Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Not So Intelligent Design

To slide, ever so gently, back into my rant-oriented mode:

I see where our Fearless Leader has come out on the side of teaching "Intelligent Design" in schools as a counterweight to the evil of Darwinism. Apparently, W has concluded, doubtless after much personal research and investigation by "Top Men", that the idea that Man descended from apes is so personally abhorrent and disgusting that our children should now all be taught that some mysterious "force" out there created everything in the Universe by some master plan, that things in Nature are just so darn complicated that it couldn't have been left to the crap shoot of evolution.

Well, let's remember that "Intelligent Design" is essentially warmed-over Creationism, the idea that God created the world some six thousand or so years ago, as defined by the life spans of those in the Book of Genesis and subsequent biblical characters and on-going history. Apparently, from what I've read of other "flat-worlders", oops, I mean those who are apologists for the literal reading of the Bible, to believe anything else is a direct slap in the face of belief in God Himself, a denial of Jesus' existance and resurrection and probably a tweak to the nose of Billy Graham. Look, I've been in the Fundamentalist camp myself, but I also had parents who were rockhounds, who collected fossils and minerals from all over the United States and the rest of the world and I'm here to testify that six thousand years or so ain't gonna cut it. One of the preachers who conducted my wedding actually told me one time that "Maybe God put those fossils there to test your faith". Ouch! Mea culpa, mea culpa...Nahhh.

Are we really that narrow in our view of God or whatever we want to call him? Why do we think that God even works within our limited definition of "time"? The six days of creation and one day of rest as told to Moses (as the supposed author of the first five books of the Old Testament), might have simply been the Holy Spirit's way of communicating a concept utterly beyond a mere human's capability of understanding. Why would God be limited to creating everything in six days? If He is all-powerful, why not do it all in one day? Again, the problem is in our ability (or that of our ancestors centuries back) to understand how all of this came about.

I prefer to believe that if God did create all of this, he did a wonderful job and whether I choose to believe that he did it in six days or in a Big Bang with an evolutionary progression to all things great and small, it doesn't denigrate His greatness. As a poet back around the turn of the last century said, "Some call it Evolution; others call it God". The folks who are limiting God are the ones who say that it had to be done in six literal days, that every creature and plant now living on this world were created in their present nature during that time and that physical processes necessary to create fossils and minerals that should have required eons are simply little tests of faith scattered about by God to trip us up.

Besides, if God did create us in His image, he's got a heck of a sense of humor. Nipples on men? The duck-billed platypus?

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