Monday, February 07, 2005

Faith, Evolution, and Intelligent Design

A lot is being written and argued about faith and evolution with huge attention devoted to the current revivals of the "Monkey Trail." Unfortunately there is widespread ignorance about science and religion, in all their diversities. I do believe that there is one, simple, unified truth in God, but that is not captured completely in any human formulations. Science and faith proceed, each in its own manner, toward that truth. Science and faith have, not different truths, but different methods, styles, criteria and purposes. I accept evolution as the scientific account of the origins of life. Even though I am not a scientist, I recognize that there are many different theories of hom life evolves. I do not turn to the book of Genesis to learn scientific truths, nor to find some judgement for or against modern evolutionary theories. From Genesis, I discover that all creation is God's handiwork, that all is good, that we have free will and that we have exercised that free will in harmful ways from the beginning, that there is therefore an massive flaw in us and in all creation that is called the Original Sin, and that we are, nevertheless, essentially good beings because we are created in the image and likeness of God. Just as I would not look into poetry to find out how to set up my computer, I try not to confuse faith and science. I worship the God of the bible, in community with the people of the bible, but I do not worship the bible as a book of texts. I believe that it is God's word, expressed in a great variety of literary styles, and written over many different eras. The bible is a great gift, but so is science. And when I worship God, I thank God for both extraordinary gifts.