Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Campus event on evolution given go-ahead, religion issue shelved


Recently, I wrote about a friend who couldn’t hold an event discussing evolution at a publicly funded campus because “religious issues might arise.” At the time, I said, “If so, that would make clear that the theory itself is a religious one.” Otherwise, whether religious issues arise or not depends entirely on the speaker and on others in charge of the event.

There is also a question whether, even if such issues do arise, under what circumstances is that a problem?

We will leave that question for another day. For today, it turns out that he has been given the go-ahead to hold the event. Higher campus authorities ruled that the prohibition applies to religious services as such, not to events that may or may not involve, benefit, or harm the reputation of a religion.

As I wrote to my friend,

I am glad to see that sanity prevailed, for whatever reason.

For one thing, “evolution” is not,strictly speaking, a religious topic, unless the person who is speaking chooses to make it so.

If no argument for or against a given interpretation of events in the history of life is based on the claim that the Scriptures of a given religion provide an authoritative depiction, I do not see that it is a religious topic at all.

Of course, some interpretations may be more favourable to this religious orientation and others to that. For example, evidence of Neanderthal intelligence is more favourable to a Catholic interpretation of the history of humanity than it is to Michael Shermer’s atheistic one.

Does that mean that if I gave a talk on the subject, my talk is religious in character but his is not? So I am not allowed to speak at your local college but he is?

I doubt that a person needs a law degree to see that such an approach is simply discrimination against traditionally held opinions, in favour of “nouveau” ones— or any opinions favoured by the administration of the day. At a tax funded institution. And on what grounds? By what right?

I am glad if someone there had a long think about this and realized that decisions about what amounts to a religious activity must be based on something more substantial than somebody’s impression about what religious orientation would be benefitted if a given assertion were backed by evidence.

The opposition today to religious events in schools is from a hostility to religion. Any agreement in the past about not having religious events in places was from a reasonable understanding of people having different religious beliefs. so it is sensitive if one is allowed to use public places to express itself. The printed words of rules is the same but not the motives behind the enforcement. There is also a war against the historic Protestant and now Roman Catholic or anyone faith identities in North America. they war against us using our old ideas and rules which uniquely brought us a long peace. We must act now as a invaded nations. Using the moral and legal weapons our ancestors left us. Origin matters are just a part of this battlefield. Robert Byers
By the way Salvador, how do you justify what you're doing? You have the power therefore you rule? It hasn't occurred to you yet that what you're doing is considered bad form, or you just don't care? You don't think you're supposed to be representing Barry and the larger ID community here? Mung
Salvador: Hello little man, still not over your tantrum yet I see. Not ready yet to start exercising power with responsibility. Grow up. Mung
Thank you. Axel
Denyse currently writes News. - O'Leary for News News
It sounds likely that your analysis would have been just the ticket, Barry. Or is it Denyse who wrote this? Axel

Leave a Reply