Thanks to Tom Verenna for mentioning this on FB. James McGrath evidently blogged on it earlier (as he tells Tom in a comment) but I haven’t seen Jim’s post yet (sorry, it’s hard to do everything and frankly sciency stuff holds little interest for me).
It seems, though, that a lot of people feel otherwise than I. To these folk, on both sides of the issue of evolution as taught in the context of a Christian college, the whole matter is at the apex of what’s important. But I don’t see why. It’s really much ado about nothing. Here’s why:
1- Science isn’t going to accommodate itself to Christian belief.
2- Christian belief isn’t going to accommodate itself to the latest scientific theory.
3- Neither can do so without eviscerating themselves.
So when all is said and done, science is going to think what it wants and Christianity is going to think what it wants and that’s just as it should be because science isn’t concerned with the same subject matter as Christianity is. Science is about the material world and Christianity’s focus is the metaphysical.
For hundreds of years Christians have (wrongly) wanted to be pleasing to science. This is just abhorrent silliness. You can’t fit a square peg into a round hole without shaving off so much of it that it’s no longer square. Christianity should simply stick to its purpose and so should science.
Christian colleges which have departments of science should realize with the very establishment of those departments that their methodology, aim, goal, and purpose is scientific. If they can’t live with that, they shouldn’t have such departments on their campuses. It’s just as unfair to expect science (the square peg) to fit into Christian dogma (the round hole) as it is the other way around.
Ergo, Christian Colleges (and alumni) who get all fired up in anger that someone in the biology department is actually discussing evolution should, well let’s say it, grow up. Christian faith isn’t threatened by science any more than science is threatened by Christian faith. And if a Christian’s faith is so weak, so unsteady, so uncertain, so tenuous, and so fragile that it requires ‘evidence that demands a verdict’ or some other such claptrap, it isn’t real faith anyway.
Perhaps over the doors of Calvin College and every other Christian school which has a sciency department the words of the author of Hebrews should be inscribed in huge bold letters:
Ἔστιν δὲ πίστις ἐλπιζομένων ὑπόστασις πραγμάτων ἔλεγχος οὐ βλεπομένων
The whole faith v. science discussion is just so boring and uninteresting. It’s akin to watching paint dry or grass grow and I wish it would die off. It always has been, and always will be, much ado about nothing.