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Friday, December 10, 2010

If you are a Darwinist, can you be a Christian if people just say so ... ?

A friend mentioned that a certain Christian Darwinist Web log removed a post in which he intimated that Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900-1975) was only doubtfully a Christian. We are advised by the mod that Dobzhansky, who was certainly a loyal foot soldier for Darwin, was also a “firmly committed Christian.”

Indeed? Those who might be expected to know report,
Dobzhansky was a religious man, although he apparently rejected fundamental beliefs of traditional religion, such as the existence of a personal God and of life beyond physical death. His religiosity was grounded on the conviction that there is meaning in the universe. He saw that meaning in the fact that evolution has produced the stupendous diversity of the living world and has progressed from primitive forms of life to mankind. Dobzhansky held that, in man, biological evolution has transcended itself into the realm of self-awareness and culture. He believed that somehow mankind would eventually evolve into higher levels of harmony and creativity. He was a metaphysical optimist." (Ayala, F.J. & Fitch, W.M., Genetics and the origin of species: An introduction," _Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA_, Vol. 94, July 1997, pp.7691-7697, p.7693.
Okay, so he was probably kind to kids, kittens, and katydids (as his fond survivors doubtless recall), but was not in any meaningful sense a Christian.

Yes, much is made of his “Orthodox”-ness”, presumably because those icons so greatly embellish to the story. It says a lot about Christian Darwinism that he is regarded as an excellent example.

As I explained to my friend,
if you ask me whether someone is a Christian, I say, "Let him recite the
Apostle's Creed and affirm that he believes it and renounces contrary doctrines."
In the Creed, you will hardly hear about “somehow mankind would eventually evolve into higher levels of harmony and creativity,” nor can any such doctrine be twisted out of either Christianity or history in general.

So either the Darwinists who think they know what Dobzhansky believed are wrong or the Christian Darwinists are trying to put us on again. Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets.

The trouble is, it’s all on the Internet now ...

It bothers me that some people reassure school kids that there is no conflict between Christianity and Darwinism (oh, and by the way, evolution explains why you kids and your parents believe the God illusion).

My friend is better off posting some place where facts matter. And Christian Darwinists would be better off without the Information Age.

(Note: There are slightly different versions of the Creed, but none offer the “somehow evolve” option.)

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