Saturday, September 22, 2007

Evolution and Wonder

Darwin is often spoken of as a sort of high priest of secularism, or even a spokesman for the Devil. He's portrayed as a force completely hostile to religion. But was he really? Or is his story more complex than we're often led to believe?
This week Krista Tippett's Speaking of Faith show explores Charles Darwin's impact on both the world of science and of religion with James Moore, a Cambridge University professor and biographer of Darwin. The program is titled "Evolution and Wonder: Understanding Charles Darwin." In the program Moore notes that in the Origin of Species Darwin spoke very respectfully of the Creator even if he was challenging how people of his age understood creation.
One of the points that Moore makes concerns Darwin's context. Darwin came of age in the middle decades of the 19th century. In that day, society was stratified and everything had its place and order -- a place and order determined by God. To say that we have evolved not only overthrew theological ideas, it overthrew the social order of the day.
I think you'll find this conversation interesting. If you visit her site by clicking here, you can can listen online or even download a podcast, and find many other resources. . As you listen you'll discern that while Darwin posed difficulties for people of faith he was not antagonistic to faith. He's not the "devil" some have made him out to be. In fact, as you listen you'll discover that he was a man of great compassion and was horrified at going to Brazil and seeing first hand the effects of slavery.

4 comments:

Mystical Seeker said...

I'm currently reading a book called "Darwin, Divinity, and the Dance of the Cosmos" : An Ecological Christianity", by Bruce Sanguin. I honestly don't remember where I found out about this book, but so far (I'm not too far into it yet) I like what I'm reading, and you might also find it interesting.

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

I've read it myself. There's a review here somewhere on the blog. It is a very interesting treatment of not just evolution and religion, but of our interconnectedness.

Mystical Seeker said...

You know, now I am wondering if it was you who brought that book to my attention in the first place. If so, that would be rather ironic that I was recommending the book to you. :)

Pastor Bob Cornwall said...

Life does have a way of coming around full circle. If I was the one who brought it to your attention, I'm glad you're enjoying it!