All the more reason, then, for me to explain, as best I can, what evolution is or is not. Since this essay is aimed primarily at an audience of Christian students, I will include among my sources the writings of several scientists who are evangelical Christians.
First I need to challenge a serious misunderstanding about evolution. "Evolution" is commonly presented as a materialistic philosophy by both its young earth and intelligent design opponents and those at the opposite end of the spectrum of opinion who claim that the material world is all there is. Whether you read the works of anti-evolutionists like young earth creationist Ken Ham and intelligent design advocate Phillip Johnson, or evolutionary materialists like scientist Richard Dawkins and philosopher Daniel Dennett, you will find these strange bedfellows of conservative Christians and atheists agreeing on one thing: if evolution explains everything in reality and if you accept it, then you can throw religion and belief in God out the window. Those of us who accept evolutionary science and believe that God's creation is an evolving one reject this tragically erroneous point of view. I shall address the arguments of these spokespersons in separate essays later, but I want to make the point here that both sides fail to distinguish between a scientific theory that empirically accounts for what nature has revealed, and a materialistic belief system. The materialists argue that their philosophy necessarily follows from the science, and therefore evolution removes any need for God. The creationists, strangely, buy this faulty argument, and agreeing that one cannot separate the science from the philosophy reject both. So the young earth creationists offer their "creation science" and the intelligent design proponents their "theistic science." In later essays I will argue that both fail the test of good science.
Essay:On "Evolution: A Christian's Faith" From ..
An Article by John Oakes, PhD describing four Christian views of evolution, along with strengths and weaknesses of the four views. This essay is intended as a guide for the upcoming forum at the 2010 ICEC in Irvine, CA.