Christianity & Evolution

  1. #1
    Randy Parker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 08
    Location
    In the snow, laying there like a slug
    Posts
    67,840

    Christianity & Evolution

    Here is a quote from a book I have read & been re-reading lately:

    "...Christians may believe in evolution as a process without believing in 'philosophical naturalism'--the view that everything has a natural cause and that organic life is solely the product of random forces guided by no one. When evolution is turned into an All encompassing Theory explaining absolutely everything we believe, feel, and do as the product of natural selection, then we are not in the area of science, but of philosophy. Evolution as an All-encompassing Theory has insurmountable difficulties as a worldview."

    What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the author's statement?
    Advertisement

  2. #2
    Getslow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 01
    Location
    In Lothlorien, where the trees bore flowers of gold and no evil thing ever dared come.
    Posts
    22,768

    I'll be honest: I don't know where to start here. I've had a lot of thoughts over the years about those places where science and faith meet and what we think and how we behave.

    To keep it short, I'll simply say I agree with the sentiment in general. I think you can see the process and yet I'm not compelled to find all life on Earth sprung into existence on a random chance.

    At the same time, I don't find the astronomical odds for complex amino acids arising at random a particularly convincing argument for intelligent design.

    As a man of faith I've always been troubled by those seeking out conflict at these points of intersection. The "God of the Gaps" problem is as old as the scientific method; when we look at these points at which experimental and observational science has been unable to provide answers and say "See? You can't explain that without God!", we do ourselves a disservice. First, it places God into a box smaller than He deserves. Second, it places the arguer in a place to have his own argument undercut when experimentation comes around to an answer.

    I've digressed.

    I agree with the author's basic premise that the scientific study of evolution is not an adequate replacement for a more robust philosophy. As helpful as the study of evolution has been to understanding where we come from as human beings, it hasn't done much for showing us how to live as human beings. If anything, using it for lessons beyond its biological academic lessons has led to some particularly pernicious outcomes like social darwinism and eugenics. It's great as science; to this point it's been disaster as a philosophy.

  3. #3
    InItToWinIt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 14
    Location
    The gym
    Posts
    1,686

    Quote Originally Posted by Randy Parker View Post
    Here is a quote from a book I have read & been re-reading lately:

    "...Christians may believe in evolution as a process without believing in 'philosophical naturalism'--the view that everything has a natural cause and that organic life is solely the product of random forces guided by no one. When evolution is turned into an All encompassing Theory explaining absolutely everything we believe, feel, and do as the product of natural selection, then we are not in the area of science, but of philosophy. Evolution as an All-encompassing Theory has insurmountable difficulties as a worldview."

    What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree with the author's statement?
    I think I agree, and we actually touched on this topic in one of my classes today. I'll do my best to summarize Keith Ward's thoughts:

    Science is the study of all things that can be weighed, measured, observed, seen, etc. There is no way to measure things like: love, beauty, soul, etc. Science can answer the question "how?" but can never answer the question "Why?"

    Regarding evolution now. Evolution through natural selection suggests that we only exist to reproduce, since the species that continued to exist throughout history would only exist to survive and reproduce if evolution happened by chance and not through Divine intervention. Christianity suggests that beings that do not reproduce still do have value and are not useless.

    So basically, yes: I do agree with the author. (I think... )

Top