The joke’s on us | VailDaily.com

The joke’s on us

Don Rogers

Our knowledge of evolution is incomplete. Therefore, it does not exist.This “logic” is doomed, of course. And this is precisely the torment for those who believe their religion holds answers beyond its calling. Surely, God toys with them for this mischief. They don’t get it, plainly and sometimes painfully so. The answers for this world come inexorably from the disciplined inquiry we know as science.You’d think the preachers would have learned by now. Turtle’s back to Eden to the cosmos. Our creation stories evolve over the eons, as do whole faiths. I find a certain irony in this, given the Kansan debate over teaching “intelligent design” on the same footing as the science of evolution in public schools. The Protestants leading this effort are themselves a product of the Christian faith evolving out of the one Church, their Bibles revised along with their changed tenets from Catholicism. God does have a sense of humor. From science we understand that it turns out that the sun and rest of the galaxy and universe do not revolve in perfect circles around the Earth. The world is not flat. Yet certain among the faithful keep trying, fighting history’s entire tide of religion’s failure to get the facts of this world straight.This is prideful, arrogant, pure hubris. Stiff-necked denial of revealed evidence is proof that these folks cannot handle truth. And that’s the very seed of evolution in religions themselves.The lesson should be crystal clear by now that the mechanics of existence are not revealed in church. The faithful demean themselves in denying this and in wasting their time with the wrong questions.Science allows me to type these words into a medium I do not understand but humankind clearly has mastered. It’s called a laptop computer, a nearly complete mystery and miracle(!) to me. Science figured out the physics, the raw materials, the manufacture of this machine – the mechanics, if you will, which have evolved rather rapidly through trial and lots and lots of error. But I am the one generating the thoughts that make use of this mechanism. I’m creating this column, while communicating with you through a series of machines. I don’t have to know how it all works. If anything, science and this low level inspiration expressed in writing work together – as a team.We’re fools to deny the fruits of disciplined inquiry into the facts of existence. We’re also fools to assume, as some do, that this world is all that is. That if science can’t find it, it doesn’t exist. That’s just a mirror image of the same foolishness, expressed with the same sentence.Why should science and “intelligent design” be pitted against each other? I believe in both. They are companions, neither with all the answers, nor here to deal with the same questions.There’s no real question that science is the course for understanding how existence works. That we don’t have all the answers yet does not deny that this process of observation, hypothesis and experimentation is how we learn the truths of this world. There’s also no real question that religion expresses our quest for wisdom, inspiration and purpose beyond the mere mechanics of existence. I just pray that our churches can evolve into faiths more enlightened than what we are seeing in Kansas and Pakistan. Meantime, I imagine our designer enjoying a good chuckle. This elegant joke is on us. Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.com. This column, as in the case of all personal columns, does not necessarily reflect the views of the Vail Daily.Vail, Colorado