It’s the eve of Darwin Day and churches all around the country (and even the world) have come together to dedicate today’s sermon to the compatibility of faith in God and evolution. While there are people (both atheist and religious) who are oppossed to the idea of reconciling what we know from science with faith, I think it’s a huge step forward for evolution to even have so many churches respond and discuss the issue at hand. Of course, the vast majority of churches are not participating (for various reasons), but I can understand why because the issue can be so divisive in a congregation and coming out in support of evolution is seen as an automatic attack on intelligent design and creationism, which can cause quite a stir in many churches. I’m not saying that the subject should not be touched or ignored, in fact I’m sad that so many churches feel they can’t openly discuss the topic (if they’re even open to the idea at all), but I do understand that it is a very touchy subject for all involved.
The “Christian bubble” that occurs when such topics come up is disturbing to me as well, a Christian who has their curiosity piqued by the debate between evolution and creationism will more likely go to a Christian bookstore and pick up a book by Lee Strobel, AiG, the Discovery Institute, etc. than get The Voyage of the Beagle or any of Stephen Jay Gould’s essay collections. Indeed, it’s entirely possible these days to be so into religion that someone can only listen to Christian music, read only Christian books, watch only Christian movies, have only Christian friends, etc., essentially being oppossed to any viewpoint that isn’t church-mandated.
In any case, whatever your opinion on the subject, take some time today or tomorrow and read over some of Darwin’s works, go to a museum or zoo, read something on those (like Steno, Hutton, or Smith) who laid the groundwork for scientific change, blog on how you experience the intersection (or lack thereof) between science and religion, etc. Regardless of whether we exist because of the laws of nature or for a divinely-appointed purpose, the reality of evolution is inescapable, Darwin summing it up beautifully when he wrote that is resulting in “endless forms most beautiful.”