Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States, shows how evolution and Genesis are compatable.
Looking to scripture, the first creation story (Genesis 1-2:3) speaks of the origins of all things as the creation of God, who was, is and will continue to be the source of life and all that is: water, light, time, the stars and planets, Earth and all its living inhabitants.
The second creation story (beginning at Genesis 2:4) speaks of God's relationship with human life and observes that humans have from the beginning felt the urge to set themselves up in place of God, in an act that has been called sin, idolatry or hubris. This story insists that this act is predicated on the ability to choose, whether rightly or wrongly.
Scientists employ Darwin's theory of evolution as the best framework for understanding the complexity of creation and its ongoing development. The vast preponderance of scientific evidence, including geology, paleontology, archaeology, genetics and natural history, indicates that Darwin was in large part correct in his original hypothesis.
I simply find it a rejection of the goodness of God's gifts to say that all of this evidence is to be refused because it does not seem to accord with a literal reading of one of the stories in Genesis. Making any kind of faith decision is based on accumulating the best evidence one can find - what one's senses and reason indicate, what the rest of the community has believed over time, and what the community judges most accurate today.
That is not to say that the tradition or community understanding is always correct, as we might note in the aftermath of Galileo's discoveries. When the various sources of authority seem to be in tension, we must use all our rational and spiritual faculties to discern the direction in which a preponderance of the evidence points. To do otherwise is to repudiate the very gifts God has given us.
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