Friday, February 25, 2005

EVOLUTION VS. CREATIONISM: WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?

I posted this on another blog and liked the result, so... I put it here as well, with some editing and embellishment.

The blogger stated to a respondent "You're right about the belief in evolution being a religion unto itself. There again, all one can do is believe or not believe, we have no way to prove or disprove evolution. Yet atheists have no problem believing in evolution, where they won't believe in God for precisely the same reason."

While I believe that could be true, I also think the generalization about atheists is incorrect. There are many atheists who believe in neither gods nor evolution. I'm actually more of an agnostic who leans toward skepticism than I am an atheist, if we must apply labels, but many non-believers (that is, non-Christians) are actually nice people... I can usually count myself in that crowd. That is, unless I'm wallowing around in a fit of obsessive-compulsiveness or I have had too much to drink!

I'm very, very skeptical about things for which there isn't a whole lot of hard physical evidence, and I believe there are too many things the human mind is incapable of knowing. This makes it awfully tough for me to get worked up about how life got here.

I don't really understand the psychology of faith enough to know the answers to the following questions, but they are ones I have always asked myself:

If a person believes that God is in control, is it really all that important about how life began?

If one believes in the WHY (a creator or a divine entity), is the HOW (creationism, evolution, whatever) all that big a deal?

If God is really in control, and if how we all got here today is part of a plan or grand design which I would imagine we are unable to comprehend, then why not simply trust that God knows what God is doing and leave it at that?

So, with all that... Evolution Vs. Creationism: what's the big deal? Sure, I may lean toward Evolution because I believe there is far more real science to back it up, but when it gets down to it, it doesn't really matter a whole lot to me whether or not I descended from apes or that the world may actually be only 6,000 years old. When I look at the fact that I'm here on Earth in this time and place, and that I have so much in my life for which I feel fortunate, worrying about Evolution Vs. Creationism seems like simply... a waste of my time.

If there's a God up there, sometimes I think humans may have been created mainly for God's amusement and entertainment! If we are all God's children, I think God probably laughs at all of us equally, whether we be hardcore Christian fundamentalists, atheists, agnostics, skeptics, Creationists, Evolutionists, Republicans, Democrats, men, women, young, old, rich, poor, white, black, whatever.

Maybe THAT's some of what Christian singer/songwriter Bruce Cockburn (a favorite artist of mine, by the way) is singing about in his song "Listen For The Laugh":

"It's not the laughter of rain in the drain, It's not the laughter of a man in pain, It's not the laughter you can hide behind, It's not the laughter of a frightened mind, Balanced on the brink only waiting for a shove, You better listen for the laugh of love.

"It's not the laughter of the gloating rich, It's not the laughter of the sacred bitch, It's not the laughter of the macho fool, It's not the laughter that obeys the rules, More of a chain saw in a velvet glove, You better listen for the laugh of love.

"It's not the laughter of a child with toys, It's not the laughter of the president's boys, It's not the laughter of the media king, This laughter doesn't sell you anything, It's the wind in the wings of a diving dove, You better listen for the laugh of love.

"Whatever else you might be thinking of, You better listen for the laugh of love."

It seems to me that we humans must be way too self-important, relative to our place in the universe. Maybe part of what Bruce Cockburn is suggesting is that when we get to where we forget how small we really are, and if we listen hard enough, we can hear someone or something much larger than ourselves, laughing at us... and maybe that's God, telling us to GET REAL. Or maybe not.

Who knows?

5 Comments:

Blogger Phil said...

I don't view evolution and creationism as opposites. Evolution attempts to answer the question of the physical mechanisms of how we were created. Creationism attempts to answer what caused the physical mechanisms to happen. I have never read in either the bible or koran where it talks about how the physical aspects of how we came to be. Either, neither, or both may be true.

Depeche Mode has also penned that God uses us for his personal amusement. I wouldn't doubt that, if he is there, he is laughing his ass off at me lately...

9:10 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Me too, Phil, and probably most of all at what I posted above!

They aren't one of my favorite bands, but I love the songs "Enjoy The Silence" and "Personal Jesus" by Depeche Mode. Have you ever heard Johnny Cash's version of "Personal Jesus"? John Frusciante plays some cool acoustic guitar on that one!

10:42 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

Ahhh it's still here cool,

Obviously let me state first that I’ve never had an interest in the ideas of creationist’s.

I guess I should start at the beginning, “let there be light”. Like most I believe the universe started from a singularity, yes everything I’ve ever seen and am looking at now, to the electrons that hitting the back of my monitor originated from a single point of intense and ‘infinite’ radiation.

However like my faith, my understanding of physics has only peaked at a theoretical level, yet remains sound enough to hold coffee table discussions over super string principles, simplistic musings on unified theory principles and the prospect of quantum sized ‘coiled’ and ‘curved ‘ dimension’s etc …

Maybe creationists have tried to answer the wrong questions, ‘who and why’ not ‘how’. A simple glance up at the night sky should be enough to send a cold shiver down even the most ardent creationists ‘primate’ spin, hey dude those (visible) photons entering your iris have travelled more than a hundred thousand years, not thousands.

Numerically (to a point at the quantum level) the universe make’s sense. Numbers speak beyond theory and usually toward reason. At a deeper level one could also reason that ‘God’ could be calculated out of existence, and then accept that all is derived from chaos. However one could equally state that even though states of chaos exist, chaos itself is quantifiable over time. Obviously if some of us can understand the ‘what’ and ‘how’ of the universe we will eventually understand ‘why’.

6:21 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Snave,

Depeche is one of my favorites. I've heard the Cash version. It is cool. I even like Manson's version.

Damien,

To me, the 'how' is a question that I leave to others. We may or may not be able to truly understand how this all works. (I'm not so sure that our ability to observe will be great enough.) I don't care about how light travels through the universe. I just enjoy the view. The big question is 'why'? Why does all of this exist?

7:49 PM  
Blogger Damien said...

True, true.

12:54 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

RichardDawkins.net