Mind Candy

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My evolution toward evolution or The origin of man

Posted by mandyf on May 15, 2012

When I was a kid, I had questions like many kids do. I wondered where people come from. I wondered how the planets got where they are and how they were made – or who made them. I was very curious to say the least. The answers I got didn’t always jive. Actually, some of the answers made no sense at all. It’s not that I have all the answers or that the answers I accept as most fitting will never be proved wrong, but as I grew older, my view of existence … evolved. Here is that evolution.

When I was only seven or so, we discussed how people were placed on the planet in school. Since I was in a Catholic school, the answer I got as that some 6,000 or so years earlier, God created Adam and Eve and from them all future generations were born. Having been to the Smithsonian exhibit on dinosaurs the previous summer, I heard dinosaurs lived some 60 million years earlier. How could that be if the Earth was only 6,000 years old? From posing that question I learned a few things.

1. Don’t piss off a nun by asking a question like that.
2. Don’t piss off a nun by asking a question like that.
3. If you do piss off a nun by asking a question like that you will be called a blasphemer and heathen.
4. Your parents will likely start sending you to public school.
5. The nun you pissed off will still give you the stink eye in Church years after the incident.

 

So I went to public school. There, the Earth was hundreds of millions and maybe even billions of years old. Nobody brought up Adam and Eve specifically, but there was some mention that a lot of people believe God, some God, created everything. They never mentioned Jesus walking with the dinosaurs though. Two schools and two different explanations on how we got here did little to answer my questions. It confused me more than anything else. Here is what I learned this time around.

1. The Earth was wicked old and man and dinosaurs didn’t actually coexist.
2. The above is invalid if your parents want you to believe that.
3. Some people believe we were made by God and that is an acceptable answer on your test.
4. Some people believe this Charles Darwin guy that we evolved from monkeys and that is an acceptable answer on your test.
5. A lot of people get pissed off when you tell them they evolved from a monkey.

We moved shortly thereafter, and for whatever reason, my parents put me back in a Catholic school. This time around we had a more progressive Sister teaching us. She was young and kinda hp for nun I guess. She said that the earth was really old, older than we’ll ever really know. A few billion years old at the barest minimum. What she taught was that man evolved. We came from that primordial soup that made everything. There was a kicker though.

1. We had to accept that time for God was different than time for humans and that his “day” could actually be hundreds of millions of years opposed to our day that is 24 hours.
2. We had to accept that God made that primordial ooze life sprang from and intervened now and then to make sure we stayed on the right developmental track and timetable.
3. Adam was still the first human and Eve did come from his rib and Earth.
4. Adam also evolved from lesser primates. God nudged along the evolutionary process which is why there is a missing link.
5. If you say “This makes no sense” in class, your parents will be enrolling you in public school again and even the young, hip (sorta) nun will give you the stink eye in church the next 8 years.

So I was back in public school and the subject didn’t come up again with any seriousness until HS which meant things had changed again. Then, the popular theory was the Big Bang. To keep it simple, here is the Big bang Theory (very condensed):

Big Bang Theory – The Premise
“The Big Bang theory is an effort to explain what happened at the very beginning of our universe. Discoveries in astronomy and physics have shown beyond a reasonable doubt that our universe did in fact have a beginning. Prior to that moment there was nothing; during and after that moment there was something: our universe. The big bang theory is an effort to explain what happened during and after that moment.”

For me, this made the most sense. I know it’s not for everyone and I know that there are several sticking points people argue. I know there was even a bang really, much less a big one, but rather and expansion. I even know people that like the Big Bang, but put the twist on it that God made it happen. I’m not crazy about that as I like my science and religion separate, but at least it has people thinking science to some degree.

What’s the answer to it all? Where did we come from? I don’t know. I know the answer that is right for me which is grounded in science. For others it may be purely religious it might be a mix of the two. I can’t say religiously grounded theory is wrong because I can no more prove there is no God than anyone else can prove there is. That’s why they call it faith. I can prove certain scientific principles though and I can logically follow a flow that I can share with others that they can follow in the same way no matter what. The math doesn’t change. The physics doesn’t change. The chemistry doesn’t change. It doesn’t matter who writes those books, the answers remain the same. In that, I lay my faith as being the answer to the origin of man.

 

There are more theories and there will be more that arise as technology and knowledge evolves, but this is my walk to how I reached my beliefs.

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