The evolution question: Where is God in creation?
There are many answers to the question—Where is God in creation?—perhaps as many as there are people who ask it. And who doesn’t? It’s driven people to search the heavens, explore our Earth and plumb their souls.
It’s also been the cause, of course, of fierce debate and even strife in our life together. Most recently, clashes errupted in decisions about how and what we will teach youngsters in science classrooms in public schools.
The Lutheran hopes this trio of articles from ELCA members, each with expertise in both science and theology, will be helpful to readers.
First you’ll find an opinion from Mark Hollabaugh and, following, responses by Allen R. Utke and Patrick Russell (this page). We also welcome yours by email.
Next, meet John E. Jones, the judge who ruled in a history-making case on this subject in 2005—the editors.
Editor's note: This article is a response to Mark Hollabaugh's article.
As a boy I sang “Jesus Loves Me, This I Know” and “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, How I Wonder What You Are”—and meant both. They kept resonating as I became both a physicist and Lutheran pastor. Living in both worlds I find no conflict between them, only mutual reinforcement to my faith and my God-given curiosity.
For children, religion and science are both about knowing and wondering—there is no distinction. As adults we inherit a historical division between religion and science as ways of knowing, and, unfortunately, we pass this division to our children in churches and schools. The intelligent design movement exploits this division to introduce what Mark Hollabaugh calls bad science and bad theology into the science classroom, as at Dover, Pa.
Hollabaugh describes ID supporters as opposed to evolution on religious grounds, turning to ID in a rear-guard action against Darwinian evolution, which they (mis)understand as the leading edge of a materialistic, godless worldview.
This was certainly the case a generation earlier when so-called “creation science” advocates pressed a literal reading of the biblical creation account in opposition to the scientific picture of an evolving universe.
These efforts were struck down in the courts, and in the Dover case Judge John E. Jones (see "'Not science': Judge John E. Jones") concluded from courtroom testimony that the current ID movement is largely repackaged creationism.
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