PaulS, I have read through a few of the posts on this thread and feel I get the gist of where this is going. I generally support your explanations on this topic. I have come from a prior fundamentalist view of the Bible and can be sympathetic with the positioning of others on this thread, however, I have discovered that spiritual freedom, for me, demands that I enter into an honest discussion with reality. For me, God no longer has to conform to dogma, even that which men have derived from a self-designated "Holy Book", and the Divine has been set free from the constricting box of dogmatic theological beliefs.
As a result, acknowledging our dearth of understanding of the vastness and complexity of the universe, I am set free to walk beyond the confining restrictions of ancient explanations and actually experience the magnitude of a God who may have been the initiator of this awe inspiring creation. I find myself thus standing in a far greater awe of the marvels of creation. An awe that could never have been inspired by a book that is frozen in time regarding the scientific wonders that are continually being revealed. I prefer the scientific methodology that observes the evidence to see where it leads than a dogmatic one that determines the end goal and then finds support for its already existing questionable conclusion.
The fundamentalist argument against evolution is tired and worn. My formal theological studies were completed in 1976 and the library of fundamentalist oriented "science" books supporting creation that I had at that time are echoed in the same basic arguments today. It has been my personal experience through studying this topic that the field of genetics is too often overlooked in defining the scientific basis for an evolutionary history. Missing links, speciation, etc. all fail to take seriously the overwhelming documentation and evidence available in our individual library of ancestry found within each cell of our bodies in the form of DNA.
I have grown too old to enter into pointless arguments about what constitutes truth, particularly with those who tenaciously believe they already have it and are closed to new ideas that do not conform with their particular bias. This is not a judgment or a challenge that would thwart a friendship, but merely a decision on my part to conserve energy on things that matter to me spiritually. The transformative nature of genuine spiritual connection with the "Divine", however one may perceive that to be, is a main theme of my life so that I might more reflect, in my life's impact on others, the effect of illuminating what the "Kingdom of God on earth" might truly be like. I'm clearly not the best example, but that is my ultimate energy consumer. Thankful that this site offers the opportunity for such open discussion and a change to challenge one's faith.