Friday, April 07, 2006

More words of interest

Today is “African Tribal Drum” day in the dance studio beneath my office. Only now it has more of a Middle Eastern feel to it. Like a strange combination of some as-yet-unreleased song from Sting and a Muslim call to prayer screamed from the top of a minaret. The bass shakes the floor beneath me and the bongos provide a running rat-a-tat-tat which dances over the singers, who belt out melodious soprano melodies in strange languages I don’t understand.

It’s really quite cool.


In response to yesterday’s missive on the dualistic nature of Christ, I received this happy e-mail:

“I hate it when you creationists try to pretend you know what you’re talking about. Adam didn’t live with God in the garden of Eden. There is no God. Darwin was right and you are wrong.”

I was shocked when I received this, mostly because I had no idea that people actually read this site. At best, I had hoped that a few of you might print it out and use the pages to line the bottoms of your bird cages. But even that requires work, and I assumed it was probably just too much to handle.

Seriously, though. I wasn’t talking about creation versus evolution. I was talking about God’s relationship with man as it is described in the Bible. It’s a story, and as with any story you can include descriptions that are factual, metaphorical, symbolic, and a whole bunch of other literary terms I never bothered to learn. In the case of evolution and creation, I have to say that it doesn’t matter to me whether it was strict creationism as some believe or some subset of the standard opinions on evolution as others, myself included, will state. Either way, the creation versus evolution debate says nothing about the existence of God or his interaction with humanity unless you either have an overvalued perspective of the significance of your scientific opinion or a strict, formulaic understanding of scripture.

Granted, there are a few things about evolution I don’t understand; macroevolution, in particular. I believe Kurt Vonnegut said it best in his book Timequake when he said, “Believing in evolution is like believing a tornado could rip through a junkyard and build a Boeing 747.” Some of it just seems a bit far fetched. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. And I am more than man enough to admit that I’m too stupid to figure it out.

With respect to religion, however, there are only two types of people who have problems with evolution and Christianity. There are those who have been taught the tenets of strict creationism since birth and have never questioned its validity, and there are those who believe in a strict, literal, and formulaic interpretation of scripture. I reject both ways of thinking, so lumping me in with that crowd is small minded. You should have asked a question first, instead of jumping to conclusions.

My interpretation of scripture, that relational story I mentioned in my last post, leaves room for both evolution and God. And if it ultimately isn’t evolution, I think it’s obvious that there will be some sort of scientific explanation for how the world developed from the Big Bang to where we are now. After all, there seems to be a scientific explanation for almost everything else, right? Science doesn’t preclude God and God doesn’t preclude science. I believe that God, being the definition of truth and logic (and many many other things) would likely use science in his creation schema. And if not evolution, then something else equally as confusing.

Like I said, I’m too stupid to figure it out.

My main point in the previous post was not to claim that evolution is wrong. It was to claim that when you look at scripture with the idea of a story in mind, you can contemplate the deeper meanings the authors intended. When you look at things literally, without respect to the whole of human nature and how we view the world, it doesn’t make sense. And you envision a lot of useless debates that need not exist.

With regard to your second statement, “God does not exist,” I have only this to say. What reason(s) lead you to this conclusion? I welcome your response.


I’m ready for the weekend. So here’s a picture of a sad pickle.

1 comment:

Meg said...

I miss Africans playing the jymbe. What a cool sound. The drums beating. The women singing in tribal languages. Ah! It's so cool!

That pickle looks like he is about to give himself up to be sliced.