It was only a matter of time before some creationist hack blamed the Virginia Tech shooting on evolution. I'm surprised it took this long (of course, it could have come sooner, this is just the first instance that came to my attention). What's not surprising is that it came from Ken Ham, the founder of the creationist organization Answers in Genesis.
Here's some of what Ham had to say:
We live in an era when public high schools and colleges have all but banned God from science classes. In these classrooms, students are taught that the whole universe, including plants and animals—and humans—arose by natural processes. Naturalism (in essence, atheism) has become the religion of the day and has become the foundation of the education system (and Western culture as a whole). The more such a philosophy permeates the culture, the more we would expect to see a sense of purposelessness and hopelessness that pervades people’s thinking. In fact, the more a culture allows the killing of the unborn, the more we will see people treating life in general as “cheap.”
I’m not at all saying that the person who committed these murders at Virginia Tech was driven by a belief in millions of years or evolution. I don’t know why this person did what he did, except the obvious: that it was a result of sin. However, when we see such death and violence, it is a reminder to us that without God’s Word (and the literal history in Genesis 1–11), people will not understand why such things happen.
Now how does Ham support this conclusion? Well, he begins his tirade with this:
When such terrible acts occur (and sadly, random violence is occurring more frequently these days)...
Now that's an unsubstantiated assertion if I ever heard one. Of course, Ham never bothers to offer evidence. If he tried, it would simply counter his claim that things are much worse now than they used to be. Now, I like to live in reality, and the reality is that things are not worse now than they have been before. In fact, violent crimes dropped dramatically in 1994. Unlike Ken Ham, I will use evidence. Here's a good chart from the US Bureau of Justice Statistics:
Hmm. Crimes are lower than they used to be, but the theory of evolution was still taught in schools from 1994 onwards. What do you make of that Mr. Ham?
More than anything, this "it's much worse now than it used to be" is a common myth the Religious Right uses to justify imposing their narrow ideology on the nation. It's simply a lie to justify taking away our freedoms.
Now, we can also look at a time when Western Civilization was completely grounded in Christianity and Biblical principles to test Ham's claim that it would make society a perfect utopia. There's only one problem for Ham. The best example of a Biblical-based society was in the Middle Ages. During that time, there were no random acts of violence whatsoever, right? Oh wait, it was one of the most violent periods of human history.
In reality, the Virginia Tech shooting was a result of one thing: humans are inherently violent. We always have been. We probably always will be. It's unfortunate, but it's the reality of our existence. Violence didn't suddenly appear in 1859 when Darwin published Origin of Species. Certainly, this heinous crime is a tragedy, and we must do everything we can to prevent it from happening in the future. However, it will take a rational look at this particular situation to find proper deterrents. Using it to justify an assault on our free society is not only wrong, but it is a dispicable way of using another's tragedy for your own purposes.
Ken Ham, you make me sick.
Thanks to Respectful Insolence for bringing this to my attention.