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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Evolution's Eons or God's Creative Power and Their Challenges

Science provides a fossil record that most educated individuals accept easily as the logical explanation of how we all got here. It does not, nor can it, purport to explain why we are here.

Religion (Judeo-Christian-Muslim) presents God or Allah as the all-powerful Being who spoke worlds into existence in a flash. It does not attempt to explain the how, but it pretty much delves into why we are here. We are here to treat each other the way we ourselves would like others to treat us. The Bible also tell us that a supernatural being, God, created humanity and all we see out of love for us and out of His desire to interact with his special creation.

A few years ago a renowned cosmologist complained that the more he understood the apparent nature of the cosmos the more he was baffled by the pointlessness of all this immensity. What is the point of all of cosmic reality coming into being eons ago and slipping into final entropy or death eons from now? If no intelligent being, other than pure chance, caused such variety of life--animate and inanimate--to exist, why all the bother? Now some would tell you, and some optimistic scientists will also point out, that regardless of why we are here, it's a good thing that we are to marvel and study this phenomenon called life. Better to have lived and then died, but before doing so, you have 70 plus years to enjoy other living things and the wonders of the universe, than never to have known such pleasant experiences. Of course, life is not always good for everyone so there's an element of heredity or hard work or luck that sometimes maximizes ones chances of living the proverbial good life.

Some try to solve this enigmatic disharmony between the What For of humanistic evolution and the How of God's creative acts by positing that God works through theistic evolution to bring about his crowning creation, humankind, to enjoy their lives for His as well as their benefit. Some find unacceptable problems with this idea since it would mean that God was the author of death in that he permitted millions of living things, and pre-Homo Sapiens ancestors, to live all for the purpose of bringing about his special creation: Homo Sapiens (Man the Thinker.)

Also difficult to justify into theistic evolution is if there was no Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, then there was no Original Ain, and Christ Jesus did not have to die for fallen humanity. Now some would say that each man and woman decides early in life whether to live an altruistic life or to live a life of selfishness. In that case humans need a supernatural Being to grant them favor (grace) to chose the former and not the latter. Since each person has an innate choice in early childhood to chose to do the right thing or to do the bad thing the proverbial Fall comes to each person at some point in their early existence. With that possibility, then all of us needs a supernatural Savior to make it possible to reach the very best ethical goals that we can. No one, not even a small child, is ever morally developed, or sinless, in  biblical terminology. All fall away from desirable ethical or behavioristic perfection as soon as intelligence is sufficient to produce either positive or negative choices.

In the final analysis, we are either here as the result of cold, calculating evolution and natural selection and we need to make the best of it and enjoy our universe and each other while the human race is still around to do so.

Or we chose to believe that a wonderful Being, light years beyond our powers of imagination, created us, wants to interact with us, and will return for us to rescue us from a dying planet.

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