(First Published on 3/27/07)
"A believer need not fear that this investigation will dethrone the divine; if God is truly Almighty, He will hardly be threatened by our puny efforts to understand the workings of His natural world."
This is a quote from Francis Collins in his book "The Language of God." What he is saying is that a study of the natural sciences should not cause one to forsake their belief in God. I agree. However, implicit in his statement is that the evidence for Darwinian evolution is so unassailable that those who believe in the Biblical Creation account must change their minds. He tries to comfort the reader by stating that one can reconcile their belief in God with evolution. Collins believes that evolution is a process through which God works and that man is a product of this process. "Freeing God from the burden of special acts of creation does not remove Him as the source of things that make humanity special, and of the universe itself. It merely shows us something of how He operates." This statement of Collins is meant to give confort to those who call themselves Christians but believe that the evidence for Evolution negates the Genesis account of Creation and Man's special status within the created world. A theologian once wrote Darwin revealing the same mindset as Collins. This theologian wrote that "...it is just as noble a conception of the diety to believe that he created a few origional forms capable of self-development into other and needful forms, as to believe that he required a fresh act of creation to supply the voids caused by the action of his laws." Am I supposed to derive comfort from this? Am I to put my faith and trust in a God who pronounced His creation "good" and man as "very good", or must I believe in a God whose work was incomplete and inadequate to begin with? Why would God create a work that was not complete in itself? If there are "voids" in the laws of the Universe which have their origin in God, then can there not be "voids" or defects in the moral law? Can we reconcile the Biblical God who judges nations for their treatment of the weak and vulnerable with a God who built into His creation "the survival of the fittest?" If there are "voids" in God's created world, why should I believe that He works out all things for the good of those who love Him? It was the belief in man as created in God's image that gave rise to the efforts to free others from slavery and ill-treatment. I wonder if evolution had been accepted sooner whether there would have been an end to these practrices, or would the excuse that "the survival of the fittest" been used as an excuse to maintain systems of bondage? What kind of loving God would purposely introduce the violence that plagues the animal world which the Bible clearly shows was introduced through sin? Collins believes that evolution says nothing about its author. This shows the shallow thinking of one who tries to reconcile God and evolution. Any God who creates the universe with the survival of the fittest as one of its laws cannot be the God of the Old and New Testaments. Any creator who cannot create a work that is "very good" cannot be trusted. Why should followers of Jesus in other countries put their life on the line for a God that is not an omniscient, omnipresent, loving Creator? Collins awe of God stems from the variety of the created world. I too am in awe of God's handiwork. But I love God's moral nature more and am smart enough to know this moral nature cannot be reconciled with the God of Darwinian evolution. There is a notion, which Collins repeats, that Darwin was a man of faith until he sailed on the ship Beagle. The fact is Darwin gave up on his faith in the God of the Bible long before his voyage. Had he not, he would not have made the conclusions he did. I could write more, but the library where I am posting is about to close. I hope to finish this book in one more reading on Friday.