A recent debate on Facebook, which we have all heard a million times over, has inspired me to try and get a harmonious opinion out there.
As a disclaimer and possible motivation for both parties to read this, I'm not shooting down either science or God. I'm trying to reconcile them. I believe you can have both. Most importantly I'm pushing my agenda of nullifying arguments since they make for awful meal time conversations.
God and evolution are not mutually exclusive.
The first problem is that Christianity holds that humans were made by intelligent design while evolution claims we are the product of chance. This seems contradictory.
Let's imagine for a second that you are rolling two normal, six sided dice.
You shake them and let them fall.
"What are the chances of that?" you exclaim. (5/36 in case you were wondering)
You shake them again.
"What are the chances of that?" you cry, voice cracking with mirth. (1/6)
You begin shaking them again and and all powerful entity silently says
"What are the chances of that?" you squeal in delight. (1/12)
Now using the same thought experiment imagine Ma Nature is sitting with her dice, staring at the primordial ooze.
"Shookashookashooka" goes the millions of dice that define the genetic structure of anything that crawls out of the soup.
The strange, non-euclidean dice land on the dust.
"A horse!" Ma Nature exclaims. "What are the chances of that?"
At this point God descends in perfect silence behind her and is not heard saying "<cough>human<cough><cough>"
"A human!" Ma Nature cries with joy "What are the chances of that?"
At this point God smirks and ascends back into the heavens.
The second problem is that evolution demands millions of years while some of the more hardcore interpreters of the bible insist the world is only 6000ish years old. Having your cake and eating it? Sure! What if god made a several million year old world 6000 years ago? Doesn't sound like it makes a lot of sense but God is all powerful and by saying he can't do this you are denying him the ability to manipulate time and therefore he's not all powerful.
Further, how is this compatible with science? Scientifically we are forced to observe and understand the universe from within the universe. From the inside our universe looks several million years old because it was made several million years old. From outside the universe, a seat reserved exclusively for deities, it looks like a several million year old universe made only 6000 years ago.
Two small points that should hopefully allow many Christians out there to say "Yes I agree with you." when an evangelical atheist tries to force an argument.
This of course does not allow for a literal interpretation of the bible. In short I explain that with "Why does the truth have to be constant through all time? Can't reality be changed? Isn't God amazing enough to have done it that way 6000 years ago and slowly have changed reality into what we understand today through science?" This of course means that trying to explain events from then in terms of todays understandings would be incongruent but still an interesting thought.
I encourage other opinions so do tell me where you disagree with me and why.
(Authors note. I'm not religious or atheistic myself. Just a pacifist.)