This popped up on New Scientist’s online news this morning: Christians battle each other over evolution by Amanda Gefter.
So the Discovery Institute insists that to be a Christian means that theory of evolution must be rejected as espoused in their new Faith and Evolution web site. The web site, Geftner speculates, may be a response to Francis Collin’s launch of the BioLogos Foundation. Collins and crew — with funding from the Templeton Foundation — are proponents of theistic evolution which purports that the supreme being of Christianity chose to create life via evolution.
That actually sounds much like the belief of the minister of my childhood church (United Methodist). Rev. M. loved science, was fascinated by modern cosmology, embraced the theory of evolution, and in fact was a substitute science teacher at my high school. I daresay he’d look askance at being told he could not be a Christian for his scientific inclinations.
Strictly speaking, he was a creationist (divine hand behind the Big Bang, etc.). I recall a sermon in which he compared the imagery of an atom to a galaxy (a loose connection to physical laws) as a tribute to the Christian supreme being. To his credit, he never conflated God with science in the public high school classroom. So even if the magisteria of faith and science might have become entangled when he stood at the pulpit, they certainly did not when he spoke in the secular public arena.
So this is what concerns me about Francis Collins. He’s speaking from the pulpit on BioLogos — analogous to Rev. M’s paean to God via atoms to galaxies. However, Collins is rumored to be a potential pick for head of the NIH. Will he be able to keep the magisteria non-overlapping in a secular venue?
To echo Gefter, allowing the magisteria of faith and science to become entangled serves neither well. The DI’ers and BioLogos just conflate them in different ways.