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Friday, June 25, 2021

Selling God short

Attacks on evolution, often very complex arguments rooted in religion, leave me shaking my head and thinking, "Here we go again. Dancing on the head of a pin." One of the more popular dance numbers is Young Earth Creationism. This Christian fundamentalist argument against evolution sells God short. It diminishes God.

I like to think God's approach to creating our world was done in the spirit of the following aphorism: give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.

The evangelicals claim their God is all powerful, all knowing, all wise, yah-da-yah-da-yah-da. Then these religious folk toss out evolution and all the evidence surrounding it. Anything is possible for their Lord, it seems, except for evolution. 

A favourite argument against evolution involves the eye. They claim the eye is proof evolution is a fraud. Something as complex as an eye just didn't happen; it didn't evolve. Impossible. These fundamentalist are certain that something as complex as an eye must be created at once, complete, fully functional.

Balderdash! That's the thinking of a human. That is hardly the thinking one expects from an all wise, all knowing God. That's the limited thinking of a child. These are people whose God was made in the image of man.

I prefer believing that God created our universe with potential, great potential but unrealized potential. Evolution is but one way this potential is realized. Study the eye and and the more you learn about it, the more its evolution seems reasonable. (Read: Evolution of crystallins for a role in the evolution of the vertebrate eye lens.)

I had the lens in my right eye surgically replaced with a plastic, man-made lens. That plastic lens did not evolve. It took a lot of human effort to make that little plastic disk: chemical factories, sophisticated manufacturing facilities, imaginative surgical procedures and, in the end, it is not as good as the amino acid one it replaces. For instance, the plastic lens suffers from flare when viewing a strong light. Before the cataract damaged my sight, the unusual amino acid compositions of the natural lens worked exceedingly well. No flare.

God didn't have to create a fully developed eye, God took a more complex, more Godlike approach, and created a universe where eyes could develop or evolve. Only about 22 amino acids are needed to make all the proteins found in the human body and that includes the lens in the eye. Creationists diminish God. And who knows, maybe God is not above putting a thumb on the evolutionary scale.

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