Monday, September 7, 2009

Let There Be Light

By Mike Potemra and Originally published on National Review-The Corner. Since NRO doesn't have an easy way to link to their postings and I really liked Mr. Potemra's article, I am re-posting it below in full.
When you pick up a book titled The Genesis Enigma: Why the Bible Is Scientifically Accurate, you expect a fundamentalist attack on the theory of evolution, or at least a plea for Intelligent Design theory. In fact, the author, Andrew Parker, believes in evolution. A scientist based at Oxford University and the Natural History Museum in London, Parker is not a Bible literalist, and he dismisses Intelligent Design as a “concocted theory” characterized by “flawed logic” and “forced” theorizing. The book describes the remarkable similarity between the order of events described in the first chapter of Genesis and the scientifically known series of macro-evolutionary steps in the history of life on earth. Parker asks how a text written some 2,500 years before the development of modern science could have captured this order of events, and says it was either a lucky guess or a matter of inspiration.

The book is an interesting attempt to make sense of this ancient text: the creation account of Genesis 1 as a combination of divine inspiration with the limited thought- and language-forms of a particular (in this case, scientifically backward) culture. It makes a persuasive case for a deep wisdom behind the words.
As a Catholic, I am somewhat familiar with The Bible. (Those genealogies are pretty boring to read - sorry God.) I love Biblical Archeology for what I can only assume are obvious reasons. Unlike fundamentalists, I do not believe every single word of The Bible is literally True. But I do believe it was written by inspiration and that there is deep wisdom for those who take the time to ponder its meaning rather than its words. (I hope that make sense.)

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