Location: Granite Falls, North Carolina, United States

I'm an ordained United Methodist minister no longer pastoring churches, a former media producer with skills ten years out of date, a writer trying to sell my first novel, and a sales associate keeping body and soul together working for the People's Republic of Corporate America. I'm married to the most wonderful woman in the world, who was my best friend for 17 years before we married.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Intelligent Design?

It has always bothered me when people try to draw limits around the power of Almighty God.

The latest insult to the Lord is the idea of Intelligent Design being taught as science. Of course you can't look at the intricacy of creation and not see the hand of a Creator. But that doesn't mean this is science. God is too large to be placed under a microscope.

Once in my college years I was hitchhiking and got a ride from a Baptist preacher. He was talking about a number of things while we rode, but one thing he said was he couldn't understand why anyone would go to school to be a preacher.

Another time I heard people talk negatively about a preacher who wrote out his sermons in advance.

Why must God be confined to the realm of the miraculous? Why isn't He Lord of the brain as well as the heart? Why is the Holy Spirit confined to controlling my tongue on Sunday morning but not my pen on Thursday night?

And why did God have to confine Himself to creating the world in six human-sized days, just because some human felt that was a good explanation of the universe he saw? Why can't God use the natural means and processes He Himself created? And where in the Book of Genesis does it claim to be a science textbook? I have read the Bible from Genesis through Revelation multiple times and have never encountered such a claim.

The mistake people make is trying to squeeze God into narrow limits, and saying science can't go past those limits, either.

Look: Here is how it is. God did not reveal one truth in science and a contrary truth in faith. Science and religion don't cover the same territory. Science looks at what and how. The Bible looks at Who and why. If you read the Bible through, you get a picture of God slowly and gradually revealing Himself to his people until He sends His Son into the world and the church grows in response. What does that have to do with science?

God is capable of using scientific processes to get His work done. He has done miraculous healings among other people, true; but He healed me of cancer by guiding the surgeon's scalpel. Either way, it is God's work, and praised be His name.

So God can use the natural processes He invented and established to bring about His creation. The best explanation for the way He did it that science can discover so far is evolution. If another scientifically testable theory comes along that explains the available fossil and DNA evidence (not to mention anatomical evidence--do you still have your appendix?), then the majority of scientists will probably accept that theory as a working hypothesis.

Meanwhile, we know evolution is a fact: I read in 1969 that it took a stronger dose of penicillin to cure a dose of syphilis than it did in 1960. Bacteria are evolving because of the overuse of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps now. The human being is still evolving, too. The human face is flattening, which is why so many people have wisdom tooth trouble. I had an impacted wisdom tooth; my daughter has two, and my son has two or more. The wisdom tooth is evolving away from the mouth.

It would be the height of arrogance to believe that God is through guiding evolution and that the present human animal is the absolute pinnacle of creation. Eventually, perhaps we will evolve into beings that can learn to live without war, and for whom hunger among their race would be anathema.

May it be so.


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