Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Southern Baptist Meets the Evolutionist...and Finds Out He's Really OK!

A few weeks ago I was able to attend a lecture by the well known biologist Sean B. Carroll. You may not have heard of him, but in the field of evolutionary development he is Elvis Presley. I got to hang out with him before and after the lecture and was very impressed with him. If I accomplish nothing else in this blog post, I want to establish that I have a great amount of respect for this Darwinian evolutionist. He describes himself as "a kid just trying to have fun" and he is very warm and upbeat in his dealings with people.

He gave us a fantastic description of Darwin and how he developed theories that seemed to decry special creation (as it was understood at the time).

Darwin was sailing near the Galapagos Islands hoping to check out a nearby volcano (he had been trained as a geologist and was also preparing to enter a seminary) when he made his well known observations. While visiting the Galapagos he noticed that the same species on two different islands had developed differently, which was something that, at the time, was not allowed under the theory of special creation. Being sensitive to the religious, Darwin would lightly promote his findings, in conjunction with similar finding of other biologists, without pressing the matter in a way that would offend the church.

While listening to this lecture, something occurred to me. Despite everything I have been taught, there is nothing about this I find unbiblical. I do not believe that God must hold each planet in place; I think He created gravity to do that. I also don't think he had to form each creature by hand, I think it's possible he allowed creatures to evolve as part of the complex biology He placed in them. You don't have to be convinced that it happened this way, but I don't see how it creates any theological problems.

Now, let's get a few things clear:

  • I believe that the Bible is without error...
  • ...that God created man in His image...
  • ...and, that everything in the Bible happened just as it says.
That said, Darwin doesn't bother me. Maybe we should re-think our militant stance against him. Obviously, I cannot explain my entire point of view on Darwin and evolution in a single blog post, but I can ask us to be kind to this scientist, who was always kind to Christians and never set out to debunk any of their beliefs. Let's return the favor and not tarnish his image.

5 comments:

  1. I really think you would enjoy reading Darwin's Black Box by Behe. Check out my Darwin study on shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/groups/32350/discussions/170529/Darwin-Study

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  2. I do not believe that God must hold each planet in place; I think He created gravity to do that. I also don't think he had to form each creature by hand, I think it's possible he allowed creatures to evolve as part of the complex biology He placed in them.

    Without a magic god fairy to create gravity, do you think people would just drift out into space? I hope not. My point is your idea that a god fairy created or invented gravity is nonsense. Natural processes don't need creators or inventors.

    Evolution is also a natural process, and a magic god fairy's permission was not necessary to "allow creatures to evolve".

    You're sticking god into evolutionary biology (and gravity) because you want to accept modern science, and still pretend the magic fairy idea has not been made obsolete by Darwin's brilliant natural selection idea.

    You might want to consider giving up defending medieval superstitions in the 21st century. You're just making yourself look as brainwashed as the fundamentalists.

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  3. If you believe that the bible is true in every word, and you believe that it can peacefully coexist with scientific discover, then you are either allowing the bible to be interpreted in such a way that they do not clash - which is forbidden in the old testament but allowed by Jesus (a contradiction) - or you are saying one thing and meaning another. I know that you do wish to reach out a peaceful hand to the more skeptically, or at least scientifically, minded. Some of us can come off as overly aggressive, perhaps, but your own words seem to contradict themselves. This frustrates us.

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  4. Us? How many of you did it take to write that?

    I would love to respond to you, but your post is mostly nonsense and I have no idea what you are arguing. I see nothing in the Bible that says I have to push science away because the Bible doesn't make many scientific statements.

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