Alert reader Sigmund keeps a weather eye on the doings of the accommodationist organization BioLogos. Founded by Francis Collins, who resigned when he became director of the National Institutes of Health, BioLogos had the goal of turning evangelical Christians towards accepting evolution. They proposed to do this by showing literalist Christians that the Bible and Darwin were completely compatible.
It didn’t work of course.
Efforts stalled, and BioLogon began engaging in all sorts of crazy apologetics, many of them trying to show how Adam and Eve—a couple that genetics tells us could not have spawned all humanity—could still somehow be human ancestors, ergo that Jesus didn’t have to die for a metaphor.
In the end, BioLogos went for the coward’s solution, refusing to take a firm stand on whether Adam and Eve really existed. This, of course, was profoundly contradictory to their pro-science approach. In their desire to reconcile Darwin and Jesus, they watered down the Darwin and begin osculating the rump of Christians. That is the inevitable result when one tries to turn literalists toward science.
Then two of BioLogos’s important people resigned: Biblical scholar Pete Enns and Vice-President Karl Giberson, I suspect because of differences in how to approach those Darwin-unfriendly Christians. The housecleaning continued: President Darrel Falk resigned at the end of last year.
Two days ago a little mole told me that BioLogos was about to name a new president, so I asked Sigmund to watch the website and report back to us. And, with his usual diligence, he has. Ladies and gentlemen, the Big Announcement:
BioLogos announces a new President
The evolution of BioLogos towards becoming a purely religious apologetic organization continues with yesterday’s appointment of its new President.
Deborah Haarsma, a Professor of Physics & Astronomy at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, replaces Darrel Falk, who stepped down at the end of 2012.
Haarsma is not a major name in the theistic evolution world, but her views, published in, ‘Origins: Christian Perspectives on Creation, Evolution, and Intelligent Design’, provide some clues as to why the current BioLogos board consider her appropriate. In that book, Haarsma and her co-author and husband Loren examine the question of whether science supports concordist (physical evidence supports the Biblical account) or non-concordist (physical evidence does not support the Biblical account) viewpoints. Haarsma comes down on the side of the non-concordists, with one notable exception: that of the thorny question of human origins. While content to use science to pull the plug on flood geology and dismiss the young-earth stories out of hand, the question of Adam and Eve remains the line in the sand across which she dares not cross.
A good overview of Haarsma’s position within the theistic evolution spectrum can be found in a series of clips she recorded for the Templeton-funded Test of Faith project in 2010. Those show that her views are very much in line with current BioLogos thinking.
In addition to Haarsma, BioLogos announced the appointment of Jeffrey Schloss—a Distinguished Professor and the T.B. Walker Chair of Biology at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California—to the position of ‘Senior Scholar.’ Schloss, a former Senior Fellow of the Discovery Institute and one of the original signers of the ‘List of Intellectual Doubters of Darwinism’, has gradually changed his views on ‘Intelligent Design’ (ID) over the past two decades and is now firmly within the theistic evolution camp—or at least that part of it that BioLogos occupies.
It is somewhat ironic that Schloss’s move away from Intelligent Design has occurred as BioLogos itself nestles ever closer to the standard ID viewpoint. At the very least, through its failure to take a firm position on the scientific evidence that precludes the notion of modern humans having but a single pair of common ancestors, BioLogos fails to provide a robust challenge to ID’s current stranglehold over evangelical thinking. And that very challenge is why Francis Collins founded the organization in 2007.