Sunday, August 06, 2006
  Journey to Belief (Part 1)

When I was 17, I participated in a regional science fair. During the banquet, I got into a conversation with one of my 'colleagues' about evolution, God, and creation. I noted a particular speculation I had at the time that God intervened during those 'punctuated' events of Gould's punctuated equilibrium theory.

"Well, what did he do, bring them up to his lab in the sky and genetically alter them?" my acquaintance mocked.

"I don't know, but God has a bit more finesse and power than that," I replied. "He doesn't need a lab."

It was my first experience talking to a skeptic about creation, but certainly not my last. I was angry, upset, and felt ridiculed. I deeply wanted to be accepted by those around me at the time. These were the people I felt most comfortable with. I find it ironic that if I had followed the course my feelings pushed me to, that professors and science colleagues alike would have congratulated me on freeing myself from the shackles of my religious delusions. But I could not have been considered a free thinker or a critical thinker, despite their accolades. Instead I would have been a follower of social pressure.

But that also meant I could not believe in God because of social pressure.

To be continued
 
Comments:
It's possible to believe in God and also believe in evolution--even without buying into Gould's punctuated theory. A fellow scientist once told me that he believed that God started the universe--the big bang--or started the seeding of life on this world. To me, he was a free thinker--coming to his belief based on his studies of the complexity of the animals around him.

My problem with the idea that God had a hand in some changes of evolution is that if he thought enough to intervene at those places, why let humans wreak such havoc on the world and on each other. It was Gould's theories, which I read while in college, that turned me into an agnostic and then an atheist.
 
I agree, that one doesn't need my idea of the time. It was an early thought of mine on the subject. What was more interesting was how the fellow student reacted to me.

This is just the beginning of how I came to believe what I did.

It appears to me that your problem is with free will. Why should God give us free will when it has been used so destructively? Am I right?
 
It is more complicated and simpler than a quibble over free will.

I just don't feel the need for a higher being. Phill says I would have been burned at the stake as a witch in earlier times.
 
I don't even want to think about what would have been done to me.
 
I can understand conforming beliefs because of social pressure, but I find it rather sad on any level regarding any belief. If we take the logic out of emotion and the emotion out of logic I think we can come to the place where we can truly find the answers. Religion should not be an emotional response and it will often not be logical. Lack of religion is the same, because things are not always logical a very emotional response denies any supreme being. We have to come to the point where we have the self confidence to study, research, ponder and pray (dare I say it) about any of those things taught by the mouths of man or God. You will come to a conclusion and I promise that if it is done in the right spirit, without wanting to conform to any specific philosophy, the truth will make itself known to you. I think that too many in the LDS Church believe that religion is forced upon them. Too many also take it for granted and just go with the flow. But I don't believe for an instant that true faith is simple. I also don't think that it is easy for so many people otherwise their lives would be lived in accordance to their supposed beliefs. Just something to think about....
 
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A Mormon housewife who loves truth, science, rational thought, and reasonable action.

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