My friend Dan worries that creationism reflects a “type of thinking” and wonders how voters should respond:
I worry that that the subject of creationism or ID is not the end result but just the product of a type of thinking. If my congressional representative believed in creationism, then fine. But if my congressional representative believed in creationism as part of a strong belief that there should be more, say, explicit Christian teachings in public school, then that goes against the principles which I believe. Is it possible to separate those two situations in the eyes of the voter?
I greatly appreciate this comment. Since there’s so much to unpack, I’ll address it in two separate posts. Let’s consider Dan’s first sentence first. If creationism is indeed a “type of thinking”, it’s possible society needs more of it! Because apparently that “type of thinking” leads to ground-breaking pediatric neurosurgeons, world-class chemists, members of the National Academies, support for environmentalism and meaningful prison reform. This type of thinking also probably played a part in ending slavery, apartheid, and segregation.
Branding creationism or ID as a “type of thinking” is ultimately a generalization. At some point all generalizations must accept that actual human beings don’t align with their dictates. Perhaps for some people creationism reflects a deep, consistent world view. But for others it might simply be something they believe precisely because they haven’t thought about it very much. And if that is the case, why make such a big deal out of it? We all have vague notions that we haven’t spent much time dissecting and analyzing. Why can’t others do the same about evolution, especially since it has less than zero relevance to their lives? (Quick: when’s the last time you used the theory of evolution to do anything?)
I know Dan’s main point was about voting, and I may have unfairly harped on his first sentence. But as you all know, I’m deeply resistant to essentialist, general principles when it comes to this issue. And so I felt compelled to say something about the “type of thinking” comment. I’ll address the voting issue in my next point.