Wednesday, August 27, 2008

God in the Evolutionary Process

I recently read an article in the NYTimes about the delicate balance that one teacher is striking with his Christian students to teach them the science of evolution. This has been such a contentious issue for so many years, so why does it seem so simple to me as a Christian? Why can't my God, who is the most powerful and imaginative being to exist, be the author of the evolutionary process?

I am so reticent to speak aloud about matters of faith and science because I feel so inept in both areas. (Maybe attending church alongside rocket scientists and Old Testament scholars has shown me how much I don't know!) But this is my space to write, and so I will try to make my thoughts as coherent as possible, even if I have reams more to read on both subjects. I know (and hope) that my understanding will deepen with age and experience. Here I am at this point in time, however simplistic.

I have come to understand the bible, more to the point, the Christian Old Testament, in such a different way than I had grasped it growing up. And it makes so much more sense to me, especially Genesis, to understand it as a work of literature. I certainly believe that God is powerful enough to create the world and everything in it within 10,080 minutes. (That counts Him resting.) But to me, it makes more sense that the opening chapters of our Bible tell a story figuratively, and that God created a much more interesting and orderly world over a much longer stretch of time. To me, it makes God appear even bigger and more creative in the way He introduced mammals, etc. (us included) into this universe. He set the laws of nature for some good reason, I think.

But that's not the point for me. The point is, while it is imperative that we do our best to think critically and draw the most logical conclusions, it shouldn't matter to our faith the exact manner in which God created us. God created us. And however He did it, whether He set his stopwatch or took His time, it's an amazing work. Whether his way to create us was to evolve us into the latest model, or to set us down as the prototype, we are here now as we are and we're here to serve and worship him. Regardless of how we got here. Either way is a miracle. And frankly, I believe there is so much that God doesn't tell us so how can any of us presume we know the definitive answer? I think that the more scientific discoveries are made, the more God reveals to us how amazing His creation really is. And how vast His resources are as Creator. Observing the evolutionary process doesn't negate our value as humans. It further unveils an imaginative and brilliant Creator.

1 comment:

walt said...

On a larger canvas we must, in this day and age, view, not only our earth and our existance on it, but the entire universe - made ever so much larger through recent astronymetric discoveries (thanks to space station, Hubble telescope, and other planet orbiters) . I, personally enjoy the "dot" of earth concept in respect to the so-far visible universe, as shown from the Mars rover. We are such infinitesimal creatures, n'est pas??