Darwinism, Faith and Morality

The main point of my talk is that how one comes down on the evolution-Christianity (the particular religion I dealt with in my talk) compatibility issue, depends very much on one's starting assumptions = worldview. I explicitly state what my worldview is and then proceed from there. In the twenty minutes alloted to my talk, there was no way to provide a decent coverage of the other worldviews that would be fair to them. Also, I did not see that as my task. SO: my talk was coming a particular point of view, one worldview and it gives examples of the logical train of thought that goes from that starting point (but even yet, still not an exhaustive coverage of that---that's what books are for).


Daymon Johnson presented Charles Darwin's views on theodicy (the vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil) in his talk.

The subject of suffering of the innocent and how could God allow such things to happen if God is loving, omnipotent, etc. was not dealt with in my talk due to lack of time and also because I don't have anything more intelligent to say about that than what is given in the resources (books) I used for preparing for my talk. Francis Collins delves a little into the issue of theodicy in his book The Language of God (p. 42-46) but I like how John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale address it in their book Questions of Truth. They answer 51 questions that have been posed to them over the years on their website including theodicy. How there can a loving, omnipotent God allow the suffering of the innocent and natural disasters is dealt with in question #5, #14, #29, 30, #32 of their book (all responses to the questions are less than two pages long).

Another helpful source in this area is Keith Ward who gave the Boyle Lecture earlier this year in London (February 4, 2009). His lecture is called "Misusing Darwin: The Materialist Conspiracy in Evolutionary Biology". The first part of the lecture probes the assumptions of those who are philosophical materialists but he does get to the issue of theodicy in the Values section of his lecture (p. 26 - 28). Below are links to the full lecture and just the end part where he talks about suffering.

Back to Science-Religion Resources

Go to Astronomy Notes home

last updated: October 14, 2009

Author of original content: Nick Strobel