Creation -- A 13.7 billion-year process
Posted on Feb 12th, 2010 at 8:55 AM
John Haught, a senior fellow in Science and Religion at Georgetown University, recently described the situation for students at Petkins School of Theology:
If the universe’s 13.7-billion year “cosmic story” was symbolized in a series of 30 books, with each volume containing 450 pages, and each page representing one million years, life doesn’t begin until the 27th volume. At page 385 of the last volume, dinosaurs become extinct. Human beings don’t show up until page 450 of the latest volume.
“All of which raises the question: Why would God take so long?”
Dr. Haught quotes Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a Jesuit paleontologist:
“An originally perfect creation would not be distinct from God. An originally perfect universe would be a world without a future, without freedom and without life. Life requires the indefiniteness of the future in which to unfold.”
“What would the world be like if perfectly designed?”
Dr. Haught said. “It would have no future.” In that sense, he said, the God of promise characterized in the Bible “is the ultimate explanation of evolution.” And faith could represent the way in which humans participate and propel the evolving universe toward a more hopeful future.
Thanks to the UM Reporter for telling us of this conference.
This doesn't answer all our questions, but it offers a more realistic assessment than blind faith that the earth and humankind marked the beginning of creation.
What a tremendous privilege we have to participate in the writing of page 450 of volume 27.