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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
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

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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

darwin evolution religion2
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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