Professor Reiss, who is an ordained Church of England clergyman, pointed out that in his experience, students who hold creationist views do not change their views simply by being taught evolution and being told they are wrong. He suggests that creationism needs to be understood as a worldview and that creationist students should be engaged in intelligent dialogue in order to help them understand and reconcile their beliefs with scientific knowledge.
This is an issue of increasing importance in Britain where creationism is on the rise. American readers will be interested to learn that creationism’s rise in Britain is not due to fundamentalist Protestants, but fundamentalist Muslims. Muslims are investing significant amounts in creationist research and education, and the scientific community ain’t happy.
What tickles me is that the scientists seem so enraged by Rev Dr Reiss’ proposal. For goodness sake, if creationism is so wrong and evolution so right, why not engage in intelligent discussion? Why not allow the creationist to ask some questions? Is this the way to really educate? Are these scientists in the educational Middle Ages? Must everyone accept the orthodoxy of the scientific academy or be hounded from jobs, pilloried in the media and excluded from polite society?
I myself, am agnostic about evolution. I believe God is the creator of all things. How and when he did it, I don’t know. If the scientists want to speculate on these matters, well and good. That they come up with theories that they believe to be true is fine. The fact that they don’t even allow discussion of creationism–even for the purpose of showing it to be unscientific–is ludicrous and well–just plain dumb.
Maybe they are descended from apes after all…
Fr. Dwight,I just stumbled across your blog today and I was wondering if you named it in light of G.K. Chesterton’s Life of St. Francis of Assisi.He describes St. Francis as having a sort of upside down view of the world in which everything “depended,” an etymological pun, on God. If not, I’d love to know how you came upon the title “Standing on My Head.”Thankszgoodword.blogspot.com
“Nobody expects the Science Inquisition!”
Careful Dan, you’re showing our age!:^)
So, did you see the movie, “Expelled”?
This is what we can expect. I’m not “fanatical”, but I do believe in creation. I don’t adhere to some of Bobby Jones style literal six days theory, but I question much of the evolution theory as defying logic.Science: If there are no questions, then there is no science.Society: All of what we know as Western Civilization is founded on rigorous debate. That, at least, goes back to the establishment of universities in the Middle Ages.The obsession with silencing critics of Darwinian conceptions is just one of the ministries of evangelical atheism.
Even though science invites skepticism and debate, scientists are often not really open minded at all. Of course the argument is why go over old ground, while failing to realize the weakness of their own theory. Natural Selection as a biological process is very solid but the origins of life are not. The old Earth evidence is very strong, so based on what we know of natural law, evolutionary theory is very plausible, but not definitive. That said I do have a problem with Intelligent design posing as Science as it is effectively founded on an untestable article of faith. As a Catholic I believe in the miraculous acts of God that transcend natural law. The Ascension defies the law of gravity and the Resurrection and the Eternity of God and Heaven defy the Law of Entropy. It’s pointless to argue that these transcendent concepts are Scientifically provable. Rather it’s reasonable to point out the limits of our worldly understanding and of Science generally and that’s about as far as you can go. Intelligent Design, in my view arises from weak faith just as the excessive defensiveness of Scientists indicates weak confidence in their world view. It’s especially hypocritical to claim an open ended process driven by skepticism and then refuse debate. I subscribe to the theory of natural selection and an old Earth based on evidence, but I believe on faith in the creation by God of man and Earth by mechanisms which transcend all natural law not because of evidence but because of the gift of faith.
Creationism discussed in Science class ? Only when Humanism is taught in Religious Education class.Here in the UK, RE lessons are compulsory and our children will learn about Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. But apparently there is no place for discussing this vital part of the Western Intellectual tradition.journeyman
The Theory of Evolution should be taught in the science class. The relationship between the domains of Science and Theology, the perceived tension between Faith and Reason, and the ways of interpreting the Old Testament should be taught – or given their intellectual complexity, at least touched on – in the RE class.The Philosophy of Science, and the intellectual framework for the Scientific Method, are usualy taught at University.
Truth cannot contradict Truth!!See:http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htmRoman Catholicism has embraced evolution which makes us heathens to the Assemblies of God young earth types.We’re not ‘bible believing Christians’ to the young earth types, though we tend to be fairly tolerant of them.
Actually, there really isn’t any place in a science class to teach anything except science, though any teacher worth his pay should allow free and open discussion of anything at all that does not distract attention from the lesson for a proloned period.Evolution cannot be taught as fact, only as theory, like any other scientific theory. But it should be remembered that “theory” of any kind is totally unscientific.We live on the edge of a new age, which, if we read the signs aright, will not turn out to be a further deification of science but, on the contrary, we are witnessing the beginning of the death agony of Science (as god).
Father D., I too am a fellow agnostic concerning evolution. I can accept to a degree that we are descended from apes (and their precursors), with the proviso that apes had to evolve far enough, via a process designed by God and directed toward God, so that God then infused a particular being with an immortal soul, i.e. creating man in His own image, male and female He created them.As genetic research gets more refined we are learning that we are all descended from a common ancestry. The story of Adam and Eve makes perfect sense in the light of that research. And, it seems, atheistic scientists are getting nervous about the implications of that research.To clarify my point, apes are incapable of “housing” an immortal soul. I propose that God designed a process from which He was not removed in the sense that by the power of the Holy Spirit He influences and guides us toward Himself. God restored to Man the possibility of a personal relationship with Him, and, when we fall, continues to restore us to that supernatural friendship via the Sacrament of Penance. “O happy fault. O necessary sin of Adam.”We have yet to fully realize our potential (Philippians 2:12), though by the grace of God our potential is made possible by the Sacrifice of Christ. Did not our Lord Jesus remind us (St. John 10:34) of our godly status?Would it be weird (or Teilhardian or heretical) to suggest that the Eucharist is the God restored continuation of the evolution of Man and a foretaste of things to come? By sharing in the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ, are we not by the grace of the Sacrament refined as images of God to more resemble Him in likeness?Lastly, I’d wager with atheistic Darwinists that the only way for Man to reach his potential is to conform to and be configured (by grace) to the God-revealed model (of redemption and salvation) provided by Christ.
The best example of darwinism gon awry is the Coelacanth. Here’s the link:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CoelacanthThe fossil record told us that the Coelacanth was extinct in the Cretaceous period. But then we found it swimming about in the Indian Ocean, critically endangered, extremely rare, but extant. And of course the Darwinian Extremists anger me on an instinctive level because they’re (1) so damned dogmatic, and (2) seem to be the down-syndrome-baby aborting-sorts responsible for the eugenics movement in the 30s.