While controversies over evolution continue to arise in some sectors of American Christianity, most mainline Christians have made their peace with Darwin. We may not grasp all the nuances of the scientific debate, but we have concluded that evolutionary theory is good science and therefore must be compatible with good theology. Darwin’s name doesn’t send chills up our spines.
Can natural selection of living things, aided by more or less random mutations (genetic tinkering), explain what appear to be incisive cases of design, intentionality, purpose and progress in evolution?
Because I am a biologist, evolution is at the core of virtually everything I think about. Like most of my colleagues, I’ve kept an eye on the emerging “intelligent design” movement. Unlike most of my colleagues, however, I don’t see ID as a threat to biology, public education or the ideals of the republic.
The notion of intelligent design in nature is not controversial among Christians. “The heavens proclaim the glory of God,” the psalmist exclaims, and worshipers regularly confess their belief in God “the Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth.” St.
The former director of the Vatican Observatory has rejected speculation that he was replaced because of his vocal opposition to “intelligent design,” adding that Pope Benedict XVI “enthusiastically supported” his work.
An engineering professor from Germany who was attending my course on the Genesis debates was flabbergasted to learn that in the U.S. a sizable number of people think that modern science is optional. “In my country,” he explained, “whether it’s a state school, a Lutheran school, or a Catholic school, we all teach the same science.”