GETTING BEYOND DARWIN

First Things | 8/21/2019 | George Weigel
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Bishop Robert Barron and others working hard to evangelize the “Nones”—young adults without religious conviction—tell us that a major obstacle to a None embracing Christianity is the cultural assumption that Science Explains Everything. And if science explains it all, who needs God, revelation, Christ, or the Church? To be even more specific: If Darwin and the Darwinian theory of evolution explain the origins of us (and everything else), why bother with Genesis 1–3 and Colossians 1:15–20 (much less Augustine’s “Thou hast made us for Thee and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee”)?

That’s why “Giving Up Darwin,” an essay by David Gelernter in the Spring 2019 issue of the Claremont Review of Books, is both a fascinating article and a potential tool in the New Evangelization.

One - Dr - Gelernter - Knucklehead - Computer

No one can accuse Dr. Gelernter of being an anti-modern knucklehead. He’s a pioneering computer scientist, a full professor at Yale, and a remarkable human being: A package from the Unabomber blew off his right hand and permanently damaged his right eye but didn’t impede his remarkable intellectual, literary, and artistic productivity.

In his Claremont Review essay, Gelernter gives full credit to what he calls “Darwin’s brilliant and lovely theory” and readily concedes that “there’s no reason to doubt that Darwin successfully explained the small adjustments by which an organism adapts to local circumstances: changes to fur density or wing style or beak shape.” But Darwinian evolution can’t “explain the big picture — [which involves] not the fine-tuning of existing species but the emergence of new ones.” What Darwin cannot explain, in short, is “the origin of species”—the title of the British naturalist’s first, revolutionary book.

Argument - Gelernter - Article

The argument is complex, so it’s important to read Gelernter’s entire article carefully, and more than once. But to be desperately brief:

But there is more. For “Darwin’s main problem...
(Excerpt) Read more at: First Things
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