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Combining Evolution and God

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by kern, May 30, 2002.

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  1. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    This thread is addressed to Christians who accept Evolution. If you are a 'creationist' please do not hijack this thread.

    There are some problems in combining evolution and God. Evolution says that beings evolved through natural selection, a process that can be explained with no reference to a supernatural being. So it's not quite evolution if you say that God was guiding the process along, unless you stipulate that God used a scientifically explainable method to do that. That doesn't seem too problematic.

    Any thoughts on this? Are there any books about evolution + God from a pro-evolution standpoint?

    -Chris
     
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  2. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    I haven't seen any. I have always believed that, God being what He is, not so much as a quark spins except by His will. So... given that physics is a result of His continued will that physics exists and performs normally, it would be very very hard to "detect" His involvement.

    I lack any particular theory about why we're made the specific way we are; I don't have enough information to form a theory.
     
  3. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    A bit more thought on this.

    Evolution has always seemed *obvious* to me. I have always had cats. Cats have the same pattern of leg joints we do. This is not a particularly good design; you could improve either our legs or cats' legs *substantially* by changing the way you jointed them.

    Why, then, are they so similar? Because that pattern was already developed, and it was flexible enough to be easy to adapt by small amounts, rather than having to be reinvented from scratch.

    It is not, in my mind, an accident that many land mammals have much different front and back legs... nor that that difference eventually turned into making some of us bipeds.

    I can't see why this theory would *bother* anyone. It has no practical effect on any part of Christianity. We're all still loved by God. We're still forgiven for our sins. What changed? What's so horrible about this?
     
  4. BigJon

    BigJon Insanely Huge

    71
    +1
    "GEN 5:1 This [is] the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him;"

    "GEN 9:6 ... for in the image of God made he man."


    hmmm, Its clear to me that we are the way we are because God created us in his likeness, however you may have trouble seeing this because your trying to merge a pack of lies and the truth to make one big happy go lucky story in which case you will never find the truth.

    Also, Its not really offensive to have other people "preach" (for lack of a better word) evolution, however I'm certainly amazed to the fact of how anyone would want to be closely catagorized with animals, animals that do the following:
    #1 eat there own vomit
    #2 eat there own dung
    #3 run around buck naked

    and so on, i think you get the point.
     
  5. seebs

    seebs God Made Me A Skeptic

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    BJ, you may not have read the part where the man nicely asked for the people who don't believe that evolution happened to let the rest of us have a discussion in peace. Surely, you wouldn't be so rude as to get in the way of a civilized discussion between people just because you don't agree with them.
     
  6. kern

    kern Miserere Nobis

    +7
    Catholic
    It has nothing to do with what we want, it's about accepting the overwhelming scientific evidence that proves evolution true. I don't think God strews false data around on purpose, therefore I have no choice to believe that God used evolution as his means for creating the species and mankind. Yes, this means I don't believe in a literal Genesis 1-10 or so (everything up to Abraham). But that's another discussion altogether.

    And as seebs said, I did ask very nicely for this not to turn into another evolution vs. creation debate. I had no hope that everyone would actually follow that request (I still don't -- I expect to come back tomorrow and see this thread up to 25 posts and turned into full creation vs. evolution mode).

    Once again:

    This thread is for discussing how evolution can work with Christianity.

    Please, please, PLEASE do not turn it into a creation vs. evolution debate.

    -Chris
     
  7. Satoshi

    Satoshi Member

    309
    +3
    I'm certainly amazed to the fact of how anyone would want to be closely catagorized with humans, humans that do the following:
    #1 murder each other
    #2 steal from one another
    #3 write vapid arguments rather than accept scientific theories

    Fortunately, just because we are humans, does not mean that we must act as other humans do. Likewise, just because we are apes, mammals, chordates, and animals, does not mean that we must act as other apes, mammals, chordates, and animals do.

    One will notice that this conclusion does not derive from an assumption of God's existence or non-existance. I think that one will find many many conclusions, arguments, and fields that do not mention God at all, from the theory of evolution to economics. Please do not confuse a non-mention of God or Christianity with a conflict with God or Christianity.
     
  8. tycho

    tycho New Member

    36
    +2
    Do you see a problem in seeing it that God set up the laws of physics knowing the outcome & let his laws run the show in the form of evolution? Is it required for God to guide everything once the parameters are set & things are in motion? To make a pathetic analogy, evolution could be God's way of setting the destination & putting the creation of diversity of life on autopilot.
     
  9. TheBear

    TheBear NON-WOKED

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    I am going to move this thread to the Christians only forum, since it is addressed to Christians.


    John
     
  10. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    "The Science of God" is a good one that addresses this idea. Evolution is often misunderstood and misrepresented...a practice that started right after Darwin propose the general idea.
     
  11. LewisWildermuth

    LewisWildermuth Senior Veteran

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    I see both as possible, God is God after all...

    But I tent to favor natural processes because the evidence, to me, points that way.

    I don't see a problem with it in the Bible because I think the truthes in the Bible are deeper that the literalness of the words but the meaning behind the story.
     
  12. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    A literal reading of much of the Bible doesn't really make sense. It is a text, with a sub-text, which requires carefully study, prayer, and discussion. Yes, it is the inpired Word of God, but is was written by man in human terms.

