Friday, November 22, 2013

On Creationism

I am not atheist.  I am a cradle Episcopalian and while I waver in my faith from time to time, there is no doubt in my mind that God created the heavens and the earth.  I am thankful, among other things, to have been raised in a faith tradition that counts Reason as one of the pillars of faith; I know that my Catholic friends and other mainline Protestant friends most likely join me in my frustration with this new idea that religion and science cannot live together, particularly evolution.

I have heard it said of atheists that they cannot grasp anything larger than they, that somehow they have difficulty appreciating the wonder of the universe.


Tell me, who has a more narrow understanding of the world and the universe it inhabits: the person who sees Earth was made so many years ago the average person finds it impossible to comprehend, and has, along with the species on it, changed minutely in uncountable ways over those incomprehensible years to become the way we know it today, who has seen and appreciated the complex mathematics that go into making the world what it is, who accepts that we are but one small dot in the center of incomprehensible other planets and stars, that species have been born on Earth and changed and died off and yet left clear evidence of their existence behind...

Or the people who see all of this beauty, all of this complexity, and reject it, saying "God made the earth a few thousand years ago, just as it is today, and dinosaur fossils are there to test our faith"?

Again, I am Christian.  And I will tell you that even from the standpoint of a Christian, young Earth creationism--or any literal form of Biblical creationism--simply doesn't make sense.  You cannot on the one hand say that God is all-knowing and all-powerful and then on the other claim that this omnipotent, omniscient, omnipresent being couldn't have or wouldn't have built the earth over the course of billions of years, that this loving God would not have had the patience to guide uncountable minute changes (or at the very least, set them in motion) of evolution.  That's not faith.  That's tying God down, bringing Him down to a human level, forcing Him to have worked with numbers that we can easily understand.

You get to do that.  You get to have a faulty understanding of the Bible and of God.  But for the love of Christ that you claim to have, keep the fuck out of science classrooms.  Have enough faith in your version of the world that you don't have to attempt to force other people to believe.  If your puny understanding of the world is true, we will come around to it in time.

Meanwhile, if you can't tell the difference between a hypothesis and a theory, kindly shut the fuck up and let the grown-ups run things.


Unknown said...

If you haven't heard of Bishop Spong (and from your current post I think it possible that you have), you might find his lectures interesting. I watched his presentation this evening via live streaming from Austin...I find his perspective on Christianity, God and religion in general to be of faith and supporter of science. He also happens to be Episcopalian (I am not).

John A said...

I ask Creationists why they think God is too dumb to come up with evolution as a way of doing things.

peter said...

Or it's entirely possible that those people are right. Who knows? Time doesn't really exist as such for God so there's no reason that the 7 days of creation had to last 168 hours, including the seventh day of rest. Could've been 4 billion years.

Anonymous said...

Try using existing words to define something that is timeless - that exists in the past, present and the future all at the same time with complete awareness of each moment.

Then try to explain that to a child.
That is my view of the 'days' in the Bible - of course I could be wrong. Nothing in the Bible says God didn't speed up or slow down time for his convenience.

Unknown said...

Genesis 1:14. Time wasn't created until the fourth 'day'.

I think it's equally probable that the earth was created several thousand years ago as it was created billions of years ago according to our limited ability to measure.

I also don't think that matters a hill of beans to salvation. It's like debating weather Jesus wore sandals or clogs. It was probably sandals, but it really has no bearing on anything.

Unknown said...

a quick note on your article.
as a person who has studied creationism for 5 years now i would simply like to clear something up regarding fossils: no one in the scientific creationist community beleives fossils are there to "test our faith", but that all these fossils are the result of the flood of noah(ditto grand canyon). for more details and scientific evidence debunking evolution and proving literal creation visit

ending on a friendly note, i must say that i do enjoy your writing style and many of your viewpoints on life

Paul, Dammit! said...

I've got a friend who is a biology teacher at a school in a town with a heavy evangelical presence. I enjoy the blunt-force way he handles teaching evolution. -Students are not required to believe in evolution. They are, however, required to understand the material well enough to pass the exam on evolutionary theory.

The rest tends to take care of itself.