An article from Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk of the BioLogos Foundation appeared in U.S. Today on Sunday (August 9, 2009). Admittedly, its title (“We believe in evolution – and God”) and first line (“The ‘conflict’ between science and religion in America today is not only unfortunate, but unnecessary”) had me rolling my eyes: can you say, “well-trod territory”? But that’s only because I’ve been involved with this debate so long that I’ve become calloused to the fact that this is an effective opening salvo for Christian scientists to make to those not currently embroiled in it, both the anti-science believer and the unbeliever who thinks rejecting science is part and parcel of Christianity. The territory covered throughout the rest of this opinion article by the co-presidents of BioLogos, while not untrod, is certainly not as well-trod, and fully capable of inviting the potentially interested to the site of the BioLogos Foundation, a fledgling project that in addition to being useful for beginners has shown a clear commitment to growth and high visibility (this article being an example of the latter).
A few excerpts:
Almost everyone in the scientific community, including its many religious believers, now accepts that life has evolved over the past 4 billion years. The concept unifies the entire science of biology. Evolution is as well-established within biology as heliocentricity is established within astronomy. So you would think that everyone would accept it. Alas, a 2008 Gallup Poll showed that 44% of Americans reject evolution, believing instead that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.”
Evolution is not a chaotic and wasteful process, as the critics charge. Evolution occurs in an orderly universe, on a foundation of natural laws and faithful processes. The narrative of cosmic history preceding the origin of life is remarkable; the laws enabling life appear finely tuned for that possibility. The ability of organisms to evolve empowers them to adapt to changing environments. Our belief that God creates through evolution is a satisfying claim uniting our faith and our science. This is good news.
Many biblical scholars across the centuries have not seen [the Bible as a textbook of modern science], concluding instead that the biblical creation story is a rich and complex text with many interpretations. Putting modern scientific ideas into this ancient story distorts the meaning of the text, which is clearly about God’s faithful and caring relation to the world, not the details of how that world came to be.
I applaud the BioLogos Foundation’s vital efforts in campaigning for scientific literacy among believers, which, if successful, will have the serendipitous effect of restoring some of the once unquestioned scientific credibility of our faith among unbelievers.Tagged with: creationism • evangelicalism • evolution • fundamentalism • intelligent design