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Thank God for Evolution!

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Welcome back to Fox & Friends. Pope Benedict says there should not be a clash between science and religion. Still, many oppose teaching them both in school. And our next guest says that understanding evolution can actually help deepen your faith. The author of "Thank God for Evolution," Rev. Michael Dowd joins us now. Reverend, thanks for being here. Great to be here Alisyn. So, evolution, as you well know, vs. creationism - that's always been the struggle in the classroom. In fact, many people treat them as mutually exclusive. Why don't they have to be? Well, in part because what we're learning is that science can be understood in a sacred, meaningful way. That God, for example, has revealed some major things in the last 200 years that the Biblical writers couldn't have possibly understood. Extinctions, evolution, and not just the evolution of biological forms, but all evolution, the evolution of galaxies and star systems, glaciers, we didn't know that. The apostle Paul, Moses, could not have possibly known that, that we are made of star dust. That our bodies are made of elements - carbon, oxygen, nitrogen - that were created in such stars. So these are things that couldn't have been revealed in the past and what we're now finally able to appreciate is the way that the history of the universe, the science-based history of the universe, can strengthen, and deepen, and enrich people's faith. This is a big step forward, but I have to say, I'm curious why there is this rift in Christianity. On the one side, a lot of Christians I talk to say, yes, these are not, to Alisyn's point, mutually exclusive. That evolution is part of the process and it shouldn't be an affront to faith. And then there are other Christians who believe the Earth is only 2000 years old and that humans lived along side dinosaurs. Why is it that there is this rift in Christianity this way? Well, part of it is, I think, because many conservatives have never been exposed to this way of thinking about the science-based history of the universe in a way that is, to use Christian language, God-glorifying, or Christ-honoring. So, until religious people are exposed to evolution in a way that touches them and moves them and inspires them, I think it is not a surprise that we're going to see them continue to resist evolution. And, of course, the media play it up - most of the media, that's why I'm grateful for this conversation - play it up as either the new atheists or young Earth creationists, as if those are the only two games in town. And, as we all know, that's just not the case. There are millions in the middle who integrate evolution and theology. But you know what Reverend, also what you just said is interesting. Christians need to be exposed to evolution, but the flip side is also true, whereas scientists, I think, need to be more open to the fact that evolution has never answered the great, overarching question of where did it all come from? You hit the nail on the head, Alisyn, but it even goes deeper than that. Religions have typically provided the most important benefits for humans: deep trust when we look to the future, deep gratitude when we look to the past, inspiration in the moment to act in integrity. And until science can show people how those same benefits can be gotten through a science world view, but not in a way that disses or puts down the religious traditions, again, we're going to see this conflict fester. I think one of the reasons my book was endorsed by five Nobel Prize winning scientists, as well as by theologians, ministers, priests, and rabbis, across the spectrum, is that it builds a bridge between head and heart, faith and reason. Because what this is really about is becoming more intimate with God. It's being faithful to God in terms of what God has been revealing to us most recently. And it's amazing, I think this was inevitable, don't you, Mike, in some degree? Because there are so many scientists now who admit, as they look at things from string theory, to everything else on the granular level, there's this energy force there that they have a hard time explaining and many of them turn and say, "This is God." This is a God-instance showing up in many of these science things, that we had a hard time explaining for so long. Well, exactly Clayton, and also, it's not just that God is found in the mystery. That's true, and that's awesome, but God is also found in every fact discovered by science. I sometimes think about it, I talk about this way in my book, that facts are God's native tongue. God speaks through evidence, and that's part of where this bridge can happen. The book is fascinating, and it sounds as if it's long overdue. It's called, "Thank God for Evolution." Mike Dowd, thanks for coming on to explain it to us. Thank you, Alisyn. That's a great title too. "Thank God for Evolution."

Video Details

Duration: 4 minutes and 20 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Views: 829
Posted by: richhenry on Jul 21, 2009

An interview with Rev. Michael Dowd, author of "Thank God for Evolution" on Fox and Friends.

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