Does Evolution Contradict Belief in a God?

I don’t think so, and neither does the author of this article.  Here is a snippet:

I’m not sure what’s going on with the Washington Post’s On Faith blog. I would think that a religion blogger for such an important publication as the Post would have a better grasp of the basic tenets of most world religions. And yet, in a post last week, Julia Duin maintained:

“Evolution runs directly counter to most major world religions, which teach that God created the world in some form or another.”


Really? Just off the top of my head I can think of a few major religions that have no trouble reconciling evolution with faith, including Judaism, Catholicism, Buddhism, and all non-fundamentalist versions of Protestantism, such as, for instance, the United Methodist Church.

Duin was writing about a recent study, which I wrote about here, which indicates that one in eight biology teachers are teaching creationism in the classroom. Duin takes a rather sympathetic view to those creationist and intelligent design-spouting teachers and wonders whether it’s fair to make them teach evolution when they don’t accept it. For some reason, Duin leaves out a discussion of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause and the litany of federal court rulings against teaching creationism/intelligent design or banning the teaching of evolution in public school science classes. Specifically, Duin should read the US Supreme Court decision of 1968’s Epperson v. Arkansas, in which the Court ruled that laws banning the teaching of evolution were unconstitutional because they were based solely on a religious view.

via Just in Time For Darwin Sunday, Washington Post Misses the Point | Religion Dispatches.

Read on.  It’s a great article. H/T to James McGrath on Facebook.

3 Responses

  1. Hello Tom,

    If you actually examine what the Vatican says about evolution, you will realize that they don’t really believe in Darwin’s theory of natural selection, much less the modern synthesis of natural selection and genetics. Instead, the Vatican gives lip service to Darwin while insisting that god guided the entire process. This is de Chardin-ism, not *natural* selection.

    So cross Catholicism off the list.

    I also tend to wonder about even the liberal Protestants. I know quite a few Methodists who are on the liberal side of the social and political spectrum, generally have respect for science, yet can’t come to terms with the ideas that 1) humans are just animals and 2) chance events, rather than some divine plan, led to the evolution of modern humans.

  2. I tend to find that any ground given is good ground. In a debate over the specifics, I think you’re correct; but when you’re facing complete insanity (Ken Ham types) and those who are willing to accept the general tenants (even if perhaps slightly ignorant of the rest of it), you have to say ‘Good compromise, it’s a start’ and keep going.

  3. […] up is a good comment well-worth reading, publicised by Tom Verenna: Does Evolution Contradict Belief in a God? The answer, of course, is no, it only contradicts belief in the kind of fundamentalist God believed […]

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