It appears that, for most students, their conclusions about reality are not grounded in a well thought out theory of knowledge. What students believe about God, about evolution, and about the relationship between science and religion does not appear, for the most part, to be a product of independent thinking.While Dr. Embree is cautious to state that this finding relates only to his sample and that it cannot be generalized to the general public, it tends to support every bit of anecdotal evidence that I have encountered. Most fundamentalist evangelicals that I know view the world from within the fundamentalist perspective and what does not accord with that view has to be subjugated to that view in some way. They claim that groups like the ICR and AIG have demonstrated that their view of the universe is correct, but when you blow the "science" out of the sky, their world view doesn't change. I have had a running argument with a particular reader, who, over the course of ten or so posts, has always said the same thing: "there are no transitional fossils." Despite the fact that I and other readers have provided him with many links to the evidence and asked him to explain why he does not accept the evidence, he has declined to do so. My guess is that he cannot, he just simply doesn't "believe" it.
Another example of this is Todd Wood, who agrees wholeheartedly that evolution is a perfectly good theory and that it explains much in the biological world. He just doesn't "believe" it. He has no justifiable reasons to reject it, he just does because it doesn't fit into his theological world view.
On the other side of the coin, in The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins wrote:
An atheist before Darwin could have said, following Hume: "I have no explanation for complex biological design. All I know is that God isn't a good explanation, so we must wait and hope that somebody comes up with a better one." I can't help feeling that such a position, though logically sound, would have left one feeling pretty unsatisfied, and that although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist.There is nothing in evolutionary theory that explains away God, despite what Richard Dawkins might think. That is a theological construct that he is imposing on science. Science can neither support nor dispel the existence of God. It simply isn't capable of doing so.
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