Welcome to Aquarius, Faith in Evolution
Faith in Evolution
Copyright 2003, John Manimas Medeiros. All rights reserved.
The evidence that our brains evolve in such a way that improves our likelihood of survival in our environment, in view of the implication that our environment is the universe, tells us that our brains must be capable of understanding the universe. Otherwise, evolution does not function as described. If after millions of years of development, the highest form of life learns to do things that change the environment, but is not capable of understanding the universe as it really is, then what is occurring is not evolution. If our brains are not improving in their capacity to understand the universe, then they are not improving our chances for survival. That would mean that the process that we describe as evolution is leading toward errors of ignorance and self-destructive disaster rather than toward survival. The belief in evolution then, the belief that over time we become smarter and wiser and therefore better able to survive in our environment and manage it safely, is the equivalent of an optimistic faith in life and in human destiny. One could hardly imagine a faith more consistent with what is taught by the great traditional religions: Christianity, Buddhism, Animism, Islam. The supposed conflict between evolution and religion, or between evolution and "creationism," is not a genuine rational conflict. It is an emotional issue raised by people who are not speaking with an understanding of evolution or religion. They are insisting that evolution requires the absence of God, which does not follow logically. They are insisting that evolution teaches people to be selfish or cynical and pessimistic, when in fact evolution is the highest form of optimistic faith in positive progress. They are insisting that religion means believing that the truth is revealed and only revealed by religious teachers, and learning from experience is irreverent and insulting to religion and to God. Those who teach that evolution is a negative belief competing with faith in God are teaching ignorance, how to keep the mind closed, and that to be religious means to keep the mind closed.
On the contrary, I believe that to be religious means to keep the mind open as well as the heart open with love of all life. I believe that the truly religious person is committed to following the path of the truth wherever it leads. For me, not only is evolution consistent with religion, it is a necessary element of religious faith. If we are not evolving, if our species is not becoming wiser and becoming good stewards of all that is within our reach, then what else could possibly be happening that is better?
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