An interesting discussion was overheard this week between a creationist and an evolutionist. Well, it was more of an argument than a discussion. At one point the person speaking in favour of evolution said that one could still believe in religion and also evolution. The person speaking in favour of the story of creation was not convinced. It would seem that there was no room in the story of God for the story of evolution.
To me, this argument is nothing new, but it does become very difficult to accept the Bible as the literal story of creation while still trusting the teachings of Charles Darwin and such. However, science (which is not generally opposed to religion) has proven that the earth is millions of years old and not less than 10,000 years if one uses biblical calculations.
In arguing that evolution has and is occurring doesn’t prevent me from also believing in an “other” that has been called God or Allah or Jehovah. At one time general belief accepted that the earth was flat; the world was three distinct layers (commonly referred to as Heaven, Earth and Hell). One of the first Soviet cosmonauts has been recorded as commenting from “outer space” that he did not see any sign of “god or heaven or angels” while supposedly in the heavens above. It could be that he didn’t know what to look for. On the other hand, that to only look for God in outer space is itself very misleading.
When asked about belief in God and the Big Bang Theory (the event, not the TV show) the Roman Catholic priest heading up the Vatican’s science department asked, “What was before the big Bang?” Without denying the science that the part of the universe we know came into existence with a big bang, he also suggested that God was present.
Even before humans could write, they told stories of how they came to be; of why things are like they are or at least should be, especially if power and control was to be exerted by those with it. For about three quarters of the time the Christian world has been counting (that is to say “after the birth of Jesus”) the written stories were not available to the common person in English or French or any languages other than Hebrew (Aramaic), Greek or Latin. (Just so you may know, I studied these three but never did very well.) As these stories and historical accounts became more readily available to those who could read, study became even more important as there is often more than one meaning in a story. It became all the more important for me to “wrestle with the Scriptures” searching for a revelation.
The more I would wrestle, the more it became apparent to me that to view God as Creator was not inappropriate, nor was it enough to accept the literalness of the stories. Rather, it became quite obvious to me that both arguments (for and against evolution) had merit. Yet to limit one’s thinking was not only inappropriate but sometimes dangerous. It becomes dangerous whenever one tries to limit the existence of God. It is dangerous to believe that God is a being who is all-powerful. It is dangerous (and downright lazy) not to accept that what once was believable can change. I have been told that everything contains a flaw and numerous songs and stories remind us that, in the words of Leonard Cohen, “that is how the light gets in”. And for me at least, that light is in some way the Divine