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Monday, August 10, 2009

We believe in evolution and God


I believe in evolution and God as well. Creation is a transition from evolution.

I am pleased to append the article "We believe in evolution and God" below appeared in USA Today. I have written the following on the same subject.

Several Abrahamic Religious leaders 'assume' that evolution is in conflict with creationism. It frightens them about the unknown; which is human. They have an unquestionable need to believe that what they know is the final word of God; a different point of view is anathema to them. The non-Abrahamic faith followers need not gloat; a new idea is usually an abomination to someone or the other including some of them. Whether you are a believer in a God, or several or no God, you would still find a new idea bring insecurity, like some one has pulled the rug from under you and you are out of your comfort zone.

We need to give God a lot more credit than we have given him (her or it) now. Let's give him the benefit of doubt that his word (or wisdom) perhaps includes evolution and every one of us needs to push the refresh button of our thinking, and find meaning in it. Let's make Good look good. Religion is about what we believe.

Full Story - http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2009/02/evolutionary-creation.html

Mike Ghouse - believes in the transition of evolution into creation. His blogs and sites are listed at http://www.mikeghouse.net/


We believe in evolution — and God

Nearly half of Americans still dispute the indisputable: that humans evolved to our current form over millions of years. We’re scientists and Christians. Our message to the faithful: Fear not.
By Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk

The "conflict" between science and religion in America today is not only unfortunate, but unnecessary.

We are scientists, grateful for the freedom to earn Ph.D.s and become members of the scientific community. And we are religious believers, grateful for the freedom to celebrate our religion, without censorship. Like most scientists who believe in God, we find no contradiction between the scientific understanding of the world, and the belief that God created that world. And that includes

Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
(Illustration by Keith Simmons, USA TODAY)

Many of our fellow Americans, however, don't quite see it this way, and this is where the real conflict seems to rest.

Almost everyone in the scientific community, including its many religious believers, now accepts that life has evolved over the past 4 billion years. The concept unifies the entire science of biology. Evolution is as well-established within biology as heliocentricity is established within astronomy. So you would think that everyone would accept it. Alas, a 2008 Gallup Poll showed that 44% of Americans reject evolution, believing instead that "God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years."

The "science" undergirding this "young earth creationism" comes from a narrow, literalistic and relatively recent interpretation of Genesis, the first book in the Bible. This "science" is on display in the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where friendly dinosaurs — one with a saddle! — cavort with humans in the Garden of Eden. Every week these ideas spread from pulpits and Sunday School classrooms across America. On weekdays, creationism is taught in fundamentalist Christian high schools and colleges. Science faculty at schools such as Bryan College in Tennessee and Liberty University in Virginia work on "models" to shoehorn the 15 billion year history of the universe into the past 10,000 years.

Evolution continues to disturb, threatening the faith of many in a deeply religious America, especially those who read the Bible as a scientific text. But it does not have to be this way.

Paradoxical challenges

Such challenges to evolutionary science are paradoxical. Challenging accepted ideas is how America churns out Nobel Prize-winning science and patents that will drive tomorrow's technology. But challenging authority can also undermine this country's leadership in science, when citizens reject it.

Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in 1859 in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. This controversial text presented evidence that present-day life forms have descended from common ancestors via natural selection. Organisms better adapted to their environments had more offspring, and these fitness adaptations accumulated across the millennia. And this is how new species arose.

In 1859 the evidence convinced many people, but not without challenges. Paleontology, the study of fossils, was new; no reliable way existed to determine the age of the Earth, and the physicists said it was too young to accommodate evolution; and Darwin knew nothing of genes, so the mechanism of inheritance — central to his theory — was shrouded in mystery.

But the biggest problem was dismay that humans were related to primates: "Descended from the apes? Dear me, let us hope it is not true," allegedly exclaimed the wife of a

19th-century English bishop upon hearing of Darwin's new theory. "But if it is true, let us hope it does not become widely known." Uneasy Christians hoped the advance of science would undermine Darwin's novel theory, which threatened their understanding of traditional biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, and the six days of creation.

In the years since Darwin argued natural selection was the agent of creation, the evidence for evolution has become overwhelming. The fossil record has provided evidence of compelling transitional species such as whales with feet. The discovery of DNA now provides an irrefutable digital record of the relatedness of all living things. And even the physicists have cooperated by proving that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, providing plenty of time for evolution.

Evolution is not the enemy

We are trained scientists who believe in God, but we also believe that science provides reliable information about nature. We don't view evolution as sinister and atheistic. We think it is simply God's way of creating. Yet we can still sleep soundly at night, with Bibles on our nightstands, resting atop the latest copy of

Scientific American
. Are we crazy?

Evolution is not a chaotic and wasteful process, as the critics charge. Evolution occurs in an orderly universe, on a foundation of natural laws and faithful processes. The narrative of cosmic history preceding the origin of life is remarkable; the laws enabling life appear finely tuned for that possibility. The ability of organisms to evolve empowers them to adapt to changing environments. Our belief that God creates through evolution is a satisfying claim uniting our faith and our science. This is good news.

We have launched a website to spread this good news (www.biologos.org) and — we hope — to answer the many questions those of faith might have. BioLogos is a term coined by

Francis Collins in his best seller The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Collins, the Christian scientist who led the

Human Genome Project, joined "bios," or life, with "logos," or word, from the first verse in the book of John in the New Testament.

The project aims to counter the voices coming from places such as the website
Answers in Genesis, which touts creation scientists, and the

Discovery Institute, a think tank in Seattle, that calls on Christians to essentially choose between science and faith.

We understand science as a gift from God to explore the creation, a companion revelation enriching the understanding of God we get from other sources, such as the Bible.

Many do not realize that making the Bible into a textbook of modern science is a recent development.

Many biblical scholars across the centuries have not seen it that way, concluding instead that the biblical creation story is a rich and complex text with many interpretations. Putting modern scientific ideas into this ancient story distorts the meaning of the text, which is clearly about God's faithful and caring relation to the world, not the details of how that world came to be.

What we learn from science cannot threaten our belief in God as the creator. If God created the universe in a Big Bang 15 billion years ago, guided its development with elegant mathematical laws so that eventually there would be big-brained mammals exploring things such as beauty, morality and truth, then let us celebrate that idea, not reject it.

Karl Giberson is a professor at Eastern Nazarene College, co-president of the BioLogos Foundation and author of Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. Darrel Falk is a professor at Point Loma Nazarene University, co-president of the Biologos Foundation and author of Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology.


Please post your comment at the end of this article: http://wisdomofreligion.blogspot.com/2009/02/evolutionary-creation.html


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