Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Thought About Creationism

OK, I'm about as agnostic as a Jew can be without actually falling into the atheist column -- so, clearly, whatever I've got to say about Creationism doesn't come from a point of view of, y'know, belief.

But, up until today, I'd figured that religious beliefs could pretty much happily coincide with scientific knowledge if you just start with the premise that G-d put everything in motion.  A divine hand lighting the fuse on the Big Bang, if you will.   

(Besides, "Sister" told me -- in Late-Nite Catechism -- that it's totally cool for Catholics to believe in evolution.  And why on earth would a play lie to me about somethihg like that?)

But after poking around the American National History Museum -- and generally being amazed by the wealth of knowledge there -- I had another idea.  Here's the thing -- I saw something there that said the first planet orbiting another star wasn't actually discovered until 1995, long after I'd graduated (and many years after my last science class).  Or the currently accepted theory for how the moon was created, which is based on knowledge regarding the composition of the moon -- which, obviously, we couldn't have known until we'd actually been there.  So, I mean, our knowledge of the universe and big ol' scientific truths about how it works is continuingly evolving -- and while we still don't have the complete picture, we're getting closer and closer.

And in thinking about where a Divine Creator fits into all this, I have to assume that the Almighty is not, in fact, a moron.  And when putting together Genesis, it probably struck the Lord that His audience at the time -- comprised, I would imagine, of largely uneducated folk, whose scientific knowledge was largely limited to the effects of weather on crops -- wasn't quite ready for the truth.  I mean, hell, you can't really expect a bunch of peasants to understand, say, stars going supernova over 10 billion years ago, and in their fierce explosions creating heavier elements out of hydrogen and helium, scattering them around the universe and giving us the building blocks for things like the earth and, uh, us.

No.  If G-d had any sense at all (which, we assume, He does), he'd give the people the truth they can understand, and let us discover the rest of it when our puny little brains are capable of wrapping themselves around the concepts.  It's a giant cosmic game, with clues scattered out there for us to find them.

And you're probably doing something wrong if you just sit there and accept the story that was good enough for the people of a few thousand years ago, rather than joining in the journey of discovery with the rest of us. 

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