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Darwin a Spiritual Leader?

Darwin a Spiritual Leader?

The evolution versus creationism debate usually produces two staunchly separated groups who will disagree indefinitely. Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution, was anti-evolution in his college years, laying all the blame on Darwin for the corruption and immorality of the world. Little did he know that he would change his tone and come to believe that evolution was a critical component for one's spirituality.

In the Idea Lab column in Sunday's New York Times, Yudhjit Bhattacharjee writes how Dowd gradually became less conservative, taking up reign as pastor in the liberal United Church of Christ and teaching people about the necessity of believing in evolution. Why? Because evolution, “explains our frailties, our addictions, our infidelities and other moral deficiencies as byproducts of adaptation over billions of years.”

Dowd’s argument is that a basic understanding of evolution and what drives humans to participate in certain behaviors (gluttony, sex, drugs) can help us overcome such behaviors, rather than sulking in guilt over them. Can you see his logic turning into a passive way to “blame evolution” for society’s problems? [The New York Times]

Posted: 6/16/08