The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science / God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution

By Stanton, Sarah Morningstar | Anglican Theological Review, Spring 2002 | Go to article overview

The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science / God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution


Stanton, Sarah Morningstar, Anglican Theological Review


The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science. By Robert Pollack. New York: Columbia University Press, 2000. xvi + 125 pp. $19.95 (cloth).

God After Darwin: A Theology of Evolution. By John F. Haught. Boulder, Colo.: Westview Press, 2000. xiii + 221 pp. $25.00 (cloth); $19.00 (paper).

A current Christian rock song's lyrics include the following: "I can't wait to ask You. Like why did You bother with so many stars? Do you ever play tricks on the angels? And what happened to all of those dinosaurs? Where's the Garden of Eden? And what causes d6jA vu? I guess in heaven I'll learn; I'll be waiting my turn to ask about quasars and feathers. . . ."

Unlike Chris Rice and Monroe Jones's song Questions for Heaven, Robert Pollack and John F. Haught don't believe that we have to ignore science and scientific discoveries in order to be faithful believers. Pollack, a selfdescribed Jewish molecular biologist, and Haught, a theologian and director of the Georgetown Center for the Study of Science and Religion, argue for a reversal of the Enlightenment focus on a clear separation between science and religion.

Science and the scientific method are grounded in facts, in objective data, in the realm of the rational. Science has as its goal the shrinking of the unknown. Theology and religion deal with revelation, the irrational and the Unknowable. Yet Robert Pollack ably demonstrates that science and theology not only share some aspect of the irrational, that is, scientific insights/ "Aha" moments, and religious revelation/prophetic visions, but that they need each other in order for twenty-first century humans to make crucial decisions about the use and meaning of scientific discoveries.

For the scientific novice, Pollack details the basic scientific facts about Darwin's theory of evolution, the way in which DNA and the genes which comprise it work, and the challenges such scientific data pose for the religious believer. Are we just the product of a neutrally random process of evolution? As Pollack points out, "In terms of evolution's mutation driven mechanism, every one of us is precisely a genetic experiment that can end only in death." Yet, he argues, this self-evident fact of our mortality is precisely where science and theology come together. Science answers the "How" and Theology answers the "Why." Science works at the boundary of the known and the unknown, while religion is lived out at the boundary of the known and the unknowable.

Pollack helps the religious person, clergy or lay, understand the importance of accepting as valid both the rational facts of science and the irrational facts of religious insight. He defines free will as "the uniquely dangerous but powerful human capacity to choose a belief or an action on emotional grounds, rather than deciding it on the basis of rational argument." Furthermore, he points out that the loss of free will produces passivity, dogma, and fundamentalism, in science as well as religion. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

The Faith of Biology and the Biology of Faith: Order, Meaning, and Free Will in Modern Medical Science / God after Darwin: A Theology of Evolution
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.