INTRO BY KATHRYN: Jennifer Wiseman is a professional astronomer who has worked at some of the best research facilities in the world. She is also a Christian seeks to understand what we learn in the natural world in the light of her faith. In this excerpt from How I Changed My Mind About Evolution, she reminds us of the need for humility and the importance of role models.
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In my home church most of us accepted a fairly literal interpretation of Genesis. We did not have any reason to interpret it any other way. We understood that God created everything in six days, as outlined in Genesis. But that was always taught with humility. Our pastors said things like, “Don’t be too presumptuous about these things; God may not have revealed all the details of how he created in these few verses in Scripture.” We understood that we needed to be open to the fact that with God a day could be like a thousand years, and he may have used great ages of time and great care in creation.
It was that foundation of humility that prepared me to reconcile what I was learning in my college classrooms with Scripture. My scientific education did not cause me to doubt what the Bible says regarding God’s authoritative involvement in creation, but I started reading a lot more, particularly books by scientists who were Christians about how they reconciled their understanding of Scripture with what they had learned scientifically about the details of nature. Some of these scientists also came to our Christian fellowship groups on campus, and it was a terrific help to me as a student to see these models of excellent scientists who were followers of Jesus Christ. I saw their reverence for Scripture and God along with their love for studying the natural world fitting together in a beautiful mosaic.
Even though I don’t experience an ultimate conflict between science and my Christian faith, I still have many unanswered questions. . . What was God doing in all those ages before these familiar parts of our world existed? . . . Was God just waiting for humans to come around? Why didn’t he create all of this instantly and just get to the point?