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进化论VS智能设计:人类起源问题的最新论战

2013-05-16
进化论,智能设计,人类起源问题
进化论VS智能设计:人类起源问题的最新论战

  田方萌

  与世俗化程度较高的中国和欧洲相比,美国是宗教气氛很浓的国家。绝大多数美国人认为宗教在自己的生活中发挥着非常重要的作用。美国中央情报局的资料显示,78% 的美国人信仰基督教,仅有一成人口不信任何宗教。不过,美国的信徒们对《圣经》的理解却千差万别,有按字面意思相信《圣经》上每一句话的南方福音派教徒,也有只把《圣经》当作道德读本看待的自由派基督徒。他们对现代科学理论,尤其是进化论,也就有着不同的接受程度。据《时代》周刊报道,约一半美国人不相信人类是更早的生物进化来的,这批人多是笃信创世论的原教
旨基督徒。

  在信徒如此众多的国家,推进进化论当然不易。上世纪20年代,《物种起源》出版半个世纪后,田纳西州还立法禁止“讲授任何否认《圣经》所教导的神创故事的理论(即创世论)”,违者处以100到500美元的罚款,从而引发了著名的“猴子审判”案件。直到1968年,美国最高法院才判决所有反进化论教学的法律违宪。但是,创世论者并不甘心失败,他们继而要求公立学校用同样的时间讲授进化论和创世论。1973年,还是在田纳西州,当地政府就通过了一部这样的法律。结果两年之后它又被高等法院废止了,理由是该法违反了政教分离的原则,公共教育不应当支持某种宗教,不管是基督教还是佛教。正如一位学者评论的那样,如果学校讲授创世论,那么至少有一千种关于人类起源的宗教神话也应该写入教学大纲。

  创世论在美国偃旗息鼓了一段,到九十年代又出现了回潮的趋势。这回创世论者学乖了:你不说我是宗教学说吗?我这回也跟科学攀上亲,改头换面叫作"智能设计”(Intelligence Design)。不明白的人乍看还以为是人工智能之类的玩艺儿。智能设计论认为,宇宙和生物的属性是由一种具有高度智慧的实体有意设计的,而不是通过自然选择无意识地演化出来的。在基督教右翼团体的资助下,位于西雅图的“发现”研究所成为智能设计论的主要鼓吹者。该所成员声称,智能设计论作为一种“科学”理论,不仅应当与进化论平起平坐,而且高于进化论,所以教师应该给孩子们同时讲授这两种理论。

  智能设计论表面上披着科学的外衣,骨子里则为创世论张目。一份从发现研究所透露出来的文件表明,这些智能设计论者的真正目的是要建立和传播一种与基督教信仰一致的学说。作为一种伪科学理论,智能设计论近年来遭到了西方科学界的猛烈抨击。美国科学院曾发表声明指出,智能设计并非科学,因为它不能被实验检验,不能给出任何预测,也没有提出任何新的假说。2005年,在宾州的多佛审判(Dover Trial)一案中,联邦法院明确裁定智能设计是一种创世论的翻版。

  然而,这一翻版的创世论因为有大批原教旨基督徒作群众基础,几度欣起政治上的波澜,甚至取得了一定的成功。例如,俄亥俄州教育委员会在2002年部分地听取了智能设计论者的建议,要求该州公立学校“讲授相互矛盾的理论。”这其实是创世论者的一计狡猾策略。本来,科学界在很多学术问题上都分作两派甚至多派观点,这些学派相互争鸣,正是学术自由的一种体现。教科书讲解各派观点,会让孩子们兼听则明,培养他们独立思考的能力。智能设计论者也这么一说,似乎挺有道理,显得他们比进化论者还懂得科学教育。但是,只有在科学界还存
有争议的问题才适于向学生们介绍对立的观点。达尔文理论在今天已经成为生物学界的共识,没有必要再为智能设计论留出舞台,就像今天的教科书都不会再讲授地心说一样。智能设计论根本没有参赛资格,凭什么要带它玩门槛很高的科学游戏?

  智能设计论出台的背景并不在科学界,而根源于美国基督教内部在最近二十年的保守转向。六七十年代盛行一时的自由派基督教会逐渐衰落,而倾向原教旨主义的福音派教会吸引了越来越多的信众。针对原教旨派的回潮,在刚刚过去的2006年,进化论和神创论的代表人物都纷纷发现书著加入论战,关于人类和宇宙起源的辩论达到高潮。其中最引人注目的交锋,在剑桥大学生物学教授道金斯(Richard Dawkins)和人类基因组项目首席科学家柯林斯(Francis S.Collins)之间展开。前者在去年九月出版了宣扬无神论的专著《上帝的幻象》,此书一度热畅,曾升至亚马逊书店排行榜次座。后者则在几个月前出版了《上帝的语言》一书,讲述了他作为一名杰出生物学家的基督教见证。应《时代》杂志之邀,两位作者在九月底进行了一次面对面的激辩。一个多小时的时间内,谁也没能说服谁。

