Posts on Leave the lights on take for granted certain things, such as the truth of the Catholic faith and the value of science for investigating nature. As I read other blogs on science, on faith, and on both, I see clearly that my positions are not universal. Indeed, if they were, there would be little use in many of the posts of this blog.
This is the first of a series of position statements for Leave the lights on. This statement is on the theory of evolution.
This blog takes the position, controversial among people of faith, that evolution is both a historical fact and the best theoretical model to explain the observations of biology.
When I earned my B.S. in Zoology, I unofficially specialized in paleontology and evolution. Ironically, this interest was born of my faith and a desire to know how to refute evolution. Instead, I learned not only of the overwhelming evidence behind the theory, including predictions that have been shown to be true, but the subtle intricacies that derive from a few simple statements. As a theory, it is truly a thing of beauty.
In particular, I was enthralled with the discovery that evolution is compatible with the Catholic faith. While this is a theme I would like to explore further some day, for now let it suffice to say that I believe that God imbued two individuals, who we call Adam and Eve, with immortal souls, and that they were the ancestors of all human beings. I believe in the Fall, in original sin, and in the special place of humans among (and above) the animals.
Also, I try to eschew the term "Darwinism." "Evolution" or "theory of evolution" suffice just fine. Calling it "Darwinism" suggests there may be an alternate theory of evolution, which I reject. Besides, the modern theory of evolution may have begun with Darwin, but it has been developed quite heavily since then.
My position is that Intelligent Design is not science because it does not explain the natural world — rather, it posits that the natural world cannot be fully explained; and because it makes no specific predictions, though compatible "theories" such as genomic front-loading may do so. I think ID gives people of faith a bad name in the science community.
In consideration of what has been observed in geology, biology, and other disciplines, young-earth creationism is a noxious theory that makes God out to be a liar, since it requires God to have placed abundant evidence for evolution and an old earth in creation.