Continuing on this theme of yakking my way to an articulate response to my friend. New topic. Creation vs. evolution. Can't accuse me of avoiding the hot-buttons here.
When I teach the girls in school about "the beginning of time", I basically present to them that there are about four prominent theories on the matter that I want them to be familiar with:
1) Naturalistic evolution. Everything started with a bang, gazillions of years ago, life sprung forth from primordial ooze and evolved over the millenia from amoeba to amphibian to Arthur Conan Doyle, all occurring completely by random chance. [This is a theory I personally reject flat out. Not because of the lack of divine involvement, although that would do it for me, too -- but because the likelihood of all this happening by random chance is just insane. That takes FAR more faith to believe than the most fundamentalist Christian belief you could come up with.]
2) Theistic evolution. Everything started with a bang . . yada yada . . but God was in control of it all, making it happen. [I could accept this as a possibility if it weren't for the fact that macro-evolution itself is so implausible. It was a conceivable notion in Darwin's time, but scientific discoveries since then have proven the complexity of the human cell to be far beyond what he could conceive . . and have found no legitimate evidence of any kind of any species in transition. Even many atheistic scientists have had the intellectual honesty to admit that the scientific community needs to let go of its dogmatic adherence to this dead theory. The only reason scientists haven't is because it IS their religion now.]
3) "Old Earth Creationism". In the form basically taught to me by Dave Evans at Hope--often known as the "Day-Age Theory". Creation happened over gazillions of years, but the order of events can be conformed to the poetic description given in Genesis 1, if you consider each of the six "days" to be actually more of an "age" (as in, "back in my day . . "). And evolution was not part of the process -- all things were created in an instant at the word of God. [My general reaction to this one is, "Well, yeah . . maybe."]
4) "Young Earth Creationism". Creation happened exactly as described in Genesis: six literal days, at the command of God. [And there is actually more scientific evidence for this than most people realize. But of course, very few people know that because the scientific community is so afraid of anyone hearing any of that evidence that they ridicule and gag the mouths of anyone trying to share it.]
So, a few points to make about this subject . . .
- As I said, naturalistic evolution is really just inconceivably ridiculous. It's not bad religion -- it's bad science. The only possible reason for the scientific community to cling to this idea is because they refuse to acknowledge that some things may exist that are beyond the "natural" realm. Now, agreed, science by definition is the study of natural phenomena. But an intellectually honest scientist will be able to admit when a natural answer to a question cannot be found -- they can acknowledge the possible presence of the spiritual or supernatural, even while they contend that subject to be "above their pay grade". The problem with the general scientific community about this topic is that they refuse, from the very beginning, to acknowledge the possible existence of the spiritual or supernatural. If you do not even allow the supernatural into your paradigm, you will never see it in evidence.
- Although I concede the possible factuality of theories 2 and 3, I also believe that an awful lot of the Christian community who believe these theories do so merely because they don't have the time or inclination to look into the subject very much or because they are afraid of being perceived as small-minded, gullible idiots for believing number 4. Again, because the powers-that-be in the scientific world have refused to allow the questions to even be addressed (and the press has gone googly-eyed along with them, tails wagging, tongues hanging . . .).
- If I had to stake my eternal destiny on the issue (and thank the Lord in heaven, I do NOT), I would go with Door Number Four. I would believe the Word of God over the Word of Science. Partly, this is because science has proven itself to be very arrogant and very wrong about a lot of things over the centuries, so why would I ever stake my eternal destiny on it? But I'll admit that some of it just boils down to pure faith. I believe that the Bible is the Word of God; I believe God knows and always tells the truth; and I believe he wrote his Word for the masses, which means the intellectual and the idiot, so you don't have to be a theologian or a scientist to get the important ideas. I believe that "evening and morning, the first day" sounds an awful lot like an actual day, not an "age". I believe that God is capable of creating celestial bodies with their light already in the process of traveling to earth (that is, with an appearance of age they do not have, like the fish and loaves he made when feeding the five thousand) -- especially since the scripture specifically states that the purpose of these celestial bodies was to allow humans to mark the passage of time, and stars whose light wouldn't reach the earth for millions of years would hardly fulfill that purpose. I believe that God is capable of doing exactly what He said He did -- and more than that, I believe He is likely to have done it as well.
Again, the relevance of these points to the grand-Ona-discussion will hopefully become more clear later. To be continued . . .