Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Response to “Ten Reasons” – 9

This is a continuation of our response to an article entitled “Ten Reasons Why Evolution is Dangerous and Evil” published in Clarion in January. See this introductory response for the context and our approach. In the interest of clarity, and to avoid further unnecessary polarization, we presented these responses in advance to the authors of “Ten Reasons” to provide an opportunity to identify any misunderstanding or misrepresentation. No response was received.

Original from Clarion [numbered for our responses below]

Evolution is incompatible with the biblical doctrine of marriage and family

According to Scripture (Gen 2:18-23), God created a wife for Adam and then officiated at the first wedding ceremony. The Bible teaches that marriage and family have their origin with God’s creation in Genesis. Evolutionary theory[33] teaches, however, that marriage and family are social conventions that developed among evolving animals. This theory would suggest that family and marriage relationships are not written in stone, and therefore we can expect them to continue to evolve. It is not a significant step from accepting evolutionary dogma to embracing the validity of homosexual relationships, polygamy, or even bestiality. If there is no essential difference[34] between man and the animals, then man may certainly behave like an animal. The Bible teaches one thing and evolution[35] something completely different – this is the antithesis established between the seed of the serpent and the seed of the woman. If we are to maintain the Biblical doctrine of marriage and family, we do well to see evolution[36] for what it is: an attack on the truth of God’s Word. (WB)

Responses by Reformed Academic

33. It is true that the biological theory of evolution has been used to account for social, moral, and religious behaviour. However, both Christians and non-Christians have shown that such use does not follow from that theory; instead, it is the teaching of evolutionism. We certainly do not hold the views attributed to philosophical evolutionists in this section. There is a revival of the so-called “nature-nurture” debates of the past. Materialists reduce social behavior including marriage and religiosity to phenomena determined by biological causes. Others, claiming to be anti-reductionists, reduce the same to socio-cultural factors. There are some, including Christians, who try to acknowledge the biological as well as the social and the religious aspects of, say, marriage. In these fields there is a crying need to develop a Christian interpretation of the biological facts. It is difficult to separate theory and ideology in this case, and this calls for careful thought. Dr. Jitse van der Meer has contributed to this Christian perspective by arguing that materialism shapes sociobiological theory in his article, “The engagement of religion and biology: A case study in the mediating role of metaphor in the sociobiology of Lumsden & Wilson”, Biology and Philosophy v. 15 (2000) pp. 669-698.

34. The biological theory of evolution does not make any ontological claims regarding the status of human vis-à-vis animals. Evolutionism indeed claims there is no essential difference. Christians, including us, certainly affirm the uniqueness of humanity (see previous remark).

35. Evolutionism, not evolution.

36. Evolutionism, not evolution.

1 comment:

gullchasedship said...

Os Guinness has some interesting comments on science and faith on Youtube that I think apply directly to the current conversation in our circles.

Pete Scholtens
Wageningen, NL