I wish Christians would stop fixating on evolution and spend more time talking about Jesus Christ. Look, if you want to believe that the earth is only 5000 years old, that everything was created in 6 literal days (with a 7th day for resting), that people and dinosaurs hung out together until the big lizards missed the Ark, fine. Maybe you’re right.
But stop making it seem like creationism is the rock upon which the Christianity stands.
It’s not. Jesus is the Rock.
And it seems that the first chapters of Genesis are much more concerned with “Who” rather than “how.” Maybe we should be, too.
Dawkins vs. Wright, an Unfair Fight
What’s prompted this mini-rant is a video a Facebook friend posted a couple days ago. Here’s a link to the video; by all means watch it if you’re the kind of person who watches NASCAR to see the car wrecks, because this is one long car wreck of a video (and it goes on for over an hour).
Famed atheist Richard Dawkins “interviews” much less-famed Wendy Wright of “Concerned Women for America.” After viewing this video, I’m a concerned man for America. Unfortunately, Ms. Wright uses lots of time debunking (I think that’s what she thinks she’s doing) evolution. Dawkins is an evolutionary biologist. A scientist. Ms. Wright is not.
Dawkins repeatedly offers scientific evidence to back up his insistence that evolution is fact. Ms. Wright does not, but she keeps asking him for more evidence like she’s expecting him to pull a dinosaur bone out of his pocket or something.
She mostly talks about how terrible it would be if natural selection really operated in the world. Like many Christians who attempt to get involved in this kind of argument, her basic fallacy is this: She believes the consequences of evolution being a fact would be detrimental, therefore she will not accept that evolution could be a fact.
But something being positive or negative does not affect its reality. I think it is terrible that chocolate and peanut butter Easter eggs make me fat if I eat too many. But it is still a fact.
Unfortunately, Ms. Wright presents as having a closed mind, as her presupposition about the consequences (which are of course irrelevant to the truth/falsehood of the proposition) will always cause her to ignore any facts which do not support her position. And she just reinforces the stereotype that Christians are folks who prefer to remain ignorant about science, which does no good for our 21st century witness.
This attitude is more reminiscent of the 17th century, of the Roman Catholic church and Galileo. (Ironically today the RC Church officially has no problem with evolution.)
God is Bigger than the Gaps
The even more basic problem is that some (many?) Christians back up their faith with “God of the gaps” thinking – i.e. God is the explanation for things science does not (yet) explain. As science advances and the gaps get smaller, their faith is threatened, so science becomes the enemy.
As a Christian, there are two things that irk me about this. First, as I said when I started, when we focus on evolution vs. creationism, we’re not focusing on Jesus. We are giving people the impression that in order to be a Christian you have to embrace the literal account of creation as described in Genesis 1 (or Genesis 2, they are markedly different).
It is not a belief in creationism that saves. It is Jesus Christ. Period.
So I’m concerned about the effect stuff like this has on our witness to non-Christians. As I said in a previous post, when I was an unChristian one of the easiest ways to deflect a Christian who was trying to tell me about their faith was to get them going on evolution. I no longer had to hear about Jesus . . . or about my need for a Savior.
I also feel bad for the Christians themselves who seem to be afraid of science that does not confirm their presuppositions. It is sad that they cannot see the wonder of scientific discovery as actually revealing the amazing creativity of God. I’ve blogged before about how my reading and learning about Quantum Physics – the science of the infinitesimally small – has only enhanced my worship of God.
Science doesn’t and will never disprove the existence of God. Science only reveals – gives glimpses of, really – a God of Wonders.
Let me throw out some Scripture here:
From Romans 1:20 – “By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.” (The Message)
Psalm 19:1 – God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.” (The Message)
Evolution Is Not the Boogeyman
God is not threatened by evolution. Faith does not have to crumble in the face scientific evidence for natural selection.
The most incredible miracle I ever witnessed was the birth of my daughter. Science can describe how she physically came to be – from the union of the egg and the sperm, through the stages of fetal development and finally the tiny, beautiful person in my hands.
That didn’t make her any less of a miracle.
Science can explain a lot about how things work in the world. Who knows, maybe science will even be able to someday explain what happened before the Big Bang (one of those “gaps” that some Christians hold onto to “prove” the existence of God).
But no amount of scientific discovery will ever be able to diminish the absolute wonder of the universe that God has created – whatever “created” means in the context of how God has operated in the universe to bring it into being and to sustain it.