God, Science, and Evolution

Yesterday we finished off a discussion of John H. Walton’s fascinating look at The Lost World of Genesis One. In the discussion of scientific explanations of origins in proposition 16, p. 136 Walton draws an analogy (He uses a few examples, I am going to paraphrase a bit to use only one example).

We believe that God controls the weather, yet we do not denounce meteorologists who produce their weather maps day to day based on the predictability of natural cause and effect processes. Can evolution be thought of in similar terms?

It would be unacceptable to adopt an evolutionary view without God. But it would likewise be unacceptable to adopt … meteorology as [a process] without God. The fact that  … meteorology [does] not identify God’s role, or that many … meteorologists do not believe God has a role makes no difference. We can accept the results of …meteorology (regardless of the beliefs of the scientists) as processes we believe describe in part God’s way of working. … Why should our response to evolution be any different?

I would like to pose a few questions today as a wrap on Walton’s book – and as a lead in to future posts on the questions of science and faith or intellectual integrity and how it melds with the Christian faith.

Why is an evolutionary explanation for the development of life a concern – but predictability in weather and an underlying assumption of naturalism in the description of weather is not a concern?

Why are intelligent design or the suggestion that the Cambrian explosion undermines Darwinian evolution appealing ideas? What does it achieve to cast doubt on evolutionary biology?

Why don’t we try to cast doubt on current theories of weather based on the assumption of naturalism, or organize campaigns to force our public schools to offer the theological alternative of God’s role in the discussion of weather and meteorology?

Why should our schools specifically teach the cutting edge questions that pose “problems” in evolutionary theory – but not in any other science? (After all the entry level teaching of any science in high school brushes a myriad of complications under the rug – as does much of the intro undergraduate curriculum for that matter.)

What do you think?

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