This past Wednesday at our Cathedral in Reno Nevada, Father gave his presentation on the Church’s teaching of evolution versus creation. In presenting this teaching, Father discussed the 1955 play, a play written during the year I was born, Inherit the wind. This play is about the Scopes Monkey Trial. It is also about the McCarthy trials of 1955.
In Inherit the Wind, Matthew Harrison Brady stands in for William Jennings Bryan, the very liberal prosecutor who tried John T. Scopes for teaching evolution in the public schools. In our class at the Cathedral in Reno, Nevada, it was correctly linked that William Jennings Bryan was a very progressive, liberal from what in his day was very progressive Nebraska. Why would he want to represent the ultra-conservative proponents of creation theory?
The answer lies, not in support of evolution, or a literal reading of Torah and Gospel. The answer lies in the writings of Herbert Spencer. In 1864, at the end of the American Civil War, Mr. Spencer wrote Principles of Biology where he coined the term, “Survival of the Fittest.” The problem is that for Mr. Spencer, humans are the fittest animal because they are a social animal.
We have before us, the robber barons of the late 19th century, the robber barons of the early 20th century, the proponents of Senator Joseph McCarthy, and the robber barons of today. These barons are that richest 20% of the population controlling 85% of all wealth, who bring home half of all the income, received in this country today. They also use the concept of survival of the fittest to justify robbing the poor of their share of the American and the world pie.
It is this this justification of theft that has William Jennings Bryan prosecuting John Scopes. Father Francisco presented the view that the play, “Inherit the Wind,” is about reconciling science and religion. As such, Father emphasized the view that science and religion need not compete against each other. Science is knowledge as seen through the prism of human nature. Religion is trying to understand our world through the prism of human nature.
Father Francisco correctly related that Creation Science has the same fault of Evolution Science. Science does not deal in cause and effect. It tries to describe the present, what we see around us, to use it in some meaningful way. When Creation Science posits a necessary creator, it transcends science, and engages in the philosophical field of Metaphysics. It engages in the Metaphysics of Ontology or describing the world as we see it.