  其实,柯林斯并不是智能设计论者,他甚至拒绝创世论,并建议基督教内的兄弟姐妹接受进化这一事实,只把它看作上帝安排好的进程就是了。可是,柯林斯的生物学权威身份的确为创世论者帮了大忙。有部名为《达尔文垂死的遗产》的纪录片就断章取义地引用他的见证,为创世论背书。一位原教旨派的基督徒跟我辩论时说:“你看,连柯林斯都信了主呢。”斯坦福大学的生物学教授乔娜(Joan Roughgarden)等学者也持有柯林斯这种“进化论神学”的观点。而一本叫做《关于达尔文主义和智能设计的政治不正确导读》的书才是2006年度智能设
计论的真正代表作。

  此书作者威尔斯(Jonathan Wells)在美国名校拿过生物学和神学两个博士学位,现任发现研究所高级研究员。受过宗教和科学系统训练的威尔斯的确比一般的原教旨基督徒更难于反驳。笔者曾在华盛顿旁听过他出席的一场研讨会,威尔斯的智能设计理论乍一听还有些道理。比如他讲单细胞的结构非常精妙复杂,不可能一步步进化出来。他还抓住进化论的一些小辫子,如“中间型态”的化石证据不足等等。进化论者对此都作出了有力的回应,限于篇幅,这里就不多作介绍了。

  进化论和创世论已经斗争了一个半世纪,谁胜谁负?就目前美国的情况来看,进化论在科学领域赢了,而创世论在信仰领域胜了。换句话说,进化论赢得了人们的脑,创世论则赢得了人们的心。这两种观念战斗还会持续下去。柯林斯等人的例子说明,基督徒能够接受进化论。科普工作者可以在不改变基督徒基本信仰的前提下,说服他们承认进化论,同时对智能设计论给以坚决的打击。这恐怕是当前传播进化论的最佳方式。

  2007.1.7.

(XYS20070109)

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2009-07-17 11:06:40 Collins: Why this scientist believes in God
POSTED: 1337 GMT (2137 HKT), April 6, 2007
By Dr. Francis Collins
Special to CNN

Adjust font size:
Editor's note: Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D., is the director of the Human Genome Project. His most recent book is "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief."

ROCKVILLE, Maryland (CNN) -- I am a scientist and a believer, and I find no conflict between those world views.

As the director of the Human Genome Project, I have led a consortium of scientists to read out the 3.1 billion letters of the human genome, our own DNA instruction book. As a believer, I see DNA, the information molecule of all living things, as God's language, and the elegance and complexity of our own bodies and the rest of nature as a reflection of God's plan.

I did not always embrace these perspectives. As a graduate student in physical chemistry in the 1970s, I was an atheist, finding no reason to postulate the existence of any truths outside of mathematics, physics and chemistry. But then I went to medical school, and encountered life and death issues at the bedsides of my patients. Challenged by one of those patients, who asked "What do you believe, doctor?", I began searching for answers.

I had to admit that the science I loved so much was powerless to answer questions such as "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?" "Why does mathematics work, anyway?" "If the universe had a beginning, who created it?" "Why are the physical constants in the universe so finely tuned to allow the possibility of complex life forms?" "Why do humans have a moral sense?" "What happens after we die?" (Watch Francis Collins discuss how he came to believe in God )

I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and irrational arguments, and was astounded to discover, initially in the writings of the Oxford scholar C.S. Lewis and subsequently from many other sources, that one could build a very strong case for the plausibility of the existence of God on purely rational grounds. My earlier atheist's assertion that "I know there is no God" emerged as the least defensible. As the British writer G.K. Chesterton famously remarked, "Atheism is the most daring of all dogmas, for it is the assertion of a universal negative."

But reason alone cannot prove the existence of God. Faith is reason plus revelation, and the revelation part requires one to think with the spirit as well as with the mind. You have to hear the music, not just read the notes on the page. Ultimately, a leap of faith is required.

For me, that leap came in my 27th year, after a search to learn more about God's character led me to the person of Jesus Christ. Here was a person with remarkably strong historical evidence of his life, who made astounding statements about loving your neighbor, and whose claims about being God's son seemed to demand a decision about whether he was deluded or the real thing. After resisting for nearly two years, I found it impossible to go on living in such a state of uncertainty, and I became a follower of Jesus.

So, some have asked, doesn't your brain explode? Can you both pursue an understanding of how life works using the tools of genetics and molecular biology, and worship a creator God? Aren't evolution and faith in God incompatible? Can a scientist believe in miracles like the resurrection?

Actually, I find no conflict here, and neither apparently do the 40 percent of working scientists who claim to be believers. Yes, evolution by descent from a common ancestor is clearly true. If there was any lingering doubt about the evidence from the fossil record, the study of DNA provides the strongest possible proof of our relatedness to all other living things.

But why couldn't this be God's plan for creation? True, this is incompatible with an ultra-literal interpretation of Genesis, but long before Darwin, there were many thoughtful interpreters like St. Augustine, who found it impossible to be exactly sure what the meaning of that amazing creation story was supposed to be. So attaching oneself to such literal interpretations in the face of compelling scientific evidence pointing to the ancient age of Earth and the relatedness of living things by evolution seems neither wise nor necessary for the believer.

