Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Perversity of Modern Culture

James Watson the co-discoverer, along with Francis Crick, of the double helix structure of the DNA molecule, is an atheistic Darwinian evolutionist. He has recently created a furor in England with his comments that black Africans are simply not as intelligent as Europeans. The Sunday Times in London writes:

[Watson] says that he is "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours - whereas all the testing says not really", and I know that this "hot potato" is going to be difficult to address. His hope is that everyone is equal, but he counters that "people who have to deal with black employees find this not true".

He says that you should not discriminate on the basis of colour, because "there are many people of colour who are very talented, but don't promote them when they haven't succeeded at the lower level". He writes that "there is no firm reason to anticipate that the intellectual capacities of peoples geographically separated in their evolution should prove to have evolved identically. Our wanting to reserve equal powers of reason as some universal heritage of humanity will not be enough to make it so."

Watson's remarks raise several interesting questions. Let's focus on just one for now: Which view of human origins is most likely to lead to genuine racism, the view that men have evolved the traits they have because those traits had survival value in the competition for resources, or the view that all men are created by God in His image and are loved equally by Him?

Ideas have consequences. The idea of materialistic Darwinism, what some scientists call "the greatest idea anyone has ever had," leads directly, as Richard Weikert has pointed out in his masterful book From Darwin to Hitler, to eugenics, racism, and final solutions. The Christian idea of equality before God, on the other hand, leads to the notion that all men have equal dignity, worth, and rights in the eyes of God.

The paradox and perversity of modern culture is that it wants desperately to condemn racism while at the same time embracing Darwinian assumptions that logically entail it. Moreover, modern culture, while professing its abhorrence of racism, is nevertheless eager to minimize, mock and reject the only worldview that is philosophically incompatible with racist ideology, Christian theism.

Very curious.


Not Too Thin

One of the considerations, or perhaps reservations, expressed by people when the topic of a military strike against Iran is brought up is how we can do such a thing when our military is stretched so thin in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The fact is, according to a Newsmax report, a strike against Iran would be carried out primarily by air and naval forces, neither of which are heavily involved in the ongoing conflicts elsewhere:

The new Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said that despite the commitment of U.S. forces elsewhere, the military is capable of conducting operations against Iran if called on to bomb nuclear facilities and other targets.

Adm. Michael Mullen told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday: "From a military standpoint, there is more than enough reserve to respond if that, in fact, is what the national leadership wanted to do, and so I don't think we're too stretched in that regard."

Defense and military officials have been preparing American forces within striking distance of Iran, according to the Washington Times. Attacks on the Islamic Republic would be carried out largely by the Navy and Air Force.

Officials say one target of any U.S. military action would be Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps facilities because of their role in providing insurgents in Iraq with armor-piercing roadside bombs. One official said the factory where Iranian bomb materials are being produced has been located.

A second target would be Iran's nuclear facilities, which are chiefly underground and spread across the country.

Appearing with Mullen at the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Robert Gates warned that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, it would probably spur other nations in the region to obtain those weapons themselves. That in turn would raise the risk of nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorists.

But Adm. Mullen said the use of military force against Iran would be an option "of the last resort."

Let us hope that it remains a last resort but let us also hope that it remains a resort.