Evolution of a Creationist

March 21, 2010

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I am a Catholic, and I firmly believe that God created the heavens, the earth, and all the beasts upon the earth – including man.

I am firm believer in the theory of evolution, believing that man evolved from the single cell organisms that once inhabited the earth.

I firmly believe that these beliefs are not in conflict with each other.  I refer to myself alternately as a creationary evolutionist or an evolutionary creationist, depending on which term suits me at that particular moment.

We’ll tackle my belief in science first, since it is the less controversial.  Although evolution is a theory, and not proven fact, I believe that fossil evidence, coupled with other research, clearly shows that Darwin was on the right track when he wrote On the Origin of Species more than 150 years ago.

While the big bang theory does a nice job of explaining what happened during and after the birth of the universe, it begs the disturbing question: what happened BEFORE the big bang?  The theory that the universe expanded from a concentrated point is fine – but how exactly did that single point come to exist?

My personal theory is that God got the ball rolling and let the big bang take things from there.  Is this in conflict with the teachings of the bible?  Not necessarily.

First of all, it’s important to note that the bible of today is not the same as the original bible.  As any work is translated from one language to another, certain nuances are certain to be lost – or added – due to the differences in the languages themselves.

In additional to the fact that certain passage may have been translated inexactly due to differences in languages, there is evidence of several actual errors in the translation process, as a word in one language was mistaken for a word that was physical similar, but very different in meaning.  This wrong word was then translated into a word in the language the bible was being translated into, and the meaning was changed forever.  Some of these errors cause rather major shifts in meanings of certain passages of the bible.  That’s an entirely different can of worms that we could spend much more time on – but we’ll gloss over it today.

My most important reason for believing that evolution and creation are not in conflict is based on the way that Christ himself taught his followers.  He often used parables to explain concepts that would not be well received if told in plain language.

Should we then be surprised if the Old Testament also contains parables – parables that are not obvious to all readers?  If St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the concept of the Holy Trinity to his followers, perhaps God inspired the writers of the Old Testament to use parables of their own.  Perhaps the seven days in Genesis are not to be taken literally, but instead to represent billions of years of evolution.

If God created a single celled organism and pushed it down the evolutionary path toward the eventual end result of man, could it not be said that God created man?  The concept of evolution may have been too advanced for the people of Old Testament times – simplifying into the parables of the seven days of creation may have simply been the easiest way to illustrate the point.

Is this heresy?  I don’t think so.  If we take the alternate view and suppose that the theory of evolution is completely wrong, where does this lead us?  Are we to believe that science has led us down the wrong path?  Are we to accept the advances that science has brought us in many other phases of life while ignoring the scientific evidence of evolution?

I believe that this would be pure folly.  I believe that God gave us science as a way to help us understand the world around us.  Instead of exposing us to the entire base of knowledge at once, he allowed this knowledge to evolve gradually, as scientists continue to make further advances.   Science is a gift, not a curse.

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Brian
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 13:45:30

    You know, if more people would see that both sides of the argument have valid points that can actually mesh together at a point in time, I think we could probably get a more civil debate on religion and science. Maybe it would stop being religion vs. science at that point. Good thought provoking article, and I’m glad I found you via ProBlogger!


  2. Peter Rabbit
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 13:58:11

    One good point I heard from somewhere was that an intelligent creator would surely have created evolution so his creation could keep “evolving”. Therefore kind of like you said, God could have created man but not directly but more by creating evolution itself. The sign of a great leader is if something works even if he is gone so I think the same can be said of a creator. If you can create something that can evolve on its own to survive forever then you are truly a great creator.

    One side note, I find string theory now more plausible then big bang. Actually I think big bang while the best known among the population may not be the favorite of most scientists.


  3. Charlene
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 18:33:40

    What an interesting point of view. Thank you for sharing it. As a Catholic and a lover and believer in science, I believe that faith and science work well together. And after reading your thoughts and beliefs, am able to more clearly define my own beliefs – not fully, but then again…that’s faith, isn’t it? Thanks again…well done.
    .-= Charlene´s last blog ..Social Media Followers and Fans More Likely to Buy and Recommend =-.


  4. Martin Kelly
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 19:51:28

    Nicely done. I am also a Catholic with the same dual belief system. I always found it hard to reconcile the idea that some creationist put forward, that the fossil record was laid our by God to confuse man. It seems to me that the all mighty should not have to resort to chicanery. I once watched at Discovery Chanel show on Dinosaurs where the scientist (I wish I could remember his name) showed an articulating claw of a velocoraptor. His comment was the he was so happy that God had permitted him to find this fossil. That type of humility was refreshing.

