Did Darwin Kill God?
By BBC 2
Added: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 23:00:00 UTC
Update 4/4: As noted by several people this is now available on YouTube so those outside of the UK can also watch the series
Click on the link to go to the BBC video site if you are viewing from a UK location. The video is not playable outside of the UK but a reader has sent in the subtitle teletext for the deaf.
There are some who believe that Darwin's theory of evolution has weakened religion, fuelled in part by Richard Dawkins' publishing phenomenon The God Delusion. Conor Cunningham argues that nothing could be further from the truth.
Cunningham is a firm believer in the theory of evolution, but he is also a Christian. He believes that the clash between Darwin and God has been hijacked by extremists - fundamentalist believers who reject evolution on one side, and fundamentalist atheists on the other. Cunningham attempts to overturn what he believes are widely held but mistaken assumptions in the debate between religion and evolution.
He travels to the Middle East where he shows that from the very outset, Christianity warned against literal readings of the biblical story of creation. In Britain, he reveals that, at the time, Darwin's theory of evolution was welcomed by the Anglican and Catholic Churches. Instead, he argues that the conflict between Darwin and God was manufactured by American creationists in the 20th century for reasons that had very little to do with science and religion and a great deal to do with politics and morality.
Finally, he comes face to face with some of the most eminent evolutionary biologists, geneticists and philosophers of our time to examine whether the very latest advances in evolutionary theory do in fact kill God.
Note from Exec Producer, Jean Claude Bragard:
This programme, part of the BBCâs Darwin Season, came from the realisation that it would touch on issues raised by Richard Dawkins in his book 'The God Delusion'. The publishing phenomenon has fuelled a widespread perception that the theory of evolution makes belief in God redundant, even perhaps perverse. But how compelling was that argument? It was clear that many Christians have easily been able to reconcile their belief in God with the theory of evolution. How was this possible? This was the question we wanted to explore and so we invited Dr Conor Cunningham, a Christian but also an eminent philosopher and theologian from the Centre of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, to show how it was possible to believe in Darwin and God. Cunningham has just completed a book 'Evolution: Darwin's Pious Idea' to be published in the autumn, so he was ideally placed to explore this question. His argument is that we have been witnessing an unnecessary cultural war between religion and evolution that is damaging to both religion and science. Cunningham reveals that since the early days, mainstream Christianityâs view of God and Creation has not been literal. The idea of reading the Book of Genesis literally is essentially a 20th century American phenomenon that had very little to do with science and religion and a great deal to do with the morality and politics of the time.
Jean Claude Bragard
The video is not viewable outside of the UK but a reader has sent in the text of the teletext subtitles for the deaf
150 years ago,
his theory changed mankind's
perception of life on earth forever.
I believe religious alternatives
and intelligent design are nonsense.
You may think that that would make
me an atheist, but I am a Christian.
I believe in God.
As a philosopher and theologian,
I write and lecture
on Darwinism and Religion,
and I am disturbed how the debate
has been hijacked by extremists.
On one side stands Richard Dawkins,
crusader against the belief in God.
Not only is it unscientific,
it doesn't do justice
to the grandeur of the universe.
Dawkins is the flag bearer
of a strand of Darwinism
which believes the theory
of evolution implies atheism.
There's no role
to play by a creative God,
an intelligent God,
a benign God of any sort.
who tell us evolution is wrong.
The Bible tells us...
the age of the earth. The universe
is only about 6000 years.
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