OK, I admit, the title of this post is dumb. Was just playin'
Anyway, a high school student who currently attends a public school, and who used to attend a private Christian school, asked the following (edited) question about evolution, and I answered as best as I could.
Here is the question...
"Well, I am in Biology this year...my exam in on Friday...and we have been studying the theory of evolution. While we were taking notes in class on evolution the verse from Ecclesiastes came into my head, where it says, "there is nothing new under the sun". Based on the verses before and after that verse I don't really think that it had anything to do with that, evolution I mean, but I was just wondering if it did. It was alot easier at (my fomer school) in science class because we were able to talk about these things from a biblical perspective, but being in a public school that is not how it is taught, or how the discussions go (though, really there are no discussions...it is just accepted as fact). So, I don't know. I get confused because some of it makes since...and then all of a sudden the teacher writes something that I am to copy down and I cannot see how anyone could believe it. So, there you go..."
Great question, don't you think?
And here is my answer...
You're right, the verse in Ecclesiastes has nothing to do with evolution, though it does speak to any and all ideas that come to man. Philosophically speaking, in terms of how people so quickly and easily jump from evolution to evolutionism, that is, from a scientific/historic theory of development to a purely materialist view of reality, then it's not new under the sun.
You're also right, in public school for the most part one cannot look at this or most other topics from a biblical perspective, or from a Buddhist perspective, or a Hindu perspective, or Scientology perspective, etc. It's a good thing and a bad thing.
I would venture to say that at most Christian schools they don't really look at the topic from all perspectives either (even if the discussion is more open) because they don't take evolution seriously enough to evaluate it and examine and respect it as the powerful model that it is. In my opinion one cannot speak with credibility to a matter if one does not understand it. I have found evolution too easily reduced to silly cliches by those who like it and those who don't.
Yes indeed, some of it makes sense. In fact, a lot of it makes sense. Not all of it makes sense to me or anyone else, but it is a powerful model or framework for understanding change - especially biological - over time.
We have to remember though that the processes that add up to evolutionary theory are strictly impersonal and with no purpose whatsoever. Evolutionary change is not progress; it is just change. There is no "point" to it. But, since we have a hard time swallowing that, we slip personal language into the process. We give the process "purpose."
On the other hand, and this is important, all scientific study has to have a kind of atheistic methodology. If you want to cure cancer, you find the mechanisms that cause it and you don't assume that the gaps of knowledge are to be filled in by God. We don't just say "God made cancer" and let it go at that.
In a similar way if we are curious about how so many of the plants and animals on an isolated island (like Madagascar) are so different, we don't just say "God made them that way," we try to understand how it is that they are or became different. There is nothing wrong with the impulse to want to understand that. That impulse is a significant part of what makes us human beings.
If you take both the Bible and science seriously, which you should, you will grapple with this issue most of your life one way or another. Just try to learn and understand as much as you can.