Broadening the Faith and Evolution Debate in the Washington Post
CSC senior fellow John West has an article up at Washington Post's "On Faith" blog highlighting the importance of an open and broad debate on faith and evolution -- one that includes intelligent design proponents.
Dawkins and Collins are often put forward as the two alternatives in discussions over faith and evolution, but since they both embrace Darwin's theory, they represent only a thin slice of the overall debate. Largely shut out from current media coverage are the growing number of scientists, as well as the vast majority of Americans, who view Darwin's theory with skepticism.
In an effort to broaden the conversation, Discovery Institute has launched www.faithandevolution.org, a website featuring scientists and scholars who aren't afraid to ask tough questions about both the science and implications of modern Darwinian theory. The website includes a "Debates" section highlighting competing views on such topics as evolution's impact on religion, the claims of intelligent design, and the relationship between Darwin's theory and "Social Darwinism."
The website also seeks to clear-up confusion about why Darwin's theory poses such a challenge to faith in the first place. Contrary to what many people suppose, it's not because evolution proposes that living things change over millions of years, or even because it suggests that animals are descended from a common ancestor.
The real sticking point is Darwin's claim that all of life--human beings included--developed through a blind and undirected process of natural selection acting on random variations. In the words of late Harvard paleontologist George Gaylord Simpson, "Man is the result of a purposeless and natural process that did not have him in mind."
There are ways to try to reconcile Darwinism's undirected process with theism, but they involve throwing overboard some long-cherished beliefs about God.
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