This one is titled Evolution and creationism can coexist. Hey — that’s a very encouraging title. Maybe the letter-writer has figured out how we can all get along.
We don’t like to embarrass people (unless they’re politicians, preachers, or other public figures), so we’ll just use the letter-writer’s first name, which is Waldo. We’ll give you a few excerpts from his letter, enhanced with our Curmudgeonly commentary and some bold font for emphasis. Here we go!
Scientists try to explain evolution and climate change using the scientific method, but I think they are a part of God’s plan for the Earth.
That’s it? That’s his theory? Come on, there’s gotta be more to it than that. Then he says:
Do you ever wonder why the osprey and purple martins migrate from South America to Virginia every year in March or early April? Scientists say it just happens, but I say it is God’s plan for nature.
We’re starting to suspect that Waldo’s harmony proposal won’t work for everyone, but we’ll hear him out. Let’s read on:
Scientists say man evolved from a prehistoric being — Neanderthal man. DNA research established that there is no relationship between Neanderthal man and modern man.
Aaaargh!! Wikipedia’s article on the Neanderthal genome project tells us:
According to preliminary sequences, 99.7% of the base pairs of the modern human and Neanderthal genomes are identical … .
Also we didn’t evolve from the Neanderthal, but we had a common ancestor around 370,000 years ago. That makes our two species cousins, so to speak. Waldo goofed up quite a bit on that, but we won’t judge him too harshly. Not yet, anyway. His letter continues:
DNA research claims that life began for modern man 50,000 years ago. These are different scientific opinions.
Aaaargh!! Cro-Magnon remains (that’s modern man) appeared in Europe around 43,000 years ago, and it took them a while to get there from Africa, so we’ve been around a little bit longer than 50,000 years. Here’s more:
If you read C.S. Lewis’ discussion of time — and I realize that C.S. Lewis is a theologian and not a scientist — he says that people confuse our time (chronos) with God’s time (karios).
Your Curmudgeon has enough problems with Daylight Saving Time. Now Waldo wants to make things even more complicated. Moving along:
A second in God’s time could be a thousand years, or a minute could be a million years. Based on that theory, evolution is certainly compatible with creationism.
That seems to be a garbled version of Day-age creationism, which says that the “days” in Genesis could be long geological ages. Based on Waldo’s version, every chronology could be compatible with God’s time. But it still doesn’t address the differences between evolution and divine creation. Another excerpt:
What is the difference?
Huh? Oh, never mind. On with the letter:
Who do the scientists say created the Earth? Did it just happen?
Who? Maybe it was a Mesopotamian dude whose name has been forgotten. Anyway, no, Waldo, it didn’t “just happen.” Nothing just happens. In the natural world, events have causes — and a natural cause isn’t a “who” — it doesn’t have a purpose either. Oops — Waldo doesn’t agree. He says:
It had to be created. In my mind, God created the Earth and everything in it. God is real and his presence is everywhere.
Okay, Waldo, whatever you say. And now we come to the end of his letter:
It is my opinion that evolution and creationism can coexist. It is not a problem for me. I believe that God created evolution.
We don’t see how that mess can coexist with evolution, but we’re not going to argue with Waldo. We don’t think you should either.
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