• Evolutionism •
December 22, 2005
December 22, 2005
As expected, the raft of editorials on the Pennsylvania Intelligent Design decision [see below] arrived right on time. The nation’s leading papers are responding as predicted — and the editorials are worth a closer look.
December 21, 2005
Judge John E. Jones of the U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania handed down his decision in the now-infamous trial over the teaching of intelligent design in the public schools. In a written opinion, Judge Jones ruled that the Dover School Board had acted unconstitutionally in mandating that science teachers be required to read a brief statement about Intelligent Design and evolution before addressing evolutionary theory in the classroom.
October 11, 2005
In the current issue of New York magazine, writer Kurt Andersen takes on the Intelligent Design movement. Actually, he takes on the entire structure of Christian belief. His assertion of agnosticism is unremarkable in the elite urban culture of New York City. What makes this article sigificant is its level of secular condescension and arrogance.
September 23, 2005
September 9, 2005
Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s most recognizable and influential intellectual figures. His books on evolutionary theory and modern science have sold millions of copies, and he is one of the most quotable thinkers in modern science. Of course, he is also one of the most aggressive secularists of the age–and that’s what makes him an important focus of Christian interest.
September 2, 2005
September 1, 2005
August 29, 2005
It seems that the London Zoo has decided to develop a new exhibit–putting human beings on display with the rest of the animal kingdom. According to news reports, the human “captives” in “The Human Zoo” exhibit at the London Zoo are identified by a sign that reads, “Warning: Humans in their Natural Environment.” According to a zoo spokesperson, “Seeing people in a different environment, among other animals . . . teaches members of the public that the human is just another primate.”
August 26, 2005
The Bible clearly and unambiguously reveals that human beings are special creatures –the only creature made in the image of God. That claim is now a focus of the evolution debate, as is made clear in a recent op-ed column published in The New York Times.
“Grasping the Depth of Time as a First Step in Understanding Evolution” by Verlyn Klinkenborg sets the issue clearly:
The essential, but often well-disguised, purpose of intelligent design, is to preserve the myth of a separate, divine creation for humans in the belief that only that can explain who we are. But there is a destructive hubris, a fearful arrogance, in that myth. It sets us apart from nature, except to dominate it. It misses both the grace and the moral depth of knowing that humans have only the same stake, the same right, in the Earth as every other creature that has ever lived here. There is a righteousness – a responsibility – in the deep, ancestral origins we share with all of life.
Once again, we are confronted with the fact that evolutionary theory and the Christian faith represent two rival faiths, with two rival cosmologies and incompatible understandings of humanity.
Klinkenborg also stated: Accepting the fact of evolution does not necessarily mean discarding a personal faith in God. But accepting intelligent design means discarding science. Much has been made of a 2004 poll showing that some 45 percent of Americans believe that the Earth – and humans with it – was created as described in the book of Genesis, and within the past 10,000 years. This isn’t a triumph of faith. It’s a failure of education. So, accepting evolution does not mean that one must “necessarily” abandon belief in God, but it does mean that one must necessarily abandon belief in the uniqueness of humankind — at least according to Verlyn Klinkenborg.
August 23, 2005
The New York Times is continuing its barrage of news stories and analysis articles on the controversy over evolution and Intelligent Design with an article by reporter Cornelia Dean, “Scientists Speak Up on Mix of God and Science.” Dean’s main point is that many scientists do claim to believe in God. Nevertheless, she reports on a recent scientific conference at City College of New York at which a panel of Nobel laureates in science was asked by a student, “Can you be a good scientist and believe in God?”
Dean reports: Reaction from one of the panelists, all Nobel laureates, was quick and sharp. “No!” declared Herbert A. Hauptman, who shared the chemistry prize in 1985 for his work on the structure of crystals. Belief in the supernatural, especially belief in God, is not only incompatible with good science, Dr. Hauptman declared, “this kind of belief is damaging to the well-being of the human race.” Well, at least he didn’t duck the question.
August 22, 2005
The New York Times is out again with (yet another) major article on the controversy over evolutionary theory and Intelligent Design. Today’s article, “In Explaining Life’s Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash,” by Kenneth Chang, sets this issue this way: At the heart of the debate over intelligent design is this question: Can a scientific explanation of the history of life include the actions of an unseen higher being? The proponents of intelligent design, a school of thought that some have argued should be taught alongside evolution in the nation’s schools, say that the complexity and diversity of life go beyond what evolution can explain.
The article goes on to insist that many proponents of evolution do believe in God. As the reporter explains, That does not mean that scientists do not believe in God. Many do. But they see science as an effort to find out how the material world works, with nothing to say about why we are here or how we should live.
At this point I simply have to respond as a theologian. That statement reveals the most basic issue at stake in this debate. Understanding the world and understanding “why we are here” and “how we should live” are unavoidably related to each other. Just ask those who are self-consciously working out an “evolutionary view of life.” The Christian doctrine of creation claims that the order and structure of the universe are determined by the biblical answers to the questions of “why we are here” and “how we should live.”
I do not doubt that some proponents of evolution believe in some form of deity. But I do not see how an honest proponent of the dominant model of evolution can believe in the God of the Bible, who intervenes in human history and rules over His creation. I am reminded of Professor Stephen Hawking, author of the best-selling book, A Brief History of Time. A defender of evolutionary theory, Hawking famously remarked that if God exists, there is simply nothing for Him to do. For biblical Christians, this is the central and unavoidable issue in the current controversy