Consider: “A graduate student immersed in evolutionary biology at a major university was on the verge of completing his doctoral degree when Jesus captured his heart and he turned over his life to the sovereign God of the universe.” Did becoming a Christian committed to the Bible’s authority mean the end of this student’s studies in evolutionary biology? Not at all, writes Gary Fugle, longtime biology instructor at Butte College, recently retired. In fact, says the Paradise author, and my friend, “this is my story.”
That story has led to “Laying Down Arms To Heal The Creation-Evolution Divide” ($35 in paperback from Wipf and Stock), just-published and the product of years of reflection. Fugle writes to those “who are softened to the possibility of reconciliation in which the powerful message of Christian faith and the fascinating scientific understanding of evolution are integrated,” not to young-earth creationists or to “committed atheists ... convinced that these are two mutually exclusive propositions.”
Though Fugle recognizes that some biologists are uncomfortable with a professing Christian among their ranks, he writes primarily to conservative Christians uncomfortable with an evolutionary biologist within the fold.
Identifying himself as an “evolutionary creationist” (“God utilized the modifying and molding processes of evolution over very long periods of time to create the vast diversity of life on earth”), Fugle addresses a number of issues with compassion and grace: Was there a real Adam and Eve? Was there death before the Fall? Doesn’t an evolutionary view require purely naturalistic explanations? Why would God use evolution?
The book is not defensive; rather, in clear, accessible language, it’s a celebration of science (especially the section on “the value of biological evolution”) and a paean of praise to the Creator.
The author will present a talk entitled “Should God Be Mentioned in Public Science Classrooms?” at the Science and Religion conference, February 6 (5:30 - 8:30 p.m.) and 7 (8:00 a.m. - noon) at Colusa Hall on the Chico State University campus. Suggested donation at the door is $10, $5 for students. Check “Science and Religion Conference (2015)” on Facebook for details.