This is directly out of the "Centurymarks" section of The Christian Century (Nov. 15, 2005): "Also testifying in the intelligent design court case in Pennsylvania was John Haught, Georgetown University theology professor, who argued that science asks how whereas religion asks why. He noted that there are different ways of explaining boiling water. One could say that water boils due to rapid vibration of water molecules (the how question). Or one could say that it boils because someone desires a cup of tea. Both are legitimate accounts. But it is a mistake to bring up the subject of wanting tea when studying molecular movement, just as it is wrong to say 'It's the molecular movement' rather than 'I want tea'." (York Daily Record, October 1)
It would seem that if public schools could stick to the "how" of things and faith communities do their job of establishing "why", we would all receive a very well-rounded education. Apparently, for some, the "why" of evolution threatens their "how" and the "how" of evolution threatens the others' "why", the meaning behind evolution. Which would indicate a certain amount of fear on both parts, a powerful force which influences most of us, believer or not. But we're all so busy being passionately gripped by our own point of view (another sign of fear) and poking fun at others (an attempt to assuage the fear) that we're not available to listen compassionately to those whose fears rankle our own.
We're all guilty of fundamentalistic thinking: right and wrong, black and white, "us" and "them", absolutely sure ours is the way. There is a choice that needs to be made but it's the one between loving, forgiving, and not. And I know that on any given day I could do much better at those, that I always fall short, that I am more of a goat than a sheep (all wisecracks, refer yourselves to the gospel of Matthew, ch. 25).
The only intelligent response is not more headgames, more jokes, more expert research or knowledge, but love and forgiveness. And you don't have to believe in God to be capable of that. But you do have to be capable of loving someone or something else more than you love yourself. Anyone can love as much as they are loved in return; some get by with doing less. But if you really want to change things, love more. Henry David Thoreau said, "There is no remedy for love but to love more."
How can I love more and why is that a needful thing for me to do? This is our mission as human beings living in community.