“He Did Not Design Me”
“He did not design me.” This phrase might be expected from scientists or atheists who routinely deny the existence of an intelligent Designer in the creation of mankind. But these are the words of an ordained representative of the Catholic faith. George Coyne, Vatican Observatory Director, noted: “The intelligent design movement belittles God. It makes God a designer, an engineer. The God of religious faith is a god of love. He did not design me” (see “Scientists Enlist Clergy...,” 2006, emp. added). Coyne was one of many religious individuals who attended the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) held in St. Louis, Missouri. The CNN report observed: “American scientists fighting against creationism, intelligent design and other theories that seek to deny or downgrade the importance of evolution have recruited unlikely allies—the clergy” (“Scientists Enlist Clergy...,” 2006).
On Sunday, February 19, 2006, while many people were entering church buildings to offer praise and honor to God, many scientists and school teachers were meeting to determine how best to combat assaults on the theory of evolution. The AAAS Web site declares these individuals met for a “frank look at the challenges educators face in teaching evolution and defending the integrity of science in their classrooms” (see “Science Teachers...,” 2006). Naturalist Jeff Corwin spoke to the crowd and said: “I look out and I see all these teachers who have come together at this critical time in our lives.... I urge you to stay strong and vigilant. Make no mistake—what you are doing is important” (“Science Teachers...,” 2006). The underlying message is: keep on indoctrinating kids and do not allow them to question the evolutionary theory.
Interestingly, this year’s annual meeting reached out to an entirely new group of individuals—religious leaders. Eugenie Scott, director of the National Center for Science Education, urged preachers, stating: “The faith community needs to step up to the plate” in order to prevent the issue from being viewed as a battle between science and religion (“Scientists Enlist Clergy...,” 2006). This latest tactic has added a whole new dimension to the creation/evolution debate. Scientists are trying proactively to teach that individuals can support both evolution and religion, and they are relying on religious leaders to spread the message.
During this year’s annual meeting, the board of directors of AAAS issued a statement on the teaching of evolution (see “Statement on...,” 2006). In the statement, they express concern that many states are considering legislation that would either allow Intelligent Design to be taught in school, or allow students to evaluate the problems with the evolutionary theory. They believe this would “undermine the teaching of evolution and deprive the students of the education they need....” They also claim that science and religion “need not be incompatible.” The statement reads: “Science and religion ask fundamentally different questions about the world. Many religious leaders have affirmed that they see no conflict between evolution and religion. We and the overwhelming majority of scientists share this view” (see “Statement on...,” 2006). They hope that if religious leaders get onboard, then everyone will have to accept evolution, and the controversy can be dismissed.
For instance, the CNN report noted:
Warren Eschbach, a retired Church of the Brethren pastor and professor at Lutheran Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvannia helped sponsor a letter signed by more than 10,000 other clergy. ‘We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rests,’ they wrote. Catholic experts have also joined the movement” (“Scientists Enlist Clergy...,” 2006).
One wonders how much religious training these individuals have actually had. We can only imagine that these are the same religious leaders who promoted “Evolution Sunday” within their congregations one week earlier. Do they recognize the Bible as inspired—God-breathed? Have they forgotten that man was made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27)? Are they willing to overlook Psalms 139:14-15, which states: “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works,and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth”? Do these religious leaders appreciate the words found in Psalm 94:9, where we are told that God planted the ear and formed the eye? And what about the Proverb writer’s contention: “The hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord has made them both”? One wonders if George Coyne has read Psalm 100:3, which indicates that God made us, and not we ourselves.
These scientists suggest that science and religion are asking fundamentally different questions. Ironic, is it not, that both biology and the Bible speak of the origin of life. Yes, I suppose someone could support both religion and evolution—but only after compromising an enormous portion of God’s Word. For those who hold fast to His teachings, and recognize the evolution theory for what it truly is—a manmade theory full of holes—accepting both is not an option!
“Science Teachers, and Clergy Strengthen Bonds at AAAS Evolution Event” (2006), AAAS News Release, [On-line], URL: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/0220evoIntro.shtml.
“Statement on the Teaching of Evolution” (2006), AAAS Statement, [On-line], URL: http://www.aaas.org/news/releases/2006/pdf/0219boardstatement.pdf.
“Scientists Enlist Clergy in Evolution Battle” (2006), CNN News, [On-line], URL: http://www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/02/20/science.evolution.reut/index.html.