Ruse, as I recall, was raised a Quaker. His treatment
of Christianity in his book is much better than the
average atheist writing about science. Ruse clearly
does not have merely a pastiche of Christian theology
that those who were raised atheist or agnostic often
have or the naive view of Christian theology obtained
in the youth of one's upbringing like, say, EO Wilson.
Ruse is a bit suspect at times in that he (from my
reading of some of the sources he interprets)
misrepresents some folks in the science and religion
debate like Polkinghorne, whom he essentially labels a
dualist -- asserting that Polkinghorne contends that
our minds are essentially dispensed to us by God.
Whereas, Polkinghorne clearly says nothing of the sort
in what I have read and tentatively advocates a dual
aspect monism in considering the problem of
consciousness. Polkinghorne clearly rejects
traditional dualism. This made me wary of Ruse's
treatment of other authors I have not read.
He is one of the few materialists I have read that
does not see the problem from evil as not a knock down
argument against the traditional Christian view of God
and does a fair discussion of how evolution, even with
nature being red in tooth and claw, as Dawkins likes
to quote the poem, does not necessitate a view that
the Christian God does not exist.
All in all from what I remember it is a fair book that
indicates where his credulity stretched and is a bit
tendentious at times and tends to perhaps innocently
distort some contributors to the science/religion and
God/evolution discussion, given how the author's
materialist leanings. From my recollection, however,
it is not the book that Jerry Coyne discusses in his
review. For reasons I have previously mentioned.
--- JW Burgeson <email@example.com> wrote:
> >>This is a review of Michael Ruse's book " Can a
> > Darwinian be a Christian?"
> Blake: I've not read the book yet -- I probably
> will. I met Ruse at the NTSE
> and was struck by his civility, gentlemanliness and
> acceptance of a
> colleague who was a Christian. He said of this
> person that he "clearly loved
> his Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, and it showed."
> This from a person quite
> definitely (according to his own words) outside the
> Christian faith.
> WIth all this, I am somewhat skeptical that Ruse
> understand Xtianity well
> enough to make sense in his book. But I'll give him
> the chance to prove me
> wrong when I read it.
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