Darwin’s theory of evolution which was unproven to many scientists from the start led to a controversy as to how evolution really started. His theory do away with religious beliefs of God’s creation of the species. Many consider it a God less theory. The controversy confronts education in schools, religious and political beliefs. It brought doubt on the origins of man. Darwin’s theory ignited once more a confrontational battle between religion and science.
At the beginning many were enraged by Darwin’s evolution theory through the natural selection but towards the 19th century with Gregor Mendel’s discovery of the science of genetics, scientists found the missing link to Darwin’s theory. The literal understanding of the Genesis by Church is in the discord with Darwin’s theory of the origins of the species. The Church believes that all creatures were designed by God but to Darwin’s theory, species are a result of the process of natural selection through a random mutation of genes.
Confrontational Model of Science and Religion
For many years, the conflict between religion and science is ever present in the society. A clear distinction of science and religion’s dispositions was evidently instated through Darwin’s theory. Defying the beliefs of religion regarding the creation of man is the main argumentative conflict instated by the theory of Charles Darwin. Though there are many other sub-categories for argument, the previous mentioned argument is the primary confrontational model of science and religion.
During 1860, the critics of Charles Darwin expressed that though he did not mention humans in the book, they still think that man is not an exception from the theory. By the year 1865, some people have somewhat changed their perspectives on the theory of evolution and it has gradually become accepted. Clearly, after these actions of acceptance of the theory of evolution, the rise of the “warfare” of science and religion has ever since escalated along with the growth of society. Charles Hodge, during the year 1871, stated that Darwinism is equal to atheism. Hodge is one of the prominent theologians of his time and his statement against Darwinism is clearly out of his challenging belief of the theory of evolution and his ever strong faith in religion. During 1876, Andrew Dickson White published a book entitled “History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom”. This book further emphasizes on controversial accounts regarding the conflicts of science and religion. Through the years, this warfare had carried out through society and until now, the conflict has remained (PBS Evolution, 2001).
Another argument with regards to the subject matter of confrontational models of science and religion can be stated by this statement: the hardest challenges to the tradition of Christianity during the mainstream of the 19th century can be found more on biblical criticism than actuality of natural science (T&T Clark, 1999). This statement is largely based on the sociological aspects of the conflict. Nevertheless, it clearly states that there is really an ongoing warfare between science and religion. In some instances the two try to rip each other apart (T&T Clark, 1999).
Though at some points, there are still some aspects of realization that somehow connects science with religion in a more positive way. These accounts are statements that somehow show a congruent showing of helping one another. But despite all of this, many theologians and scientists still argue with regards to their dispositions.
Examining Charles Darwin’s controversial theory of evolution is like picking something up and whether believing it if it’s real or not. For centuries, humanity especially Christians have relied heavily on the belief that man was designed and created by God in a perfect way. The whole Bible for both Christian and Jewish is a testimony that the universe and the whole world is the creation of God. How He made them in an in-depth manner, the Scriptures do not exclaim. But according to the Holy Scripture, this world was not made by chance or luck. Even the living things in this planet are not made by chance and that everything is made intelligently by God himself (Kennedy, 1957).
Darwin’s controversial side on the other hand reflects his actions for seeking a deeper explanation that could provide proof regarding the start and existence of living things and all mankind. Darwin wanted to prove in his book “The Origin of Species” a contradictory address regarding religious beliefs. This book by Darwin started the controversial stir and a highly exposed conflict regarding religion and science. The book relied heavily on philosophical, religious and most especially scientific grounds (Kennedy, 1957).
These two sides naturally conflict on the grounds claimed. Darwin accounts that species exist due to a long biological evolution. The process is long and it exclaims that there is no divine intervention regarding the creation of species, including man for that matter. Naturally, the theologians and other religious critics immediately counters this disposition due to the fact that there is no God in the whole process of Darwin’s theory. This results to Darwinism being attributed to atheism. The challenge of scientific beliefs and religious beliefs is greatly on a high most especially when God is questioned or when God does not exist to the former anymore.
The late 19th century showcased different books that highly commercialized the controversial disposition of science with regards to religion. Books such as “History of the Conflict Between Science and Religion” by John William Draper and “History of the Warfare of Science with Theology in Christendom” by Andrew Dickson White, are the two most highly regarded books that greatly sought the contradictions of science and religion. These books not only raised high awareness on the so-called “warfare” of science and religion, but it also caused social implications.
Nevertheless, these two books have been somehow inspired by the books created by Charles Darwin and his theories. Thus, Charles Darwin’s controversial exclamations in his so called “findings” are revolutionary in the way that there has been no other man who greatly opposed the religious beliefs regarding the creation and existence of man. Charles Darwin showcased something that greatly altered the mindset of many people, especially those who follow science. For religious critics, Charles Darwin’s theories are just acts of damaging the traditional system of the Christianity and the religious beliefs behind it.
Until today, there is still a clear segregation with regards to the beliefs of the creation of man. Scientists largely rely on Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution and have helped expand the confines of the theory and further improved and developed it through the years. Presently the theory of evolution still stands as one of the top explanations of man’s creation. Despite this, the belief regarding what is stated in the Holy Bible still stands strong today. There is still an ongoing “warfare” regarding these matters which greatly inflates the controversial contradictions of science with religion. Arguments can be greatly derived with such simple realizations from the books created by Darwin. Thus, there would still be an ongoing conflict between religion and science as long as both people from the said parties act on creating a realization that helps each other out. Therefore, the confrontational model of science and religion will live on.
Cis-St Edmund’s College Lecture Series, The Discussion, Retrieved August 5, 2008, from http://www.st-edmunds.cam.ac.uk/CiS/brooke/lecture6.html
Kennedy, G. (1957). Evolution and Religion: The Conflict between Science and Theology in Modern America. Boston: D.C. Heath.
McGrath, A. (2006), Science & Religion An Introduction, Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.
PBS Evolution, Evolution: Religion: Evolution Revolution, Retrieved 5 August 2008, from http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/religion/revolution/1860.html
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2007). Religion and Science, Retrieved August 5, 2008, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/religion-science/#Con2
T&T Clark, God, Humanity and the Cosmos, T&T Clark, Retrieved August 5, 2008 from http://www.counterbalance.net/ghc-hist/early-frame.html
T&T Clark, God, Humanity and the Cosmos, T&T Clark, Retrieved August 5, 2008 from http://www.counterbalance.net/ghc-hist/caric-body.html