I've been listening to NPR today and there has been a segment about religion and science. This seems to be coming up more and more lately so I feel that I need to state my position on this subject as clearly as I can and hopefully I won't be too inarticulate.
First of all, do I believe that God created the world?
Yes, I do. As a Christian, I believe that there is a divine origin to all things. God created everything and set into motion all processes.
Second of all, do I believe in evolution?
Absolutely. Evidence of evolution is all around us. I worked in a Nature and Science museum and helped to teach about this process. However, I also believe that evolution is not exclusive of divine origin. I believe God set this process into motion and that is part of His plan.
Third, do I support the Intelligent Design movement?
No, I do not. Not because I don't believe that they make some valid points but because I think the ultimate goal of this movement is to promote a right-wing agenda and force opinions into schools and onto individuals. If we allow this set of beliefs into schools, why not allow Hindu, Buddhist, Native American, Muslim and other creation theories as well. We could easily get bogged down into trying to represent everyone's beliefs and ideas about creation. Everyone has his/her theories about this. And I don't believe that is wrong. There is no solid proof about any particular creation theory, even evolution. But I think that because evolution has some solid evidence that can be verified through tests and observation, it is reasonable to teach that in a scientific setting. It is not reasonable to include theories that are based on faith within a school setting. It would only promote strife and division among children.
Fourth, do I believe other theories besides evolution should be taught in schools?
As a follow-up to my previous response, at this time I would have to say no. Faith-based theories can be taught at home and in a faith setting such a church. This is how I learned about divine design and it did not shake my faith at all to be exposed to evolution in schools. I firmly believe in a separation of church and state. Our Founding Fathers wanted to build a nation where people were free to live their lives as they saw fit without a government dictating to them what they can or cannot believe. I believe the greatest failing of the Republican right is its attempt to only promote one religious agenda within a political setting that seeks to alienate all people who do not agree or think as they do. These are not the principles on which our country was founded and these types of agendas only serve to separate us instead of unite us.
Quite honestly, I am sick to death of this subject because I think that it, like so many other faith-based subjects, gets people too focused on a micro issue to the point that a macro view is sacrificed. We as Christians have a lot more important things to worry about than whether or not we evolved from apes. Do you think it really matters to your neighbor whether or not he/she is a product of evolution when he/she is starving and can't afford decent heathcare for his/her children? Instead of sitting around arguing about inconsequential issues, we should focus on following Jesus' example of loving and helping our neighbors and trying to create a heaven on earth where all people are loved and valued.