Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Whether you've seen the current production at the Cleveland Playhouse, you probably remember "Inherit the Wind." After all, it depicts the legendary Trial of the Century, which, as many legends do, turns out to have been a bit of a sham. Local author and Case Western Reserve University professor Mano Singham tells the story behind the trial and the history of the 80-year battle between religious fundamentalism and science that has played out in our nation's public school classrooms. Join us Tuesday morning at 9 for a conversation with the author of God vs. Darwin.
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Thanks for the show! I think the conflict between evolution and religious fundamentalism points out an even larger problem--that there has been a ‘war on science’ in our country that includes climate change as well. It should also be noted that most mainline religions do not have problems with evolution. It is primarily the fundamentalists. Also note that it isn’t just Christian fundamentalists, but Islamic fundamentalists as well.
I am a product of local Catholic education (Magnificat ‘68). I remember being taught that evolution could be a part of God’s creation plan. I also agree that science can be compatible with faith and the Bible. I was taught that God does not expect us to ignore or deny science. Science belongs to the evolution of human knowledge.
A great professor at Hiram College taught me my most critical lesson when he said, science never proves anything it only provides evidence to strongly suggest something either is or is not. I view it all as simply being faith based whether on the side of religion or science. taking one’s faith to the next level of fact is where it gets difficult. Take Ardi’s discovery as an example that rocked our current view of evolution. It is ever changing and as long as we keep expanding our knowledge and accepting our faith we’ll likely make better strides forward.
When the Intelligent Design question came up in Ohio I flatly refused to teach it in my science class. I was very vocal about it with my principal and with the Ohio Department of Education. It’s not that I don’t have faith. I do. However, until they have scientific proof of the existence of God, the discussion of Intelligent Design belongs in a comparative religion class and not in my science class.
Because of my God given faith, I believe that God created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1). Looking around me, I see evidence of his creation.
As opposed to the chaotic theory of evolution, God is orderly. There is an established pattern for everything that he created. The earth is the perfect distance away from the sun. The orbit of the planets is so exact that we can send a spacecraft to the moon. The complexity of the human body reveals his precise design.
I also see evidence of his work in the lives of those who believe him (2 Cor. 5:17). Since God first drew me to himself, my life has been changed.
He turned me into a person who no longer loves sin. Now I long for what pleases him. Other believers used to live for parties, drugs, drinking, immorality, prestige, and materialism. But after God worked in their hearts, they turned away from those pleasures to serve him. The change in their lives is evidence that God did not set things in motion and leave.
Instead, he is and has been actively involved in the lives of human beings since time began.
Look around and see the evidence that God is real and believe him. And remember that “without faith it is impossible to please him” (Heb. 11:6).
As you consider the Scriptures, believe what he says and allow him to convince you of the reality of his existence. Then search the Bible to find God’s plan for your life. It ultimately revolves around the Lord Jesus Christ whom God sent to become the divine sacrifice for the sins of the world (John 3). Then when he gives you the faith to believe him, he will change your life and you will experience the most complete evidence that God exists.
I went to public school in rural Ohio about 15 years ago. My 10th grade biology teacher was a fantastic scientist and also a devote Christian who actually left teaching to become a missionary.
He taught evolution and made a distinction between “Old Earth” and “Young Earth” creationism. He told us that as a scientist he had decided that irrefutable proof of God was not to be found in the Bible, but rather in a single molecule of water. That this was a substance that made life possible in that it didn’t behave like any substance (it’s less dense as a solid, therefore floats, therefore life is possible).
He really made an impression with his willingness to discuss his views.
I am a person of science and believe in evolution. The question we can not answer is where it all came from. We have the big bang theory, etc., but what created the properties for that. We can keep going back, but we do not have the capability to understand what created or how was the beginning created. Our minds are too limited to understand.
As an educator who graduated college as a Religion major, I would like to contradict the idea that there is a religious minority who is for the teaching of evolution. The Catholic church a long time ago reconciled the Biblical teaching of creation with the scientific theory of evolution by understanding parts of the Bible, including the beginning of Genesis, as allegorical not literal truth. Most mainstream churches today and anyone who seriously studies religion academically accepts this understanding of scripture (of many religious texts). Many religious communities, including many here in Cleveland, are adopting religious practices that are drawn from the wonder and awe that comes from meditating on the New Universe Story and seeing our place in it.
Meagen from Cleveland
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