Evolution and religion go hand in hand

Guest Column by Jessica Gardner

Do you remember walking into science class for the first time to discover that you were going to learn about evolution?

During those times, I would find myself thinking that my teachers were trying to corrupt my mind with scientific facts that went against my religion, Christianity.

I would think to myself that all they teach is about Earth’s beginnings in the context of evolution. They wouldn’t teach the specifics of creationism.

Over time, I began believing that evolution was also true. The facts accounted for themselves and explained all too easily how living things became as they are today. Once I realized my belief in this, I asked myself, “How can I believe in both evolution and creationism?”

According to the theory of evolution, the world began as random acts of natural forces joining together.
Based on evolutionary theory, the organisms we see on Earth today exist because genes have adapted, evolved and been naturally selected throughout many generations of beings.

Another theory that exists is that of creationism. This theory states that an all-powerful being (a.k.a. God) willed Earth into existence. According to creationism, the all-powerful being had created the different kinds of living things that developed into the population of Earth that exists today.

With creationism, the unanswered question is, “What happens physically when a being is willed into existence?” Things do not just pop up out of thin air. With evolution, the question is how random acts of natural forces can lead to the complex life forms we see today. If taken into account all the probabilities of the evolutionary events in Earth’s history, the place we call Earth seems like a work of fantasy.

Individually, these theories seem to not give an accurate enough answer, but when both theories are considered under the same entity, the flaws of one theory explain the other.

For example, the evolution theory’s explanation that the Earth has come into existence by random acts is rather questionable.

If combined with creationism’s explanation, the will of an all-powerful being brought Earth and its beings into existence, then the random acts are no longer random. There is a reason as to why things happened as they happened.

In other words, evolution is the mechanics of creationism. The things that the all-powerful being wills into existence are created by the means of evolution. This belief is known more commonly as theistic evolution or evolutionary creationism. The name “theistic” evolution comes from the Greek word “theos,” which means “personal God.”

Denis O. Lamoureux, an associate professor of science and religion at St. Joseph’s College in the University of Alberta, has written an article about the evolutionary creationism theory. Throughout this article he explains the parallels of creationism and evolution.

He also points out that no Christian believes that God physically comes down and places a nose, ear, arm, eye, etc. on a baby in a woman’s womb. Instead, Christians believe in embryonic development.

He parallels the Christian’s acceptance of embryonic development to how evolutionary creationists believe that God does not physically cause every little change in Earth’s biological makeup. Instead, it simply happens through evolution.

At the end of Lamoureux’s article, he states, “The intention of the Bible is to teach us that God is the Creator, and not how the Father, Son and Holy Spirit created.”

For believers of evolution, consider the slim reality of Earth’s creation. Maybe this can shed a light on why people believe there is an all-powerful being.

For believers of creationism, consider who was and is in existence as Charles Darwin observed the finches of the Galapagos Islands so many years ago. If evolution doesn’t exist, what were the patterns that Darwin observed?

It may be hard to believe that religion and science can overlap to explain how today’s organisms came into being, but when it comes down to the facts, evolution and creationism fill in each other’s gaps.