    For example, the six days thing. Since time is relative to your position in the universe, God could have done it in six of His days, while on earth, millions of years were passing.
     
  13. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

    +72
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    "There are some problems in combining evolution and God. Evolution says that beings evolved through natural selection, a process that can be explained with no reference to a supernatural being. So it's not quite evolution if you say that God was guiding the process along, unless you stipulate that God used a scientifically explainable method to do that. That doesn't seem too problematic."

    Whether God is the Metaphysical being in control of evolution is not something that science can answer. Just like Creationism. Could we have just been created by a really advanced race of space aliens? Possibly. (not very likely though) But see each theory can rule out God.

    But science can't explain if there is a spuernatural being controlling anything. It goes beyonf science so theu it also goes beyond the evolutionary theory. Evolution explains the natural processes of creation (if you believe in it) not the supernatural process of it.

    So I can believe in evolution and Christianity as long as it is acceptable with the Bible and its theology. i.e. original sin etc. I believe the 2 can be reconciled but others say no. You must study for yourself and see what you believe. Which when honestly studying the Bible is always a rewarding experience.

    blackhawk
     
  14. Othniel

    Othniel Cup Overflowing

    151
    +0
    The greatest hinderance to the Christian evolutionists argument is explaining how all those plants evolved for millions of years without the sun (read Gen 1 again carefully.)

    The other issue is this: evolution as a theory (or religion) is a very violent and destructive one. Have you ever seen the mutations which "support" evolutionary theory? They are rarely (if ever) beneficial and result in pain and death for the mutant. Do you really believe that God looked down on all this "survival of the fittest" "pain and death" scenarios and said "It is good."? Where is the loving creator in that?

    Evolution is the greatest religious threat to Christianity in America, and to the sanctity of human life. Without evolution, abortion is a non-issue.

    For more, check out dr.dino.com Though I don't buy everything Kent Hoven preaches, he's got some serious points when it comes to this issue. He made a seven day creationist out of me!

    Faith in God is the issue here,
    <><
     
  15. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

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    "Evolution is the greatest religious threat to Christianity in America, and to the sanctity of human life. Without evolution, abortion is a non-issue."

    I disagree. i think societies belief that relious views are just emotional and not logical and that theology is not important to our lives except for the "religous" part which many think is a really small part of our lives.

    blackhawk
     
  16. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Amen! Also, evolution doesn't happen in the strict sense. There is a form of evolution in place, which is clearly evident, but it doesn't explain things like the explosion of marine life at one specific point in time.
     
  17. Othniel

    Othniel Cup Overflowing

    151
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    Societies belief that religious views are emotion stem from evolutionary thinking (ie, as man evolved he needed an explanation for nature and came up with God, and now as man continues to evolve, science has removed that need, so hence the religious part of our lives is being sifted out through natural selection.)

    Scary. :help:

    Evolution is a religion.

    Praise God the world can't touch us! :bow:

    Peace to all who seek it.
    <><
     
  18. NRutman

    NRutman New Member

    35
    +0
    To me, evolution is about the biggest crock that I've ever heard. I don't know how life began or how we were created (although I would probably lean more towards a literal interpretation of Genesis), but evolution is definately NOT the answer. Evolution was proposed as merely a theory, but unfortunately the scientific community has claimed it as fact. It deeply concerns me that our "geniuses" would slop together something so haphazard and present it to the public as an answer. To hear a geologist claim to know how planets formed 4.3 billion years ago based on running tests on present day rocks almost makes me laugh. To think that we can gather that kind of information from the 4600 years or so of recorded human history (which happens to be roughly .000107% of that 4.3 billion years) is rediculous. What is even funnier is to see how dumb the answers get until they finally fess up and very quietly say, "umm...we don't know yet." I would appreciate it a lot more if people just claimed fact as fact and guesswork as guesswork. Unfortunately evolution is guesswork claimed as fact (or pretty close to it).

    The real problem is that we form a theory and take the "fact until disproven" route. As long as you can't disprove them, they think they're right. It doesn't matter if they can prove it or not.

    Just some of the rants of a college student, :)
    Nate
     
  19. Blackhawk

    Blackhawk Monkey Boy

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    "Societies belief that religious views are emotion stem from evolutionary thinking (ie, as man evolved he needed an explanation for nature and came up with God, and now as man continues to evolve, science has removed that need, so hence the religious part of our lives is being sifted out through natural selection.) "

    I disagree. i think that people's view of evolution not just a s scientific or naturalistic explanation but a way to remove the need for God has two causes.

    1. people do not understand what science is. Science can't deal with God. God is supernatural science can ONLY deal wiht the natural.

    2. I think that Christianity left the arena of the intellectual. So then other men came up with the philosophical/ anthroplogical theory which you gave and there was no rebutt to it. (Although there is definitely one) So it was that Christians left the thnking to the secularists and so now they do not take our intellectualism seriously and believe that religion is just made up. But that theory has really nothing to do with the scientific theory of evolution.

    blackhawk
     
  20. Chris†opher Paul

    Chris†opher Paul Based on a True Story

    +4
    Nate and Othniel are correct. :) Micro-evolution is clearly true, but Macro-Evolution is a faith based theory, not a fact, as it is usually taught. I know I was taught that in school!
     
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