Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Religiously Supporting Science

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has just announced an unusual undertaking for a scientific society: it has produced a book on evolution and Christian theology "specifically for use in Christian adult education programs."

The book, The Evolution Dialogues, [by Catherine Baker and edited by James B. Miller] was written with the input of both scientists and theologians. Meant specifically for use in Christian adult education programs, it offers a concise description of the natural world, as explained by evolution, and the Christian response, both in Charles Darwin's time and in contemporary America. ...

[T]he book features a narrative about the personal dilemma of a fictional college student, Angela Rawlett, as she struggles to reconcile her traditionalist Christian upbringing with her keen interest in biology.
Fearing that Intelligent Design could be marketed as a valid integration of science and religion, leading even mainstream Christians to doubt evolution, denominations such as the Lutheran World Federation, the Episcopal Church USA, and the United Methodist Church became more concerned than they were when most opposition to evolution came from young-Earth creationists. ID began to be seen as a threat to the quality of public school science instruction and to the separation between church and state.

After consultations with representatives of scientific and Christian religious communities, AAAS decided to produce a book that could be used by religious educators and others seeking a concise description of the science of evolution and a respectful discussion of the cultural and religious responses to it.
A hopeful sign is that Jack Haught, the retired Georgetown University theologian who was an important witness in the Dover Intelligent Design trial, said:

[The book] exhibits not only prudence and judiciousness, but also an erudite understanding of the distinct modes of understanding characteristic of science and religion. A major benefit of this project is that it demonstrates how a religious understanding of the world need not be looked upon as an alternative to evolutionary science and vice-versa.
The more militant atheists among the defenders of science may wind up more than a little agog but, if done well, this can only be an asset to science education.

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The more militant atheists among the defenders of science may wind up more than a little agog....

What, you don't think PZ is going to be totally in love with this?
PZ's reaction would be mild compared to Larry Moran's at t.o. but, yeah, warmed cockles ain't what I'd expect.
Okay Barry . . . I left your advertisement for your blog up for a day but I consider it discourteous, to say the least, to post something like that without even an attempt to make it relevant to my blog.
Oh, and Jack . . . speak of the devil . . .
Enjoyed a lot! »
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How to Support Science Education