Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Science vs religion in the Princeton Guide to Evolution

The Princeton Guide to Evolution is a collection of 107 articles on various aspect of evolution. The editors felt they should address the obvious conflict between evolution/science and religion. There are at least five different approaches they could have taken.

  1. An atheist perspective on the incompatibility of evolution/science and religion. Richard Dawkins or Jerry Coyne would be good choices.
  2. An atheist perspective on the compatibility of science and religion (the accommodationist view). Michael Ruse or Nick Matzke are obvious choices.
  3. A theist view of the incompatibility of evolution and religion. Phillip Johnson could have explained this view but so could a number of other creationists.
  4. A theist explanation of the compatibility of evolution/science as long as they stick to their proper magisteria. Francis Collins, Ken Miller, and several other religious scientists could present their case.
  5. The editors could have published four articles representing the main viewpoints or commissioned a single article that would have covered all the angles.
The big advantage of an atheist perspective is that it fairly represents the views of a majority of evolutionary biologists. Having a theist write the article would not be as fair. I think we can all agree that option #5 is by far the best choice.

Before reading any further, take a minute to decide what you would do if you were the editors of The Princeton Guide to Evolution.

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