Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Finding Darwin's God @ Purdue

The Purdue Religious Studies department is having a discussion of Kenneth Miller's book, Finding Darwin's God, on Wednesday Oct. 21. If you are unfamiliar with the book here is a quick editorial review off of Amazon.
Though he takes a different tack than Wyller (above), Miller tries to draw a straight line between two apparently opposing ideas: the theory of evolution and belief in a creator. In a more humanistic account than Wyller's, Miller, a professor of biology at Brown University, explains the difference between evolution as validated scientific fact and as an evolving theory. He illustrates his contentions with examples from astronomy, geology, physics and molecular biology, confronting the illogic of creationists with persuasive reasons based on the known physical properties of the universe and the demonstrable effects of time on the radioactivity of various elements. Then standing firmly on Darwinian ground, he turns to take on, with equal vigor, his outspoken colleagues in science who espouse a materialistic, agnostic or atheistic vision of reality. Along the way, he addresses such important questions as free will in a planned universe. Miller is particularly incisive when he discusses the emotional reasons why many people oppose evolution and the scientific community's befuddled, often hostile, reaction to sincere religious belief. Throughout, he displays an impressive fairness, which he communicates in friendly, conversational prose. This is a book that will stir readers of both science and theology, perhaps satisfying neither, but challenging both to open their minds.
The discussion is being led by Professor Ryba. I took a class from him last year on Western Religions and really enjoyed it. I am sure this discussion will be very interesting and plan on attending. The Religious Studies department has a listing under its events page for the full information. Also, if you are quick, you can get a free copy. Click on the pdf flyer above the listing and you can get the information to acquire a free copy if you email the contact by the 14th, tomorrow. I was a little skeptical at first but I received an email saying my copy of the book is waiting for me.

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