Belief or Evolution?

There’s been a number of articles in the media this week talking about the apparent dichotomy between holding to the Christian faith and a scientific view of the Cosmos.

NPR had a story this morning about the Creation Museum’s opening. Here’s a bit from’s coverage.

At the ribbon cutting [for the museum], Ken Ham, the rugged-faced CEO and president of Answers in Genesis, the nonprofit ministry that built the museum, tells an enthusiastic crowd that the Creation Museum will undo the damage done 82 years ago when Clarence Darrow put William Jennings Bryan on the stand in the famous Scopes trial in Dayton, Tenn. “It was the first time the Bible was ridiculed by the media in America, and that was a downward turning point for Christendom,” Ham says. “We are going to undo all of that here at the Creation Museum. We are going to answer the questions Bryan wasn’t prepared to, and show that belief in every word of the Bible can be defended by modern science.”

Senator Sam Brownbeck had an op-ed piece in the New York Times earlier this week in which he shares his frustration with the sense that Science and Faith must be at odds:

The heart of the issue is that we cannot drive a wedge between faith and reason. I believe wholeheartedly that there cannot be any contradiction between the two. The scientific method, based on reason, seeks to discover truths about the nature of the created order and how it operates, whereas faith deals with spiritual truths. The truths of science and faith are complementary: they deal with very different questions, but they do not contradict each other because the spiritual order and the material order were created by the same God.

People of faith should be rational, using the gift of reason that God has given us. At the same time, reason itself cannot answer every question. Faith seeks to purify reason so that we might be able to see more clearly, not less. Faith supplements the scientific method by providing an understanding of values, meaning and purpose. More than that, faith — not science — can help us understand the breadth of human suffering or the depth of human love. Faith and science should go together, not be driven apart.

He attempts to distinguish between micro-evolution (trasformation within biological species) versus macro-evolution (transitions between species or leading to new species) as way of defusing the controversy.

Chuck Blanchard has a discussion of this entire controversy on his site.

As a resource, you might want to check of the work of the Episcopal Church’s committee on Science, Faith and Techonology to find out something about how the Episcopal Church discusses this issue. And more specifically their Catechism of Creation.

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