Religion vs. Science – Who Is Right About Evolution?

Dr. Ron Frost

Dr. Ron Frost at his computer. Photo copyright Ron Frost – used by permission

Dr. Ron Frost didn’t actually WANT to write the book which eventually became Religion Versus Science: Where Both Sides Go Wrong in the Great Evolution Debate (O-Books), and which took six years of his life to complete.

However, an incident in January of 2002 persuaded him to go ahead.  He’d had a waking dream where he was addressing a university class on Evolution, of all things.  He remembered thinking at the time that he didn’t even want to get involved in Evolution, that he knew nothing about it, that he was a rock scientist, for goodness sake, and had been roaming around the mountains in Wyoming for over 30 years in the name of science.

As he sat on the edge of his bed, a voice told him that he should write this book.  Now understand that Dr. Frost was not only a scientist of some note, but he was also a Buddhist (which is another whole story).  He was familiar with the voice which he says would be called an angel by Christians and a Drala by Tibetans, and which had sometimes given him “cogent advice.”  When Frost objected, saying that Evolution was not his thing, the voice replied, “If you don’t do it, who will?” That seemed to resonate with Frost, and he agreed. 

In Religion Versus Science: Where Both Sides go Wrong in The Great Evolution Debate, Frost takes on the argument of evolution versus religion which is often the basis of many cultural wars that separate secular, technical people and their interest in science on the one side, from Christians and other religions on the other.   The book is written with humor and great insight.  It is an amazing thing that such a hotly debated subject could be so clearly laid out for all to see by a man of science and a man with deep spiritual beliefs…the perfect mixture for fair and unbiased research and examination.  Frost exhibits his humor here – having previously stated:

Book - Religion versus Science

Frost’s Religion versus Science – Where Both Sides Go Wrong in the Great Evolution Debate

Fortunately that disembodied energy… that had encouraged me to begin this project continued to assist me throughout the research and writing of the book.*

Then he adds the footnote:

* Those of you who are convinced that reality is composed of only the physical world and are offended by this sentence may want to delete it. In its place you may substitute this sentence: ‘As I proceeded to work on this project I continually encountered strange occurrences and bizarre coincidences that made the work easier.’ 

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that Frost’s treatment of the subject is filled with mumbo jumbo or hokey pokey.  Wherever Frost gets his inspiration, it is incontrovertibly there.  As a matter of fact, his book does an excellent job of bringing a new viewpoint to both sides of this ongoing and contentious argument.

When it comes to evolution, Frost believes that the dispute is fueled more by misconceptions on both sides than by the actual facts.  With this goal in mind, he gives readers the benefit of the extensive amount of research done for his book in order to clear up some of these misguided beliefs.

The indisputable facts of evolution are that the earth is immensely old; that all life can be traced to one ancient progenitor, and it is natural selection that causes species to change.  One aspect of evolution that has long irritated Evangelical Christians is that materialistic scientists use these facts to present a scientific view of evolution that, if not actively atheistic, leaves no room for a spiritual dimension to life.  They would have us believe that evolution is some sort of hit and miss pointless process where the only value to human life is to act as a transporter of all-important genes.

Frost points out that in a response to this atheistic view of life, Creationists make the mistake of attacking the actual facts of evolution rather than the manner in which the facts are presented.  Therefore, his goal in Religion Versus Science is to present a view that is compatible with the two different yet complementary ways of viewing the world – science as it deals with the objective, material aspects of reality, and religion as it deals with the subjective way we relate to the outer world.

Ron Frost has been an editor for two major scientific journals and a professor of Geology at the University of Wyoming for many years.  Combining this with his twenty-five years as a practicing Buddhist provides the perfect blend for finding a common ground between science and religion.  For more information, please visit the author’s website at: www.ronfrost.com and watch him in a live interview at: http://geology.uwyo.edu/?q=node/281.

Personal Bio of Dr. Ron Frost (by Ron Frost):

Dr. Frost working at his microscope

Dr. Ron Frost working at his microscope – photo copyright Dr. Ron Frost – used by permission

I grew up in northern New Jersey in the 60s in an area that, at the time, was at the edge of the New York Suburbs.  I loved spending my free time wandering in the hills and forests that have long since sprouted miles upon miles of housing developments. I decided to become a geologist because this appeared to be a good way to make a living while still enjoying the out-of-doors.  I received my BS from the University of Virginia in 1969 and my Ph.D. from University of Washington in 1973.  After temporary employment at the University of Minnesota – Duluth and at Michigan Tech, I finally landed a permanent job at the University of Wyoming in 1978.

My research has been on what the chemical composition of rocks, the minerals they contain, and their textures they evince tell you about ancient geologic processes. Because of my location in Wyoming I have studied the rocks exposed in the core of all Wyoming Mountain ranges, which include some of the oldest rocks in North America.  In addition to all the work I have done in Wyoming, I have conducted field studies on similar rocks in Siberia, Australia, northern Canada, and Greenland.  I have also participated in an ocean drilling project on the mid-Atlantic ridge, where I studied how the interaction with ocean water has affected the mineralogy of the ocean floor and have done field studies in New Caledonia, where sub-oceanic mantle has been exposed on land.

