Although I quickly add that I’ve not been reading much on the Internet this morning, but stilll ….. There is this item in HuffPo … Jesus and the Evolution of the Species by Stanley Knick, PhD:
This is not about whether you believe in God, or whether you believe in evolution. It is not about whether you believe that Jesus is the Son of God. If you believe in God, fine. If not, fine. If you believe evolution is real, fine. If not, fine. This is not about what you believe, or what I believe. It is about the idea of Jesus, and the idea of evolution, and what these two ideas might have to say about each other and about us.
Yes it is about whether you believe in evolution or not, Stanley. First off, if you accept the scientific facts, models, theories, and other constructs that make up evolutionary biology, that’s good, and it shows that you know some stuff and are not biased against science or otherwise stupid. But if you believe in that stuff then you are not thinking critically. If, on the other hand, you don’t accept these things as valid (as far as we can tell, with a very high likelihood, etc. etc) than you are not paying attention. If, at the same time that you pretty much accept evolution for what it is (valid) but don’t “believe” in it, then you are doing just fine.
But I think these not so subtle distinctions have been lost on Mr. Knick.
Stanley is actually trying to do something that he sees as worthwhile and that could be useful: A sort of accommodation designed to help fundies be less wrong than they currently are. But in so doing he accidentally strips Evolution of any real meaning:
If we strip evolution of all the baggage added to it by detractors and adherents, it is a very simple philosophical idea: Things Change.
Ah … no. If you strip that “baggage” added by evolutionary biologists and other scientists, then you strip the scientific theory of evolution of its power, and its validity. Evolutionary theory is not that “Things change” but rather, that things change in a limited way and by virtue of a specific set of processes. These processes are very important in understanding that that change is.
Like for example, if one understand the nature of these processes, than one could not possibly write the following paragraph….
The idea of evolution does not necessarily assume any particular First Cause for things. Evolution also does not necessarily assume a need for random causes — it allows for them, because often things seem to happen randomly, but it doesn’t demand randomness because change can be caused by all sorts of things (genetic drift, sexual selection, etc.).
… because, for instance, “genetic drift” is … well …. random. That’s the random part.
But I don’t really want to be too hard on Stanley. He’s got his heart and mind in the right place, even if he could use some training.
Evolution does not hold that humans evolved from monkeys, as it has been accused of doing. Monkeys and humans, …. have been changing through time. The idea of evolution merely tries to embrace all the known scientific evidence in an effort to understand the process of change. …
Fossils found all over the world are the nuts and bolts of the evidence. The idea of evolution is a way to explain them. Evolution is [not] “Just A Theory” (as some detractors say) … Evolution is a process, an apparently on-going body of changes. Almost anyone who has been alive for very long will attest that, surely enough, things do seem to change.
And, when Stanly asks, “But does evolution have anything to say about the idea of Jesus?” I’ll assume he means “no” and “no, and visa versa.”