"Michael Dowd illustrates in Thank God for Evolution! that there are many ways to be a spiritual person, and that all of them are enriched by an understanding of modern science, especially evolution. This is a creative, provocative book that sheds light on just about any spiritual path one might be on. Many will find their faith revolutionized." — Eugenie C Scott, Executive Director, National Center for Science Education
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to Clay Farris Naff's review of my book, Thank God for Evolution! (+ read
Should theistic evolutionists take the lead in publicly defending evolution? Shelly Gottlieb gets to the heart of the matter when he says that the answer depends on "what one is trying to accomplish". However, I do not fully agree with the choices he offers. One possibility he proposes is "to demonstrate to the public at large that it is possible to be a 'believer' and still 'believe in' (as opposed to accept based on evidence) evolution"; the other is "educating the 'undecided' group to the importance and power of natural explanations of natural phenomena."
Instead, what I would+ read
While Domning raises many interesting points, the one he referred to as the "Global War on Theism" resonated with a concern I have had for some time. Specifically, how can we teach students and the general public that science (and the field of evolution in particular) is not religiously motivated, when many of today's most prominent evolutionary biologists actively intertwine the two in order to promote their theological worldview, and, as discussed later, when many educators share that mindset?
At a fundamental philosophical level, the fact that the opinions expressed by+ read
First, I want to endorse enthusiastically Daryl Domning's plea to those in the scientific community who are theists, and especially to those of us who are members of the Christian community. It is essential to the advancement of the public's understanding and acceptance of modern science (particularly evolutionary science) that we articulate that science to the faith communities of which we are a part. The presumption of "warfare" between science and religious faith perpetuates erroneous understandings of the nature and content of science. Such misconceptions erect completely unnecessary+ read
The main theme of this book is clearly identified in its subtitle. To reflect the cultural conflict theme, the editors have invited authors with a variety of perspectives on the history and diversity of life and how best to account for it. The volume is polyvocal; the editors clearly did not constrain the authors significantly with a particular editorial perspective, even though the editors' perspectives are made quite clear in the introduction and conclusions.
The book is divided into three sections. The first allows proponents of the sciences and of various creationist —+ read
...When one looks at the myths of surrounding cultures, in fact, one senses that the current debate over creationism would have seemed very strange, if not unintelligible, to the writers and readers of Genesis. Scientific and historical issues in their modern form were not issues at all. Science and natural history as we know them simply did not exist, even though they owe a debt to the positive value given to space, time, matter, and history by the biblical affirmation of history.
What did exist — what very much existed — and what pressed on Jewish faith from all sides, and
With support from the Templeton Foundation, the Berkeley-based Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences hosted a four day conference on "Science and the Spiritual Quest" June 7-10, 1998. Scientists and philosophers who identify as Christians, Muslims and Jews discussed challenges and opportunities science presents to monotheistic traditions as well as how "the fundamental principles of religious faith affected the development of theory in the sciences." Future conferences will "include nontheistic faith, such as Buddhism, Confucianism and some parts of Hinduism".
Robert Russell delivered these remarks at the opening of the Science and the Spiritual Quest conference on Sunday, June 7, 1998. We reprint them with permission.
Good morning, and welcome to the "Science and the Spiritual Quest" (SSQ) Conference, drawing together 27 internationally distinguished scientists who are invited to share with us their spiritual journey. I am Bob Russell, Professor of Theology and Science in Residence at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, and Founder and Director of the Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences. I want to start this
In a recent issue of RNCSE, Larry Witham reported on research he and historian Edward Larson carried out to investigate the religious beliefs of scientists.They had surveyed a sample of 1000 individuals listed inAmerican Men and Women of Science, (AM&WS), using questions originally asked by the Gallup organization in a series of polls of American religious views.The report, entitled "Many scientists see God's hand in evolution", concluded that although scientists were quite different from other Americans in their views of "extreme" positions— such as young earth creationism and
[In May 1998 Dr Eugenie C Scott, NCSE'S Executive Director, was awarded the American Humanist Association's 1998 "Isaac Asimov Science Award". What follows is excerpted from her acceptance speech. Ed.]
In late 1995, the National Association of Biology Teachers (NABT) issued a statement to its members and the public concerning the importance of evolution to biology teaching. Part of the statement defined evolution:
The diversity of life on earth is the result of evolution: an unsupervised, impersonal, unpredictable and natural process of temporal descent with genetic+ read