Sunday, March 01, 2009

Ken Wilson on Darwin

Why not break the blog drought, eh? I is no secret how busy I've been in the last 6 months with a new job requiring more time and mental energy and going grad school full time. However, I'm going to try to get back into "reference posts", a term I just made up 5 seconds ago for the kind of post where I simply link to another story I find interesting and give it some pub. Is there an actual name for that?

Nonetheless, this is a very interesting article looking at the life of Charles Darwin on his 200th birthday. Perhaps there is no other figure in history who has been more slandered and scoffed at for merely discovering and doing his job. Evangelicals have certainly been hard on CD. Ken Wilson defends him, and even points to a number of evangelicals in his day who were open to Darwin's ideas.

Darwin’s friend and colleague Asa Gray, a Harvard botanist and devout evangelical, saw no inherent conflict either between natural selection and a creating God. In fact, Asa Gray did more to promote Darwin’s writings in the United States than any other scientist. He was one of Darwin’s closest friends. An evangelical.

But these evangelicals took the time to understand Darwin’s idea and consider the evidence for it. They sought to understand the man before calling him dangerous or his ideas heretical. They could understand if the man was too busy with his beetles and barnacles to integrate these new scientific insights with Christian faith. That was a task for people more steeped in theology than he.

Give the article a full read, as it is worth it. It seems in the church today that a good number of people are lessening their opposition to Darwin's ideas. Have you noticed this too, and in your mind is it a good shift or a bad shift?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nick, Thanks for the shout out on the blog post. I've now got evangelicals apologizing to biologists and evolutionary biologist apologizing to evangelicals for their bad behavior in the culture war motif. Wonders never cease. Ken Wilson