Ruse's book

From: John Burgeson (
Date: Thu Nov 09 2000 - 14:04:50 EST

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    Inge wrote: >>I guess most of you are familiar with the writings of
    Michael Ruse -... He has just published a new book that may be of interest
    to you. It is published on Cambridge Univ. Press and is called "Can a
    Darwinian Be a Christian : The Relationship Between Science and

    I hope someone reviews that book soon for PERSPECTIVES. I met Ruse at the
    Austin NTSE conference and was much impressed by him and what he had to
    say. I also respect him for his earlier writings (those that I've come

    With all that, Ruse is, himself, not a Christian. So I am very puzzled how
    he could fairly write a book with this title. I could probably see me
    writing "Can a Republican Be a Christian," for I was once a Republican
    (even though a fairly lukewarm one). And I have written several times
    (limited distribution) articles titled "Can a Scientist Be a Christian."

    But I can hardly see me writing "Can a Scientist Be a Jew," for instance,
    for I have never been a Jew, and while I think I know something of what
    Jewish folks believe in, such knowledge is, necessarily, for the outside. I
    see, in parallel, the same problem for the good Doctor Ruse.

    The other part of the equation is the intense difference between any belief
    in a scientific topic and a belief in a religious topic. Both are, I hope,
    held provisionally by thinking people. As a Christian, I have committed
    myself to, and trust in, the living Jesus Christ. But that position,
    although firmly held, is always provisional; should the bones of Jesus
    unquestionably be found in some Jeruselem grave, I'd clearly have to
    rethink that position seriously. Darwinism, as I understand the writings of
    Ruse, Gould, Dawkins, Sagan and the like, is not held provisionally; the
    details are provisional, but not the "truth" of the Grand Idea."

    I guess I'll have to buy yet another book!


    cc: Richard Ruble -- I hope you get a review on this one real soon! I
    suggest George Murphy.

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