The topic of evolution is one of the most divisive topics between the scientific and faith communities. Apparently one can either believe in creationism or evolution but not both.
Except for me. I believe in both..and here’s why.
I think we all understand the basics here – creationists believe that God created the universe in 7 days while evolutionists believe that the universe has evolved over time to what it is today
Great. Now let’s take that all apart a bit.
For a majority of the scientific community, as I understand it, those who believe in evolution believe that everything that we have either found or theorized may be present was the result of, for lack of a better term, a cosmic accident. At a very basic level, this is what the most command and widely accepted creation theory, The Big Bang Theory, states. The Steady State Theory has a similar premise. I am not a theoretical physicist by any stretch of the imagination so I won’t pretend to know all of the ins and outs of these theories of creation. I will simply state that at their root, all of the scientific theories presume there all that we can know or will be known about our universe can be explained scientifically and that nothing was created from the work of a divine being.
Creationists fall on the opposite side of this spectrum believing that the universe and all we know about it was created by God. He called all things into being and that we humans are the last to have been created.Also from the faith perspective, the history of creation is spelled out for us in Genesis and there is no other information.
There are even those who will go on to say that the dinosaur bones and other archeological evidence that we have was placed here by the Devil to turn our eyes away from God but somehow don’t see the whole incest thing that with Adam and Eve who were the first and only man and woman of the earth who then went on to sire two sons..who then went on to help populate the world…
Talk about inbreeding!
But I digress. Back to the creation of the universe.
If God is as big as He says He is – and as big as I believe He is – how is it possible for the entire story of the creation of the universe to fit in a mere 50 chapters of a text written by man? Wouldn’t it make more sense to believe that God provided us a small piece of the creation story that could be written down and provided to us as a lesson and guide? Why isn’t is possible that both the scientific community and the faith community have it right?
I’m dating myself here, but there was an episode of the sitcom Friends in which the characters Phoebe and Ross have a discussion about evolution. The thing that has always struck me about that scene was Phoebe when says, and I quote,
“Wasn’t there a time when the brightest minds in the world believed that the world was flat? And, up until like what, 50 years ago, you all thought the atom was the smallest thing, until you split it open, and this like, whole mess of crap came out. Now, are you telling me that you are so unbelievably arrogant that you can’t admit that there’s a teeny tiny possibility that you could be wrong about [evolution]?”
Phoebe has an amazing point here. Our understanding of what is real and what is not changes nearly day to day. Scientists did once believe that the world was flat; they did once believe that cigarettes were good for us; they also had no understanding of what medications do both to and for the body, and then there’s the whole females being weaker than males thing, but we won’t go into that today.
I fully believe that animals, plants and humans alike have all evolved. There are vestigial tails, organs and other body parts that can be found on humans that are no longer necessary because we no longer need things like a tail to balance or hair to keep us warm. Plants and animals alike are able to adapt to changing environments and to me, this is not just proof of science, but proof of God!
As our knowledge base changes, so does our perception of what is “real”. We can make educated deductions and can do scientific experiments but in the end all we really have are theories. Some of these theories have proven themselves through the test of time while others have had to change to accommodate new knowledge. The actual fact that there are far too many pieces of this enormous puzzle to take into consideration for us to fully comprehend truth.
In order for the faithful to say that evolution isn’t true is to say that God isn’t big enough to create a world so complex that there every living thing is growing and changing every moment of it’s existence.
Regardless of how much I read and study I still come back to the same place.
God did create the universe – this one and most likely many, many others. He created a world where everything lives and breathes, grows and eventually dies. He created the very essence of a life cycle so that we mere mortals could understand that life changes and that change, even when it is scary, is necessary. He created a complex system that, like He, has always been and always will be…
…which is funny because that’s precisely what the theory of Infinite Universe indicates.
Maybe science and faith can join together after all.