Monday, December 10, 2007

The Gospel of Evolution

Michael Dowd in another one of those relatively rare American Christians that accepts the now undisputed facts regarding the true age of the Earth and Evolutionary Biology. On the downside, it appears Dowd also believes that science somehow proves God's existence, something the vast majority of scientists, including many religious ones, would strongly dispute: God's existence or non-existence is almost certainly unknowable and the question is firmly outside of science's remit because God (assuming for argument's sake he does exist) is outside of the realm of the observable. Dowd's interpretation is a theistic reading of science and hence rather self-serving and in itself quite unscientific.

Nevertheless, the man clearly embraces the "birds and the bees" of modern Cosmology and Evolutionary Biology, a position that won't get him many "Thank you!" cards from certain more entrenched evangelical quarters. And the man has a sense of humour too. Michael: go forth and multiply plentifully. Here he is at work:

Michael Dowd's blog.

And here's an interview in

Hat tip to Bacon Eating Atheist Jew.


At 8:06 AM, Blogger TSO said...

I get the point you're making about God's existence or non-existence being unknowable, and Michael Dowd would entirely agree with you if the definition of the word God you're using is a mythic or supernatural being. But this is not the definition he uses.

The word God as Michael uses it means simply ultimacy, or the totality of reality and being. The fact that we experience reality is of course obvious, experiential, and undeniable. This experience is both measurable, such as the world around us, and immeasurable, such as our thoughts, imagination, beliefs, curiosity, dreams, etc. Thus, this definition of the word God is absolutely scientific.

For an in-depth exploration of this, refer to Chapter 7. (Note - you can download a pdf of the entire book for free at his web site.)

Whether or not one chooses to use the word God, I found that understanding evolution the way Dowd describes, as a single, ongoing nested and emergent process that includes my own conscious awareness is more satisfying than having a non-sacred view of evolution as directionless and random. Because this realization puts our own being and consciousness, and the inherent intelligence and creativity that comprises and encompasses all living systems in the picture. Scientific facts by themselves, as useful and as true as they are, don't address or include our innate need to interpret and make meaning from our experience.

At 4:22 PM, Blogger Baconeater said...

Tso, evolution doesn't mean that our species is continuously improving when it comes to things like intelligence for example.
It is all about the ability to survive and procreate and give the offsprings the best chance of survival.
In fact, I've seen a case that predicts humans will start getting less intelligent in the near future as the dummies are breeding like rats, while the secularists (who are generally more intelligent) are have few to no kids.

At 6:03 PM, Blogger RonB said...

BEAJ has it right, Tso, you are wrong to assert that evolution is meaningless and directionless. That only means you dont understand natural selection very well.

Thanks for ruining my morning with that little tidbit about the dumbing of the species, BEAJ. I did my part, I made two and I hope we can put them in the right direction on religion.


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