This book explores the actual issues behind the science and religion controversy from a biblical, Christian perspective.
Surely it is an understatement to say that “religion” and “science” have been at loggerheads for the last century or more, particularly over the issue of biological evolution. Or should that last phrase be: “over the interpretation of the first chapters of Genesis”? Or maybe it should read: “over the philosophical assumption of organic evolution”? Come to think of it, there is a lot of ambiguity in this statement. What exactly does “religion” mean in this context, and, for that matter, what exactly is “science”? And who speaks for either endeavor authoritatively?
In short, the statement that “religion” and “science” disagree over such issues as evolution is a platitude whose terms can easily be filled in so as to provide an easy solution. Any would-be William Tell can pierce the apple, any ambitious successor to Alexander can cut the knot, and any modern Christopher Columbus can stand the egg on end, each one to the applause of his peers. Still, as Heidegger has reminded us so many times, in today’s world of thought we are prone to confuse cleverness with thinking.
Still, even if we are not looking for simplistic, snappy answers, and if we are willing to clarify our terms sufficiently to engage in a substantial discussion, there are different ways of approaching the issue. Alas! For too many Americans the answer to any controversy has become to moan, “There Ought to be a Law . . . “ More accurately, given the nature of our judicial system, this desire translates into “The courts should decide . . . “ And so they have. And they have not ruled on the basis of freedom, but on the basis of ideology, just as one would expect any fallen human being to do, whether they are occupying the couches of their living rooms or the benches of their courtrooms, which have become de facto throne halls. And, thus, they have told us once and for all (or so they think) that atheistic Darwinian evolution is the only valid scientific paradigm in biology, and that any scheme that even comes close to implying that there is a Creator will damage our school children beyond repair and, thus, may not be mentioned in any class room.
This book places the issue into the context into which it belongs: the clash between two worldviews. It is not a detailed analysis of evolution from a scientific perspective that exposes supposed errors in the lab. It is not a compromise that begins with what we are still “allowed” to say or teach and ends by formulating a give-and-take strategy. It is a no-holds-barred description of the fundamental confrontation between belief and unbelief, or better: between belief in the God of the Bible and belief in the omnipotence of the physical universe. Trevor Slone does not come with his hands stretched out offering a compromise in the hope of receiving a concession in return. He relates the conflict as he perceives it and demonstrates the irrationality of abandoning the certain knowledge of a Creator for an uncertain, self-refuting materialism.
This book is written in a very personal tone. The author not only lets his personality show through the print, he speaks in his own voice throughout. He does not write with scientifically objective detachment because he wants us to see that the stakes are too high to approach the issue as a scientific puzzle to be treated at a distance. It involves our entire view of ourselves as persons, and to see ourselves as the persons that we are, we need to see ourselves as creatures.
Early on, the book asks us to consider the nature of truth. For many of us that means trying to remember what we were taught in school. Trevor Slone challenges us to go further than that. He dares us to consider what we can actually accept as real, particularly considering the high cost of substituting accepted opinion for reality. I urge the reader to take up his challenge. It may not be easy at times, but, in the end, as someone greater than any of us said, “The truth shall set you free.”
Dr. Winfried Corduan
Professor Emeritus of Philosophy and Religion