Monday, September 15, 2008

A Christian Apology

The Anglican church has recently posted several articles on evolution and Christianity online. One of the essays -- "Good Religion Needs Good Science" by Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown -- states that the Christian Chuch needs to apologize to Darwin for reacting so negatively to evolution (via the Guardian). Of course, there is a lot of truth in this. Many Christians just give knee-jerk reactions to any argument that supports evolution, and are willing to believe just about anything that seems to go the other way.

On the other hand, it needs to be pointed out that the Church didn't react negatively to Darwin en masse right away. A book on this (that I haven't actually read yet) is Darwin's Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter Between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought by David N. Livingstone. Another good resource is the second chapter of Philip J. Sampson's masterwork Six Modern Myths about Christianity and Western Civilization.

Christian hostility to evolution built up because a group of atheists and agnostics in the late 19th century decided to initiate a cultural campaign representing evolution as the final nail in Christianity's coffin. After using evolution as a club to beat Christians over the head with, I think it's sad but understandable that some Christians eventually responded by getting mad at the club.

(cross-posted on Quodlibeta)

1 comment:

jacob longshore said...

Thanks for the observations and references, AI. If ever I finish my magnum opus, I'd like to dip into those texts.

One thing could be added concerning the genetic fallacy - it's probably been done before - namely, that the Darwinian attack on religion is just as fallacious as the Freudian attack you mentioned in the post above.

Strange. I've seen it pointed out that Darwinism doesn't rule out Christianity, but I haven't seen the anti-religious attack identified as a *logical* fallacy. But it obviously is, and logical criticism presents a more serious response to Dawkins & Co.: it speaks their language.