What’s the best way for non-creationists to think about creationists? Some view them, unhelpfully, as inescapably anti-modern, utterly unwilling to face facts. This unwillingness is often supposed to be linked to religion itself, with religious belief understood as diametrically opposed to the scientific process. Science, we are told, is about facing facts, being open to correction, being willing to be wrong. Religion, we are sometimes told, is about none of those things. Continue reading What’s the best way to think about creationists?
***This post originally appeared on 07 January 2016, on Ted Davis’ blog, Reading the Book of Nature hosted on the BioLogos website***
Giant Birds and Dinosaur Footprints
In 1802, a twelve-year-old farm boy named Pliny Moody found an unusual object while plowing a field in South Hadley, Massachusetts—a big, flat stone bearing what appeared to be footprints of large birds, which some are said to have attributed to “Noah’s raven.” For decades they drew no scientific attention, but in 1835 a local stonemason, Dexter Marsh, noticed similar marks on a flag stone he had set aside for use in a sidewalk he was building near his house in nearby Greenfield. Others also saw them, including a physician, James Deane, who wrote to geologist Edward Hitchcock of Amherst College, describing what he called “the tracks of a turkey in relief” (Hitchcock, Reminiscences of Amherst College, cited below, p. 82). Continue reading Tracking Dinosaurs and Finding God
For nearly 35 years, Gallup has polled Americans regarding their views on human evolution using a polling question that gives respondents three options to choose from regarding human origins. Surprisingly, the results of the survey question remained relatively steady over time. Since 1982, the percentage of Americans that believe God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years has remained relatively stable at just over 40%. Continue reading What’s in a name? Does Darwin hinder the acceptance of evolution?
***This post originally appeared on 22 October 2015, on Ted Davis’ blog, Reading the Book of Nature hosted on the BioLogos website***
Evolution and Religion: The Conflict Narrative in Crisis
Recent results of the social scientific research on creationism in the United States raise more questions than they answer, especially with respect to long-held assumptions of what creationism actually is and what motivates people who affirm it. For instance, one of the most frequently-quoted polls on creationism is Gallup’s long-running survey that asks whether people believe that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” The percentage of Americans who answer in the affirmative ranges at around 45%, a number that has proven rather stable over the years. Social science has employed several methods to get beyond the layer of fact-claims established by this kind of polling and laid bare a range of moral and social motives that are at the core of people’s reasons for identifying as creationists. Continue reading A Look at the Professional Creationists and Anti-Creationists