You Can’t Believe in Evolution

Why do presumably intelligent people talk about evolution as a matter of belief? Or creationism as a “theory”? We expect such obfuscation from the right, but when an NPR interviewer talks about belief in evolution, as I’ve heard one do, you know we’re in trouble.

It shouldn’t be a difficult distinction, and it’s critical. Evolution is a theory because it can be proven or disproven. That’s the nature of science, and belief has nothing to do with it. The theory of evolution holds up because it’s been proven over and over again.

Creationism is a matter of belief because it can’t be proven or disproven. It’s merely an assertion.

So when religious fundamentalists want to inject creationism into the science curriculum as an alternate theory, the response should be simply that as a matter solely of belief it has no place there. End of argument.

By not understanding—and insisting on—the difference between theory and belief, liberals play into the obfuscations of the right.

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