Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How To Kill A Religion (Hint: Darwin has nothing to do with it.)

Slate.com has an interview with the author of "Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution," - Karl Giberson. Mr. Giberson, a physics professor at Eastern Nazarene College, is also the director of the "Forum on Faith and Science" at Gordon College.

I've looked through the book a few times at Border's or B&N, but haven't purchased it.

The book looks interesting, and the author interview is top notch.

But here's the really really really good part of the Slate.com interview:

Evolution is taught in American high schools and yet many still don't believe in it. How can that be counteracted?
Well, if you could figure that one out, someone would be interviewing you, not you interviewing me. You're absolutely right. That's a challenging problem and it's a problem that the Europeans are just shaking their heads over.

Why is that?
Because Europe doesn't have a robust fundamentalist subculture like America has had since the early parts of the 20th century. American religion has been characterized by an entrepreneurial spirit. In Europe, many of the great religious traditions wasted away because they were supported by government. They didn't need to be popular and have lots of people coming to worship on Sunday to continue. So they atrophied and people lost interest.
In America, without that kind of governmental support, religious leaders had to be entrepreneurial.
So a charismatic evangelist can come up with a brand-new approach to faith and touch some chord contemporary with people's needs.
I'm going to buy that book this weekend.
Any author who can slide an anti-government subsidy, pro-Free Market, ultra-libertarian concept like that one into a Slate.com interview deserves my support.

And check out the interview in the link above when you get a chance. Good stuff.


TarrantLibertyGuy said...

This has always interested me. In fact, I don't think that the Bible and Darwin are too far separated in their depictions of creation. But I believe the Bible was written by the hand of men (OK, OK, inspired by God, stop yelling)... but as you know, when the hand of man gets involved, anything can happen.

The Bible, I believe, was very phenomenologically written (yes, that is a real word, look it up and stop yelling!).

So - to break it down:
Day 1: Light (BANG!)
Day 2: Waters first, then
Day 3: Land (Pangea)and Simple Life Forms.
Day 4: Sun and Moon (probably should've been listed as Day 2)
Day 5: Water Life appears
Day 6: Land Creatures appear, first wild animals, then quadropeds, and then Man.
Day 7: Nap

A little later in the same Book, it says that one day to God is like 10,000 to man. So why not 10 Million Years? Or 100 Million?

So, it's not too far off of the Big Bangologists' and Evolutionary Biologists' story. It's just that they say it was just one big cosmic mistake. However, that's where their philosophical argument takes a left turn. Where did the universe come from? If was contracting until it imploded/exploded into a big bang, what set that chain of events into motion? You can't make something from nothing...

My thought is this - there's a big thing out there - it's pervasive, ominipresent, ominiscient (interconnected) and ominpotent. It can set the wheels to a creation of a Universe in motion... That thing is God.

The problem is, there are people who believe every literal letter of the Bible and are quite certain that God looks like the guy on the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel. He's an old guy, white - of course, has a long beard, scowls a lot, and one day decided to create the Universe in his work shed out back. He has two arms, two legs and wears white flowing robes. Hey, we were created in his image, right? So he has to 'look like us', eh?

People who take that side are actually placing such limitations on God that they are usually blind to the fact that it is THEY who are blasphemous! They have relegated God to a person-like being!

Fact is, God is so big that the Bible is our feeble attempt as man to try to explain a few things (OK, OK, with His guidance - you're yelling again!). But who am I to dispute the B-I-B-L-E?

By the way, I believe this may be your longest comment EVER!

TarrantLibertyGuy said...

- oops. Above, I ended with 'Fact is', when I couldn't prove that statement. So it should read "I think that"... stop yelling at me!

The Whited Sepulchre said...

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. However, for the longest comments, and the longest comment field, look up "Cal Thomas Says Barack Obama Is Not A Christian".

It needs an index, a concordance, and a Cast Of Characters notesheet.