Driving to work this morning, I heard a snippet about a YouTube video featuring Bill Nye - you know, the Science Guy. I had to search this video out and watch it because the short news burst I heard this morning included the quote, "I say to the grownups, if you want to deny evolution and live in your world, in your world that's completely inconsistent with everything we observe in the universe, that's fine, but don't make your kids do it because we need them. We need scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future. We need people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems."
I've never met Mr. Nye but I've seen him many times on television and he was always polite, charming, intelligent and had a way of explaining all things scientific that was engaging and made science, well, fun.
I have a few knee-jerk comments about the quote above:
- It's not as if, I believe the earth is flat and I am teaching my children that if they walk far enough, they'll fall off into space. Creationism requires a level of faith; faith that something outside of our current understanding either created our world and everything in it or at least set that process into motion. Frankly, I think that belief in a creator is not any more fantastic than the belief that, at just the right moment, at just the right location in an infinite universe, a random sequence of events took place that has - over billions of years - resulted in the complex organism sitting in this chair, typing this message. In my mind, it might even take more faith to believe that our world and every living being on it is the product of some great cosmic coincidence.
- As one of those grown-ups that Mr. Nye refers to, I'd like to split a hair, if I may. I believe in evolution. I'm also a Christian and believe that the God of the Bible created our world and us. How did that happen? When did that happen? I'm not exactly sure, but enough of the historicity of the Bible has been corroborated for me to take a few things on faith. How do those two things square with each other? The evolution that Mr. Nye is referring to - in my mind - is different than the evolution I believe in. Ever notice how it seems that kids are all bigger than their parents? Ever notice that runners are faster today than they were fifty years ago? Ever notice how people can be sensitive to different climates and environments, but over time adapt to a comfortable level? I believe that there is some form of evolution that naturally occurs as humans and animals adapt to a changing world. If these changes occur rapidly (think asteroid impact or some other natural disaster), we don't have time to change or adapt - or flee. That's a totally different idea than saying my ancestors were nothing but a swath of slimy protoplasm.
- And, frankly, to tell me that I shouldn't teach my children to believe in something that I believe in with all my heart? Well, that's just wrong. And to infer that I am illiterate or incapable of building things or, you know, that I can't solve a problem? That's flat out insulting.
I don't think we'll ever have a knock-out...
As I note in the caption above, I don't think we'll ever have a day when one side or the other will hold up what would be the Rosetta Stone of creation and shout, "Take that, home boy! We win!"
At some time in the future, life will simply cease to exist due to one or more external factors. Or maybe a huge asteroid will slam into the earth and that will be that. Or maybe, everyone on earth will be standing around, staring at a massive, worldwide lightning event in the sky and hear a sound like some huge brass horn as an undetermined number of folks either disappear or drift off-planet, leaving the earth behind.
Secretly, a lot of evolutionists probably hope for the first or second choice in order to affirm their science - even though it will be too late by then. Likewise, Christians hope to be the ones that finally get to say, "See! We weren't crazy after all!"
Faith would prevent me from gloating (I hope), but I suspect many would be tempted to look down as they drifted upward toward Jesus and say, "Ha! We told you so."
I prefer to believe that I would be one of the ones who cried as my Spirit left this world, looking down sadly on Bill Nye and others in whom we had failed to stir a faith in things yet unseen.
Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." [John 20:29 (ESV)]