Friday, August 29, 2008

Building a religion around evolution


Here is a Point of Inquiry interview with Revered Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World. It is an interesting interview, but I'm still not clear about the religious element of his religion. Mostly he is talking about applying science, in particular evolutionary psychology, to our understanding human actions. He also brings up the point of naturalizing various religious (in this case Christianity) doctrines based on modern scientific understanding. Ok, but why still call it a religion? This issue was also brought up in the interview also, but I'm not sure if it was addressed satisfactorily. I mean many of his points are completely reasonable, but why dress up these arguments in an overly religiously language. In any case, here is the description of the interview:
In this conversation with D.J. Grothe, Michael Dowd reveals how his kind of Christianity is different from most others who would call themselves Christian, and argues that all religions are evolving in the direction of naturalism. He argues that evolution must be mythologized in order to save our species. He explains how he reinterprets orthodox Christian doctrines such as "personal salvation," "the centrality of the cross," and "original sin" in ways that are compatible with scientific ways of thinking, and recounts how understanding evolutionary brain science helps reinterpret certain notions of sexual "sin." He addresses the criticism that that there is no good reason to use religious language to speak about science and evolution. And he expresses why his evolution evangelism is so important: that evolution be embraced and that it would be able to "do its magic," listing the seven reasons how evolution can transform lives and change the world.