Always Attended by a Glorious Tolerance

The piece below was written by a friend of mine and was submitted to the paper in High Point.  He gave me permission to re-post this here after I guaranteed him that his readership would increase by at least three or four more people.  His sarcasm is thick, but the hubris to which he is responding arguably deserves every lash of the pen.

Bernie Goldberg: Unbiased Journalist Extraordinaire

If any candidate says ‘I believe that the earth is 6,000 years old because the Bible says so’ or that dinosaurs walked around with human beings, then that kind of ignorance will affect something, and we ought to know about it.”

Bernie Goldberg; O’Reilly Factor 8/30/2011

Because the journalist most known for his good critiques of media biases, Bernie Goldberg, knows that no good rational answers exist to the evolutionary critique of a literal view of the early chapters of Genesis, we should accept his unbiased, well-informed, and flawlessly reasoned conclusion that none exist. Goldberg knows that Creationists are ignorant of the “irrefutable” ideas of carbon and radiometric dating, visible stars millions of light-years away, and the eons of time required for the Colorado River to form the Grand Canyon. He knows that the Paluxy River archaeological find, which showed human and dinosaur tracks together, must have a better explanation than man living at the same time as dinosaurs.  It would be ignorant to conclude otherwise.

But when examined, Goldberg’s unbiased broad-mindedness is still more extraordinary. Those who hold to such ignorant cosmologies, rather than embracing the wholly substantiated and more rational “4.5 billion years” model, should have restraints placed upon them. Those with “that kind of ignorance” should be kept in their private cultural corners, should be limited to their religious closets, and should be exempted from broader citizenship participation. Goldberg’s unbiased, broad-minded litmus test for those living in the home of the free is Orwellian group-think that is always attended by a glorious tolerance.

Can we infer from Goldberg’s comments that his disdain for creationism must be similarly held by all candidates who aspire to elected governmental office and most notably for those who would seek the presidency? We know that he would disqualify presidential candidates who hold to young-earth constructs, but would he also disqualify Perry, Bachmann, Cain, or Romney if they were sympathetic rather than hostile to “that kind of ignorance”? Can we wonder aloud how useful Goldberg’s enlightened understanding of ignorance might have been to those ignorant early scientists who at once gave us and applied the scientific method or indeed to many of our ignorant founders who asserted the endowment of inalienable rights from the Creator?

Goldberg has helped me understand that the surgeons, prosecutors, pharmacists, and PhDs whom I know to be Creationists, along with the more “common Joes” with whom I interact, must each have laid aside reason and intellect to embrace these mindless and ignorant religious teachings. As Goldberg has done his exhaustive and unbiased research into both cosmologies, he is so confident in his own conclusions that he would disqualify all those noted above from full participation in our democracy.

Among all humanity, a more unbiased and evolved understanding would be difficult to find.  It is indeed refreshing to know that Bernie Goldberg’s unbiased assertions are not borne of ignorance.

Perry Nicklow, Ph.D.

High Point, NC

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The Meniscus of 2nd Graders

I learned yesterday that, in the wonderful state of North Carolina, 2nd graders in the public/government schools are taught a rigorous science  curriculum.  And not all rigor is mortis, the man once said.  That being said, certain forms of rigor leads to mortis, especially as it relates to teaching science.  So what is the quickest way to kill a child’s love of exploration and eliminate the jaw-dropping wonder they naturally aim at the mysterious beauty of the created order in which they live?  The wonder-killer for a second grader is to make rigor look like a very long list of vocabulary words.  Vocabulary words are not the enemy in this case.  Words are good.  Words are our friends.  But a curriculum that works real hard at getting words into the heads of 2nd graders without working equally as hard at getting dirt under their fingernails is swiftly approaching that mortis about which we spoke earlier.  By what authority do you make these assertions?  Who died and made me science curriculum auditor, you might ask?  Well, I must admit at this point that I am not a certified science teacher, though I taught science for three years in the public schools in VA.  And I must admit that I carry no degree in child psychology, though I am the father of three children ages 8 and under.  So technically I carry very little weight.  This is, after all, only one blog among about 4 bajillion others.  But there is one thing that I do know for sure that I bet you don’t… the science-lab meaning of meniscus.  So what does it mean?  Go ask a 2nd grader from NC and hope she has done her homework.

A reunion of old friends

We have all read books or watched movies where good friends have had a falling out, traded embittered and hasty epithets, and been separated for many years.  But then something happens… something in the progression of life that reminds one of the other or reveals some great misunderstanding that has kept these friends separate, and they are brought back together again.  They might have to learn how to forgive, or be the first to step humbly forward and ask for forgiveness, or even find something new around which to rekindle the friendship.  But in any case, the barriers that were once high and thick between them are exacting too great of a price on both of them.  Their friendship is too precious to allow both to wither in separation.

I would propose that this is the story of science and the Christian faith.  Many modern day scientists see Christianity as a roadblock to an exuberant pursuit of scientific discovery and technological advance.  Many modern day Christians see science as the Great Atheist-Maker or a disease that is endemic to where on lives (like malaria) that must inoculated against in order to prevent infection.  But it was not always so. Continue reading