Interesting Spectator (UK) article on Evolution. The author notes that the taboo against questioning evolution is beginning to break down and then outlines the arguments on the side of Intelligent Design and Neo-Darwinism. I was struck by her assertion that: “Perhaps the answer is that the whole battle could have been avoided if Darwinism had not been put forward as proof of the non-existence of God.” She backs this up with a quote from Kenneth Miller, author of Finding Darwin’s God: A Scientist’s Search for Common Ground Between God and Evolution, who she refers to as “a Darwinian scientist and a Christian.” Miller has this to say:
Evolution may explain the existence of our most basic biological drives and desires but that does not tell us that it is always proper to act on them…. Those who ask from science a final argument, an ultimate proof, an unassailable position from which the issue of God may be decided will always be disappointed. As a scientist I claim no new proofs, no revolutionary data, no stunning insight into nature that can tip the balance in one direction or another. But I do claim that to a believer, even in the most traditional sense, evolutionary biology is not at all the obstacle we often believe it to be. In many respects evolution is the key to understanding our relationship with God.
That last statement might be a stretch but in the whole I agree with him. While I think the cultural and theological impacts of Darwinism has been negative (materialism, racism, agnosticism, etc.) I don’t feel like the science of evolution threatens my faith in God. To be honest I don’t have the skill nor the time and energy to dig deep enough in the science to come to a definitive view either way. I think both side probably go to far in letting their world view affect their macro-scientific opinions (If I may sue such an awkward phrase). But in the end I think it is good that Darwinian evolution is being challenged. It has forced people to think about their beliefs and assumptions and made it less likely that students will get taught bad science in the name of consensus. Might they get taught bad science in the name of religion? Perhaps, but it is worth the risk to shake up the scientistic establishment. I don’t think kids will be damaged to much either way by their junior high science class. Of course, it would be best if their parents would see that they are given the skills and knowledge to see past a purely materialistic world view but it wouldn’t hurt to have the materialists on the defensive in the schools too . . .