Evolution:—a cruel process?

                                                                                                              Dr Chris Southgate                                                                                                             (University of Exeter)

8 pm Tuesday 21 March 2017, Lindisfarne House. 

Animals often become extinct, sometimes because their habitat has become housing estates, or because a predator (man, possibly?) has killed them, as is happening with elephants at the moment. Sometimes disease strikes. There is a great deal of dying going on, and a great deal of struggle for survival.  It has been happening ever since life began. Evolution assumes that some creatures will be phased out because they can’t cope. (It’s not just a few, either; 99.9% of all species are already extinct).

We have asked Dr Southgate to consider what this situation says about the kindness and mercy of God. Here he introduces his talk:-

“The poet Tennyson memorably called nature ‘red in tooth and claw’. The struggle and suffering in nature was put into context by Darwin’s theory of evolution through natural selection. But this seems to constitute a challenge to the Christian claim that a loving God created the world ‘very good’.

Tennyson also called nature ‘careless of the type’. Over 99% of all the species that have ever existed are extinct. Again, this seems like a challenge to the goodness of God as creator. I will explore what explanations Christian thinkers offer, and what is the least-worst option for understanding God as the creator of the evolutionary process”.

All are welcome to come and join in the discussion. The meeting is scheduled to end with coffee etc at 9.40 pm. No charge. Free parking. Collection for meeting costs.