Thursday, 5 April 2012
Confessions of a Pastor's Wife: Confession #5
Confession #5: I believe in Creation AND Evolution...say what?!
"The human mind is not capable of grasping the Universe. We are like a little child entering a huge library. The walls are covered to the ceilings with books in many different tongues. The child knows that someone must have written these books. It does not know who or how. It does not understand the languages in which they are written. But the child notes a definite plan in the arrangement of the books - a mysterious order which it does not comprehend, but only dimly suspects." - Albert Einstein
I know my title sounds shocking but, in reality, a lot of Christians have a Theistic Evolution viewpoint.
Here's how my viewpoint can play out:
I have awesome friends on Facebook; friends that post stuff like this: The Most Astounding Fact of the Universe by Neil deGrasse Tyson:
"The most astounding fact is the knowledge that the atoms that comprise life on earth, the atoms that make up the human body are traced to the crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements in their core under extreme measurements and pressures. These stars, the high mass ones among them, went unstable in their later years. They collapsed and then exploded, scattering their enriched guts across the galaxy. Guts made of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and all the fundamental ingredients of life."
Now, some people might be happy with that. It sounds amazing and intelligent. But all I can think is: where did the "crucibles that cooked light elements into heavy elements" come from? What about "the stars, the high mass ones among them, that went unstable and exploded and scattered their guts"? Where did those come from?
Ilya Prigogine, a Chemist-Physicist and two-time Nobel Prize recipient said: "The statistical probability that organic structures and the most precisely harmonized reactions that typify living organisms would be generated by accident, is zero."
Sure, stars could have exploded out their fundamental ingredients of life guts. When I read the Bible and it says "God created", my writer's mind goes crazy with all the different ways it could have happened. Star guts is as good as any. I can work with that.
Neil deGrasse Tyson goes on to say: "when I look up at the night sky and I know, yes, that we are part of this universe, we are in this universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that the universe is in us. When I reflect on that fact...when I look up...I feel big because my atoms came from those stars. That's what we want in life, you want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant, you want to feel like you are a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That's precisely what we are, just by being alive." [Cue emotionally moving Coldplay soundtrack].
Now, some people might be happy with that. It sounds moving and romantic. But all I can think is: there has to be more! More then I've just got some universe atoms and therefore connected. That doesn't satisfy the deepest inner desires of me. So what...when I die my atoms just go back into the universe but I cease to exist? If that's the case then what's the point of life if I become nothing, remember nothing, am a memory to a few people only for a little while until they die and become nothing too?
Even more depressing is wondering what the point of having children is if ultimately they just become universe atoms again. Sure, they bring joy but they also bring a heavy dose of worry, fear, sleepless nights and yes...sometimes pain. Why go through all of that if we're just a bunch of atoms?
But I would go through all of that if I believed that God had a plan for them, that He wanted an eternity for them and that He loved them.
Billy Graham was quoted saying: "I don't think there's any conflict at all between Science today and the Scriptures. I think we have misinterpreted the Scriptures many times and we've tried to make the Scriptures say things they weren't meant to say. I think that we have made a mistake by thinking the Bible is a scientific book. The Bible is not a book of science. The Bible is a book of Redemption, and of course, I accept the Creation story. I believe that God did create the universe. I believe that God created man, and whether it came by an evolutionary process and at a certain point He took this person or being and made him a living soul or not, does not change the fact that God did create man...whichever way God did it makes no difference as to what man is and man's relationship to God." (Billy Graham: Personal Thoughts of a Public Man, by David Frost and Fred Bauer)
Ah! Ding! God+Man = Relationship
Let's take that last bit from Mr. Tyson and reword it to how I would say it:
"When I look up at the night sky and I know, yes, that God created this universe, we are part of His universe, but perhaps more important than both of those facts is that He created me. When I reflect on that fact...when I look up...I feel big because I was created for a reason. That's what we want in life, you want to feel connected, you want to feel relevant, you want to feel like you are a participant in the goings on of activities and events around you. That's precisely what we are, just by being alive."
My dad said this to me once:
If I believe in God and I'm wrong, I've lost nothing.
If I don't believe in God and I'm right, I've lost nothing.
If I believe in God and I'm right, I've gained everything.
If I don't believe in God and I'm wrong, I've lost everything.
One thing I do know:
It takes just as much faith to believe that God started it all or something else did. Science can't answer that part. And I like God's ending better.