For a Monday morning, this is a pretty good read:
It's remarkable how poorly understood evolution is today — how easily "debated" it is — given that its rules have been in place at least since life on Earth began, and that the truth of it is easily demonstrated. In fact, the basic theory has been in a state of continuous reconfirmation since Darwin proposed it in 1859, with geology, biology, anthropology, carbon dating, Pangaea, and every dinosaur bone ever found providing a nonstop barrage of additional proof points.And Keith Blanchard, of The Week, goes on to give a simplified version of those rules:
- Genes, stored in every cell, are the body's blueprints; they code for traits like eye color, disease susceptibility, and a bazillion other things that make you you.
- Reproduction involves copying and recombining these blueprints, which is complicated, and errors happen.
- Errors are passed along in the code to future generations, the way a smudge on a photocopy will exist on all subsequent copies.
- This modified code can (but doesn't always) produce new traits in successive generations: an extra finger, sickle-celled blood, increased tolerance for Miley Cyrus shenanigans.
- When these new traits are advantageous (longer legs in gazelles), organisms survive and replicate at a higher rate than average, and when disadvantageous (brittle skulls in woodpeckers), they survive and replicate at a lower rate.
It really is quite simple. Not something to "believe" in - like, say, how the Sun stopped in the sky during the battle of Jericho (Joshua 10:13).
Blanchard ends:Have a good Monday morning.
So if someone asks, "Do you believe in evolution," they are framing it wrong. That's like asking, "Do you believe in blue?"
Evolution is nothing more than a fairly simple way of understanding what is unquestionably happening. You don't believe in it — you either understand it or you don't. But pretending evolution is a matter of faith can be a clever way to hijack the conversation, and pit it in a false duality against religion. And that's how we end up with people decrying evolution, even as they eat their strawberries and pet their dogs, because they've been led to believe faith can only be held in one or the other.
But there's no reason for people of faith to reject the mountains of data and the evidence of their own senses. Reconciling is easy: Believe, if you want to, that God set up the rules of evolution among His wonders, along with the laws of physics, and probability, and everything else we can see and measure for ourselves. But don't deny evolution itself, or gravity, or the roundness of Earth. That's just covering your eyes and ears. And only monkeys would do that.