Elites on Display


The Pew Research Center’s Religion and Public Life Project recently released data indicating that the issue of evolution still divides Americans. According to the research, about 60 percent of Americans indicate a belief in evolution, while just over 30 percent reject evolution as an account of human origins. A closer look at the data reveals that almost half of those who say they believe in evolution also believe that a Supreme Being guided the process. In other words, far less than half of Americans believe in a purely naturalistic version of evolution, the mainstream theory as held by evolutionists.

As you might expect, religious beliefs play a huge role. The vast majority of those identified as evangelical Christians affirmed that “humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time,” while only 15 percent of “white mainline Protestants” joined in that affirmation.

But the researchers also asked questions about political affiliation. It turns out that Democrats and Republicans are increasingly separated over the issue of evolution, with a far greater percentage of Democrats affirming evolution. In 2009, 54 percent of Republicans affirmed evolution and 64 precent of Democrats did the same. The new research indicates that Republicans are even less likely to affirm evolution now, with only 43 percent indicating agreement with evolution.

In response to this research, columnist Charles M. Blow of The New York Times could express only exasperation: “In fact, this isn’t only sad; it’s embarrassing.”

To whom?

Well, to the cognitive elites of the secular establishment. The fact that millions upon millions of Americans do not accept evolution embarrasses them.

Charles Blow pointed to evangelical Christianity as the culprit: “I don’t personally have a problem with religious faith, even in the extreme, as long as it doesn’t supersede science and it’s not used to impose outdated mores on others.”

That is a stunningly amazing statement. Mr. Blow doesn’t have a problem with religious faith, “even in the extreme.” As later sections of his column make clear, evangelical Christians are the religious extremists in his view. As he writes, “When you look at white evangelical Protestants, the evolution denialism gets even worse.”

But evangelicals and other “extreme” religious folk need not be a bother, Charles Blow promises, if they do not use their faith to “supersede science” or “impose outdated mores on others.”

His statement reveals the modern secular disbelief that anything can supersede science. Science is king, those who wear lab coats are the new priests, and all other gods must bow before science. Yet, the secular establishment of science doesn’t even correspond to science as it exists in the academy, where there is no fixed body of knowledge that is singular and unchanging. Science continually supersedes itself.

Charles Blow also warns that “extreme” religious folk had better not try to impose morality, even as he and his fellow opinion shapers at The New York Times work overtime to impose their own morality. The public square, in his stated view, must be free from any threatening religious moral influence.

Later in his article, Blow warns that Republican leaders are cynically using the issue of evolution to convince rank-and-file Republicans that they are “fighting a religious war for religious freedom.” In truth, every political party will try to co-opt religion and religious voters whenever it can. There is no surprise there, and the pattern holds for both major national parties. But anyone who thinks that people are rejecting evolution as part of a Republican strategy needs to come up out of the political waters and breathe some air. The motivating factor here is theology, not politics.

What is really on display in this column, and in so much of the mainstream media, is amazement and frustration in the face of the fact that so many Americans still reject evolution. Why is that such an issue? Because evolution is central to the secular project. The secular worldview requires evolution, and the “denialists” are a huge stumbling block toward secular progress.

The New York Times even headlined Blow’s column, “Indoctrinating Religious Warriors.”

So, who is the real extremist here?

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