Evolution

Frederick C. Robie House

The scientific view is that we exist in a universe that allows life to emerge from inanimate matter without any divine intervention.It’s no good pretending it isn’t. It is.

Yes, you can find a few people with impeccable scientific credentials to claim it isn’t; that evolution is some kind of plot to destroy Christianity or that scientists who study evolution are damn fools who misinterpret the evidence.

Well in truth you can find people with impeccable scientific credentials to claim anything you like including ‘smoking does no harm’.

It is equally true that evolution is hard to reconcile with Genesis. They seem to be mutually exclusive. Either evolution is true or Genesis is true. If evolution is true then it is hard to believe that Genesis can be the divinely inspired word of God. If Genesis is true then evolution must be junk science.

For many Christians it’s no contest. Genesis is true and evolution is junk science.

For most, not all but most, of the top ranking scientists in the world the opposite is true. Genesis prove that the Bible cannot be the divinely inspired word of the creator of the universe.

Notice we wrote ‘top ranking scientists’ by which we mean the scientists who contribute most towards scientific progress. These are scientists who are elected to the National Academy of Scientists or the Royal Society; the sorts of scientists who win Nobel Prizes in physics, chemistry and physiology or medicine.

Yes, there are exceptions. Yes, many Christians like to point to the exceptions. But they are exceptions. Most of the world’s top ranking scientists – and we mean the sort of people who are working on the type of fundamental science that leads to new cures for cancer or ways of overcoming antibiotic resistance – believe we live in a universe that allows life to emerge from inanimate matter without any sort of divine intervention.

We might add that all four of us believe this. To us the evidence for this proposition appears overwhelming.

So is there a way out of this impasse.

Our research suggests there is. Here is one of the messages we decoded starts as follows:

Avishai said to his men build the house that I have created …

 (Amar Avishai le-ansho boneh et habayit asher barati)

‘Barati’ (Hebrew letters bet, resh, aleph, tav, yod) is the same shoresh (root) as the word “create” in the Hebrew text of ‘In the beginning God created…’

On the face of it this makes no sense. Why build something that’s already been created?

But what if the word ‘create’ does not always mean to ‘make’ or ‘manufacture’. The image at the head of this post is the Frederick C. Robie House designed by the famous architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. It is said to be one of his finest ‘creations’.

Now Frank Lloyd Wright certainly designed the house and built it in the sense of supervising the construction; but he did not construct it with his own hands. He did not lay the bricks, do the carpentry or install the plumbing himself.

Have we subtly misunderstood the Hebrew word ‘Bara’ (bet, resh, aleph) all these years? Does Genesis describe the act of design rather than the actual construction of our world? Is God the creator of the universe in the same sense that Frank Lloyd Wright is the creator of the Frederick C. Robie House and the many other fine houses he designed?

We leave you with a final thought. What is the greater achievement:

To put together animals the way a child may connect Lego pieces?

OR

To set in motion a universe in which life emerges from inanimate matter without further intervention?

Because, make no mistake, the design of a universe that allows for the emergence of life is no easy task. The laws of physics and the values of the physical constants must be just right or no life can emerge. Even a slight difference in the strength of the gravitational force or the strong nuclear force that binds together protons and neutrons in the nuclei of atoms would make the emergence of life impossible.

If there is ‘intelligent design’ does it not make more sense that it went into the design of the universe rather than into the design of every detail of life?

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