As I've said before, I prefer to take the universe 'as is.' I would much rather learn more about this wonder-filled creation, than insist that the Almighty is limited to what folks knew a few centuries back.
My faith doesn't insist that I learn more about how the universe works: but it isn't threatened by knowledge either. Honest research can't contradict faith, because God made the universe. (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 159)
"Nothing endures but change."Two dozen centuries later, change is still very much a part of this creation. God made a universe that is being created: which is good, and which is moving toward perfection:
(Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, 540 BC - 480 BC)
"Creation has its own goodness and proper perfection, but it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator. The universe was created 'in a state of journeying' (in statu viae) toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained, to which God has destined it. We call 'divine providence' the dispositions by which God guides his creation toward this perfection:I figure we've got a choice: accept the idea that we live in a changing creation; or not.
"By his providence God protects and governs all things which he has made, 'reaching mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and ordering all things well.' For 'all are open and laid bare to his eyes,' even those things which are yet to come into existence through the free action of creatures.161"(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 302)
On the whole, I think it's prudent to accept reality.
excruciatingly careful about explaining that continental drift was just a theory: and hadn't been 'proven.'
I sympathize with the authors, who may have wanted to provide adequate educational materials while not offending folks who don't want this creation to be particularly big or old.
Not liking the idea that continents move isn't limited to painfully pious folks. About four decades back, I had a geography/geology professor who loathed and despised continental drift. That attitude helped me decide to major in history, and that's yet another topic.
That continents move, carried along on tectonic plates: by now, that's an observed phenomenon. A person might prefer that Earth's crust stay put: but that preference has as much effect on reality as King Cnut's ordering the tide to stop.
Thanks in part to improved technology, like the satellite-based Global Positioning System, we're still getting surprises: like when a city in South America jumped westward by about 10 feet. That was a big earthquake. (Apathetic Lemming of the North (March 10, 2010)
Cnut knew the limits of executive power, by the way. My guess is that his command was intended as a reality check for over-enthusiastic courtiers. ("King Canute (= Cnut) and the waves," J. P.Sommerville, Department of History, University of Wisconsin - Madison)
- "Reason, Evidence, and Searching for Truth"
(February 3, 2013)
- "An Ancient Brain, Politics, and Searching for Life on Mars"
(October 12, 2012)
- "Taking Life a Thousand Years at a Time"
(June 10, 2012)
- " 'In a State of Journeying' "
(January 18, 2012)
- "Home Schooling, Religious and Moral Instruction, and American Culture"
(March 6, 2010)