Larson 1

What issues might Christian churches have with the idea of evolution?
Mammoth vs. Indian Elephant jaw bone
mammoth vs. elephant jaw boneNotice we are jumping to about 1800, but the project of classifying plants and animals and building mechanistic understandings of nature that started with the scientific revolution was still in process. 
I want you to understand what scientists and religious leaders believed at a particular time.  This course is about that, not about what you believe. Notice that many scientists were Christians and be curious about the varying ways they put the two together.

we need a definition of evolution: a theory of biological change

Starting point: Georges Cuvier (1769-1832)


geologic column


Fossils were known and recognized as animals different from what we see around us

Religious views of the time

On the other hand, the Enlightenment had argued for a strict empirical and rational view of the world, throwing out the old authorities

Cuvier wanted to throw out such speculation and he wanted the reliability of fixed species

two problems with the idea of evolution for people like Cuvier