Truth Does Not Pander to Our Tastes

Many Creationists like to argue that accepting evolution leads to racism and Nazism, often linking Hitler’s extermination of the Jews to the Darwinian idea of the survival of the fittest. It is also common to hear Creationists speak of Darwin as a racist. As Darwin lived in Victorian England, it was in their culture to look upon other races as being inferior. So Darwin was no more a racist than any other person in England was at the time, including Christians. As for Hitler, it can also be shown that his actions were based on religious invocations too. Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord, ~ Adolf Hitler. Hitler’s ideas were a perversion of both biology and religion, so neither should be blamed for what happened.

Now, even if all the allegations by the Creationists are true, this does not in any way make the theory of Darwinian evolution false. Truth does not pander to our tastes or wants. If survival of the fittest is deemed by some as grounds for racism or immorality, it does not make it any less true. Alister McGrath uses a silly example, based on the chemical composition of water, H2O:

The critic of the traditional view might argue that it rests upon an obsession with oppression and domination. It is, our imaginary critic might declare, outrageous that hydrogen should be dominated by oxygen in this way. In a more caring and equitable world, hydrogen and oxygen would exist together in harmony and equality. Therefore we need to reject the traditional formula for water as H2O as resting on outdated feudal assumptions and embrace the liberating idea of the absolute parity of hydrogen and oxygen in water. The chemical formula of water therefore ought not to be H2O but should instead be the moer egalitarian H2O2.

People do not believe that the chemical composition of water is H2O because of some obsession with dominance, infatuation with the number ‘2’, or misguided trust in the authority of white-coated laboratory workers. They believe it because it rests upon rigorous experimental evidence that may be repeated under carefully monitored conditions, which demonstrate that this formula – and no other formula – corresponds to water as it actually is.

The truth of an idea, is also not determined by the character or beliefs of the person who discovered it. Although one’s worldview may influence one’s interpretation of a truth – a fact is still a fact, regardless of whether the discoverer is a racist, immoral person, atheist, theist or whatever.

The religious or philosophical bias of an individual scientist and the driving forces of his or her work are not necessarily a decisive factor in the reliability of the discoveries that result from that work. If a scientist snaps a picture of a gorgeous nebula out in deep space or discovers a previously unknown but wonderfully interesting species here on earth, then Christians, of all people, can take proper, holy joy in such things, giving glory to God for a universe so wondrous and endlessly surprising. Further, we can experience this kind of joy even if the astronomer who took the photo is an atheist who grinds his teeth over religious appropriation of his work. ~ Scott Hoezee, Proclaim the Wonder


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