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A challenge to Christian morality?

One additional challenge from evolution that should be noted is to theological ethics. The challenge has two parts. First, religious moral teachings are typically held to be authoritative because they have been received through special divine revelations. However, critics question the reliability of such claims based on the poor agreement between the Genesis account and the history revealed by evolutionary science.E. O. Wilson describes his own lapse from Baptist faith in these terms. For him, science had shown that "the biblical authors had missed the most important revelation of all! Could it be they were...Secondly, where traditional apologists such as C.S. Lewis have argued that moral laws implicate a law-giver,C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (New York: Touchstone, 1996) 25. various accounts can be made for the emergence of ethical systems directly from evolutionary principles. With a weakened argument for the special revelation of a moral code, alternative accounts from the sciences are waiting in the wings.See Ruse, Can a Darwinian Be a Christian? The Relationship between Science and Religion 191-202.

 Printer-friendly | Feedback | Contributed by: Adrian Wyard

Go to Evolution Topic Index

A challenge to Christian morality?

[1] Does Evolution ‘do the work of a friend’ for the Christian Religion?
Setting the scene - why focus on providence?
[2] Supposed challenges from the evolutionary sciences to theology
Intellectually fulfilled atheists?
A challenge to human uniqueness and status?
A challenge to purpose in creation?
A threat to the veracity of scripture?
Evolution ‘explains away’ theology?
The challenges in wider context - Darwin as a scapegoat?
[3] The current state of the evolutionary sciences
Different ways of conceptualising Darwinian evolution
Evolution as chance and necessity
Evolution as an algorithm
Evolution as movement within a ‘fitness landscape’
Ongoing debates: contingency versus convergence
Ongoing debates: what are the key causal factors in biological history?
Ongoing debates: the environment as the principle cause?
Ongoing debates: convergence as the principle cause?
Ongoing debates: ‘Universal biology’ as the principle cause?
The importance of moving from evolution as abstraction to particular history
Ongoing debates: directionality and progress
Ongoing debates: the origin of life
Different levels and kinds of selection?
[4] Responses from theology
Evolution, probabilities and providence
Responses from contemporary theologians
Holmes Rolston III
Keith Ward
John Haught
Arthur Peacocke
An increased role for general providence?
Theology of Creation in the light of evolution: three scenarios
[5] Concluding remarks
Sources

Source:

Adrian Wyard
Adrian M Wyard MSt

See also:

Evolution
The Relation of Science & Religion
Purpose and Design
Genetics
The Argument From Design
The Anthropic Principle
Opinions
Charles Darwin
DNA Double-Helix