Maybe God Did It Darwin’s Way?

“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so… God is not a divine being or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.” (Underscore added.)

Thus said Pope Francis on October 27 at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

I had to read the quote a number of times to get the gist of the Pope’s logic and decided that there is none.

There are two problems with the Pope’s statement. First, If God is not a divine being, then what is God? Is there a curtain that we cannot look behind to find that His divine intervention is nothing more than the invention of man? If God is not god-like, then what is He?

The second is as profound as the first.

If the Pope is not taking the Bible literally, is he changing the direction of the Church? No. According to the Huffington Post, this has been the position of the Church since Pope Pius XII’s 1950 “proclaimed there was no opposition between evolution and Catholic doctrine.”

However, if there is a creator of the first life, what did that life look like? Did God really create man and woman from the dust of the earth in the form we see today (Genesis 1)? Or did He create the first microbial organisms that would eventually become the millions of species we see on this planet today as well as those that existed before Man’s arrival through the millenniums?

If one is to believe the creation story as found in Genesis then one must believe that God created all that is and that ever was in six days, resting on the seventh. And depending on which version of the creation story you wish to believe, Man and Woman were created either on the sixth day (Genesis 1:24) or the third day (Genesis 2:5-7) for Man only. Woman was not created in the second version until Genesis 2:22. Which is the correct version of the story?

What about the third biblical creation story, that of Noah and his Ark? Was life extinguished in a great flood and started again aided by the carpentry of one man? Again, if you believe in an inerrant Bible, then you must see the story of Noah as another story of creation.

This really is an “either or” choice. Either you believe in the creation stories or you do not. If you do, the Theory of Evolution is not compatible. If you believe in Darwin’s theory of natural selection, then the creation stories make no sense. You cannot have it both ways.

It takes great imagination and “chutzpah” to claim that the creation stories and evolution are compatible. Science tells us that we do not have all of the answers. However, we will not, as the cartoon suggests, insert a miracle when we just do not know. Science will hazard a hypothesis, experiment to determine if that hypothesis can be disproven and repeat until all options are touched.

Religion says “believe” and “accept” based on blind faith. There is no process of proof; take it or leave it but no real in between. There is no such thing as “you can have it both ways.” You either believe or you do not.

Pope Francis has been trying to bridge many gaps between the religious and secular recently. I need to find a bumper sticker for the Pontiff that says “Maybe God did it Darwin’s way.”

About David Rosman

David is the winner of the Missouri Press Foundation's "Best Columnist" in 2013 (First Place) and 2014 (Second Place), the 2016 Harold Riback Award for excellence in writing, and the winner of the 2007 Interactive Media Award for excellence in editing.
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