While eating lunch I was reading an article about synapsids (a reptilian precursor to mammals with distinctive temporal openings) when I got to thinking about doubt, specifically about evolution. Which got me thinking about other sorts of religiously driven doubt, such as that of creationism.
One objection that is sometimes raised against the theory of evolution is that 'benefitial mutation has never been observed'. This would appear to be a false assertion, but never mind. Another objection is that speciation has never been observed.
It seems that there are a slew of objections about things that occur over geological time. And for good reason: any statement made about very slow processes should be taken with a huge grain of salt (or more than a grain).
Two statements can (and should) be made about this: first, the impossibility of direct observation doesn't mean that we can't come up with theories to describe these phenomena. Recall that scientific theories are fundamentally pragmatic in nature: they are articulated by scientists who see patterns in their observations. A good theory can go far beyond the initial observations that inspired it, and that is a theory's fundamental utility.
It seems to me that any faith that forces the believer to close their eyes to the world is a poor one. If it helps, consider the existance of the world prior to whatever creation-point-in-time you choose to be 'the mind of God' as it existed 'prior to His Creation'. In this way, one can interpret phrases like '5 billion years ago the Earth formed from the cooling debris of stars' as 'prior to the Creation, the mind of God, blessed be He, contained in it the Wonderful and Miraculous formation that would Become the Earth in His final Act of Creation.'
Using this geological-time-to-God's-mind mapping, evena creationist can do good science, er, I mean exploration of the His Mind Prior to the Creation.