Reader Opinion: Kudos to Kern
I extend my thanks to Brainerd School Board President Sue Kern for questioning a topic many people consider established fact: evolution (Wednesday, Sept. 11, Brainerd Dispatch). The evolutionary hypothesis has not been proven, as Mrs. Kern stated, and her objection brings an opportunity for our community: can we not study the wonders of creation in their “irreducible complexity,” as scientist Michael Behe calls them, and acknowledge the limits of evolution? Evolution is part of history. It is one way that people try to understand the workings of the world and how it came to be. But full disclosure is needed: evolutionary theory is deeply flawed, the point of Mrs. Kern’s objection, which ought not to be dismissed. As a teacher of the Christian faith -- I am a pastor of The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod -- I can state without hesitation that Christian faith is not anti-science, anti-reason or anti-observation. The Triune God created my eyes and mind as well as the laws that regulate the universe. But the faith I hold, teach and confess is opposed to evolution. Applying to my life the science faculty member’s suggested antidote should a person have objections to evolution, I would limit faith to one part of my life, and evolution to another so that I might “embrace both.” I recognize Mr. Rezac’s response as an attempt to overcome an objection, but faith informs my entire outlook on life, including science, and is as vital to my person as my beating heart. While being mindful of the observable and verifiable in teaching science, the school needs to watch its limits lest they inadvertently inform people how to practice their faith, which itself is a vital and complex reality of community life.