Why do accommodationists have to spoil a perfectly good book on evolution by dragging in a lot of stuff about God? I barely touched on the subject in WEIT, merely stating that “elightened faith” (what I meant was deism) had no problem with evolution; and if I had it to write again, I’d leave that sentence out. You can tell people about evolution, and give them the evidence, without dragging in theology.
Unless, that is, you’ve won the Templeton Prize. Last year’s winner, evolutionist Francisco Ayala, has a new book, Am I a Monkey? Six Big Questions About Evolution, published by Johns Hopkins University Press.
Here are the six big questions:
• Am I a Monkey?
• Why Is Evolution a Theory?
• What Is DNA?
• Do All Scientists Accept Evolution?
• How Did Life Begin?
• Can One Believe in Evolution and God?
Lest you have any doubt about how Ayala answers the last question, here’s the Press’s blurb:
This to-the-point book answers each of these questions with force. Ayala’s occasionally biting essays refuse to lend credence to disingenuous ideas and arguments. He lays out the basic science that underlies evolutionary theory, explains how the process works, and soundly makes the case for why evolution is not a threat to religion.
Now if you take the last question literally, the answer is “Of course you can believe in evolution and God—lots of people do.” But that’s not how Ayala construes the question, as you can see from the blurb above: he’s asking whether evolution is a threat to religion. And the answer to that is “Yes, of course it is, for millions of religious people see it that way, and for very good reason.”
Obviously, in a book about evolution, Ayala is going to propose a form of religion in which evolution isn’t seen as a threat. But that’s not evolution, it’s theology.
I could easily write a similar book, but with a final chapter that answers that same question in a completely different way. But of course that book wouldn’t be promoted by the National Center for Science Education.