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Archive for the ‘Drawinism’ Category

I came across an interview with Rupert Sheldrake on Enlighten Next Magazine website. This guy seems quite remarkable – does a lot of work on consciousness. Among other things he comes with a refreshing perspective on ‘God’ that challenges the mechanistic view of the Enlightenment. He also suggests (with some justification, I may say) that science is based “on all sorts of assumptions about nature that are essentially theological or metaphysical”

I share here a fragment in which he argues for the necessity of evil in a non-static (or should I say evolving or creative) universe. Not a new formulation but I like the way he puts is. In another part of the interview he blasts Dawkins and his clan of ‘deterministic’ materialists. You can read the full interview here

“Well, I think if there’s a universe of diversity and of becoming, which is what our universe is, then all things are mortal. Nothing lasts forever in a universe of becoming. If we lived in a frozen, crystalline universe where nothing ever changed, I daresay there’d be no claws and no blood. But the nature of existence, as we see it in the universe, is that all things come to an end and are recycled. Even the most long-lasting things we know of, like stars, come to an end. The forms in which things come into being have a limited life span, so all organisms are going to die sooner or later. And it’s the very nature of animal life that animals make their living by eating plants or other animals. So, if you are going to have animals that by their very nature have to eat other organisms, you’re going to have red claws and teeth somewhere or other. Decay, disease, death, and suffering are built into the very nature of an evolutionary universe of this kind. So, if we have an evolutionary universe in which change and development are built-in, in which there is a constant becoming of forms and dissolution of forms, these are inevitable features. The God of such a universe, the consciousness of such a universe, has to encompass these kinds of processes. You could, perhaps, have a different kind of universe, as I said, where everything is frozen in crystalline unity forever. But that would be a different sort of universe, a universe without becoming, without development, and also without creativity. It seems to be an inevitable consequence of the kind of universe we have that there’s going to be red teeth and claws around, and suffering, decay, disease, and death”.

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This is an interesting video:

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Today’s Sunday Times reports on a study on children’s brains, which not only suggests that humans are born with the inner ability to believe in God, but it also suggests that religious belief has played a significant role in the ‘survival’ and development of human society. Mr Dawkins might have to sharpen his pencil for a little while longer! But then again he might say, I told you so, faith is a childish experience. But one thing I can be sure of: the debate will go on and on for much longer.

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“There’s a focus on competition in Darwinism because of the notions of progress and struggle. Now we get into theology and how it influences Darwinism, through the Calvinist view that people who have the greater accumulation of goods have proved themselves superior in the race of life. That for me is a whole lot of garbage that can be chucked. Once you get rid of it, you’re into a different set of metaphors, related to creativity, novelty for its own sake, doing what comes naturally. Instead of the image of organisms struggling up peaks in a fitness landscape, doing “better than” — which is a very Calvinist work ethic — there is the image of a creative dance”.

Brian Goodwin, “Biology Is Just a Dance” from The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution by John Brockman (Simon & Schuster, 1995)

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In just over a week, on the 12th of February, we will be marking the bicentenary of Charles Darwin’s birth.The scientific (and religious) world are gearing up towards marking this important event. There are numerous programmes commission and to be broadcasted by BBC. Publishers are planning book launches, and many periodicals are marking this big event with special editions. Across the UK (and other countries) Institutions are planning many other events, lectures etc….

Religious communities are also gearing towards marking this event. Some churches are encouraged to celebrate this event and mark it through helping people see that Darwin’s achievement should be seen in terms of a blessing and should be affirmed as a step forward not just for human kind and scientific progress but also as a building block in our faith journey and in our understanding of God and his wonderful work in Creation. However to many Christians’ regret there are some Christians who are going to mark this important anniversary by declaring anathema all those that think evolution is compatible with faith in a Creator God.

To my surprise I received this morning an email from a small Christian publishing house which encouraged me to purchase one of their product The Delusion of Evolution. Here is the letter which you can also find on this website:

Dear Friends

With all those uniquely formed snowflakes falling outside, now is the perfect time to stock up on your copies of The Delusion of Evolution. No need to leave the house, just a couple of clicks online and they’ll be winging their way to you faster than you can say “I am more than the product of a chance meeting of atoms in a primeval swamp!”

With the country at large celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth on 12 February, we at New Life Publishing are promoting a Delusion of Evolution Day instead. A day to celebrate the truly staggering complexity and diversity of life that bears all the hallmarks of its designer, creator and sustainer, the Lord Jesus Christ.

How to celebrate Delusion of Evolution Day
– Take a copy for every member in your church
– Give a copy to everyone in your church youth group
– Ask if your local school will accept copies for their biology or RE classes
– Send a copy to all your local media and councillors etc.

The Delusion of Evolution is a compact, high-quality, magazine-style booklet that points out many of the flaws in evolutionary theory as taught in our schools and colleges, and puts valuable information into the hands of every believer to bolster faith and answer the critics.

Contents include
– What your biology teacher never told you
– Nature’s nanotechnology shows every sign of design
– Richard Dawkins confesses he can’t prove evolution
– Evidence leads top scientist to Intelligent Design

The Delusion of Evolution – an attractive, clear, 28-page booklet. Prices start from as little as 59p per copy including carriage. Full details here.

If you would like copies of The Delusion of Evolution call Barry in our sales department today on 0115 921 7280 or simply reply to this email.

Every blessing

In 2007 we marked the bicentenary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act. This was also a very important event and we marked it with special events.

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Madeleine Bunting’s piece in the Guardian “Darwin shouldn’t be hijacked by New Atheists – he is an ethical inspiration” stirred a large number of comments and an ongoing debate about science and religion on the paper’s site (690 on the last count). It appears to me that on the eve of celebrating Darwin and his achievements, the question addressing the relation between religion and science is far from being answered (will it ever be?).

Reactions to Bunting’s article are also showing the raising dogmatism and intolerance within militant atheist ‘community’, and in particular here in the UK (in some contrast to what happens in the USA where the ‘intelligent design’ supporters are less tolerant).

I hope that at least some of the Churches will take the opportunity of the forthcoming Darwin anniversary, to celebrate his achievements but also to show that faith in a creator God is fully compatible with evolution. There is a nice project “The Clergy Letter Project” initiated by someone at Butler University in the USA which seeks to show the compatibility between science and religion, and the idea of marking this with an event ‘Evolution Weekend’ 13 -15 February 2009. I am not aware of any UK based initiative in a similar vain.
Images:

Darwin from http://darwin-online.org.uk/

Cartoon from http://www.anthroblogs.org/nomadicthoughts/

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James in his blog Exploring our Matrix, draws attention that Science, Evolution and Creationism, a book published by the American National Academy of Science, can be read online for free! A very useful read for anyone interested in the ‘intelligent design’ debate. It basically argues that science and religion are not in conflict (but should be seen as two [different?] ways of looking at the world), and that the evidence for evolution is compatible with religious faith.

Read this FREE online!
Full Book | PDF Summary | Podcast

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