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« Creation - Genesis 1-3 | Main | Books on the go... and Bible online. »

January 09, 2006

Comments

Jamie

As someone whose day job involves interactions with leading scientists across a wide range of fields in biology and medicine, this subject is one that really interests me. I'm really glad you are addressing it. How wise to point readers to books that offer a diversity of views. Watch out: there's a real risk we might have an informed debate here!

It's sad, though, that in some churches it has become a divisive subject. You'd likely get the sack if you were in the USA. Crucial to the discussion is a correct reading of the first few chapters of Genesis. What was the intention of the author? What did the text mean to those for whom it was written? How, therefore, can we read the text? As a scientific account? Not at all, in my book. Yet in some churches beleivers are set upon by those who are intent on standing up for 'the truth' when their 'truth' is something that the bible doesn't actually say. That is, the irony of their position is that in their desire to 'believe what the bible says' they could actually be promoting a lie, and be acting as enemies of the truth.

My view - I don't really care what you think about creation and evolution - it's enough for us to believe that God is the agent of creation - he's the big man and it's all his handiwork. We should be nice to each other and not beat each other up over issues about which the bible doesn't have anything to say (scientific mechanisms of creation). And if we are going to get into an argument, we should try to be at least semi-informed on the issues and not just sprout prejudice.

Have you read mcgrath and do you recommend him? His book looks interesting.

David

As this is an area I take a great deal of interest in, I can remain a lurker no more! I listened to your talk on mp3 and fully agreed with it, although I thought you were too kind to Richard Dawkins. If you get a chance read “The Blind Watchmaker”, one of his earlier books, were he attempts to show how shapes resembling creatures can be formed from random mutations thus removing the necessity for intelligent design. The only flaw was he had to use a computer program he wrote (or designed) in order to demonstrate this, thus defeating the object somewhat.

An excellent book on the relationship between science and religion is “Rebuilding the Matrix” (nothing to do with the film) by Denis Alexander. It has a few good chapters on Genesis and creation in general. It comes highly recommended by John Polkinghorne and so is a bit heavy in places, but well worth the read. I am half way through McGrath and have found it very original. He challenges and roundly attacks the premise that a belief in some form of evolution leads logically to atheism, which is an assumption often made by both Christians and atheists alike.

Did anyone see Dawkins on Ch4 last night? – I thought it was a very poor piece of work, made up of old chestnuts and some very selective interviews. Part two is next week. Now stepping off soapbox….

Jamie

David
I'm so glad you've uncloaked at last! I'm beginning to feel highly self-conscious of my over-participation here. I didn't see th Dawkins show, but I read accounts of it in the press and discussed it with scientific colleagues who'd seen it over lunch. Sounds like he used an American loon to set up a 'straw man'. He's got a severe agenda to attack religion - I guess he's what you'd call and evangelistic atheist.

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