My major recreation interests are skiing in the winter and canoeing in the summer.  I figure I have paddled more than 8,000 miles in innumerable trips in the western US, some very long trips in northern Canada, and two more exotic trips in Siberia and Tasmania.  In addition to my passions of geology, boating and skiing, I have one other passion – spirituality.  I have been studying Shambhala Buddhism for more than 25 years.  Although I have a regular meditation practice and have made many long meditation retreats, I can hardly say I have any control over my mind.  It seems as busy and wild as ever.  However, I have realized that there are aspects of my mind that arise from outside my ego.  This realization has a major implication on how one interprets the scientific evidence for evolution.  This is the major reason I wrote the book Religion versus Science, Where Both Sides go Wrong in the Great Evolution Debate.

Review by Dr. Karl Giberson:

Dr. Karl Giberson

Dr. Karl Giberson – Image via Wikipedia

 Karl Giberson, Ph.D., author of Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution, and Oracles of Science: Celebrity Scientists Versus God and Religion with Mariano Artigas: “Frost’s remarkably wide-ranging volume offers the reader a helpful survey of the troubled road that led to the current controversy over scientific theories of origins.  More than just another book on creation versus evolution, Science vs. Spirituality locates the controversy in the inability of science to deal effectively with the realm of consciousness and mind, where our deepest needs and most profound experiences reside.  Writing from an eastern, Buddhist perspective, Frost offers a fresh perspective on one of the deepest questions of our time.”

Related Articles:

By Design – Greg Camp – http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/2011/03/28/by-design/

Advertisements

About Sandra Bell Kirchman

My passion is for fiction, especially fantasy fiction. I have been writing nearly all my life, since the age of 7 when I produced a 5-page novel called "Angus the Ant" - self-illustrated. Since then, I have written and published a fantasy novel called "Witchcanery," which has won several awards and has met with some acclaim from readers around the world. I've also edited and published an anthology for the writers at my site FantasyFic.com, called "Birth of a Unicorn and Other Stories." Both books are available on Kindle; the latter is also available on Nook. Both books are sold as hard copies at most major online outlets. One of my later ventures was horror stories; surprisingly, since horror stories scare me, I find I have a special affinity for them, especially in flash fiction format (under 1000 or less words). Currently, I am working on two WIPs, one a sequel to "Witchcanery," which several readers have made me promise to write; the other an apocalyptic novel called "The Road to the End of the World." There are several examples of this latter novel in my blog "Fantasyfic," formerly known as "Wizards and Ogres and Elves - Oh My!" Fantasyfic is on hold temporarily, while I work almost exclusively on Puppy Dog Tales. My other blogs keep me hopping. One is a roundup of news and some fun pieces from around the world. It is listed under the name of "News, Views, and Gurus." The current blog is my pet favorite, if you'll pardon the expression. I'm an avid pet parent and animal lover. My three little Shih-Tzus are the joys of my life...and so is my husband, but I don't write about him. Anyhow, my blog "Puppy Dog Tales" is a work of love, featuring my doggies and other pets around the world. I'm a devoted advocate of animal rights and especially backing the cause of animal rescue shelters. My wonderful husband and I live in a very small town in southeastern Saskatchewan on the south side in a rustic, cedar-sided home. Our property is almost a whole acre, and is gracious and pretty (which is not easy to be in one package). All five of us are happy here.

8 Responses to “Religion vs. Science – Who Is Right About Evolution?”

  1. Dr. Frost emailed me the following letter and requested that I put it up on the blog:

    Dear Sandra,

    Many thanks for the kind review of my book. I think you caught on to one of the key points I am trying to make in the book, namely that acknowledging that the world is imbued by a spiritual presence is neither mumbo jumbo or hokey pokey.

    Many atheists maintain that atheism is the only rational way to view the world and that people who are religious or spiritual are simply fuzzy thinkers who cannot understand the rational basis upon which science is built. In contrast, those atheists who contend that science “proves” there is no God simply do not know the limits of the scientific method.

    I think that one of the key problems in modern secular society is that it has lost its spiritual base. THis is partially due to the atheism that most people attach to science. To emphasize that science and spiritualism are not contradictory is one of the underlying themes of my book.

    Regards
    Ron=

    Like

  2. I find this post extremely interesting and do believe Dr Frost is on the right track.

    Like

  3. As a fellow geologist & a borderline pagan/agnostic, I am positively fascinated by the subject. I’ve settled on my own scientifically spiritual (or would that be spiritually scientific?) theory but as with any theory, I’m open to finding new answers.

    Like

    • I actually thought of you while I was researching the material for the article, Steph. As far as I can see, most of his thinking seems to parallel a lot of what you have told me about your beliefs. I didn’t have time to read the whole book, but got enough of it to know where he was going with this fascinating subject.

      I can commiserate with it taking six years of his life, though.

      Like

  4. Having Just watched “Creation” about Charles Darwin, I found this book review and its theme(s) intriguing. Thanks for teh review Sandra. Best, Janet

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: