Windows and Doors

Windows and Doors


Evolution Is Part Of Faith, Not It’s Polar Opposite

posted by Brad Hirschfield

When Rick Perry and the millions of others who resist the concept of evolution, they not only resist science in potentially dangerous ways, they disown a fundamental truth about the faith they follow. That truth? That religions evolve, and acknowledging that they do so does not weaken the claim that they are the true and eternal will of God, as many believers claim about their chosen tradition. In fact, the adaptability of each of the world’s great traditions has proven to be a central feature of their durability.

Had early Christians, for example, not allowed for the evolution of their initial expectations regarding Jesus and his presumed imminent return, then no church would have been established and there would be no Christians today, merely the descendants of those whose redemptive hopes had been crushed almost two thousand years ago. An evolved i.e. adapted for survivability, understanding of God’s plan allowed a tradition to flourish without experiencing loss of integrity or connection to its origins. If that isn’t evolution, what is?

Like Christianity, Judaism and Islam are here today because of similar adaptive evolutionary capacity. In their cases, the ability to access and continually refresh rich legal traditions has been central to each tradition’s ability to survive significant changes in the circumstances of the faithful in each tradition. In neither case however, did the adaptive process disrupt the faithful’s connection to God and their understanding of the eternality of God’s word. In fact, especially for Jews, it was those who refused to participate in the process that vanished.

God’s word, whatever that may include given the tradition one follows, is rendered eternal and eternally present through evolutionary processes which are, in many ways, similar to those which many fundamentalists reject when it comes to explaining how the world came to be and how it continues to move forward. It’s a shame, that in the name of faith, they cannot see that they are denying one of the engines of their own tradition’s success. It is an even greater shame that they have so little faith in God and in the infinite meaning of God’s word, that they constrain their understanding of it to such a narrow range of possible meaning.

Of course, none of this matters when it comes to what should be taught in America’s science classrooms. The answer to that is clear, and the answer is science. I have no problem with exposing kids to creationism or intelligent design, as long as it is in a history class or one which describes contemporary political debates, but to teach either in a science class is dangerously misleading.

Science does not simply seek data which confirms that which it already believes, as both creationism and intelligent design do. Science is based on a process of testing and inquiry, one which celebrates determining when old views are false. The truths of science are mutable and their value is based not on their eternality, but upon their testability and utility. Not until Gov. Perry and his supporters take that approach to their understanding of how the world came to be, can we even entertain the possibility of teaching what they want in science classes. And even then, certainly not as the equal alternative to evolution which they deem appropriate.

While evolution is a theory, that is not a term of denigration or diminution as creationists and intelligent design followers would have us believe. It is simply a term which marries precisely the kind of intellectual humility absent among fundamentalists, with the fact that after much exploration and testing, it is the best possible way to account for the physical process of how the world we live in came to exist.

Evolution is a theory in the sense that it cannot be physically proven, not in the sense that it is simply the chosen orienting principle of some people’s lives. While the latter could also be called a theory, assuming the two are equal would be like allowing a Pastor holding a Doctor of Divinity degree to perform neurosurgery simply because he too is called “Doctor”!

As a person of faith I believe that we need both kinds of Doctors, but not to perform the same tasks. In failing to make that distinction, we run the risk of endangering both the minds and the spirits of our nation’s schoolchildren, and any leader who cannot make that distinction is not fit to lead this nation.



  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment TxVee

    Amen. Rick Perry is not fit to lead this nation – or this state. I (and other Texans) joke that I hope he gets the nomination so he won’t be governor any more!

  • http://www.dogskinproblems.biz/ Arturok Shannahf

    I simply wanted to make a quick remark in order to thank you for all of the remarkable secrets you are posting on this website. My particularly long internet investigation has now been paid with pleasant insight to go over with my good friends. I ‘d admit that most of us readers are really endowed to be in a superb site with many special professionals with great tips. I feel truly grateful to have used the webpage and look forward to really more fabulous moments reading here. Thank you once again for a lot of things.

Previous Posts

More blogs to enjoy!
Thank you for visiting Windows and Doors. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Truths You Can Use Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 1:28:03pm Aug. 02, 2012 | read full post »

Apple's "Jew or Not Jew" App -- Should It Be Legal?
An Apple application that let users guess which French politicians or celebrities are Jewish was pulled from France's App Store. but its American equivalent is still available. French activist groups said the "Jew or Not Jew?" app violated bans on compiling information on people's religion and rev

posted 1:18:48am Sep. 18, 2011 | read full post »

Is God A Christian?
R. Kirby Godsey’s new book, Is God A Christian?, challenges what the author describes as the commonly held belief among many religious people that the God in whom they believe is “one of them”.  People, Mr. Kirby observes, too often confuse God’s religious identity with their own, leading t

posted 11:59:56am Sep. 12, 2011 | read full post »

Remembering 9/11 - Part One
The tenth anniversary of 9/11 brings up many emotions and presents some very real challenges, among them how to remember the past without being imprisoned by it.  This video, filmed at St. Paul's, the church closest to the World Trade Center site, is a wonderful example of rising to that challen

posted 2:40:58pm Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »

Gilad Shalit, Still A Prisoner After 1,900 Days
Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can't help but also ask, "Is this the best we can do?"  United States Mission to the United Nations Office of Press and Public Diplomacy 799 United Nations Plaza New York, NY 10017 (212) 41

posted 9:04:17am Sep. 08, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.