Re: How evolution became a religion

Date: Tue Aug 01 2000 - 19:55:13 EDT

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    From the Philosophy News Service, we read:
    > Philosopher Michael Ruse, an ardent evolutionist and ex-Christian,
    > concedes that evolution is promoted by its practitioners as more than
    > mere science. Evolution is promulgated as an ideology, a secular
    > religion -- a full-fledged alternative to Christianity, with meaning and
    > morality.


    I wouldn't disagree with his assessment, though I would change "its
    practitioners" to "many of its prominent popularizers." I doubt evolution
    serves as a religion for the typical practicing evolutionary scientist.

    Given the what Ruse observes, we must ask what the appropriate Christian
    response is. I see two alternatives:

    1) Reject the idea that this "meaning and morality" must be bundled with the
    science, pointing out that the assignment of God-excluding meaning to
    evolution is unjustified. And that, in fact, it goes against the Christian
    concepts of providence and God's sovereignty over nature. Such a recognition
    of the difference between the science and the metaphysical meaning some
    people (unjustifiably) put on the science is what I and several others on
    this list would advocate.

    2) Accept the bundling of metaphysics with the science as promoted by people
    like Richard Dawkins. For Christians who rightly reject the metaphysical
    conclusions of the evolutionist religion, failure to separate the science
    from its metaphysical extrapolations means that one must falsify the science
    in order to defend the faith. As previous threads have discussed, this seems
    to be the course taken by Phil Johnson and much of the ID movement in
    response to the alternative religion described by Ruse.

    Christians need to know that #2 is not the only option, and that in fact
    proper theology (which recognizes Providence rather than being
    God-of-the-Gaps) points toward option #1.

    Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
    "Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
     attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cats"

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