But first: For my birthday today, I'm looking for others born Jan. 18, 1945. If you are such a person, e-mail me at email@example.com.
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As you may well know in less than a month -- on Feb. 12 -- the world will take note of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin (pictured here).
It's too simplistic to say that all arguments between science and religion stem from Darwin, but for sure many of the disagreements about the nature of the creation have sprung not just from Darwin's work but from the work of many scientists after him who have followed up on some of his research.
So what are we to make of all this? And should people of faith celebrate the work Darwin did or regret the day he was born?
Well, I'm not much for regretting anyone's birth, though I can think of some people we could have done better wthout.
So I'm thinking that people of faith might do well to understand what Darwin was really saying and what the theory of evolution today proposes. Indeed, people of faith would do well to understand what a scientific theory is and to know that it's a whole lot more than just a wild guess. Rather, it's more of a model based on the best available evidence.
So I want to link you to a fascinating site that religion reporters will be using over the next several weeks to write stories about Darwin and his connection to religious arguments. It's ReligionLink's Darwin site, done by the Religion Newswriters Association.
There you will find lots of resources that should help you get a handle on the current status of Darwinian thinking and the debates it has led to in our day.
I might also recommend a book I've recommended here before. It's by John F. Haught and is called After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution. In it Haught makes the case for how to understand evolution as God's way of drawing us into the future. I like Haught's thinking.
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A WARREN-ROBINSON PRAY-OFF?
One of the strongest voices in the Emergent Church movement, Tony Jones (of Kansas City), writes for Beliefnet.com that Barack Obama's choice of Bishop V. Gene Robinson to give a pre-inauguration prayer should have received lots more media attention than the choice of Rick Warren to give the inaugural prayer. He cites as a reason some speculation about gay pressure on the media. Oh, I'm not sure that's the answer. I just think the media was on to other things after one pray-er controversy story. Besides, must there be a big to-do over every such choice?