Browsed by
Tag: Science and Religion

Postscript to the Series, “Darwin’s Gift?”

Postscript to the Series, “Darwin’s Gift?”

Having written a four-part series on Francis Ayala’s Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion, I was already in strong disagreement over what Ayala called a “gift” to religion in Darwinism. Now I’m reading his monograph for the AAAS, “The Difference of Being Human,” and have found even more reason to disagree with him on this. The core of his argument is (1) that the capacity for ethics is a necessary attribute of human nature, and (2) that moral norms are products…

Read More Read More

“The Skeptical Inquirer”

“The Skeptical Inquirer”

One of the podcasts I enjoy listening to is the Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, a science-oriented, religiously skeptical discussion conducted out of the New England Skeptical Society. The shows run long, so I can’t listen to all of them, but I’ve heard a couple of them, featuring Michael Shermer and John Rennie. You can learn a lot of science and unlearn a lot of myth from these discussions. When they wander onto religious territory, however, their skepticism tends to…

Read More Read More

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 4

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 4

Book Review In this, my fourth and final post on Francisco Ayala’s book Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion, I wish to examine very briefly his views on knowledge as related to science and religion. I am addressing the same primary audience that he does in his book: believers in God. For the sake of brevity, and because Ayala seems also to have accepted them himself, I am going to work on the basis of two starting assumptions: there is…

Read More Read More

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 3

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 3

University of California, Irvine biologist Francisco Ayala writes in his book Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion (pages 174-175), Scientific knowledge cannot contradict religious beliefs, because science has nothing definitive to say for or against religious inspiration, religious inspiration, religious realities, or religious values. There are Christian believers, however, who see the theory of evolution as contrary to the creation narrative of the book of Genesis. These believers are entitled, of course, to hold such convictions based on their interpretation…

Read More Read More

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 2

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 2

Book Review In his book Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion, Francisco Ayala suggests that evolution supplies the answer to a serious theological conundrum. I alluded to this in my first post on this book: Things that Seem Wrong About the World: When I was studying theology in Salamanca Darwin was a much-welcomed friend. The theory of evolution provided the solution to the remaining component of the problem of evil. As floods and drought were a necessary consequence of the…

Read More Read More

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 1

“Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion” Part 1

Book Review Francisco Ayala wants us to understand and appreciate what he considers to be Darwin’s Gift to Science and Religion. The author of a recent book by that name, Ayala certainly has a claim to knowledge on the issues: he trained as a seminarian in Spain, and is now an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Irvine.* He chaired the committee that produced the booklet, Science, Evolution, and Creationism for the National Academy of Sciences/Institutes of Health. Why a…

Read More Read More

Christianity and the Nature of Science

Christianity and the Nature of Science

Science and Christianity–are they at odds with each other? Is science the kingly road to knowledge, and is religion a matter of mere belief? Do they speak to each other, or do they occupy (as Gould said) non-overlapping magisteria? To the heart of the point: can a Christian really take her faith seriously in this scientific age? Can a scientifically-minded person take religion seriously? I’m convinced the answers to these questions all point in positive directions for both Christianity and…

Read More Read More

“The Myth of Galileo: A Story With A (Mostly) Valuable Lesson”

“The Myth of Galileo: A Story With A (Mostly) Valuable Lesson”

Joe Carter ends a detailed and eye-opening correction to the myth of Galileo, and concludes with: I suspect that there are many more lessons that can be gleaned from this story. But I find that the real moral is not so much in the story itself but in the fact that the story even needs to be told in the first place. While I first heard the story of Galileo in elementary school, it wasn’t until long, long after I…

Read More Read More

Richards and Hitchens Debate Intelligent Design at Stanford

Richards and Hitchens Debate Intelligent Design at Stanford

I’m hoping it won’t be long before we can see this on video: last night’s debate between Jay Richards and Christopher HItchens on Intelligent Design. Stanford Daily Online reported on it, including this: Hitchens then requested the chance to ask Richards a question. “Do you believe Jesus Christ was born of a virgin?” he asked when Richards assented. “Do you believe he was resurrected from the dead?” Richards said that he did. “I rest my case,” said Hitchens. “This is…

Read More Read More

Real Time Web Analytics