How to ignore your neighbor in the Dover grocery store because of Darwin: Thanks for your help and my next move locally in Dallas

Lauri Lebo told me the Dover trial tore neighbor from neighbor. She said in her book that people stopped talking to each other in the grocery store because of the trial, which got national attention and notice from cultural entities like Saturday Night Live.

Sidenote: Has anyone ever researched why British evangelicalism seems today so less stressed about Darwin compared to the Americans?

Anyway, tonight Trump re-stokes the fires of polarization in Orlando as he threatens to deport “millions” of immigrants—his words.

The majority of my students who took my “science and religion in American life” classes this year were Latino. And likely nominal Catholic or nonreligious Gen Zs.

As a minority male myself who interviewed a ton of white creationists, I have always wondered why minority evangelicals don’t seem to care to participate in the national controversy over evolution. And but for a few atheists, I cannot find any women of any position either.

There is something about the culture—I don’t think the race—of white evangelical Protestants that it seems to me has always had a natural antipathy to the Enlightenment period as far as scientific innovations that to them pushed God out of nature.

I tell my students, “Science was born in European Enlightenment, and creationism in American Protestantism.”

I don’t know if you agree with that and I look forward to your responses.

Someone in campus ministry told me to meet pastors and seminary professors with a clear statement of what I am shooting for—an improvement of a national controversy on a small neighborhood scale, with help from a coalition of the interested----by starting with Lebo’s story of what happened in the neighborhood of Dover on the ground.

So that is what I am about to try. One office hour at a time. I am following your advice to be up front quickly about what I am seeking. I think perhaps if done on a small scale close to a college or university all the churches hope to impact, we can unify our interests.

I look forward to your continued feedback.

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Very good question! I think Mark Noll’s “Scandal of the Evangelical Mind” reviewed that camp meetings and evangelicalism, with attempts to apply the Scripture in most parts to our own lives (and dispensationalism) influenced an erroneous and anachronistic reading of Scripture. A thread dealt with this somewhat The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind

However, @TedDavis would be far better than I in discussing this.

The problem is the Fundamentalist Movement which was a strictly American phenomenon. It can be researched on the Internet and that would be a great project for you.

Sociologist and author Rodney Stark in For the Glory of God affirmed:

“Science was not the work of western secularists or even deists; it was entirely the work of devout believers in an active, conscious, creator God.”

James Hannam, who recently earned a Ph.D. on the History of Science from the University of Cambridge, UK, pointed out: ( Hannam, J., God’s Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science , 2007)

“During the Middle Ages, the Catholic Church actively supported a great deal of science, which it also kept control of when speculation could impinge on theology. Furthermore and contrary to popular belief, the Church never supported the idea that the earth was flat, never banned human dissection, never banned zero and certainly never burnt anyone at the stake for scientific ideas.”

“Popular opinion, journalistic cliché and misinformed historians notwithstanding, recent research has shown that the Middle Ages were a period of enormous advances in science, technology and culture. The compass, paper, printing, stirrups and gunpowder all appeared in Western Europe between AD 500 and AD 1500.”

Prof. Harrison explained: ( Harrison, P., The Bible and the rise of science, Australasian Science 23 (3):14–15, 2002)

“Strange as it may seem, the Bible played a positive role in the development of science. …

Had it not been for the rise of the literal interpretation of the Bible and the subsequent appropriation of biblical narratives by early modern scientists, modern science may not have arisen at all. In sum, the Bible and its literal interpretation have played a vital role in the development of Western science.”

I also enjoyed the book, “The Fool and the Heretic,” by Todd Wood and Darrell Falk, which I recently listened to on Audible. You might find that helpful in bridging the gap (suggesting that they read it) when you talk with someone of an opposing view.

Sounds like an interesting book.

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