Beliefs in global warming, environmentalism, and overpopulation are all united around the core belief that human beings are bad.
The theory of evolution is related because it maintains humans are not special. They are not created in the image of God. In fact evolution tries to explain how God may not have had anything to do with anything.
Pat Buchanan wrote a great column on March 2 entitled, "Hoax of the century." In it he explains how Darwinism was the great hoax of the 20th Century, and global warming is the great hoax of the 21st Century. (In his piece Buchanan describes the Piltdown Man hoax, a model of which is pictured left.)...
I'm always intrigued by stories about evolution, which fall into 3 categories: 1) Hostility of its believers verging on terror that any would question it, with mammoth (pardon the pun) attempts to quash dissenters; 2) a new find "proving" evolution, usually the "missing link"; 3) a revelation that an old find was either a hoax or case of mistaken identity.
I'll add I'm saddened some Christians think evolution can somehow fit into our belief system. It simply cannot. Either the Genesis 1 account of creation is accurate, or it is not. To this day there is NO standing evidence that Darwin was right, only evidences dashed.
To that end comes a March 5 AOL story that falls into category #3. It tells how a supposed "missing link" discovered last year named "Ida" (pictured left) turns out to likely by an "ancestor to lemurs." One point in the AOL piece not to miss is how anxious MSM and evolution suckers were to believe a lie:
In the weeks leading up to Ida's May 19 museum debut, the media frenzy intensified. A&E purchased the rights to make a documentary about Ida, and ABC News signed a deal for an exclusive interview with Hurum to appear on Good Morning America, Nightline and World News With Diane Sawyer. Little Brown & Co. bought the publishing rights, and, according to The New York Times, pre-shipped 110k copies of the book, which, like A&E's film, is titled The Link.
NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg and British television nature host David Attenborough attended the ceremony at the American Museum of Natural History, which was sponsored by the History Channel....
I guess I do believe some humans can evolve into lemmings.
Watch the movie Expelled with Ben Stein. Fascinating.... I have watched it several times and learn something each time.Posted by: Susie Allen at March 9, 2010 9:35 AM
Evolution is a scientific theory, not a belief system. Personally, I find it to be a generally poorly (yet overly) supported theory. That being said, I don't find that it conflicts with my Christian beliefs.
It's true that taking a literal interpretation at LEAST stretches my understanding of the facts of nature. The world being created in 7 days, men living to be 900, a talking serpent, worldwide floods and pillars of fire - are they possible through God's will? Of course.
Meanwhile, whether or not a man and a woman actually ate a fruit from a tree, whether woman was actually created from a man's rib bone and whether Sarah actually conceived Isaac in extreme old age does not change the fact that I still believe in a God that loves me, that created me in His image, that He made woman to be my companion, that He would be willing to destroy the entire world for the sake of the faithful, that satan deceives us and causes imperfect man to fall, and that miracles are possible.
Evolution, the Big Bang, Quantum Mechanics are all groundbreaking scientific theories. Scientific facts are like dots on a piece of paper; theories are the images scientists try to draw using those dots (some better than others) - none of that changes the fact that God gave us the pen and paper in the first place.Posted by: Alex at March 9, 2010 10:21 AM
I don't see why God can't fit in an evolutionary model. Even if I ever WERE to come back to any line of Christian thinking, I'd have to at the very least adopt a belief that evolution as we know it has been a guided and well thought out process directed by a creator, as the evidence is already here. But, considering the bible even says something to the effect of the idea and concept of "time" as mankind considers it is something totally different to God...something about a thousand years being as a day to God or something...I don't see why evolution can't fit in that frame. I think it would, nicely. If a God does exist, and the bible is the word of God, directly from the higher being as given to man, and man (especially at the time it was given) is so very much below the understanding of God...of course the "word of God" had to have been dumbed-down for man. I imagine giving man the word of god would be a lot like me trying to explain quantum physics to my toddler or teach algebra to my cat. Unless you simplify and paraphrase...A LOT...they're just not going to get it. I don't see why so many Christians seem to feel so threatened by evolutionary theory. I don't think the existence of a God would threaten evolution...Posted by: xalisae at March 9, 2010 10:29 AM
the absolute BEST website ever on the debate between evolution (or Darwinism) and creation is at crev(dot)info. it can get pretty wordy, but it's worth the reading...I like this one much better than the Answers in Genesis site.Posted by: krkw72 at March 9, 2010 10:40 AM
"Genesis is an allegory,and nothing but an allegory."
What are some good exegetical points that you base this claim on?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 9, 2010 10:59 AM
I question how Jill, a nurse, suddenly decided she was an expert in theology to make this post with absolute statements like evolution "cannot" mix with Christianity. (Normally I'm right there with you, Jill, but not this time) Richard Dawkins, a physicist, makes the same mistake, though he lands on the other side. Leave the theological dictates to theologians.
That being said, the bible was written over time by may different people in many different literary styles. Do you take Revelations literally, Jill? That a dragon will literally appear in the sky and eat a child?
Micro evolution is well-evidenced. In macro evolution, the evidence is hazy at best (I have seen that Ben Stein movie). I don't think genetic mutations sufficiently explains the emergence of complex "all or none" organs like working wings or eyes. There must be some other mechanism that guides animals through evolution: ie God's hand and direction. After all, it appears as if evolution is rationally directed.
That being said, I think evolution could be how we got here. It does not eliminate God, but merely shows HOW God did it. God wen thru all the effort to set up the laws of the universe. Why wouldn't He work within those laws?Posted by: Scott at March 9, 2010 11:06 AM
In Jill's defense, the bulk of her comments are on evolution theory's effect on devaluing human life, with a side comment on its "meshing" with Christian theology.Posted by: Alex at March 9, 2010 11:26 AM
Bobby, what are your feelings about evolution, as a Catholic? It's something I've been wondering about for a while.
Thank you!Posted by: len at March 9, 2010 11:32 AM
I question how Scott, a mere man, suddenly decided he was an expert in theology and contradicted God's Word with ignorant statements like the following: "God went thru all the effort to set up the laws of the universe." (God spoke the universe into being; it must have been easy for Him.) Creationism and evolutionism do not mix. If you're going to speak on theology, Scott, then read the first few chapters of Genesis. They're quite straightforward and easy to understand. God meant them to be easily understood--and believed. So believe them, just as our Lord did (Matt. 19:4-5).Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:39 AM
Sorry, Scott. My first comment to you was needlessly offensive. I need to watch my tone, which became condescending because of my attempt to do a parody.
You certainly have read the first few chapters of Genesis. Aren't they very different from Daniel and Revelation, which like most prophecy regarding the future, are intentionally vague and often symbolic? Genesis, whether poetry or not, is history. The other writers of the Bible regarded it as such. If you're going to start messing around with the duration of the creation days, then you're going to open yourself to all kinds of exegetical problems. At least, I think so.
Do you really think scientists are qualified to speak on the age of the earth and how it came into being? Scientists today believe evolutionism simply because evolutionism is currently the establishment view. It's the water that they've always swum in.Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 12:00 PM
That's a great question, len. I can give you the Catholic Church's teachings and I can also give you my own personal opinion. Here is one quote from Pope Pius XII from his 1950 encyclical letter Humani Generis:
"The Church does not forbid that...research and discussions, on the part of men experienced in both fields [theology and biology], take place with regard to the doctrine of evolution, in as far as it inquires into the origin of the human body as coming from pre-existent and living matter."
Here is the famous quote from our late Holy Father John Paul II as well
"In his encyclical Humani Generis (1950), my predecessor Pius XII has already affirmed that there is no conflict between evolution and the doctrine of the faith regarding man and his vocation, provided that we do not lose sight of certain fixed points....Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than a hypothesis. In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies – which was neither planned nor sought – constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory."
