Thursday, August 28, 2014

Thank God for Evolution: How the Marriage of Science and Religion Will Transform Your Life and Our World

This book promises to marry religion in science, but instead manages to botch both. It ends up mixing a naive interpretation of science with a simplistic version of Christianity. He tries to tie all of his belief set into principles from "evolution" but it just falls flat. You could easily get the same results by substituting "Mario Brothers" for "evolution" (or Christianity for that matter.)

On the surface, it did seem like something that could be worthwhile. Some of the arguments presented in the creation vs. evolution debate border on sheer stupidity. The arguments are in different realms and could never come to a "consensus". However, it is also perfectly reasonable to hold both beliefs together. To his credit, Dowd does attempt to distinguish between the metaphorical "night language" and the literal "day language". However, he then goes off on pseudo-scientific sermons on the great benefits of adding evolutionary thought to our lives. Uh. Yeah! He sounds like a snake-oil salesman ready to find the next fool. Christian Evolution did him great because it is a controversial topic that attracts attention and allows him to gain enough notoriety to support himself in a fulfilling way. For the rest of the world, scientific and religious knowledge may be helpful together but not the be-all end-all he pronounces.

Towards the end of the book he takes a shift to "the world will start acting this way if they understand what I'm saying." A merger of Christianity and evolution will supposedly end global warming and clean up the environment. Wow! Impressive. That is really stretching things.

At the end, he finally gets our the truth. People need meaning and purpose in their lives with something they are striving for. An "evolution ministry" was his thing. Other people may have their own thing. The calling wont necessarily come to them. They must seek it out. Hallelujah! That does sound like a useful bit of advice. It doesn't have much to do with the rest of the book. But, I suppose people would not be reading the book if they weren't curious about the merger in his subject. Alas, that is about the only good point in this pseudo-science, pseudo-religious book.

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