(Review of Book)By Anne Barbeau Gardiner "God and Evolution contains fifteen timely and powerful essays on the topic of religion and evolution...Here’s what we’re up against today: Two out of three college biology teachers call themselves atheists or agnostics, as do ninety-five percent of the biologists in the National Academy of Sciences. Of the leading scientists involved in evolution, eighty-seven percent deny the existence of God, and ninety percent reject any purpose in evolution. The reason is easy to find: Darwinian evolution, “the creation story” of atheists, now operates “as the normal stance of science.” In high-school and college textbooks, Darwinian evolution is taught as a blind, heartless, purposeless, unguided process that makes any spiritual explanation of life superfluous. This is our current tax-funded orthodoxy enforced by court orders. Worst of all, what is “almost universally taught in textbooks” is that man himself is the unintended byproduct of blind material forces. Is it any wonder that our culture is sinking into nihilism?...As Richards warns, no Catholic can accept this worldview. Pope Pius XII, in his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), declared dogmatically that, far from being a product of evolution, each human soul is created directly by God..." To read rest of the this excellent review and a reference to the book go to link below.
My Response (on March 11, 2011) :
Thank you for posting the above book review and commentary. I strongly agree with what Gardiner has written.
She stated, "There are Catholic scholars who defend Darwinism on the ground that science is by its very nature limited to naturalistic explanations. Richards warns that this is 'a potentially fatal, and unnecessary capitulation to modernism.'" I agree. When scientists have said such things they are not acknowledging the necessary interplay of philosophy and religion into the debate. The very concept of testability requires certain philosophic assumptions such as reproducibility and reality of observation. This in turn rests on some sort of religious base. It can not be otherwise. Naturalism is by its very definition a religio-philosophic based concept.
While Gardiner comments that Richards said that Darwinism is "'largely historical and abductive'" I would disagree only slightly.I agree that it is largely "historical".In fact Darwinism is not a theory at all but a worldview paradigm (i.e. an artifically created historical one). If it is strictly tested as an empirical theory it is falsified. Also, I am not sure that it is abductive at all-I do not know of any mechanisms that support the extrapolation to macro-evolution.That is-I see no real plausible connection, unless one is forced to contain the physical creation into naturalism.
When she commented that Romans 1:20 refuted Francis Collins' comment that the "biologic world looks exactly like the product of Darwin's 'undirected process,'"she is absolutely correct. The world does have design (it is directed) and it also has corruption just as the scriptures have said. Romans 5:12 states, "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned"; and that it affected the creation as well is seen in Romans 8:22 "For we know that the whole creation groans, and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now." But much of the rest of the scriptures talk of God's redeeming man and of a new heavens and a new earth.
It is important to note that the ID movement has made many important contributions to the idea of a designed universe e.g. "'irreducibility'" of genetic information". But it is also important to recognize that many ID proponents are not necessarily Christians. Parents have the obligation to "train up a child in the ways of the Lord" so they will not depart from them later on in life. ID information to a limited degree can augment what the parents are already teaching their children.
Thank you for posting the editorial by Gardiner.
Dr. John G. Leslie MD,PhD
March 19, 2011 04:06 PM EDT