The Pennsylvania Court ruled that Intelligent Design is simply Creationism in drag (um...I mean, disguise). Here is the article from MSNBC.
I have been thinking a lot about this issue because of this trial, because of reading Brian Mclaren's The Story We Find Ourselves in, because of a discussion with a friend who is a staunch seven-day-literalist, and because this is important theologically.
I went to the Understanding Evolution website. This is an excellent teaching resource from Berkeley. I grew up in a conservative Christian environment and attended a conservative, private Christian school. I was never taught the theory of Evolution, and it was often quickly dismissed by pointing out weak areas of the theory. (And carefully avoiding any weak areas of their own).
I learned some very important things. For instance, evolution does not believe we evolved from chimpanzees, but rather that we share an ancestor. Also, there seems to be more evidence there than my conservative science teachers led us to believe. I also learned that they are not making claims as to the Origin of life (how it all got started) only its evolution since is began. I am sure some scientist are, and some are studying, but the primary emphasis of evolution is not origin, but evolution.
To be honest, I feel rather embarassed at not having studied this earlier. I guess I was just not that concerned with it. I still feel that the primary purpose of Genesis is not science, but theology. I don't think the Bible's stories have to all be completely, factually true for the Bible to be true. It is first and foremost a theological book. It has history and science within its pages, but it is not a text book.
I think this goes back to my understanding of salvation and my thinking on what the Bible is. It is not an answer book. It is not a text book. It is God's words to us. It is meant to lead us into a relationship with God.
I am still studying and trying to learn. I struggle with the inner voice that screams, "You are going to hell for even thinking this way!" I know, intellectually, the voice is wrong, but it is still hard. I was impressed, however, with the website, and with the explanation of evolution.
I guess however I land on this issue, I do believe that God got it all started, and I do recognize that there are evolutionary principles at work in our world. I think Genesis provides us with great theological insight into God's relationship with humanity, and his desires for us.