Saturday, July 5, 2008

So you believe in Evolution?



and this one is good too

47 Comments:

didymus said...
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Andy said...

If the shoe fits....

jeff said...

I laughed so hard at the Dilbert video,primordial ooze came out of my nose.

William said...

For a Christian to promote these videos as having any value at all is an embarrassment to Christians who accept evolution. We are all going to continue to be seen as ignorant as long as people like you are involved in this foolishness.

jeff said...
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jeff said...

I think to call myself a Christian, then to contradict the very precepts of my faith in the same sentence is far more foolish than these simple videos meant to make you laugh and perhaps provoke a thought or two. Just a thought.

He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe. Proverbs 28:26

Andy said...

William if you are a Christian and you accuse me of being ignorant and foolish, and accepting the theory of Evolution might I suggest 2 Corinthians 13:5 as your reading tonight?

Jeff, brother welcome to the blog


Thank you both for stopping by!

didymus said...
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didymus said...
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Leonard said...

William,

a Christian who believes in evolution is an oxymormon.

Sorry, you can't be a Christian while calling God a liar.

Andy said...

Didymus aka Thomas I will leave the link up. I think you posted more for your edification than anything else. I was not jabbing you and the post was not directed at you. I do think it is silly and a contradiction to believe in the fairy tale of Evolution and the truth of God's Word at the same time. I am still waiting for the proof of Evolution besides the typical "have faith its there" argument.

Faith without reason is what I see Evolution as........

didymus said...
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Andy said...

Didymus,

Are we just talking about Genesis? All of it or just the first 2 chapters? When does it become literal? Exodus? Leviticus? Judges?

I agree with you that it is an interpretation issue, the problem is we need to find the Authorial Intent. If the author was conveying God is the creator, why would we not take him seriously and literally. If God was merely the divine spark for life then could he be called creator? I really think there is a problem with a hermeneutic that picks and chooses (without qualifying reason) verses to fit ones presuppositions.

This is typical in our world where men like Obama use some of Matthew 25 yet negate all of Matthew 23. At what point do you accept scripture? When it is easy? When you want to agree with it? Who then is the judge of the argument God, His Word or the person reading it? Was Christ literal? Was His death?

I am still waiting for a Theist to show me why they think the Bible and Evolution can coexist if read plainly for what it says? Not to be above reproach because I am definitely not.

The argument that "it just makes sense" also does not hold water, with any known method of validating truth. Even Descartes, Hume, and Locke would abhor such a notion without a further investigation of the evidence, (which is the problem) there is none. This "makes sense" argument is subjective by the same standard that people get certain feelings and burnings to help them determine truth. It has to be because it does not just "make sense" to me.
This would throw objectivity completely out, which is devoid of truth if it be so.

By secular standards and according to Dawkins we were pan-spermiatied because of the huge Gaps in Darwinian Evolution. I have read enough Darwin to know with the lack of evidence we have today he might very well change his own theory, at least he claimed he would.........

I like your idea Didymus and as I said before I have always enjoyed our dialogues... This response will be the beginning of a post in the future addressing your question

Why do you think a literal interpretation of Creation is required?

William said...

I am not a blogger kind of guy. In fact, yesterday was the first time I've ever done such a thing. The type of thinking behind the anti-evolution cartoons provoked me to go against my better judgment and get into the fray. However, I will concede that I don't possess the endurance y'all obviously have to go at this topic w/ such enthusiasm and on such a regular basis. This will be my last post on the subject.

First of all, I don't believe IN evolution. I believe IN God Almighty, Creator and Redeemer of all things. I believe IN his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, who is God incarnate. He died on the cross for our sins and it is only through that sacrifice that man can be at peace w/ himself and God. I believe IN the church as the body of Christ, here to spread the Good News of His death and resurrection, of our salvation. I believe IN the resurrection and life everlasting for the saints in the presence of God in the culmination of all things. That's what I believe IN. To state evolution (or for that matter Boyle's Law, gravity, the electron transport chain, whatever) as what I believe IN would be sacrilegious.

What I feel about evolution is that I merely ACCEPT it as I do any well documented body of scientific knowledge, which it is. I know the church is full of people, especially men, who claim to have a special interest in science and they "have looked at Darwin", done all kinds of research, and have formulated a well-documented opinion on this matter. In fact, what they have done is read a lot of Christian apologetics on the matter and filled their brains with "creation science" or ID information. Perhaps audit a course in college biology to REALLY see what evolution is and what it is not.

Andy, Leonard, and Jeff, you act as if the Bible were dropped down from heaven w/ a red ribbon tied around it proclaimimg: God's Word; read it literally. You know darn well y'all don't take everything in it literally. You can't possibly. I'll bet you may even disagree as to what Adam and Eve's specific sin was. Was it really eating a fruit from a tree that doomed all of mankind? Our will you conced that being the tree of KNOWLEDGE implies something metaphorical. We can go on and on about cases like the that: the description of the universe in Genesis is Greek (a flat earth supported on pillars w/ a dome firmament upon which the planets are attached above it. This dome would hold out the waters above the earth, as it sits upon the pillars separating it from water below it). What about Joshua claiming the sun was held still in the sky by God to give the Israelites time to win a battle? Obviously, Joshua is speaking from the knowledge of the day - that the sun and stars rotated around the earth.

Some of us Christians, though it sounds like I am not accepted as such by y'all, have gotten past that idea that everything has to be literally true or God didn'r inspire it. He obviously let the writtens have the freedom to write according to their level of education, command of the laguage, cultural influences, etc. Do you think that because the HS inspired it there were no misspellings, grammatical errors, run-on sentences, etc? The spirit of God's revelation is in the Bible, every book, every line, every idea. We have to use scholarship and reasoning to interpret it, though. I know Scripture is not MERELY a matter of interpretation, that God has something in mind for every verse. But that doesn't negate the fact that we have to figure it out and some things atre alot easier to figure out thatn others.

I don't have time to go through all the evidence for evolution. If you saw how slow I type you would be amazed that I've gotten this far! I work in the medical field, hands on w/ patients w/ lung disease. When you study disease you stumble across genetics. When you study genetics, you stumble across evolution. I'm sorry to tell you, but that's just the way it is. It IS a fact. As a lifelong Christian and, for the past 10 yrs. or so, an elder in my church, I had difficulty acceping evolution, too, for quite awhile. But when I REALLY looked at the facts from all the various disciplines, I had to concede. The mapping of the human genome is what pushed me over the edge. The "according to its own kind" quote has to be seen in light of evolution and priobably means "according to reproduction", which is one of the definitions of species.

In closing I would say that although I conceded to evolutionary theory, it was by no means begrudgingly. It is a beautiful testimony to God's power and glory. If you were going to create a universe, would you have even thought of such a thing? He is an awesome Creator, giving us a universe of continuous "becoming" as He is still creating. The univers continues to evolve as it expands outward. The earth continues to evolve geologically and, in turn, geographically. And life on earth continues to evolve. Man IS the pinnacle of this process, created in His image w/ the ability to see Him in His creation and in His specific revelation to us - the Bible. Glory be to God!

jeff said...

Hey William, Let me preface this by saying, that I don't write these things with ill will towards you, but I do have to "call you out" on what you originally and subsequently posted. I am not being argumentative, we are just good intentioned people engaging in a conversation that we obviously all are passionate about (some perhaps, more than others).

