Dear brothers and sisters in Christ. God’s creative power and eternal love is evidenced by everything we see around us. God revealed the truth of His creation in the book of Genesis. It troubles me that so many Catholics and Christians in general believe that Genesis 1-11 should be not be interpreted literally because it appears to conflict with scientific theories such as evolution and an old earth. In this day and age when science is exploring the very boundaries of our universe as well as the very tiniest of elements that make up our existence, it is easy to get caught up in a consensus momentum. When I think about the scientific and technological advancements that have been made it blows me away. I can only imagine how my grandfather might react to the electronic gadgets we take for granted. Advancements have been made on every front. Today the scientific community enjoys greatly improved testing/measuring equipment, satellite imaging, computer aided modeling enabling science to explore the smallest (sub-atomic) and largest (Cosmos) items to be found in the known universe. Yep, technology has sure advanced, unfortunately human nature has not. It wasn’t so long ago that many in the scientific community proclaimed that science would disprove God.
However, upon closer review science may actually be shedding more light on our Creator than one might have expected.
- There is a growing consensus among physicists that the universe had a beginning. A beginning from a central point. The fact that the universe had a beginning begs the question, how did it begin, everything from nothing? The “Big Bang” is almost correct, except it happened on day 4 after the earth was already in place.
- A growing number of biologists and micro-biologists are voicing doubts about the theory of evolution as an explanation for life as it exists today.
- Geneticists are discovering intricate coding and cellular design that strongly suggests an intelligent designer, not random mutation.
- Even in the area of quantum mechanics physicists are speculating about an independent facilitating agent at work behind the scenes.
Do these scientific developments prove that the Genesis account is factual? Perhaps not, but they certainly raise crucial questions about the veracity of Darwin’s theory of evolution as an explanation of life on Earth. And, if the science can be so unsettled on Darwin isn’t it possible that science might be misreading other evidence and arriving at faulty theories? Most Christians do not need scientific proof since we know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
In his 1893 encyclical, Providentissimus Deus, Pope Leo XIII made it clear that the burden of proof rests upon those who would change the meaning of the first chapters of Genesis from their plain and literal sense: “But he [the expositor of Scripture] must not on that account consider that it is forbidden, when just cause exists, to push inquiry and exposition beyond what the Fathers have done; provided he carefully observes the rule so wisely laid down by St. Augustine — not to depart from the literal and obvious sense, except only where reason makes it untenable or necessity requires; a rule to which it is the more necessary to adhere strictly in these times, when the thirst for novelty and unrestrained freedom of thought make the danger of error most real and proximate.” (emphasis added)
There are those who say that reason, based on the scientific evidence, requires that we abandon the literal reading of Genesis. But what if the evidence is flawed? Worse, what if the evidence is tainted, after all we know that the enemy seeks to deceive and distort whenever possible. We also know that man is sinful by nature and prone to rebel against God. I have a plaque on my desk, The Full Armor of God (Eph 6:10-18). I pay particular attention to verse 12, “for we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the principalities, against the powers in this dark world and against the evil forces in the heavenly realm.” Pope Leo’s remarks above are eternally relevant, “the thirst for novelty and unrestrained freedom of thought make the danger of error most real and proximate.”
We should resist trying to force the Holy Scripture to fit with popular scientific consensus. What would science tell us about Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead? How about Moses and parting the Red Sea? What about a virgin conceiving without sexual relations? How would science explain the resurrection of Jesus and his many appearances afterward? Science says it can’t happen, but we know that with God, all things are possible, even a 6-day creation. Do you trust man’s interpretation of events that were not witnessed and that cannot be duplicated in the laboratory? Flawed suppositions supporting weak theories promoted by scientists who will not accept the possibility of a supernatural explanation for our existence. I’ll trust God’s explanation because “the thirst for novelty and unrestrained freedom of thought make the danger of error most real and proximate.”
The good news is that our salvation does not hang in the balance over this issue. We are saved through Jesus Christ by acknowledging and repenting of our sins, seeking His forgiveness, declaring Him our Lord and Savior and doing our best to be obedient. I don’t think St Peter will be at the gate with a checklist, Young earth creation [ ] or old earth [ ]