Publisher Larry Tobin’s 11/1/05 column:
Normally I avoid religious matters like a plague since I believe those convictions are a personal matter and therefore private. Okay, so this week I’m going to tackle an issue that strikes somewhat on religion, that’s hot, emotional and sometimes irrational, but I’m tired of some of the silly arguments and I can’t keep from commenting on it any longer. It’s the war between those who believe in evolution vs. those who proffer strict creationism. I won’t get involved in any individual religions or beliefs but there are some general issues that only seem fair to me.
If people would only think about it rather than getting emotional, it’s entirely possible that both sides of the issue could be right! Consider this:
Assume for the sake of argument, first of all, that all Christian and most other religions believe in one Creator. That the Creator is eternal is a given. That means He (She?) always has been and always will be. With that assumption established, the question becomes an issue of time.
Evolutionists believe that the world (and man) was created over millions of years. Creationists – and the Bible – argue that the world was created in six days.
Well, just how long is a day? To those of us here on Earth, a day is 24 hours – the time it takes for our planet to make one revolution on its journey around the sun. On any other planet, however, that revolution time will be longer or shorter. Are we really sure, I ask you creationists, whether those six days were in our time or Jupiter’s, for example, since God reportedly created all of the planets? Maybe he used the days of a planet in some other galaxy or solar system? Might not the Creator’s “day” be substantially different from ours?
Then we have to consider this thought: if the Creator always was and always will be, just how long is His day? A million years of His could easily be the mere blink of His eye. Just maybe the world was created in six days. It’s just that the time frame was in the span of the Creator’s day which might be eons in our time! There is nothing in the theory of evolution that denies the Creator’s hand in it.
Next there’s the issue of whether or not the Bible is a moral tool or a scientific volume. I suggest the former.
If someone today were to undertake a rewrite of the Bible, knowing what we know now of the world and the universe, and if he or she could go through a time warp back two thousand years or more, no one who might read the updated version would have the foggiest idea what was being talked about! The Earth revolving around the sun? Those people thought the Earth was not only the center of the universe, but that it was flat!
In fact, it was the religious community that was the last to accept those two universal realities. Still, the infusion of scientific discovery did nothing to deny the basic tenets of the Bible. Those facts are now as accepted as the dawn of a new morning (since we know that the sun doesn’t really come up in the east).
I think people forget when the Bible was written and who it was written for. As I said earlier, people living a couple of thousand years ago couldn’t begin to comprehend anything written in 2005. It would be like today trying to teach first graders scientific concepts involving nuclear fusion. They’d look at it and go, “Duh?” On an academic level, people living two thousand years ago are like those first graders. Humanity hadn’t progressed yet to a level of comprehension that would allow them to understand evolution. Apparently a lot of us haven’t even yet.
Mankind was given a brain that allows us to develop and grow and expand our knowledge of our world and universe. That is how we’ve managed to survive in it. After all, there are many creatures that are bigger and stronger and faster than we are that would have gladly had us for lunch if we hadn’t managed to outwit them.
Remember the saying, “God helps those who help themselves”? Why do you think He gave us such a powerful brain? It certainly wasn’t for us to sit around and wait for Him to do everything for us. If you look at the issues with reasonable objectivity, there is little in science that denies religion.
I suspect that there are liable to be many more discoveries in the future that may rock the religious world and yet in no way deny the existence of a Creator or His hand in the universe. For example, are we God’s only intelligent creatures in the universe? Maybe, as one wag put it, we were His first try and, thinking He can do better, we’re going to be erased and He’ll start all over somewhere else.
My point is that science most often expands possibilities. I don’t think the Creator meant for religion to do the opposite.