Saturday, June 2, 2007

MY God doesn't fear science

I struggled for a title for this post--indeed, I struggled with what to post about the Creation Museum, or even if I should post about it. It does seem ripe for mockery--anything so utterly filled with animatronic creatures is probably going to get a lot of that. The thing is, I *don't* want to make fun of what these people believe. But it does make me sad...

A photo from the official Grand Canyon web site.

During some down time at work, I read an article from last week's Columbus Dispatch about the opening of the Creation Museum. It's not available for linking any more, so I looked for another article and found this one at Salon. The teachings about the Grand Canyon are fairly new to me...
In Ham's view, the great flood explains not only where scientists find fossils today but also the topography of the modern world. The Grand Canyon, he informs me, was made in a matter of days or weeks as the waters of the flood rushed away and the land was reclaimed. In the exhibit, you walk through a winding canyonlike corridor with spinning, dizzying lights into a wide-open room with videos, exhibits and diagrams explaining the hydrology of instant canyon-making. Ham says that instant canyon-making is based on the fact that volcanoes, such as Mount St. Helens, created reservoirs of water for a time in their altered topography. When those reservoirs breached, deep grooves were cut by the flowing water, leading to the fast formation of canyons.
Inside the Confusion exhibit, I strike up a conversation with Tim Shaw, a high school student visiting from Florida. "I don't care how long it took to make the Grand Canyon," he tells me. "It's not how old it is that matters to me. What matters is being right with God. Darwin's theory has no God. It can't be right. I don't know if this story is truer than Darwin's theory, but I do know it's better."

I do empathize. When I first started to tenatively question some of the things I'd grown up believing, it was kind of anxiety-inducing. Sort of like I was tugging at a loose thread and could end up unraveling *everything* if I wasn't careful.

I suppose I should point out, though, that it wasn't creationism versus evolution that I was struggling with. *That* was never presented as problematic, and I was taught the theory of evolution in science class at the Catholic elementary school I attended. In the Dispatch article, Ham is quoted as saying that there is a "cultural war" going on between secular humanism and the Christian worldview. I disagree. Maybe evolution is threatening to *his* version of Christianity, but it has never been anything but compatible with mine.

Also at Street Prophets, My Left Wing and Booman Tribune


D.R. Scott said...

I'd like to believe that Evolution is God's nom de plume.