Sunday, July 15, 2007

Interesting ideas: Evolution, purpose ... and the devil?

Greg Boyd, a Minnesota megachurch pastor, found himself at a Scniece and Theology conference in June with Jeffrey Schloss, professor of biology at Westmont University in Malibu, California, who was presenting on evolution:
He is a leading expert on competing models of Evolutionary Theory. With a breathtaking encylopedic command of the material (the man seems to have read everything by everyone on every topic related to evolution!)

Schloss presented a mass of evidence of direction and purpose in evolution, arguing,
There IS "progress," and at the apex of this progress are beings capable of choosing love (but also capable of choosing hate).

Stephen Jay Gould, wherever you are, check your e-mail for an important message from Rick Warren ...

But what about the waste and evil in nature? On the way to the airport, Schloss told Pastor Boyd,
"I'm hestitant to admit it in academic circles because no one seems to take it seriously, but I think there is absolutely NO WAY to adequately account for the carnage in nature unless you accept there's an evil destructive force that pervades nature -- the one the New Testament calls Satan." He said that he believed that God is always working for life, even through the evolutionary process, while Satan is always working to destroy life, even through the evolutionary process.

Why does this approach remind me so much of producing Hamlet in modern dress? I guess every age reinterprets tradition in the language it can accept and understand.

(Note: For a more conventional look at critical evidence for evolution as a non-random, and perhaps purpose-driven process, go here.)

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