“Evolution led me to believe more firmly in God”
So what about evolution? So what about the idea or theory or secular conspiracy that suggests I really came from a friendly chimpanzee-UP the evolutionary ladder? Is that a direct contradiction to another thought or theory or possible conspiracy, that I came from the mouth of God himself-or herself? Consider!
Born and raised in Pennsylvania, I am a retired Presbyterian minister who for a short time was once a Biology teacher. As a very young teenager, long before I took the institutional church seriously, I had already read Darwin’s Origin of Species. It was the miracle and wonder of the natural world in Darwin’s evolutionary ideas, that mysteriouus beauty and majesty “behind” me, that led me gently but surely into the ministry of faith where I have tried to be a priest, a prophet, a preacher, and a pastor. It all begain with that noble idea that as a human creature I belonged to the wider world of all Creation. The more I understood that world, the more mystery I uncovered, the more wonder I found revealed, the more I grew in faith and belief.
It may be too simple a statement for some, but I am convinced that the concept of evolution led me to believe more firmly in God. Call it a theory or call it what you wish, dismiss it out of hand and suggest that “Intelligent Design” is sufficient and you will short-circuit the search, the curiosity, the probing, the revelation that lies awaiting us in all its wonder and glory. That search, probing and revelation is necessary for all scientific research and that same sort of searching and probing has led me personally to believe in God the Creator. The most important part of the Genesis story, however, is in the first three words: “In the beginning, God…….” But the Creation didn’t stop there; it continues to evolve, for evolution science attempts to answer the question: How. My religion attempts to wrestle with: Who and Why. None of those questions have final and complete answers and the search continues. But they are not dealing with the same arena of thought and understanding.
In short, whether you are Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian, Agnostic, or Atheist, believe in whatever deity you choose or whatever dream you have-but keep it where it belongs-out of a Pennsylvania Biology school classroom and in the home, synagogue, church, mosque, or any discussion of philosophy elsewhere. In the Biology classroom-and out of it as well-with evolution by your side, analyze the present and search for the future and let evolutionary science stir your senses in examining the person you are and the neighbors you have, animal, vegetable and mineral. If you don’t know as much as you can about where you came from-in terms of the real world we live in-you will never know who you are or where you’re going.
Reverend Charles Holsinger lives in York County. A former biology teacher, Rev. Holsinger’s ministry has included leading forums and discussion groups on faith and science.