Saturday, June 23, 2012

Darwin is Not Dawkins

I just found this article by Denis Lamoureux in the latest issue of Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith, titled "Darwinian Theological Insights: Toward an Intellectually Fulfilled Christian Theism—Part I: Divine Creative Action and Intelligent Design in Nature."

It wins the triple crown: it makes a provocative point, it makes a useful point, and it does it with panache. Oh, and I think it's full-on right. I tried to come up with a one-sentence summary but instead I have three (a haiku?):

Charles Darwin was ambivalent about faith, he was not anti-faith.
Charles Darwin was an agnostic, not an atheist.
Charles Darwin was open to design, and Richard Dawkins' interpretation of Darwin is a cherry-picked portrait that ignores the ambivalence.

I also find it interesting that Lamoureux, in one sense the farthest thing from an Intelligent Design advocate, is insisting on using the word "design" to describe the good organization in nature. It's almost like Lamoureux is saying "This is a song ID Proponents stole from Charles Darwin. We're stealing it back."* I like that.

* A U2 reference. Google it with "Charles Manson" and "the Beatles" instead for the original context. (Guess I'm cherry picking?)

** Yes, three posts on a Saturday night. This is how I choose to use my Saturday nights. That reminds me of an old Bloom County comic that I won't bother making into a fourth post because that would be silly.

*** Lamoureux presented some of this in a talk at an ASA meeting with a similar title. Those itching to read part II might hunt that down in the meantime.

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