Science in Christian Perspective
Reply to Preis
Dordt College Sioux
Center, Iowa 51250
From: JASA 21 (June 1969: 61.
I appreciate Mr. Preis' concern. If I were to accept the evolutionary principle, I would certainly vigorously oppose any suggestion that this principle might be responsible for even a small part of today's racism.
But I think I see this picture: On the one hand, evolutionists teach both within and outside of the scientific community the principle that life evolves. This widely-accepted principle is broader than the sum of specific cases cited as proof of the principle. On the other hand, a few scientists and many non-scientists have used this principle to fortify an observation they think they have made, namely, an observation that some "races" are mentally inferior to others.
Thus the evolutionary principle provides a certain intellectual climate. Those responsible for the creation and continued existence of this climate certainly cannot be held responsible for every use made of the evolutionary principle. But is it not incumbent upon evolutionists to delimit their principle? To claim that all men are on the same level is not enough. Such a claim seems to be based on empirical evidence, not theory. Why are there not other forms of men? Are evolutionists convinced that evolutionary theory can be used to prove that no other forms of men have survived?
I hope that the different views expressed by Mr. Preis and me illustrate a point I attempted to make in my article. I want us to realize that differences of opinion on evolution in the ASA are fundamental, and that these differences affect our approaches to seemingly-unrelated problems.