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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Creation Vs. Evolution

Let me first start by apologizing for not posting yesterday.  After 4 nights of less than five hours of sleep a night, I woke up yesterday morning exhausted with seemingly no mental of physical function.  Hence, no post.  But today I am back to normal and ready to get into a nice a heavy topic, reconciling creation vs. evolution, or at least attempting to.  I doubt that I will do an adequate job of it and will most likely create more questions than answers, but I have to try.  The reason I am writing about this is because this is a topic that my mind often times wanders back to in an attempt to flesh it out.  So far, I am still stuck it seems, or at least mostly stuck.  I am pulled by two sides, my upbringing as a Catholic in which I was taught about how the world was created by God, and my schooling through which I learned about evolution and the seemingly natural progression of species and the changes they undergo.  The biggest issue between the two and the reason why most people adhere to one or the other and not both, is that through the lens of creation, man was solely created by God and does not have any animal relatives whereas evolution posits that man was a product of thousands of years of evolution that changed an ape into man.  So how does one go about resolving the two when they don't necessarily seem compatible.  If you adhere solely to creationism, you most likely believe that everything was created by God and as such, doesn't change over time to adapt to changing conditions.  Everything that is on the earth was placed by God for a specific purpose.  Evolution on the other hand flies in the face of creation in that all animal life evolved from some amoeba floating around in a pond hundreds of thousands of years ago and over time, branched out, changed, and diverged into the thousands of species (including us) that inhabit the earth today.  Even writing about it now makes me think that any possible explanation reconciling the two would be grossly inadequate, but I still must try. 

So most people, even if not religious, know the Christian creation story.  Over the course of seven days, God created everything on earth, the earth, the sky, the sea, plants, animals, humans, etc.  Now, according to the Bible, the whole process took seven days, the seventh being a day of rest for God.  Most people these days, being as progressive as we are, view the creation story as a myth; an attempt to explain how the world came into being.  Now, does the creation story actually take place over the course of seven days or is seven days a metaphor for a much longer period of time?  How are we supposed to know what seven days is to God?  I would suggest that perhaps God's seven days is actually a much longer period of time than we would think.  One day could span a thousand or ten thousand years in the eyes of God.  If we look at it from that perspective, evolution starts to fit a little more neatly into the creation story.   If we consider creation to have taken place over thousands of years, then evolution is entirely possible.  As man and woman were the last to be created by God, perhaps He waited until apes had evolved close enough to man as we know it today and then created man and woman.  Yes, my reconciliation is a simple as that.  I know that there are a probably a thousand and one critiques about my explanation or reconciliation if you will, but its a start.  It is hard to deny evolution exists when we see how humans have changed even over the course of a few thousand years.  How can creation alone account for the myriad different features that humans possess?  Simply looking at an Asian person vs. an African, vs. a European you can see countless differences between facial features alone. 

For me, I don't adhere to one idea absolutely.  I find the appeal in both and as such will continue to try and reconcile them in my mind.  I guess what I was mostly trying to do today, as simple as it was, was to provoke thought in people.  I know that there are adherents to creationism who will flat out refuse to buy into any aspect of evolution and vice versa.  However, to adhere to one idea so concretely is to say that there is no other way to look at things.  If any scientist, in whatever field of work they are in, refuses to look at different approaches to a problem, then they will fail as a scientist.  Scientists depend on approaching problems from different angles to try and figure them out.  As such, I find it hard to believe that some people will adhere so much to one idea that they put all others out of the realm of possibility.  What people need to do is to be flexible in their beliefs and their approach to different ideologies.  Inflexibility is what leads to conflict in most cases and we all know how conflict can spin quickly out of control.  In summation, I would more than welcome other thoughts and ideas on this topic as I still am not sold on any one explanation that can reconcile the two.  The more ideas the better in my mind.  But alas, most people will probably just brush this off and not spend even a few seconds contemplating creation vs. evolution.  I believe in both, partly, and if this makes me a bad Catholic or human, then so be it.  There is room for both ideologies, all we need to do is figure out the best way of reconciling them (which I am sure has been done before, I just haven't read any of them.)