Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Atheist Side to the Argument from Design II

I have often heard anti-evolutionists respond to evolution by saying that the theory is ridiculous because clearly the world could not have been created by chance and must have had a creator. This completely misses the point. The theory of evolution sidesteps the argument from design. It offers a process in which one can, given 500 million years or so get from single celled organism to human beings. Athiests can argue that just as we can account for how we got from level plains to the Rocky Mountains simply by postulating millions of years and sifting geological plates so to we can account for how we got from single celled organisms to human beings by postulating Darwinian evolution, that species evolve through natural selection. In both cases one should have no need to seek recourse from some intelligent designer.
Evolution raises some very serious theological questions. First and formost the validity of the argument from design. It also calls into question divine providence, the notion of a human species and the validity of human intelligence. I can think of many other issues raised by evolution. Way at the bottom of my concerns is the validity of a literal reading of Genesis or, of many Midrashim. From a theological perspective I would be far less bothered by anti-evolutionists if they would rally around the very real theological issues that are at stake. By rallying around biblical authority anti-evolutionists show that they do not really care about God, religion or theology. What they care about is power. The bible must be defended as the ultimate authority because as the ultimate authority it gives ultimate power to those who possess the authority to interpret it.
If God wrote the bible he did not do it in order that people could believe that it is true or to allow some people to strut around and claim to be better then scientists. The bible is a moral and theological text. It points to more then just its own authority.

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