and theologian Arthur Peacocke, suggests that evolutionary history is itself a
full and satisfying account of Gods creativity. Furthermore, he is critical of
accounts that include ad hoc additional special acts of creation on theological
grounds because their presence implies Gods ordinary absence. He
reserves his harshest criticism for so-called scientific creationists and
considers evolutionary accounts of natural history to be infinitely more
Christian than the theory of special creation.
proposal will be heavily influenced by developments in the debate over
convergence and universal biology. If evolution is found to be only weakly
convergent, then seeing God within evolution requires the eyes of faith. The
claim will remain a subjective one, and non-religious observers such as David
Hull are free to report that they do not see the Christian God in evolution,
instead they see a process rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible
waste, death, pain and horror.
if evolution is strongly convergent, the subjective component is reduced, and
the presence of suffering is balanced by the realisation of intended outcomes.
One of Peacockes most well-known metaphors for Gods creativity can be
constructively connected to the idea of fitness landscapes. When describing the
role of natural selection he says it is as if chance is the search radar of
God, sweeping through all the possible targets available to its probing. In the
strong-convergence scenario the radar is revealing the contours of a fixed and
God-given landscape. Furthermore, depending on the intensity of the radar beam,
more or less detail will be revealed. Drawing on his knowledge of biochemistry
Peacocke is optimistic that the puzzle of the origin of life will be solved,
suggesting the emergence of life was inevitable, but the form it was to take
remained entirely open and unpredictable.
has no doubt that Evolution does do the work of a friend for the Christian
religion, and often cites Aubrey Moores conclusion as the correct one. For him
Christian theology continues to be vastly indebted to the view of the
transformations of the living world into which Darwin initiated us.
| Feedback | Contributed by: Adrian Wyard