The Creationism vs. Evolution debate is an unproductive use of resources. One can only hope that intelligent people on both sides will one day realize that their time and energy could be spent doing something more profound and significant like finding the cure for cancer or new insights into their faith.
It is unwise for Christianity to continually attack one of the best-supported scientific theories. The evidence for evolution is overwhelming – just look at the fossil record that has been amassed so far, with new discoveries unearthed yearly. Yes, evolution has its holes, but none of these holes are so fatal that they render the basic theory untenable. Christianity has its problems too, but that doesn’t stop billions of people from believing in it.
Carrying on this fight only makes Christianity look hypocritical. If one accepts the great scientific wonders of medicine and engineering, then why so vehemently reject evolution, which was derived using the very same scientific method? Can a Christian do the same: pick and choose a la carte which doctrines he or she likes? Christians would be better served learning from their past mistakes (e.g. ‘the earth is flat’ and ‘the earth is center of universe’) and not butting heads with science at all.
Evolution is not a crushing blow to Christianity, unless one is a Bible literalist. Evolution’s contention that natural selection is random has no bearing on whether God exists, and a Christian can believe God created life using the process of natural selection. Simple rules are easy to set up and can create very complicated forms over time (e.g. fractals), and a ‘day’ to God could be a billion of human years. Perhaps people are not happy with the idea that humans may be descended from ancient apes, but surely there are worse indignities in life!
As for science, it would be wise for it to recognize that there are many ‘illogical’ things in this world that are nonetheless valuable, things like hope, love, and beauty. Can one imagine a world without these things? For all its imperfections, religion is of immeasurable value to billions of people. If it were destroyed, what would replace it? It is ignoble to destroy something of value and replace it with nothing. Truth enables us to understand the world, but love and beauty gives us reasons to live in it. Humanity needs all three.
In the off chance that religious leaders or scientists ask for my suggestions, here they are.
Christianity – It should step back and focus on its strengths. There are many important questions for which science has no satisfactory answers and may never produce any – questions like “what comes after death?” and “why we exist?” Stop arguing with science about “how” – discovering methods and processes is science’s strong suit.
Science – It should build bridges, not burn them. Stop getting into useless arguments; you cannot use logic to “win” over someone whose conviction is firmly entrenched in faith or intuition. Science, of all human pursuits, should know that we have reached a point where we need to think creatively. The cutting edge of science is showing us that the universe is far more mysterious and puzzling than we ever imagined (see Science is spiritual). To have a hope of understanding it, we need to use all our available resources, including different faiths and intuition.
Religion and science are part of the same age-old human endeavor: the Pursuit of Truth. They are family, and that is probably why they fight so hard. But they are too old to be so immature. It is time to grow up and start working together for the betterment of mankind.
One thought on “Creationism vs. Evolution”
Very well done! You write well, and your ideas move along smoothly. I hope your website gets lots of hits: this is the kind of “popular philosophy” that is much in demand, should be even more so. With very readable short notes like yours, the number of hits is bound to grow! Keep up the good work!