Friday, June 12, 2015

Even Darwinism is a Religion: Insight from McGrath

From Alister McGrath's book Heresy A History of Defending the Truth:
Every worldview, whether religious or secular, has its orthodoxies and heresies. Although the concepts of heresy and orthodoxy had their origins within early Christianity, they have been found to be useful by other religious traditions on the one hand, and political and scientific ideologies on the other. The development of Darwinism, for example, has witnessed the rise and fall of ways of thinking and schools of thought, with the terms "heresy" and "orthodoxy" being widely used within the field to identify friends and foes. For example, Motoo Kimura's concept of neutral evolution (by which inconsequential amino acid replacements in proteins may account for the bulk of sequence differences between species) was regarded as heretical by many biologists when it was first introduced in the late 1960s. Today it is a part of Darwinian orthodoxy. The appropriation of religious language to describe such controversies is an indication both of the seriousness with which all sides take their positions and of the feeling that certain positions within the Darwinian spectrum are downright dangerous. If evolution can be regarded as a religion, then it has both its orthodoxies and heresies. (35)
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