Today marks the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin.
I know this for two reasons. The first, and more mundane of the two is because most of the major online news publications have articles on one or both personages. Darwin in particular has been getting a lot of press lately in various circles as the frenzied debate over Intelligent Design continues, most notably in the wake of the recent Ben Stein documentary EXPELLED.
The second, and more bizarre reason, was the result of my coffee purchase at the local Barnes & Noble. For the record, let it be known that my order was a Grande House Coffee, with room left in the cup for some milk. I paid my $1.80 (thank you Discount Card) and was turning to leave when the cashier called out:
"Happy 200th Anniversary of Lincoln and Darwin's Birthday!"
I kid you not.
Now, none of this has to do with my rant. And it's not really even much of a rant, but rather just a declaration of one of my personal beliefs, something to get out there because, for some reason - maybe the amount of exposure the debate's been getting lately or perhaps my own perception of the amount of exposure - I just wanted to put a stake in the ground and formally announce my stance on the whole debate. You know, just in case this type of thing is needed later during my political campaign.
- I 100% absolutely and unequivocally without questions believe in the theory of Evolution.
- I also happen to absolutely and without question believe in God.
- I fail to see any conflict or contradiction in simultaneously holding these two beliefs.
I am good friends with both devout Christians and devout Atheists (as well as many other people of various faiths and/or beliefs, but listing those isn't pertinent to the rant at hand). I am also acquainted, in some form or another, with people on either side who have argued to me that it makes no sense that I could entertain both beliefs in my head; surely I must lean one way or the other.
For those who have argued with my concerning this belief on both sides, allow me to respond you, succinctly and with some measure of finality:
Sorry. I don't.
Those who have argued on evolution's side connect my belief in God with a belief in everything written down or ascribed to in Catholic doctrine (most likely because I was raised Catholic and still belong to a Catholic Church). Those who argue on the other side have said that my belief in evolution negates whatever I think I may believe with regards to my faith. In other words, I'm automatically damned by virtue of my belief in evolution.
Thanks, but no thanks. And the fact that you are unable to understand that not only am I capable of holding two seemingly disparate beliefs in my worldview perhaps says more about you than me.
Whew. Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. You've been great.
Good night, and remember to tip your waitress.