Monday, April 06, 2009

Did Darwin Kill God - BBC

source:,3707,n,n highlights comments

Science highlights errors in logic in the bible. Theologicians say that the statements that incorrect are metaphors which allows for deeper theological philosophising. They say the Book of Genesis should not be read literally. Cunningham says "they are stories that reveal deeper truths about the fundamental aspects of life". Genesis Chapter 1 says that plants were made on the third day and man on the sixth day. Genesis Chapter 2 says that Adam was made before ANY plants appeared. The two accounts in Genesis Chapters 1 and 2 directly contradict each other. Philo of Alexandria says that if there was a contradition then this was a clue to how the bible should be read ie metaphorially not literally. Philo said the allegorical was sometimes more important than the literal readings (ref: 6min 44s) and said that both stories are myths. You need myths & metaphors to convey complex truths says Cunningham (8 min 56s). If you read the bible literally you will have no room for theological reflection says Cunningham (10 min 28s)

My view
My view is that the bible is wholly man made. God (or gods) do not exist. So they have no involvement in writing the bible. Any mistakes or contradictions found in the bible are due to mistakes of the authors. Science illuminates these mistakes and contradications adding further weight to the hypothesis that the bible was written by man alone.

by BBC 2

Update 4/4: As noted by several people this is now available on YouTube so those outside of the UK can also watch the series

Click on the link to go to the BBC video site if you are viewing from a UK location. The video is not playable outside of the UK but a reader has sent in the subtitle teletext for the deaf.

Reposted from (available till 8 April 2009)

There are some who believe that Darwin's theory of evolution has weakened religion, fuelled in part by Richard Dawkins' publishing phenomenon The God Delusion. Conor Cunningham argues that nothing could be further from the truth.

Cunningham is a firm believer in the theory of evolution, but he is also a Christian. He believes that the clash between Darwin and God has been hijacked by extremists - fundamentalist believers who reject evolution on one side, and fundamentalist atheists on the other. Cunningham attempts to overturn what he believes are widely held but mistaken assumptions in the debate between religion and evolution.

He travels to the Middle East where he shows that from the very outset, Christianity warned against literal readings of the biblical story of creation. In Britain, he reveals that, at the time, Darwin's theory of evolution was welcomed by the Anglican and Catholic Churches. Instead, he argues that the conflict between Darwin and God was manufactured by American creationists in the 20th century for reasons that had very little to do with science and religion and a great deal to do with politics and morality.

Finally, he comes face to face with some of the most eminent evolutionary biologists, geneticists and philosophers of our time to examine whether the very latest advances in evolutionary theory do in fact kill God.

Note from Exec Producer, Jean Claude Bragard:

This programme, part of the BBC’s Darwin Season, came from the realisation that it would touch on issues raised by Richard Dawkins in his book 'The God Delusion'. The publishing phenomenon has fuelled a widespread perception that the theory of evolution makes belief in God redundant, even perhaps perverse. But how compelling was that argument? It was clear that many Christians have easily been able to reconcile their belief in God with the theory of evolution. How was this possible? This was the question we wanted to explore and so we invited Dr Conor Cunningham, a Christian but also an eminent philosopher and theologian from the Centre of Theology and Philosophy at the University of Nottingham, to show how it was possible to believe in Darwin and God. Cunningham has just completed a book 'Evolution: Darwin's Pious Idea' to be published in the autumn, so he was ideally placed to explore this question. His argument is that we have been witnessing an unnecessary cultural war between religion and evolution that is damaging to both religion and science. Cunningham reveals that since the early days, mainstream Christianity’s view of God and Creation has not been literal. The idea of reading the Book of Genesis literally is essentially a 20th century American phenomenon that had very little to do with science and religion and a great deal to do with the morality and politics of the time.

Jean Claude Bragard
Executive Producer

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