Did my 8th grade science teacher fail at teaching evolution?

Warning: this post goes much deeper than the previous, “pork n beans”

What is evolution? I’m not looking for an over the top, science definition, but rather, what are its implications for my life? For our world? You see, I was scolded yesterday for saying to my husband that evolution meant things are constantly adapting and changing to become better. *if you are a real scientist, please forgive my layman’s terms, but you may want to keep reading to understand how this theory has been misrepresented to the rest of us who are not active members in the scientific community.

My husband, a teacher of 8th grade science, informed me that evolution means change, not necessarily for the better or worse. But what about those finches?! And the beaks?! Apparently the beaks did change/evolve to accommodate the birds’ diet, and the birds who had the better beaks suited to eat the food were the ones who survived and reproduced-survival of the fittest. Oooohhhh… Okay…

Now, why care about evolution at all? It really doesn’t affect me daily like, say, gravity, but in a way…it does.

I am a Christian-a follower of Christ whose teachings are found on the bible and oh…now you get it. The long seated debate, no, war, between creationists and evolutionists (or whatever you would like to be called) is a major issue for both parties. I’m sure your skin is crawling right now with conviction. If you took an 8th grade science class like mine, this feud was taught to you more than the theory of evolution itself. You were most likely asked to pick a side and debate/attack the other until blood flowed.

Now, in my adult life, married to a Christian in the scientific community, I am beginning to see this heated struggle as unnecessary and irrelevant.
To me it is like debating my favorite restaurant and what my eye color is-it does not match up. The two are from separate life compartments: one is a faith, one is a theory. One dictates life choices, and the other is a study, a piece of scientific knowledge.

So, why then do we insist on battling each other with contempt, dare I say, hatred? Thank you science teachers who taught us to pick a side, rather than learn the facts.

Many people, like my husband, feel trapped in a no-man’s-land where this subject cannot even be politely offered up for discussion. Just the word “evolution” sparks a fire, for both Christians and scientists alike, both misinformed and strongly opinionated. When did an honest discussion become taboo in two communities where honest discussions are said to be valued so much? Oh sure, we might say, “that’s not me. I wouldn’t attack someone before listening to where they are coming from,” but, really? Check your blood pressure right now and tell me the truth. I can say this because I am just like you. It has bothered me for years that my husband “believes” in evolution – he explained to me it is really not something one “believes” or not. And, I would like to tell you we have patiently resolved this issue, but I won’t lie-it has been a very heated debate.

But, back to the birds’ beaks, you cannot argue that things change/adapt/evolve. And, you cannot scientifically prove a miracle. So, I have arrived at my own theory:
if you are a scientist (or not!), you can agree with the theory of evolution and believe in God and Christ Jesus.

Yes, I said it…