Book Review: Finding Darwin’s God — The Road Back Home
Religions are not scientifically rooted, rather they are spiritually based, and the technical context of the scientific world cannot always be immediately related to the spiritual context of religion - Book Review: Finding Darwin’s God — The Road Back Home introduction. Common religious beliefs include the primacy of God in the universe, human existence as a direct result of God’s will, and the fact that God revealed Himself to humanity. Theologians also conclude that there is a difference between the material, what can be scientifically observed, and the spiritual, which surpasses objectivity.
Faithful people believe that God is active in the world in a very subjective and personal sense. However, it is important to see the relationship between the material and the divine, and to not discard one for the other. One of the most remarkable points of cosmological science is that, according to scientific observation, the universe was created by the spectacular initiation of a big bang.
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Cosmology will never be able to confirm the issue of God’s existence or the meaning and purpose of life, however, it did confirm the beliefs of theologians, that the universe was indeed created from a distinct beginning. Electromagnetism and gravity are constants of the universe, however, there is no way of knowing how these constants were determined, whether they were a fixed product of the big bang or predated the big bang in another physical reality.
The human being itself is also a mystery of sorts, the universal conditions making ripe the existence of humanity seeming to be at least very lucky if not in fact divine. Experimental science and mathematical logic can reveal physical laws of the universe, however, the explanation for the creation of the universe and the creation of human life remain elusive and rooted in spirituality. The biological nature of the evolution of living organisms on earth is a complex and miraculous event, perhaps pointing to evidence of the spiritual nature of life in its physical processes.
Evolution is a very simple process, the natural selection of life forms being the favoring and preserving of the best variations. Evolutionary change does not mean that anything can happen as life forms mate and progress, however, chance does play a part in the development of mutations. In considering the fact that evolution is able to adapt, test, innovate, and experiment, it is possible to consider God in the role of working through life to create his beloved creations.
If the entire process of the universe and creation of earth was to develop humanity, it is questionable why God took so long to bring humanity into the world. However, humanity cannot be sure of knowing that God’s intention was to create humanity by a direct route, especially considering the many indirect routes which are taken in the world today. A genuine believer trusts not only in the existence of God, but also has patience in recognizing the beauty and complexity of his unfolding plan.
Some people contend that evolution is too cruel and incompatible with their idea of a loving God, hinting at the idea of rewarding ruthless survivors and punishing weakened compassionates. The reality of life is that the world often lacks mercy, pity, and even common decency, however, evolution cannot be considered a cruel concept simply by reflecting the laws of nature, including birth, struggle, life, and death. The altruism of the world rejects the idea of vicious competition as being normal and is reflected in the kindness of many earthly creatures.
The beauty of nature is much more than self preservation and is reflected in the expressed love between God’s organisms. The purpose of the work of God through man may never be understood, however, evolution can be viewed as a way of allowing humanity to participate in God’s divine plan and sets people free from isolation by their intimate partnership with God. By choosing evolution as a way to fashion the universe, God emphasized both the spiritual and material aspects of life and the unity of humanity with other forms of life.
God makes human choices matter, actions genuine, and lives important. Those who embrace the scientific reality of evolution must be well prepared to honor God with the credit and power He deserves, and religious people must acknowledge that God is just as active today as he was in the past in His creative endeavors. Genuine faith requires from believers a trust in God and demands confidence in the power of the human mind to explore the evolving nature of God’s world through scientific means.