Genesis not my belief: Governor
November 4, 2009 - 12:02AM
VICTORIA'S church-going Governor David de Kretser has risked the wrath of fundamentalist Christians by declaring he does not believe the Bible's account of how God created mankind.
Professor de Kretser has also suggested the teaching of ethics in schools might need to be compulsory because declining attendances at churches and other places of worship pose a threat to value systems.
At the annual conference of Victoria Police chaplains, he expressed concern about a drop-off in religious observance, especially among young people.
''The strength of society and its ability to work cohesively depends on the basic teachings of values by our parents and teachers to young people at an early age,'' he said.
''One wonders as to how these teachings and associated value systems will be passed on to future generations, given the declining attendances at places of worship. Perhaps the teaching of ethics in schools will need to be a compulsory program at many levels of the education system.''
Professor de Kretser, a renowned infertility expert, said people often asked him if his scientific career put him at odds with his Christian beliefs.
It was a question scientists had struggled with through the ages. Naturalist Charles Darwin, for instance, had studied to be an Anglican priest and for years refused to publish his thesis on evolution because much of what he found contradicted the Bible.
After On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, Darwin battled with the teachings of the church against his scientific theories, but never lost his faith.
Professor de Kretser said that, as a scientist, ''if I looked closely at the basic tenets of the Christian religion, it would be difficult for me to provide scientific proof to convince my scientific colleagues that Christianity should be the religion for them''.
''For instance, from the scientific evidence before me, I clearly accept that evolutionary theory represents the most logical explanation of the origin of mankind,'' he said.
''Those of us of the Christian faith would believe in a God creator who was the engineer. For me, this engineer did not complete the job in a week as expressed in the book of Genesis, but more over an evolutionary time span.''
He said the human body was a complex machine with beautifully crafted controls, and he believed it was created by a higher being. But this could not be proved. To accept the theory was an act of faith, a word defined in the Oxford dictionary as ''a firm belief, especially without logical proof''.
This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/national/genesis-not-my-belief-governor-20091103-hva2.html