Galileo (1564-1642), while battling the Catholic Church over views that differed from accepted doctrine, said, “I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”
I believe the wisdom of this statement is as pertinent, even critical, to the future of modern society and human survival as it was to Galileo, individually, during his lifetime. The antiquated religious doctrines that block intelligent solutions to the monumental problems of human overpopulation, human pollution, global warming and human interaction between religious groups are pushing us closer and closer to the brink of potential extinction.
I believe God to be all-intelligent (I view God, Allah, and all other human recognized Deities within that name). We would not have the Bible if He had explained to the ancient prophets how the weather worked, what lightening is, about the days when dinosaurs roamed the planet, about bacteria and cell growth and DNA and stem cells, the distances across the universe, or the age of the universe. He created these, so he understands them, but He restricted his explanations because his intelligent insight knew humankind was not capable of comprehending the full picture at that time. To assume God’s words were the final say that stated all absolutes gives him no credit for understanding that our ancestors simply were not yet capable of grasping simple scientific and engineering realities and facts: not to mention tectonic plate theory, the evolution of species, how to build an airplane, or the energy of covalent chemical bonds. Most of us do not understand those today. Nevertheless, we — as humans, as a creation of God — have applied the brainpower given to us (through the evolutionary processes God created), to accumulate a vast and increasing body of knowledge about his creations. We have also learned how we are stressing our planet beyond its means to sustain the systems that we must have if we are to continue to live on this planet.
I believe we grossly insult God by continuing to degrade the planet he created now that our brains can understand our impacts on his creation. We have chosen not to apply our brainpower: to limit population growth (the quote says ‘go forth and populate’, not, ‘go forth and overpopulate’); to ensure a high quality of life for all God’s creatures (including ALL men); and to find ways to live in peace.
I believe humans are better than our history shows us to be. I believe we can use our brains to chart a course that leads to a sustainable future . . . not just for the United States, but also for all Nations Under God and for all God’s Creatures and Creations. I hope we will chose to apply our intelligence before we find humanity approaching the precipice of extinction.