I had the long-planned meeting with my pastor this morning. It went well. He was, as I expected, very gracious and attentive. He also asked hard questions, some of which I could answer and some of which I could not. I explained about the evidence for evolution, from common descent to shared junk DNA, to the fossil record. I gave him some evidence of how it is predictive—notably the discovery of the fishibian (or fishapod) Tiktaalik roseae and its relationship to Pandericthys and Eusthenopteron on one side and Acanthostega and Icthyostega on the other, the recent discoveries of the frogamander and, of course, Archaeopteryx.
We also talked about common descent, which allowed me to bring up the ERV and vitamin C deficiency evidence for primate/human ancestry. He did ask me one question that caught me completely flat-footed: how does the three and four chambered heart evolve? I do not know much about this, so I went looking. Panda's Thumb has a page on the evolution of the two-chambered mammalian heart and Here is a page on the evolution from three to four chambers.
We talked briefly on the flood of Noah and the evidence for it being local (as opposed to the humongous amount of contra-evidence that that it was world-wide) the fact that flood geology is a very recent phenomenon.
I think it was at this point that I took a bite of something and had it go down the wrong passage. The problem is that my mouth was full of coffee also and so, not being able to do anything else, I sprayed my poor pastor with coffee. Mortification. Hide under the table. Embarrassment. Pick one, I felt them all. It was then that I remembered that we, alone, in the animal kingdom have this problem. Why is that, I wondered? Here is a possible solution—as well as something we have in common with the English Bulldog!
We spoke a good deal about ID and irreducible complexity, Michael Behe's take on ID. I told my pastor that Behe does not reject evolution, it is just that he feels that it cannot explain everything. I explained to him that, while I think that God did create the heavens and the earth, I thought that ID was a bad way to go about trying to demonstrate it. He agreed with this.
We spent a good deal of time talking about the Primeval History and the nature of original sin, which touched on the excellent series that was hosted by Steve Martin. I confessed that, while I am okay with an original Adam, I hadn't a clue when he lived. George Murphy would be disappointed in me. I am still working this one out.
All in all, a very pleasant talk. We may have another like it someday. I did not ask for agreement on all of my positions, only understanding. He very graciously gave me that.