Colgate University Libraries


Lauren Kerby


“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). Thus begins the most disputed tale in living memory, the Judeo-Christian story of how the world and its inhabitants began. The conflict between Darwinian theory and Creationist beliefs has raged for well over a century now, and through the generations both sides have progressed through a sort of evolution of their own. Yet the conflict continues to be seen as just that: a battle between two opposing sides, one of which will reign victorious while the other fades into the memory of an unenlightened past. Exaggerated by the media and exacerbated by fundamentalists on both sides, this image of an irresolvable clash is ultimately a counterproductive waste of time. Pure evolutionary theory and pure creationism do indeed appear to be polar opposites; however, in the middle ground between the extremes, there are just as many possibilities for overlap and compatibility as for contradiction and opposition. However, in order to find that middle ground where reconciliation between the two is possible, one must first admit the fallibility not of the Scriptures themselves nor of scientific research and experiments, but of human understanding of these various explanations for the origins of the world and of man. This is not necessarily a compromise; neither side must be forced to give up one principle it holds dear in exchange for keeping another. Rather, this reconciliation stems from conceding that humans err in their understanding both of the divine and of the natural world. Realizing that human comprehension of both will deepen and change over time allows formerly held beliefs and theories to be modified and interwoven to form a more cohesive view of the whole, and that view may someday come close to approximating the truth.

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