Blog reader Deanna passes along this fantastic op-ed piece by University of North Carolina Charlotte professor David Walters.
He praises the favorable qualities of Charlotte before turning to his biggest problem with it: the rise of religion in community life. And when comparing Charlotte’s faith to that of Walter’s home country of Britain, the differences are even more striking:
This optimism is tempered however by a concern that might seem strange to some readers: I’m worried about the role of religion in American political and community life. Charlotte is no exception, as religion looms large as a topic across many pages of the Observer, to a degree that most people in my country, Great Britain, would find weird or even alarming. This is especially true when basic building blocks of modern science such as evolution are doubted and ridiculed on the news and opinion pages…
This erosion of belief in science and rationality is especially troubling for a prosperous region such as ours. American action is vital if we are to defuse the looming crisis of global warming, and Charlotte’s rise as an emerging global city gives us special responsibilities to play a leading role in solving this challenge. But solutions will be impossible without informed debate based on rigorous science.
Our city will need all its smarts in the years ahead; we can’t waste precious time and energy fighting fairy tale creationists who want to turn the clock back to pre-Darwinian days of medieval mysticism, or others who bizarrely believe global warming is some sort of “socialist plot.”
Deanna adds that the “column was in the top right section of the editorial page, a very prominent place to make his opinion known.”
Obviously, any city that embraces mythology over reason, Creationism over evolution, prayer over action, and faith over reality is going to be in trouble when real problems requiring scientific solutions emerge.
It’s not just a Charlotte problem; this goes on everywhere.
At least there are some rational voices in the mix.
Kudos to the editorial board of the Charlotte Observer for placing this piece where it will receive the attention it deserves.
[tags]atheist, atheism, science education[/tags]