How Will We Worship on Darwin Day?


(system) #1
Respecting Darwin’s tremendous scientific achievements is not the same as accepting everything said and done in his name.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/how-will-we-worship-on-darwin-day

(Phil) #2

Great thoughts, and the comment about family struck a chord. Ironically, the only reference I had seen to Darwin Day or Evolution Weekend prior to this post was on the AIG website.
I enjoy learning more about life but do not really have the gift of seeing things in a new light the way Darwin did. It still amazes me how he could fit things together from his observations. I would have been both overwhelmed with all the sights of adventure, as well as hanging over the side if the ship feeding the fishes, as seasickness is a weakness of mine.
Have a blessed Sunday!


(Nonlin Org) #3

“We Christians who accept the scientific evidence for evolution have a complex relationship with Darwin.”

Do you have any doubts about Darwin’s writings or do you accept everything he wrote? How about Darwin finding the grouping of organic beings and other animal features “inexplicable on the theory of creation”? Was his argument religious or not? Did he ever do any experiment? Mendel did experiments which surprise, surprise, we can duplicate today.

I find many flaws with Darwin:

  • “Natura non facit saltum” (gradualism) – argument is illogic and contrary to molecular/atomic physics as well as contrary to sexual reproduction
  • “Randomness” as in random mutations and “Random creates”
  • “Natural” in natural selection – everything is natural; this religious argument does not comply with the scientific method, is unsupported, and beyond the competence of claimants
  • “Unguided and Purposeless” – argument is illogical and, since selection is guided and purposeful, the outcome must be as well guided and purposeful
  • Recognize that Selection and Survival are one and the same – the selected survive and the surviving have been selected
  • “Fit” as in survival of the fittest – we cannot measure “fit” except as “survival”
  • “Four or five”…or LUCA (Last Universal Common Ancestor) – in a generic “primordial soup” scenario if one happens, then many happen …unless said soup is magical(?)
  • “Arising” as in Arising of Everything and Life vs. Entropy
  • “Benefit” and “optimization” – there’s nothing wrong with these anthropic concepts, but they are utterly incompatible with the mechanistic universe envisioned by Darwin and his followers

Don’t you? http://nonlin.org/evolution/


(Larry Bunce) #4

“Survival of the fittest” is a term borrowed from Herbert Spenser by Darwin in later editions of “The Origin of Species” to replace his original term “natural selection,” since some scientists pointed out that natural selection implied that a Natural Selector, a non-scientific concept. Darwin pointed out that the organisms that were best adapted to survive produced the most offspring, passing on and perpetuating those traits. This seems self-obvious, and has been observed many times. The use of a term that may be a tautology in no way invalidates Darwin’s observation.

The other objections to Darwin apply to non-scientific assumptions made by people based on Darwin’s theory, such as that evolution disproves God. We who support EC do not believe that evolution is unguided or random.


(Jay Johnson) #5

The Pew Research Center put together a list of 6 Facts in honor of Darwin Day. Among the highlights:

“More broadly, most Americans (59%) say that science and religion are often in conflict, but those who are more religiously observant are less likely than others to see this clash between faith and science.”


(Phil) #6

I was reading that, and was trying how to make something meaningful out of it. On the surface it looks like those who go to church regularly at more at peace with science, but it just may mean that those who go to church regularly are more dogmatic and convinced that their view is right, regardless of what that viewpoint may be. Interesting in any case, but perhaps the onion needs peeling to determine what it really means.
Speaking of polls, my kids are in their thirties, and I would be fascinated to poll the group on kids who were in their youth group to see where that subgroup wound up in their spiritual lives, and how they view the origins issue, as the youth leadership was pretty heavy into YEC when they were growing up. Maybe when I retire I will have the energy to do that sort of thing for fun.


(Roger A. Sawtelle) #7

Jim,

“survival of the fittest” (a phrase never used by Darwin himself) - See more at: http://biologos.org/blogs/jim-stump-faith-and-science-seeking-understanding/how-will-we-worship-on-darwin-day#sthash.ct6MRKXO.dpuf

Not true. While Darwin did not originate this phrase, he used it in The Origin after the first edition.


(Jay Johnson) #8

I would like to see something like that, too. I’m particularly interested in the topic, so if you’re suddenly inspired and find something of interest, point me to it.

A study published in 1993 looked at our generation, the Baby Boomers, and sought the reasons why the mainline Protestant denominations began losing membership in the 1960s. The answers were somewhat surprising. Although the dynamics of that generation was much different than the Millennials, I think we are seeing the leading edge of a similar decline in evangelical church membership, primarily driven by what the Pew Forum has dubbed “generational turnover.” We shall see. In any case, here are the highlights of that 1993 study:

"Our findings cast doubt on most of the popular theories about the decline of mainline churches. We were mildly surprised to learn that participation in countercultural activities is only weakly correlated to church participation today. Involvement in the counterculture is associated with unorthodox theological views, as well as with liberal positions on controversial issues of sexuality, reproduction, and gender, but it is not a good predictor of church involvement itself. Similarly, the amount of formal education has no bearing on how active one is in church. The handful of confirmands in our sample who have earned Ph.D.'s tend to be irreligious, but exposure to a college education does not serve to explain mainline church decline. Our fundamentalists, for example, were as well educated as any of the other groups in the sample. Most of those who lost their faith, or who adopted unorthodox opinions, did so before, not after, going to college. College may not strengthen faith, but for most baby boomers it did not initiate doubt.

"In short, our baby boom drop-outs did not leave the Presbyterian church in search of salvation or enlightenment; they left because religion itself had become low on their list of personal priorities. They pray occasionally, they hold Jesus in high esteem, and they have some interest in such questions as the purpose of existence and the fate of the soul after death, but they do not consider it necessary to attend church in order to nourish what faith they have…

“In our study, the single best predictor of church participation turned out to be belief-orthodox Christian belief, and especially the teaching that a person can be saved only through Jesus Christ. Virtually all our baby boomers who believe this are active members of a church. Among those who do not believe it, some are active in varying degrees; a great many are not. Ninety-five percent of the drop-outs who describe themselves as religious do not believe it. And amazingly enough, fully 68 percent of those who are still active Presbyterians don’t believe it either.”