Evolution and School Shootings

Evolution and School Shootings October 3, 2006

After yesterday’s shooting at a school in Pennsylvania, CBS News gave Brian Rohrbough, father of one of the kids shot at Columbine in 1999, a forum to blame it all on evolution:

When my son Dan was murdered on the sidewalk at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999, I hoped that would be the last school shooting. Since that day, I’ve tried to answer the question, “Why did this happen?”

This country is in a moral free-fall. For over two generations, the public school system has taught in a moral vacuum, expelling God from the school and from the government, replacing him with evolution, where the strong kill the weak, without moral consequences and life has no inherent value.

Reed Cartwright has already written a response to him, but I want to add one important bit of empirical evidence to the mix. If the teaching of evolution and not having God “in the schools” really leads to this terribly immoral society where people kill each other randomly because life has no inherent value, then how does Rohrbough explain the fact that every other Western democracy has far lower rates of murder, rape, teen pregnancy, and things like school shootings while teaching evolution far more comprehensively than we do in the US, and in far more secular societies than we have?

Survey after survey shows that the rates of acceptance of evolution are far, far lower in the US than in any other modern industrialized nation in the world. They also show that the rates of religious belief in the US are far higher, including belief in eternal punishment for our sins on earth. Yet the US has the highest rates of virtually every negative measurement – murder, rape and virtually all violent crime, not to mention teen pregnancy (our rate is double that of any European nation, and a full seven times higher than the Netherlands). And this despite all of those rates having gone down steadily for the last couple decades; even with that steady decrease, we still lead the modern Western world in rates of violence by wide margins. And we imprison nearly 4 times as high a percentage of our population as our allies as well. And yet in most of those nations, evolution is accepted as an uncontroversial reality by virtually the entire society, even the churches. This is a rather inconvenient fact for the Brian Rohrboughs of the world.

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