I've previously written about whether science and faith can be reconciled - they can't. But, today in the HuffPo, I find someone trying to argue that only good Xians accept evolution.
Apart from the obvious problems of reconciling the Bible with a naturalistic account of the origin of the universe and then subsequently with the origin of species...
Apparently Mr. Dudley's claim is that Xianity has always embraced science, so standing in the way of science now is un-Xian.
In theory, if not always in practice, past Christian theologians valued science out of the belief that God created the world scientists study. Augustine castigated those who made the Bible teach bad science, John Calvin argued that Genesis reflects a commoner's view of the physical world, and the Belgic confession likened scripture and nature to two books written by the same author.
This, of course, only tells half the story. Sure, Xians have always embraced science, so long as they were in control of what it said and they could easily fit it into their pre-conceived notions of how the world was supposed to work. IOW, as long as they could control the content so that it only said what they wanted, they were all for it. Look at what happened the moment scientists started to speak out and show that long-held "truths" of the church were not actually true. Galileo anyone? And, that's just one example. A more modern example is the creationist movement that attempts to hijack science classrooms and force their beliefs down everyone's throats.
But, even when Xians were supposedly supportive of science, they really were not. They were attempting to force the facts to fit their pre-determined conclusions. It was anti-scientific from the get-go. That is because science in its essence is the eschewing of faith, while religion relies on faith.
Not that everything Dudley says is bad:
Because no amount of talk about "worldviews" and "presuppositions" can change a simple fact: creationism has failed to provide an alternative explanation for the vast majority of evidence explained by evolution.
It has failed to explain why birds still carry genes to make teeth, whales to make legs, and humans to make tails.
It has failed to explain why the fossil record proposed by modern scientists can be used to make precise and accurate predictions about the location of transition fossils.
It has failed to explain why the fossil record demonstrates a precise order, with simple organisms in the deepest rocks and more complex ones toward the surface.
It has failed to explain why today's animals live in the same geographical area as fossils of similar species.
It has failed to explain why, if carnivorous dinosaurs lived at the same time as modern animals, we don't find the fossils of modern animals in the stomachs of fossilized dinosaurs.
It has failed to explain the broken genes that litter the DNA of humans and apes but are functional in lower vertebrates.
It has failed to explain how the genetic diversity we observe among humans could have arisen in a few thousand years from two biological ancestors.
Yes, exactly. Evolution explains the data, creationism is sadly lacking. But, then he goes back to claiming that it's un-Xian, and even says that those who reject the data ought to rip pages out of their Bibles:
Those who believe God created the world scientists study, even while ignoring most of the data compiled by those who study it, might as well rip dozens of pages out of their Bibles. Because if "nature is as truly a revelation of God as the Bible," it's basically the same thing.
The only way to "reconcile" the Bible with the natural world is to ignore the data. It's not the creationists that should be ripping out pages, it's Dudley. He's engaging in post-hoc rationalizations in order to shoehorn his Bible into the scientific knowledge of the day and greatly distorting it in the process - it would be better for him to simply jettison the superstitious mythology known as Xianity. It would be great if he were correct and we could maybe convince Xians to stop ignoring the scientific data and even actively fighting against it, but it wouldn't be true.