An Excellent Article on Evolution and Religion

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Posted on 01/02/2010 by Jim

Leslie Tomory, who has just finished a PhD in the history of science and technology at the University of Toronto, has an excellent piece entitled "The shock and awe of creation." In it he takes aim at the idea that evolution is inherently atheistic (an idea he labels "evolutionism") and examines the roots of philosophical resistance to evolution.

The science of evolutionary biology is very well established, and the residual tension between religion and evolutionary biology harms both. On one hand, it makes the scientific work evolutionary biologists suspect in the eyes of many, and on the other, it makes religion appear like a regressive force. It is far better to reject the bundling of evolutionary biology with evolutionism, the real crux of the problem, than to wage a war over the minutiae of evolutionary biology, which should not be problematic from a religious point of view. Finally, accepting theistic evolution does not diminish the beauty and awe we can feel when contemplating God’s creation. On the contrary, God’s is manifest in his works, including in evolution.

This is exactly the sort of thought that we need in the struggle to combine these two fields in the popular mind.

A useful corollary to this article would be one examining the idea of God's ordinary providence as paradox. The universe functions according to it's own rules, yet it could not function without God. God is more directly involved than a watchmaker with his machine, yet at the same time less involved.

But, until I find or write said article, you can start by reading "The shock and awe of creation."