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On Darwin and Creation, God and America August 17, 2005

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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One generalisation which I think we Europeans are perfectly justified in holding about our American cousins regards religious affiliation on the other side of the pond. As a religion-interested atheist, I am still heartened to read an article like this which doesn’t pussyfoot around the obvious contradiction in trying to combine Darwin with creationism in certain American schools. The article is, clearly, only stating the obvious, though succinctly and emphatically, but it also provides links to some interesting statistics about just what people believe and how, logically, a belief in evolution as propounded by Darwin can only have a weakening effect on belief in God and creation. (In the early 90s, roughly two thirds of Americans believed in God and one third in evolution. In the UK, the figures were approximately a quarter and three quarters respectively.) I am not so naive as to believe that there mustn’t be at least mini-swarms of atheist Americans too, but I’m still glad to see an American writer write it like it is (in my humble view, of course).

I repeat I am interested in religion and have far more respect for religiousness as I grow older. Not for the beliefs, really, as how can I reconcile them with my own views? If I believe there is no God, then I necessarily have to think those who believe there is a God are wrong. Yet I somehow can respect people’s pure faith – not what they believe in, but the fact they believe. And in these times when religion is cosseted, it seems to me, more than ever and there is something of a backlash against wicked atheism, I refute whole-heartedly the proposition that atheism is a religion too. The Hitchens brothers argued amusingly over this point here, with Christopher Hitchens’ ‘celestial North Korea’ line inviting a particularly huge smile in me.

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