Is President Bush a Theistic Evolutionist?

In an interview on ABC’s Nightline last night, co-anchor Cynthia McFadden asked President George W. Bush about evolution and creation:

Cynthia McFadden: So you can read the Bible and not take it literally. I mean you can—it’s not inconsistent to love the Bible and believe in evolution, say.
George W. Bush: Yeah, I mean, I do. I mean, evolution is an interesting subject. I happen to believe that evolution doesn’t fully explain the mystery of life and …

McFadden: But do you believe in it?
Bush: That God created the world, I do, yeah.

McFadden: But what about …
Bush: Well, I think you can have both. I think evolution can—you’re getting me way out of my lane here. I’m just a simple president. But it’s, I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don’t think it’s incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution.

Stephen Johnson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and a devout Christian, expressed a similar view in an in-depth profile published in The Philadelphia Inquirer this past weekend. Asked about evolution and creation, Johnson, who majored in biology at Taylor University, an evangelical college, said, “It’s not a clean-cut division. If you have studied at all creationism vs. evolution, there’s theistic or God-controlled evolution and there’s variations on all those themes.” —Heather Wax

Watch a Christian Physicist "Save Darwin"

Check out the clips of Michael Shermer interviewing Karl Giberson (editor-at-large of Science & Religion Today) at The Harvard Club in New York last week. The two talk about Giberson’s new book Saving Darwin, whether Christianity is compatible with evolution, and the spiritual implications of science. While Giberson is a physicist and a firm believer in evolution, “I think it’s very important to acknowledge that there are loads and loads of things that are eminently worth believing that are not the conclusions of scientific arguments,” he says. “If the only thing that we’re going to be allowed to believe is something that comes at the end of a scientific argument, then we’re going to have a very emaciated worldview.”

Listen to This

Over on his blog, Brain Thompson has posted a podcast of his interview with Karl Giberson, author of the new book Saving Darwin. The two of them discuss “why Darwin has become the Christian right’s new Satan, how science can harmonize with religious belief, and whether Darwin’s or Lincoln’s beard would be the bigger handicap in a fistfight.” Enjoy.

Evangelical Dialogue on Evolution

Our friend Steve Martin has just finished a neat guest-post series on “Evangelicals, Evolution, and Academics” over on his blog, and he’s posted an index to the series for easy searching. Check out what some of the biggest names in the field have to say about the topic.

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