Evolution blurb

I think the religious leaders of Darwin's day had the same problems of religious leaders today. They have committed to un-provable details in a faith-based doctrine that does not support scientific proof. The idea that science today is somehow more advanced in thinking than in 1831 is simply not true. The technical aspects of science have advanced considerably, but science has always and continues to challenge society's views of the world around us. This will keep science controversial.

God is interesting in that, while creating miracles every day, makes them appear to fit a balanced system. God does not make things appear suddenly, make things disappear (except socks), or change our world daily. The system is consistent and balanced. Under this balanced system, all new input must fit into the existing knowledge base in some way. We are tasked to slowly figure it out, like a child, learning only when we are ready. It truly is the great path.

Evolution is just one of these learning paths. But to some, evolution challenges what they perceive God to have said as noted in the bible. To my mind, the question is not so much a fight over whether creationism or evolution is "right", but why God would create alternate views? The answer is simple: that God wants us to struggle with these issues, to engage in exploration and to be challenged.

I am a Christian and am taught in my church not treat the bible as a science book. The Bible was not intended as a science book, but a book of guiding principles (laws if you will). I believe the bible must be poorly interpreted for three reasons.

  1. It has been modified a number of times by groups with specific social and survival goals in mind, always supported by their "facts". All churches are guilty of this. And every church has justifications like "there was really not enough evidence", "those letters were not . . .whatever". The facts are that a group of people in about 350 (Nicene Counsel) got together and said, "We had better decide on some consistent documents and theology if we expect to survive as a religion." They decided what stayed and what was tossed out. Most churches and clergy have made adjustments over the years. I find it odd that the Catholic Church saw fit to adjust the bible fairly regularly about 200 years ago, then treat it as an unchanging and pure document.
  2. I don't think writers envisioned the bible being used as a science book and were writing faith based and not science based text. In other words, written for a different audience.
  3. I do not think anyone, including any of us today, could accurately convey any single sentence spoken by God. We are simply beyond our limits of communication and the people of biblical times had even less communications ability. Imagine a holy figure suddenly appearing right in the middle of your church service this Sunday. This figure speaks one ten word sentence and then disappears. If every person in the church heard every word, what are the odds anyone would be able to convey what the holy image said? What are the odds anyone could agree on what the words meant? Once a single person got it wrong, would there be a fight? Now take that back 2000 to 4000 years. Are the odds on Bible correctness for better or for worse? It is not about what God said or did, it is our limited ability to communicate it.

This is why there is such a struggle between scientist and religion. The bible is all about principals and faith, science all about fact. This is why there continues to be an impassioned discussion on the science of evolution versus the faith of religion.

Evolution versus creationism sites and sites about evolution tend to be passionate and both sides twist "facts" where needed. I was not overly impressed with any of the listed sites. My favorite evolution site is http://www.talkorigins.org/. Check out the FAQ as that seems to be the most informational navigation.

Like most sites, this one is somewhat skewed, in this case toward science. I like this site because I don't really see any holes in the logic, but that may be because it matches my belief system. My peeves at controversial issue-sites is when one questionable page cites another questionable page. It seems if enough of these pseudo-fact sites get lined up, the text becomes "fact". This is very clear in the marijuana argument sites where some pages claim support from other sites which use exactly the same text, cut from the same source.

The Internet has really allowed this form of rat-spin to accelerate. This peeve includes text (or people for that matter) who verify bible facts by referring to other places in the bible. I hear the mega-church clergy do this all the time and it drives me crazy. I guess a number of people fall for this or think it is OK.

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Copyright Peter Jay Smith 2005 Return to helarc.com