Wednesday, July 18, 2012

No Matter How You Cut It

Live Science in early June had this headline:

More Americans Continue to Accept Creationism Than Evolution
What this means is that, are you ready, 46% responded that
God created humans in their present form within the last 10,000 years.
It goes on:
15 percent of Americans fell on the other end of the spectrum, saying they believed God played no part in human evolution, a process that had taken millions of years. Nearly all of the rest of the respondents, 32 percent, choose the third option, saying they believed humans had evolved, but that God had guided the process, a belief called "theistic evolution."
Let's look at it another way, though.

47% believe in evolution, either as a non-God related event or that God utilized evolution as the means of creation. At least that's a very bare majority of the total, and probably within the statistical error.

Sadly, though, no matter how you try to spin it, slice it, or dice it, a significantly HIGH number of people in the United States DO NOT believe in evolution and have a narrow, creationistic view. The world is only 10,000 years old. (I'm tempted to be a smart aleck and say that I have ties almost that old. But I won't.) And, with very little thinking could easily say that the universe revolves around the earth as Genesis 1 portrays it.

This scares me. It really does. The disregard of science and scientific facts to shoehorn creationistic views into  The Way, can very easily slide over to disregard of scientific facts about other things as well. We already see it with global climate change. We have seen it for years with anti-environmental care groups. Thirty years ago a cabinet member in charge of the environment said it didn't matter if we took care of the world- Jesus was going to return.

This is not being good stewards of the world God gave us. Nor is it good stewards of the brain God endowed us with in order to study and learn. Science and faith do not have to be at odds. God's creation is magnificent and awe-filled. God's creation is an amazing miracle- whether God snapped God's fingers and it all occurred or, as seems to be the case, God set the whole thing in motion with a majesty and mystery that evolution does not contradict but rather enhances.

With this anti-scientific attitude so prevalent, several things could happen:

  • People will turn away from faith that is so narrow and closed to progress
  • People will stay away from scientific exploration.
  • People of faith who are scientists or scientific-minded will find themselves outcasts from one group or the other- or both.
  • Scientists and scientific-minded people will be looked upon as pagans.
  • people of faith will be ridiculed as closed-minded.

Or perhaps combinations of the above.

None of which bodes well for the continued growth of the American mind, scientific community or the church.

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