Christians believe in dinosaurs

Creationism: God, the Evangelical Church and the dinosaurs

"Wrong path" on the left, "wrong path" on the right, Protestants in between. The Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD) wants to pacify the dispute between religion and biology about the origin of life in an "Orientation Guide" presented on Tuesday.

This dispute is increasingly spilling over to us from the USA and has already led to political debates when, a year ago, the Hessian minister of education (and Protestant synod) Karin Wolff spoke of "astonishing correspondence" between evolution and the Bible. This triggered a dispute within the church in which the rational faction of the EKD was confronted with the strengthening of the biblical evangelicals. The "orientation aid" is now intended to calm the dispute by dividing it on two sides.

The church regards the “atheistic fight against belief in creation” as the left “wrong path”. The EKD Council, under its chairman Wolfgang Huber, finds this in the biologist Richard Dawkins and other authors who reject church statements about creation. According to the EKD, these critics believed that “from the insights of modern natural science they could inevitably derive a denial of God and an obligation to fight atheism” and “did not shy away from denigrating beliefs”.

The EKD brings the politically liberal Dawkins closer to totalitarianism: “Using the example of doctrinal Marxism, it can be shown where it leads when scientific knowledge, which in itself can be well founded, is ideologically exaggerated. In the schools of the GDR, for example, belief in the Creator was defamed as anti-science. The 'new atheism' propagated today by Dawkins and others fits seamlessly into this ideological scheme. "

The wrong path of the creationists

The EKD criticizes more moderately the “wrong track” of creationism and “intelligent design”, according to which dinosaurs, for example, developed through God's actions. The EKD describes creationism, which strictly adheres to the Bible, as "dubious". The EKD counters the more flexible “intelligent design”, according to which God has brought about the hitherto incomprehensible leaps in development, that God becomes a mere “stopgap” who has to serve as soon as biologists do not yet know something. According to the EKD, these teachings are “a reversal of faith in the Creator into a form of explanation of the world, which ultimately leads to the alliance of faith and reason being terminated”.

According to the EKD, however, this is simply the result of the presumptuousness of atheistic scientists. Creationism had "reacted to the ideological ideologization of evolutionary theoretical assumptions" and thereby assumed "the character of an ideology of science". Creationism appears as a (false) counter-reaction to the new atheism. In fact, it was the other way around: atheists like Dawkins have only recently reacted to the much older creationism, but appear here as the root of the evil.

As a distinction from both “wrong turns”, the EKD calls for an understanding of creation that asks about the relationship between the world and people and God. In the Bible “the question of securing the world and the meaning of its order is in the foreground, while the question of the origin of being and the way of creation remains a mystery”. These questions about the material origin and evolution should be left to the natural sciences and especially to the evolutionary biology recognized by the EKD. Faith relates to "the basic orientation of the whole person"; the sciences are only individual "expressions of existence".

For schools this means that the fundamental differences between religion and science have to be explained and endured by the children. At the same time, theology and biology should be brought into a dispute of mutual respect in "subject-related teaching".