By the way I am not a blogger type of guy either. I just happen to be friends with Andy, and I too made my first comments on this particular issue. Regarding Andy, he is probably one of the most genuine and passionate Christians I know when it comes to serving God and fulfilling the Great Commission. He is opinionated and far from perfect but has a well intentioned heart.

Even though I don't know you personally, you obviously are educated and articulate but it is definately hard to swallow much of what you said solely based on God's Word. Now, as far as the science aspect, I think we should be honest with each other. We could both spend about 43 minutes on Google and find many "experts" with more diplomas on their "I love ME" walls than both of us combined who could argue on both of our behalves (hence my previous scriptural reference). So it all falls on AUTHORITY. Who are you going to believe? Are you going to believe Carl Sagan who said, "I would love to believe that when I die I will live again, that some thinking, feeling, remembering part of me will continue. But much as I want to believe that, and despite the ancient and worldwide cultural traditions that assert an afterlife, I know of nothing to suggest that it is more than wishful thinking."? Or are you going to believe Darwin who said, "To the question why we do not find rich fossiliferous deposits belonging to these assumed earliest periods prior to the Cambrian system I can give no satisfactory answer . . . Nevertheless, the difficulty of assigning any good reason for the absence of vast piles of strata rich in fossils beneath the Cambrian system is very great." Now you mentioned Richard Dawkins in your post; are you going to believe him? He made a rather harsh comment regarding creationism. He said,"It is absolutely safe to say that if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).” You made an implication in your original post, that we are an "embarrassment" and "involved in this foolishness". You do sound a little like Richard Dawkins. I would rather put that AUTHORITY in God's hands. I had the pleasure of sitting next to one of the many learned scientist from the Creation Institute about 15 years ago. He laughed when I asked him if he ever got in a debate with a evolutionist. He commented that the evolutionist crowd tended to shy away from the institution. As I stated earlier both camps can come up with valid points, It just seems to me that it is alot easier to put my faith in God's word than in the words of another created being. My final quote is one of my favorites from Albert Einstein is, "When the solution is simple, God is answering".

Now with all of that said, for the purpose of better understanding where you are coming from; could you explain to me exactly how you arrived at conceding to the evolution theory? Could you please inform me how when you study genetics you stumble on evolution?
Once again, the "It just makes sense argument does not hold water."

It's way to easy to make the statements you made, then say, "I don't have time to go through all the evidence for evolution." and then make grand assumption about who we are and say "This will be my last post on the subject." ~Sorry.


Hope to hear a response.

didymus said...
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didymus said...
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William said...

Well, I knew I'd have to get back into this discussion after re-reading my post yesterday. I was in too much of a hurry to get through and didn't proof read it. I had a lot of "fat finger" misspellings and some of the comments I made should have been elaborated upon.

First off, Jeff, I appreciate your comments and your perspective. I think, more than the question of Does evolution really happen? is the qusetion of What is the church going to do about the evolution issue? Let's be realistic. Until the day Jesus returns, there are always going to be Christians who interpret the origins issues literally from the Bible, will always will be Christians who go w/ the flow of science (feeling that science has a better handle on material world issues), and those Christians who are somewhere in between (feeling that both extremes - evolution and a literal 6 day/miraculous creation for each "species" - are hard to swallow and find some kind of middle ground. For the last 10-12 yrs are so, that's been the ID position. That's the situation the evangelical church in America is facing, whether it likes it or not. So, my concern is What is the church going to do? Declare that theistic evolutionists are not really Christian, like Leonard seemed to be saying? Or are they declared second-class Christians (and shouldn't be elders or teach Sunday School)? So, I appreciate your desire to just be two guys discussing a hot topic with, hopefully, no judgmental attitudes getting in the way.

My comment, using the word embarrassment, was in reference to the cartoons. That trying to use something so oversimplified and trite to convey a message about an established scientific position (for 150 years now), I think, should be embarrassing for the individual promoting it. Creationists and ID folks may argue whether it is "established", but meanwhile the entire scientific community is going full steam ahead publishing research within the paradigm that evolution is a fact. Anyway, my apologies to anyone out there who took the embarrassment term to mean anyone who adheres to CS (creation science) or ID. I am a fish out of water, if you'll pardon the pun. All the ministers at my church are literal creationists, as are almost all the elders I've served with over the last 10 years. Only one other, to my knowledge has been TE (theistic evol.) like myself. The thing is, we function just fine that way. The topic almost NEVER comes up, just like interpretations of Revelation. How important is it in the functioning of the church?

I agree Biblical authority IS a very important issue and that MUST be established as the foundational principled upon which the church stands. But that is a far cry from demanding that a literal interp. of Genesis defines Biblical authority any more than a futurist/premillenial interp of Revelation does. Do you see my point? Why does Biblical authority go out the window because I see metaphor in Genesis the way EVERYONE does in Revelation? If I were at Jesus' feet when He told the parable of the prodigal son, would the message have been lost on me to know that that family didn't REALLY exist, that it was really a story He made up to get some very profound spiritual truths to hit home?

Regarding your comment that I mentioned Richard Dawkins, I don't think that was me. I don't remember saying anything about him. I will go on the record saying that he is a bitter and pathetic man. He did some very good work in biology decades ago, but has stopped being a scientist to become a full-time atheist. Allister McGrath, Oxford physicist/theologian has written a scathing review of Dawkin's God Delusion. It's called the Dawkins Delusion. Hmmm... I wonder if those two Oxfordonians (?) get together for tea and crumpets?!

Regarding the "proofs" for evolution you want me to expound upon. Man, it really is tedious. There's no way to sit here forever and type all that stuff out. In general, #1) the fossil record shows just what we should expect it to show, given that one must find the right AGE rocks, right TYPES of rock, and an EXPOSURE of those rocks that are visible for people to start digging into, not to mention the odds of a living thing forming a fossil at all. The PREDICTIVE ability to go to those types of rock and find transitional species in a layer where you'd expect to be is profound. Neil Shubin, PhD, is a paleontologist/biologist/geneticist who spoke here at our Frontiers of Science series. He has done a lot of work in uncovering transitional species between reptiles and mammals and between fish and amphibians. Check out his book, Your Inner Fish.

For me, a physiologist by training, #2) the genetics is what resonates w/ me. The mapping of the human genome and being able to compare it to completed genomes of mice, chickens, apes, etc. has huge implications for evolution. Selection co-efficients, mutation rates, fossil genes, immortal genes, Hox genes, documented speciation (allopatric for mammals and birds, sympatric for insects and fish, circular for other birds and reptiles... we could go on and on. I would suggest reading Sean B. Carroll's the Making of the Fittest, DNA and the Ultimate Forensic Record of Evolution.

I would urge you to read a couple of books by Christian scientists:
1) Francis Collins - The Language of God,
2) Kenneth Miller - Finding Darwin's God.

Both of these guys are giants in their fields. I was impressed w/ their dedication to their work and to their FAITH, which both strongly profess in their writings and in interviews.

Jeff, you are looking at a real commitment to dive into the information I am suggesting. But I challenge anyone who thinks he's got a command of evolution theory, yet still proclaims to be a leteral creationist, to read the stuff coming out of the science community. I have looked at the list of "scientists who oppose evolution" on the Seattle group's website (I forget their name). I have never heard of any of those guys except Duane Gish. Even Michael Behe didn't sign their petition!

