Editor’s note: First, I’d like to apologize for my lack of new posts recently. You know how they say that having a new baby is a full-time job in and of itself? Well, they’re absolutely right; at least, that’s how it’s been for us. I do have a couple things in the works, but for now, here’s a couple of reader testimonies that I hope you’ll find encouraging. Please feel free to send your own story to me here.
Confessions of a former science skeptic
I have to start saying I really appreciate your site! I’ve been reading through about every article there, and its been really assuring in regards to my view on evolution and faith. Thanks!
I am currently living in Norway and study geology. That would, perhaps, not be the most natural choice a few years back, being quite uncomfortable with the whole evolution thing.
I grew up in a Christian home, and the science vs. faith debate never became a big deal, though some skepticism towards man evolving from apes was expressed at times. During high school, there was much more focus on evolution, and I was really uncomfortable with it, fearing it was in conflict with Christianity. This all came to a peak around Darwin’s 200th birthday (Feb. 12, 2009), when my science teacher decided to show a documentary of Richard Dawkins showing students all the ways evolution had disproved religion, and saying it’s all myths and fairy tales.
To our teacher’s great surprise, this didn’t hit home in our class. Even one of my atheist friends loudly proclaimed that the film was a bad idea and should not have been shown.
Obviously, I thought Dawkins had missed something, but still had a difficult time reconciling evolution with faith. Later, I heard someone say they thought microevolution to be true, but not macroevolution. It had never been observed, they said, therefore, it was not true. I thought, “Wow, that sounds reasonable and scientific,” so that was my viewpoint for a couple of years.
After high school, I attendeded a rather conservative Bible school. There was actually no teaching on science and faith, which was a bit disappointing to me. A couple of the students were young-earth creationists though, and though they did not fully convince me, our conversations did increase my skepticism towards science. My viewpoint after Bible school was something like: “God probably could have created the world in six days 6,000 years ago, science isn’t as reliable as it’s portrayed, but stil, what we observe can’t be in conflict with Christianity if it is to be true.”
Entering geology studies with a great deal of skepticism toward science was an interesting experience, to say the least. Soon, I wanted to hear from Christians studying science, and came across a video of Gordon J. Glover explaining some flaws of creationism and teaching some geology. This made me instantly order his book about the matter, “Beyond the Firmament.”
After some thorough explanation of scientific principles, Occam’s razor and such, it strengthened my trust in science. I came to see that evolution and Christianity can be reconciled. And I discovered, to my amazement, how Genesis 1 was simply giving the Hebrews a tale of creation of their own, using language and images they could understand, explaining why the earth was created, not how.
Now I find evolution strengthening my faith rather than weakening it, and God seems more awesome to me than ever. After all, using one shot to get all the pool balls in the pockets is more impressive than shooting one after one.
‘My dream was to see evolution no longer taught in public schools’
I happened across your website the other day and felt compelled write you a word of encouragement. I am a Ph.D. student in the Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry Department at Yale and a follower of Christ. Like I hope most Christians do, I have been spending quite some time considering how my faith impacts my work. This has led me to explore a variety of books and online resources from the entire spectrum from YEC advocates to ardent atheists. Unfortunately, it is far easier to find resources from YEC people about the dangers of theistic evolution than it is to find well-written blogs or articles from its advocates. (Even a quick Google search of “theistic evolution” quickly sends one to AiG).
With that said, I have only had time to read a few of your posts, but I want to encourage you to keep up the good work. Given the surplus of YEC embarrassments like Kent Hovind, Ray Comfort and others, it is refreshing to see a website such as yours. That is not to say I agree with everything you say or do, but I think commentary from you and others may go a long way toward furthering this discussion in evangelical circles.
If I may, I would also challenge you to be gentle in your attitudes toward YECs. I, too, have little patience with Ray Comfort and other leaders, but I believe that most Christians who listen to these leaders are well-meaning. Therefore, being firm, yet considerate, may be the best way to constructively challenge these beliefs. I say this because I am a former YEC myself, having been raised in a staunch YEC home. I held those beliefs very tightly entering my senior year of college (at a Christian university).
Fortunately, during my senior year, a professor assigned us to read “The Language of God” and I began my journey to reconsider my long-held views. (To give you an idea of how deeply entrenched these views were, I remember telling a classmate during my freshman year of college that one of my dreams was to see the day when evolution was no longer taught in public schools.) I don’t know that I would have lost my faith without that book, but it certainly helped tremendously as I began to examine evolution. It was definitely a process for me, and I was additionally blessed with humble attitudes from my professors as I asked my questions.
Again, I am very happy to see that you are sparking conversation with your site. As you continue to write, I am sure that you will receive much criticism. However, I want to encourage you and challenge you to continue to honor God as you partake in this discussion.
How has the creation/evolution debate influenced you and your spiritual journey?