Thursday, September 30, 2010

God vs. Evolution. Why Argue?

Seeing the issue of God and Evolution in mutually antithetical and opposing camps seems shortsighted for both camps.The problem is when one camp makes absolute statements about the falacies of the other. Both faith and the scientific method fall short in certian areas involving the ultimate questions of human knowledge. My stance is somewhat oblique in that it does not pit one idea against the other as antagonistic approaches to the question. I put both together on a mosaic w/ complex interfacing joints. Why choose between God or evolution? They are both part of the stream of human creativity. Why frame questions of faith and science as opposite weights on the scale? Both are evident and verifiable as part of human experience. Faith and religion exist; there is a long record of this fact. Evolution also exists as a modern development in human thought. On one hand, if we approach the question of God's existence by exacting the pure scientific method, basing our conclusions on empirical facts, we can no more preclude or include God in the great cosmological design. It is an act of faith that posits God as the creator of the world and the heavens; On the other hand, Darwin himself knew of the profound implications of his theory, but he never spoke or wrote definitively that his work necessarily inferred the death of god either. Evolution attempts to explain the phenomena of mutational change over time; it does not attempt, per se, to disprove the existence of God.

It is a strange and somewhat novel approach to the religion/evolution question I am posing here. What I mean to suggest is that the notion, the idea, the concept of "God" as it developed in the human narrative, and in the actual anatomic development of the human brain, is indeed part of the evolutionary process itself. Religion, and the notion of "God" for all their ills and iniquities -and great benefits- was a crucial development in the survival strategy of the species Homo sapiens.

In other words, evolution contains and explains the notion of "God" and religion. God and religion, however, cannot contain, nor can it explain evolution. Where in the Bible or Koran, or any religious text for that matter, does the idea of slow adaptation explain how species change in small increments over time? Can Lao Tzu explain the eons of time found in the geologic record of rocks ? As we further understand the power of evolutionary thought, we will come to accept that God and religion, though seemingly antithetical to evolution, are crucial developments, just as opposible thumbs, and the development of language were to species survival. Still, having said all this, the notion of a God should always remain an open question.The enemy is the absolutism that structures some faiths and some scientific gospels alike. They need not fix themselves at opposing ends of the question.

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