I have read the opposition's stuff. I've read Darwin's Black Box 2-3 times, Icons of Evolution twice, Darwin on Trial... They have points to make, but it's only by distorting the information that's accepted by virtually the entire scientific community.

jeff said...

William, Thanks for responding. I'm glad you didn't leave it there.

First I do apologize, it wasn't you who had mentioned Dawkin's. He was mentioned in an earlier post.

I do agree that the question is what the church is going to do with the evolution issue. I'll disagree with Leonard's statement directed to you that you can't call God a liar and still be a Christian. Because I don't believe that was YOUR intent. I do, however, believe that you are mislead on this topic. And I know that there is not going to be anything that I can write that will change your mind on this topic. I'm sure it would take a much brighter person than me to convince you otherwise.

I'm sure one of the most difficult things being a theistic evolutionists is that the evelotion agenda was in large part pushed forward by the group of atheists who were mostly college professors. I do believe this lie comes directly from Satan. And it is my belief that many impressionable young people have latched on to the idea, because the attitude that was being promoted was that anyone who disagreed with the "science" had to be an idiot. Not wanting to be perceived as idiots many people have been lead astray. I personally know young people who have received failing grades in school just because it was discovered that they believed in ID.

I will concede that you are more versed in genetics and biology. I will admit that based upon your educational endeavors and private study you have me beat hands down in that arena. I am, however, a behaviorist and I believe the human ego is a very fragile beast. It has always amazed me that if someone says something emphatically enough, everyone around them will agree, no matter how wrong they are.

I will say, however, that I have far more respect for a person even an evolutionist that has put their trust in Jesus Christ, repented of their sins, and put Christ in the Lordship of their life.

With all of that said, there ARE many creation scientists of good reputation that can be found in every discipline of science. And dismissing them as second class intellects seems to be the Modis Operandi. Unless they adhere to the mainstream ooze-to-man evolution model they are completely ostricized (and no I have not yet seen the movie expelled). Evolutionists continue to promote evolution as a "science" and creation science as "religion" or worse yet as a "cult".

Even with my limited intellegence, I still have a hard time working out a 4.5 BILLION year old earth, me evolving from an ape who
evolved from fish who evolved from ooze (as if my Creator couldn't get the formula correct). And finally the lack of an adequate fossil record showing this gradation of a species.

I am one of those Christians who does not have a problem swallowing a 6 days of creation scenerio. And I might be missing the boat completely but I still am not able to marry the "science" of evolution with the Word of God. You may say I'm oversimplifying this, but I would argue that you are overcomplicating it. Perhaps that is the real dilemma we are facing.

Let's face it you don't have to look very far to find error in "well documented body of scientific knowledge". Man has been making errors in science for thousands of years. I rest comfortably putting my trust in God's Word.

God bless!

Leonard said...

William,

First off, I don't care how much you claim to believe in, you still call God a liar with your stance on evolution.

Furthermore, there is NO evidence for macro-evolution. None. Zip.

Not one transitional fossil, of which even darwin made clear the lack of would spell doom to his THEORY.

It is a fairytale.

The careful examination of the earth layers and the laying down of the fossil record show very clearly a young earth and a global flood. Ever wonder how those sea creatures got clear up on everest?
Hm?

And to comment on one of your statements;

Yes, I take the Bible as the LITERAL GOD BREATHED WORD OF GOD. No, it did not come with a red ribbon but stained with the blood of those who died to preserve it and stands on the blood of the One who came to fulfill it.

Every word in it is from God. It is literal. It is history. And it is the fulfillment of what is to come. You can look past it so you can accept the wisdom of this word but it is to your own sorrow.

Andy said...

William,

Well I guess we should feel grateful then that this is your first Blog experience. I will attempt to address all of your issues and if you choose that you cannot respond for whatever reason that is fine.

You are right we do not take everything in the Bible literally, some of it is poetry, some of it is wisdom, but when we are referring to history and outright doctrine I do not believe we have much of a choice. I think it is ok to argue the amount of days although personally there is strong support that the word "yom" means a literal day especially when coupled by the term morning and evening but I do not see how you can put evolution into anything in the Bible.

You are saying there are mistakes in the Bible and yes there are some minor things that are there, but with the Dead Sea Scrolls we are running at a 98% accuracy rate so your argument wont last long here. It is a typical argument I hear from the non Christian religions about the Bible.

You also William are acting as if I never took Bio 105 which is the admittance course for Medical School at the University I went to. I have heard all the arguments. And when questioned the teachers fall back on the same thing you and Didymus do, they "believe" it is true, and not because of the evidence but because it is "accepted". Well this just isn't true, Gravity is accepted by all science, Evolution is not in fact the rate at which Evolution is being denied by Science is increasing exponentially. Before I was a Christian I could see there were problems with Darwinian Evolution.

If you are referring to the firmament then there is some great proof out there that there has been a water firmament surrounding the Earth in the form of an Ice Shield. We can go into that, I do not see the pillars you are referring to so please cite the verse for me so that I can look into that. As far as Joshua seeing time stopped why use naturalistic methods to explain it? You are using a naturalistic method to try to explain a book that is filled with much that is supernatural.

William as far as us accepting you as a Christian is irrelevant, I think that is something God alone knows. You stated that you believe in many of the core doctrines I do in your response, I am always inclined because of where I live to have those things qualified in both definition and intent. We should all contend for the faith I am just contending for my faith in God and His word and His creation.

Even before the great movie Expelled came out there were Mathematicians who have huge issues with the double whammy of Evolution (species reoccurring) I understand you are a physiologist, and I am sorry to say but you are not a geologist by any means. There are places all over the world where the Cambrian era is in the wrong place or even mixed. As far as the age of the rock well that is a science in itself and no two scientist will agree on a dating method because they are so inaccurate. (There have been living creatures dated to millions of years with carbon dating a snail to be specific)

I think it takes great faith to believe in Evolution, even a theistic one. I appreciate your thoughts and discussion on this topic.

Andy said...

Didymus,

I will do a post at some point on a literal reading of the Bible. Really though the proof is on you to show me where God has used "Mythology" and "Fiction" to convey His point? This is different then using analogies btw.

If Genesis is not literal then you have to ask yourself did Adam really sin? Was there really a snake? Did the fall occur? If not then who is Jesus Christ? Is he a redeemer? Is he the second Adam if the first never existed or was a apelike creature? Would you claim that His death on a cross was fiction to point us somewhere?

If you take the first book of the Bible and start fictionalizing it or taking your naturualistic presuppositions and importing them into the text you come out with a world that has no sin and no need for a savior..... and really that leaves you just like every other person who denies God.

But dont join the party just because it is different.

We need to look at the narrative of Genesis and see if it is in fact poetry or a fictionalized mythology. If it is why the detail on so many things? If it is then why all the allusions to the redemptive work of Christ like the sacrificing of an animal to cover, etc. Really I want to understand your hermeneutic. I do not want to accuse you of arbitrarily making books or verses poetry so help me understand how you come to such a conclusion.

Evolution is not mentioned anywhere in the Bible at all, now I will not make an entire argument based on silence, but it is an issue to be sure. In addition the word for Creator in the Hebrew and the Septuagint are both "out of nothing". Evolution would run contrary to that since it used material that was here.

