I used to think that Creationism was a harmless, if misguided, obsession in the minds of believers whose faith is weak. A bit of time spent in Hawaii has made me recognize that Creationism is evil. Not so much because of how it makes one think of creation, but instead because of how it makes one think of destruction. On one magical snorkeling trip we saw whales and bottlenose dolphins, and then swam with an amazing assortment of fish, and then swam with spinner dolphins, and then swam with turtles. And as much as we marveled at the wonders of Creation, the dangers faced by these species are very real.

So while to me it matters very little who is right in the Creationism vs. Evolutionism debate as it applies to Creation. After all, is God any less great if one path rather the other produced our unfathomably glorious universe? But as it applies to the incredible rate at which species are disappearing from the planet, the debate matters very much to me.

The logical conclusion of Creationism is not that Man can or should do anything about the peril caused by Man’s destruction of the environment. In 1981 Ronald Reagan’s Secretary of the Interior James Watt was testifying before Congress and was asked if he agreed that natural resources should be preserved for future generations. He responded “I do not know how many future generations we can count on before the Lord returns.”   Of course, all the companies that are making money destroying the environment embrace this line of thinking, but I hope that no sensible Christian is tempted to be so blind. The line of thinking goes like this:

As surely as God planned Creation, He must also have planned the
extinctions that we are now seeing.  The disappearance of each species
is part of His plan, and it is folly for Man to think that we could
challenge this plan.  Like the natural resources that God has given us
for our sustenance, surely God intends that we use all the gifts of
Creation before He comes again.

If this is the logical conclusion of Creationism, then we must label it as the evil that it is and work against it.

Alternatively, there is the TV Evangelist line of thinking whereby we should bury our heads in the Bible. It is vapid in its own way:

As surely as God planned Creation, he also entrusted Creation to
mankind and expects Man to be its stewards.  Therefore it is of grave
concern that we we are witnessing so many extinctions in our lifetime: 
surely it must be the sign of the sinfulness of Mankind:  The
destruction that we are seeing around us is not the direct result of
Man’s actions, but God’s punishment for a world of sin.  Only by
ridding ourselves of sin and submitting ourselves in submission to God
will the destruction cease, and if God is graceful, God will re-Create
Creation in all its deserved glory.

But God does not call Christians to be ostriches. Instead, there is a very sensible and Christian line of thinking:

As surely as God planned Creation, he also entrusted Creation to
mankind and expects Man to be its stewards.  Therefore it is of grave
concern that we we are witnessing so many extinctions in our lifetime: 
surely we are called to understand how the actions of Mankind are
precipitating this crisis:  we are called to study how the disruption
of habitat imperils the species.  We are called to study how different
species respond to environmental change.  We are called to study how
genetics influence the variety of traits that a species posesses, and
how these traits change over time in response to environmental changes.
In short, we are called to study evolution.

Now that’s what I call a Christian message.

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