Can you be an orthodox Darwinist and an orthodox theist? The plain answer is “no,” according to God and Evolution, an important new book from Discovery Institute Press. The book provides a thorough examination of the conflict between belief in God and Darwin’s theory of unguided evolution.
In the century and a half since Charles Darwin first proposed his theory, Christians, Jews, and other religious believers have grappled with how to make sense of it. Most have understood that Darwin’s theory and materialistic theories of the origin of life have profound theological implications, but their responses have varied dramatically.
Some have rejected evolutionary ideas outright; others, often called “theistic evolutionists,” have sought to reconcile materialist theories including Darwinism with their religious beliefs, but often at the cost of clarity, orthodoxy, or both.
“Too few people have carefully teased out the various scientific, philosophical, and theological claims at stake,” says Jay Richards, director of research for discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, and editor of God and Evolution. “As a result, the whole subject of God and evolution has been an enigma wrapped in a shroud of fuzz and surrounded by a blanket of fog.”
God and Evolution includes chapters by William Dembski, author of The Design Revolution; Stephen Meyer, author of Signature in the Cell: DNA and the Evidence for Intelligent Design; Denyse O’Leary, co-author of The Spiritual Brain; David Klinghoffer, author of The Discovery of God: Abraham and the Birth of Monotheism; Jonathan Wells, author of Icons of Evolution; and John West, author of Darwin Day in America;
The book is a response to growing efforts by some Darwinists to enlist the support of the faith community by downplaying Darwinism’s core principles. Chapters of the book detail the failures of theistic evolution, address the problem of evil, and explain how intelligent design is consonant with orthodox belief.
God and Evolution is ideal for use in small groups and adult Sunday School classes and each chapter comes with discussion questions to facilitate group use. Many additional resources, including video clips for educational use, are available at www.faithandevolution.org.