The Divine Handiwork: Evolution and the Wonder of Life
The title derives from the 16th-century astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus, who at the end of his wonderful cosmological chapter exclaimed, “So vast, without any question, is the divine handiwork of the almighty Creator.”
But Copernicus scarcely had a clue about the true vastness of the heavens, something that has become understood only in the 20th century. And this change from the closed world of the middle ages to the near infinite universe of today has forced a change in the way we look at our sacred scriptures, and in particular the book of Genesis with its vivid story of Adam and Eve.
The story the tree of good and evil is a powerful metaphor about the origin of conscience and becoming human. With the understanding of right and wrong comes responsibility, and the ability to make wrong choices. What is important is to see the Bible taking as its starting point the emergence of our humanness, the origin of humanity. If we keep this as a central issue in our understanding of why we are special in the cosmos, then we should have no trouble in accepting evolution as a major explanatory scheme in comprehending the natural world.
- © 2010 by American Heart Association, Inc.