Evolution remains the thorniest issue in the ongoing debate over science and religion. But for all the yelling between creationists and scientists, there’s one perspective that’s largely absent from public discussions about evolution. We rarely hear from religious believers who accept the standard Darwinian account of evolution. It’s a shame because there’s an important question at stake: How can a person of faith reconcile the apparently random, meaningless process of evolution with belief in God?
The simplest response is to say that science and religion have nothing to do with each other — to claim, as Stephen Jay Gould famously did, that they are “non-overlapping magisteria.” But perhaps that response seems too easy, a politically expedient ploy to pacify both scientists and mainstream Christians. Maybe evolutionary theory, along with modern physics, does pose a serious challenge to religious belief. To put it another way, how can an intellectually responsible person of faith justify that faith — and even belief in a personal God — after Darwin and Einstein?