Now some would argue that this last quote is JPII announcing that the Catholic Church supports evolution (when I say evolution here, I mean the BIOLOGICAL aspects of Darwinian evolution; common decent, and natural selection as a mechanism BUT NOT claiming natural selection is random in the sense of NOT being teleological or purpose-driven by God) However, teh Catholic Church does not officially support evolution one way or another. It leaves science up to scientists, and allows faithful Catholics to follow the biological evidence to wherever it may lead. So a faithful Catholic may be a Creationist. He may hold to some form of Intelligent Design. Or he may hold to evolution in the sense that God "stacked the deck" as it were and through his Divine Providence, ordered the universe such that teh physical make-up of human beings would come to fruition through the process proposed by Darwin (note that the soul can NOT evolve, and that the basic idea is taht it is infused into a body which THEN becomes human once teh first humans come onto the scene).
I think the whole wiki article on this question (at leats, the last time I checked) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catholic_Church_and_evolution does a good job of laying out the Catholic Church's teaching on what a faithful Catholic can believe as far as evolution goes.
Now, as for me personally, I must sadly take the position of an agnostic with regards to the question. I simply do not know enough to make a good, solid informed decision which I can reasonably defend. I would like that to change. I do every once in a while read things about evolution and ID, and I try to really understand what each side is claiming, but my biology simply isn't strong enough to make an informed decision. I mean, some of these ID theories are really intricate. Take Behe's irreducible complexity theory. I just do not have the scientific expertise to be able to critique it. I'd like to be able to someday. I don't know if I ever will.
But the idea is that, for a Catholic, it's somewhat of a moot point because whatever conclusion one comes to, nothing really changes as far as their faith goes. It ends up being a question about science, and while one wants to be able to discern as many matter of truth as possible, one has to prioritize. So that's my lame opinion on that. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 9, 2010 12:11 PM
Death and suffering was caused by Adam's sin. Before this, the Creation was declared good, without death, without suffering, without parting, without injury, etc.
It takes a vain imaginations believe death and suffering is a good or creative force.Posted by: Ted at March 9, 2010 12:42 PM
Jon, it is always awkward to place human descriptions on God, such as using "effort," but I try my best to work within the language of Earthly things to describe heavenly things. Please be more charitable.
God love ya, Bobby, for putting the Catholic idea forward solidly. Evolution--being one species originating from a former species--is not antithetical to Christianity. The idea that it is purposeless and random IS. The Catholic idea is that the universe was created by God with man in mind.
Now, whether He set out the laws at the big bang such that it would follow down a path which ended up in our creation (which, in my opinion, best proclaims God's mighty ingenuity), or whether He was actively changing the laws along the way as Creationists think is a matter of HOW He did it.
If you read Genesis in the same spirit as Revelation (ie not literally), you would find that it actually, poetically, fits the theory of evolution nicely. The logical gradual emergence of species, culminating in man. The fact that all living things are made of basic metals and elements of the earth. I believe in evolution and that God had a hand in it, and this is not contradictory.
It is also important to keep in mind that God continually reveals Himself to man over time. As the bible progresses, we come to a fuller and fuller understanding of Who God is. Therefore, the earliest-written books will be the most incomplete, and the much later Gospels provide all the info necessary for salvation, and the closest look at Who God really is. When man wrote Genesis, he was dealing with an incomplete idea of God, and was working without the scientific knowledge we have today.
Imagine taking Moses to New York City and then reading his account of what he saw. He would call cars "chariots" and describe how "lamps" directed their flow. He would describe "metal birds" instead of airplanes...you get my point: he would take info given to him and place it within his own limited mental framework in order to make sense of it. I believe much the same happened with the writing of Genesis. The truth remains, as it was given by God, but man did not have the mental framework to comprehend the science so the details were altered to fit the mental framework of the time. I don't know if I'm articulating this right, but I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to say.Posted by: Scott at March 9, 2010 12:52 PM
Re: literal vs. figurative interpretation, I have this rule of thumb written in the front of my Bible. Don't know where I got it, but it works for me:
Take the Bible literally whenever it is at all possible. When the language cannot be taken literally, then we know it is figurative. In other words, what cannot be literal must be figurative. There are always plain literal truths in the Bible proving every doctrine, so if a figurative statement is found in the Bible on the same subject, explain the figurative passage with the literal passage. Remember, no figure of speech ever does away with the literal truth but merely expresses it in another way.
Therefore, regarding the 7 days of creation, when God says, "There was evening, then morning - the first day," and so on for the six days of creation, there is no reason in the world not to take that literally. We don't think God could accomplish what He did in 6 literal days?Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 9, 2010 1:24 PM
Re: mixing evolution and God, this is one area I part company with Christian brothers and sisters who believe otherwise. Genesis 1 is very clear. I'm not 1 to post long passages of Scripture, but here I go, highlighting a very important repeated point, that God was clear that He created "every" thing during those 6 days, He didn't just start some evolutionary ball in motion, and everything was "of like kind" or "of its own kind." There was no evolution of fish progressing to birds progressing to animals progressing to people, or variation thereof. God confined fish to the sea and birds to the air and animals to the earth:
11 Then God said, "Let the land burst forth with every sort of grass and seed-bearing plant. And let there be trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. The seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came." And so it was. 12 The land was filled with seed-bearing plants and trees, and their seeds produced plants and trees of like kind. And God saw that it was good....
20 And God said, "Let the waters swarm with fish and other life. Let the skies be filled with birds of every kind." 21 So God created great sea creatures and every sort of fish and every kind of bird. And God saw that it was good. 22 Then God blessed them, saying, "Let the fish multiply and fill the oceans. Let the birds increase and fill the earth." 23 This all happened on the fifth day. 24 And God said, "Let the earth bring forth every kind of animal – livestock, small animals, and wildlife." And so it was. 25 God made all sorts of wild animals, livestock, and small animals, each able to reproduce more of its own kind. And God saw that it was good. 26 Then God said, "Let us make people in our image, to be like ourselves. They will be masters over all life – the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the livestock, wild animals, and small animals."...
29 And God said, "Look! I have given you the seed-bearing plants throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. 30 And I have given all the grasses and other green plants to the animals and birds for their food." And so it was....Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 9, 2010 1:36 PM
God certainly could have created the world in 6 literal days. I don't think any faithful Christian would doubt His divine omnipotence in that regard.
To my understanding, literal interpretation of the Bible as fact requires a belief that the universe was created roughly 6,000 years ago. Again, possible for the Almighty to do; but the scientific facts as we currently know them place the age of the universe between 13 and 14 billion years.
Genesis certainly could be a literal truth; but in my path to discovering truth, I have to take facts at face value. Edwin Hubble makes a good case to my mind. Charles Darwin, so far, has not (though thought provoking). In any event, my faith does not rest on either of them being wrong. Right or wrong, for either evolutionary biology or astrophysics, my God is the Author of a stunning Creation.Posted by: Alex at March 9, 2010 2:08 PM
Oooh..I love this topic!
Could God fit an evolutionary model? Of course. But He doesn't. God created the world, the world (and us) did not create God.
God clearly spells out in the Bible how He made the world. If that is not true, then how do we know (or believe) that Mary conceived Christ when she was a virgin and that Jesus died and rose from the dead? To the unsaved they are a bunch of fairytales and we are fools for believing it. But to the person who is indwelt by the Holy Spirit we know these are truths and believe them in faith.
In Job he speaks of the world being round. Job is one of the earliest books of the Bible (though not the beginning book). how did Job know that the earth was round 6,000 years ago? The Bible is scientifically accurate and historically accurate. They just discovered money with Joseph's name on it in Egypt. They just discovered Solomon's wall in Israel. There was a pharaoh who the Bible said was killed in battle and when they discovered his body he sure enough had a Hittite arrow embedded in his skull (the name escapes me now but I will check my Egyptology books).
Romans 1:20 says all of nature points to it's Creator!
Natures speaks to design and thought, not randomness. A magazine I get and love is called "Acts and Facts". Its FREE! Google it, and you can sign up. This magazine is written by scientists just as learned (and more) than our very own Gerard Nadal. They are doctors, biochemists, molecular biologists, geologists etc...and they dissect the impossibility of evolution using sound scientific data. It is astounding! They show how it is impossible that we descended from apes, and how fossils blow evolution right out of the water. I urge anyone who wants to really stretch their minds to read this magazine.
God created each of us in His image. He created us for His glory. He loves us and yearns to have a relationship with us. He sent His Son to die on the cross to take the punishment we deserve for our vile, wicked sins. His Son rose from the dead to grant us eternal life. Its a gift and all we have to do is accept it.
