Friday, February 10, 2017

Finding Darwin's God I

I continue in my reviews of the books that I am using in my Religion and Science course this semester.  You can view my serial review of Scripture and Cosmology by Kyle Greenwood here (Part IPart IIPart IIIPart IVPart VPart VIPart VII, Part VIII).

The second book that I will be reviewing is Finding Darwin's God by Kenneth R. Miller.

In Chapter 1, Miller lays out as starkly as possible the potential conflict between religious (Christian) views of creation and Darwin's scientific theory of evolution.  He sets side by side a question from a Christian Catechism with a parallel question from an imaginary scientific catechism as follows: 
Question: "Who made us?"
Answer: "God made us."
Question: "Who made us?"
Answer: "Evolution made us." (p. 1-2).

Miller lays out what he calls "Darwin's dangerous idea" as follows: "Evolution displaced the creator from his central position as the primary explanation for every aspect of the living world" (p. 14).
or as Richard Dawkins has put it, "Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist" (p. 14).

Given the mountains of evidence that have been compiled over the past 150 plus years that support Darwin's original theory, Miller ends his chapter in the following way:
Is it time to replace existing religions with a scientifically responsible, attractively sentimental, ethically driven Darwinism--a First Church of Charles the Naturalist? Does evolution really nullify all world views that depend upon the spiritual? Does it demand logical agnosticism as the price of scientific consistency? And does it rigorously exclude belief in God?
These are the questions that I will explore in the pages that follow.  My answer, in each and every case, is a resounding no. I do not say this, as you will see, because evolution is wrong. Far from it. The reason, as I hope to show, is because evolution is right (p. 17) 
Miller, himself a Christian and a Scientist sets out to explain how, at least according to his point of view, both Christianity and Darwinism can exist together and how they can in fact have a fruitful relationship.  Stay tuned for further chapter reviews ahead.

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