Theoretical physicist and atheist Marcelo Gleiser asks himself in a blogpost why so many religious believers have issues with evolutionary theory. And his conclusion is excellent:
Does evolution really need to be such a stumbling block for so many? Is it really that bad that we descended from monkeys? Doesn’t that make us even more amazing, primates that can write poetry and design scientific experiments? Behind this strong resistance to evolution there is a deep dislike for a scientific understanding of how nature works. The problem seems to be related to the age-old God-of-the-Gaps agenda, that the more we understand of the world the less room there is for a creator God. This is bad theology, as it links belief to the development of science.
Yes, it is bad theology indeed! This theology assumes a competition between God the Creator and the created world. Such a view is theologically totally inadequate. Thanks Marcelo!
Today I ordered the new book by Karl Giberson and Randall Stephens, The Anointed: Evangelical Truth in a Secular Age, published by Belknap/Harvard University Press. I was especially struck by the following description:
Exploring intellectual authority within evangelicalism, the authors reveal how America’s populist ideals, anti-intellectualism, and religious free market, along with the concept of anointing—being chosen by God to speak for him like the biblical prophets—established a conservative evangelical leadership isolated from the world of secular arts and sciences.
Since Giberson is familiar with the evangelical scene, I expect an authoritative description that will also shed some light on the evangelical/creationist/fundamentalist mindset, which is apparently so different from my own. I hope to be able to come back to the book in due time.
According to Giberson’s blog, the book was recently nominated for the 100,000 dollar 2013 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.