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Islam vs Deism
Evolution versus Creationism Archive
Evolution versus Creationism is a controversy that just won't go away. In my case I reject both sides for my own view of evolution as fact guided by God. While I'm a big believer in science, science shouldn't be treated as a type of religion that has answers for everything. Science is concerned only with the operation of the observed material world. I has nothing to with God, faith, politics, etc. even if it's often dragged into these subjects.
I also present the other sides pro and con. In the article Evolution debate in schools details the local fight between biblical literalists versus science in schools in Southwest Virginia and East Tennessee. It's a good introduction to the subject. I also go into the history, which is my real concern here. So weather one is pro or con on the subject, check out the articles below and draw your own conclusion. I have no interest as such to converting people to my views. Think for yourself and stand your ground!
Be a skeptic! Don't take anyone's "word for it" not even mine. Truth will often reveal itself without the help of government or self-appointed or hired experts.
Also check out my page A Broad Exploration of Deism.
Spectrum of viewpoints on Evolution
This being a Deist' website accepts the position of evolutionary Creationism and rejects both atheistic naturalism and Christian fundamentalist' Six-Day Creationism. Deism may respect the Bible in many aspects, but Deism doesn't recognize Biblical authority. The individual Deist is welcome to believe as they wish. I know of no Deist (myself included) that accepts a historical Adam. Deists are often attacked by both atheists and religious fundamentalists.
Evolutionary Creationism is a variant of Creationism which accepts micro evolution and macro evolution while retaining a theistic interpretation of evolution. Theistic evolution is accepted (or at least not rejected) by major Christian churches, including Roman Catholicism, some Jewish denominations and other religious organizations that lack a literalist stance concerning holy scriptures. With this approach toward evolution, scriptural creation stories are typically interpreted as being allegorical in nature.
View of Deism
Deism is belief in a God or first cause based on reason, rather than on faith or revelation. Most Deists believe that God does not interfere with the day-to-day world or create miracles. Some deists believe that a Divine Creator initiated a universe in which evolution occurred, by designing the system and the natural laws, although many deists believe that God also created life itself, before allowing it to be subject to evolution. Deism allows for God to guide the process at some points, Deism doesn't deal in allegorical interpretations merely to go along with holy books. If a literal reading is proven wrong based on the evidence, Deists reject he claim.
One good example of this is the recent (December 2004) conversion to deism of the former atheist philosopher Antony Flew. Professor Flew now argues that recent research into the origins of life supports the theory that some form of intelligence was involved. Whilst accepting subsequent Darwinian evolution, Flew argues that this cannot explain the complexities of the origins of life. He has also stated that the investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce [life], that intelligence must have been involved."
Some evolutionary biologists were also theists. These facts also need to be discussed with evolution, not just the one-sided atheist' view.
Although evolutionary biologists are often atheists (most notably Richard Dawkins) or agnostics, there are nonetheless others who have a belief in some form of theism. These have included Alfred Russel Wallace (1823 - 1913), who in 1858 jointly proposed the theory of evolution by natural selection with Charles Darwin. Russel was a deist who believed that "the unseen universe of Spirit" had interceded to create life as well as consciousness in animals and (separately) in humans.
Both Ronald Fisher (1890 - 1962) and Theodosius Dobzhansky (1900 - 1975), were Christians and architects of the modern evolutionary synthesis. Dobzhansky wrote a famous 1973 essay entitled Nothing in Biology Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution espousing evolutionary Creationism:
I am a creationist and an evolutionist. Evolution is God's, or Nature's method of creation. Creation is not an event that happened in 4004 BC; it is a process that began some 10 billion years ago and is still under way.
Does the evolutionary doctrine clash with religious faith? It does not. It is a blunder to mistake the Holy Scriptures for elementary textbooks of astronomy, geology, biology, and anthropology. Only if symbols are construed to mean what they are not intended to mean can there arise imaginary, insoluble conflicts. ...the blunder leads to blasphemy: the Creator is accused of systematic deceitfulness.
More recently, Kenneth R. Miller professor of biology at Brown University, has written Finding Darwin's God in which he states his belief in God and argues that "evolution is the key to understanding God". Much to the dismay of atheists that distort Darwin's work, Darwin was a Unitarian that warned "natural selection" does not apply to humans. Other Christian evolutionary creationists include Derek Burke, Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Warwick and R J Berry, Professor of Genetics at University College London, who has written extensively on the subject.
Many Muslims believe in evolutionary Creationism, especially among Sunni Muslims and the Liberal movements within Islam. More literalist Muslims, including followers of Wahhabism reject any form of evolution as incompatible with the Qur'an. However, even amongst Muslims who accept evolution, many believe that humanity was a special creation by God.
For example, Shaikh Nuh Ha Mim Keller, an American Muslim and specialist in Islamic law has argued in Islam and Evolution that a belief in macroevolution is not incompatible with Islam, as long as it is accepted that "Allah is the Creator of everything" (Qur'an 13:16) and that Allah specifically created humanity (in the person of Adam; Qur'an 38:71-76).
In general, the major Jewish denominations accept evolutionary Creationism, with the exception of some Orthodox groups. The general approach of Judaism is that the creation account in the Torah is not to be taken as a literal text, but rather as a symbolic or mythical work. Indeed, Maimonides, one of the great interpreters of Torah in the Middle Ages, wrote that if science and Torah were misaligned, it was either because science was not understood or the Torah was misinterpreted. Maimonides argued that if science proved a point, then the finding should be accepted and inform the interpretation of scripture.
I also encourage the reader to explore the following:
Evolution Versus Creationism Archive
A Broad Exploration of Deism.
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