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The Relationship of Science and Morality according to William Jennings Bryan

analytical Essay
762 words
762 words
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The American science writer Michael Brant Shermer once delivered a sublime thought in one of his works: “Science and spirituality are complementary, not conflicting; additive, not detractive. Anything that generates a sense of awe may be a source of spirituality” [Michael Shermer, Why Darwin Matters: The Case Against Intelligent Design (New York: Times Books, 2006)]. This thought sounds like a plausible and coherent answer to the highly controversial point of the relationship between spiritual standards and science. Life, however, would be tedious without varying viewpoints on essential vital matters. Hence, contemplating the mind of a passionate creationist defending an uncompromising claim instead of conforming to both sides is spellbinding. Thus what is, for William Jennings Bryan, the relationship of science and morality pertaining to his closing statement at the trial of John Scopes in 1925? Morality is endangered by science. To be more precisely, Christianity is endangered due to evolution theories, for evolution propagates unproven, misleading hypotheses, because it doesn’t provide spiritual elements needed, and because the idea of natural selection opposes the loving nature of God.
Since science’s impact rises, unproven hypotheses are propagated more easily. This is perilous, because the teaching of evolution gets many students on the wrong track and destroys their religious faith. Charles Darwin himself acts as a striking example: “We have the effect of evolution upon its most distinguished exponent; it led [Darwin] from an orthodox Christian, believing every word of the Bible and in a-personal God, down and down […] to helpless and hopeless agnosticism.” Evolution rejects any God-performed miracles for they are inconsi...

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...ot teach brotherly love,” God’s teachings alone “can solve the problems that vex the heart and perplex the world.” Science disheartens people to follow the pursuit of improvement and therefore endangers morality.
It is obvious that Bryan would have never agreed with Michael Shermer. Science and morality are conflicting and detractive (detracting? Or opposing), not additive and complementary. There is reason enough to fear the effect of evolution upon the minds of mankind. Morality is at war with science, because science menaces the world’s morals and eliminates all senses of responsibility. “God may be a matter of indifference to the evolutionists, and a life beyond may have no charm for them, but the mass of mankind will continue to worship their Creator and continue to find comfort in the promise of their Saviour that he has gone to prepare a place for them.” Amen!

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how michael brant shermer's "why darwin matters: the case against intelligent design" answer to the controversial relationship between spiritual standards and science.
  • Argues that science's impact rises, so unproven hypotheses are propagated more easily. evolution rejects god-performed miracles because they are inconsistent with science’s theories.
  • Argues that science does not point to any divine aspects that could function as moral guidelines for the people, for spiritual components are sorely needed in this world.
  • Analyzes how evolution discourages people from striving for improvement of man's condition. evolution chills their enthusiasm by obscuring all beginnings in the mists of endless ages.
  • Opines that bryan would have never agreed with michael shermer. science and morality are conflicting and detracting, not additive and complementary.
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