Evolution Sunday

As our scientific understanding expands, it has naturally provided different explanations than the accounts given in the mythologies of the various religons. For the most part, religions long ago abandoned attempts to explain the natural world, leaving such mundane details to science and instead focusing on matters such as philosophy, morals, and ethics, as well as purely religious concepts such as spiritual salvation. The one notable attempt to continue following religious accounts, rather than scientific ones, is that regarding biological evolution. Primarily among some members of the Christian faith in the United States, proponents have gone so far as to attempt to remove selected scientific theories from public schools or even to teach their religious accounts alongside them, as if they were alternative theories instead of rooted in religious stories.

Naturally, such an action is unacceptable to those in the scientific community, and indeed, to many in the religious community (the two are not mutually exclusive, of course). Some people perceive there to be a conflict between science and religion. But science is agnostic on the subject of God. It neither affirms nor denies God’s existence, but rather seeks to find simple explanations for observations without invoking supernatural forces. And of course, many people believe that religion and science serve different functions, that explaining what lightning is or how the Earth was formed is better analyzed through science.

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