May 29 2006
In Seattle, where I live, there's been what I call "the Fish Wars" (I imagine it's going on in other cities as well). It started out with the Jesus fish on the back of many cars. Then someone took this fish and added legs to it and inside the fish inserted the word "Darwin." Then someone got a Jesus fish and showed it eating the Darwin fish. Then I saw a Darwin fish humping the Jesus fish. My favorite though, was the fish that used the Jesus fish symbol, but inside it said, "And chips." Now Christians have the fish with the word "Truth" written inside eating the Darwin fish.
The irony of this fish is the word "Truth." In our generation, as science has literally changed our world (and our view of the world), there is still one group of people that refuse to accept the truth of science. Why is that? The one group of people that should care most about the truth (and says they care most about the truth) is the one group of people that will go to the greatest lengths to avoid it or to try to change it. But they continue to claim that they "have" the truth. What I've discovered is that when they speak of truth, they're really talking about dogma. They have decided that their "dogma" is this thing called truth.
I don't argue it much anymore because it isn't worth it. No matter how the evidence piles up, this group of people is determined to disprove and refute that evidence. If discrediting this evidence could be done, I would say "Great." It would be easier for me if I could just point to Eden and say "That's my heritage," but that's not where we are now.
By saying that the Adam and Eve stories are true, that takes care of so much of my existential angst. If I could look to Adam and say "I'm here because six thousand years ago some dude with no balls caved to a woman and a snake," I could know where to focus my attention. But that's not why I'm here. And every day I live with the reality that there's something more to me, that there's something deeper. But the question I continually ask myself is "What?"
And besides, what's a billion years to an eternal God? It's not like he doesn't have the time.
I was talking with a girl one day who was down on Capitol Hill trying to proselytize and convert some homos (Capitol Hill is where the larger concentration of the gay community hangs out), and we were discussing the Adam and Eve scenario. That's when I told her what I'm telling you, what I believe about the evolution of our planet.
"Okay," was her response, "then where did the ape come from?"
Knowing where she was going from my own fifteen years as a Christian, I decided to play along with her just for fun.
"And where did the primordial goo come from?" she continued.
So I talked to her briefly about the Big Bang (although now I hear they're calling it "The Primordial Singularity" which is not as fun as "Big Bang").
"And where did the big bang come from?" she asked.
And so I explained to her what I knew about the process of the compression of matter (which, in all honesty isn't much, and what I do know is thanks to Kenneth R. Miller and his book "Finding Darwin's God") until it heated up and exploded and began to form our universe.
"And where did that matter come from?" she continued to ask, now with a smug smile on her face. She thought she had me. In her mind something had to start the whole thing rolling.
But that's when I asked her-"And where did God come from?"
Her answer: "Well, he always was."
"But that doesn't make sense," I responded.
"But he's God," she said, wondering why I wasn't seeing this very easy and simple logic.
Then I said-"If it's easy to believe that God just was, and that he's always been, isn't it just as easy to believe that the universe just was, and always was? If something can't come from nothing, then even God could not have come from nothing."
Now she was angry. "You have to believe in God! Everything has to start from something. You said it yourself; the universe was created by a big bang. Something started it."
"Well then," I asked. "Isn't it possible that God was created by that same explosion? Perhaps they both arrived together."
The discussion was over. I was rebuked in the name of Jesus, and condemned to burn in hell for all eternity for not believing in a loving God who wants me to be with him for eternity.
In his book "How to Know God," Deepak Chopra talks about this very issue-to him, God is beyond all time. God wasn't "in the beginning," God was "from the beginning": A small, but radically important difference. So when we look at God we are looking at something exists "within" all that is. In other words, God isn't in his heaven someplace, away from all of this watching what's going on, but rather God is just as present in a flower as it is in a star or a black hole.
So the fundamentalists are right. God didn't create Adam and Steve. But God didn't create Adam and Eve either. This is a tough belief even for those of us who don't lay claim to a Bible Creationist belief because it seems to leave us without roots. It's an emotional debate, but that's what it isÖ emotional, not scientific. Once we handle the emotions of it, this argument will soon go away.