Feb 04 2012

Is It Sacrilegious To Believe In The Big Bang And Evolution?

Oh, the question was exquisite
(if a bit annoying): “Is it
Sacrilegious to believe a thing that evidence supports?”
While that wasn’t quite the phrasing
Still, the query was amazing,
Like accepting evolution is a mystery of sorts!

If a claim like resurrection
Is presented for inspection,
You accept it without question, cos the bible says you must
Is it really worth defending?
Could be yes or no, depending
If your view is all or nothing; if it’s literal or bust

But then, what of evolution?
Would you make some substitution?
Would you throw out settled science for an ancient holy book?
And existence’s beginning—
Is the Big Bang really sinning?
If they offer you the evidence, please tell me, will you look?

If a deep religious yearning
Is an obstacle to learning—
If the certainty of “gospel truth” leaves little room for doubt
You hear two conflicting voices
And you’ve got to make some choices
One’s religion, one’s reality; it’s time to throw one out.

First jump, then rant:

So, yeah. Some title, isn’t it: Is it sacrilegious to believe in the big bang and evolution?

Does it contradict Biblical teachings to believe in widely accepted scientific theories like evolution and the Big Bang? To what extent can Christians welcome science into their life without sacrificing piety?

These questions will be central during Evolution Weekend, an annual event initiated by the Clergy Letters Project (CLP) where pastors from around the country in pan-denominational congregations will deliver sermons and hold events discussing the convergence of science and religion.

Now, the majority of the individuals they interview claim that there need be no conflict between religion and science. How nice. But… why is there a question at all? The truth is, the event is only necessary because a substantial number of believers feel that science and religion are not merely incompatible, but enemies. Evolution is not merely of science, but of Satan.

Some (like Pastor Philip Compton, in the article) do their best to segregate the two into separate roles:

“When I have a question of ‘How,’ I go to my science text. But when I have a question of ‘Why,’ I will not find the answer in a science text, but in scripture and prayer,” he said.

Well, whether or not it’s the answer, you will find an answer there. If you don’t find an answer in science, it’s likely that the reason is that, in science, we’re not supposed to make shit up. Scripture and prayer are under no such constraints.

Next weekend is the 7th annual Evolution Weekend (no, not for scientists, for clergy). They will likely be celebrating the large percentage of americans who believe that natural selection is How God Did It. The problem is, if God actually “did” anything, it cannot be natural selection. That’s the whole point of the word “natural”.

It’s hard to argue against reality. But that’s what religions are being asked to do, whenever their tenets lead to the question “is it sacrilegious to believe in the big bang and evolution?”


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  1. 1
    'Tis Himself

    If you don’t find an answer in science, it’s likely that the reason is that, in science, we’re not supposed to make shit up. Scripture and prayer are under no such constraints.

    Here we see the true NOMAs. Science = not making shit up. Religion = making shit up.

  2. 2

    Oh, I love your poem! It’s elegant, concise and it has a really nice flow :-)

  3. 3
    Rebecca Rose

    I know that as an atheist
    Blind adoration makes me pissed.
    And so I really should desist
    From adoration too.
    But Cuttle’s verses call to me!
    His effortless agility!
    His stunning ingenuity!
    And I worship him. I do.

    I really do.

  4. 4


  1. 5
    Oooh, Look! A Non-Atheist Manifesto! » The Digital Cuttlefish

    […] of many important intermediates between the big bang and an understanding brain), his brain does not in truth understand the laws pertaining to the universe’s perceived […]

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