My hat is off to US District Judge John E. Jones III for his Tuesday, Dec. 20th "voice of reason"
in the otherwise dark abyss of intellectual space that resides in the educational sub-culture in America.
Advocates for Intelligent Design, also known as ID, are using this pseudo-scientific term to reintroduce creationism into
the classrooms of the only industrialized nation in the Western world that still staunchly believes in the "wave the magic
wand and it all appears out of nowhere" theory.
Now, having been a creationist once myself long, long ago, I certainly
can understand and even empathize with their feeling and pugnacious sense of having a monopoly on the truth. However, I have
come to see that there is no need for division between these two camps, evolution and creation. In general terms, the first
chapter of Genesis mirrors evolution in as far as the order of "creation." First there is the sea, then the land, then fish,
then land animals, then humans. Thus in the broadest of contexts, where is the discrepancy? This said, there exists two rhetorical
questions I would like to ask in an effort to spur thought among creationists.
The first question is this: Why is
it more mystical and majestic for a God to have created everything with one word - a metaphorical "wave of the magic wand,"
if you will - as opposed to having created mechanisms like evolution which in turn brought about all life on Earth, including
us? Indeed, the Bible says that a person can neither know the mind of God nor comprehend God's ways. How, then, can you profess
with so much conviction that you know "how" God made everything? Isn't that
in a sense knowing God's ways? What if God made everything in a fashion that confounded history's greatest Christian intellectual
minds? Professing creationism to the extent of excluding all other possibilities is as futile as predicting the date for the
"end of the world" knowing full well that regardless of the "signs," it is said to come as a "thief in the night."
second question is this: Why is the current lack of scientific knowledge as to how
something originates evidence that "it must be God?" Every major scientific finding over the last millennium
- the Heliocentric solar system, the expansion of the universe, even flight - was previously purported to belong to the venue
of "God" and the unfathomable. Because some act could not be performed or some bit of knowledge could not then be known, it
seems as though the unreasonable religious zealots (well-meaning though they be) would point to that as evidence of God's
personal handiwork and therefore neither possible nor desirable to be understood.
As each new scientific revelation
(excuse the pun) uncovers another "mystery," the backlash by members of religious organizations is overwhelmingly negative.
First denial, then anger and retaliation (Don't believe it? Just ask Kepler or Galileo!), followed closely by illogical counter-arguments.
Such intensity of emotion exhibited by individuals is likely fed by a false belief that humanity, like Adam in the proverbial
Garden partaking of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, will somehow fall away from God were we to admit
that what was previously a "mystery" is, in fact, readily explainable in everyday terms. To that I say, "Hogwash!"
theory - sometimes called Darwinism, though there are distinctions - faces a similar uphill battle not wholly unlike theories
of previous generations that were scorned by both religious leadership and the masses alike. As if belief in an alternative
explanation for the genesis of Home Sapien Sapien leads inextricably to the fall of humanity, creationists - particularly
fundamentalists - unwittingly play the role that the Roman Catholic Church played in its intolerance of science long ago.
That is ironic because although most fundamentalists today devoutly adhere to the belief that the Catholic Church is the Whore
in Revelations, they themselves express the same vehement intolerance towards science.
Oh, wait a minute...any science, that is, unless
it involves warfare and killing. They seem to be all for that, as exhibited in their recent voting record. But that's another
Nonetheless, I rest assured in the fact that eventually fallacy will give way to reason, and just like the
Heliocentric theory of the solar system was eventually accepted and touted as perfectly in line with the Holy Bible (it wasn't
always), so one day evolutionary theory will be a well-established and well-accepted theory outside of the scientific community.
I would like to conclude my essay with a quote from a Tel-Aviv University Science and Technology Education Center
website (http://muse.tau.ac.il/museum/galileo/interpretation.html), whose summation I could not have more poignantly composed in as far as it relates
to the topic at hand. By analogy, its explanation of the geocentric debate also calls into question the assertion that the
Genesis account of creation "means exactly what it says" and not necessarily a vision handed to the writer in terms he could
"So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven,
and hastened not to go down about a whole day." (Joshua, X 12-13).
can be said that the Bible speaks of the sun's movement because it directs its words to people who think the sun moves, and
its aim is not to explain the structure of the heavens. When the miracle God produced for Joshua is described, the point is
to explain the greatness of the miracle rather than depict the movement of the sun. The sun seems to be moving, so that we
still say that it rises and sets, even though we know that it does not move but rather the earth moves.
you, Judge Jones, for getting the point.
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