Darwin evolution religion
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Darwin, evolution, & religion. What are the issues? 1. Challenges to the methods & nature of science Darwin’s theory is not a genuine scientific theory 2. Design arguments & the design of the universe. Darwin, evolution, & religion. 3. Evolutionary ethics

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Darwin, evolution, & religion

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Darwin evolution religion

Darwin, evolution, & religion

  • What are the issues?

    • 1. Challenges to the methods & nature of science

      • Darwin’s theory is not a genuine scientific theory

    • 2. Design arguments & the design of the universe

Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 1


Darwin evolution religion1

Darwin, evolution, & religion

  • 3. Evolutionary ethics

    • Does evolution entail an ethic of competition, struggle, & survival?

  • 4. Human dignity & the the soul

    • Does evolution from primates take away from the specialness of humankind?

Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 2


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Darwin, evolution, & religion

  • 5. Biblical creation stories & evolution

    • Creation science or scientific creationism

Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 3


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Darwin, evolution, & religion

  • 1. Is Darwin’s theory scientific?

    • The “only a theory” charge

    • The not well-confirmed charge

Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 4


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Darwin, evolution, & religion

  • 2. Design arguments & the design of the universe

    • One reason for the shock of Darwin’s threat to the design argument is that this argument was immensely popular in England in the 19th century

    • William Paley’s Natural Theology (1802)

    • The tradition in England of clergymen-naturalists

Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 5


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Darwin, evolution, & religion

  • And the form of the argument was based on living things

  • 3. Evolutionary ethics

    • Herbert Spencer (English, 1820-1903) & William Graham Sumner’s (American, 1840-1910) Social Darwinism

      • Laissez-faire in economics & social policy

  • Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 6


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    Darwin, evolution, & religion

    • Ethics of struggle, waste, competition, & survival

  • Critique:

    • The is-ought problem; the naturalistic fallacy

    • The problem of what to select in nature

  • Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 7


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    Darwin, evolution, & religion

    • 4. The challenge to human dignity

      • Problem of soul

      • Is Christianity compatible with a non-dualistic view of human nature?

      • Does dignity depend on origins?

    Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 8


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    Darwin, evolution, & religion

    • 5. Stories of origins in Scripture & Darwin’s theory

      • Literalist vs non-literalist approaches toward Scripture

      • The current literalism goes back to the founding of the World’s Christian Fundamentals Society by William Bell Riley in Minneapolis in 1919

    Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 9


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    Darwin, evolution, & religion

    • Linked to George McCready Price’s earlier (1906) proposal that the fossil record was not sound evidence because of a cataclysmic flood

    • After the embarrassment of the Scopes trial in 1925, Fundamentalists change tactics.

      • Began defending what later became known as creation science or scientific creationism

    Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 10


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    Darwin, evolution, & religion

    • In 1946, Henry Morris published a book defending special creation and flood geology

    • 1963 - founded the Creation Research Society; in 1972 renamed the Institute for Creation Research

    • New tactic: To give creation science time equal in schools to Darwinian evolution

    Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 11


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    Darwin, evolution, & religion

    • Comments

      • Defenders of creation science accept the prestige of science in the modern world. Why?

      • Are the scientific challenges to Darwin’s theory valid?

    Darwinian evolution & religion ~ slide 12


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