Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thank God for Evolution, Part 5

A comment on yesterday's post brings out an important point. Virginia wrote,
As a liberal Christian, I think it is possible to accept the Biblical account of Creation as a metaphorical narrative and see God's hand in the truly amazing process of evolution. A few degrees warmer or cooler, a few cells that split in different directions, a percentage less of one kind of gas and a percentage more of another and this would be a completely different world.

I agree with Virginia that the universe does seem amazingly well designed for life. I think that insight is a very promising way to go in reconciling faith and evolution. Science cannot, of course, prove the "anthropic principle," or any theory that the universe is designed and created. But it can't disprove it, either. So you and I are left to judge on some other basis than empirical science why the universe works so marvelously.

In one way, that is what Michael Dowd is doing in Thanks God for Evolution! The amazing wonder of the Great Story of evolution is the whole motive of his ministry. Surprisingly, though, Dowd denies that any aspect of the universe is designed. It all just evolved. He is not arguing that evolution is evidence of the divine; rather, he says that evolution is divine. We are meant to take the book's title more literally than readers like Virginia and me might have thought.

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