Finally I think there is good reason that people question a Christian who believes in Evolution, for these reasons that I have stated. It appears on the surface they really do not believe in God's Word, now both Didymus and William have corrected this in their statements here and elsewhere. Listen I know Proverbs is wisdom because it says so, I know Song of Solomon is a poetic song because it says so and I know the Law in the Pentateuch because it is obvious and it says so. I know the 600+ laws in Leviticus where actual laws and not just mythological concepts. It seems rather arbitrary to say that Genesis is fiction because we do not see that in the Bible anywhere else and there is no evidence for it being fiction or books being predisposed to that.

I hope that helps,

God Bless,

jeff said...

Yeah...What he said.

Sorry~thought I should interject some humor here.

william said...

Hi, Jeff. Thanks for your reply. I am enjoying our dialogue. It's nice that we seem to have gotten past the initial irritation of conversing w/ someone of such differing opinions on such a volatile topic. Evolution and its corresponding religious matters have the potential to bring out the worst in people. As two Christians continue in dialogue, though, the bond of living in Christ eventually has to emerge. If He is the true source for one's life, then everything eventually come back to focus on Him. I came across this quote by Chuck Swindoll today: "We are completely dependent on Him for eternal life, for forgiveness, for character, for security." The reason I see someone like Rchard Dawkins as "pathetic" as I said yesterday, (or Carl Sagan, etc.) is that there is NO security for them beyond what they live out in this world. For most people, even the memory that that person ever existed dies out in just a generation or two. What a depressing thought, considering the alternative - the glorious eternity that God desires each of us to live out in His presence. I have NO security in anything I know about the natural world, for it is not in this world that my true home resides.

I see several points you made yesterday with which I completely agree:
1) Obviously, I am going to agree w/ you that I not calling God a liar by saying His word is authoritative, just b/c I take exception to a particular interpretation that some Christians hold. The conceptual framework of Genesis remains intact for me: God creating from nothing, His relationship w/ His creation, man's struggle w/ dependence on Him and our desire to "know" for ourselves (more aggregiously, to "decide" for ourselves) what's right and wrong, and the resulting state of sin. As the entire OT unfolds we see the prophecies that lead to Jesus and in the NT that His death/sacrifice is the ONLY means of salvation. I don't think I have in any way described God as a liar.

2) You're absolutely right, it IS embarrassing to have the stench produced by the hateful atheist God-haters of the science world stick to me just because I accept the scientific data of evolution. The thing is, most atheist scientists feel the same way I do about Dawkins, Provine, Dennett, Hutchins, etc. Allister McGrath brings this out in his book. I have read many books by physicists/theologians, Christian biologists, etc., who underscore that point: the God-hating scientists have the loudest mouths, but are in the minority. The other atheist scientists simply disbelieve, btu are not out there promoting it or expressing ill will. Their disbelief is tragic in my eyes for the obvious reasons, but there's no need to lump them all together as haters of religious folks.

3) I agree that people can get desensitized to things they experience over and over again. One just has to look at the history of TV, movies, music, etc. to see our society has become more lenient. If you pouind a specific thought into people's heads often enough it makes it more likely they might accept it. The extreme example in brainwashing, right?

4) I have not seen Expelled either. Will wait til it's on DVD. I agree that some in academia certainly must get ostrasized for their religious beliefs. I read an article on the people highlighted in Expelled. I think the cosmologist (at Iowa, I think)truly got the shaft, but I think the others may have gotten what they bargained ofr. If you go against all of the current positions in your field, you can probably COUNT on being reprimanded for it. A scientist HAS to go about his work as if no miracles occurred in his field. It's called methodological naturalism - looking only for natural explanations for things. Otherwise, every hard answer to find gets dismissed as a miracle. This is a far cry from metaphysical naturalisn, where the individual says, "Only natural things CAN occur; there IS no supernatural." If a scientist lets his faith lead him directly against established paradigms or lets it interfere w/ their scientific method/objestivity, you're going to be let go. Every scientist knows that.

5) You mentioned errors in science over the years. Obviously, man knows alot more about the universe the longer we are around to study it. I don't changes in scientific thinking as correcting errors, though. It was the best information they had at the time, whether it was Aristotle (a pretty doggone good biologist) or Kenneth Miller (writing today's biology textbooks, being interviewed on TV productions on nature, expert witness in court cases, etc.). Science IS self-correcting. As more info is gathered, adjustments are made in the paradigm. Evolution has had 150 yrs. of such observation and testing. The molecular/genetic/embryonic research going on for the last few years has only strengthened the earlier positions derived from fossils and observation of life. Current arguments like sexual selection or genetic drift as being the prime mechanism of evol. (versus natural selection) are entertaining, but in no way detract from the fact that all those guys arguing ARE evolutionists. This debate is how science corrects itself. Other "mistakes", such as the Piltdown Man hoax, were discovered by other evolutionary scientists. It's not like the creationists were the ones to figure it out.

I have some things to say to Andy. You may want to look at that as I'll try to give SOME examples of why I accept evol., the genetics, diseases, etc. that you asked about the other day. I gave you the names of some books that I recommend to someone knowing what "proofs" there are for evol.
I don't want to get into writing a book online, (I'm not qualified anyway!), but I need to address some specific things w/ him and you might be interested.

Take care. God bless, Jeff.

william said...

Added note to Jeff:
I forgot about the point you made about evolution becoming a "religion" to many people. I agree 100%. That does happen. It's as if the priests of "evolutionism" are the scientists in their white lab coats, worship being conducted in the labs or, better yet, museums. Sad that many would, as I said earlier, place their trust in a mere physical process of this world.

william said...

Andy,
I'll try to get in as much response to your points as I can before I have to catch the train home.

1) No evolution mentioned in the Bible. I wouldn't expect it to be there since man didn't figure that out until Erasmus and Charles Darwin in the 19th century. Why would it have been important for God to "tell" the two writers of the two differnt creation stories in Genesis. The simplest thing for man, whether primitive, medieval, or modern man, is to believe the Genesis account. It was the wisdom of God to use a parable to tell man of His creation, providence, judgment, etc. The story is simple. Be sure you understand: I am NOT saying only simple-minded people believe it! I am just saying, the story is much simpler than a scientific explanation, whether Darwin was correct or not.

2) Any "mistakes" as you call them (2%, according to your calculations) means man was allowed to express himself in writing scripture. It was NOT divine dictation. Man's education and culture limitations SCREAM from the pages of the Bible.

3) The BIO 105 comment. That was a sincere recommendation on my part. I don't know how old you are and I thought a refresher in evol. bio might be helpful. It's been 35 years since I was in a college bio class, so I bought Ernst Mayer's book What Evolution Is. It was very helpful to me.

4) Be sure I am not presenting myself as an expert. I told you what my area of expertise is, a very small segment of the body of science - human physiology and pathophysiology, with a bit of knowledge as how man got to where he is in the 21st century. I am not a geologist. Thanks for reminding me. But one of my best friends is a geologist and a Christian and an evolutionist and I've seen him discuss a 6000 year earth/universe, Cambrian fossils, worldwide flood, etc. Hint: plate tectonics.

Got to go. To be continued later.

jeff said...

Thanks William, I do believe we are understanding each other a little clearer. And I pray that we both would have a clearer understanding of who God is and what he has planned for us. If anything it has caused me to look at this issue more dilegently, and for that- Thanks!

I think my main concern with Theistic evolution is that could potentially lead many astray from God as I believe it misrepresents the very nature of God.

I think it all has to do with how you as a Christian are looking at the world - what is your world view. Are you looking at the world through the goggles of the Divine Word or through scientific documentation.

