I don’t think that most people realise that Richard Dawkins’ claim about Evolution is that it allows one to be an ‘intellectually satisfied atheist’. He does not claim that evolution proves that there is no God. Unfortunately this is not the impression that is created by comments by new atheists. Additionally we find that so-called ‘creationist’ Christians insist that God made the world in literally 6 days as described at the start of the book of Genesis. It is no wonder that many people think that evolution is inconsistent with Christianity, and since evolution is amply demonstrated the (false) conclusion drawn is often that science and evolution have proved that God doesn’t exist.
I am a qualified engineer, trained and experienced in designing things, Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. In engineering we see evolutionary processes at work improving our designs. We test our designs against one another to find out which is best, select the best and then seek to improve it further. The ‘best’ design changes over time and our processes mean that our products change over time to adapt to the new environment; to seek the new ‘best’. Evolution is a necessary part of the design process, but it is not the complete design process. Evolution is the tool that ensures that the design always adapts to the requirements of the customer. I have no problem with a God who created and sustains the universe.
Christians should not be afraid of science, but should embrace it. How better to appreciate the wonder of the universe and the stupendous ingenuity of the every living creature, from the amoeba to the human, from the mustard seed to the mightiest tree. We can learn more about God and we can learn more about ourselves by studying the material world.
But we must not become deluded that science is all that there is. Science is about observation of the repeatable, the measurable. Some things are not repeatable (miracles for instance) and some things whilst measurable are not described by the measurement (love for instance). So for a full understanding we need to look beyond science. All religions try to do this, to help us live ‘good’ lives. Philosophy tries to make sense of our existence. It is good to explore what others say but we also need to consider the authority behind the claims as we decide which are true and which are false. And for me, the ultimate authority is Jesus. I listen to what he said, and try to understand and follow it. Why? As Jesus said, ‘believe me because of the miracles, the works that I do’, and because anyone who willingly allows themselves to be crucified has earned the right to be listened to. And I find that what he taught contains such wisdom that it is truly worth putting into practice.