In light of several recent debates about faith and science, I have decided to input another, rarely acknowledged, perspective: that of the faithful Christian who also believes in evolution. Too often in the media, these viewpoints are seen as inherently conflicting: either you are a ‘true’ Christian or you believe in the scientific theories of evolution and the Big Bang. I personally am exhausted by this debate. I think that people should simply allow others to believe what they want, and in return they should be able to hold any viewpoints they find convincing. Too often, both atheists and Christians are quick to put down anyone who does not believe what they do. I find this completely ridiculous. I would also like to emphasize that while it is widely acknowledged in atheist circles that Christians do this, it most certainly goes the other way. The number of times an overzealous atheist has tried to talk me out of my faith is well into the double digits. Both parties have the potential to be bigoted and closed-minded when it comes to addressing each other. But I digress.
In the complicated issue of evolution vs. creationism, I have always believed that both are, in a sense, true. My personal view of the matter is that God set everything in motion – from putting the first living cell in the perfect conditions to evolve to creating a universe with stars and planets that led to the Big Bang. I believe that a day to God is like a thousand years on Earth, and that he was there guiding the process of evolution as it happened. And I believe that once the first humans evolved from apes, he felt that much of his work was done and let us evolve into the highly modern, highly  complex that we have now. In my view, God was the guiding force in creating the world as we see it today. I am telling you this not to convince you of my point of view, but to show you that being faithful in God and faithful in science do not necessarily cancel each other out. I also want to illustrate that there is such a thing as a faithful Christian who believes in science. There is space in the world for both God and scientific theories.
I would like to urge you to not simply dismiss a viewpoint or faith that is different from your own, but to listen to it and learn from it. To the staunch atheists of the world, do not try to convince your Christian friends that their personal beliefs are wrong – I promise it won’t work and will result in unnecessary anger between you. And to the Christians, do not try to tell you atheist friends that their faith in science is lacking or misplaced. Just live and let live. This is not to say that it is unacceptable to have a debate and challenge each other, but that it is unacceptable if you don’t go in with an open mind. If both parties work to be respectful of each other and learn as much as they can about the other’s point of view, the dialogue around this issue will become much more effective and constructive.
Everhart is a member of
the class of 2016.

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