Leslie Tomory writes on evolution in The Shock and Awe of Creation.
At the end this year celebrating Darwin’s work, it is regrettable that there still exists some tension between religion and evolutionary science, even if it does not stem so much from official doctrines as from the feelings of believers. Some of this tension is inevitable given the atheistic claims of evolutionism, but there are ways to reconcile evolutionary science with theistic philosophy, as many people have done, and as I have outlined here.
The science of evolutionary biology is very well established, and the residual tension between religion and evolutionary biology harms both. On one hand, it makes the scientific work evolutionary biologists suspect in the eyes of many, and on the other, it makes religion appear like a regressive force. It is far better to reject the bundling of evolutionary biology with evolutionism, the real crux of the problem, than to wage a war over the minutiae of evolutionary biology, which should not be problematic from a religious point of view. Finally, accepting theistic evolution does not diminish the beauty and awe we can feel when contemplating God’s creation. On the contrary, God’s is manifest in his works, including in evolution.
Wesley Elsberry has some comments on the piece:
That’s fine by me. But here is one of the issues that diminished my enjoyment of the piece.Young earth creationists are the first and crudest variant of this reaction, but they are by no means the only one. The Intelligent Design (ID) movement accepts common descent to varying degrees, but rejects the established mechanisms of evolutionary change. The arguments of ID proponents are structured in the way I have outlined. Reacting to evolutionism, they have chosen to go on the attack against natural selection and genetic drift. They recognize that common descent is evident and they accept it.Uh, no. There is one major “intelligent design” advocate, Michael Behe, who is on record saying that he has no particular reason to disagree with common descent, which is a rather different proposition from saying that he accepts common descent, much less that he feels that it is evident. Within the “intelligent design” movement, acceptance of common descent ranges from a (quite common) nil of the young-earth creationists in the movement to the grudging acquiescence of Mike Behe. Wherever one finds “intelligent design” material that addresses common descent, it uniformly seeks to make common descent seem less “evident” to the reader. Common descent is still quite plainly a target of “intelligent design” advocates, but it is also clear that they recognize they have a fine line to walk if they want to appear to be at all reasonable to the rest of the world. Have a look at “Of Pandas and People” and “Explore Evolution” sometime. When they talk to a “safe” audience, though, the stops often come off.