Monday, March 12, 2007

"Living with the Darwin fish"

Some Christians are convinced that the creation/evolution debate can only be resolved by concluding that the Genesis account is literally history. Another approach assumes that God's revelation in Scripture is true, but that science is also a way to discover truth about the work of the Creator of the universe. That requires a willingness to tolerate ambiguity now, in the expectation that all will eventually be made plain. Stan Guthrie in Christianity Today does not lose faith because of the conclusions of scientific research:
...[M]illions of Christians - including the late John Paul II - have believed in both evolution and God without apparent spiritual harm. They say evolution is the method God used to create us. Francis Collins, who heads the Human Genome Project, is one of them.

"The evidence mounts every day to support the concept that we and all other organisms on this planet are descended from a common ancestor," Collins told me. "When you look at the digital data that backs that up - which is what DNA provides - it is extremely difficult to come to any other conclusion. There are many things written within our instruction book that not only tell us how we function but also represent DNA fossils left over from previous events. And those fossils, in many instances, are found in other species in the same place, in the same way. Unless you're going to propose that God placed them there intentionally to mislead us, which does not fit with my image of God as the Almighty Creator, then I think one is, like it or not, forced to the conclusion that the theory of evolution is really no longer a theory in the sense of being untested. It is a theory in the sense of gravity. It is a fact."

This "fact," interpreted through the lens of faith and not doubt, can perhaps deepen our understanding of our Creator, who works all things according to the counsel of his own will. If evolution, messy and circuitous as it appears, is true, then God is more mysterious than I imagined....

And accepting the idea of common descent doesn't mean abandoning our belief that the created order declares the glory of God. Increasing numbers of world-class scientists, as a matter of fact, are in awe of the apparent design and fine-tuning of Creation. "The more I examine the universe and the details of its architecture," physicist and mathematician Freeman Dyson notes, "the more evidence I find that the universe in some sense must have known we were coming.
Source: Living with the Darwin Fish | Christianity Today

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