Listening to Radio 4 briefly yesterday (managing to listen to R4 at all round here is an acheivement….small people don’t seem to like the heady cocktail of political analysis and incisive banter….). Sir David Attenborough was talking about the ‘hate mail’ that he gets from some Christians about his support for evolution, sometimes with the comment that ‘I hope you get your come uppance when you die’.
I have always struggled to understand hardline creationism, which I take to be an insistance that creationism is scientifically provable. Philosophically I wonder why those who advocate thatÂ view want to make ‘science’ the bar under which all things are judged- why do they want to make science ‘God’? Why is there the lack of faith in Scripture as scripture? And why is there the desire to distill the wild, passionate love story of scripture into scientific equations? Some of strikes me as the mentality of someone who wonders into an art gallery and evaluates it by whether or not it has a good cafe (although I do like a good cafe….).
Mind you, I struggle with a hardline evolutionism; no beauty, no responsibility, no nothing…. anyway- where was I…?
Oh yes— how can you, as a Christian write letters like that to someone who has no faith; have you any idea what damage that causes? What…for the love of God are you doing…haven’t you got anything better to do with your time…how about feeding the hungry, speaking with love and grace, lifting up the broken hearted….indeed- where is your love of God? Â I don’t think, to paraphrase Rob Bell, we should be moaning about how dark it is; rather asking why we are not more light. I think scripture is harsher on we who believe- that we didn’t live and love better- than it is on those who don’t believe…
Anyway- I slipped into preacher mode there….
Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer said ‘Of course you are an athiest.’ Sir DA said, ‘No, I’m an agnostic’. He then said something that sounded so beautiful. In his work he has looked inside termite mounds (who hasn’t?). InÂ a mound there are 1000s of termites; they have no idea that he is there and no concept of who ‘he’ is. He said ‘I sometimes wonder if that might be the case with us humans’. He also saidÂ that if you told someone several 100 years ago, someone who loved orchestral music, that one dayÂ there would be invisible waves in the air full of orchestral sounds which theyÂ could hearÂ if you had the right equipment- they would think you were crazy/would never believe you. Maybe that might one day be our situation….
….Grace is everywhere if we only listen…for and with the love of God. Listening is a very hard thing to do. Shooting from the hip is easier and more satisfying (of course… I am so above that….I never do that…).
(mind youÂ Sir DAÂ did say that he didn’t think wondering that there was a God was worthy of serious scientific investigation…but I didn’t want to say that or the moment would be lost. Like it just has. D’oh…..)