Re: Science Education and the Church

From: george murphy (
Date: Tue May 21 2002 - 12:00:13 EDT

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    Walter Hicks wrote:

    > I think, Terry, that one critical point is missing in that essay. It is
    > the way that a significant fraction of the people think one means by the
    > term "evolution". Because of the influence of vocal atheists,
    > "evolution" carries the connotation not of factual data but rather of
    > Darwinian evolutionary theory. Specifically it means that change took
    > place in living organisms by purely random events. The reason that
    > different species survived is because of "natural selection" or
    > "survival of the fittest" in the search for food. You killed and ate
    > your adversary before he killed and ate you. If the randomness had
    > tugged a different way, then we could have had smart pigs or intelligent
    > giant grasshoppers, rather than humans as the dominant species. As such,
    > one has the options of believing
    > 1.) That God is capricious
    > 2.) There is no God involved
    > 3.) Scientists are wrong about evolution.

    > Given this perspective, those who know God reject 1 and 2 and adhere to
    > 3 as the only logical alternative --- and frankly they are not to be
    > faulted (IMO). Notice that I have said nothing about the Bible.
    > If the Bible is brought into play, then one has a better story that what
    > science has to offer --- a "literal" story that may be read as history
    > and has none of the above flaws.
    > It will take far more than the article you cite. Until ASA or somebody
    > takes the high ground of evolution by refuting the notion of
    > purposelessness that the term "evolution" evokes, then the Dawkins
    > version will survive and the battle is truly lost.

         4.) God is continually active in the world but limits his action
    to what can be
    accomplished through lawful (including statistical laws) natural
    processes. Thus
    the natural world viewed by itself, without any theological
    presuppositions, can be
    understood without reference to God.

             4 is the answer suggested by a Christian (as distinguished
    from a merely
    theistic) view of divine action.



    George L. Murphy
    "The Science-Theology Interface"

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