Doubt, Faith, Certainty and John Polkinghorne

Sir John Polkinghorne
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I have recently discovered an author by the name of ]] who both an accomplished scientist and an Anglican Priest. I might trade Robert a Richard Dawkins book for a Polkinghorne book… Anyway, this article is pretty good:

Religious belief in the modern age doesn’t seem to hold much room for uncertainty or doubt. In November of last year, I took Polkinghorne to the Creation Museum in Santee, Calif., to see how he would react to a hall dedicated to certainty. The museum organizers are certain that there was a six-day, 24-hour creation, that there was a literal Adam and Eve, that Darwin and Hitler belonged on the same wall of genetic engineers, and that evolution is a hoax. Polkinghorne stopped at a display that said the Bible has no record of death until Adam and Eve’s sin. (Apparently even animals lived forever before the humans ate the apple.) Polkinghorne gazed at what appeared to be the museum’s certainty and said to me, “The Bible may not have a record of it, but there is plenty of evidence in the fossil record.” Motivating evidence changes one’s beliefs. Or at least it can if we aren’t holding on to our certainty too tightly.


Some atheists like ]] and ]] are similarly locked into their certainty about the non-existence of God. If something has a religious whiff to it, their certainty takes over and reasonable discourse is the victim. Religion, politics and science all have their fundamentalists who are blinded by their so-called certainty.

Why certainty about God is overrated –

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2 Replies to “Doubt, Faith, Certainty and John Polkinghorne”

  1. Dawkins actually makes mention of the trio of Polkinghorne, Roughgarden and Peacocke in The God Delusion. Only, if I remember rightly, it’s to pour scorn and not to interact with them.

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