In the past semester, I studied Creation Theology: the area of our tradition that attempts to understand God in terms of being a creator, and creation in terms of being God’s. We explored a number of contemporary theological perspectives, including Joseph Ratzinger, and others who attempted to integrate modern scientific theory into theology. As part of this project, we attempted to understand the relevant effects of Creation Theology to us personally, and why it would be relevant to the Church today. The following two part reflection is that section of my final project that would, I believe, be important to share, and easy enough to read, without any theological jargon.
As a child, I was played with dinosaurs, and I think my obsession drew me to ancient origins. After a time, as my imagination expanded, I think I became fascinated with the entire vast cosmos. Either I would be an astronomer gazing at stars, or a paleontologist collecting dinosaur fossils. I cannot remember reasoning through Biblical Creation accounts, or when I rejected them. I did not take Genesis for granted, I took science for granted. Scientific doctrine had a more immutable and authoritative character that reasonable people must submit, and detractors were either heretics and mad.
The truth behind the Genesis story of the divine image and human dignity were not solid in my heart, and my blind faith in a simple interpretation of evolution had an effect on me in my early adolescence. Coupled with my wild imagination, I was enthralled with science fiction and confused mere speculation with certainty that we had concrete interactions with extra terrestial life. I used to invent stories I wanted to be published in comics or anime that encompassed this.
The belief that an accidental series of chance occurrences in a cruel and lonely cosmos caused my own sense of isolation from a meaningful life. I was not dignified or divine; I was a monkey, or a composition of evolved cells. Since there was not a sense of the intrinsic value of the human person, how was I supposed to accept that evolution itself was even progress? What was not to keep me from believing that we, as a species were not monkeys progressed but freak mutated monkeys?
Darwinism saw survival the privilege earned by the fit. Strength, aggression, and domination were embedded, therefore in nature. All injustices that I knew of aggression, from slavery to human trafficking, were ironically unjust, but a part of nature. The inconsistency that we question nature was unsettling to me personally. Considering that I lacked strength, aggression, or domination, I was not fit for this world, and was stuck with a meaningless life.
When I studied Biology in high school, my professor challenged my narrow dogmatic perception of evolution, and I began to see the process as much more open ended. As I came to see in my personal reflective experience, as well as the data in the class, I was shocked by the inner consistency, and almost symphonic harmony in the natural living world. I was also shocked to discovery that the earth in what had always been a simple thing, was dependent upon a myriad of complicated measurements. If any aspect were to be altered to the slight variable it would drastically transform the planet, and very likely make it incapable of life. Not only was the cosmos one beautiful harmonious symphony, it was fragile, precious, and one in a million. For the first time in my life, my idea that this was all some random, chaotic accident had fallen apart. Maybe, perhaps, there was a Creator intimately involved in the intricate patters of the universe crafting an orderly composition. I soon signed up for Confirmation, and took too studying my faith with greater personal responsibility.
Having a new understanding of the immense vastness of the cosmos additionally gave me a greater wonder at the ineffable magnificence of the Divine. My horizons of God were broadened to say the least. I would soon find, as a result, that being made in the divine image, would broaden my horizons on what exactly it is to be a human being.