Thursday, February 12, 2009

HARVESTING DARWIN

Over on Ekklesia we've published a number of pieces to mark the 200th and 150th anniversaries (of Charles Darwin's birth and the publication of On the Origin of Species, respectively). There's Dr Denis Alexander's Why Christians should celebrate Darwin and Professor John Hedley Brooke's Darwin and Religion. The latter has quite a few additional links appended. There's also a summary of responses from the British churches and related academics or agencies, and an education angle from America.

As my comment indicates, I really don't buy into the 'rescuing Darwin' schtick, as it seems to me to feed that which it contends, and to distract attention from the common purpose of harnessing good science to meeting needs and enhancing understanding. Also, interactions between science and theology premised on trying to redress, reassert or reassess the conflicts of the past are in danger of being over-determined by what they should be letting go of or transcending. Oh, and the ComRes survey was rather counterproductive. It generated a problem through flawed questioning, and possibly inadequate attention to sampling errors.

Meanwhile, here's a relevant anniversary / bicentenary blog swarm. And an interesting post on, er, post-Darwin from Bob Cornwall.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Attacking a poll because you don't like the result is, to coin a phrase, the last resort of the scoundrel.

If the Darwin poll 'failed to take account of sampling error' then I'm a monkey's uncle.

ron cole said...

Simon, here is a great program and podcast that was on National Public Radio in the States last week celebration Darwin...

http://speakingoffaith.publicradio.org/programs/2009/darwin/

Enjoy, Peace Ron Cole +

Simon Barrow said...

Dear Anon: I'm afraid I can't comment on your heredity, as you choose to post without the courtesy of identifying yourself. What I can clarify is that I'm not "attacking" the poll. If I thought it was accurate, I would have no problem. But I think the questions were confusing, and I'm not sure that the *interpretation* is borne out by the stats. But it was, I understand, a 2,000 ground sample. S x