Origins and science 2

July 7, 2006

Readers of The Times Higher might be forgiven for thinking that the world of science was divided into two parts, the majority who believe that evolution is true and rules out religious faith, and a minority who believe that evolution is untrue because of their faith.

There are many of us working biologists and Christians who accept that the evidence for evolution is overwhelming but do not see this as a reason to abandon our faith.

The public hears mainly from evangelical atheists such as Richard Dawkins, who vigorously maintain that we must believe in science or abandon faith, or be labelled an ignoramus. Exponents of creationism expound ideas that the majority of us feel fly in the face of the evidence. And intelligent design seems little more than an attempt to bring in God to explain difficult scientific problems.

Many of us accept that the immense variety of life arose by an evolutionary process, but under God's guiding hand. We're not afraid of scientific discoveries nor do we see any reason to abandon our faith.

This might be dismissed as an arcane dispute were it not for the fact that many young people come into university from Christian families believing that they have to choose between evolution and faith. They are the people who are really losing out in this dispute.

Derek Burke

Norfolk

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