Faith and Reason
It's an interesting discussion over at smallestminority.blogspot.com about evolution and creation. The discussion stemmed from an article which implies Christians are just close-minded idiots who are unable to think for themselves. In many ways, he is correct. Many, if not most, Christians don't think for themselves. We focus so much on feeling God and living a Godly life that we forget forget to "renew our minds". God desires humans to use their rational faculties. Reason is a wonderful gift of God that's only harmful when it presumes to be equal with God. Walking into many churches today one can see the "dumbing down" that's occuring. Instead of deep, insightful hymns there is rock music with repitious lyrics. Churches subscribe to advertising techniques and slogans instead of the ancient Creeds. Many churches are trying to overcome this engrained stupidity but it's too little too late.
Christians have been taught since grade school that religion and reason are entirely separate. Christian and science are seen as unable to coexist, despite that Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton were influenced by their religion to practice science. Wittenberg Seminary, under the direction of Martin Luther, studied the works of Copernicus. Luther didn't agree with the theory but thought it necessary to study both sides and to expand his mind. Christianity fostered a scientific environment that likely would not and could not have occured without it. Christianity presumes the 1) the universe is real, not imaginary like many eastern religions; 2) a belief in human reason that would make study possible; 3) that God is trustworthy and so won't trick us; 4) that God created nature but is not nature itself like the pantheists believe, which would make the study of nature be like raping God; 4)That the universe is orderly and able to be studied; 5)That creation is good, even very good; 5) that we are not God and therefore can't know everything- we can only study what God has already made. There are several others but this gives you a taste of why Christian nations led to science but not others. Islam had a short experience with science but this came to be viewed with hostility by most because it was presummed that humans shouldn't understand the workings of the universe. Isaac Newton believed the universe was rational and therefore synthesized the study of the earth with the study of the stars. Before his generation, the stars had seemed so different from the earth that they didn't see any connections. His theory of gravity wouldn't have been possible if he hadn't believed in intelligible universal laws, a very Christian concept.
I mentioned the dumbing down of Christianity but that's only half the story. Evolutionists as well are just as close-minded and unable to question as some Christians are. I've studied evolution in high school and college, taught from a pro-evolution perspective. Ad hominem attacks against Creationists are the norm. Intelligent Design is never discussed other than to say it's not science. Evolutionists believe that unless something has a naturalistic explanation it's not science. They throw away the whole theory without even looking at it. The view that naturalistic explanations are the only possible answers is very new- coming from Decartes and his "mechanistic" science. He thought that every movement had a mechanical explanation- even gravity itself was guided by some invisible mechanism. Darwin fiinalized the naturalistic view of science. The problem with it is that it assumes all evidence to the contrary is impossible. Looking at this from a religious standpoint, it would say the miracles of Jesus are impossible despite all evidence to the contrary. They never ask "what if" but rather call it impossible no matter what.
Even a religion professor at a school I went to said that anyone who doesn't believe in evolution is stupid. This is just as dogmatic and close-minded as the most fundamentalist of all preachers.
Christianity and Darwinism have both produced fruits. Christianity (in its true form) brought about science, gorgeous music and literature, human rights, and wonderful groups like WorldVision and Samaritan's Purse. The evil done by Christians is contrary to the religion itself. Darwin, on the other hand, brought Social Darwinism- still in existence today with the view that some humans are expendable (the very young and the very old), moral relativism, Marx, and Stalin (who became atheist after reading Darwin). These are all natural extensions of Darwinism. When I'm back from Idaho, I'll post part of a long essay I wrote on Social Darwinism and who it's a necessary albeit unpopular conclusion of evolution.
In conclusion, the worst aspect of this Creationist/Evolution split is the closing of minds- the inablility to think outside the box, whether that box is the rigid naturalism of Darwinism or the simplicity of modern churches.