Why evolution is less controversial than it seems to be

I think a lot of people are still undecided about the whole intelligent design/evolution thing. It’s not surprising. When you listen to both sides, there seems to be a lot of compelling ideas in both camps.

Whenever I get caught between two competing ideas like this, I first look for the source that’s probably the most objective on the issue.

In other words, there was this judge who went to jail a few years back. Seems he was getting paid under the table by the folks who ran some local prisons. Let’s just say you probably couldn’t count on that judge to be a fair…judge.

If there’s “something in it” for somebody, there’s always the risk that it affects their judgement.

So with the intelligent design/evolution debate, there’s probably two sets of people that I might want to ignore straight away.

The first group would be atheists or agnostics who support evolution. It’s easy to see why people who don’t believe in anything supernatural would be naturally disinclined to believe in some sort of intelligent designer outside of the natural world.

The second group I’d initially ignore would be all the religious folks who support intelligent design – for the same reason. If these people are already inclined to see the world as a product of a supernatural entity, it’s only natural that they’d be inclined to agree with any other theory that supports their existing world view.

That leaves only two sets of people:

Atheists who support intelligent design; and,
Religious people who support evolution.

Now, it’s pretty unlikely to find an atheist or agnostic who supports intelligent design. After all, they already have stated that they don’t see the evidence to believe in a supernatural force. If they did, well, they wouldn’t be atheists anymore, right? So that eliminates this group.

Which leaves us with only one group: people who both are religious and accept evolution.

So who would these people be? How many religious people support evolution over intelligent design?

Turns out, quite a few.

If you want to dig deeper, I’ve included a list of groups below that you can take a closer look at if you’re really interested in hearing what these folks have to say.

Bottom line, though – if religious people who support evolution are the least likely to have a conflict of interest, and so many religious groups support it, maybe this whole evolution thing is not much of a controversy after all.

• 188 Wisconsin Clergy
• Affiliation of Christian Geologists *
• African-Americans for Humanism
• American Humanist Association
• American Jewish Committee
• American Jewish Congress
• American Scientific Affiliation
• Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences
• Central Conference of American Rabbis
• Council for Democratic and Secular Humanism
• Episcopal Bishop of Atlanta, Pastoral Letter
• Episcopal Church, General Convention (1982)
• Episcopal Church, General Convention (2006)
• General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
• Humanist Association of Canada
• International Society for Science & Religion *
• Lexington Alliance of Religious Leaders
• Lutheran World Federation
• National Council of Jewish Women
• Rabbinical Council of America
• Roman Catholic Church (1981)
• Roman Catholic Church (1996)
• The United Methodist Church (2008) *
• The United Methodist Church (2008) *
• Union for Reform Judaism *
• Unitarian Universalist Association (1977)
• Unitarian Universalist Association (1982)
• United Church Board for Homeland Ministries
• United Methodist Church
• United Presbyterian Church in the USA (1982)
• United Presbyterian Church in the USA (1983)


About SWIRLosopher

The SWIRLosopher is Sean Trapani, a professor emeritus of advertising who - despite a degree in philosophy - has abandoned all reason and is trying to make a living in the wine business.

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