Re: Falk's Coming to Peace with Science

From: Chris Barden <chris.barden@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 11:13:55 EDT

I would second all these comments, especially as to how readable and
accessible it is for pastors and laypeople who either want or need to
get a better idea about what evolution really is. I loved the book,
and I'd comment in more detail if I could refer to the book directly,
but my copy is lent out. In fact, it has been continually lent out
for more than a year to a half-dozen or so members of my church,
diverse in background and position on this issue. That it would be
read and passed on by so many different folks is a testament to its
utility.

Chris

On 9/21/05, Freeman, Louise Margaret <lfreeman@mbc.edu> wrote:
>
> I too checked out this book because of a recommendation on this list, and
> when I saw it carried back-cover endorsement from both Dembski and Keith
> Miller I figured it had to be pretty good. Like Allen, zI appreciated the
> exhortion to not treat theistc evoluntionists as second class Christians.
> My copy is now in the hands of one of my colleagues, a mathematician who
> sponsors the student group that is responsible for inviting Answers in
> Genesis speakers to our campus. I'm very interested in his response.
> (BTW Ted, I also lent him _Species of Origins_)
>
> I thought the book was well organized, with theological issues at the
> beginning and end and his well-reasoned scientific defense of
> evolutionsandwiched in the middle. I thought the chapters on island
> speciation/continental drift and on genetics were especially well done, with
> the "photo album" analogy to genetic mutation and the way went from fairly
> recent speciation events (fruit fly radiation in Hawaii) to more ancient
> ones, like the isolation of Australia and South America. Even those who
> might consider the first example "microevolution" can deny that the second
> is cleary "macro."
>
> One thing I found part amusing/part disturbing was the extreme measures he
> went to to avoid the terms "evolution" and the name "Darwin." I kept seeing
> terms like"gradual creation" "gradual modification of preexisting species"
> and "organisms arose to become ideally suited to fill ecological niches"
> until I found myself wondering how many euphamisms he could possibly come up
> with for the e-word. I bet this is the only pro-evolution book out there
> that does a whole chapter on adaptive radiation on islands without
> mentioning the Galapagos, and Darwin doesn't even rate an entry in the
> index. I suppose he is aware that a large section of his evangelical
> audience has a conditioned aversion to those terms. Still, if the reader is
> not astute enough to recognize that these are textbook definitions for
> Darwinian evolution, they could come away from the book still thinking that
> is an inherently unChristian concept.
>
> Falk also is not as strong a critic of ID, though it's clear he's not a big
> fan. He states that "We must not give undue attention to that aspect of
> Christian apologetics that tries to prove by scientific arguments that there
> is a Designer." and cautions against looking for God in some ancient
> violation of the second law of thermodynamic (By which I assume he is
> referring to so-called "specified complexity) in cellualar structures or
> perhaps Behe's "front-loaded" primordial cells?) But he does not say whether
> or not ID theory has any place in the world of science, whereas he makes it
> clear that "sudden creation" has no scientific support. Still, he was
> crtical enough of ID on a theological standpoint that I was a bit surprised
> to see Dembski's endorsement.
>
> I liked his commentary on what evangelical Christians can do with the
> Genesis creation story beyond interpreting it as a literal scientific
> history of how the world came to be. I wish he had addressed the story of
> Noah's flood in a similar vein, as that seems to be as big of a concern for
> young earth or old earth creationists as the story of Adam and Eve.
>
> I think Falk's book should be much more appealling to the more conservative
> evangelical churches that Finding Darwin's God (which I also enjoy). My
> Southern Baptist pastor is very interested in the place of evolution in
> Christian thinking, and I hope to be able to persuade him to read this, once
> I get it back from my colleague. While my first choice would be to see this
> book replace the YEC nonsense current on my church's bookshelf, I'd settle
> for having Falk alongside it
>
> Louise
>
> __
> Louise M. Freeman, PhD
> Psychology Dept
> Mary Baldwin College
> Staunton, VA 24401
> 540-887-7326
> FAX 540-887-7121
>
>
Received on Wed Sep 21 11:17:46 2005

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