Human Origins

Creationism from the Christian Perspective

An editorial note January 2005 in the absence of an article on the Christian perspective of human evolution. The following thoughts are not specific to Christianity, rather about the nature of science and religion.

As we enter yet another year more full of promise and threat than ever before, I can't help but feel the need to describe the confusion, and yes even angst, I feel when speaking with others regarding the creation vs. evolution debate. The fact that the two words cannot appear in the same sentence with one another without the two letters v and s between them speaks volumes for the gulf that exists in terms of understanding and appreciation of the world in which we live.

I am probably more amazed with the 'intellectual' faction of society that doggedly pursues the eradication of all things metaphysical as vehemently as the extreme religious fundamentalists pursue eradication of the infidels (or whatever it is that they wish to accomplish) than with the less extreme 'religious right' who have a long standing reputation for faith based reasoning.

Without having personally devoted my entire life to the study of either religion or cosmology (similar to most of the rest of humanity) it occurs to me that there are a couple of basic 'truths' as we now know them.

  Scientific 'facts' change all the time. We continually know more, theorize more, and disprove more each and every day.

  While the religious texts remain constant for most of the world's major religions, most doctrine has shown to be somewhat flexible responding to reinterpretation, new scientific facts, real world conditions, and social realities.

  There are those sects who do in fact reject all scientific realities and are not open to even the pursuit of truth (scientific or otherwise) that may in any way contradict their sacred beliefs.

Despite Fukuyama's dire warnings about technology and the coming era of Transhumanism, the last bullet above describes the most dangerous threat to mankind. Any religion that does not allow the pursuit of truth about the world and universe around us is quite frankly beyond my comprehension. Any society that could support, or worse, be founded on such a restrictive narrow view of the universe requires a much more thorough examination than I am prepared to attempt here. Suffice it to say that those extremist, which we as a species must in some way address before they cause even more destruction, shall be removed from the following rational discussion.

Given the complimentary set of conditions remaining relative to the first two bullets, i.e. both science and religion requiring faith and flexibility (theories are but another form of faith born of science rather than sacred texts), it would seem to me that tolerance is the prudent path. I cannot scientifically refute that God made the world. Even if evolution is definitively proven to have occurred in our earth's past, who is to say that an intelligence did not design the universe to unfold in that way? In fact, if we go back to the big bang, and then before, what caused it? What existed before? Science my never be able to answer these questions. Or it may. In the mean time, man does have religion. Even those progressive organizations founded on having no religion, relying instead on pure science to fill that innate human psychic need for a greater truth with the god of science, elevating the search for physical truth to the exclusion of all else.

Likewise, religions need to be open to the possibility that not every jot and tittle in a sacred text can be interpreted into modern language and meanings from thousands of year old words. Perhaps there does exist intelligent design. Does that mean that there is no god and that faith cannot exist? Hardly.

Common ground must be attained: if not in the agreement of doctrine than surely in the spirit of tolerance. Any science that cannot entertain the idea of an unfathomable intelligence existing before the Beginning is guilty of an arrogance that precludes a very real possibility. Any religion so afraid of the pursuit of truth through the examination of our physical universe may as well re-open the Inquisition or invite the dark ages from which we may never recover.

Am I really asking for world peace this new year? No. Can we strive to create an environment of tolerance in the scientific community for religious faith as much as we attempt to educate the general public about technology and science?


Happy new year. May we live to see another year even more full of promise than today.

^ Top ^