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Betty Holley

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Rev. Betty W. Holley, Ph.D.
Presiding Elder Springfield-Xenia District, Ohio Conference
African Methodist Episcopal
Professor of Environmental Ethics and African American Religious Studies
Payne Theological Seminary
Wilberforce, OH

Personal Statement:

Reconciling Darwin’s theory of evolution with the Christian faith and science can be done using an interdisciplinary approach through combined knowledge from the following academic disciplines:  cosmology, geology, biology and theology.  Cosmological, geological, biological evolutions are not in conflict with the beliefs of mainline Protestantism.  Evolution affords the opportunity to view the Christian faith in a unique and different way.

Science and religion answer very different kinds of questions about human origins.  It has been my experience in my pastorate, with a background in environmental ethics, that it is better to keep science and the Christian faith separate; using knowledge from both to answer two very different sets of questions.  Religion aids in grappling with questions of “why” there is life.  Science answers questions of “how” life evolves on earth.  The two creation accounts in Genesis give a faith-based explanation of why life exists and why there is a need to exemplify good stewardship.  There is no biological information that speaks to the structure of living things in these two biblical accounts. Both religion and science help us to understand our human origins from two different vast bodies of knowledge, which can never be in conflict, if their distinctive contributions are respected.