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Cinderella and Evolution

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Aquinas and Evolution

In America today, the tension between science and religion seems only to be growing. The country is rapidly becoming more religiously conservative than it has been for the last several decades, sparked in part by the conflict with Islamic extremists in the Middle East. Between the push and pull of evolutionism and creationism, though, is the Intelligent Design camp, or ID for short, which is gradually gaining much steam and becoming a way for people to reconcile perceived conflicts between Christian religious beliefs and scientific evidence, which seems to support the evolutionary theory.

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The Incredible Storytelling of Creationists

Throughout this course we have repeatedly made note of the great importance of storytelling in science. Scientific stories are constantly changing, undergoing perpetual revision as new observations are made over time. The inconstancy of such scientific stories, however, can weaken reception to science, as vast uncertainties are naturally unsettling, and many people thus prefer to believe stories based in squarely in religious faith. The current story of biological evolution has still not convinced even half of the American population, almost 100 years after Darwin first introduced his theory in The Origin of Species1. This is a somewhat difficult fact to grapple with, as so much physical evidence backs the theory of biological evolution that it would seem somewhat foolish to dismiss it outright, and yet evolution remains an incredibly controversial issue. Although I personally put much stock in evolutionary theory, I am hesitant to label creationists and proponents of Intelligent Design as backwards, ignorant or delusional as some evolutionists are wont to do. Rather, I find their dependence on the Bible and on a historical world view based entirely within a religious context to be quite natural, in the sense that the biblical story of creation has been around for thousands of years, and is a static story, not plagued with change and uncertainty like the scientific story of biological evolution. Additionally, I feel that biological evolution is often grossly misrepresented in the mainstream by those advancing creationist perspectives. Biological evolutionary theory, therefore, is damaged by comforting and effective religious storytelling, Storytelling, therefore, is an incredibly crucial component in the tension between evolutionary and creationist world views.

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