I’m already finding it very helpful. One of the free content from the aforementioned course is a full textbook, Evolutionary Science and Society. Inside, there’s an excellent essay by Kennth Miller that addresses the religious evolution debate in America:
[…] the conflict over evolution is unlike the controversies that scientists have come to expect within their disciplines. The evolution controversy is far more than a conflict over scientific ideas. It is a struggle for the soul itself. The PBS television series Nova recognized this point squarely in 2001 when it concluded its landmark eight-hour mini series, Evolution, with a program on the religious conflicts inherent in the battle over evolution. The narration of a promotional piece describing that final program told viewers: Today, even as science continues to provide evidence supporting the theory of evolution, for millions of Americans, the most important question remains “What about God?” (Jersey & Page, 1999)
Exactly. For most Americans, “What about God?” is indeed the most important question. The religious character of the debate gives conflicts over evolution a cultural and political weight unlike that in any other scientific controversy. […] If Darwin’s great idea is seen as the foundation of everything wrong in society, including lawlessness, abortion, pornography, and the dissolution of marriage, then it must be opposed at all costs. Furthermore, any factual evidence that science might gather in favor of evolution must be disregarded in favor of the
greater truth upon which all of society is founded. Such powerful motivations drive sincere and dedicated opposition to science and must not be underestimated.
basically, this was a matter of the heart, not the brain. This is exactly the kind of thing I’m interested in right now: bridging the great divide respectfully and effectively.