Jason Rosenhouseの自然選択とキリスト教

人々が進化論を攻撃する主たる理由は、宗教的なものだが、それは創世記の記述との衝突が主たるものではないとJason Rosenhouse准教授は述べる。
The part where he says that people are attacking evolution because they think evolution is a threat to their religious beliefs is correct. But the rest of it is about as wrong as wrong can be. It is the party line among most scientists and pro-science organizations, but it is no less wrong for that. And until you appreciate just how wrong it is, you cannot really understand why America has such a big creationism problem.

人々が進化論を攻撃するのは、人々が進化論を信仰の脅威だと考えているからだとPhil Plaitが言っている部分は正しい。しかし、残りの部分はまったk間違っている。それは大半の科学者と科学支持団体の共通理解だが、間違いである。いかに間違っているかわからないと、米国が巨大な創造論問題を抱えている理由を理解できない。

Let us begin with some polling data. It is well-known that people’s opinions in this area are highly sensitive to small changes in question wording. The most careful polling available, though, strongly suggests that the percentage of people who accept young-Earth Creationism (YEC) is actually quite small. It’s certainly under twenty percent, and perhaps closer to ten. So right off the bat Plait’s thesis is looking dubious. If support for some form of anti-evolutionism hovers around fifty percent, but the percentage of young-Earthers is way smaller than that, then we seem to have two options. Either an awful lot of people are just confused about the consequences of their religious beliefs, or it is not just fundamentalists who have a problem with evolution.


In yesterday’s post I argued that while it is appropriate to describe YEC and intelligent design (ID) as different dialects of the same language, they are separate cultures nevertheless. Nearly all of the people I met at ID conferences were quite religious, but they were also contemptuous of YEC. They were not fundamentalists, and on many occasions they lamented the fact that YEC makes Christianity look foolish. Plainly, there is a large contingent of people who are not fundamentalists, but who also have a problem with evolution.


Even for the YEC’s, the Bible is not really the main issue. When I would ask them directly what they found objectionable about evolution, conflicts with the Bible were never the first thing they would mention. They start off hating evolution, and then use the Bible as one more weapon in their arsenal. If they thought that evolution was a nifty idea, they would suddenly discover that the Bible had been teaching it all along.


Jason Rosenhouse准教授は「ダーウィンの時代から、神学者たちは、人間を例外扱いすることで共通祖先は容認できても、進化メカニズムとして自然選択は容認できなかった」と指摘する。
In discussing what Darwin accomplished in The Origin of Species, it is customary to make a distinction between the fact of common descent and Darwin’s proposed mechanism of natural selection. In pondering the response at the time from religious scholars, it is clear that common descent was generally tolerable (though it was common to carve out an exception for humanity), but natural selection as the primary mechanism flatly was not. Historian Frederick Gregory describes the situation thusly:

種の起源でダーウィンが達成したものについて論じるとき、共通祖先の事実とダーウィンが提唱した自然選択のメカニズムを区別するのが普通だ。当時の宗教学者の反応を考えると、(人間を例外扱いするが)共通祖先は容認可能だが、主たるメカニズムとしての自然選択は容認不可だった。歴史学者Frederick Gregory次にように書いている。

Unquestionably, the attempt to reconcile evolution and Christianity depended on a rejection of natural selection as the mechanism of evolution. A few writers, for example Asa Gray and George Frederick Wright, claimed that natural selection was not incompatible with a divinely ordered creation, but after Hodge, theologians for the most part abandoned the attempt to reconcile natural selection and design.

疑いようもなく、進化論とキリスト教を調停する試みは、進化のメカニズムとして自然選択を否定することに依存していた。Asa GrayやGeorge Frederick Wrightのような少数の著述家たちは自然選択は神の命じる創造と矛盾しないと主張したが、Hodge以降は、大半の神学者は自然選択とデザインの調停を断念した。

(This is from Frederick Gregory’s contribution to the book God and Nature, Lindberg and Numbers, ed.)

“Hodge” refers to Charles Hodge, an especially prominent Protestant theologian in the latter half of the nineteenth century. He is the one who wrote a book called, What is Darwinism? and famously answered that question with, “It is atheism.” More precisely, it was the absence of any sort of teleology in Darwin’s conception of evolution that consigned it to the status of atheism.

Hodgeは19世紀後半の著名なプロテスタント神学者Charles Hodgeのことである。彼は「ダーウィ二ズムとは何か」という本を書いたことで知られ、それで「それは無神論だ」と答えている。より正確には、ダーウィンの進化論の概念には、無神論のステータスの障害となる目的論の類がない。

So, after all, that, let us return to Plait’s argument. He tells us that the problem is too many people perceiving evolution as a threat to their religious beliefs. Indeed, but why do they perceive it that way? Is it a failure of messaging on the part of scientists? Is it because Richard Dawkins or P. Z. Myers make snide remarks about religion? No, those are not the reasons.

では、Plaitの論にもどろう。彼は、非常に多くの人々が進化論を信仰の脅威だと認識していることが問題だという。では、実際どう問題なのか? 科学者の伝え方が失敗しているのか? Richard DawkinsやP. Z. Myersの、宗教についての意地悪な意見の表明のせいなのか? それらは理由ではない。

It is because these people have noticed all the same problems the scholars of Darwin’s time were writing about. It is because evolution really does conflict with their religious beliefs, but not because of an overly idiosyncratic interpretation of one part of the Bible. It is because the version of evolution that so worried the religious scholars of Darwin’s time, that of a savage, non-teleological process that produced humanity only as an afterthought, is precisely the version that has triumphed among modern scientists. And it is because the objections raised to that version of evolution in the nineteenth century have not lost any of their force today.


So I think the issue is just a tad more complex than Plait suggests. It manifestly is not the case that only the most narrow of fundamentalists has a problem with evolution. Evolution challenges the Bible, refutes the argument from design, exacerbates the problem of evil, and strongly challenges any notion that humanity plays a central role in creation. These are not small points, and Plait needs to acknowledge them.