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← I was wrong: BioLogos promotes Jesus, not evolution

Jos Gibbons's Avatar Jump to comment 5 by Jos Gibbons

Falk’s latest missive confirms every fear I had had regarding Biologos and then some. It also overwhelmingly refutes Coyne’s previous position, and I am very glad it is he who was the first to bring this evidence to my attention and that he has proven himself undogmatic in his stances on these topics. The Gnus are often accused of dogmatism. While Coyne has technically only proven this charge against him wrong on one issue, those of us who really understand the Gnu movement won’t find his willingness to change his mind surprising. As for me, although I had not quite taken the same stance previously as Coyne did, I wasn’t sure whether Biologos cared about defending evolution as an end in its own right or whether they discussed its possible compatibility with Christianity purely as a means to the religious end of keeping their theology plausible in the minds of the scientifically literate. I certainly did not expect their president to come out and say the whole point of Biologos was to prevent people from leaving Christianity, if only because this mirrors the creationists far more than I am used to seeing moderates willingly mirror them. I may have to add this incident to my long, long list of times theists managed to sink even lower than I thought they could in their capacity as theists.

Having made those comments, I want to point out some aspects of Falk’s way of thinking I found somewhat bizarre. Firstly, why does he repeatedly use Eden references despite being an advocate of evolution, which of course refutes Eden’s historicity? If anything makes this choice of Falk’s make more sense, it would be my suspicion theists like him seek in their accommodationism to modify their faith away from literalism to the bare minimum extent necessary to accept modernity. Secondly, I do not understand how thinking Christianity to be incompatible with evolution in any way strengthened one’s conviction in the former, since all it could ever do is lead one to reject one of the two ideas after accepting the other. In his own words, I don’t see how believing in incompatibility could have become a crutch to stabilise individuals’ Christianity.

I feel a need to address Coyne’s last paragraph which, if sincere, I cannot agree with:

And Templeton people, if you’re reading this, pay attention. You’re giving your money not so the faithful can learn about and accept science, but so that Christians don’t leave the fold. You’re not helping sell evolution—you’re helping prop up faith.

I do hope Coyne doesn’t still think highly enough of the Templeton Foundation to think such a prospect would concern them. True, the Foundation’s description of their grant to Biologos give a better impression of caring about the science than does anything Falk has written here. But the past behaviour of the Templeton Foundation has seen a gradual shift towards ever more blatant preference for defending religion rather than science. Frankly, I think Falk’s comments will not so much shock the Templeton Founcation as agree with what was secretly their true set of aims in funding Biologos.

Mon, 23 May 2011 16:06:59 UTC | #629930