Evolution, abortion, and all the rest are wicked lie created by Satan himself to deceive man into thinking they don't need God and that there is no one to answer to but themselves. Don't be deceived. You were created lovingly, and with a purpose. And you will give an account of your life someday. The only intercessor to save you is Jesus.Posted by: Sydney M. at March 9, 2010 2:14 PM
Oh, Sydney, amen! Great comment.
One of many Bible facts I've always loved on this topic is that the Bible discusses ocean currents (Psalm 8:8), or the "paths of the sea," as the King James version calls them. How could David - or anyone - possibly have known that? Currents were only first identified on a map in 1769.Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 9, 2010 2:39 PM
Here's a question I pose to creationists:
How do you explain the dinosaur fossils?
Namely, dinosaur fossils are dated way back--much earlier than the earliest human fossils. So...were they actually just created a few DAYS before man was? If so, how do you explain their rise and fall? Their vast numbers? Their exclusion from Genesis? Were they all created in a day, and then wiped out the next day? I'm curious what you make of that.
Also: Dino fossils have teeth marks and horn marks in them, showing that they ate, fought, and killed each other. So if there was no death before Adam and Eve, how do you explain those fossils? Or are you willing to claim humans existed with dinosaurs and dinos only ate each other after Adam sinned?Posted by: Scott at March 9, 2010 3:01 PM
It's funny that we talked about the Scopes case in history today. Darrow asked Bryan (two of the lawyers in the case by the way) how he knew that God meant twenty-four hours. Bryan, who was arguing on the case of creationism, said that there was no way of knowing that God meant twenty-four hours- sunrise and sunset is not a literal thing, and rarely is it NOT used in a metaphorical sense. Darrow, who was a Christian and supportive of evolution (he was a Modernist who believed that evolution proved creationism) said that seven days to God is different from seven days to humans.
In reality, if you look at it- creationism have common elements: first the light (Big Bang) and last the humans (humans are a relatively new species), and everything in between.
I think that the best writing that ANYONE can read to understand creationism in depth is Joseph Campbell. He's my new hero.
And he discussed this particular topic a lot. :)
But I suppose that this is my question:
Why would God be tired after seven days? Apparently, God has been active nonstop in the time since then- did He take a day off on the seventh day and does has He felt replenished since, though that was billions of years ago? Why would less than a week make Him exhausted?
So while if God exists, I suppose He could create the world in seven days, but it seems that He would want to create it in billions of years.
I'm not reconciling Christianity with evolution or anything (though they are possible to be reconciled quite easily, and in fact in a more scientific manner of thinking, it's hard NOT to reconcile them)- I'm not religious- but I think that it's fun to consider. :)Posted by: Vannah at March 9, 2010 3:08 PM
Posted by: LizFromNebraska
at March 9, 2010 3:18 PM
God created the creatures of the earth BEFORE the creation of Man. Not every Christian is required to believe the exact 6 LITERAL Days (as we now know a day as 24 hour time period anyway)creation. A day for us NOW in modern times, could be even have been millions or billions of years for God.
Just remember when deciding to take creation literally that a day to god is like a 1000 and a 1000 days is like one. Creation could of taken 6 days or 6000. God doesn't live in the realm of time like us. Another point to take in consideration is we are a very literal culture, dissecting words and placements of words endlessly. The Jewish culture, Native culture and Africain culture are/were mostly oral tradition culture, with history and truth taught by stories.
I don't see a conflict between evolution and God, In evolution the animals of the sea came before the animals of the earth, same as the story of creation.
I don'thave the Bible with me, but if I remember correctly, the sun was not created the first day but later, if so, how could it dictate the days?
Posted by: chantal
at March 9, 2010 3:30 PM
Bobby and Scott did a great job!
Jill, you have a great article here. The evidence is the same for evolution or intellegent design, it is just the interpretation that differs. Neither theory has been proven but with new respect for the complicated workings of the cell as well as the language in DNA, there are reputable scientists who see the evidence better fits ID than evolution. A Christian must believe Genesis 1 or why would he believe any other part of the Bible? It all boils down to whether you believe in God or not. Both are ideologies of which we try to interpret the historical evidence. I believe we are created by a holy God and not by mear chance.Posted by: Mary at March 9, 2010 6:00 PM
It's not a matter of "not believing" Genesis. It's a matter of properly understanding it. God gave us the Bible, but He also gave us brains and the two should work together (See my question about dinosaurs). The Gospel is to be believed more literally because it was written by people who were actually there or who knew people who were there and saw it. We can't say the same about Genesis. Again, the Bible was written by many people over a long period of time with different literary methods, different perspectives, different audiences, etc., therefore we cannot interpret all of the books the exact same way. I would suggest you do a little research into the origins of the Bible in your spare time.
That being said, what to do about disputes in interpretation of scripture? When we have two opposing interpretations of a passage, how do we know who is right? We can't both be right. So who is the authority in the matter? The Holy Spirit first came to the apostles which became Christ's church. Christ gave his church to Peter, granting him the authority to bind things in Earth and Heaven. Peter's successors are the Popes. There is an unbroken line of Popes from today back to Peter, who have the Authority, given by Christ, to interpret scripture. Christ also said that the gates of hell would not prevail against his Church. The Catholic Church is the authority in resolving disputes on the interpretation of scripture because they were commissioned by Christ, they assembled the books of the Bible, determining what was sacred cannon and what was not, and they have 1000s of years of scholars who have pieced together a cohesive and non-contradictory interpretation of scripture.
I love being Catholic. It just makes so much sense when you look into Church history--and in debates such as this one!Posted by: Scott at March 9, 2010 6:15 PM
Now, that's not to say that there isn't room for disagreements on scriptural interpretation within Catholicism, but there ARE wrong ways to interpret it which have been spelled out throughout the years.
And it's not to say that the Catholic Church is perfect--it is made up of humans--but in matters of doctrine, it has the backing of the Holy Spirit and Christ's promise.
It's just so awesome to be able to have a reference for these things so I know I won't end up running into contradictions or stating things about God or scripture which end up being absurd when investigated further. Because it's just too much for one person to piece together a proper understanding of the Bible, so it's good to have the combined effort of the Saints and Popes of old to rely on!
*stepping off soapbox now*Posted by: Scott at March 9, 2010 6:28 PM
Jill, I respectfully object to this post. All of it. Pro-life blogs should not be about the creation/evolution debate. It's a side issue that can only divide people.
If I may quote myself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbTBZOjERqk
You have to understand Jewish writing styles, and the way things are interpreted in order to interpret scripture. The way the creation story is written is in a tense meant for allegorical stories. We don't have that in English, so there's no way we would know, except if we know Hebrew, or know someone who knows Hebrew. Also, numbers are a way to show meaning. They're not something to take literally - at least not all the time. Once in a while the numbers actually mean something, and are literal, like the 12 tribes or 12 apostles, but not all the time. The creation stories (there are actually two), visions of Isaiah, Elijah, Daniel, and St. John, and the parables are some of the times when the Bible is definitely allegorical. The story of Noah isn't a literal 40 days, Jesus' time in the desert isn't a literal 40 days, etc.
One is wholeness, completion, perfection, as in the One True God
Three stands for perfection and divinity, as in the Holy Trinity.
Three and a half is an incomplete, indefinite period of time.
Four means the whole world, created, as in man.
Six stands for man, flesh, incompletion, imperfection.
Seven stands for covenant, totality, creation, and fullness. It is God and man in unity (3 meaning God + 4 meaning man), as in completion of the creation of our world, and Jesus as the completion of the Covenant.
Eight is a new beginning.
10 is indefinite, not yet perfected, unfulfilled, undetermined.
12 means tribes, covenant. It's also God's unity with man (3 x 4 = 12), as in the covenants with 12 tribes of Israel and the 12 apostles.
40 is one human generation, and a time of testing
1000 is an uncountable number
666 is three sixes, meaning a perfect imperfection, the ultimate imperfection.
144,000 is the 12 tribes x 12 apostles = 144 (standing for the faithful) 144 x 1000 = 144,000 an uncountable number of faithful.
