I was walking past the pond, listening to hundreds of frogs singing in order to score a mate, and I was struck by the magnificence of it all. We don’t know everything about the world, by a long way, but we know a lot of things. We have discovered why frogs sing and how they reproduce. We have found out how frogs came to differentiate from their fish-like ancestors, and how they interact with all the other plants and animals and microbes in that ecosystem.
A creationist might say that it is all a display of God’s glory, the wonder of his creative design. To me, that sounds so weak and plain, compared to the intricate interweaving of ecosystems, the result of eons of natural selection working its magic in shifting environments. I am no expert on evolution or geology, but I know enough to be astounded by how it works out in such beautiful (and sometimes horrifying) ways. Compared to that stunning complexity, the creation stories of all religions are cardboard cutouts. They sound made up, and I suppose we know why that is.
Ecosystems and Curiosity
We don’t completely understand all the complex interactions of organisms within any given ecosystem, nor all the interactions of subatomic particles in any star, and we certainly don’t have a grasp of what happened in the first microsecond of the Big Bang. We have something better than all the answers; we have curiosity. To the creationist, “God created the universe” is the answer to everything. That is where curiosity goes to die. The rest of us don’t have the final answer, and will never have it. All we have is an ever-increasing drive to learn more, to find more species and more subatomic particles and more refined theories of how it all happened.