Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Monkey Madness (part 5)

According to the National Geographic article by David Quammen in 2004 (to which I referenced in one of my previous posts), a staggering percentage of the American population do not accept the theory of evolution. The statistics were actually quite surprising to me, but they provide another opportunity for more questions.

A question I would love to hear students asking in response to these kinds of findings might be, Why do you think roughly half of Americans believe that God created people sometime within the last 10,000 years? This question isn't so much to make an argument against anything, but it is important to realize the underlying assumptions of both sides in this debate.

When teachers make any kind of statements about religion, the Bible, or creationism, it should be fair for a student to ask, What does taking the Scriptures (or tenets of said faith) literally teach us about creation and the origin of life?

Some things to ponder when considering source evidence:
  • New discoveries and understandings lead to changes in the theory of evolution. The creation story as told in Genesis has never had to be revised due to new findings.
  • The Bible is written by about 40 different authors over a 1500 year time span on three different continents from people of all ranks of society. There is simply no other work, sacred or secular, that has even close to such an incredible story of formation and preservation.
  • The Bible is the best selling book in the world. Its historical accuracy is remarkable. Archaeologists uphold its claims time and time again.
Please note that none of these facts mean that the Bible is divinely inspired, or the "word of God." That belief still requires faith. However, it also makes no sense to entirely dismiss a source that is the most scrutinized, analyzed, and critiqued literary and historical work ever known to mankind. The time and careful process the Bible went through as it was developed and compiled through the ages is unmatched.