Potentially big news in the “science vs religion” world today, scientists have discovered what is believed to be one of the significant evolutionary steps between animals and humans. If you haven’t heard, you’re probably even more sheltered then I am, which is tough and my hat is off to you, but today you just go to Google and click in the logo, which links you to a search entitled Missing Link Found.
Here’s what I don’t get: The creationist viewpoint does not, as I understand it, inherently exclude evolution. It seems to me that religion is pushing an “us vs them” war with science, when a better approach might be to complement science by adding perspective and spiritual understanding. Conversely, from the other point of view, I don’t really see anyone in the scientific community going out of their way to discredit religion, as much as hypothesize as new evidence is discovered.
Put another way, if I decide to believe in a just and loving god that made everything just the way he wanted, isn’t it reasonable to suggest that he might have big-banged, started that initial spark/seed of life that science can’t explain, thereby creating humanity by way of creating our ancestral evolutionary steps?
Dave, what’s funny is that there are lots of people within religion/Christianity (I hate to group those, but in this case they can be in some instances) that are saying the same sorts of things. I would point out a few distinctions:
1) I think the idea of missing links involves a whole lot of assumptions before it that I’m not comfortable making, but since this is a comment I’m going to leave it vague and nearly useless
2) I would actually say that the “us vs. them” problem comes from both sides. When I watch TED or various other scientifically oriented videos, or read any number of ‘scientific’ sources they definitely poke fun at people who are religious and disagree with the fundamental assumptions of macro or big-bang evolution. On the contrary there are Christian scientists (not the religious group) who are astute, educated, smart and promoting carefully thought out theories that explain the same data in a different way.
3) Micro-evolution is undeniable and using the ambiguous term ‘evolution’ tends to lead to trouble. I would strongly argue that the flood story (A.K.A. Noah’s Ark) requires evolution because the modern-day species list is way, way, way too large to fit on the boat described in the Genesis 6-9 account.
4) I believe that the creation account in Genesis 1 created the earth ‘in state’ which means that while the creation events took place on single days, it doesn’t mean that the plants were all seeds, the chickens were all chicks and the dinosaurs were all in eggs.
5) This comment is WAY too long. We can chat about this further or I can write a lengthier blog post on the topic if you’d like. I grew up with a dad who was a geologist for a while in college (until he realized he didn’t want to raise a family in the areas where fossils are found) and have spent quite a bit of time on my own studying this issue philosophically.