Oh, Genesis! Oh, evolution!

August 26, 1999|By Arnold Rosenfeld

I SUPPOSE every religion has its fundamentalists, although I've never heard of a Buddhist one. Believe every word of it, they say, while the rest of us interpret scripture to suit our convenience. Holding firm keeps a lot of folks honest.

Believing is a matter of purest faith for fundamentalists. If the Bible says God created the world in seven days, that's the way it happened, no changes, no slippery interpretations.

That's where fundamentalism runs smack into evolution, which holds that creation took billions of years and has a lot of complications Genesis never mentioned: Dinosaurs. Ice Age. Cave folk. Funny turtles. I think God had larger things in mind, like how we should behave as children of God.

For myself, I've never had a problem holding both creation ideas in mind. I think God, in Her wisdom, created evolution, which, from tiniest nuclear particle to farthest space dust, is a more glorious, elegant accomplishment.

Now the Kansas Board of Education says kids there don't have to hear about all those glories. The problem I have with fundamentalists of all flavors is that they want the freedom to believe, then want to fix it so that the rest us can't.

Arnold Rosenfeld is editor-in-chief of Cox Newspapers. His e-mail address: arnold.rosenfeld@cox.com.

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