Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Francis Collins in discussion on evolution

There's an interesting discussion on the Books and Culture site, in which Karl Giberson talks about Christianity and evolution with Francis Collins. Collins recently launched the BioLogos Foundation, which "promotes the search for truth in both the natural and spiritual realms seeking harmony between these different perspectives."

What's interesting about this discussion is that Giberson is more than able to hold his own in terms of questioning Collins' belief in evolution, and Collins is more than able to hold his own in stating why he believes in it, and still remains a Christian. It's certainly not a discussion that covers all the ground, and no doubt sceptics on either side could look for holes and find them. Neither will it convince anyone overnight. As Collins notes: I would not want them, after one lecture, to suddenly say, "OK, you must be right; everything I've learned for the last eighteen years is wrong." I give people credit for wanting to engage the topic as opposed to shutting down and saying, "Oh, it's one of those evolution guys and I was warned about them and I'm going to stop listening right now."

The issue remains vitally of huge importance in the States, where the arguments go much deeper than whether the science has got it right or not, but the argument is also of importance here in New Zealand. Collins doesn't, in this discussion, come up with anything particularly revelatory in terms of apologetics for evolution, but it's good to hear someone of his credibility speaking in a balanced way.

Karl Giberson is the author of Saving Darwin: How to Be a Christian and Believe in Evolution (HarperOne) and executive vice-president of the Biologos Foundation. This might be a book worth checking out. Certainly I've never been convinced by anyone yet that evolution has got the goods. (Though the first review on doesn't do much to make me think it's actually going to help me much in the debate.)

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