Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Scared of evolution?

I've been working on the appendix of my book, where I'll try to pose an answer to, "Help! I'm a biology teacher, and I really don't understand evolution myself!". I've spent the last couple of days searching out resources that show the actual evidence for evolution, and I've found a lot of great websites. (I'm excited about that so that I can point teachers to free, on-line resources.) A question keeps plaguing me in the back of my mind, though, as I've been working. What are we afraid of?

I keep seeing all of this evidence, and the amount of evidence just keeps piling up across the decades. I guess paleontology is like that, huh? The more they work, the more bones they have. I'm realizing how much I've been afraid of evolution and how I've looked away from the evidence. Now, in the strength of the gospel, I realize that I don't have to be afraid of what's buried in the ground and where the bones lead us. I'm also seeing how radiometric dating is good science, and when it says that Lucy was 3.2 million years ago, that's as trustworthy as pretty much any other scientific explanation. But, of course, pre-humans from 3.2 million years ago doesn't fit well with most sermons on Genesis 1!

So, as I do all this research, I'm wondering what we're scared of. ("We" means those of us who are religious and either intimidated by, skeptical of, or even antagonistic to evolution.) Of course, I know that there's this big war going on out there between the scientific materialists and the creationists, but I'm not really focusing on that. That war is much more political than it is about the facts. I'm talking about the deeper question of why we're scared that science says something that seems to contradict Scripture. So what? Why does that bother us so much? Why don't we simply say, "Oh, that's evolution. OK," and move on without getting in a tizzy. That's the kind of stance I'm taking in this research, but I guess I'm too close to the issue to know why it's so intimidating for other people. Maybe some of you can help me out in understanding what we're so afraid of.