Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Chapter 17: James Hannan

On pages 307-8 of The Greatest Hoax on Earth, Sarfati quotes from James Hannan's great book God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science to support the claim that much successful science occurred through history before Darwin and the theory of evolution so therefore evolution isn't necessary for good science to occur today.

Rather than engaging with that rather specious argument, and rather than commenting on whether Hannan's book really supports it, I thought I'd simply point out James Hannan's own view on evolution.  Something I noticed when reading The Greatest Hoax on Earth is that when Sarfati cites a Christian that doesn't happen to be part of his own organisation (Creation Ministries International), there's a good chance that Christian isn't a young-Earth creationist (see, for example, the footnotes on page 295).

James Hannan happens to have an excellent blog: and, helpfully, he has devoted a post to explaining what he thinks a Christian response to evolution should be.  The entire post is worth reading in full, but here are a few paragraphs to give you a sense of Hannan's position:
There are some atheists who believe that there is a conflict between science and religion. Richard Dawkins is most famous for this. Unfortunately, there are also Christians who think evolution and Christianity are incompatible. These Christians, who are usually called “creationists”, claim that Darwinism contradicts the book of Genesis in the Bible. Worse, they agree with Richard Dawkins that evolution actually implies atheism because it shows how life on earth could have arisen without being designed by God. Some Christians have become more hostile to science because they believe it contradicts religious faith. 
So Christians with experience of science need to explain why Darwinism is not an argument for atheism. Instead, we need to show that evolution is the way that God has chosen to bring about the infinite variety of life on earth. And we need to understand that He has chosen this method for very good reasons.