Tuesday, October 25, 2005Allow me a moment of honesty. I am confused on a controversial issue. I simply no longer know what to think about evolution.
The matter came to me recently as I read Edward Larson's Summer for the Gods: The Scopes Trial and America's Continuing Debate Over Science and Religion. The work is an examination of the Scopes Trial, demonstrating that the whole event was orchestrated by the town and manipulated by all parties. It's an interesting read whatever you believe, but if you believe that Inherit the Wind tells the real story, go out of your way to read this book. It is that important.
My confusion arises over matters of science that, frankly, I have a hard time understanding. I believe this much: God created the world. How he did so is a different matter. I do not like the idea of a long evolutionary process that produced humanity out of a primordial ooze. I think the notion of a slowly evolved life cycle is somewhat disturbing, for if God did not make man free of all other constraints, how then is man unique? I cannot accept that science and religion are completely separate spheres. The Darwinism of Stephen Jay Gould and Richard Dawkins leaves little room for Judeo-Christian faith, and those who suggest to the contrary are kidding themselves. Nietzsche realized this quite clearly, as should we.
What are we to make of plate techtonics? What about carbon dating that suggests the world is billions of years old? What about antrhopological data suggesting that some civilizations are over ten thousands of years old? These aren't conspiracies. No one decided to carbon-date fossils with the intent of destroying God. Many evangelicals assert that the earth is relatively young (around six thousand years) but few credible scientists take this line. I like the idea of intelligent design but frankly it's got a long way to go.
Of course I believe in micro-evolution. It is an indisputable fact. Yet I'm confused about the big stuff. Did creation take place in six calendar days? Really? Was the earth "old" when it was created? Or was it brand new? I wonder.
This is just me thinking out loud. For heaven's sake, I'm not advocating Darwinism in the least. I'm just asking a few questions. Maybe it's because science is difficult, but I get annoyed with agnostics who say that science answers every question man has. Likewise I get a tad perturbed with those who tell me that I must accept young earth creationism as an article of the Christian faith. And then of course I also get annoyed with those who believe in the Darwinism of Gould and Dawkins and yet still affirm that God is indeed "maker of Heaven and Earth." That can't possibly work, but some try nonetheless. What then do I believe and what do I do when I have children one day, preparing to learn science in the classroom?
Ugh. What a wild debate. I need some Advil.