Friday, 25 June 2010

View from the Pulpit : Michael Ruse: A Darwinian Can Be a Christian, Too

From The Huffington Post :

The science-religion front is the site of ongoing conflict. On the one side are the militant atheists like Oxford-based biologist Richard Dawkins, who want simply to remove religion from the face of the earth. On the other side are the Bible-touting evangelicals like Intelligent-Design-enthusiast and Lehigh University biochemistMichael Behe, who want to supplement science with direct divine interventions. Caught somewhat uneasily in the middle, arguing that you can have both science and religion, are the so-called "accommodationists" like UC Irvine geneticist and recent winner of the Templeton prize in religion, Francisco Ayala.

It is indisputable that there can be conflict between science and religion. You cannot consistently hold to Darwinian evolutionary theory and be a Young Earth Creationist, thinking that the earth and its denizens were created in six days, 6,000 years ago. But the reply by accommodationists (I am one) is that traditional religion (let us stay with Western Christianity for simplicity of discussion) has always had within it the means to take claims metaphorically if there is a possible clash between science and religion. Saint Augustine in 400AD told us that we should not take the early chapters of Genesis too literally.

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