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Reading Genesis after Darwin$
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Stephen C. Barton and David Wilkinson

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195383355

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195383355.001.0001

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Genesis and the Scientists

Genesis and the Scientists

Dissonance among the Harmonizers

(p.93) 6 Genesis and the Scientists
Reading Genesis after Darwin

John Hedley Brooke (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines attempts made to harmonize the creation narratives with geology before the impact of Darwinism. Despite a vastly greater age for the earth and the problem of extinction, harmonization of the science with both revealed and natural theology was initially possible. By the time Darwin published in 1859, however, the harmonization program had largely defeated itself because of discord among the harmonizers. The chapter emphasizes the divisiveness (rather than an inherent destructiveness) of new sciences, with particular reference to the additional problems for theology arising from the deism and agnosticism that often accompanied Darwinian understandings of design in nature and its laws. The chapter ends with a brief survey of new understandings of revelation, which give Christian thinkers alternative spaces in which to accommodate theories of evolution.

Keywords:   Genesis, geology, Darwinism, extinction, harmonization, natural theology, deism, agnosticism, laws of nature, revelation

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