This posting should be first in order of importance and causality. I think God has been intimately involved in my life, enabling me to see details of how he created the living world through the process of evolution. But I cannot prove that to the satisfaction of those uncertain about God’s existence. Nor do I rely on that belief to come to my conclusions about evolution, creativity, or science.
Old and New Testament scriptures have much to say about God being the creator, from the Genesis accounts to the epistles of St. Paul. But the details told in stories lacking the foundations of modern science should not detract from the ultimate message of God’s awesome role in creation.
Over two thousand years ago Aristotle provided four proofs for the existence of God. I think they are all derived from the principle of causality upon which all scientists rely. But the transition from pure existence, the “I AM” revealed millennia ago, to the material world is beyond the understanding of many. The hurting and evil in the world impedes many from seeing the goodness and greatness of God. A full understanding of evolution and free will is helpful in getting past their impediments. More may eventually be said about that topic.
As a graduate student I became a close friend of a young faculty member in zoology and was an occasional guest in his home with his family. He maintained I would be handicapped as a scientist because the dogmatic thinking associated with my religion would interfere with my thought processes. I don’t remember if I had an appropriate response, but in the 56 years since then I do see what makes his conclusion wrong. You don’t have to believe in God to be a “dogmatic thinker”. And a firm belief in causality will help you look for answers when doubters lose heart.
I have been helped in my spiritual journey by association with people from many lands, of different religions, and varying views and backgrounds. I can see the good in all of them, the flaws we share, and almost understand God’s love for all of them; I do so thankfully, perhaps motivated by the thought that then there is hope for me.
I may eventually post a few pictures of houses of worship around the world. But great inspiration can be had in contemplating a stand of mature trees, the night sky, the waves lapping the ocean shore, the view from mountaintops, the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and the myriad life forms in a drop of pond water on a microscope slide.