You will likely disagree with this, but in a theistic evolutionary model it APPEARS to most believers that God is just INTEGRATED into the theory of evolution. God is not the omnipotent Lord of all things able to easily speak the world into existence. It APPEARS that God is not consistant or absolute, but He Himself is evolving or actually IS evolution.

"Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you." Jeremiah 32:17

When God creates something, His creation is described as ‘very good’ (Genesis 1:31) and ‘perfect’ (Deuteronomy 32:4). Not incomplete, changing, or evolving.

Further, in the theistic evolution model it APPEARS that God's word does not need to be taken seriously. It reduces creation down to mythology.

The Bible is the absolute truth, and the final authority. whether we are dealing with questions of faith, daily living, salvation, or matters of scientific importance. We need to fit our lives and our beliefs with the Word not the reverse. Since there is no support for theistic evolution in the Bible I would have to take it literally. Please show me where in the Bible there is any indications that the creation account should be understood in any other way than as a factual report or historical evidence.

Theistic evolution also tramples on some dangerous ground when it comes to original sin. If Adam wasn't created from dust then he couldn't have been the 1st man. So theistic evolution allows for millions (billions???) of years of death before sin comes into the picture and hence a need for a redeemer. If sin is seen as just part of the evolutionary process, then it APPEARS that we have lost the key to finding God. This is not fixed by simply adding God to the evolutionary model.

As an elder in your church I'm sure you would agree that it is an elder's job to lead, disciple, and care for the church while promoting sound doctrine.

"The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching." 1 Timothy 5:17

"To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;" 1 Peter 5:1-2

"He must hold FIRMLY to the TRUSTWORTHY message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and REFUTE THOSE WHO OPPOSE IT." Titus 1:9 (capitalized by me for emphasis)

By saying this, I am not saying that you are a second-class Christian or not a Christian at all, that is between you and God. But, to be honest, I would have a problem with a church elder who adhered to the progressive creation theory. Friend, Prayer partner, Brother - Yes, just not an elder.

What goggles are you looking through? :)

Maranatha

Leonard said...

William said;

"Why would it have been important for God to "tell" the two writers of the two differnt creation stories in Genesis."

At least with this, I know where you are coming from. You have listened to too much of the world. There are NOT two different creation accounts. There are merely two parts to it, explaining it in more depth and pointing out things that needed to be discussed. Furthermore, there is only one author. The world loves to try and twist this and it seems you are in camp with this one.

I see that you are an Elder in your church? Should not someone in leadership be grounded in the Word of God? Should not they have a sound understanding of these little things that will trip people up and be able to give a good defense to those new or weak in the faith?

Very concerning.

didymus said...
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william said...

OK, I'm back at it.

If I were a Calvinist and had a suoper-deterministic view of God's sovereignty, I'd be closer in theology to y'all. But I am an Arminian through and through. Free will, man. It's the only way we can be held accountible. And nNOT the Calvinist view of "free will", which is really no free will at all. Part fo the free will world view involves the freedom of the world to run on natural law w/ God's provision deep w/in it. Let's not get into quantum mechanics w/ elaboration on that thought. The universe runs on the natural law that God created for it and the independence of the universe to "explore" the contingincies inherent in it is the "free will" of the universe, to use a metaphore.

Anyway back to questions and comments from Andy and Jeff:
- BTW: I've also been following the Didymus/Andy exchange and agree w/ everything Didymus has said.

- Continuing on your "mistakes in the Bible" statement: I don't believe there are "mistakes" in the Bible per se. The inconsistencies between writers recording the same event, and contradictions w/ current science knowledge, etc., I don't judge that harshly to call them mistakes. The writer was inspired by God to give us an important spirituallesson and the writer wrote about it in his way. For Joshua, it was the message from God of His promise of providence. Joshua himself, who had been slaying Amorites and the others all day (a very long day), saw God's providence as extending the day to accomplish the feat. You (Andy) accuse me of trying to find a natural explanation for this. I say the reverse is true! I think God truly performed a miracle in leading Josh to victory, I just don't know how He did it. His power is deep in the ways of our natural world, beyond the examination of science. For you to say it was a miracle AS LITERALLY STATED IN THE BIBLE, you would have to believe the sun really did orbit the earth in those days for it to be possible that God made it stand still. In reality, the sun is standing still every day (except in the context that ALL the univ. is still expanding outward.)

- "Mathemeticians' rebuttal of evol": A common paper lion. Through DNA it can be determined when the corresponding traits arrived on the scene. Selection co-efficients predict reproduction success and survival; how many generations it takes for a trait to make its way through and become dominant in a species. Example: the MC1R gene (color of skin, hair, feathers in reptiles, mammals and birds) can take over a population in < 2000 years, a flash in the pan in evolutionary terms. Moral: evol. does not take "longer than the earth has been in existence" as CS would have you believe.

- Dating specimens: there are MULTIPLE techniques that can be used on a particular specimen that verify the findings, over and over.

- The Adam and Eve issue: there are several scenarios that can still put a literal Adam and Eve in the garden and would give a Christian or Jew a more literal interp. My fellow elder follows that path. I don't, but there's no way I'm going into all of that - my interp of the 2 genesis stories. Just not enough time. At the end of the day though, we ALL wind up in the same place. We have man separated from God by or own sin, in need of God's grace, a Redeemer to bring us back into the relationship He wanted for us "in the beginning". The right relationship starts here on earth w/ the cross and culminates in eternity w/ our Creator & Redeemer.

- where to deviate from metaphors to literal: No easy answers, guys. Study, study, study. The Bible and input from theologians on theological issue. Acquiring a background in science for the issues regarding the natural world. People think and see things differently. There are bottom-up thinkers and top-down thinkers. Y'all are top-down; I'm bottom-up. Not that one is superior to the other; just different.

_ I'm fighting the clock, guys. I would stress that you look into the genetic arguments for evol. if you really are gathering & processing information. As someone educated in the life sciences, it is the thing that resonates profoundly for me - the evidence for common ancestry. I can't possibly type all that info out and it would be ridiculous to do so when experts in the field have done so much more eloquently and accurately than I could. Just a few tidbits:
- There are about 500 "immortal" genes that run through all of life from bacteria to humans. Helps us reconstruct evolutionary events where fossil data has not yet been found.
- Hox genes in all animals that have a body. Exchange Hox genes in flies and mice embryos and they still grom their arms, legs etc. Immobilize a fly Hox gene in the head and replace it w/ a mouse Hox and activate it and the fly grows a leg (a fly leg) outof its head.

- Take a mouse Pax 6 gene and put it into a fly embryo's antenna and it grows an eye in its antenna.

- activate latent dinosaur genes in a chicken and it grows scales.

I'm out of time. These things show common ancestry. Read the books I have recommended to Jeff and add to that What Evolution Is by Ernst Mayer. Until you do, don't presume to know what evolutionists "believe".

Well, guys. I'm done I did the blogging thing for a week and it's just not me. Ya know? Take care; God bless.

jeff said...

Didymus~
Yes, Really. It may be a misperception on my (and many others) part. But I don't get why God would inspire the beautiful story of creation then turn around and say "psych" or "just kidding".

Add whatever you want to the story-it doesn't add up.

"For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope." Romans 15:4

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness," 2 Timothy 3:16


William~
Ok, Ok we get it... You're Smart. I say that with half of my tongue in my cheek. :)

You didn't answer my most important question. I don't want to come across as glib, but as a (Arminianistic) Christian, Believer in God and his word as you say - how are you examining God's creation.
Are you looking through the lens of a research paper, a biology book or through God's word?

