Not Many Wise -

Faith and spirituality in a modern world


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Part 1 In the beginning – evolution?

Pictorial theory of ape into man.
Pictorial theory of ape into man.

In the beginning  – evolution?
We are regularly bombarded with the ‘facts’ of Evolution. How does that make us feel?

Let’s look at an example at the very beginning – the big bang theory:

…the universe is concentrated into a single point, infinitely hot and dense. During the first billionths of a second, the universe goes through a brief phase of accelerated expansion, growing from the size of an atomic nucleus to the size of a volleyball. After a millionth of a second, the primeval universe is a violently expanding fireball, about 10 billion miles in radius. It is filled with protons, neutrons and electrons – the building blocks for atoms – as well as billions of tiny particles called neutrinos. After one minute the universe, about a million billion miles across, has become a giant thermonuclear reactor, building the nuclei of helium atoms from the hydrogen nuclei created in the big bang. … etc” [1]

Or how about how mankind came about:

The story of mankind begins in the tropical forests of at least 65 million years ago. By then the first primates, the order of mammals to which Man belongs, had appeared. These tiny creatures of the night gradually developed hands for gripping branches, preying upon insects and testing fruit for ripeness. Since complex hand-to-brain nerve ‘wiring’ was required for these tasks, the capacity to explore with the hand may have contributed to an inquiring and expanding brain…” [1]

This is flowery language mixed with scientific words which is the material of fiction writers that is often unfortunately presented as fact.

So how does it make us feel when we read or listen to such things?

I see four different ways of looking at this type of presentation on Evolution:

  1. We totally accept the statements made by those who believe in Evolution.
  2. We accept what they say, but add ‘God’ into the areas of ‘chance’.
  3. We accept what the Bible says about the creation of the world.
  4. We just ignore the whole subject and steer away from Evolution and Creation.

Our own particular standpoint means we would have to view certain parts of the Bible in a particular way.
So those viewpoints would now look like this:

  1. We would see the Garden of Eden as being just a Parable.
  2. We still see the Garden of Eden as being just a Parable.
  3. We accept the Genesis account in the Bible as being the truth, which means that it is literally and historically true.
  4. We just ignore the whole subject and steer clear of the first few chapters of Genesis.

So looking at number 2. which is ‘We accept what they say, but add ‘God‘ into the areas of ‘chance’ ’ we would need to see Genesis as containing truth, but that it isn’t literally and historically true – it is therefore a Parable.

But to me there is an uneasy unity in that thought.
That is like having a proper brick house,  but then building an extension to it made out of cardboard and sticks!
The two things are incompatible.

If we say that Evolution is right, why would God want a different order of events written down?

Orbiting the moon and seeing planet Earth.
Orbiting the moon and seeing planet Earth.

He explained the process of Creation in a certain order.
So why did He write down that the sun and stars came into being after the earth was formed.

In fact God is saying that the sun and stars came into being after the earth was formed and after the earth’s atmosphere, clouds and vegetation had grown on the earth!
If the sun and stars came first, then surely God would have said so!

Now, before everyone dives in and says that when Genesis was written, people didn’t know as much as we know today – think about it, it is obvious to everyone (even the earliest Man) that the sun is essential for life on this earth, so in any account of the beginning of the world, we would naturally put the sun first.

But God didn’t!
To our minds it isn’t logical.
God was showing us that the sun is NOT essential to life – He is!
In Revelation, when there will be a new heaven and a new earth, it explains why:

There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light.”
Revelation 22:5

So this whole Evolution and Creation subject can make us jittery and lose faith in the Biblical account.
Perhaps in your eyes, science seems to be contradicting the Bible.

And if the Bible is wrong in that area, then what about other areas?

So, I want us to raise our trust in the Genesis account and I hope to do this shortly in some more blogs.

References:

[1]  Atlas of the World, Readers Digest, 1989, ISBN 0-276-42001-2, p4, and p50
Evolution image: thanks to Serif ART Gallery CD.
Earth image: thanks to Serif Serif RESOURCE CD.

Peter Reason

January 2012

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