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11.14.2006

Evolution-Creation and what I think

 - Joe

I'm so stinkin' tired of the polarization between "science" and evangelical "Christianity". Especially when the separate groups try to make you think that you can only believe in evolution to the exclusion of God, or vice versa. I have no problem with an evolutionary worldview that doesn't undermine my Catholic faith. Frankly, it doesn't matter one iota in what way God created the universe, as long as we understand that he did.

Granted, we must assume a few things before accepting evolution wholesale, such as the humongous difference between humans and animals (animals don't have professor types trying to figure out if they're animals), the existence of a rational soul in humans that animals didn't get, and the procreation of the human race from two, and only two parents. Evolution doesn't rule any of this out, and as a matter of fact, I seem to recall a discovery channel documentary some years back on how the human race could have indeed come from two parents.

Another stupid fallacy I want to overcome is that of the "stupid Catholic" namely, that Christians as a whole care nothing for science and reject facts because they don't square with beliefs in God. We owe our understanding of genetics, planetary motion, and the big bang (to name a few) to Catholics. A little-known fact is that Georges Lemaitre, a Catholic priest, was one of the first framers of what we know today as "the big bang". It was initially rejected by the scientific community as being "too creationistic" they themselves believing in an infinite, static universe. This continued until Edwin Hubble's observations of redshift indicated that the universe is expanding, implying that... anyone? It must have a *gasp* beginning to expand from.
This is not to say that Christianity is without its share of bad science. My favorite happens to be the work of "Dr." Kent Hovind. It's so full of straw men and non sequiturs that it almost looks as though he's trying to make Creation scientists look bad. Our dear friend Jack Chick evangelized Hovind's data in another of his laugh-inducing tracts entitled "Big Daddy". Note the usual intolerant teacher with the intelligent Christian student.


Likely, you're probably going to ask, "What about Genesis? It says that God created the world in six days!" That leads us to the question of what the bible really is. First and foremost, it's a book written that we may believe that Jesus is God, with a nice sampling of what the Catholic Church teaches thrown in. It's not the sole rule of faith, as the protestants claim, because that would mean that you'd have to prove that based on the bible (which it doesn't assert). It would be absurd anyway because any book could make that claim. If it's not the sole rule of faith, it's certainly not the sole rule of science. First, there's the absurdity of the 24-hour earth day being the timetable for God's creation. The sheer unlikelihood that all, or any other planets in the universe have the same day causes that to die in absurdity. Also, our understanding of physical processes makes the six-day system seem almost impossible. What then is the genesis story doing in the bible? We can't very well say it's untrue as that would throw the whole bible into question. We can however question whether or not it's intended as concrete truth or symbolic instruction. I lean toward the latter with the view that it is not intended to teach scientific truth, but simply to show that all creation comes from God.


To tie up this more-random-than-usual post, just don't be afraid of science! It can't disprove God. But wishing it away to protect the Genesis story is stupid. Let's get back to restoring some morality to this country. We don't have time for useless debates.

Let me know what you think. It's been way too long since we had a good debate here on BH.


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