Therefore, the seven days of creation were not LITERAL seven days. It WAS symbolic.
Also, remember that God is outside of time, so seven days to Him does not translate to an Earthly seven days. If you go to another planet, a day can be longer or shorter than on Earth, being that a day is one planetary revolution. God created all the universe, so of course days to Him are not what they are to us.Posted by: Amy at March 9, 2010 8:34 PM
I thought of this quick two minute clip on evolution from a Dr William lane Craig debate. Dr Craig is probably the best around when it comes to debating and defeating atheists.Posted by: psalm at March 9, 2010 8:39 PM
I emphatically agree, Kelsey.Posted by: xalisae at March 9, 2010 8:47 PM
Having read most of the comments and also being a student of Scripture and Theology (Catholic Seminary), I have to agree a bit with a previous commenter. This is a topic that can easily cause division when scripture is brought into the discussion. I already have disagreements with some of the Biblical exegesis done in this thread.
I do enjoy the discussion but lets not get too distracted. I have found that blogs are not often conducive for proper Biblical exegesis. Heck, there's too much typing involved!
PeacePosted by: psalm at March 9, 2010 8:53 PM
I'm telling you all...check out this website and magazine. Its free and it will answer all your questions much more eloquently than I could.Posted by: Sydney M. at March 9, 2010 9:28 PM
Here is another article in reference to the question on fossils...http://www.icr.org/article/dont-fossils-prove-evolution/
Carbon dating is faulty first of all. I remember reading a book by a forensic anthropologist who sent a murder victims bones to the lab and the test came back that they were thousands and thousands of years old when they were not. Error maybe, but I've read of evolutionists even getting different dates on one fossil.
And then just recently they found a fossil and the scientists studying it were amazed to find that it looked FRESH...blood cells still present etc...how could this be if it were millions and billions of years old? This was in Acts and FactsPosted by: Sydney M. at March 9, 2010 9:37 PM
Please keep posting about this topic!!! It really points out the difference between the pro-choice and the pro-life camps. I always enjoy reading a post like this...it emboldens my beliefs!!!Posted by: Jake at March 9, 2010 10:17 PM
The pro-lifers here come from a wide variety of backgrounds. Some of them claim to be Christians; some do not. Those who do claim to be Christians come from a wide variety of churches, which originated because of different historical contexts but mostly because of a wide variety of interpretations of God's Word. Then there is the more recent split which has taken place in almost every doctrinal persuasion, resulting in those who accept the Bible as God's inerrant Word and those who so much emphasize the human authorship that they lose the divine authorship.
This split happened because of the Enlightenment, intellectual arrogance, scientism (over-confidence in the use of the natural sciences to solve problems), and higher criticism of the Bible (e.g. miracles are silly so let's edit them out). The quest for the "historical Jesus", the assumed historical superiority of Hammurabi, and the two Isaiahs were also effects. The split originated in the nineteenth century, if I correctly remember what I've learned, and evolutionism was the perfect alternative for all those who wanted to get rid of God. As Nietzsche said, we have killed God, at least in Europe.
So why do I say all this? I say so because most people mistakenly believe that evolutionism is somehow "factual." It isn't. (And, really, what are the "facts"?) Evolutionism is popular because our leaders--in the Church too--became proud and said that we don't need God anymore. In other words, Westerners became evolutionists because they wanted to create a reality without God (hell).Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 10:18 PM
I suppose you believe that Mary was a virgin too...right?? Please tell me you believe this...I want to hear you say it!!!
Absolutely, Jake, Mary was a virgin. Actually, every woman is a virgin until death or some point in her life! I believe that Mary remained a virgin until the culmination of her engagement and marriage to Joseph, after the birth of Jesus.
I maybe shouldn't have used the word inerrant in my preceding comment. Inerrant seems to me to be a scientist word, and scientism got us into this mess to begin with. Perhaps the word infallible would be more appropriate. Language and science require different treatment. As the Bible is written in a language, it cannot be subjected to the scientific method. I also note that since the Creation and the Fall are in the realm of ancient history, they are not reproducible, cannot now be observed, and are outside the real of the natural sciences. Evolutionism is not natural science so much as it is philosophy and religion. However, people used to say that theology was the queen of the sciences (branches of knowledge).Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 10:34 PM
Hey Jon...what are the FACTs that show Mary was a virgin...I am curious.Posted by: Jake at March 9, 2010 10:34 PM
Jon..Brilliant!!! Language cannot be subjected to the scientific method!!! How convenient....hmmm, seems to me you have a convenient out.Posted by: Jake at March 9, 2010 10:36 PM
Jake, the facts that show that Mary was a virgin are these:
(1) Mary was at some point a girl or woman.
(2) Mary had not yet slept with a man.
(deduction) Mary was a virgin.
If you want some revealed knowledge instead, then consider Matthew 1:25.Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 10:41 PM
Point number 2: Mary had not yet slept with a man...is not a fact. Please PROVE that this is a fact. You speak of the scientific method being flawed....please, I am BEGGING you, please, prove that Mary had not slept with a man. I kinda have proof that she did.
Jake, go back to Point 1 and notice the phrase "at some point." :)Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 10:48 PM
"It depends on what the meaning of the word was is." –modification of an infamous quote from a former American president with regard to his breaking of the Seventh CommandmentPosted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 10:51 PM
Really Jon....Ok, I will rephrase...was Mary a virgin during her pregnancy with Jesus? Its a simple question. Of course she was a virgin at some point...that really wasn't the question and I think you know that.Posted by: Jake at March 9, 2010 10:54 PM
Kelsey, you disagree with the premise of this post because you're a secularist. You don't think evolution plays into the abortion debate.
But I as a Christian do. Evolution dehumanizes humans. If we just slithered up from the swamp and eventually began walking, we're not unique among all other species. Aborting us is the moral equivalent of aborting monkeys.
BTW, and a tad off topic, the big bang theory of creation comes closer to the Biblical explanation of creation than its theorists would like to think.Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 9, 2010 10:55 PM
Jake, do you know see some of the problems with or limitations of language? The little word was can be interpreted differently.Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:01 PM
Sorry: now, not knowPosted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:03 PM
Jon....I see a problem with your language. I just re-read your question and I am having a hard time understanding what you are trying to say. I do NOW see some problems with YOUR limitations of language. I think my question was pretty straightforward...but if you need clarification maybe this will help.....Do you think Mary engaged in sexual relations with a man prior to her becoming pregnant with what ultimately became Jesus?Posted by: Jake at March 9, 2010 11:05 PM
If I have a problem with understanding, Jake, then you have a problem with reading. Read again my comment at 10:34 PM.Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:09 PM
Good job avoiding my question. If this make you feel better, than yes, I agree with you, Mary was a virgin at some point during her life. But I specifically asked you for proof that she was a virgin prior to the culmination of her engagement and marriage to Joseph, after the birth of Jesus. Obviously you cannot provide this proof, which makes your theory as suspect as the theory of evolution.
The Incarnation is not a scientific theory. It's a main tenet of the Christian faith. According to the dating system of Western civilization, it is at the centre of history. With the Holy Spirit (in His Word), the prophets and apostles who wrote it down, the leaders of the Church for two thousand years, and my own parents who conceived me in the usual fashion (no virgin birth there), I confess that my Lord--the Christ--"was conceived by the Holy Spirit" and "born of the virgin Mary." This belief is absolutely necessary for my salvation. You see, the big problem of the world is sin.
I'm no more interested in providing scientific proof for the Incarnation than I am for the Creation (though I will say that the Incarnation was the more wonderful creation).Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:25 PM
Thank You!!! Perfectly stated...the main tenet of FAITH. Thank you Jon...for you have completely summarized the opposing view of this blog entry. Beautiful!!! I am glad you will be saved (in your own mind anyways). I feel the same way, and the beautiful thing is that neither one of us can prove it.
