I was invited to particpate in National Public Radio’sTaking Issue” forum on “Evolution and Religious Faith.” Here’s how NPR introduced the series: At its extremes, the current debate over teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution pits science against religion, with the scientific community nearly unanimous in its faith in Darwin and equal certainty about divine intervention by many of deep religious faith. Taking Issue asks religious leaders what their faith tells them about the shaping of life and whether it can be reconciled with evolution.
Here are the articles in the series, along with a selected passage from each article:
An Evangelical Baptist View, R. Albert Mohler, Jr.
The Christian doctrine of creation sets the stage for a comprehensive Christian view of life and human dignity. Without the doctrine of creation, Christianity is only one more artifact of an evolutionary process. The Christian affirmation represents the most significant intellectual challenge to evolutionary naturalism.
A Jewish View, Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield
The increasingly nasty debate between believers in Darwinian evolution and advocates for intelligent design theory hinges on the fact that most creationists relate to evolutionists as if they have no soul, and most evolutionists relate to the creationists as if they have no brain.
An Episcopal View, Katherine Jefferts Schon
I simply find it a rejection of the goodness of God’s gifts to say that all of this evidence is to be refused because it does not seem to accord with a literal reading of one of the stories in Genesis. Making any kind of faith decision is based on accumulating the best evidence one can find — what one’s senses and reason indicate, what the rest of the community has believed over time, and what the community judges most accurate today.
A Catholic View, George Sim Johnson
The Church has had no problem with evolutionary theory or the idea that the first humans had biological antecedents — so long as divine causality is not kept out of the big picture. The pope added that there had to have been an “ontological leap” from any presumed ancestor to homo sapiens. In other words, we are not simply trousered apes — something you can verify by trying to explain the Superbowl to the smartest chimpanzee.
A Muslim View, Sulayman Nyang
Muslims embrace much of the scientific argument about human origins, but not all. We part company with secular fundamentalists on an important issue: Muslims do not take a Promethean view of man and his activities on Earth, that is, the perception that man is the measure of all things.