Al Gore on Evolution and School Violence
While Al Gore was vice-president of the United States, he deserved due respect because of the position he held. This is the biblical teaching of Romans 13:1ff.
When Paul wrote that epistle, one of the worst rulers in history, Nero Caesar, was on the imperial throne. And yet the inspired apostle suggested that even he was entitled to “honor” (13:7)—not because of his personal character, but because of the office he held as a divine instrument for the execution of justice in an evil society.
And so what we are about to say, we do so with no disrespect intended personally to the former vice president. It is within the bounds of priority, however, to comment upon Mr. Gore’s ideology.
During his administration, the vice president appeared on CNN’s news magazine, Larry King Live. In the course of the interview, Mr. Gore was asked his view of why there is so much violence in our public schools. His response was as follows:
You can hardly take your eyes away from it. I think that violence has that capacity because of our evolutionary heritage, because of the laws of nature—tooth and fang. And we have with our power of conscience, with our beliefs in God, if we have those—as most of us Americans do—we have the ability to overcome those impulses with higher ones. We have the ability to overcome evil with good . . . But I think that heritage is always present with us. It was, for most of humankind’s existence, part of our way of surviving. And so I think it has primitive appeal.
With all due respect, the statement above is a montage of confusion and contradiction. Perhaps we need to grant the vice president some latitude for the rather disjointed array of thoughts. It is difficult to speak “off the cuff” on complex themes while on nationwide television—particularly when one is not conversant with the topic being discussed.
One is not sure, however, that Mr. Gore could have done any better had he time to collect his thoughts. He expressed some of the same sentiments in his 1992 book, Earth in the Balance, which is a kind of environmental, “tree-hugger” manual (which many have viewed as rather radical).
At any rate, the following observations of the vice president’s comments are in order.
It is hardly a matter of speculation to assert that our vice president is wholly uninformed of the vast array of evidence that stands unequivocally opposed to the Darwinian evolutionary hypothesis.
Most folks who subscribe to Darwinism do so solely on the basis of the massive propaganda machine that is operative in the public school system. They believe in evolution because they are socially and psychologically intimidated. It’s the “in” thing. After all, no one wants to be viewed as an “anti-science” simpleton—which is the way strict creationists are portrayed.
Regardless of how the vice president intended it, his comment is a rationalization of school violence. He speaks of the “laws of nature—tooth and fang.”
If the evolutionary process is a “law” of nature, how can people be held responsible for using the “tooth-and-fang” approach to social problems? Can we overcome the law of gravity? Do we even want to? Can we turn back the clock of the second law of thermodynamics and grow younger each day?
Is it any wonder that stealing, lying, murdering “kids” assume no personal accountability? “They can’t help what they are doing; they’re just conforming to nature’s laws.”
Finally, Mr. Gore wants to “sweeten” his position with an appeal to “God.” Is God behind the evolutionary process? If so, does one’s belief in God motivate him to resist God’s laws, as evidenced in nature? Why should one attempt to overcome what has been structured by the Creator as a survival mechanism?
This is a woeful conglomeration of ideological discrepancy and nonsensicalness. How can anyone, who can reasonably think in a logical fashion, not see the flaws in Mr. Gore’s statement?
One thing is certain, though: teach a child he is but an animal, and you’ll have an animal on your hands! And such is the product of the American school system.
About the Author
Wayne Jackson has written for and edited the Christian Courier since its inception in 1965. He has also written several books on a variety of biblical topics including The Bible and Science, Creation, Evolution, and the Age of the Earth, The Bible on Trial, and a number of commentaries. He lives in Stockton, California with his dear wife, and life-long partner, Betty.