Separate, not equal

Professor Sen Sam Brownback tries to explain the answer he gave to the now-infamous evolution question during the first Republican presidential debate. Again. This time in a NYT op-ed.
People of faith should be rational, using the gift of reason that God has given us. At the same time, reason itself cannot answer every question. Faith seeks to purify reason so that we might be able to see more clearly, not less. Faith supplements the scientific method by providing an understanding of values, meaning and purpose. More than that, faith — not science — can help us understand the breadth of human suffering or the depth of human love. Faith and science should go together, not be driven apart.
Granted, as any number of conservative pundits have pointed out Brownback is nowhere near front-runner status and Republicans don't like to expose their faith-based underbelly, preferring instead to talk about mushroom clouds and Osama bin Laden Sadam Hussein TERRA! and taxes. Also, millions of Americans, and probably more scientists than we would like to admit think about evolution and Genesis and wonder about God and then sometimes come up with similar scenarios.
Ultimately, on the question of the origins of the universe, I am happy to let the facts speak for themselves. There are aspects of evolutionary biology that reveal a great deal about the nature of the world, like the small changes that take place within a species. Yet I believe, as do many biologists and people of faith, that the process of creation — and indeed life today — is sustained by the hand of God in a manner known fully only to him. It does not strike me as anti-science or anti-reason to question the philosophical presuppositions behind theories offered by scientists who, in excluding the possibility of design or purpose, venture far beyond their realm of empirical science.
But it's when science is posited as subservient to religion when this rhetoric becomes slightly problematic for someone running for public office. No one should be forced to view science as the ultimate truth-finding mechanism for every question mankind ever invented; it's when a candidate places religion above all else and the party is fine with that where we have problems because it inevitably leads to a desire to mess with science education and policy.
The question of evolution goes to the heart of this issue. If belief in evolution means simply assenting to microevolution, small changes over time within a species, I am happy to say, as I have in the past, that I believe it to be true. If, on the other hand, it means assenting to an exclusively materialistic, deterministic vision of the world that holds no place for a guiding intelligence, then I reject it.
Got that? You either believe in "intelligent" "guidance" or you're driven by sin. There is no in-between. No room for morality without intelligent design. Do we really want to have people like that running our country?