(Last updated: November 6, 2007)
One of the great things about the Internet is you CAN find just about everything. One the worst things about the Internet is that you DO find just about everything. Sorting the wheat from the chaff (let alone the rat bait) can be a frustrating task. Google search may be your friend, but it probably should not be your starting point for researching a topic like an Evangelical view of Evolution. The following is my suggestion on how to approach the topic.
A) Theistic Evolution (TE) or Evolutionary Creation (EC) Resources
Assumption: You are an Evangelical Christian and know very little about evolution. Almost everything you’ve heard about it from other Christians is negative. You are surprised that some Evangelical Christians are very comfortable with the science of biological evolution. Where do you start?
1. The 15 minute starter essay: Denis Lamoureux’s essay “Evolutionary Creation”: It provides an excellent explanation of why the scientific theory of evolution can be acknowledged by Evangelicals without compromising the theology of creation or biblical authority.
2. Overviews of science and faith from an Evangelical perspective:
I highly recommend two series of essays written by fellow ASA members Allan Harvey and Robert Schneider.
- Harvey provides 6 highly accessible essays on Science and Nature from a Christian Perspective. These are based on a course he provided at his church.
- Schneider provides more indepth coverage of both the historical background and the science in his 8 essay series entitled Science and Faith.
4. Resources for in-depth Science and Faith articles:
- The American Scientific Affiliation (ASA) page on Creation and Evolution has a wealth of information and articles.
- The index to the ASA’s journal Perspectives on Science and the Christian Faith (PSCF) is also an excellent resource as the journal has almost 60 years worth of articles online. It does take a little digging though to find what you want. The articles in this journal have heavily influenced my own views - about 20% of the references in my selected bibliography are from this journal - check it out for some of the titles I’ve found helpful.
- For wealth of links, check out the course resource page for this Cal State Fullerton Philosophy course on Evolution and Creation.
- Another good resource is the online article section http://www.cis.org.uk/resources/articles/articles.shtml on the website of the UK “Christians in Science” group.
- The Science and Christian Belief journal is also good, but only a few of the articles are available for free online. Most good university libraries will have access to the full electronic version of this journal.
5. Multimedia Science and Faith Resources:
- The Faraday Institute has many fabulous lectures online at http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/faraday/Multimedia.php. One of my favourite authors, John Polkinghorne, is well represented here.
- Gordon Glover has some good introductory videos to go with his book "Beyond the Firmament".
6. Overview of the Science of Evolution
- See the Understanding Evolution page at Berkeley.
B) Other Viewpoints
Many Christians do not accept the scientific evidence for evolution, and believe that it is theologically damaging. These Christians can generally be categorized into three groups.
1) Young Earth Creationism (YEC)
YEC’s interpret the creation accounts in Genesis literally (see my post on this) and believe that the earth is only about 6000 years old. The best resources for articles from a YEC point of view are Answers in Genesis (AIG) and Creation Ministries International (CMI)
2) Old Earth Creationism (OEC)
OEC’s accept the evidence for an old earth, but not the evidence for biological evolution. The best resource for articles from this viewpoint is Hugh Ross’s Reason to Believe.
3) Intelligent Design (ID):
ID is a complicated movement. ID has been described as the view that “nature shows tangible signs of having been designed by a pre-existing intelligence”. Although ID by definition is not anti-evolutionary, most adherents do oppose evolution, and much of its apologetic work is anti-evolutionary.