I watched a pretty good documentary this weekend on HBO called “Questioning Darwin” which shows a contrast between evangelical “Creationist Christians” and various scientists and scientific historians. It is worth watching, although it will leave you with some interesting emotions. Attached is a link which speaks to the documentary.
For context, I am a Christian, but one who believes the bible was written by men, reinterpreted by men, and translated by men over many centuries. If it is divinely inspired, there are many imperfections and interpretations of what God intended therein. To say it is word for word what God meant, simply cannot be true, as many of the men, especially King James, were known for some creative license. God may be perfect, but men are not. I would also add, there is an old saying if you ever want to create an Atheist, have them read the bible. A Pew Research survey a few years ago, said Atheists actually know the bible better than Christians.
I am a big believer in the overarching messages of Jesus, which translate well to other religious texts. Jesus was a big believer in helping those in need and treating people like you want to be treated. That is the greatest lesson from the bible. The bible also teaches us through Solomon in Proverbs to honor God by using our brain for the betterment of mankind. To me, this is an ideal issue for us to use the wonderful brain that God gave us. If we don’t think, we do Him a disservice and harm others.
I want that context known as it disappoints me greatly that the “creationist” movement continues to take footing along with the establishment of creationist museums, which lend credence to something that has little solid science to back it up. For example, these museums exhibit dinosaurs walking the earth the same time as people. One minister noted that dinosaurs were created on the fifth day when all land animals were created. And, what I found quite interesting, per these teachings all dinosaurs were herbivores until Adam ate of the apple and original sin was created. Then the ones who wanted to be carnivores could now eat meat.
Yet, what really made me sad was seeing mothers home schooling their kids and teaching this as scientific fact. One of the kids even wanted to be a scientist, so I could see this kid going to college to find out that what he was told had no scientific basis at all. The ministers, teachers and counselors had a plan for that saying when you get out in the real world, people will tell you what you believe is not true. So, you should not believe them. I am a parent of three, and what parent would want to honestly tell their child to only believe what you learned here? That would set that child up for a harder adult life of learning.
When evidence abounds to the contrary, these kids will grow up and be frustrated with others first, then likely with their church leaders and parent-teachers for misleading them. “Mom, why did you tell me dinosaurs walked the earth with people?” they will ask. They will begin to see that scientific data on the age of the earth, when dinosaurs walked the earth, when man walked the earth, how species have evolved including man, how species continue to evolve to meet certain environmental conditions, etc. As the scientists and scientific historians note in “Questioning Darwin,” many sciences are hinged off the tremendous depth and breadth of study of Darwinism.
I also came away even more impressed with Darwin. This man went to great pains, details and hardships to discover and validate his findings. The time he took to do this is impressive. His significant body of letters to other scientists is extraordinary by itself. The reaction “On the Origin of the Species…” was not only negative as believed today. Its overwhelming body of work and science was actually received favorably by many. And, it also may be of interest, Darwin was buried with acclaim inside of a major cathedral in England, so what he painstakingly defined need not be at odds with Christianity. Those who buried him in an exalted place seemingly did not believe this.
Our country has fallen behind on math and science education to a degree that STEM education is a focus. Yet, to steal time from that focus to teach a misrepresented and misunderstood history of how the world was created is a terrible abuse of time, energy and resources. When Louisiana signed into law that creationism had to be taught as a science, Zack Kopplin, a young teen sued the state and was joined by over hundred Nobel laureates in science to advocate against the folly of this decision. His point was you are hurting my education to teach me something that is contrary to evidence that permeates everything. Here is an article on his reasoning for the lawsuit. http://global.christianpost.com/news/teen-activist-continues-fight-against-creationism-in-la-classrooms-88387/
The creationists in the documentary where concerned because they believe every word in the bible to be true. In other words, if Darwin is correct, then that means everything they believe is not true. To me, you are setting yourself up for failure with that construct. The men who were divinely inspired wrote from their perspective at the time. Just like any religious leader today, they would bring their own biases into the writing, even if divinely inspired. Also, as noted before, if you believe every word in the bible to be true, then you need to teach all parts of it, including the parts the ministers don’t like to dwell on. These are the parts that tend to create the Atheists who do read the bible.
So, to me as a Christian, we should recognize the bible as an imperfect book that includes some wonderful teachings that we all could learn from. Evolution is a proven and accepted science, but it need not make you lose your faith in and of itself. The sooner these “Creationist Christians” realize this, the better off they will be, as will their children and everyone else whose time you are wasting. That is what I believe.