You see, Jake, I do believe in miracles. They don't happen often, and I'm not sure that they happen today, except in conversion. It will be a miracle if President Obama becomes a Christian, but it will be just as much a miracle if you become a Christian. A miracle is the working of God outside of His ordinary way--the way that He set things up and continues to govern them--and every time He changes a heart so that it desires Him, He works the most wonderful miracle (well, maybe not as amazing as the Incarnation).Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:31 PM
I believe in rational thought!!! Hopefully one day you will realize that you have been brainwashed. I could actually care less if you actually see the light (so to speak)...but if you do than I will consider it a miracle. But again, a miracle not created by God, but by an actual rational thought from a human being. By the way, President Obama is a Christian, sorry to point this out to you. Trust me, it gives me no sense of assurance that he is a Christian, I just thought I would point it out to you. For you see, whether he is a Christian or Muslim, it really doesn't matter, for either point of view is warped. But you should really get your facts straight.
Jon, leave Jake be. He's obviously a troll who is just here to be combative and you are feeding right into it.
If he were intellectually honest, he would see just from this post that pro-lifers come from a variety of backgrounds and beliefs and that this has nothing to do with adding to the veracity of the pro-choice side as Jake would like to believe.
Jake, there are pro-life atheists, too: secularprolife.org
@Jill, I agree that evolution has been used to devalue humans, but that is if you accept that evolution is entirely governed by a random, irrational force and that humans are not the end-point. Evolution which includes God as the force and mind behind it avoids this problem. At some point, God infused a creature with a soul and called it "man." Man was set apart from the animals and was the desired end point of evolution. And as for your big bang theory argument, you're right on!Posted by: Scott at March 9, 2010 11:37 PM
Scott, I leave it to you and the other readers to decide who is the more rational, Jake or I. My Christian faith is a rational faith, fully as rational as Jake's faith in evolutionism.Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:42 PM
Interesting that you consider me a troll...I have been posting on a variety of topics on this blog for weeks now. If you re-read my questions to Jon, you will see that I am simply challenging his assertion that the lack of "proof" is no reason to dismiss evolution. I am trying to point out that there is no proof that the bible is factual. Unless you can point to proof that the biblical stories are factual, ie...Mary was a virgin after the birth of Jesus...then I don't think you should be chiming in.
My point is simply that you cannot dismiss my views as irrational. You have clearly shown that you cannot do so, which proves my point. Thank you.
Jake, I'm not sure that I was trying to dismiss your views as irrational (though I'm beginning to think that they are). Certainly evolutionism as a system of thought is quite rational. It's a product of the Enlightenment, after all.
I was trying to point out to you that language and nature must be treated differently. I suppose I failed to prove my point.
This is my last comment today.Posted by: Jon at March 9, 2010 11:52 PM
But what is today?Posted by: Jon at March 10, 2010 12:11 AM
Scott, it would be convolution to surmise God created by evolution. Genesis 1 is very clear He did not. Please read my 1:36p comment. You're taking God's very simple explanation of creation and unnecessarily and incorrectly complicating it.
And while we're at it, your theory that the books of the Bible evolved from incomplete to complete as man's scientific knowledge evolved is goofy, for lack of a better word. Moses was raised and educated in the palace of an Egyptian pharaoh. Genesis 50:20 is about as theologically deep as any later Scripture verse out there. John used the same imagery in Revelation as Daniel used in Daniel. David in Psalm 8:8 described ocean currents about 1800 years before we scientifically evolved humans did.
Etc. Etc. Etc.Posted by: Jill Stanek at March 10, 2010 12:16 AM
But the idea is that, for a Catholic, it's somewhat of a moot point because whatever conclusion one comes to, nothing really changes as far as their faith goes. It ends up being a question about science, and while one wants to be able to discern as many matter of truth as possible, one has to prioritize. So that's my lame opinion on that. God love you.
Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at March 9, 2010 12:11 PM
As a Catholic, to me, evolution is also a moot point.
It's entirely possible for God to have created the world in one day, 6 days plus a day of rest, or through some sort of evolving process.
What IS key for me however, is that man (along with the angels) did undergo a test which he failed.
This set into motion all the rest.
The problem is that you can not look at the question of Mary's virginity in a vacuum. There is a plethora of pertinent information that is needed in order to assess any such claim. In a very brief word, Mary's virginity follows from the fact that the best possible explanation for the life, death, and alleged resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is that he indeed was risen from the dead, whence the Father vindicated Jesus' claim to be God. Jesus, being God, can not lie, and he [indirectly] gave us scriptures (though I would also argue a teaching authority, but that takes us too far afield and is a point on which my friend Jon and I disagree) which again, must be free from all error if they were given to us by him. Thus, because Jesus being born of a virgin comes to us as a teaching from God himself, Jon and I (and other Christians) are MORE sure of this fact than we are of any scientific matter because any matter in science is based on human intellect, but the virgin birth is a truth revealed directly by God who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Now there is a certain point where the epistemology is pushed far enough back and indeed, some human intellect must be exercised, but there is far less room for error than in the sciences, and it is quite minimal. I'd be happy to take you through it if you wish.
But that is the very general outline of matters of faith. They are truths revealed by God, and so there is no question of how justified we feel in holding them because it is not based on the intellect of human beings or my own arguments. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 10, 2010 6:30 AM
The notion that Mary was a virgin comes from a mistranslation of the original Hebrew word in the Bible- "Almah", which means not a virgin, but merely a young woman.
I don't want to offend Christians here or anywhere else, but the whole story of the virgin birth and God impregnating her instead of the
normal way people reproduce is a total fabrication. If traditional Christians still want to believe this, that's their right, but as a non-christian, I've never believed in this story.
De gustibus non est disputandum.
Robert, you don't want to offend Christians? Wow... that would be a first.
As to the Genesis thing, I am of the viewpoint that God can work through whatever agency He so chooses. Do *I* know whether a day as quoted in Genesis means 24 hours or some other timespan? No, I don't and it doesn't change my belief that God was the architect and force behind all of creation.
In fact, if one is to accept evolution AT ALL, it can only be accepted with God as the force behind it. Any halfway decent scientist knows that the universe tends towards chaos, not order. Left to their own devices, materials degrade, they do not form towards higher forms of order without an input of energy or force of some type. So, to surmise that some "Big Bang" instigated the whole matter and as time went on life became more and more complex is a complete impossibility according to what is known and proven by science as to how the universe actually works.
In addition, evolution could not have created such amendments as say, the eye, without the force of a creator behind it. The theory of evolution would say that each step in the process would be selected for as it would provide some inherent advantage... but for an eye or other complex organ to spring up in such a way that it was actually worth selecting for would require far more than random genetic mutation can account for.
Therefore, if one does believe in the theory of evolution, the ONLY way to make it actually WORK is to believe in a creator behind all of it. It certainly does NOT dismiss the need for one.Posted by: Elisabeth at March 10, 2010 10:06 AM
Are you saying that the only reason that Christians believe Mary was a virgin is because we think the word Almah is translated directly as virgin and has the same connotation in first century BC Hebrew culture as it does in 21st century America? We don't look at any other context, tradition, or anything else like that? We just go "oh, the word is virgin, that settles it!"?Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 10, 2010 10:21 AM
Jill, you misunderstand me. Man did not come to know God better after scientific progress, but after further contact with, and revelation from, God. God has and does reveal Himself to his people over time. Don't you think that the apostles had a better idea of Who God is than the Jews wandering in the desert? Man's depth of knowledge of God progressed as the later books were written.
The point of the Bible is to bring us closer to God. When we use it as a scientific authority, that is outside its scope.
Man, over time, also grew in knowledge of God's creation through science, therefore the scientific knowledge we have today is more thorough than what they had 3000 years ago. The purpose of Genesis is to educate us on the origins of the relationship between God and man, and between man and God's creation, not to provide scientific truths.Posted by: Scott at March 10, 2010 10:44 AM
Jake and Robert--here, I will say it and not play at semantics. YES, Mary was a VIRGIN when she conceived Christ. I cannot prove this. I accept this by faith. I accept all of God's word by faith. Some of God's word has been proven some has not yet been proven, but someday all of God's word will be proven.
You Jake, cannot prove that Mary wasn't a virgin. You can't prove anything either way. Thats why its believing by faith. I'm sure it seems silly to you because you are a natural man and not a man reborn by faith. You still think through your fleshly mind. You are not suited to spiritual thoughts because you don't have the Holy Spirit. And I'm sure all this that I just typed seems silly to you too. I understand that.
