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Evolution / Adam and Eve (03/10/2013)
From: Brother Finbar McMullen

People who choose the direct creation of Adam and Eve, as described in the Book of Genesis, over the gradual development of human beings through evolution seem to think they are honoring God by this choice, but I think they are just honoring themselves. Even the Catholic Church, conservative wherever possible, accepts evolution as an established fact of science and holds that the bible is not a book of science as we know science. Still, though, there are some problems with the idea of direct creation from the slime of the earth. When the human genome project was completed a few years ago it was discovered that 95 – 98% of human genes were the same as those in chimpanzees. Was God just the first great recycler? Why do male humans have breasts? We males also have mammary glands since men can get breast cancer. All of us know what goose bumps are. Each hair on our body has a small muscle attached that contracts to make the hair stand on end when we get cold. For most mammals this erection of fur traps air which is a good insulator. But this does us no good since our body hairs are so short. Why do we have these muscles?

When the topic of evolution comes up, most people think of bones, but they are only one aspect of evolution. Scientists are in universal agreement over the Big Bang as the start of the universe. This chunk of stuff and energy from which everything came was about the size of a grapefruit, so they say. For them, this is a mathematical necessity, but this explanation is as much a mystery to me as is the thought that 100 billion galaxies, each with about 400 billion stars like our sun, came from this unlikely source. It strikes me that anyone who believes that God is the creator of all things would be in awe of this. Now the whole universe is too huge for any imagination to take in, so pick up a grapefruit. Everything in your car, everything in your house and in your own body came from something the size of that grapefruit. Amazed? How about all the molten iron in the core of the earth, the earth’s crust, ten to fifteen miles thick, and all the water in the earth’s oceans?

Another kind of evolution fits in here, starting with suns. All the stars we see in the sky are suns like ours, some larger, some smaller, and all are mostly hydrogen, the simplest of all the chemical elements. First, a little diversion. Pierre Teilhard du Chardin, a Jesuit priest who was a professional paleontologist, but also a deep thinker along theological lines, held that it was an aspect of the nature of matter that it would develop into more complicated forms. So, what happens in the sun is that hydrogen atoms join to form helium and give off a lot of heat in doing so. This process is called fusion, something that scientists are desperately trying to carry off here on earth. Success in this could solve all our energy problems. Step two in the progression is that some hydrogen atoms can combine with helium to produce carbon, another element. The sun is so hot that no other elements can form. As time goes on the hydrogen gets used up and the fusion process slows down and the sun begins to cool. As it cools, it also begins to expand, and at some point more or less explode with a huge burst of light, so bright that it can be seen in the light of day, and lasts long enough for astronomers to study it. It is still extremely hot and continues to expand. When this happens to our sun and its expansion reaches here, the earth will be incinerated. (Not to worry; it is some 4 billion years away.) Here is where the interesting part comes in. As this super nova continues to expand, it also cools, allowing its atoms to continue forming new elements. As expansion continues it eventually gets so large that it no longer has any recognizable form, but the elements continue to spread in all directions to permeate the entire universe. While the earth was forming in its traverse around the sun it began picking up these stray atoms from untold numbers of super novas. So all the gold, silver, carbon, oxygen, calcium, iron, nitrogen, and all the metals you can think of came from these long gone super novas. This is evolution on a grand scale, but no bones here. For someone who believes that God is the creator of the universe how could such a one not be in awe at what has been accomplished, considering the tremendous diversity of all things in this one location that we call home?

Now, back to Adam and Eve. Did the Book of Genesis establish the seven day week, or was this in place long before? Hint: consider the names of the days of the week, and if you know French, take their names into account, also. 

 

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