I think that a lot of Darwinists are confused as to why the public has a lot to say about origins issues. After all, the public doesn’t tend to have a lot to say about computer science topics, physics topics, or mathematics topics. The average person on the street probably doesn’t have a strong opinion on whether or not hypercomputing is a real possibility or the true nature of gravity. But they probably do have an opinion on Darwinism. This has left a great many academics puzzled.
But the answer is rather simple, and it is not religious people have some deathly fear of science, though smarter-than-thou academics seem to jump to this conclusion almost automatically.
Economist Robert Murphy is not exactly a man-on-the-street, but nonetheless Darwinism is pretty far outside his field. Why does he bother to have an opinion on evolution, but not, say, particle physics? Here’s what he will tell you:
(Quoting economist Daniel Kuehn): “We are just smart primates and should never forget that”
As I have tried a few times to ask Daniel, what does the word “just” do in the above claims? The next time a brilliant chemist gets a tough question from a wise-aleck doctoral student, he should just say, “I don’t need to answer that, since–as we learned on Tuesday–you are just a collection of molecules.”
Historically, Christians–especially the dogmatic Bible-thumpers–were threatened by Darwin’s theory of evolution precisely because they knew people would “apply” it the way Cowen and Kuehn did in the quotation above.
In short, full-blown Darwinism, taken to its full extreme, denies what we know by experience to be true about humanity. Darwinism is an easy bludgeon to use against humanity to deny people the basic truths about ourselves we can all know from experience.
A more full account of this particular problem is available in a book by Marilyn Robinson, Absence of Mind. Robinson echoes better than anyone else why this is an important issue for everyone – because the materialists are not about doing good science, they are about using pseudoscientific origins stories as a tool to neglect the value of people as people, and deny the mysteries of existence that we find ourselves in.