If Darwin met Jesus...there would be a lot to talk about

on Friday, February 11, 2011

  I'm sure everyone has been involved in the evolution-creation debate somehow,but maybe not so directly involved as Michael Dowd.  Author and evolutionary evangelist Michael Dowd is a pastor who married  scientist and atheist, Connie Barlow.  Together they merged their beliefs and became advocates for the marriage of science and religion. One product of their theory is a book called "Thank God for Evolution," which I have had the pleasure of reading in my spare time.  Michael and Connie travel around the United States teaching people that Science and Religion don't have to be separate topics, and you don't have to pick between evolution or creationism.  In fact, they believe that neither of the topics makes sense without the other. The logo on their van (above) is the Jesus fish kissing the Darwin fish, which obviously causes a lot of controversy when they park their van anywhere, but they were kind of asking for it.
   Because of my major and my religious background, I have been pretty involved in this debate too. I have run into some avid creationists who believe that evolution is only that humans evolved from apes, and that entirely discredits an intelligent designer. It is hard to argue with people who adhere so strictly to the Bible, and most of the time they don't want to argue with me (honestly, I have upset a lot of people, even just having this book with me). My brother goes to a private Christian college, and I find myself mortified at some of the things he learns in his biology class. Not to mention that evolution is not even in the lecture agenda. In contrast, I have talked with many people who view science in a more atheistic fashion. As a Biology major and religion minor, I have had a lot of people ask me if my courses conflict with each other. My answer is always "No" (except for their schedules), and it's not just because I go to a "religious college." In my mind, science and religion don't make sense without each other.  I believe that evolution makes Earth's designer even more intelligent.  If God made creatures that could change and adapt to a changing environment, that only makes Him that much more amazing. As a scientist, it is hard to adhere strictly to the creation story in Genesis. Afterall, scientific knowledge was lacking a little, and the story was passed down over many years before it was written down. It is said that the only scriptures that were written by the finger of God were the commandments, and all others were written by inspired humans. For me, science fills in the gaps to make a complete story.  That is why I study both.
    If you are looking for a quick to read book about evolution with a religious twist, I would suggest "Thank God for Evolution." It really does put a different spin on things. Even if you don't believe in the marriage of science and religion, it is nice to read the different theories out there. I definitely enjoy a book that doesn't argue too hard one way or the other, it is much less stressful that way and allows you to think more for yourself. I haven't quite finished the book yet, but so far I have enjoyed it.


Mason Posner said...

Very nice book review. Great intro and flow between paragraphs as well. Your personal perspective also kept me hooked.

On an aesthetic note, try to put a gap between paragraphs. This will keep all the text from looking like it is running together.

Patrick Schnieders said...

Great post! That book sounds really interesting; I'll have to see if I can get my hands on a copy.

I was instantly hooked because your post basically sums up my life. I come from a religious background too, but I embrace evolution because I observed it right before my eyes (fruit flies in Genetics class).

The main problem is a lack of understanding on both sides. I've met religious people who think evolution is just apes "turning into" people. I've also met scientists who think religious people just sit in a circle and recite the "Our Father" all day long.

Obviously, both of those views are wrong. Looking at the correct version of each view, I see no reason why they can't work together.

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