Friday, June 18, 2010

CNN on Evolution

CNN's Wendy Atterbery, who runs an advice column on CNN has a look at the evolution controversy titled I believe in evolution, he doesn't. That such a program is on national news is a growing indication that this debate is no longer confined to the public school board rooms and churches. They begin:
Dear Wendy:

I have been dating my boyfriend for about three months. We get along great and he would do anything for me. We just have one problem. He doesn't believe in evolution and I very passionately do. We got in a discussion about it, which quickly turned into a huge fight...So I guess what I am asking is how do I broach this topic in a manner that doesn't turn into a huge argument? Should I just accept that we may never agree on the topic and try to get over it?
-- The "Mad" Scientist
Wendy replies:
Dear "Mad" Scientist:

You need to decide on a couple of things here, Ms. First, is it a boyfriend you want or a student? Because you can't have both.

If it's the former, you need to decide how important it is that your partner's beliefs align with your own. We aren't talking about a casual interest in the Yankees versus a vague support for the Red Sox here.

Evolution and creationism are beliefs that are at the basis for entire life philosophies, values, and behavior. They can be the lens through which people view their world, particularly if they're very passionate about their beliefs, as you say you and your boyfriend are.
Well, remind me never to to go Wendy for advice, since this is truly atrocious. Evolution is not a "belief" of any kind and the hypothetical boyfriend/girlfriend have been set up in the worst straw man argument in the entire controversy, that acceptance of evolution and God is an either/or proposition. It is not. What is truly amazing, however, is the infantile nature of the comments to the story. Very few actually dealt with the nature of the disagreement. Does this reflect the fact that most people don't care? or is it an indictment of the lack of education about this topic in the general public (including the columnist, herself)? Probably a bit of both.


  1. Sadly, I would say it leans much more heavily towards the lack of knowledge side. Ignorance seems to reign supreme on this issue from both sides. It seems we're the red headed step child in this issue. Ignored if not abused.

  2. Well said. I was out casted in a college course on "religion and science" for arguing that evolution and the acceptance of God are not mutually exclusive.

  3. Um, is there a problem with the URL to the CNN site? It looks like it goes to a 404 on Blogger.

  4. Ah. Here you go:

  5. Bastard step-child, more like. Shunned by both sides as being illegitimate.

  6. Thanks for the link, guys.