If Jesus father was some horny Jewish boy then how could Christ live a sinless life and how could He be worthy to be the sacrifice for our sins? If Christ was merely a mortal conceived the old-fashioned way then what did it matter if he was nailed to a tree and died? He wouldn't be able to rise from the dead and His death would be no more important than the two thieves nailed on crosses on either side of Him. It is the very fact that Jesus is the Son of God that made His death and resurrection so significant. As God's Son He was able to pay the price for the wickedness of mankind. It is a gift already bought and only has to be accepted by you.
Satan loves to get people to think that Mary was just a horny teenager and Jesus was not God's Son. Thats how he deceives you and you miss the whole point of why Christ came and died on the cross and the resurrected from the grave. Christ left the throne of heaven to come and offer HIMSELF and die a horrible death so that YOU DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR YOUR SINS YOURSELF. As I said, it is a gift already bought. All you have to do is accept it.Posted by: Sydney M. at March 10, 2010 10:45 AM
It is amazing what you will fall for when you believe a lie.It takes more faith to buy into this stuff than not.Posted by: Bob at March 10, 2010 10:58 AM
Scott...God is the creator of science. God and science are not opposed. The Bible absolutely provides scientific truths. There was a time when people believe in the four humors even though the Bible spoke about the health in the blood etc...Posted by: Sydney M. at March 10, 2010 10:58 AM
"It is amazing what you will fall for when you believe a lie."
Yes. You can prove anything (and I do mean ANY statement) if you begin with a proposition known to be false. And I can prove that using symbolic logic!Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 10, 2010 11:06 AM
Scott, with a few qualifications (for example, your apparent tendency toward uniformitarianism), I mostly agree with your comment to Jill at 10:44 a.m. One point of disagreement--the first few chapters of Genesis do provide some obvious fundamental truths about the natural world.
For example, as Jill noted, any careful reader cannot help but notice the rule that living things reproduce after their own kind. Why? because God created them that way, and continues to uphold them that way. Also, this sets the pattern for the doctrine of original sin. God created a being somewhat like Himself, Adam. Adam also created beings much like himself. Since he sinned, however, his descendants were also sinners. The Jews sacrificed probably millions of animals in the Old Testament, but they did no good. The animals are not the same kind as we (not even the apes). Our Mediator had to be the God-man. So what I think I'm saying is that a doctrine of Creation, living things reproducing after their own kind, makes the doctrine of the Incarnation a requirement for the Atonement.
Still, isn't the debate over origins mainly historical in nature? Reasoning from scientific evidence is valid, but the Word of God is far more reliable. And nobody has been clearer than God Himself as to the chronology of the history. The seven days of the first week were clearly seven solar days. Read Genesis 1 again. Morality itself is based on the Creation prototype. In giving the Fourth Commandment, God said that His people were to work six days and rest on the seventh because He Himself had done the same. The text gives us absolutely no reason to question the length of the days; rather, the opposite is true. Why would you want to distort and cover up the plain meaning of Scripture?Posted by: Jon at March 10, 2010 11:51 AM
Hats off to Scott for making a whole lot of good points that I'd have wanted to make but not had time for.
I've just finished reading Richard Dawkins' book, "The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution," and I learned three things:
1. Richard Dawkins is pompous, arrogant, immature and a horrible theologian.
2. Richard Dawkins is a brilliant writer with an outstanding gift for making natural science interesting and accessible.
3. The evidence for evolution is even stronger than I thought it was.
I won't say this book convinced me that evolution is a fact, because I was already convinced. But I had no idea that the evidence was so profound.
Dawkins goes so far as to say that even if we had not one single fossil, the evidence in favor of evolution would be sufficient. Interesting. He also bemoans the news stories that called the lemur-ancestor Jill pictures above the "proof" of evolution; the proof was already there.
Two points stuck out to me as I read the book that seem like insurmountable problems for the creationist:
1. Marsupials in Australia. Mammals Down Under are all marsupials; like animals are found nowhere else. Are we to believe that the entire mass of marsupials all migrated, together, from Noah's ark without one single species pair stopping along the way? Maybe Noah dropped them off on his way to Mt Ararat?
2. Bad design. Nature is replete with bad design, but the most astonishing is the laringal nerve of the giraffe, which travels YARDS down the neck, wraps around the heart, and returns back up the neck to the larynx. This lengthy trip may account for why giraffes are such poor vocalizers. It's a bad design, easily explained by evolution but baffling for the creationist. Or this one, to return to marsupials: Why is the koala's pouch upside down? Easy to explain if the koala evolved from an early ground-based species. Hard to reconcile with a perfect designer.
I recommend the book highly, though Christians of any sort will have to grit their teeth through Dawkins' more polemical passages.
But what Dawkins doesn't get -- and I wonder if creationists don't either -- is that God is not about engineering. Being an arrogant fellow, Dawkins can't imagine a supreme being who wouldn't take every opportunity to show off his power and might. He can't imagine a God who would have the humility to submit His creative act to the messiness of evolution -- who would allow the poor giraffe to be muted by an the awkward routing of its laryngal nerve, or the poor koala to have to manage an upside-down pouch up in the trees -- rather than brandish His perfect genius in a way that would not admit any space for free will.
So, contrary to Dawkins' intention, I walked away from his book with a sense of tremendous awe at how God has unfolded His creation.
I see no contradiction between evolution taking place through random mutation and natural selection (which is never random, by the way, but precisely the opposite of random) and God unfolding the whole thing according to His design. Our ways are not His ways. Our categories do not pertain to Him.
And I think that's ultimately what bothers me about the literal reading of Genesis. Yes, I suppose it's POSSIBLE to read Genesis literally, to "imagine" it all happening as narrated. But read in the context of what we know about just the passage of time (forget biological evolution for the moment) -- the red-blue shift of the stars; the geological strata, uniform the world over; the measurable half-life of dozens of isotopes -- in my judgment an allegorical reading is required.
Remember, as Fr. Richard Simon says, "The Bible is not a book. It's a library." It's filled with poetry, geneologies, historical accounts, legends, prophecies and more.
To this avid reader and erstwhile English scholar, the tone of Genesis 1 & 2 is allegorical, quite unmistakably distinct from the urgency evident in the Gospels and Epistles to relate actual historical events (but without much concern with chronology). (And how to reconcile those two substantially different chapters?)
In any case, I do not find my faith the least bit troubled by evolution by natural selection. Quite the contrary.Posted by: Eric Scheidler at March 10, 2010 12:41 PM
Very good, Eric. I was planning to read Dawkins after I finish Meyer's book Signature in the Cell because I heard David Berlinski say almost exactly the same thing you did about Dawkins' book- arrogant snob, but brilliant writer and he gets back (he took a hiatus to write junk philosophy) to doing what he does best, which is exposition of evolution. Thanks for the info, Eric. God love you.Posted by: Bobby Bambino at March 10, 2010 12:50 PM
Either the Genesis 1 account of creation is accurate, or it is not.
There's a third option. Genesis 1 is allegory describing what God did in terms migrant shepherds could understand.Posted by: Tony at March 10, 2010 3:19 PM
Are you saying that the only reason that Christians believe Mary was a virgin is because we think the word Almah is translated directly as virgin and has the same connotation in first century BC Hebrew culture as it does in 21st century America? We don't look at any other context, tradition, or anything else like that? We just go "oh, the word is virgin, that settles it!"?
Posted by: Bobby Bambino Author Profile Page at March 10, 2010 10:21 AM
well I don't know about you Bobby, but that's exactly what I did! ;)Posted by: angel at March 10, 2010 4:45 PM
2 points of clarification:
I don't think God and science are opposed. The Bible contains scientific truths and science points to God. But the purpose of the Bible is to lead us to God and the purpose of science is to best describe His creation. Therefore, one should not consult Genesis for a scientific understanding of creation just as one should not consult the scientific literature for an understanding of God's relationship with man. The two can work together, but are experts in their own fields, so to speak.
I disagree with Eric on one point: so-called "bad design."
