When and Why Anti-Darwinism First Arose

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at David Klinghoffer’s Beliefnet blog, Kingdom of Priests. I’m a big fan of Rod Dreher. His Crunchy Con blog rarely fails to enlighten me, so I’ve been looking forward to his reflections on faith and science, generated by his current visit to Cambridge University as a Cambridge-Templeton fellow. Rod blogged today in response to a lecture and discussion in which evolution came up. He writes that “Darwinism wasn’t initially opposed by Christians” and credits William Jennings Bryan with rallying the faithful against evolution. This is worth some further elaboration. How soon did opposition to Darwinism develop? Among whom, and why? The question matters because if anti-Darwin sentiment only developed 60 years after the Origin of Read More ›

A Fog Over the Intelligent Design Debate

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at David Klinghoffer’s Beliefnet blog, Kingdom of Priests. A pair of dueling websites, one that just went live, are engaged in an important argument over whether religious believers should continue to be fed the “opium of the people.” That’s the famous phrase Marx Karl used to deride all of religion. One kind of faith actually deserves the description, however. It’s called theistic evolution, a convoluted justification for thinking that belief in God and belief in Darwin’s mechanism of blind, churning, unguided, and purposeless evolution can be meaningfully reconciled. The new website is Faith and Evolution, from the Discovery Institute’s Center for Science and Culture. It features all kinds of resources — writing and video, debates, Read More ›

Where Theistic Evolution Leads

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at David Klinghoffer’s Beliefnet blog, Kingdom of Priests. Some readers thought I was unfair in a previous entry explaining the difference between my perspective on evolution and that of my fellow Beliefnet blogger Dr. Francis Collins over at Science and the Sacred. Am I really not being fair? Well, let’s test that hypothesis by picking out one idea from Dr. Collins’s book and from his website BioLogos. It’s his treatment of the idea that somehow a moral law in every heart points us to the existence of God.  Because BioLogos — or theistic evolution, however we may designate the general approach — surrenders so easily to naturalism, it must be willing to accommodate Darwinism’s explanation Read More ›

Fond Dreams of BioLogos

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at David Klinghoffer’s Beliefnet blog, Kingdom of Priests. Astute readers will have noticed that Beliefnet runs two blogs that deal with evolution on a more or less frequent basis but in very different ways: this blog and Science and the Sacred, where former Human Genome Project head Francis Collins and other contributors from the BioLogos Foundation share their thoughts. An Evangelical Christian, Dr. Collins would like to find a reconciliation between Darwinian evolution including its randomly driven, unplanned, unguided mechanism of natural selection, with Biblical religion, which is premised on God’s creative guidance of life’s history. I wish Dr. Collins all the luck in the world. He’ll need it. An Orthodox Jew, I find his Read More ›

Who Is James Le Fanu? Part V: Darwin’s Three Monkeys

Anyone who raises doubts about evolution in public discussions with non-scientists knows the automatic response you always get from the Three Monkeys crowd. Hands wrapped tightly over eyes, ears, and mouth, they chant: See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil — about Darwin! That’s not exactly how it comes out. People will say things more like: But science has spoken! Scientists say! Science wins! Which sounds reasonable at first, until you reflect that it’s a little like a Roman Catholic fending off some challenge to his faith by pointing out that 98 percent of Catholic priests agree with Catholic doctrine, and who knows more about Catholicism than Catholic priests? So it must be true. (Or substitute rabbis and Read More ›