This is an old question familiar to readers of the Nicotine Theological Journal (please don’t make me find the issue), but Tim Challies’ “like” of Rick Phillips’ post about evolution reminded me of that query. It concerns the degree to which Christians (especially conservative Protestants) have no difficulty with scientific results when it comes to the believers’ own prejudices. Think tobacco and alcohol (but not too long). Back in the day of the fundamentalist controversy and for three decades beyond, physicians who are known for having some scientific training regularly recommended the health benefits of smoking. Now we know scientifically what fundamentalists always believed — that it hurts the body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (for the regenerate). In the matter of human vices, contrary to Harry Emerson Fosdick the fundamentalists won with a big boost from science and its practitioners.
So why the outright hostility to scientists in other realms of inquiry? I understand that theological difficulties attend an evolutionary account of human origins. And I am not meaning to suggest that the historicity of Adam or the fall are topics easily reconciled with biological science.
What I worry about, though, is a knee-jerk hostility to science on evolution that flies in the face of the very trust that we devote to any number of scientists — from the pharmacists who mix our pain relievers to the economists that tell us Ronald Reagan was right. (This is another one of those examples that pose difficulties for the advocates of w-w; w-w may explain Darwin but what about Jonas Salk?)
Can’t Christians show a little bit of gratitude?