Can Darwinism Rule Out Truth in Religion?
The reasons supporting this idea are
Darwinism, particularly when combined with modern
molecular biology, is a system both ultimately simple, and of great explanatory
power. This tempts scientists to apply it much more widely than can be strictly
justified. See Richard Dawkins and E.O.Wilson against the possibility
of the truth of religion.
A central ingredient of
Darwinian evolution is chance. Again, this has tempted some thinkers to
see the process as incompatible with the work of a purposeful creator (but see law, chance and divine action for a
It is this irreducible element of chance in
biology of which the great molecular biologist Jacques Monod wrote:
Pure chance, absolutely free but
blind, (is) at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.
The ancient covenant is in
pieces; man at last knows that he is alone in the unfeeling immensity of the
universe, out of which he emerged by chance.
These much-quoted sentences
reveal much about the debate between biological atheists and those who want to
defend a theistic account. Monod, on the basis of his own existential
presuppositions, makes a large step from the existence of chance within a
process to asserting that the process is determined by nothing other than
chance. He confines the categories of possible explanation to the natural, and
then infers that there is no super-natural meaning to the world.
Click on different
understandings of chance to understand more about the meaning of the term.
Or see law, chance and
divine action to understand why theologians now regard chance as an essential
element in divine creation.
link | Feedback | Contributed by: Dr.
Source: God, Humanity and the
Cosmos (T&T Clark, 1999)