As a Christian, I find myself increasingly dismayed with the anti-science or pseudo-science that pervades a lot of theological discourse. I was refreshed when I read Dinesh D’Souza’s What’s So Great About Christianity? In particular, I enjoyed his chapter on the theory of evolution in which he stated that it is perhaps reasonable to infer that the entire biology profession isn’t fundamentally misled. It’s easy to hide behind the Bible verse saying that God will confound the wisdom of the wise, but it’s also a bit unfair to view honest scientific inquiry as a serious moral failing.
My sympathy for evolutionary biologists come from the degree to which the uninformed and uninitiated absolutely butcher my precious economics in public discourse. Hurricane season, for example, is a cavalcade of defiant economic ignorance as pundits and politicians trip over one another to denounce “price gouging” and then to increase the degree to which they subsidize location decisions that are inconsistent with individual risk preference. In an unfettered free market, very, very few people are going to build a house on stilts on the side of a mountain in Earthquake-prone California. When you subsidize that choice through FEMA, emergency aid, and regulation, far more people are willing to do so.
That’s just an example from my blessed science of economics. As I understand it, evolution is to biology what downward-sloping demand curves are to economics: so self-evident as to be considered almost axiomatic. Since scientists always have ears itching to hear some new thing, particularly if that some new thing totally overthrows something we thought we knew, this suggests that there are very high professional returns to better science, if indeed “creation science” or intelligent design or any other theistic approach to the natural sciences is better science. If evolution is self-evidently wrong, someone should prove it and collect the professional accolades (Nobel prizes, prestigious university appointments, etc) thereunto appertaining.
After watching Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, Ben Stein’s documentary on the alleged persecution of intelligent design proponents in the academy, I realized that a massive error on the part of the scientific community creates an entrepreneurial opportunity for the Discovery Institute and for religiously-affiliated colleges and universities to assemble blockbuster teams of researchers who can overturn the scientific consensus.
Here’s an X-Prize proposal: conclusively falsify Darwin’s theory of evolution. If it can’t be done, and if evolution is to biology as the law of demand is to economics, we should seek commonalities and consistencies between prevailing scientific consensus and religious orthodoxy.