I don't believe it exists. Looking at design and declaring it "bad" is a values judgment, based on characteristics you rank as most valuable. Maybe giraffes don't need to vocalize. Maybe that long nerve serves some purpose we don't yet know. Do we know enough about giraffes to declare their design "bad"?
I similarly have trouble with people who say the human appendix is evidence of the random direction of evolution since they say it has no purpose--(not yet, I say. I believe we will someday find its purpose. Some think it serves to culture intestinal bacteria at an early age.) As for the koala, again, perhaps it seems silly to us, but it must serve some purpose which would come to light after knowing everything there is to know about koalas.
I believe evolution is directed. And random gene mutations do not sufficiently account for the appearance of all-or-none organs like a wing or other mysteries of evolution. They have only been shown to create diversity within a species. For if evolution is random, then we cannot say we were the desired outcome of the process and therefore we are a fluke and nothing special, and God serves no purpose.
The case against a literal reading of Genesis can be summed up in one word: Dinosaurs.Posted by: Scott at March 10, 2010 4:48 PM
2. Bad design. Nature is replete with bad design, but the most astonishing is the laringal nerve of the giraffe, which travels YARDS down the neck, wraps around the heart, and returns back up the neck to the larynx. This lengthy trip may account for why giraffes are such poor vocalizers. It's a bad design, easily explained by evolution but baffling for the creationist. Or this one, to return to marsupials: Why is the koala's pouch upside down? Easy to explain if the koala evolved from an early ground-based species. Hard to reconcile with a perfect designer.
Why? This statement assumes we KNOW everything about the design of these systems. I'm certain we don't.
To us it looks like bad design. But often what looks like bad design is often much better than we could have ever dreamed.
When I was growing up, people routinely had their appendix removed. It was considered a "vestigal organ". And evolutionary left over.
Now we know differently and appendixes are no longer routinely removed.
I think it's important to remember the Bible has nothing to say about science.
It is a book about man's relationship with God.
Jill, I do agree with you re: taking the Bible literally, in that I think the literal words are the basis for all else, but it ought to be pointed out (unless someone already has) that the sun hadn't been invented on the first day, so the "days" of creation cannot really have been proper 24 hour days. St Augustine pointed this out btw, people have known this kind of thing for a long time. Therefore I would say that "days" could just denote some particular amount of time. Other than that, I'd say that if God had wanted to create the universe in 6 24-hour time periods, He certainly could have. I'm skeptical about the theory of evolution (mostly b/c it is not usually taught as a theory and is often taught as an all explaining theory of everything, which is just unscientific). The important things to remember about scripture in the creation story are that God created the universe, and man and woman in His own image and that Adam and Eve fell from grace. These beliefs are non-negotiable for all Christians. As to how God created the universe etc - that's a bit more open to interpretation and scientific study.Posted by: Louise at March 10, 2010 6:01 PM
The case for a literal reading of Genesis can be seen especially in one species: the dinosaurs.
After the Flood, conditions on the earth may have changed so much that the dinosaurs could no longer survive. The Flood so well explains the dinosaurs, fossil record, existence of oil, and many other phenomena for which the evolutionists must invent some other explanation (usually involving millions, billions--why not trillions?) of years.
Contrary to what Dawkins might say, the fossil record is a powerful tool for creationists. The complete absence of transitional forms, the many layers which evolutionists arbitrarily separate by millions of years (with embarrassing anomalies), and again the close fit with the historical record (most ancient societies had a legend of a global flood, let alone the clear Biblical account) are all evidence of Creation.
Anybody who sees a possibility for an old earth or the process of macro-evolution (evolution of one species into another) ends up reducing the Word of God into the word of man. And, as Jill's post emphasizes, he reduces man into a brute beast, just another animal.
Keep (or sanctify) your common sense, Christians, believe the Bible, fight uniformitarian assumptions and other heresy, and--most of all--don't let the scientific guess-work play havoc with your faith. Science is always changing, and the history of cosmology has been as catastrophic as the history of the world itself. Our God is not a force or a set of laws; He is three persons.Posted by: Jon at March 10, 2010 11:05 PM
I didn't use the word species very scientifically. Let me change it to the term used in Genesis 1 in the English Bible: kind of animal.Posted by: Jon at March 10, 2010 11:10 PM
Did you know that the History Channel did a documentary on Noah's ark? Very fascinating- I think that you should all watch it. :)
The conclusion was that the world was most likely not flooded for a myriad of reasons:
1). Noah's boat, given the type of wood that was available to him, would have decayed.
2). There would have been no way to load up that many animals in that amount of space in that amount of time.
3). There's not enough water to flood the earth completely. If there were, then people would literally drown trying to breathe- the air would be thick with water.
4). This particular story likely came as a cautionary tale- it was first recorded (I think, I can't remember exactly what was said) in what is modern-day Iraq. At the time, a similar set of stories were part of the lore of the area- the most famous being Gilgamesh. Noah's ark was likely a warning to obey God's commandments based off of they mythology of the area.
However, if you look at the timeline and you look at the language something new comes up. In the original language of Genesis, the word "world" does not mean Earth. It means the world that the invidual knows. This is simple: people of the time didn't have the technology to see planet Earth the way that we do now- they thought locally not globally. "World" meant your world, not the literal world. That was the only meaning of the word; however, in contemporary English especially, it is interpreted as Earth. When people looked in the region where Noah is supposedly from, they found evidence of a catastrophic flood in that region around the time of Noah. Apparently, the evidence is revealed in mud deposits (Earth's crust is supposed to be like a tree then, maybe, where each "ring" can tell you what happened)- a massive flood that was out of character for the area and seemingly out of nowhere, period.
I'd recommend finding that special if you can. :)Posted by: Vannah at March 10, 2010 11:48 PM
Three great web sites for creation science:
Evolution and Unifomitarianism are inconsistent with Christianity and should be avoided like the plague. Both are lies and attempts by Satan do discredit Christ. The promotion of these heresies has resulted in abortion and many other ungodly aspects of our society.
Theistic evolution is another hoot which no Bible believing Christian should give any time to.
Most geological questions posed on TV shows like "How the World was Made", etc. can be answered thusly....The Flood.Posted by: Phil Schembri is HisMan at March 11, 2010 12:03 AM
Vannah, the Flood was global. The apostle Peter in both of his letters also referred to it as such:
"Long ago... God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built. In it only a few people, eight in all, were saved through water..." (1 Pet. 3:20)
"God did not... spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others..." (2 Pet. 2:5)
"Long ago by God's word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men." (2 Pet. 3:7)
If the Flood was local, then how did it kill everyone except eight people? If the "world" was merely one group of people, perhaps even one civilization, then why did God command Noah to make a barge? Why didn't He just tell Noah to do as Abraham would later do, to move somewhere else? Actually, we know the reason: God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me..." (Gen. 6:13). God subsequently re-created the earth and spoke to Noah almost the same words that He had spoken to Adam when He had made the world.
Your scientific and historical objections are easily answered: (1) We don't know the kinds of woods that Noah would have had available to him; remember that pre-Flood and post-Flood conditions might very well have been very different. (2) Nonsense, the entrance of the animals was miraculous. Note also that God Himself closed the door, 7:16. (3) Pre-flood and post-flood topography were likely very different. Note what one earthquake can do, e.g. create a tsunami or mountain range, and then picture a lot of them. (4) You are depending on the dating system as contrived by unbelieving scholars. Dating systems depend on relative reliabilities of their historical sources. Take the Bible as your source document instead and re-work the system.Posted by: Jon at March 11, 2010 12:34 AM
Or, to be accurate, take the Bible as your source documents. The two Creation accounts would have come to Moses through Noah, probably already written down. And because of the longer pre-Flood lifespans, Noah could have talked with someone who had talked with Adam. Adam and Eve, of course, used to walk with God in the garden of Eden.Posted by: Jon at March 11, 2010 7:50 AM
Where did the bible come from?
to find out
Doesn't it seem kind of odd to hear Christians say that they believe the Bible is the literal word of God all the way from Genesis 12 to Jude? (Go ahead, look it up. That's what you believe.)
