ここでは進化論と「ポストモダン」との関係を巡って、James B. Miller “The Emerging Postmodern World”（in Frederic B. Burnham (ed.) Postmodern Theology: Christian Faith in a Pluralist World HarperCollins, 1989, pp.1-19）から引用しておく；
Half of Britons do not believe in evolution, survey finds
More than one-fifth prefer creationism or intelligent design, while many others are confused about Darwin's theory
Riazat Butt, religious affairs correspondent
guardian.co.uk, Sunday 1 February 2009 13.52 GMT
Half of British adults do not believe in evolution, with at least 22% preferring the theories of creationism or intelligent design to explain how the world came about, according to a survey.
The poll found that 25% of Britons believe Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is "definitely true", with another quarter saying it is "probably true". Half of the 2,060 people questioned were either strongly opposed to the theory or confused about it.
The Rescuing Darwin survey, published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of Species, found that around 10% of people chose young Earth creationism – the belief that God created the world some time in the last 10,000 years – over evolution.
About 12% preferred intelligent design, the idea that evolution alone is not enough to explain the structures of living organisms. The remainder were unsure, often mixing evolution, intelligent design and creationism together. The survey was conducted by the polling agency ComRes on behalf of the Theos thinktank.
A spokesman for Sense about Science, an independent charitable trust, said it was important for scientists and educators to disentangle religious belief from evidence.
James Williams, a lecturer at Sussex University, said: "Creationists ask if people believe in evolution. Evolution is a theory and a fact. You accept it because of the evidence. What the creationists have done is put a cloak of pseudo-science to wrap up their religious belief."
Later this month scientists and academics from across Europe will meet in Dortmund, Germany, to discuss evolution and creationism. It will be the first European conference of its kind to deal with different aspects of attitudes and knowledge related to evolution. They will discuss specific difficulties regarding the acceptance of evolution theory in their home countries.
Williams, who will give a paper presenting a British perspective on evolution and creationism in school science, said: "Evolution is very badly taught in schools so the results of the survey don't surprise me. On the other hand, creationism has traditionally been an issue in North America and there is a big problem in Australia and Turkey. It matters if people don't understand how science works."
The Rescuing Darwin project includes the launch of Darwin and God, a new book on the naturalist's religious beliefs, at Westminster Abbey, where he is buried, and a debate about evolution and religion. Participants will include Dr Denis Alexander, Lord Robert Winston, Professor Steve Jones and Professor Nancy Rothwell.
Events celebrating Darwin's achievements are taking place throughout the year. Cambridge University is hosting a festival to unravel themes of science, society, literature, philosophy, theology and music arising from his writings, life and times.
The Natural History Museum, in London, is exhibiting previously unseen specimens and artefacts, while Darwin's home in Kent, Down House, opens to the public from 13 February.
Developments in biology and in physics have been contributing to the emergence of a fundamentally new worldview. The prevailing images for the premodern world were organic. Those for the modern world were mechanical and dualistic. The characteristic images for the postmodern world are historical, relational and personal.
First, the world is evolutionary. It is not simply here. The world is understood today to be developing by means of environmental selection among indeterminate variations of forms. In previous eras an entity was understood to be what it was because it embodied an eternal essence, and that essence determined its nature and value. In the radically contingent and historical world of contemporary biology, one in which what an entity may become cannot be known beforehand, the idea of a determining essence has become seriously problematic.
The world is not so much a creation as a creating. And human beings are both a product of and, for now, participants in this ongoing creating. Humanity is understood to be a contingent (i.e., not necessary) product of universal natural processes, rather than the crowning act of creation whereby a particular eternal essence was made actual through specific divine commands. Further, that creative dynamic is seen as ongoing. (pp.8-9)
In summary, the development of evolutionary theory in biology and of relativity and quantum theories in physics has led to a vision of the world, not as a thing which has a history, but as history itself. The world has come to be seen not as a system of independent atomic parts linked together by external mechanical relations but, instead, as a dynamic nexus of internal relatings, actual and potential. (p.10)
- 作者: Frederic B. Burnham
- 出版社/メーカー: Harpercollins College Div
- 発売日: 1989/08
- メディア: ペーパーバック
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