Thomas F. O'Neill
Life and the Evolutionary Process
Last month celebrated the two hundredth anniversary of two great historic figures, Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin. They were born on the same day, February 12, 1809. These two towering figures had a profound impact on History.
Lincoln will always be remembered for being a great American President. He preserved our Union during our civil war and freed the American slaves. Charles Darwin, an English Naturalist, will be remembered for his Book ĎOrigin of the species.í His theory on Evolution revolutionized how we look at life.
His Book however is highly controversial and stirs up much debate. In opposition to Charles Darwinís theory on evolution, christian fundamentalists are pushing the intelligent design theory. This is simply a thinly disguised way of introducing the biblical creation story into the classroom.
I do believe there is an intelligent design within nature. However, I do not believe in the biblical creation story.
Creationism is not science.
Science should be an empirical method of discovery for students not a religious conviction. To say that God created everything in the universe without a method of studying the claim is not science but rather an emotional and irrational stance against Science.
It is one thing to believe in God, to devote ones life to that belief, and to have a blind faith in the assumption that God is the ultimate designer. But where do you go from there and where is the scientific method of study?
There are many Scientists that believe in god and in evolution. They recognize intelligent patterns within nature. That is why rational beings are continuously developing scientific methods. Those methods of study help us gain greater insights in understanding natureís intelligent design.
I also disagree with the judeo-christian dogma that Man was created fully Man and that we are the only intelligent life in the Universe. Look at the sheer vastness of our Universe with Billions of Suns and Planets. Itís a statistical certainty that we are not the only intelligent life in the Cosmos.
When measuring the birth and evolution of our universe on a scale of a 24 hour period humanity would have been born 1 second ago. Therefore, some intelligent life in far off galaxies could have had an evolutionary head start in terms of Millions and in some cases Billions of years before life as we know it existed on earth.
Empirical evidence also shows that the Universe is accelerating and expanding outward.
There are scientists that see this process as accelerated growth within an evolving Universe. This evolutionary process can very well be part of natureís intelligent design.
The intelligent design of our human nature will most likely continue to evolve, socially, physically, consciously, and spiritually, for countless generations. With each passing generation humanity gains deeper self-knowledge and becomes more self-aware of the essence of who we are as human beings.
The religious right will argue that evolution is just a theory because it has never been proven.
The same argument can be made about gravity, Ďitís just a theory.í We experience gravity in our daily lives. We know gravity exists but scientists do not fully understanding the minutia of what gravity is or how it works. Until scientist can explain without a doubt what gravity is it will remain a theory.
Evolution is also a theory; we know it exists through fossil evidence and through micro biology. But scientists do not fully understand the minutia of how evolution works. So until that day comes science will continue to evolve with the rest of life.
If the religious are correct in saying god is infinite than there are infinite possibilities when it comes to life. The evolutionary process may be godís way of revealing a living presence through us and around us.
Many theologians believe life is the ultimate expression of godís love. That love is also expressed within us, through us, and around us. But in order to discover that love we must begin to love.
When we as humans begin to discover the internal love of god that sustains us, we will evolve to a greater expression of love. This is not religious platitudes but rather itís a spiritual way of growing and evolving towards a greater understanding of who we are in relation to god.
Many would argue that my concepts on evolution are not what Charles Darwin had in mind when he wrote his book, ĎOrigin of the species.í They are absolutely correct in making that claim because science will continue to evolve right along with our growing understanding of our nature.
Thomas F. OíNeill
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