I am still planning on doing a book review today, but I’m not quite ready to post it and it’s about time for another story-post, so I thought I would post this now and get my review out later today if I can. By the way, the next part of this story is the last one.
We went to “Jason’s Deli” and after we got our lunch, Mr. Pirrip started up our conversation again, “So, you were saying that your uncle told you fossils take million of years to form?”
“Well, actually they don’t. Many people say they do, but they don’t. We have found fossils of things like cowboy boots.”
“Are you serious?”
“Yes. Really—don’t look so suspicious. It’s true. I’ll find you a picture.” He pulled a smart phone from his pocket, and after fiddling with it for a while he showed me a picture. I looked it up and down—still suspicious. “It doesn’t look like a fossil.”
“But it is though. And that didn’t take millions of years to form. We can all agree on that. We’ve found fossils of other modern things as well.”
“Okay. I guess not. But what about all these rock formations? Wouldn’t those have taken millions of years to form?”
“Couldn’t God have created them during the Creation Week?”
I squirmed. “Maybe. Do Creationists have proof for their theory that doesn’t rely completely on their God?”
“Why should they?”
“Well, why do they believe in a God? Is there evidence?”
“Look at our world. Could you really believe that it evolved by chance?”
I shrugged. “Lots of people do.”
“People don’t always say things because they believe them—they say them because they want to believe them, because that’s how they want the world to work. But—to answer your earlier question—yes, Creationists have evidence that rock formations don’t take millions of years to form: in 1980 a volcano called Mount Saint Helens erupted. The eruption lasted for five months—from May eighteenth to October thirteenth—killed fifty-seven people, severely damaged all life for seventy square miles, and covered a larger area than even that with ash and debris. It built up a huge rock formation in a matter of hours.” He flipped around on his phone for a few minutes before showing me a picture. It looked like any old rock formation that Uncle Zade could have sent me pictures of. A man was standing next to it. It towered at least twice as high as he was tall. “That formed in less than five hours,” Mr. Pirrip said, smiling at my astonished face. “Would you say that’s evidence that rocks can form in less than a million years?”
“Yeah. But it doesn’t mean all rocks did.” It was a weak argument, and I knew it.
“No, it doesn’t. In fact, nothing does. We can’t prove anything. Science can’t. All we can do with science is look at what we have and decide what we think is the most likely theory.”
“You mean we can’t prove anything at all?”
“No. Nothing.” A long pause followed.
“Then… why do you believe what you believe?”
“Because I think God created the world. That’s what I read in the evidence we have. There’s other problems that evolutionists have: for instance, if all the creatures on the earth today evolved from one common ancestor or ancestors—“
With the s in parenthesis, I thought, smiling.
“Then we should find fossils that are a cross between two different animals.”
“Oh! we have though,” I said. “Uncle Zade showed me pictures.”
“What were they like?”
He was going to prove me wrong. How did I know that? I never could have said. I just knew. “Well, there’s this bird we’ve found that was in the process of turning into a lizard. It was called Ar… kay… op…”
“Archaepteryx [ark ee op’ ter iks)?”
“Yeah, that. It had teeth and claws on its wings, like a reptile; and it had more bones in its tail than other birds.”
“Yes, but all those drawings you see, if you saw a real live one would you call it a bird or a lizard?”
I choked on my sandwich. “I guess I’d call it a bird.”
“That’s the way it always is with their examples: they’re either one or the other. Charles Darwin said that if evolution were true they should have been able to find fossils that are part one creature part another. He said that they hadn’t found them yet, but they would ‘turn up’ later on. But they haven’t turned up.”
“Interesting. Can I go get more water?” I tried to end the conversation.
“Sure, hon,” my Mom said, sounding a little uncomfortable.
I picked up my empty cup and walked away from our table. To my chagrin, Mr. Pirrip followed me.
“Does that make sense, Caroline?” he asked, casually.
“Yeah. It does.”
“Caroline, you keep saying ‘a God’, ‘their God’—do you believe in God?”
“I don’t know,” I answered pathetically.
He smiled sympathetically. “I’ve always been interested in science.” Just like Uncle Zade. “At first I started believing in God because I saw that all the evidence pointed me towards Him. But now it’s different: if someone found perfect evidence for evolution, I wouldn’t stop believing in God. I believe in Him because I can see His hand moving in my life—I can feel Him in my heart.”
I looked up at his face, and accidentally over-flowed my cup. I thought about the look on his face as I wiped my wet hand on my skirt while we walked back to out table, and I thought about it on the way home. I wanted that surety. I wanted to know what I believed—and I didn’t.
“Do you think that was helpful, Carol?” Dad asked, from the front seat of the car.
“I’m not… sure,” I stammered.
“A lot to take in?” Mom asked gently.
“Yeah.” We were silent for a long time. “How do you decide what to believe?” I asked at last.
Mom looked at Dad for help. “Why don’t you try praying?” he encouraged. “Talk to God. He’ll answer you.”
“He will? How?” I wasn’t sure I really wanted to talk to my Creator.
“I don’t know. But He always answers me.”
“Okay.” My parents let that non-answer slip.