Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Evolution Sunday?

I recieved an email from my friend Bourke with this article from the New York Times in it yesterday. (Try bugmenot if you do not have an NYT password.) The article is titled At Churches Nationwide, Good Words for Evolution.

Anyone paying attention to the news in the past year or so has probably seen some sort of debate over whether "intelligent design" should be taught in schools alongside or even in place of evolution. Debates range to whether it should be taught in science clases, comparative religion classes, or even literature. And sure enough, when some school districts don't accept "intelligent design" as suitable for their cirriculum, blowhards like Pat Roberston behave as if they are God's chosen mouthpiece and reign down insults and threats on them.

As one of Christian faith I do believe that there is a God and that he is/was the Creator. However, for years I have not thought that this view was mutually exclusive with a view of evolution. I am unsure that the days marked out in Genesis are actual 24 hour days as we know them now. The God I believe in isn't confined by time. He is eternal. It's okay to not fully understand what that means and the implications of that. And likewise it is okay to make every effort to understand. There are a few money quotes in that article about Christians and intelligent thought. But I'll just leave you two here that sum up what I wish to say, only better...

"We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator." and...

"A faith that requires you to close your mind in order to believe is not much of a faith at all."

Isn't it time for those of faith to at least work alongside those in science, if not embrace it. To run away from it, to try to supress scientific teachings is to put forth the idea that you are afraid of it. That you fear that it would uncover something unseemly which might ruin your faith. Shouldn't we be beyond that now?

I have yet to read further on this group that brought about this "Evolution Sunday" and the "Clergy Letter Project" but I plan too, out of curiousity. More info can be found here at numerous sites on the net including here. You think they'd get a better page. So it goes, perhaps in the future...

- Oh, and Happy Valentines Day, angels. As a Valentines Day gift to you and yours I place a link to my favorite Vonnegut short story, A Long Walk To Forever. One foot in front of the other...

- As Valentine's Day gift two I offer you something really special. In an earlier post I mentioned how the three heroes dancing the madison in Jean-Luc Godard's Band of Outsiders was probably one of the happiest moments I remember in my film watching experience. Thanks to Gringo Tex over at Big Soccer in the Motion Picture Draft Thread I can now offer it to you to watch. Watch Here, Watch Now.

Who loves you?

6 comments:

nico said...

I just don't get the fundamentalist crazies.

I was reading Fr. Michael Pomozansky's Orthodox Dogmatic Theology last year and came across a quote in the book (that was footnoted), but now I can't remember the source of it.

Anyway, it was by some western European scientist and it said something to the effect of "The Orthodox Church has never found itself to be an antagonist to science."

He went onto to say that he believed Galileo and people like that would've thrived in Byzantine culture whereas they were held back in Latin culture.

Interesting thought anyway.

scot said...

Huh, only 436 pages. Looks like a quick read. :) I will put it on the list. I've been meaning to read up more on Orthodox Theology. Thanks for the link.

Jim said...

I have never understood people who have a hard time squaring the creation story with evolution. One thing that people should never do is read the Bible literally. That's what gets people into trouble.

scot said...

There is definately a crapload of stuff in the Old Testament that could get really messy when taken literally. And for better or wose we have people who make sure that happens. Intrestingly enough, Andrew Sullivan commented on thsi article on his blog too and made the comparison to Muslim Fundamentalists...

[i]The same applies, however, to Muslim fundamentalists. It seems to me that one of the most urgent tasks for theological departments in Western universities is to pioneer scholarly research into the origins of the Koran, to deepen our knnowledge of its origins, and shed the light of reason on the claims of Muslim fundamentalists.[/i]

nico said...

Scot:

My mistake. I went back and checked, the book I'm thinking of is I.M. Andreyev's Orthodox Apologetic Theology.

Similarly titled books by guys with Russian names.

Oh, and by the way, while it was good, there are definately other places I would start reading about Orthodoxy. I can give you some recommendations if you'd like.

scot said...

i'm open to the recs, nico...