One question I often come across as a person of faith with a degree in anthropology is how I can reconcile the Biblical story of creation with an understanding of cosmology, geology, and evolution. That’s one of the easiest questions for me to answer, but my answer comes in the form of a question. First though, have you, if you are a scientifically minded person, ever actually read for yourself the creation story in Genesis chapter 1 and noticed how close it is to getting the evolutionary order right? Or, on the flip side of that, if you are committed to the purely Biblical perspective, do you know what science actually says about how the universe came to be? The similarities are pretty incredible. And regardless of your perspective, you must take into account that the Genesis story was almost certainly preserved through oral traditions passed down over probably thousands of years before ever being committed to writing. And that story was written down thousands of years before Lemaître came up with the Big Bang theory.
So my answer in the form of a question is, isn’t it possible?
Isn’t it possible that God spoke this world into existence (what went “bang” and what caused it to go “bang”) in the manner of an evolutionary masterpiece, unfolding and flourishing over eons, and then decided it was beautiful, but lonely without someone else there to name everything, to write it all down, to go on creating, to appreciate it as only a human created in the image of a creator could… and so he created us? To be co-creators. To be the storytellers.
Art is a form of communication and before humans there was no one to whom to communicate all of the beauty, drama, passion and splendor of the sunrise, the stars and planets, the clouds, the color and smell of the changing leaves and the blooming spring, the sounds, the textures, the uniqueness of each perfect snowflake, the magnificence of a thunderstorm… and eventually those things too far away, or too small to see without special instruments, created by creative beings created in the image of their creator as if he gently nudged them to say, but wait… There’s more.
This world is far too extraordinary to the senses not to have creatures with minds that can perceive the magic of it all, whose perception of all this majesty goes beyond fight, flee, and procreate, and asks the questions why… how… where did it all come from.
That’s why I believe.