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ashaffer's picture

On stories

As I read Dennett, and his descriptions of those who cling to the idea of Creationism as outlined in the Bible as the end-all-be-all in possible cosmologies, I am reminded of the stubborn unwavering stance of the Church in Galileo's day. Nowadays, Biblical proponents interpret the same passages that seemed to disprove the heliocentric theory in Galileo's day as symbolic language. They no longer claim things like “the sun stood still” as the sun itself literally stopped moving, but rather assert that this kind of language is simply meant to explain how things seemed from the people’s perspective of that day.

As I recall the REVISION that was made to this STORY, I cannot help shake my head at how little the Church has learned. Even today, they attempt to war with Darwin’s increasingly supported evolutionary ideas on the grounds of a story in Genesis- in (I hope very few) more years, those dogged people will make a similar revision to the Genesis account. Hopefully, they will come to realize the danger of emphatic and resolute stances on issues where they do not have all the answers, and I predict the result will probably be that they come to the same conclusion about evolution as they have about heliocentrism and reinterpret the Genesis story as an explanation that was not meant to literally convey how things came to be, but merely illustrate principles.

I do not think the idea of God and evolution are mutually exclusive, but I do think we need to rethink traditional constructs if these two are to successfully synthesize: the stories must continue to be rethought and revised rather than trying to cram a square peg in a round hole. Perhaps we ought to shave off some of those edges before such an attempt is made.







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