C.S. Lewis on Science, Evolution, and Evolutionism

(system) #1
Lewis's writings encourage us to face the findings of science with courage and, just as importantly, recognize when a materialistic worldview is masquerading as science. As faithful Christians, we’ve simply got to do both.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/kathryn-applegate-endless-forms-most-beautiful/cs-lewis-on-science-evolution-and-evolutionism

(Kathryn Applegate) #2

What’s your favorite Lewis quote or idea that has to do with science and/or the intersection of science and faith?

(Larry Bunce) #3

"The sciences long remained like a lion-cub whose gambols delighted its master in private; it had not yet tasted man’s blood. All through the eighteenth century… science was not the business of Man because Man had not yet become the business of science. It dealt chiefly with the inanimate; and it threw off few technological byproducts. When Watt makes his engine, Darwin starts monkeying with the ancestry of Man, and Freud with his soul, then indeed the lion will have got out of its cage.“
from *God in the Dock”

Lewis was not against science per se, but against the deification of science so common in the mid-20th century.

I like this quote, also from God in the Dock:
"Let’s pray that the human race never escapes from Earth to spread its iniquity elsewhere.”

(Mazrocon) #4

‘If the solar system was brought about by an accidental collision, then the appearance of organic life on this planet was also an accident, and the whole evolution of Man was an accident too. If so, then all our present thoughts are mere accidents—the accidental by-product of the movement of atoms. And this holds for the thoughts of the materialists and astronomers as well as for anyone else’s. But if their thoughts—i.e. of materialism and astronomy—are merely accidental by-products, why should we believe them to be true? I see no reason for believing that one accident should be able to give me a correct account of all the other accidents. It’s like expecting that the accidental shape taken by the splash when you upset a milk jug should give you a correct account of how the jug was made and why it was upset.’

C.S. Lewis (1898–1963), The Business of Heaven, Fount Paperbacks, U.K., p. 97, 1984.

The above quote is one of my favorites :slight_smile:

I am a bit confused on Lewis’ overall opinion on Evolution, however. I see some sources saying he supported it… and other sources says he mocked and ridiculed it. But it could be that he didn’t like the “Evolution Worldview” but wasn’t necessarily against Evolution if God was behind it. Tough call.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #5

In the mouths of Eustace and the retired star, Ramandu; from “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”

“In our world,” said Eustace, “a star is a huge ball of flaming gas.”
Ramandu’s reply:
“Even in your world, my son, that is not what a star is but only what it is made of.

(Mazrocon) #6

I like the scene in Voyage of the Dawn Treader where Eustace becomes a Dragon (the personification of what his personality was) and then being frightened by his own reflection begins to scratch at his scales, in hope to find his human form again. The Aslan comes along and with one fell swoop his scales comes off and the real Eustace appears. It reminds me of a similar situation where Adam covers himself with fig leaves in hopes of covering up his guilt and then God gives him a fur coat to replace it.


(Nicholas Miller) #7

“Above all, do not attempt to use science (I mean, the real sciences) as a defence against Christianity. They will positively encourage him to think about realities he can’t touch and see.”
-Screwtape Letters

(Mervin Bitikofer) #8

I like that scene too, Tim. His fiction is packed with treasure!

Maybe it’s time for me to dust off Screw Tape letters for another read. I have forgotten little treasures like that. One doesn’t usually hear science invoked these days as a temptation or invitation to think beyond it. Thanks for that.

(Christy Hemphill) #9

“[Christianity] was never intended to replace or supercede the ordinary human arts and sciences; it is rather a director which will set them all to the right jobs, and a source of energy which will give them all new life, if only they will put themselves at its disposal.” –Mere Christianity

“This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. The dragon that pursued me last night can be fitted into my waking world. I know that there are such things as dreams; I know that I had eaten an indigestible dinner; I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the nightmare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world; the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific points of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” - “Is Theology Poetry?” in The Weight of Glory

(system) #10

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