Re: Falk's Coming to Peace with Science

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Date: Tue Sep 20 2005 - 22:36:53 EDT

Louise asked for discussion of this book.
I read it a couple of months ago, largely due to seeing it recommended by
somebody on this list (Loren Haarsma, if I recall correctly). I thought it was
quite good, and it has taken a place among the handful of relatively
introductory books I recommend to people in this area. I even wrote an e-mail to
IVPress to commend them for publishing this book (which I hope signals a return
on their part to more constructive books in the science/faith area).
I'm no biologist, but I thought Falk did an excellent job of presenting a
case (I'd even say a "compelling" case) for evolution having occurred, based on
multiple independent lines of evidence (fossils, geographic distribution,
genetics, and maybe I'm forgetting something). His writing on this subject is
clear and well-crafted -- I don't recall ever reading a better explanation of
these topics (from the standpoint of a scientifically literate non-biologist
reader like me).
And that really was most of the book -- he talked a little about the
relevant Biblical interpretation but that was clearly not the main thrust (and I
would point people to other authors, like Conrad Hyers, on that topic). And
there was occasional talk that seemed to try to link a creation evolving with
some freedom to human free will that I did not find very profound (and which
staunch Calvinists like Terry would likely disagree with).
Then at the end he made a moving and heartfelt plea for the Evangelical
church not to turn its back on those like him who are convinced that God has done
his creating by gradual, evolutionary means. I thought it was good to come
out and say that he was not insisting that all Christians should agree with
him about how God created -- just that they needed to agree that creation via
evolution was an *acceptable* position for a Christian to hold. I agree with
Falk that to make rejection of evolution an essential tenet of the faith (as
many Evangelicals do, either explicitly or more subtly like the rhetoric of
the ID movement often does) is an effective means of closing the doors of the
church to the scientifically literate.
Dr. Allan H. Harvey, Boulder, Colorado |
"Any opinions expressed here are mine, and should not be
attributed to my employer, my wife, or my cat"
Received on Wed Sep 21 01:46:05 2005

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