The Bible or science?
February 7, 2009
The Baptist Standard has an interesting and sad article on Kurt Wise — one of the very, very, very few “scientists” who have received top-notch advanced education in the natural sciences yet have rejected the evolution paradigm of any sort. So, what moment was decisive in Kurt’s decision? Here it is:
Wise, a Harvard graduate who studied under paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould, gave up his dream of teaching at a major university because he could not reconcile claims of science with his faith.
At one point, Wise took out a newly purchased Bible and a pair of scissors. Beginning at Gen. 1:1, he cut out every verse that would have to be removed in order for him to believe in evolution.
Months later, he cut out his final verse and one of the last verses in the Bible, Rev. 22:19, which read, “If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
Wise describes what happened next: “With the cover of the Bible taken off, I attempted to physically lift the Bible from the bed between two fingers. Yet, try as I might, and even with the benefit of intact margins throughout the pages of Scripture, I found it impossible to pick up the Bible without it being rent in two. I had to make a decision between evolution and Scripture. Either the Scripture was true and evolution was wrong, or evolution was true and I must toss out the Bible.”
Dawkins called Wise’s story “pathetic and contemptible.”
Dawkins is right. Well, maybe “contemptible” is a bit strong, but “pathetic” is right. I truly cannot imagine a more lame account of someone struggling with reconciling their faith with science. Dawkins puts it well: “All he had to do was toss out the Bible or interpret it symbolically or allegorically as the theologians do. Instead, he did the fundamentalist thing and tossed out science, evidence and reason….” Interestingly, Wise has long noted that the science indeed does support evolution and that Creationism has yet to yield a sufficient counter-thesis. In the meantime, he has to reject the intelligibilities of the world as it presents itself to us.
Sad. So sad.
And to top it off, Southern Seminary, the flagship SBC seminary and one-time serious theological academy, hired Wise a few years ago to head their Center for Theology and “Science” (okay, there are no quotation marks). We’ve come a long way since people like David Mueller (Barth scholar) or even E. Y. Mullins (greatest Southern Baptist theologian ever) taught at Southern.
E. Y. Mullins, ora pro nobis