What a very smart topic. I'll try to add my two cents here...
I spend a lot of time pondering these sorts of things. About life and death, and why we are here and whatnot. At the moment I don't know what to
believe quite yet, so I try to leave myself open and believe in a combination of all sorts of different stuff.
The easiest way that you could see religion and evolution working together/not being paradoxal is if you view religious writings such as The Bible,
etc not as literal works, but viewing their contents in terms of being a set of metaphors and similes that convey a different message than what is
literally written. If you take the Bible figuratively instead of literally (not to pick on the Bible, but it is the one I know best), then a lot of
the things said in it still line up with evolution quite well.
All religions follow (more or less) the same storyline, set of beliefs, etc. There is a creation story (Figuratively, the Big Bang), and there is an
apocalyptical ending (Which scientifically we know that life on earth has to end at one point, for any number of reasons, even if it takes until the
sun explodes). In between is a set of moral codes, some more stories that can be interpreted in other ways besides their literal meanings. This does
not pervert religious documents, and this does not mean that they are not "The Word of God" as people claim, since in this understanding, God would
be the universe as a whole, and the hand of God would work through evolution. It is even possible that the universe is a living thing, for all we
Many cultures worship the sun as their god, which could work just like the "universe is God" theory. Life on earth would not exist if it were not
for the sun, "And then there was light"
If you read Genesis, it sure sounds a lot like a figurative reference to evolution, happening because of a big bang or the sun being born, etc. I
believe that if there is a God, he/she/it would use figurative and poetic language like this to get it's meaning across.
I don't know what else to add at the moment. I'm sure I will have something else before this thread is done. I'm still not sure what I believe at
the moment. This is just one theory that sort of links religion and evolution, by making nature a figurative god. I don't care much for organized
religion anyway though, but rather just spirituality. I don't think that people should get themselves stuck into believing a single thing with blind
faith. I think it is good to explore all of the religions and theories out there, and then see what the overall picture is, with all of the
similarities, etc. I think that every religion out there has something to offer, but they are all a little bit off and have become skewed over the
Religion is a real brain-teaser. Even if we DO find out who/what God is, then we still have to figure out who/what made God!
[edit on 13-8-2005 by Yarcofin]