    One last comment from and old Bloom County cartoon – “God said let there by light – BANG!”


  5. kosmo
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 20:16:41

    @ Charlene – Yes, it is always going to bit difficult to clearly define some aspects of faith.

    @ Martin – I agree. God fabricating the fossil record as a way to confuse man seems a bit pointless. What, the 20th century was the equivalent of his April Fool’s day?


  6. kosmo
    Mar 21, 2010 @ 20:18:25

    @ Brian – your Gravatar has piqued my interest. Where is that lovely piece of nature?


  7. Mo
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 08:03:06

    Came here from ProBlogger. I am a Christian, was brought up to take Genesis completely literally and when I was younger would have taken issue with most of what you have just written. More recently though, I don’t see evolution and God as incompatible, though I don’t necessarily believe in our existence purely by God-inspired evolutionary processes. Did you ever read Tim Keller’s white paper on this subject? I can’t remember the exact title of the paper but it should be easy to find online.
    .-= Mo´s last blog ..The Rolex and the Unhealthy Zorro Obsession =-.


  8. Donovan Moore
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 08:15:23

    This story is very weak. Nothing new. I suggest you visit [blatant advertisement for Donovan’s site] for a better and more up to date take on what is really going on in the realm of concepts of God and religion.
    .-= Donovan Moore´s last blog ..Fairness driven by culture, not genes =-.


  9. kosmo
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 08:23:22

    @ Donovan – I wasn’t trying to be “new”. I was just explaining my personal philosophy. How nice of you to completely dismiss it out of hand while giving absolutely nothing to back up your dismissal in an attempt to drive traffic to your own site. What, CommentLuv isn’t enough of a traffic generator?

    I don’t mind intelligent discussion – it’s the lifeblood of any blog – but your comment was merely a personal attack that added zero value to the discussion.


  10. Diane
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 12:43:35

    Well, I gotta say this article was refreshing! I believe very similarly and I often wonder why I never hear others talk about God and science as coexisting. To me, science just shows His brilliance. I’m also surprised to read the comments here, and that everyone (except one “very weak” comment) agrees! I actually thought, “Uh-Oh. This guy is brave and I agree – but the readers will rake him over the coals. Instead I see many others with a similar point of view. I find that inspiring.

    Found you through ProBlogger – you did a great job there as well!
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..The Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan – Book Review =-.


  11. Living with Balls
    Mar 22, 2010 @ 15:13:02

    Kosmo. I defintely agree with your theory. I think a number of stories in the bible shouldn’t necessarily be taken literally. Rather they were written to teach an important lesson.
    .-= Living with Balls´s last blog ..What’s the Worst Sports Loss of Your Life? =-.


  12. Karen
    Mar 23, 2010 @ 01:18:28

    I started out thinking as you do — it was so very convenient because everyone seemed to assume evolution and I believed in God …

    However I found that it seemed to force God to fit with the scientific theory. The days of creation become incredibly long periods of time, etc. I had assumed evolution was right and God could be fit into that. So who really was my god then, science or God Almighty? Which or who was infallible?

    Also, I saw no evidence that man is evolving. We have built up a lot of knowledge and technology, but evolving?? It’s a nice kind of dream; we get better and better and then a new world, the next step up the ladder, utopia, or whatever. I don’t see it happening in history. We have better tools but the same humankind.

    What I do see is that evolution and the assumptions connected with it may be blinding us to the answers we need in our time. What if evolution is the wrong assumption that makes us blind?


  13. kosmo
    Mar 23, 2010 @ 07:44:55

    @ Karen – First of all, thanks for the respectful way offered your dissenting opinion. It’s much nicer than Donovan’s “You’re wrong, I’m right, visit my web site.”

    After years of serious consideration, my personal opinion is that creation and evolution are not in conflict with each other. However, I can certainly appreciate the fact that others may feel differently. As for which is infallible – God or science – I say God. I see evolution as merely a tool of God’s.

    One thing did jump out at me – you say that you see no evidence that man is evolving? How long of a time frame are you looking at? Evolution is an awful lot like watching paint dry. One year, one hundred years, or one thousand years is too short a time period to see an appreciable change. However, if we look at skeletal remains of Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons, etc you can see the human form change slowly over hundreds of thousands of years.

    I don’t see utopia – or any society-based goal – as a part of evolution. If anything, society would actually retard evolution by ensuring that the weaker of the species don’t die out. I’m not suggesting that we should allow people to die, of course, simply saying that this does allow the propogation of some weaker traits.


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