Sometimes I'm really slow to find good articles in print. An example is the piece I want to share with you this weekend. It's from the November 2008 issue of Scientific American, one of the millions of magazines I don't take but that I enjoy reading now and then.
A friend from church handed me this piece recently, and it made enough good science-religion points that I wanted you to be able to read it.
It's called "The Christian Man's Evolution," and is about Francisco J. Ayala, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California-Irvine. He was ordained a Catholic priest in 1960, but then elected to go into science full time.
What I especially like about the piece is its explanation of Ayala's view "that scientists who attack religion and ridicule the faithful -- most notably, Richard Dawkins of the University of Oxford -- are making a mistake." Ayala, the piece says, believes that "is destructive and gives fodder to the preachers who insist followers must choose either Darwin or God."
Ayala would like people of faith to reconcile their faith with science.
I've said before here that one of the more articulate books about this subject is God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution, by John F. Haught. In it, Haught describes a biblical vision of God and how God works that is not in conflict with evolutionary theory.
There's really no need for contentious controversy between science and religion if scientists and people of faith will both acknowledge that there are some things each area cannot answer. The problem comes when religionists make claims about the physical world that are in conflict with what science can prove and when scientists dismiss religion as foolish superstition.
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DEATH OF A GIFTED MAN
About a year and a half ago in this blog entry, I wrote about a wonderful clergyman/author who was facing his own death from cancer. He's a man I had gotten to know a bit in recent years and one I admired a great deal. The Rev. Forrest Church died Thursday. A sad, sad day, and yet I'm sure he would have us spend our grieving time celebrating his remarkable life. Before I knew Forrest, I had met his late father a time or two, Sen. Frank Church of Idaho, who gained much fame in the 1970s for investigating abuses by the CIA. The Church family has contributed a lot to this country. To read more about Forrest Church on his congregation's Web site, click here.