||Centre professor addresses evolution, creation in paper
[Note: Senior Nathan French, a religion major from Louisville, wrote this article.]
RELEASED: Sept. 8, 2005
DANVILLE, KYThe publication of Charles Darwins The Origin of Species in 1859 forever altered the debate between science and religion. Darwins theory of evolution challenged centuries of accepted thought. The debate has recently experienced a resurgence in the modern American consciousness with President Bushs recent comments to the media supporting the teaching of intelligent design.
W. David Hall, assistant professor of religion at Centre College, recently published a scholarly paper offering a unique perspective on the discussion. Does Creation Equal Nature? Confronting the Christian Confusion about Ecology and Cosmology appeared in the September 2005 Journal of the American Academy of Religion, a leading journal in the field.
In his article, Hall argues that there is a distinct difference between the terms of nature and creation. While the two are not unrelated, Hall writes, they are nonetheless distinct. That confusion over creation and nature, Hall argues, arises out of a common search to offer a comprehensive account of everything that is.
The idea for the article arose, not in response to any particular debate, but rather out of a discussion. Hall had an interest in creation science, he says, but it was a conversation with a colleague who questioned the idea that creation and nature are synonymous that gave him the idea for a thesis.
Hall asserts that there can be dialogue between the science of evolution and theology of creation, as both seek to understand the human experience through their respective discourses. For Hall, both creation and nature are equally viable concepts that are not mutually exclusive, but are rather constructs meant to address specifics of the human experience.
Science and theology, while two distinct fields, are equally important to Hall. Science is valuable for its discussion as to the origins of the natural world and the life within it. Concurrently, theology is important to Hall for its discourse on the meaning of being a human and the value of the natural order. We can think of both creation and natureworld as nature or world as creation, Hall says.
The evolution/creation debate is no stranger to the Centre campus. In February, the College hosted a convocation featuring Dr. Eugenie C. Scott, an expert on secondary education science curricula, who gave a presentation titled, Creationism and Evolution: The Controversy Continues. On Aug. 22, professor Chris Barton appeared in a panel discussion on intelligent design the KET program Kentucky Tonight. [link: http://www.ket.org/cgi/foxweb.exe/db/ket/dmps/Programs?id=KYTO1237]
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