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Evolutionary Theology Comes of Age From: Daryl P Domning Today's creationism is mainly a Protestant phenomenon, an extreme 19th- and 20th-century development of biblical literalism stemming ultimately from the Reformation's emphasis on "Scripture alone" as the source of Christian faith.
A lesser, but apparently growing, challenge to science education comes from Catholics such as Michael BeheGeorge Sim Johnstonand Anthony Zimmermanwho accept evolution only with major, religiously-inspired reservations about "Darwinism" - defined as the thesis that natural selection and random mutation are the main forces that produce evolution - or other crucial details.
It thus behooves defenders of good science to understand some of the thinking on this other side of Western Christianity, where the interpretation of Scripture is tempered by the tradition of church teaching.
The latter approach to theology also has its pitfalls, especially under the present papacy, in which efforts to impose uniformity of thought from above are pursued with a vigor unprecedented in recent times.
But the news from this ecclesiastical neighborhood concerning evolution is much more good than bad. Four recent books on this theme show that progressive theology is indeed being done in Catholic circles. These books not only accept, but enthusiastically embrace, evolution as a positive source for the development of theological ideas.
Those who regard "theistic evolution" as some pallid compromise or limp accommodation between the rock-hard extremes of creationism and materialistic evolutionism will instead find here a muscular, assertive body of thought, with a clear vision of where it is headed, and with few or no reservations about the conclusions of science.
Together with Catholic biologist Kenneth R Miller, whose book Finding Darwin's God to be reviewed in RNCSE ; 22  has received more prominent notices, these writers confidently bang together the heads of creationists, materialists, and "intelligent design" aficionados, and stuff them all in the trash can of intellectual history.
Scientific materialists in particular, to whom "cutting-edge theology" is an oxymoron, may be surprised at how much sharper that edge is than that of the theology they may vaguely recall from Sunday school.
In any case, all these books will be abundantly quoted in the creation-evolution debate, and they may persuade some committed Christians who are sincerely trying to make up their minds to accept evolution. They are worth knowing about. Karl Schmitz-Moormann was perhaps best known as an editor with his wife Nicole of the collected works of the Jesuit paleontologist and mystic Pierre Teilhard de Chardin.
In his posthumously published book Theology of Creation in an Evolutionary World written in collaboration with Jesuit chemist and theologian Jim SalmonSchmitz-Moormann presents "a theological vision of creation" within the evolutionary world that Teilhard envisioned.
At the very outset, he states his position with startling clarity: Hence the task of theology is to read the evolving universe as creation. In this text we accept the fact of evolution as the way creation is" p xi.
He goes on to summarize scientific conclusions about the history of the universe, for the benefit of "most theologians and many Christians" who are inadequately informed on this topic.
This follows the tradition of medieval scholastic theology, in which "nobody was admitted to study theology without having acquired a solid scientific background" p xiii. Schmitz-Moormann himself has certainly done so; the breadth and depth of his knowledge of contemporary science is impressive, especially in a non-scientist.
Drawing constantly and heavily on scientific data of all sorts, he discusses in successive chapters the progressive evolutionary emergence of union, consciousness, information, and freedom, with a view to asking how each of these characteristics "makes intelligible God's intention in creation" p xiv.
In the final summary chapter, he reflects on insights about God and in particular the Trinity that can be inferred from our knowledge of the evolving creation. Those who wonder what the result of using science, or evolution, as a "positive source" for sophisticated theology might look like in practice will find in this scholarly book an excellent and thought-provoking example.
It even comes equipped with extensive, field-tested study questions that make the book especially suited for use in college courses or ecumenical adult study groups.
There is, unfortunately, one flaw in this otherwise commendable work. Educated in Germany, Schmitz-Moormann shared with many other Continental thinkers a strong skepticism about, indeed an aversion to, Darwinian explanations of the evolutionary process - hence his view that existing theories of how evolution works are "far from satisfactory" p Indeed, he finds no other theory in the whole realm of science to be deserving of the vitriolic criticism he levels at "Darwinian dogmatists" p His only real objection to neo-Darwinism, however, is the elementary canard that evolutionary change comes about ultimately by "chance".
I one of those "Darwinian dogmatists"! He was quite immovable on this point, which I found regrettable, because I think that details of the Darwinian selective process have implications of immense importance for theology see Domning Perhaps not coincidentally, natural selection was also a blind spot for Teilhard, who seems scarcely to have discussed it.
Jerry Korsmeyer earned his doctorate in theology only after a successful career in physics and nuclear engineering. His book Evolution and Eden is slightly shorter than some of the others reviewed here, and possibly more approachable by the scientist who has little or no prior knowledge of theology.
To the author's credit, he avoids the specialist's predilection to overemphasize his own discipline, neither belaboring marginally relevant expositions of physics and cosmology nor hesitating to venture into the field of biology. He stays on course by setting his sights clearly on the one key obstacle, in the official Catholic view, to a thoroughgoing evolutionary theology:Alternative science An alternative view of Darwinism by controversial science writer and journalist Richard Milton The Death of Darwinism - George Sim Johnston The Evolution Pages at ashio-midori.com The Evolution (NOT!) Recent analysis of shrewlike fossil pushes mammalian evolution forward millions of years.
ScienceNOW Daily News. Death of Darwinism by George Sim Johnston.
In confronting a theory like Darwin's, Catholics should anchor themselves in the proposition that there can be no real conflict between faith and science. In confronting a theory like Darwin's, Catholics should anchor themselves in the proposition that there can be no real conflict between faith and.
The Genesis Controversy: Darwin’s Theory of Evolution Is Losing Support in the Scientific Community George Sim Johnston. George Sim Johnston is the author of "Did Darwin Get It Right? Catholics and the Theory of Evolution" (Our Sunday Visitor). An analysis of death of darwinism by george sim johnston by on december 6, in Uncategorized Again when turbulence in the fallacy summary and application paper wake of 9/11 led to the re-election of George W an analysis of the play the taming of the shrew Bush.
The Genesis Controversy George Sim Johnston explains the theory of evolution, how it first developed, and how important aspects of it are sharply at variance with the physical evidence. One month of many an analysis of death of darwinism by george sim johnston years of a character analysis in of human bondage archives.
Plot and Character in Maupassants The Necklace Plot and Character in Maupassants The Necklace