A few years ago, Gordon Biology professor Craig Story and I received a grant from BioLogos. The main aspect of the grant was to create a weeklong course for pastors on science and faith… for more information take a look at the website for the course or the BioLogos blurb about the grant.
A secondary aim of the grant was for me to develop materials for a book on philosophy as the mediator of discussions on creation and evolution. The book has been outlined and has a publisher (tentatively) and this summer I am aiming to complete the book. I’ve written several posts for BioLogos related to the book’s content which can be found here: Lakatos and the Creation-Evolution “Discussion,” Parts 1 and 2 , and Creation and Evolution “Research Programs” (And Why It’s So Hard to Change Perspectives).
In today’s post, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide the book’s concept. This weekend in a separate post I will provide the chapter descriptions. Let me know what you think! If you have any suggestions, points of clarification, questions, etc. please post them in the comments!
More than 40% of the general public believes in young-earth creationism and major efforts have been introduced to promote better understanding of the science behind evolution. So far, the effects have been minimal and some argue have caused more damage than benefit to the Church. My book will explain the reasons why it is so difficult to leave young-earth creationism and argue that the relevant issues have more to do with philosophy and theology than science.
My book is an introduction to the philosophy of science and religion from a practicing scientist and its application to the creation-evolution debate. While providing a broad philosophical background, the book will use a well-respected framework to model the main origins positions held by the Church. The book will argue that proponents of competing positions suffer from “blurred vision” with respect to each other, causing the dialogue to be misguided (at best) or impossible (at worst). Even though philosophical concepts can be technical, they are crucial to understanding the scientific process and how science progresses. To ensure reader understanding, practical examples and analogies will be used to translate these concepts. The book will also describe ways people view the relationship of science and religion and note how competing views also impacts the creation-evolution dialogue. Three main creation and evolution “networks” as I call them (young-earth creationism, old-earth creationism, evolutionary creation) will be compared and contrasted and the scientific, theological, and philosophical components of each will be discussed. In similar books, only the science or the theology is presented which, in my argument, is insufficient in its own right and does nothing to address the other, often unstated, philosophical commitments. I favor evolutionary creation and will not hide my position, but I will spend significant time addressing its weaknesses and the reasons why young-earth creationists find it unconvincing. Throughout the book, I will provide autobiographical snippets that describe my conversion from young-earth creationism (and fundamentalism) to evolutionary creation (and progressive Christianity) and highlight the many reasons why our vision can be “blurred” making it difficult to mentally move from one position to another.