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.