Why would he do otherwise?
Science and Religion are not the opposing juggernauts that many believe
them to be. For some obscure reason (to me anyway) some Christians
seem threatened by the word/idea/theory of Evolution. Charles Darwin,
in fact, in his book "The Origin of Species", did not even use the word
evolution. He was however quite aware of the s*&%storm he was about
to unleash when he published it.
Evolution has meant many things to many people, sometimes with unfortunate results. Eugenics,
adopted in earnest by the Nazis, as well as by some western doctors and capitalists in the early 20th
century, are fine examples of science gone horribly wrong, being used for evil purposes.
Science is the study of natural laws, how things work. Science is a way of looking at the
the universe, an attempt to understand the 'here and now' physical world, to break things down into
measurable units-facts-laws-working theories-repeatable experiments.
Religion is the practice of belief. It attempts of explain why we are here, and how we should
behave and where we go after we leave the 'here and now'.
The two should not overlap! Nor are they incompatible. Even the Catholic church, in it's
present day enlightenment, has stated that science's realm is after the big bang, and Gods realm
is before, and, we presume, after the rapture...or whatever....which is a far cry from ordering Galileo
imprisoned in the17th century, sentence commuted to house arrest, for the rest of his life,
for proposing that the earth circles the sun ; clearly a heretical point of view!
What Is Evolution ?
Simply put, Evolution is Descent with Modification. What results, if useful, may give an organism an edge over previous versions. Natural selection, over vast periods of time, allows for change in a species.
Descent with Modification: What is amazing about Darwin's theory is he didn't know the mechanics 0f how it actually worked. He did keep pigeons, in fact the first chapter of "The Origin of Species" is mainly about pigeons. He observed that there are slight variations each time we reproduce. It wasn't until 1953 that the actual double helix model of DNA we know today was suggested.
DNA is the blueprint of life. It is the basis of all known living organisms. It is a code, made of the chemicals of life. It is a nucleic acid composed of nucleotides, sugars, esters, phosphates and bases. When we reproduce, the DNA chromosomes are mixed from male and female to create a unique baby.
There are variations and occasionally mistakes made in this and subsequent copies made from this initial mix of genes. This is the basis of descent, and modification. This is science as we know it.
Natural Selection: Man has long been familiar with artificial selection. we breed our animals for the traits we consider to be useful. All the various breeds of dogs come from one species of wolf. (This is a husky)
Apples all descend from a single species still growing in the Tien Shan mountains of China.
Our bread and bacon are a direct result of crop selection and animal husbandry over the last 1,000 years or less. Corn as we know it today, was different 1,000 years ago...
and is barely recognizable from it's ancestor, teosintes, 12,000 yrs ago, when American Indians began to cultivate this grass seed...
Thus, we see that the forms of life are mutable. Form can change, evolve so to speak, in specific directions when under direct influence of man's intent (even unconscious intent). Thus we have descent with modification, directed by artificial selection.
Natural Selection is what occurs without our intervention. If a modification, however slight, over a great period of time, offers better survival rate, better reproduction rate, etc. it will become dominant and change will occur. Organisms will evolve....
Speciation is defined generally by inability to sexually reproduce. For instance, if a geologic division occurs separating a population, the two separate groups will evolve according to a different set of environmental stimuli. Given a long enough separation, they may lose the ability to cross breed, and are now considered two distinct species with a common ancestor.
The key here is "...a long enough separation...."
* * *
WHY WE HAVE A HARD TIME ACCEPTING EVOLUTION.....
GEOLOGIC TIME: Our minds are capable of remembering, but not for very long
periods of time. Most of us do not remember much from when we were, say, 3 years
old. We rarely live past 100 years. Written language dates to 4,000 years BCE,
with proto-writing dating to the 7th millennium BCE. We are really not able to
understand a million years. Man is of the Quaternary epoch in geologic time.
The earth is roughly four and a half billion years old !!!
Man as a species, barely registers on the geologic clock !!! How can we begin
to grasp this concept. It takes a great leap of imagination...
THAT VERY SMALL CHANGES
CAN LEAD TO MAJOR CHANGES ,
EVEN DIFFERENT SPECIES:
This does not exclude belief in God, as some may have you believe. And they are
quite set on having you believe it! The earth is not 6,000 years old. We may
not find relics of our past that precede 9,000 years, but this doesn't mean nothing
else existed before. Would not God create a fully integrated system of matter
that could grow into what it is now? After all, the only evidence we have is the
natural laws that exist, (as we know them). These laws exist, can be tested and
used, in fact are a function of reality and life. The universe was created in a big
bang, expanded and cooled into what exists now! Life is a naturally occurring
expression of creation. This is not heresy! This is the way God created it!
LACK OF HUMILITY: In a sense, man has created God, rather than the other
way around. By this I mean, man has created his own projection of who God is.
There is no shortage of people who will be glad to tell you all the details; what
God is saying, his plan for your life, how you should behave, how to think, what
not to think, who to wage war against, and on and on....all crap on a cosmic scale!
What arrogance on our part. God is unknowable by our small minds. We can
however discover His works. Science is a method of doing this, not a denial
of all that is holy...
Richard Dawkins suggests that, due to our great success as creative designers
we believe that God has created us in the same way: "We are entirely accustomed
to the idea that complex elegance is an indicator of premeditated, crafted design." So we imbue
our God with this human ability (limitation?). Once again, could not God
'create' a blast of energy that would cool into matter, coalesce into suns
and planets, and explode with life where physically possible? Why would he
Evolution is not the nemesis of Spirituality and Reverence, but
Ignorance and Arrogance surely are....
Thus, in conclusion,
I propose, that :
God Created Evolution
This many people have visited this site since 1-20-08
Some good books to read:
Voyages of the Beagle, Janet Browne
Charles Darwin, vol 1 and 2, Janet Browne
Darwin's Ghost, Steve Jones
Y The Descent of Man, Steve Jones
The Blind Watchmaker, Richard Dawkins
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
A Briefer History of Time, Stephen Hawking
Pale Blue Dot, Carl Sagan
Synchronicity, C G Jung
Einstein, His Life and Universe, Walter Isaacson
The Origin of Species, Charles Darwin
Pagans and Christians, Robin Lane Fox
McClane's Standard Fishing Encyclopedia, Holt Rinehart Winston
I sell bumper stickers. Go to this link to ETSY to order... http://www.spinnerdude.etsy.com
Click the button for Frequently Asked Questions
10 questions to ask your biology teacher about evolution - click here.
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