I was helping a friend at work and a friend of hers came in to visit while we worked. We were creating the curriculum map for their science classes next year because they will have a new textbook and be using the new standards the school has selected. This school is a conservative Muslim school and one of the topics that is taught is evolution. That of course led to a very deep conversation about religion and beliefs.
Both of others are Muslin and I don’t really think about it but I guess I’m agnostic. I’m not against the idea that there could be something out there that guided the process of evolution but I’ve never seen proof of this “beings” existence and am more inclined towards disbelief.
We debated what to call this topic since Muslims don’t believe in evolution. I wanted to know what they thought of fossils and other scientific evidence that we have been around for a long time and evolved. I was told that Allah put them there. I asked why. To test peoples faith? To mess with people? That didn’t seem very nice to me.
Then it was my turn because they wanted to know what I believed. I explained that I believed in what I had seen and held. I worked in a place where the artifacts we were recovering were over 100,00o years old. I believed that carbon dating and other forms of dating were accurate and that over millions of years subtle changes has turned us from monkeys to men and women.
We openly and confidently shared our beliefs knowing the other person was open to listening and respectful enough to disagree politely. We debated and asked questions and broadened each others horizons a little more. It was never about the preaching or converting each other. It was a sharing of beliefs. It was about understanding each other.
I think that if more people were open to accepting others right to their own beliefs that the world could get better.