As a child, I learned about evolution at school and in books. Therefore it had the stamp of authority and I believed it. At age 8, when I started Sunday School, I was given a Bible and first read Genesis. I was deeply impressed. How clever of God, I thought, to have managed to have His creation story written so that, at least in some respects, it matched the evolutionary story I already knew.
Over the next 7 years I heard no hint from anyone at church that evolution might not be true. Indeed, as an exam prize I was given a book that promotes belief in theistic evolution. In its first 2 chapters my copy of “More Living Things for Lively Youngsters” describes the origin of the solar system and of life on earth in standard evolutionary terms. Mention of God is restricted to noting that the Bible says man was made from the dust of the earth, as though God used the evolution of life from non-living matter to make man.
Two of my high school friends were from strongly atheist families. They argued that evolution proves that God is an unnecessary idea. I could see the logic of that but was not willing to act on it, at least not until the Sunday when the minister treated me in what felt like such a belittling way that I wanted nothing more to do with Christians or Christianity. At home, I told my mother I no longer believed in God and wouldn’t be going back to church. She had no answer for me.
Over the next 14 years I decided for myself between good and evil, chose poorly, and finished up an unhappy divorced mother of one. I had returned to school to matriculate and was in 2nd year medicine, studying the formation and metabolism of insulin in biochemistry classes. Then everything changed.
In high level descriptive terms, the process sounds straightforward. That it could have arisen by chance plus natural selection seems plausible. But that’s only until you get down to the micro level and look inside the black box. Even in those early days of molecular biology it had been shown to be a wonderfully orderly and complex process which involves inactive intermediates that are, by definition, invisible to natural selection. I found it impossible to believe this system could have arisen by chance, and if not this system then none of them. Ergo, God exists and, presumably, can be found by reading one holy book or another.
The Bible being easy to come by I started there, recognised its truth by the end of the Gospels and continued reading until, at Rev 3:20, I felt a strong sense that Jesus really was standing at my door, waiting to be invited in. Surprised at how difficult that was to do, but realising it would be insane not to, I did. Immediately something happened that is best described by the words, “one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see” (Joh 9:25).
I returned to the Anglican Church and was content there until events of the last several years began to disturb me more and more. I stayed because I didn’t know where else to go. Certainly, I couldn’t imagine entering the Catholic Church. Then I came across Devin Rose’s “The Protestant’s Dilemma”. Reading it, I realised I’d been fooled again, and had fooled myself, for years. There followed much more reading to get clarity on the usual Protestant bugaboos and I was received into the Catholic Church at Pentecost this year. Lovely!