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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Some Hope in the Evolution-Creation Debate

FROM KARL GIBERSON: I vented yesterday about the comments that creationist critics were putting on Beliefnet in response to my debate with Ken Ham. If those comments were typical of evangelicals as a whole, things would seem discouraging. But I had a rather different experience yesterday that puts all this in perspective.
Yesterday, I was a guest in a sophomore biology class at Gordon College in Massachusetts. The students had read the Beliefnet debate, as well we the piece I wrote and the interview I gave to Salon.com, where I got vilified from the left. Some of them had read my book Saving Darwin. I spent an hour with this class and walked out elated at how intelligently these students were dealing with the topic of evolution and the Christian faith. Gordon College has a lot of conservative students and many of them come from Christian schools and home schools. Faculty report that evolution is almost impossible to discuss when they first arrive. But the students are very bright and Gordon is quite demanding. As a result, sophomores are ready to move beyond a knee-jerk rejection of evolution into a more serious engagement of what it means to think of evolution as God's creative process. They still had some of the same concerns as those who left comments on Beliefnet, but clearly saw these concerns as things with which to wrestle, not quickie refutations of theistic evolution. And all of them seemed very open.
So there is hope....


Steve Martin said...

Hi Karl,
I think we have to remain positive. For example, if you had released your book 25 years ago, I don't think you would have received a comfortable reception anywhere in the Evangelical world. Now, there are broad sections that are open to considering the evidence of modern science. You will always get those that disagree (and go beyond being rude - particularly on the internet) but I don't think we should let that get us down.