Self-righteous condescension such as Professor David Barash’s in his Oct. 9 Point of View “God and my biology class” is very off-putting. He sees himself as heroically speaking truth to ignorance, first to his freshman classes (whom he must see as Christian fundamentalist and Republicans to boot) and then, via the New York Times, to all the rest of us.
What is off-putting is his making it all sound so very idiotic not to believe as he does, to be part of religion’s “intellectual instability.” The real issue is not so much whether evolution is true but whether its claims are not way beyond the competence of science.
He says natural processes are all that is needed to produce complex biological entities, that people are animals without supernatural traits and that people experience unmerited suffering that a benevolent God would preclude. He even ends with a reference to “Inherit the Wind,” which has precious little utility for truth-seeking.
Whether evolution is an accurate explanation for the variety of life we see around us has little to do with God. Those who are increasingly offering scientific doubts about evolution include scientists, some of whom are religious believers but many of whom are not.
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Virgil Early, Smithfield