You said:
"As someone educated in the life sciences, it is the thing that resonates profoundly for me - the evidence...."

What I'm asking of you do is say:
"As a Bible believing Christian the evidence of progessive creationism is found in the Bible in Chapter..."

You said:
- There are about 500 "immortal" genes that run through all of life from bacteria to humans. Helps us reconstruct evolutionary events where fossil data has not yet been found.
- Hox genes in all animals that have a body. Exchange Hox genes in flies and mice embryos and they still grom their arms, legs etc. Immobilize a fly Hox gene in the head and replace it w/ a mouse Hox and activate it and the fly grows a leg (a fly leg) outof its head.

- Take a mouse Pax 6 gene and put it into a fly embryo's antenna and it grows an eye in its antenna.

- activate latent dinosaur genes in a chicken and it grows scales.

Once again I'm probably oversimplying things but I would argue that bacteria, mice, chickens, dinasaurs, and humans all have the same creator so of course there will be similar genes.

The Honda corp. makes both automobiles and snow blowers. They both are manufactured by the same "creator" but I know for a fact that I could take a bolt out of a Honda Accord that will fit into the Honda snow blower. That doesn't mean that if I wait long enough I'll be able to get my snow blower up to 50 mph on Bangerter.

Now I could, and maybe someday will read "The Language of God"
or "Finding Darwin's God". Heck, I may just quit my job go back to school, become a geneticist, do my internship under the guidance of Neil Shubin, get my PhD, and go to work for the National Human Genome Research Institute. < :) >
But, I'm still going to weigh everthing against God's word and I will end up at the same place.

In the end. My savior lives and reigns and will come back (soon) and work this all out.

Are you still there?

didymus said...
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jeff said...
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jeff said...

Had to delete my last comments as I typed in a rush and there were too many grammatical errors. (human) :)

Here we go again...

Didymus~
Glad to hear that you agree with me on the scripture end.

Then am I to understand you believe the evolution of species process took place in 6 (yom)(morning and evening) days?

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You shall do all of your work in six days. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On it, you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male slave, nor your female slave, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. This is because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in SIX DAYS, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11

The author clearly compares OUR 6 days of work to the 6 days of creation.

This is the HISTORY of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, Genesis 2:4

The author clearly states that the way it is written is to be taken literally (not poetically, or mythologically)

The NIV translates it as "This is the account...."

So, if what you are saying is true than the only way you could justify an evolution model into God's story of creation is if you applied it into a 6 day scenerio, so is that is what you are telling me you believe to be true?

I apologize I haven't had a chance to thoroughly look through your blog to see what you believe. But perhaps I will at a future date.
Feel free to educate me on this. But we will probably have to concede that we won't win each other on this topic. Fun trying though. Got to get to work.

God Bless!

didymus said...
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jeff said...

Didymus~
I truly was not trying to misconstrue what you said. I was only pointing out that you agreed with me regarding the scripture Romans 15:4, 2 Timothy 3:16 then (it's my belief) that you would have to take a literalist view to Exodus 20:8-11 and Genesis 2:4.
Believe it or not the evolution/creation issue isn't my 'hot button' it's the scripture issue. My point is that the creation/evolution issue wouldn't BE an issue if the scripture issue were work out.
I do have hope we talk again and I will check out your blog after church.

didymus said...
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jeff said...

Yes, when I read the book of Genesis a literal interpretation of it makes common sense.

didymus said...
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jeff said...

Boy, I guess I'm in it now. :)

Ok... Yes, I 100% agree with you that common sense can change depending on the circumstaces (demographically, chronologically, environmentally, economically, etc...). What might be common sense to me may not be common sense to someone else. That's a given. And what might makes common sense to me now may not be common sense to me in perhaps a crisis situation. Once again, also a given. I've got that.

I won't pretend that I have some divine power to FULLY comprehend what was common sense to the any of the inspired writers of the Bible. I'm not even able to comprehend what common sense is to you.

You (and many others) probably don't interpret scripture the same way I do. And I'm continually learning, and defining how I interpret scripture- daily.

You are not painting an incomplete picture that we are all different, look at things differently, and have different ideas on what is common sense.

Now, to thoroughly beat this dead horse. As Christians, we have to have a final authority. We have to look at this world and it's history through that final authority because of our faith. I have to believe that God loves us. Because he loves us he has preserved his word for us. I have to believe that the Bible is the Word of God, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. I have to believe it has the final authority in all matters of faith and conduct.

I have quoted scripture as to why I believe that the 6 day creation story it true and literal. And I've provided reasons why it conflicts with other IMPORTANT areas dealing with the nature of God and our salvation.

(So you don't have to go back and look for them I'll cut and past them for you):

"This is the HISTORY of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens," Genesis 2:4

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You shall do all of your work in six days. But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. On it, you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male slave, nor your female slave, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. This is because the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them in SIX DAYS, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it." Exodus 20:8-11

I also discussed how it contradicts with our need for a redeemer. If evolution is true, then death came before sin, so death couldn't be the penalty for sin. This completely undermines the need for a saviour in Christ.

Try as I might I can't make any other sense from those scriptures. Can you?

I wouldn't even be discussing this with you, if I didn't feel that this wasn't (at best) shakey ground for a believer to be trampling on. If the topic was whether or not Adam had a belly button , or even whether or not it was Moses who wrote the book of Genesis - I wouldn't have even joined in the conversation (at least to this extent). But there are some major conflicts with the evolution/creation model that could lead someone not as strong in their faith down a wrong path.

We can contend with each other for days on end, about the Science end of this conversation. Both of us could come up with arguments on that playing feild.

In my research on the topic I found this quote from Richard G. Bozarth from "The Meaning of Evolution," American Atheist (on page 30.)

"Christianity has fought, still fights, and will fight science to the desperate end over evolution, because evolution destroys utterly and finally the very reason Jesus’ earthly life was supposedly made necessary. Destroy Adam and Eve and the original sin, and in the rubble you will find the sorry remains of the son of god. . . . If Jesus was not the redeemer who died for our sins, and this is what evolution means, then Christianity is nothing!"

That is why I have some series reservations about marrying up the "science" of evolution with the truth of the story of creation.

Now I've answered your questions to the best of my (limited) ability. And I hope I haven't dodged it in anyway. If I have, it wasn't my intent.

Now it's your turn...
Both you and William have given scientific and cultural (referring to your common sense question) reasons why you adhere to this model. I've provided scripture to the best of my(once again, limited) ability to rationalize why I believe in a literal interpretation.

Can you, as a Christian, provide me with Concrete SCRIPTUAL evidence why you believe what you believe?

If you can, I will do my best, to honestly look into it further.

I think I've played all my cards.

didymus said...
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jeff said...

Now I guess it's my turn to say to you "Really?"

By the way, thanks for the honest response about no concrete evidence.

Other than that I'm really dumbfounded by your last post. I know that evolution isn't mentioned in the Bible (might I add because it didn't happen). And I know that "aerodynamics, atomic chemistry, the moons of Saturn, and auto mechanics" aren’t mentioned either. But the Creation Story IS!!!!!!

