Thursday, April 23, 2009

Getting to grips with Darwin

We gathered to delve into God and Darwin last night, in the first of two evenings devoted to exploring issues of creation and evolution and the various ways Christians approach these matters.

It was a good natured gathering with all views being expressed. What was interesting (though I guess not really unexpected) was that a majority of participants were less concerned with the means by which God has created than with what an acceptance of Darwin's theory would do the way we read scripture.

So next time, we'll be looking at what the Bible says about God and the world, how we read Genesis 1-3 and (equally importantly) how we read the wealth of other material in the Old and New Testaments that fleshes out the picture of creation we are given in the first chapters of the Bible.

In particular, next time we'll explore how we understand the Fall and the goodness of God if we live in a world where life has evolved.

Personally, I've found this all fascinating. I think I have never really thought through the implications of one view over another. So, if nothing else, this has been a journey of discovery for me. I've found a whole load of helpful resources out there by scholars and theologians I've not read before - people like Sam Berry, Christopher Southgate, John Haught, Denis Edwards and Denis Alexander. Fab, stimulating stuff.

The other personally satisfying aspect of this is that I have returned to my Msc studies in the structure and organisation of science and technology and in particular the way science develops and how scientific models work. I have found it fascinating to explore the early nineteenth century landscape that darwin inhabited with its fresh questions arising from amateur fossil hunters and geologists, leading to Darwin's elegant, beautifully-written account of the origin of life.

Once I've got them together, I'll post my handouts.


AP said...

Having just started reading Southgate; I look forward to seeing the handouts.

Anonymous said...

Andy Jones said:

Having read the Baptist Times' letters pages between trembling fingers, I'll look forward to seeing the handouts too!