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Karsten Pultz on the Church of Darwin in Denmark


(Our Danish correspondent, Karsten Pultz, is the author of Exit Evolution.)

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A ninth grade girl from my wife’s youth choir was sitting reading in the church pew before the service was to start. The vicar when passing by asked the girl what she was reading.

“I’m reading this [holding up a copy of Exit Evolution]. “Have you read it?”, she asked. The vicar uttered a most disapproving sound and told her that he was not interested in such crap. And neither did he think she should be.

“But it’s really good, you should read it?” the girl replied.

“No it’s terrible and I would never read it,” the vicar answered angrily.

My wife, who is the organist, was standing just beside the vicar when this exchange of words occurred. One might think that common courtesy should have prevented the good vicar from trashing my book in front of my wife. But no, when encountering critique of evolution the rules of polite discourse are annulled. I think we all know that by now. My wife felt obliged to make a phone call later that Sunday, to comfort the poor choir girl who had been verbally obliterated.

This attitude toward ID is common in the Church of Denmark as a whole. The head of the parish council once told my wife in a polite but disapproving way that what her husband promotes, namely ID, is nothing but creationism, – he had read this “fact” at Wikipedia! My wife has a strong sense that in and around her churches, my ID work is regularly mocked behind her back.

Bestil Exit Evolution på nettet. 198 kr.

In 2018 a vicar working in the church of Denmark was publicly reprimanded by his bishop, for having written in the parish magazine that evolution is not compatible with Christian moral values. In the public debate that followed, professor of theology Svend Andersen from the University of Århus, made it clear that the vicar’s opinion was not one that had a place within the church of Denmark.

The professor’s view seems to be prevalent among the theological elite, and when the university professors have this view it probably explains why vicars in general hold this view too. Priests preaching in the church of Denmark all went to university, so the church is in effect an extension of the academic world.

I’m not sure why there’s such hostility against ID among Danish theologians. But it appears that being part of the academic world requires offering very, very serious allegiance to Darwin, even in the department of theology. I guess someone told the theologians that evolution is science, so any criticism of evolution must necessarily be unscientific. The threat of being accused of holding an unscientific view at a university probably forces the theology professors and students to keep hailing Darwin.

In the city of Århus, we have a conservative, privately funded Bible college and one would think that ID was welcome in such a place. While that may be true, it sadly doesn’t include the college taking a public stand on the issue. Currently, the college has a student who openly and with the full support of the college promotes theistic evolution. This student has also launched a vicious attack on ID, apparently also with the blessings of the leadership.

The attack includes hours of podcasts aimed at Christian college students, featuring outrageous accusations against ID theoriests. Michael Behe, for instance, is claimed to use tricks to lure people to believe in ID and Douglas Axe’s protein research is claimed to be hopelessly outdated. In his effort to smear ID, the theology student — who unfortunately is very popular among his young fellow Christian students — uses without shame arguments gathered from militant atheists like for instance professor Stefaan Blancke. I find this unbelievably weird and concerning.

To these theologians and students of theology, it seems perfectly logical that God directed an undirected process. It also is obvious to them that considering empirical evidence for intelligent design should by all means be avoided. They agree that God designed life, but if you are able to see evidence for design in nature, you are wrong. And why would theologians at all be interested in evidence for intelligent design in nature? Blind faith after all is the best. You are obviously smarter if you hold the view that random mutation produced a nonrandom result when man was created in the image of God.

I’m sorry but I don’t get it!

@seversky @7 Seversky’s obsession with injecting fatuous, irrelevant, snide cracks about religion, makes him chuckle to himself. Belfast
Belief in evolution theory is associated to disbelief in the reality and relevance of choice. This is why evolutionists are generally immoral, because they lack awareness of decisions being made, and morality is about the decisions. mohammadnursyamsu
I find it hard to believe that a man of the cloth could be so rude to a young girl or that a nine year-old girl would be reading such a book but, given the behavior of some so-called clergy in the US maybe it’s not so surprising.
True. Some men of the cloth act as if God does not exist. Silver Asiatic
I find it hard to believe that a man of the cloth could be so rude to a young girl or that a nine year-old girl would be reading such a book but, given the behavior of some so-called clergy in the US maybe it's not so surprising. As for "tipping-points" what is this Christian obsession with doomsday scenarios? Seversky
"I’m sorry but I don’t get it!" As long as you remain grounded in logic and intellectual integrity you will never get it - and that is a very good thing! Jorge
Karsten, There's a "tipping point", and Denmark is close to it. Surely if the choirgirl had been reading, say, Richard Dawkins, the vicar would not have called it crap. Atheists belittling the Bible is just fine, but Christians belittling Darwin is forbidden. When that message, which the vicar gave without thinking, becomes the gospel the choirgirl understood--then you get "black lives matter" and riots in the street, because the next generation finishes the task of conversion the vicar began. This is the "tipping point", when all the bias turns into action. And Denmark is close to that tipping point. The good news, is that the vicar's religion will not stand up very well when he has to defend it to a mob. So as they say in English, the cat is out of the bag, and now the future will be in the hands of the generation of that choir girl. And yes, it is good news. Let us with joy proclaim the good news, that our universe has purpose and design, and this generation can find both. Robert Sheldon
Probably impossible for him to find another church in that environment that would be favorable to his views. Suggestion to the DI: publish an English translation? Silver Asiatic
After more thinking, I take back my criticism. If you're influential, it makes sense to stay in. Karsten is probably influential. If you're an ordinary member who can't pull any strings, it's better to get out. polistra
Why is Karsten still attending and giving money to a church that explicitly doesn't want him there, and explicitly treats his beliefs as anathema? "Changing the system from inside" is crap. polistra
arrogance and confirmation bias, a winning combo to help retard science. why so many Hi IQ 'experts' are the biggest self fools. Also in pure science, nothing wrong w/ creation science, if anything (in the deep-time vs YeC dispute) the mantle of science is w/in YeC creation science. Pearlman

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