From Hubris to Humility: My Journey of Science and Faith | The BioLogos Forum
“Science and the Sacred” is pleased to feature essays from various guest voices in the science-and-religion dialogue. Today’s entry was written by Jonathan Kooiman. Jonathan Kooiman is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia. However, he currently resides in Wheaton, Illinois where he is studying biochemistry at Wheaton College. He hopes to continue his studies at medical school. Jon is passionate about making God’s name great among the nations and plans on serving as a medical missionary.
Ten years ago I knelt at the side of my bed and prayed, “Dear Jesus, please help Nana not to believe in evolution anymore.” Today, I can imagine my eight-year-old sister praying the same prayer for me: “Dear God, please help Jon not to believe in evolution.” I fondly remember how simple life was as a child.
I grew up in the Bible Belt South where to believe in evolution was to isolate yourself from the community. My parents homeschooled their children in order that we would receive a classical, Christian education. Indeed, I was blessed with a superior education – tutors in math; college professors for history; endless stacks of classics for literature; and even more papers for writing. In every field of study, we were surrounded by the best – except in science.
Science “class” was more of an apologetics class meant to prepare students for the day when evolution would attempt to seduce us. It was so simple back then: evolution is the result of atheism. Since we believe in God, evolution is wrong. From there we memorized arguments – philosophies against atheism and gaps in evolutionary theory. We were always encouraged to stand for truth, especially on this issue. In this respect, I was a model student – aggressive and zealous for the defense of our beliefs.
This was how I lived from my early childhood until I was seventeen. I pursued evolution as if it had a bounty on its head. As a child, I’d pick a fight with other children who were being taught evolution, aiming to “re-educate” them properly. When I was sixteen I enrolled in a community college as a dual-enrolled high school student. That fall semester I studied biology. After all those years of preparation, this was my moment to publicly stand for truth. And stand I did. Today I am ashamed for my behavior when my professor began the unit on evolution.