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Why Does National Center for Science Education (NCSE) Spokesman Think “Mocking Traditional Religion” is OK?

John G. West

Casey Luskin recently highlighted the mocking, anti-religious attitude expressed by Darwinists promoting the so-called “Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” Now in an interview with the Toronto Star, Glenn Branch of the National Center for Science Education (NCSE) has defended such mocking of traditional religion by Darwinists as “light hearted fun” that is “probably healthy.” Indeed, according to Branch, such mockery seems to be a perfectly legitimate activity for Darwinists “who need the chance to blow off steam” after engaging in the “tiring and often thankless chore” of battling “creationist activity.” Branch further suggests that criticism of anti-religious Darwinist propaganda by Luskin and others affiliated with Discovery Institute is illegitimate, asking: “Why would mocking traditional religion be of concern to a purely scientific organization?”

There is a perfectly obvious answer to Branch’s question, which I will get to in a moment. But first I have a question of my own: Why is mocking traditional religion in the name of science apparently OK for the NCSE?

We’ve heard for years from Branch’s boss Eugenie Scott that evolution and religion are perfectly harmonious (indeed, the NCSE has helped use our tax dollars to promote the message that true theology endorses evolution, and its director Eugenie Scott has recommended that students study theological statements endorsing evolution during biology class). But now it turns out that mocking religion in the name of science is “probably healthy” and that it is illegitimate for proponents of ID even to question such anti-religious diatribes.

So why do ID proponents think mocking religion in the name of science is a bad idea? The answer is simple. As we’ve repeatedly stated in the past, Darwinists who try to enlist science to “prove” atheism or attack religion are misusing science, and anyone concerned about real science ought to oppose such efforts. Contrary to the NCSE, one doesn’t have to be religious to understand that twisting science in order to attack religion is unhealthy for both science and the freedom of religion. The fact that the NCSE’s spokesman seems to think it is “probably healthy” for Darwinists to mock religion says a lot more about the real attitude of NCSE staff toward religion and science than their various PR efforts touting the supposed harmony between Darwinism and religion.

John G. West

Senior Fellow, Managing Director, and Vice President of Discovery Institute
Dr. John G. West is Vice President of the Seattle-based Discovery Institute and Managing Director of the Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. Formerly the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Geography at Seattle Pacific University, West is an award-winning author and documentary filmmaker who has written or edited 12 books, including Darwin Day in America: How Our Politics and Culture Have Been Dehumanized in the Name of Science, The Magician’s Twin: C. S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society, and Walt Disney and Live Action: The Disney Studio’s Live-Action Features of the 1950s and 60s. His documentary films include Fire-Maker, Revolutionary, The War on Humans, and (most recently) Human Zoos. West holds a PhD in Government from Claremont Graduate University, and he has been interviewed by media outlets such as CNN, Fox News, Reuters, Time magazine, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post.

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