The above video unlocks the mysteries of the universe. Actually, it shows all 51 contestants in the recent Miss USA pageant and their answers to the question of whether evolution should be taught in schools. While the video is 15 minutes long, the good stuff begins at the 40 second mark and is worth viewing to see at least a few of the responses.
Beauty pageants, like everything else, have become extremely competitive affairs. The young women who compete are trained to be able to discuss a wide range of topics and have developed opinions on many of society's problems. It is pretty clear in this video that most of them were NOT prepared to answer this question. As a result, it is painful watching these ladies as they try to at least speak in complete sentences as their minds are racing to come up with something that will appeal to the masses while maintaining their controlled, spokesmodel exterior.
As much as I enjoy some good post-pageant analysis, that's not why I am writing this blog post. I want to talk about evolution. Until I saw this video, I had no idea that evolution was still a touchy subject. Frankly, I have no problem with evolution as it encapsulates the current thinking of the majority of the world's most brilliant scientists.
What do I know about evolution? Nothing, really. I only know what I have been taught and what I have read on the subject. It appears that there is enough evidence to support the theory, while acknowledging there is much that is still unknown (for example, recent studies have challenged the longstanding notion that evolution occurs through random mutation and genetic drift).
Yes, you heard me correctly. I have no beef with evolution. It is a well-conceived explanation for a great many observable parts of the universe in which we live. I do, however, question some of the conclusions that are drawn as a result of evolution. That's because I feel like there are many scientists who can't help but overstep their area of expertise and think they know more than they really do about the subject they are passionate about. I believe that many Christians do the same, especially when it comes to their views on science in general, and evolution in particular. The Miss USA pageant video is a perfect example of this.
My take on this is that much of Christendom (at least here in America) has developed an irrational mistrust of science since many of the popular scientists of the last century have been outspoken in their agnostic or atheistic beliefs. Even more problematic, though, is the view that the first two chapters of Genesis are a literal, scientific description of how the world came into existence. I understand why some people hold that view, but I think the appropriate response when shown credible evidence to the contrary is not to summarily dismiss any alternative explanation or interpretation. Instead, I would submit that one should do what the Apostle Paul encourages the Thessalonians to do when he tells them to "test all things." (I Thessalonians 5:21)
I would submit that scientific discovery should be embraced as it helps us better understand not only God and the universe He has created, but also the very words of the Bible. I would encourage you to look into these things with an open mind and an open heart. For those of you who believe in God as I do, you should agree with me that God, in His infinite power and wisdom, could have created the universe and everything in it instantly. He instead chose to create things over time.
Here is what I currently believe on this subject:
- I believe that the Bible is inerrant.
- I believe in the Big Bang.
- I believe that the planet Earth is approximately 5 billion years old.
- I believe that God has created all things and that He was pleased with His creation.
- I believe that God has ordained natural forces and processes such as evolution to populate our planet with life.
- I believe these things from studying scripture and studying scientific discoveries in the areas of geology, biology, anthropology and astronomy.
Back to the original question that was presented to the Miss USA contestants: Should evolution be taught in schools?
Sure! Why not?
I find it to be a strong scientific theory with as much supporting evidence as just about everything else that is taught in school these days. Until a better explanation comes along, I have no problem with evolution being taught in schools. Perhaps if I was prettier and looked good in a bikini, I might think differently.
Bibliography: Acquiring Genomes; The Genesis Question; Finding Darwin's God; The Language of God