I have a question for religious people: most religions believe that God or some other divine being created the universe. Which, naturally, includes Earth.
I read a lot of science books. I'm not expert in the details of cosmology and evolution, but I'm familiar with the broad outlines of these fields. I know how much solid evidence supports certain basic facts.
The universe started off in a big bang some 13.8 billion years ago. Stars and galaxies eventually came into being, along with our sun and the solar system.
Chance, in the form of countless unpredictable chaotic deterministic events, led to the formation of Earth. The orbits of planets in our solar system have been much different in the past than they are now, and those orbits are continuing to change.
Earth was hit by a very large object fairly early on in its history, which caused the Moon to be formed. Other objects have impacted Earth over billions of years, leading to mass extinctions of the life forms existing at the time.
All life existing now on Earth has a common ancestor. Almost certainly this is a single-celled organism, such as a bacteria. The relatedness of humans to other species is evident in our DNA. Our ancestors include not only bacteria, but fish, birds, and mammals.
Before Homo sapiens came to be the only Homo species, quite a few other species closely related to us (such as Neanderthals) existed. Human DNA reveals that our Homo sapiens ancestors interbred with some of these species, leaving genetic traces that are evident in our cells today.
At one point the number of Homo sapiens dwindled from thousands down to a few hundred. If these early humans hadn't survived, our species wouldn't exist now. Neanderthals or some other Homo species would.
I could go on in this vein, but I've described enough to ask my question of religious believers.
What plausible story do you have for creation that incorporates what I've broadly outlined above? What sort of God or other supernatural entity would utilize natural mechanisms for bringing about the supposed creation of everything that has existed, and does exist, in the cosmos?
It sure seems to me like religions either have to ignore scientific facts (which many do), or twist "divine will" into an exceedingly bizarre shape. Meaning, if divine will is equated with the evident laws of nature that have led to the world we have now, why bring God into an act of creation at all?
I've never come across an answer to my question that even begins to make sense to me. Maybe some reader of this blog will be able to share one. I'm waiting...