From Whence I Came

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From Whence I Came

Let us look at our lush forest one last time. Is it any less beautiful

if we remove the hand of a Creator God?

Imagine yourself standing alone in a lush forest under a tree. It is an old tree. The massive trunk soars to dizzying heights, terminating in a canopy of branches and leaves that seem to stretch to infinity. The broad, green leaves shelter you from the glaring sun.You reach out and touch the tree. The fissures in the rough bark swallow your fingers. You are startled by the snap of a twig and turn to find a deer staring back at you with large brown eyes located on either side of his head. His majestic visage is only enhanced by the projections of the antlers he wears like a crown.Relief floods in; deer have no sharp teeth or claws. With a snort and a flash of his white tail, he bounds into the underbrush and vanishes as quickly as he appeared. A ray of sunshine has fought its way through the leaves to illuminate a glittering object at your feet.Bending down, you pick up a beautiful gold pocket watch. Its cover is laced with intricately carved scrolls. As you open the cover, some questions come to mind. How did this forest and its creatures come to exist? Am I separate from nature and can do with it as I please, or am I a part of it? Why do deer have hooves instead of claws? What is this watch doing in this forest?

The beauty of nature often inspires feelings of awe and evokes questions such as these. However, depending on your beliefs, the answers may be radically different. Over the last few centuries, science and Christianity have become increasingly embroiled in conflict. This conflict has only intensified since 1859, when Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species. Darwin's theory of natural selection poses an unparalleled threat to the core of Fundamentalist Christian beliefs. The debate centers on the origin of life. The theory of evolution states that species change, or evolve, gradually thorough the accumulation of random mutations over a long period of time. Natural selection is the mechanism through which this happens. These changes are not directed towards any end product. Fundamentalist Christians, or creationists, believe that the Earth and all life on it was divinely created in its present form, and that species, man in particular, do not change.
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