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Evolutionism as a 'secular religion'?

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posted on Oct, 6 2005 @ 08:49 AM
An intersting article that I found, a book review: (pdf)

was forged, refined and publicized. The purpose of Ruse’s admittedly streamlined history is to identify two divergent responses to a crisis in Christianity arising from Enlightenment critiques. One response was a belief system in which a high value was placed on social and intellectual progress, into which ideas of biological progress (and eventually a science of evolution) would comfortably fit. The other response was a mutation of Christianity itself, epitomized by the evangelical spirit of Methodism, a defensive attitude to the authority of the Bible, and a millenarian vision in which, after testing man’s devotion, God would allow [the return of christ]

It is therefore possible to argue, as Ruse does, that the struggle between evolution and creation is a contest between rival versions of
millenarian theology. The world-view and conservative moral values of the creationists tend to be informed by a theology in which God alone can instigate a more perfect society through human redemption. The world-view
of the popularizers of evolutionary biology tends to be informed by the legacy of an alternative reading in which humans had to take responsibility for shaping the future. Not for nothing did Julian Huxley describe his
evolutionary humanism as a “religion without revelation”. Ruse knows that not all of Darwin’s disciples

An interesting article. Here is a link to purchase the book that also has some more reviews.

I don't know precisely what to think of this idea, its seems to be largely dependant upon an interpretation of christian theological history, and of course whats presented in a review might be different from the more nuanced arguement in a book. Suffice to say, evolution is a science, not a religion. As far as evolution and science being a source for a new religion, well, that seems to be a different matter. Ernst Haeckle infact had some rather strange ideas on religion, and he was something of an 'arch' evolutionist, in his day, and these ideas are laid out in his book "The Riddle of the Universe". Considering that he published such a book, I am somewhat surprised that he doesn't get a mention here, but perhaps that's because his ideas have no bearing on this christian line of argument.


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