We still live in a world, however, that is predominantly theist, particularly in America where 95% of the citizens believe in God (according to the Gallup Poll of 2001). In this environment, many evolutionary biologists are reluctant to carry the implications of Darwinism to their logical extent. Theists vote, pay the taxes, and support the research institutions where most naturalists work. Theists do not appreciate hearing the vulgar truth of evolutionary theory, that mankind is no fallen angel, has no immortal soul, nor free will, and was not specially created. So what is a naturalist evolutionary biologist to do in this climate? The options are many. Either support the controversial conclusions above (as E.O. Wilson or Richard Dawkins do ), or try to erect a world-view that incorporates elements of theology and evolution (as Ruse, Miller, Ayala, and countless deists of the past have done), or suggest the mutual exclusivity of the two magisteria (as Steven Jay Gould does), or simply lay low and not even enter the arena of discussion, and merely hope for the best when the uneducated voters determine the relevance of evolution. (emphasis added)Even though Graffin's worldview is wrong, at least he understands its implications. One hopes that, as he stands at the fork in the road, he chooses wisely.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Joe Carter has an excellent post titled, The Birth of Neism: Greg Graffin and the Rise of Naturalistic Deism, in which he essentially explores the aspects of Naturalism with respect to the supernatural, hence, Naturalistic Deism. He quotes from one Greg Graffin, an evolutionary biologist,