February 28, 2006
Evolution Vs. Creation
The modernday Christian leaps out at arms whenever someone speaks remotely of the validity of the Theory of Evolution. Apparently, this goes in direct contradiction to the Creation as outlined in the book of Genesis. Scott Hume’s book “Collapse of Evolution” is such an example of Christians who vehemently cry out that evolution can never be accepted as an alternative theory. Facts and figures are produced to show for supposed inconsistencies in methodologies reached by scientists the world over.
I do admit that I do not know enough about the theory of Evolution in itself, to be able to argue a convincing case for or against it. But there has been such a wide spectrum of debate within the Christian circle as well. Can it be included into Christian theology? Or are they in direct opposition with the other? Are they mutually exclusive or can they be synergized?
“The Case for a Creator” by Lee Strobel argues his case as journalist and lawyer, for intelligent design. He uses science as a tool, an aid, to explain the possibility of micro-evolution. Interviewing experts from the worlds of physics, chemistry, microbiology, astronomy and archaeology, he builds a case for the simple fact that there must have been a designer behind it all. The world in its perfection and absolute accuracy could not have come about by chance.
Richard Dawkins, professor at Oxford University and evolutionary biologist, wrote a series of books, all in support of Darwinism and natural selection. He explains that “God is a delusion and religion is a virus.” In a nutshell, he says two things: 1) Evolution cannot be denied, and that 2) This means that religion is redundant.
Now, all this leaves me scratching my head. Because although I am a strong believer in God and His creation, I do not at the same time want to blindly follow something when evidence might show me otherwise. I do not want to exclude alternative possibilities, especially when Science might show me otherwise.
However, and this is crucial: I also realise that “Scientism” has become a religion of its own. Sometimes scientists may also cross the line to prove that the evidence points towards a this and a that. This is equally an unobjective endeavour, which we want to avoid as far as possible.
This is why a series of essays from Berea College was so refreshing.
Robert Scheider argues that it is absolutely ridiculous for anyone, Christians included, to exclude the validity of Evolution. Too much evidence has been given, and the theory of evolution is at the very heart of all scientific research today, including medical and biochemical. His essay here in particular is very convincing. He differentiates Evolution as a materialistic philosophy (science + evidence) versus an evolutionary materialism (bringing science forward to explain something). Basically, that evolution is true.
More interestingly, that this is not in opposition with his personal belief in a Creator God. Essays here and here talk fully about the significance of evolution on the theology of God. Interestingly, he highlights the fact that many a theologian in the early years were very enthusiastic about the discovery of evolution, and that they never saw it as a contradiction in terms.
I personally have not come to any conclusion myself. But it is encouraging to know that there is more than one possibility. This has been my stand: that the Bible never sought to give a historical account of what happened, especially with regards to the HOW the world was formed, but it is an account of the state of humanity, with regards to the WHY the world is what it is. This begs another philosophical entry on God and humanity, but let’s leave that till later.
For now, can I watch National Geographic programmes on intelligent babboons that eat maize with their opposable thumbs and appreciate their humanlike movement? Yes.
Can I look at the nuisance of a monkey dancing around on my cartop at work and say there’s a possibility we might share similar genetic makeup? Perhaps.
This is a whole new world.
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