In our search for the meaning of life, science and the theory of evolution can explain many things and it can also point us to the Creator who can be found through his creation.
The creation of man
It’s natural for us to wonder where we came from and why we were created. It’s a question that has been bugging mankind throughout history. When Charles Darwin in the 19th century put forward the theory of evolution there was a great debate as to whether it could possibly be true as it denied the creation story in the Bible. Others felt that as it seemed to explain the beginnings of life then we didn’t need to believe in a Creator God who made us.
The Church’s response
The theory of evolution is ok as far as it goes but I don’t think that it can adequately explain where life came from. In fact the Catholic Church teaches that there is no problem with believing both in God and the theory of evolution. It is quite acceptable to believe that our great and powerful God could have used evolution to develop all the wonderful and diverse creatures that are in our world and to create human beings, who are made in the image and likeness of God. Pope Saint John Paul II stated in a message to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on Evolution in 1996 that “new knowledge leads to the recognition of the theory of evolution as more than a hypothesis. It is indeed remarkable that this theory has been progressively accepted by researchers following a series of discoveries in various fields of knowledge.”
An unlikely coincidence
When you think about it – what are the odds that we live in a universe governed by the laws of physics that allow life to evolve at all? We don’t live in a universe that’s just a collapsed singularity smaller than an atom or a universe that is filled with hydrogen. The odds of living in a universe where evolution is even possible are astronomically low (that means it’s really, really low!) You have better odds of finding a random atom (which is amazingly small) in the universe than finding a beautiful universe like ours where the evolution of life is even possible! But it happened and here we are!
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13.
“Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20) We as created beings will never fully grasp or understand our creator. Why is this? It’s because our minds are finite, they are limited. But God isn’t bound by time and space. He is infinite! We will never be able to know him with our minds. But the day that we stop searching for him with our minds and seek him with our hearts, and call on him, he will answer us. We will know the answer to the burning question “Is there a God?” Because he will answer us personally, “Call to me and I will answer you!!” (Jeremiah 33:3) Our God, who loves us beyond description, yearns for us to turn to him and seek him.
Faith and reason
We know science with our minds and we know God with our hearts so does this mean science and faith are separate and can’t come together? No, they actually complement each other. If either is missing in our lives then we will not be able to properly know ourselves, the world or God. Pope John Paul II said “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart the desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that by knowing and loving God, men and women can come to the fullness of the truth about themselves.”
Make that call
Science, the physical laws of our world, creation and the things of faith all come from the same God and he is a perfect and awesome God who waits patiently and lovingly for us to return to him. He is like a dad who has been ignored by his children. He loves us passionately and is waiting for our call.