not so random musings: creation and evolution
The below photo, apropos to our essay, was taken in the California Academy of Science. (We will be sharing many other pics from that facility.)
It is puzzling that these 2 ideas (or theories, or beliefs, etc.) have to be 100 per cent mutually exclusive, and their respective adherents antagonistic to each other. It does not need to be so.
Believing in an omnipotent, personal God, it does not trouble me if God chose to create man via an evolutionary process, or by willing him into existence in the blink of an eye. If God is omnipotent, then by definition, there is nothing He cannot do. (You might say that my thinking in this area has evolved over time. 😉 )
(There are those who may take issue with me here for not taking every verse in Genesis literally. It does appear to some of us that some things in the Bible are allegorical. As well, despite the current widespread acceptance of the theory of evolution, there are serious issues with it. This “theory” does not account very well for some of the things we observe in the natural world. The interested reader can search the Internet for more on the problems with evolution (a more thorough discussion of which is beyond the scope of this essay). But bear in mind that science does have its limitations.)
In recent years, the idea of intelligent design has become relatively popular. Basically, this view asserts that there appears to have been a guiding intelligence behind or directing the evolution we see from the fossil record. But, for some individuals, this is not an indication of God’s work, but rather is an indication of the efforts and actions of intelligent, technologically advanced aliens from other worlds who have visited Earth periodically over hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of years. These aliens were skilled in the altering of the DNA (basically the biochemically encoded genetic instructions in our cells) in early hominids. Thus, through genetic manipulation, what we interpret as evolution here on Earth is really an alien experiment for unknown, and perhaps unknowable, purposes. For those persons unwilling to admit the possibility of God’s existence, this alien design concept is both comforting and reaffirming.
Of course, this is speculation at this point in time as we lack solid evidence for alien genetic manipulation in the past. But, speculation or fact, alien genetic manipulation raises the question of who created these advanced aliens, how did they come to be? No doubt, through the similar actions of other intelligent aliens even earlier in time. This sophomoric sophistry ultimately leads us nowhere. There has to be an ultimate cause.
Big Bangers, those who accept the Big Bang theory of the origin of the physical universe, cannot tells us why or how the Big Bang occurred. (They only describe what happened after the Bang occurred, or went off.) Some of the theoreticians in this area of cosmology have in recent years run their mathematical equations back to a time before the Bang went off. (Such equations may also be problematic. Do certain of the constants used (from physics) hold true (with the same values) mere billionths of a second after the start of the Bang? Can we have confidence in such equations when we try to look back even before the Bang?) They assert what things were like prior to the time the Big Bang erupted out of nothingness. (Frontiers of belief, or frontiers of credulity.) Yet, they still offer no satisfying cause(s) for the Big Bang.
Just food for thought.
Life comes from life. The scientists have yet to “create” life in the laboratory (although as to altering life, there are some very macabre and immoral experiments taking place in certain bio science labs around the world).
As mentioned at the top, I believe in an all-powerful personal God, Who is the ultimate cause. I believe as I do partly because believing or asserting that God does not exist appears to me as being a bigger “leap of faith” than accepting His existence. If atheists and agnostics spent less time and effort trying to bolster and defend their lack of belief or their extreme skepticism, and just took up a more neutral mental attitude, they might find that there are plenty of hints that come our way in life that God does exist.
Considering other views, other concepts can help us to broaden and deepen our own perspective and understanding. We can learn from other cultures. The West does not have a monopoly on philosophic thinking or on spiritual insights and experience. In India, there is a non-Semitic concept and understanding of the nature of God. It is an interesting perspective. (God is not the impersonal Absolute of the idealist philosophers.) In the Vedic view, God permeates His creation (the physical universe is His material energy), but He also has a supremely transcendant personality. He stands above the physical universe, so to speak. As we have addressed this subject before, we include a link to a relevant essay below.
Here are links to some of our earlier related essays. If these sorts of topics interest you (Darwin and evolution, challenges to atheists, the impersonal Absolute, etc.), we have written several other essays that can be found under the categories “Philosophy” and “Religion – eastern” on the right sidebar on the blog site (use the categories drop down menu).
For a little food for thought on the Vedic understanding of God, go here:
Many of us believe that the mind transcends the protoplasmic brain, and that consciousness is not the product of biochemical activity inside the brain. Many contemporary neuroscientists will disagree here. You will have to scroll down in this next linked essay as it is really 2 essays in one, and the second essay is the relevant one.
Lastly, my thoughts on the Adam and Eve story in Genesis.
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