Unto the Breach

For a long time now I’ve been promising to rant more on some of my favourite topics, or hobby-horses, if you will. Given the prominence of the debate on science and religion in education down south, I think I’ll start with the innocuous subject of evolution. There’s far too much to write about at one go, so I’ll start with a brief outline of things I’m going to argue for, and go on to discuss each point in further detail.

If you weren’t raised in a fundamentalist or conservative evangelical background, most of this stuff will seem wierd, tautalogical or incomprehensible. These rants aren’t for you. They’re for people like the man, utterly ignorant of science, who told me to my face: “If the world wasn’t created on October 22, 4004 BC, then Christ didn’t die and my faith is in vain.”

Here goes:

1. God exists, and created everything else, including this universe we live in. And, by the way, my faith is in Christ’s death and resurrection.

2. The first two chapters of Genesis are a scientific account of creation, but cannot be used to inform our physical models of creation.

3. The evolutionary model is the best one we have for explaining the physical process of creation, and cannot explain the origin of the universe.

4. The various creationist models, from strict Young Earth Creationism to re-creationism et al, are all fallacious, and some are pernicious and heretical. We’ll take a side trip to Noah’s Flood here as well.

5. The Intelligent Design movement is a rather lame attempt by YEC’s at a bait-and-switch. The problem is, their stuff lacks even the sophisitication of some of the more thoughtful Creationist models — it’s self-evidently fallacious, and is simply the old “God of the Gaps” horse dragged out to be flogged yet again.

6. The most powerful argument Creationists use is the aesthetic: who wants to have a monkey for an uncle? I shall present some illustrative images and metaphors that I believe show that the idea of evolution is beautiful and portrays the faithfulness and love of the invisible God in the visible world.

Update: more here.

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