One very important theological point:
When did death enter the world?
I believe that death is a bad thing and the result of sin.
If you believe in evolution, you believe that God created through millions (billions?) of years of death and suffering. You believe that the current system of mutations and animals' cruelty to one another and the death of the unfit is natural, what God created and called "very good."
I believe that the whole realm of nature is broken, that it is still beautiful and still points to the creator but that one day its violence and pain and terror will be overthrown, and everything in the world will be made new.
YCW....Excellent point!!!!Posted by: Sydney M. at March 12, 2010 11:19 AM
YCW, I very much agree with most of your comment. I would say that death is now natural but it is not normal. As God Himself warned (Gen. 2:17), death would be the consequence of sin. After the Creation and before the Fall, in blessing man (Gen. 1), God gave him only the plants to eat. Immediately after the Fall, God gave him clothes of animal skin (Gen. 3:21). After the Flood, in blessing man again (Gen. 9), God gave him both the plants and animals to eat.
However, while I believe that the whole Bible is God's inspired, infallible Word, I don't believe that every part of it was meant to be interpreted literally. The Bible contains different types of literature, and some of it is obviously allegoric. Take the apostle John's Revelation. In Rev. 7:6 John is told to behold "the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David..." But what John saw was "a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes..." The Lion, Root, and Lamb are all the same person, the Lord Jesus, and I'm sure you agree. You regard them as metaphors from Old Testament prophecy, and the Old Testament prophets themselves knew them to be metaphors. Likewise the dragon is a fitting metaphor for Satan because in the garden of Eden he literally took the form of a snake. As you see, I do read Genesis literally. It's a historical account--or a series of historical accounts--not prophecy about the future.Posted by: Jon at March 12, 2010 11:55 AM
Jon, I agree that much of Revelation is prophecy and/or allegory... but I believe that we will one day see that some parts of it are far more literal than most of us suspect. I also think that most prophecies have/will been fulfilled in ways that were unexpected.
Picture ancient Jewish scholars thinking about what the return of the messiah will be like:
Hmm... born of a virgin? Probably allegorical. Beaten and dying on a tree? That's obviously symbolic. But King of Kings and Lord of Lords... if there's anything we can be sure of, it's that He will be a King of Israel and Judah.
I don't claim to know what's going to happen, though (nor do I think LaHaye or any other knows), and I could be wrong. I was not referring to you, though, when I talked about believing the Bible from Gen. 12 to Jude. I forget who but someone gave a very good rule: interpret the Bible literally except when you cannot.
I think we need to strive for something between Nicodemus (who couldn't recognize an obvious metaphor) and Thomas (who refused to believe what he could not see and touch could be true).Posted by: ycw at March 12, 2010 12:16 PM
Eric Scheidler said that mammals in Australia "are all marsupials; like animals are found nowhere else." However, Wikipedia says that "there are about 334 species of marsupial, and over 200 are native to Australia and neighboring northern islands. There are also 100 extant American species; these are centered mostly in South America, but the Great American Interchange has provided Central America with 13 species, and North America with one (the Virginia Opossum)."Posted by: Jon at March 12, 2010 12:41 PM
Suppose for a moment that the first chapters of Genesis are myths, make-believe stories attempting to make sense of a hazy and impenetrable past. Then they have no lessons for the natural sciences and very few lessons for history. Still, all the rest of the Bible is built upon them so that theology, morality, and salvation depend on them. They are still more true--they have far more meaning in my life and far more effect on present reality--than all the revelations of science about the actual historical reality. Obviously I still choose to believe the myths as did the prophets and apostles, as does my Lord Jesus, seated at the right hand (anthropomorphism) of His and my Father in heaven.
We choose to believe what we want to believe. Politicians attempt to "control the narrative," and in this attempt the mainstream media is a great help to the Democrats. However, the current financial environment is not favourable to socialism, and the Democrats have lost control. Tea party activists want to educate America about its constitution. Regardless of the differences between the original and present USA, the constitution presents the USA as it should be.
America is the world, the MSM is the evolutionist establishment, and the tea party is creationists. The MSM claims to be objective, but many Americans still reject global warming, feminism, homosexuality, statism, and the UN. They still personally (truly) care for the natural environment, the poor, pre-born children, women, social outcasts, and the soldiers who fight to keep their freedom. In the same way, I as a creationist and Christ-ian reject the fatalism of evolutionism and choose the glory of His story. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. There can be no reconciliation between Christianity and evolutionism.Posted by: Jon at March 12, 2010 8:40 PM
Jill Stanek wrote, "Beliefs in global warming, environmentalism, and overpopulation are all united around the core belief that human beings are bad. The theory of evolution is related because it maintains humans are not special. They are not created in the image of God. In fact evolution tries to explain how God may not have had anything to do with anything. The 1st 3 beliefs connect to abortion by rationalizing it and the latter by lessening its significance."
I've noticed, or it seems to me, that very few Christians on this blog are willing to go to Genesis for support. Even in discussions with each other, in explaining their belief in the sanctity of human life (for example), they seem to have an embarrassment about Genesis. However, it is in Genesis that we have the basis for all of the Ten Commandments: (1) the Creation accounts are monotheistic; (2) Abraham was originally an idolater, but the God who called him is transcendent from His creation; (3) Adam and Eve questioned God's goodness and abused His name (reputation); (4) God rested on the seventh day from His work of the Creation; (5) Adam was the son of God, created in God's image; (7) Eve was made to help Adam, and they became one flesh; (8) they stole the forbidden fruit; (9) Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake; and (10) coveting was the first sin and is the root of all others.
I didn't yet mention the Sixth Commandment because it is the one that is relevant to Jill's post and to this whole blog. Yet it is so obviously based in Genesis, and its meaning is so clearly defined by Genesis, that Christians would be foolish to ignore its Genesis context. As we all know, Genesis is the book of beginnings. Like Maria von Trapp in the musical, let's "start at the very beginning; it's a very good place to start."
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. He also filled them, and He told the crown of His creation--the last of His creations--to fill them more abundantly. The second creation account (Gen. 2:4-25) is dedicated to this special creation.
In the first creation account we read that God repeatedly pronounced everything "very good." In the second account, however, God said that His creation was "not good" (2:18). He purposely left the man incomplete, and partly for His own enjoyment, I think--an intensely personal enjoyment--told the man to name all the animals. "And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him" (2:20). However, when Adam woke up, he discovered a pain in his heart and a woman at his side. The rest is history. Now everything was very good.
Note, however, the order of creation. The man was created first. Also, the woman was created from the man, not the man from the woman. And while feminists have often claimed that a pre-born child is nothing more than bodily tissue, the first woman really was nothing more than bodily tissue before God formed her. No man ever yet hated his own body, but nourishes and cherishes it. The unborn child, as the product and representation of the loving union between husband and wife is also to be loved thus. I question whether anyone who comes to believe this story of his origin can ever resort to abortion.
My main point, the basis of the Sixth Commandment is found in the first account of the Creation (Genesis 1). Man was God's final creation, and he was made to rule over all the others. Jesus' geneology in Luke calls man the son of God (Luke 3:38). God had said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule..." (Gen. 1:26). Human life is special.
This point is reinforced and its implications are made clear in what I like to call the re-Creation. After the Fall, "the earth was filled with violence" (Gen. 2:11). Then God said to Noah, "The end of all flesh has come before Me... but I will establish My covenant with you... for you alone I have seen to be righteous before Me in this time" (6:13,18;7:1).
After the Flood, God again blessed man; just as God had blessed man in the Creation, so also God blessed man in the re-Creation. Much of the language is the same, but there are some important differences. Whereas God had previously allowed man only to eat the plants (Gen. 1:29), God now also gave man the animals to eat (9:3). Whereas in the Creation God had said nothing about violence, in the re-Creation God specifically told man that he was not to kill his fellow man. God's reason was the sanctity of human life, its original resemblance to Himself (9:6). Man has authority over the animals, but God has authority over man.
"Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man's brother I will require the life of man." (Gen. 9:5)
There you have it: evolutionism allows for abortion, but the Christian brand of creationism rules it out.Posted by: Jon at March 12, 2010 10:28 PM