But here's the real kicker. If God REALLY wanted us to know about (oh, I don't know, let's take your most obscure reference)- Auto Mechanics he would have CLEARLY described how to do it. He wouldn't have said "To change the oil on a '69 Pontiac Firebird, thou must first remove the muffler." :)

So if there is not concrete evidence indicating otherwise, or that there is no other reference indicating that the "MORNING AND EVENING" day is any more than a literal 24 hour period of time I have to accept it as literal.

Whenever a number is attached to the word 'day' in the old testament it always means a literal day (morning and evening) for example:

Genesis 42:17-19
And he put them all in custody for three days.
On the third day, Joseph said to them, "Do this and you will live, for I fear God: If you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here in prison, while the rest of you go and take grain back for your starving households.

Now to you, does that mean three 24hour days, or a thousand, (a million?). It doesn't take a dispensationalist to figure that out. I know I must be coming across as sarcastic but I'm trying to make a point. When does it become literal?

I'm sure your thinking of some scientific reason why you believe what you believe. But to borrow an idea from you... what if your common sense changes about science? Common sense in all areas of study has changed dramatically, even recently. Once again scripture is the final authority not science.

When Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." do I need to take that literal? Obviously, I do.

If God created language and uses language to convey His message to his children, then it must follow that He, being all-wise and all-loving, originated sufficient language to convey all that was in His heart to tell mankind (whether or not it's now, 25 years from now, or 1000 years ago.)

To give a natural comparison, my children have asked about the day they were born. Does it make sense (assuming that I love them and wouldn't want mislead them) that I would do my best to be accurate in describing that very special day?

My 13 year old daughter looked over these posts and after reading your most recent entry we were discussing your comments. One thing she asked was, “Well, what am I supposed to believe then?” That’s the big question.

It's been fun engaging in this conversation with you. I'll let you have the final word. Next time let talk about the book of Revelation. : )

william said...

Andy and Jeff,
I really intended for Friday a.m. to be my last post… REALLY! Even though I ran out of time and didn’t get to finish the genetics information, I just couldn’t put any more time into it. But after all, this whole debate isn’t really about genetics or fossils or any of that stuff. Anyway, something interesting happened to me Friday night that I want to share w/ y’all. I think it is pertinent to our discussions last week.
On Friday nights I play in the Christian softball league here in town. I have been playing in this league for as long as I have lived here (13 years). There are 16 teams in this league representing 14 different churches in the valley. It has always been the custom for the two teams to form a circle and pray together after the post-game handshakes. For 13 years I have seen every team adhere to this custom - until this season. We have a church in the league this year w/ 2 teams entered and they refuse to pray after the games. Friday night, after playing 3 games this season against these guys I confronted them about not praying w/ us or any other teams. They told me that they are not sure we are TRULY Christians and they don’t want to engage in worship w/ us, just in case.
Exclusiveness… superiority… arrogance…? True; these are attitudes that all too many Christians somehow extract from the gospel. But it smells more like FEAR to me. Christians should be the most secure people on the planet! Yet these guys seem to be paralyzed with fear of … something!
So, what does this have to do w/ you and me. It goes back to my comment to Jeff last week about my concern for church unity. Christians are all too eager to judge each other by their positions on controversial issues like evolution, stem cell research, abortion, gay rights, capital punishment, political party affiliation, etc. Like the guys from those softball teams, too many Christians jump to negative conclusions about other Christians until they can run through their “Christian standards” checklist to approve of them or not. And, almost always, the standards are based on arguable interpretations of Bible text or distortion in its practical application. There is a disturbing pride that anti-evolutionist Christians seem to derive by being so vocal, even angry, w/ those who disagree. They have erroneously drawn the conclusion, from somewhere other than their Bibles, that anything less than a literal interpretation of Genesis puts one in only a “maybe” relationship w/ God. There are many people w/ a science education who are Believers but will not set foot in a church b/c they want to avoid these types of Christians like the plague. As for myself, my relationship w/ God is its own reality and whatever anyone else thinks about it is irrelevant (in the overall scheme of things). But there are larger implications for the universal church body.
To be sure, there ARE essential doctrines inherent to Christianity, w/out which it would cease to be Christianity. An elder’s duties are to shepherd the flock and uphold the doctrine of the church. Living in SLC, we have to be on guard against the largest counterfeit christian organization in the world. Meanwhile, it must be recognized that there are non-essential doctrines to our faith, also. Even though the majority of people in my congregation adhere to a literalist view of creation, we agree that specifics on origins and specifics on eschatology are non-essentials for salvation.
From our exchanges, my conclusion is: It’s not just WHAT you think about evolution that I disagree with. I know that there will always be Christians who take Genesis literally. I have many friends in this category. That’s fine. My disagreement is more basic than that. It’s HOW you think. You are deeply embedded in an “either/or” rationale. In other words, you put things into a dichotomy: either x is true, OR y is true, and then assume they are mutually exclusive. You don’t consider the possibility that x and y may BOTH be true... or false. Moreover, there may even be a z that is true! Your reasoning:
1) The Bible is God’s word, or The Bible is not God’s word.
2) Literal Bible interpretation is true, or Metaphorical Bible interpretation is true.
3) The Bible gives an account of origins, or Science gives an account of origins.
In philosophical lingo these are examples of a false dichotomy. In other words, you are trying to force your opponent into an extreme position because you offer only two possible choices. Does this sound familiar? Either “You believe the Bible literally,” or “You are calling God a liar.” Metaphysical materialists also use false dichotomy when arguing w/ theistic evolutionists. Richard Dawkins is notorious for this. Examples:
1) “You believe your science textbook,” or “You believe your Bible.”
2) “You are an accomplished scientist,” or “You believe in God.”
These alternatives are much more reasonable, I think, and don’t compromise the faith:
1) The Bible is God’s revealed word to inspired men who wrote things vital to our understanding of who we are, where we came from, where we are supposed to be going, and how we’re supposed to get there. In keeping w/ the freedom our universe has to be itself through natural law AND contingency, these men wrote in their own personal styles and w/ the limitations of their era, culture, and education.
2) Parts of the Bible are historical and to be understood literally. Parts of it are written in the context of metaphor, allegory, etc. It’s not always easy to figure out which is which (and it’s often mixed!).
3) The Bible and science both give an account of origins: one is spiritual, the other naturalistic. Each contributes to our greater understanding of being.
The great thinkers of the church and early shapers of Christian doctrine - Paul, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas – probably roll over in their graves at the lack of critical thinking in the church. I am sure Paul believed the literal 6 days of creation, Adam and Eve story, etc. It is evident in Romans that he did and there is a rationale for it (living in a Jewish culture in a pre-scientific age). But if he were somehow to show up on the scene today and be exposed to the scientific data with which we now have access, he would give us his divinely inspired message in a context of what we know about the world today. And he would be true to his strategy of being all things to all people to the glory of Christ. Yet it WOULD be exactly the same SPIRITUAL message. You appear to be unable to make the distinction between content and method – the message is the same whether it is written in a pre-scientific context or 21st century context. In addition, you seem completely unaware that the doctrine you adhere to today (the Trinity, the divinity and humanity of Christ, baptism, etc) was not all processed into systematic theology in the days of the writing of the NT. It took decades, even centuries, to address different points of theology AS THE NEED AROSE (heresies, persecution, reformation, counter-reformation). Today there IS a need for the church to address evolution. Catholics and mainstream Protestant denominations have long crossed this bridge. The Evangelicals lag embarrassingly behind. They create foolish cartoons instead.
Follow this example of sticking one’s head in the sand: 1) Bible literalists tend to be politically conservative. And many Bible literalists sitting on a jury would not hesitate to send an alleged rapist or murderer to the gas chamber if DNA evidence collected at the crime scene is determined 99% certain to be from the perpetrator. 2) Likewise, many Bible literalists watching the evening news would accept that, of the many guys Anna Nicole Smith “befriended”, DNA testing determined that it is certain that Larry Burkett is the father of her baby. 3) Many Bible literalists would declare w/ certainty that OJ was indeed the murderer of Nicole S. and Ron G. b/c of the DNA evidence collected that tragic night in Brentwood. Here’s my point: Those same Bible literalists, when told that the SAME technology shows that humans are 98% related to chimps, points to a common ancestor, and that we can determine how long ago that divergence took place, they would vehemently proclaim the science cannot be trusted! Send a guy to the gas chamber w/ this technology, but accept the implications for evolution, NEVER!
And this is what I mean by y’all being top-down thinkers: Starting w/ the immutable paradigm, “The Bible must be interpreted literally,” every bit of info that comes through your reasoning process gets filtered by that ultimate belief - the Bible MUST be interpreted literally. Consequently, you see all mainstream geologists, biologists, astrophysicists and cosmologists, geneticists, paleontologists, comparative anatomists, archeologists, and anthropologists as providing us w/ “wrong” information. Finally, even Christian theologians (who know the Bible better than you ever will) are wrong if they accept evolution.
A bottom-up thinker would gather information from all these fields. This may come from formal education on the way to his vocation and/or from continued self study. Then from all this study, the info leads to the forming of generalizations, then broader definitive concepts, and finally an overarching belief of, “This is what I believe to be true.” And a bottom-up thinker never closes his mind to the info coming in from the grassroots level. This leaves him open to changes in every conceptual layer if warranted by the emergence of new data. Science draws people who are bottom-up thinkers.
I really don’t see myself as any smarter than anyone, except maybe Brett Favre. (What was he doing retiring at the end of last season, anyway? It was a no-brainer to return to the Pack for another year!) My conclusions from study in areas of science, theology, and the Bible have led me to the statements of faith I have made over the last week. I won’t repeat myself by restating those. The more information one has, the more likely one MAY discover what God meant by it to begin with, whether the original writer saw it that way or not. Ultimately, I am not afraid of discovering Truth. My security in Christ makes me fearless. Go back to Aquinas: “Truth cannot contradict truth.” If I am barking up the right tree theologically and I am discovering the truth about the natural world, then there will be harmony between my understanding of nature and my understanding of God’s word. It will all fit into a unified paradigm of the material and spiritual realms of life in this universe.
I think it is probably impossible for my respect for the Bible and its authority to be established to your satisfaction in these discussions b/c the focus of my comments has been to establish the value of science in the grand scheme of “What’s really real?” FWI: I would make just as vigorous an argument FOR the legitimacy of Scripture in these types of discussions w/ an atheist.

