more on evolution deleted....

Ken Kinman kinman at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu Oct 7 08:40:37 CDT 1999

     I think "deity-ordained change" is an important option in that "middle
ground" I am so fond of exploring on various subjects.  When discussing
evolution with "the faithful", I usually try to instill a notion that God
could have had the brilliant idea of creating the evolutionary process and
then letting nature take its course.  If they want to believe God intervened
in the process when humankind evolved, I have no problem with that.
Heritable change and divine "guidance" do not have to be viewed as mutually
     It doesn't have to be creationism vs. evolution, if one empathisizes
with strongly held beliefs and allows enough latitude that they can bring
evolutionary ideas into their belief systems.  This is not all that
different a process than the clash between the belief systems of cladists
and eclecticists---being dogmatic and unempathetic gets one nowhere, and as
I get older I am hopefully getting better at catching myself when I am not
looking at the "other side's" position closely enough.
     Whether evolutionary processes arose with or without some "divine"
intervention (and I am agnostic enough to admit the possibility that such
intervention could have set the evolutionary process into motion), there has
to be flexibility on both sides of such debates.  If not for our own sakes,
at least for the sakes of our children and students.  Many have already
found a comfortable position somewhere in the continuum of beliefs, but we
have to be patient with those who find evolution threatening to their
beliefs and find ways to show them that evolution can fit into their system
of beliefs.
                    ----------Ken Kinman

>From: "Panza, Robin" <PanzaR at CARNEGIEMUSEUMS.ORG>
>The anti-evolution dogma of parents *can* be a problem with college
>students.  I know of professors that were faced with profound disruptions
>of class on mentioning the "e-word".  It's the *origin* of species that
>most upsets the religious right--they oppose any creation myth (and I use
>the term loosely) other than their own.  However, "change over time" does
>not rule out deity-ordained changes.  This can cause difficulties when one
>later tries to use the term "evolution" or to introduce heritability to
>their concept.  Heritability of change, especially heritability that puts
>constraints on change, is antithetical to deity-ordained change.
>Robin K Panza                  panzar at
>Collection Manager, Section of Birds      ph:  412-622-3255
>Carnegie Museum of Natural History       fax: 412-622-8837
>4400 Forbes Ave.
>Pittsburgh  PA  15213-4080  USA
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Ken Kinman [mailto:kinman at HOTMAIL.COM]
>  Those parents who try to keep
>evolutionary knowledge from their children may actually sometimes end up
>fostering that student's interest in evolution in some ways.  Any short
>problems caused by the Kansas and Kentucky decisions shouldn't be that
>difficult to address given a little time and extra effort.

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