Professors debate their opposing views of evolutionary theory.

Professor of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin David McConnell and Professor of Law at University College Berkeley Phillip Johnson have opposing views about evolutionary theory.

Phillip Johnson, an opponent of evolutionary science outlines the issue he has with the Darwin's theory of biological evolution. In the United States (US)

There’s a growing question about the philosophical materialism which is associated with evolutionary biology.

He says Darwinism claims that living organisms were built by purposeless, unintelligent forces such as random mutation and natural selection.

Therefore there is no mind, no purpose, behind the story of life, we think that’s not true.

Science is a means of investigating the natural world and of examining, explaining and overseeing Darwinian evolution. Professor of Genetics at Trinity College Dublin David McConnell completely disagrees with the concept of intelligent design as it cannot be scientifically investigated.

There is no way in which a scientist can investigate God and science in the extreme, philosophical sense has nothing whatsoever to say about God, either for or against God.

David McConnell worries about the effect the rise of religious fundamentalism in the US is having on its scientific community. He is alarmed at how the writings of a few chemists are being upheld by fundamentalists wanting to find fault with the theory of evolution.

The fact that one particular biochemist has a particular difficulty in understanding how complex things can evolve is not a sufficient argument to overturn the entire theory of Darwinian evolution.

He believes religious fundamentalism is playing havoc with how science is being taught in some schools and universities in the US.

This episode of 'Finucane' was broadcast on 6 June 1996. The presenter is Marian Finucane.