Wednesday, 31 August 2011
From what I understood -- and what I was taught by my church and what my friends told me -- and what I read in certain creationism books, evolution was this idea that humankind came from monkeys. I thought that sounded a little fishy. Obviously, something didn't sound right with that. So I always believed what I was told; we came from Adam and Eve no more than 10,000 years ago.
I kept hearing what evolution actually was, but I kept plugging my ears while screaming "LALALALALALALA". Humans. Don't. Come. From. Monkeys. I even picked on the Christians who did believe in evolution.
It took awhile for me to open up, but I finally did; first, I had to get comfortable in my faith in Jesus Christ before I could come to such a conclusion that we did, in fact, evolve. And No. Humans. Don't. Come. From. Monkeys.
We all have genetic mutations. They happen every day. Some are inherited. Some aren't. Some are harmful. Some aren't. Some are irrelevant. Some aren't. But some of these genetic mutations are passed along to future generations. This is what we call "microevolution". This is something that has been observed, and hardly anybody disagrees that it happens. The thing about this is, that given enough time, microevolutions eventually add up into macroevolution. Macroevolution being the idea that one species can eventually evolve into something different. This would not be possible without microevolution. And this makes complete sense. It isn't that we come from monkeys. It's that we share a common ancestor with monkeys. Just like dogs share a common ancestor with bears and mice share a common ancestor with rats. We see it all over. But does this idea fit our Christian worldview?
What About Adam and Eve?
First, I think it's important to realize the culture in which the Old Testament was written. The creation story mimics many stories from the surrounding areas in the middle east. Ancient Samaria is a great example as they share not only a talking, evil serpent in their creation story, but a flood story as well. It is my belief that the story of Adam and Eve was never meant to be taken literally, but to show the dominance of the one true God- the God of Israel. In other words, it shows that it wasn't any of the Samarian gods that created the world. It was the God of Abraham. It wasn't any of the gods of the land that hold the power to destroy humankind and the earth along with it. It is the God of Jacob.
I believe that the story of Adam and Eve gives us an important notion. It is our own fault that we give in to sin. It is our option to do good or to go against God. This is not to say I don't believe in the spiritual side of Christianity. I believe in influences, both by the hand of God and demonic. I believe that at the heart of every temptation is a tempter and in the heart of every good action is God. I believe that apart from God, we can do no good.
I think one of the important things to note is that a story doesn't have to be real in order for it to be true. The truth of the stories of creation and Adam and Eve is one that is timeless. One question to consider is this: did every story in the Bible have to happen in the literal sense in order for the story -- the entire metanarrative -- to be true?
I consider myself to be a creationist. I believe that a designer created everything we know and don't know. I believe that includes a spiritual reality as well as a physical reality. I just believe that the theory of evolution is accurate. All biological studies are done in light of evolution. And this is an idea that isn't going away. The great majority of biological scientists believe in it. So much so, that it is almost guaranteed that you will not come across a biologist who does not believe in evolution. And with each passing day, they are finding more and more evidence that evolution happened.
This is just a tool God used- and is still using in God's method of creation. Honestly, I'm surprised that not enough Christians back this up with all of the evidence pointing toward evolution. I mean, I don't want to be the one to tell God that He's wrong in the way He chose to create. Would you?
What we need to consider:
If the story of creation happened exactly the way the Bible records it, we need to consider so much. First, we have to believe that all of us came from Adam and Eve -- all 6.5 billion of us and all our races and nations. We also have to believe that stars aren't really millions, even billions of light years away (because it take billions of years for the light to reach earth). We also have to believe that Dinosaurs and Man walked the earth together- despite all evidence that it didn't happen that way. We also have to believe that somehow, other nations existed even when Cain was around (Gen. 4). There is so much more to consider too, but God is a God of Order, not disorder. It makes sense that God would allow us this gift to figure out exactly how he created everything, being that we are in His image. We should not take what we now know for granted.
What's really important:
It doesn't matter how one believes God created the world. If one wants to believe the way the Bible tells it, that should be one's own prerogative. But one has to understand that what we know now is complete human progress. It shows what we are capable of, not only as human beings, but as creations of God. In all, just be faithful to God in however you believe God created us. Be careful of how you disbelieve though, because you'll never know. It may be the method God used in creation.
Do you believe in microevolution and/or macroevolution? Do you believe in creation? Is there some middle ground in which both can exist? Why or why not?