Re: Evolution, Religion, and Academic Scientists
Robert–it is not just literal interpretations of certain religious texts that conflict with Darwinian evolution; it is any belief in an intelligent creator, let alone a personal God who involves himself in our lives. Darwinian evolution, meaning the gradual development of more complex life forms out of previous forms by means of random variation and natural selection, is not compatible with most religious thought, as Coyne points out. He says only Pantheism and Buddhism might be compatible.
Random means random. It does not mean planned at any stage; it excludes intelligence and design at any point whatsoever. If religious people see the incompatibility, then they will be more open to skepticism about the claims of Darwinian evolution and become more aware of its weaknesses, instead of letting our civilization be defined more and more in totally materialistic terms. Coyne points out that in countries where belief in God is weak, Darwin is strong. And in countries like ours, where belief in Darwin is weak, God is strong.