Andy said...

William,

First off I am a third generation Packer fan as well and so be careful there :) You are right though Farve should have made a clear decision instead of waffling for 6 months.

Your argument is truly false. I believe in DNA evidence as most Orthodox Christians do. Just because the DNA is similar DOESNT make it the SAME. WE are also 98% similar to other creatures that live in the sea. That is the worst argument that can be made. That is like saying clouds consist of more than 95% water and humans are made up of more than 95% water so therefore we must be ancestors. All DNA shows is a common DESIGNER. If the study was accurate which is wasn't there can be a massive difference in even 2%.

If that is what is convicing you of evolution you need to examine that evidence more closely. The study you are referring to only examined 1% of all the DNA and then used a mean to guesstimate what the rest would be like. This is after they put in additions and deletions to make it more like Chimp DNA. This is poor and presuppositional science. This is not how they look for murders with DNA, they look for unique characteristics among the uncommon base DNA to catch a killer. These are unique and guess what, among people we can have a variance of up to 4% between people using the same numbers as that false study, does this mean chimps are more closely related to us than other people?
for further reading go here
http://www.answersingenesis.org/tj/v17/i1/DNA.asp

BTW the study has been proven false more times than once by other Evolution Believing Scientists.

As far as Christian softball, and discernment. Well you run an Emergent Blog which the leaders of this non movement/movement are Heretics like Rob Bell, Brian Maclaren and Doug Pagitt. I can honestly say that I have concern when they start prioritizing the Christian faith with abstract and post modern concepts. Many Emergent books have denied the Deity of Christ, Virgin Birth and original Sin (Velvet Elvis alone does all these). I am not sure they were right in not praying with you as they do not know your heart, however they may know more about you than I do, so maybe their judgment was correct. I am not inclined to pray with a Mormon or pray to Mary with a Catholic there are lines and we do draw them. I do not know what Church you go to and whether or not they ascribe to the core beliefs of Christianity, for I know of LDS people who are now joining the Emergent movement for its lack of clarity on everything. (You can look through my older posts to see when we had an exchange with a Mormon Blog that was promoting Rob Bell and Brian Maclaren.)

I understand there are some that want to live as a liberal Christian, for cultural or other reasons, the problem is there is too much at stake, not to mention what the Word of God says. The day will come and is close when that Bible is going to become illegal, and the Churches that preach truth will be locked. It is not far off, whose side will you stand on then when you are forced to make a decision. That of Christ or the opponents of Christ?

PS I am a Baby Loving, Pro Marriage, Bible Believing, Anti Tax , Pro Religious Choice, Pro Freedom , Born Again Christian and I believe Rapists and Murders should get the death penalty!

william said...

Andy,
I do agree with you on one thing - that I do have to look more closely at the Emergent movement. I was invited to register there to post some comments similar to topics we have been discussing,so I did. If a common belief is denying the Virgin birth, diety of Christ, etc, that is something I would not want to be associated with. Thanks for the heads up.

In the two Emergent meetings I've attended we've just kinda shot the breeze, talking about books we're reading, etc. Part of the Emergent thing, as I understand it, is that Christians from different denominations get together and share w/o trying to convince each other on their particular points of doctrine. That's how it's been so far.

The other issues, I feel like we're just going round in circles. I disagree w/ you on pretty much every point. So, I'm pretty much done w/ arguing about evol.

Peace, dude.

didymus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
william said...

Andy,
I forgot to mention yesterday, regarding the Brett Favre/Packers thing, my wife grew up in Wisconsin, is a lifelong Packers fan, and sleeps in a Brett Favre t-shirt every night. I kid you not, she sleeps in that thing EVERY night. She has 2 GB/Favre jerseys and she and my daughters (28 and 22 yrs old) went to Dallas last season for the GB vs. Cowgirls game. She brought a football that she got signed by a bunch of Packers.

As a kid, growing up in New Orleans, the Pack was my favorite team, too. It was before we had the 'Aints franchise. GB had a bunch of former LSU, SEC, and LA and MS black college players (Jim Taylor, Willie Wood, Elijah Pitts, Max McGee, Bart Starr) so that was my team. It's still my second favorite NFC team, but loyalty requires me to stick it out w/ the 'Aints first and foremost.

Back to Favre, Kiln and Hattiesberg, MS, are a stone's throw away from New Orleans, so I got to see his college career up close and I've always been a big fan of his, too. If you're a football fan, you can't help but love the guy. Unless you're a Bears or fan, maybe.

I just knew he made a mistake when he retired, knew he was going to regret it. I hope he and GB can resolve this thing. It's getting real ugly.