I heard a radio program that disclosed the shocking fact that Darwin was religious. I read Harper’s that 44% of Americans still believe that the world is less than 10,000 years old. I’d like to make a few observations.
Cosmology & Evolution Don’t Matter
I just feel the need to point out that cosmology & evolution are really very esoteric studies that don’t effect our lives. Did you know that based on the background radiation (which is equivalent to 4 degrees Rankine) the universe is 4.2 billion years old, while geologists using carbon dating put our planet at 4.5 billion years? No? Well, that’s because it is just silly nonsense and isn’t true. But, note that it wouldn’t change your life or conflict your personal observation one bit if it was true.
These studies are not like denying global warming, or claiming vaccines cause autism, or thinking it will improve your son’s behavior if you apply a shock to his head. They are also relatively speculative studies, particularly big bang beginning of the universe, multiple dimensions expanding out from a singularity stuff. So, I wish we would remember that in shaking our heads about how stupid the 44% of Americans are that have failed to memorize a particular set of facts about which most of us know nothing either.
Literalists Can Be Evolutionists
Look, you can believe in an infallible God who wrote every word in the Bible and that the intended meaning of every word written there is absolutely infallibly true and still accept evolution as the best explanation of the origin of species. How? Well, you would believe that the intention of the creation stories was not to provide a scientific explanation of how the world was created, but why the world was created. You would believe that God intended what I believe the ancient story tellers intended. I think whether these words were written by God or ancient Hebrews it is plain on the face of the stories that they are not scientific or historic. For one thing, it would be peculiar for God to write a story and give it to people to answer a question they would not ask for almost two-thousand years.
The only thing you can’t believe, and still accept evolution is that the story that God (or the ancient Hebrews for that matter) wrote in the Bible is intended to explain how the universe was constructed. Here’s the thing with that, though, regardless of evolution, if that was the intention of the author, the author failed! Remember this part:
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.” 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good.
This reflected the cosmology at the time of the ancient Hebrews, but it is wrong. There is no water above the expanse. There is space above the expanse. Also, there is not water under the dry land, there is rock and molten rock, and an iron core and so on.
So, the only way to find a conflict between the relatively speculative and esoteric modern scientific pursuits of cosmology & evolution and the creation stories in the Bible is to interpret the stories in the Bible in such a way that the stories are indisputably false. Forget about denying evolution. You have to believe that the expanse is holding back water. 44% of Americans do not believe that.