I have found there is a wonderful harmony in the complementary truths of science and faith. The God of the Bible is also the God of the genome. God can be found in the cathedral or in the laboratory. By investigating God's majestic and awesome creation, science can actually be a means of worship.

What is your take on this commentary? E-mail us

The opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the writer. This is part of an occasional series of commentaries on CNN.com that offers a broad range of perspectives, thoughts and points of view.

Your responses
CNN.com asked readers for their thoughts on this commentary. We received a lot of excellent responses. Below you will find a small selection of those e-mails, some of which have been edited for length and spelling.

Lorri Carlson, Prescott, Arizona
I am greatly encouraged to read about Dr. Francis Collins' intellectual and spiritual perspective. It is positively refreshing. A thinking person who recognizes the complementary relationship of faith in Jesus Christ and science! Thank you so much for making this article available.

Alan Goldstein, Powder Springs, Georgia
As is typical of believers, Collins was looking for answers, and when he didn't find them (or more likely didn't care for the answers he found), he turned to superstition. For example, what is the meaning of life? Science would say "Life has no meaning, other than the meaning we give to it." I think this is a wonderful answer, and immensely preferable to, life exists because god was bored. And that our sole purpose for existence is to please god enough, so that we may enter heaven and sing his praises for all eternity.

Hyukwoo Shin, Del Mar, California
It is no surprise to me that an accomplished scientist like Dr. Collins is a faithful believer because he asked himself the right questions. I see so many times atheists in science asking the wrong questions: "Can you prove that the bible is true or that God does exist?" The right questions are pointed out in this article: "What is the meaning of life?" "Why am I here?"

James Lampert, Fountain Valley, California
The best case of all for the existence of a supreme being is in the very laws of physics: the fact that physics HAS laws, and that those laws are knowable, internally consistent, and elegant.

Barbara Liang, Appleton, Wisconsin
Dr. Collins stated that in his late 20s he made a leap of faith and embraced the Christian teachings because he could no longer live with "uncertainties." An emotional quest for certainty and tranquility, no matter how beneficial to the individual, does not a factual system make. I am glad that Dr. Collins has the comfort of his beliefs, but his reasoning does not sound very scientific.

James Hastings, Franklin, Pennsylvania
Thanks for publishing this point of view. I don't agree with the author, but it was refreshing to read commentary that was different from the conventional wisdom published ad nauseum. Maybe this sort of writing should appear more often than "occasionally."

John Borland, Waukegan, Illinois
I am with Dr. Collins until he broaches the subject of Jesus. He poses questions about whether it is possible to reconcile Jesus' divinity with science, but he avoids answering them by devoting the remainder of the piece to evolution and the age of the earth. It seems to me that believing in Jesus, or any other divine prophet, requires an egocentric view of creation that goes far above and beyond Dr. Collins' argument for belief in God. To casually insert a reference to Jesus in this piece without addressing that issue seems to me to be an obvious attempt to blur the distinction. It makes the piece seem more like an advertisement for Christianity than a thoughtful discussion of spirituality.

Suzanne Spinelli, Middlebury, Connecticut
I agree with the scientist in the report, however, why is it only Judeo/Christian creation myth that can be 'real.' There are many different creation myths from the past until the present. I think it is offensive to negate all those other myths for the "one true 'real'" myth (depending on one's point of view). After all, who is to say which one is right? Could it be that they are all right in their own way?

Mara Alexander, Alexandria, Virginia
With a Ph.D. in the social sciences, I'd find it more surprising that scientists don't believe in a god or organizing principle of some sort. What we pursue is "truth," with the underlying belief that there is order in the universe if only we can discover it. I don't know that I especially believe in a berobed deity sitting up in Heaven, or in a literal version of the Bible, but I certainly do believe in a higher power of some sort.




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地球上寻找外星生命9大热区
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中国科学家提出地球生命灭绝新模式
研究称陨石中发现地外生命痕迹
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NASA发现新生命不在外星在地球
非洲类人猿的早期多样性
生命起源有了新假说
寻找双胞胎差异希望解开人类遗传学未解之谜
生命模式的形成机制
考古学家发现原始人曾经征服海洋
人类是从外太空迁居地球的外星人
未来人类进化走向何方
神经的简单起源
人类迁徙路线
复旦大学称研究DNA检测显示中国人起源于非洲
最早女性原始人骨骼发现有助于了解人类进化
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人类该去哪寻找外星生命
港大学者梁锦堂谈生命如何教育
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牛津大学教授称男人最终将从地球上灭绝
生命起源仍是谜
生命起源人类起源,生命科学1 生命起源人类起源,生命科学2

本栏目主要介绍生命探索方面,包括生命起源、生命科学、生命现象、人类起源、进化论VS智能设计:人类起源问题的最新论战 等。特别关注有关人与生命的意义与生命的价值方面的研究。

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