Guest lecturer at ISU argues that evolution and creationism are compatible

Thane Himes

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Dr.

Patricia Kelley argued that it is possible to accept evolution as

fact and still have faith in her lecture, “Evolution vs. Creation:

Conflicting or Compatible?” in the Great Hall of the Memorial Union

on Thursday.

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Kelley is a

professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and

her research focuses on the evolution of mollusks, i.e. clams and


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“In my

judgment, there is a bunch of evidence of [evolution], from fossils

to living beings,” said Dr. Kelley. “It is the only valid

scientific explanation for the history of life.”

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Dr. Kelley

does not approach this topic from a purely scientific


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“While I do

teach evolution, my husband is a Presbyterian minister,” Kelley

said. “Faith is an important part of my life.”

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Kelley

believes that religion itself is completely separate from


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“Religion

is not a science because it relies on the supernatural,” Kelley

said. “The supernatural can’t be tested. To qualify as a scientific

fact, something has to be proven.”

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Kelley said

that evolution can occur naturally, but humans can sometimes cause

evolution as well.

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“In Iowa,

you see farmers taking the bigger ears of corn and using those for

reproduction, so that their crops for the next year carry on the

trait of producing more corn. That’s a form of evolution,” Kelley

said. “So if you say you don’t believe in evolution, it’s like

saying you don’t believe in corn.”

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>However,

Kelley also believes religion and science don’t have to negate each


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“Science

and religion are simply different ways of knowing,” Kelley said. “I

believe in what some would call theistic


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Kelley

describes theistic evolution as believing that evolution is the

means in which God creates life.

<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“I believe

that the bible is the word of God and it’s important in my life,

but I’m not a bible literalist,” Kelley said. “I think that if you

take [the bible] literally, you lose the meaning of the


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>Kelley

pointed out that many mainline churches accept evolution as a

scientific fact, including the Catholic Church, the United

Methodist Church, Anglicans and the Church of the Nazarene,


<span style=

“font-size: small;”>“Evolution

doesn’t harm my faith,” Kelley said. “It gives me a glimpse of the

power God has to create.”