- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 3, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Columnist William Murchison’s endorsement of intelligent design (“Darwin at 200,” Commentary, Saturday) is well-written, but it’s mostly an appeal to sentiment. Many people desperately want evolution to be false, but ugly facts have a way of not cooperating with our wishful thinking. Trouble began when people began to unearth huge dinosaur bones and other strange fossils. Those clearly belonged to animals that no longer existed and are not described in the Bible. The notion that nothing much had changed since God rested on the seventh day simply wasn’t tenable any more.

Humans have a fundamental problem understanding what can happen when the scale of distance or time is far outside our day-to-day experience. Evolution may seem implausible on our normal human time scale, but the fact that the Earth is billions of years old is well-confirmed by astronomy and other reliable applications of basic physics. What may seem absurdly unlikely in our human time frame suddenly becomes entirely possible in the scale of the cosmos. Grasping what happens at or near the speed of light or how subatomic particles behave defies our human intuition, but experimental observations repeatedly confirm these startling realities as well.

The real tragedy is that people are led to believe they must choose between God and science. For those who choose to believe that the Bible must always be read literally, this is indeed a dilemma. However, for many, including millions of Christians, accepting scientific conclusions does not require abandoning their faith. As evidence of this, consider the Clergy Letter Project, an Internet site that lists the names of more than 11,000 Christian clergy members who have signed a letter strongly endorsing the compatibility of evolutionary science and their faith in God.

DICK LESSARD

Centreville, Md.

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