Evolution by Supernatural Selection

A man and a boy create a middle ground.

“Evolution is a crock of bull,” declared my Boy Scout patrol‘s adult leader.

I shook my head slightly as I listened to him. A friend’s dad, he was sitting on the cot across from me in the small canvas tent at summer camp. The other guys were hanging out in there with us, too, apparently because they didn’t have anything better to do that night than huddle around a lantern and listen to a sixth-grade know-it-all try to debate Creation theology and evolutionary science with a man three times his age.

“It’s a crock of bull,” he kept insisting. He was a Christian, but he’d kept an open mind and studied Darwin’s ideas. Ultimately, he concluded they left too many unexplained gaps for them to make any sense.

But, I answered, the first chapter of Genesis doesn’t really make sense either. “It doesn’t even sound like God,” I said. “It sounds like a person planning out his week: ‘Okay, today I’ll create light; then I’ll put a dome in the sky …’

“When God said, ‘I want to help my people understand me,’ what did he do? He gave a kid some crazy dreams about sheaves of wheat bowing over. Which made his brothers throw him into a pit and sell him as a slave. And then he ended up as advisor to the Pharaoh. And then there was a famine that brought the brothers to Egypt. And then the Egyptians enslaved everybody. And then they all wandered through the desert for 40 years — and on the way, they learned humility and faith and received the law.

“I dunno — it seems like that same God would be more likely to use a drawn-out, inefficient process like evolution as His tool for Creation.”

The guys were silent. My friend’s dad looked pensive. He wasn’t exactly convinced, but I was still pretty satisfied with myself.

As we all spilled out of the tent to go find a campfire, I like to imagine that somewhere, Someone half-smiled at my smugness and muttered, “Give a kid a crazy dream — works every time.”

Article © 2006 by Michael Duck