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Notre Dame priest: Creationism debate unique to U.S.
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle ^ | 2003-05-11 | Walt Williams

Posted on 05/11/2003 4:38:14 PM PDT by Junior

Despite movements across the nation to teach creationism in public schools, a science historian said Monday that Christians haven't always used a literal interpretation of the Bible to explain the world's origins.

"For them, the Bible is mostly to teach a religious lesson," said Ernan McMullin of the earliest Christian scholars.

McMullin spoke to a crowd of about 60 people at Montana State University on "Evolution as a Christian theme."

McMullin, a professor at the University of Notre Dame and a Catholic priest, is recognized one of the world's leading science historians and philosophers, according to MSU.

He has written about Galileo, Issac Newton, the concept of matter and, of course, evolution.

It's a subject has been hotly debated ever since Charles Darwin first published "On the Origins of Species" in 1859.

Christian fundamentalists have long pushed the nation's public schools to teach creationism as an alternative, which in its strictest form claims that the world was created in six days, as stated in the Bible's Old Testament Book of Genesis.

But McMullin said creationism largely is an American phenomenon. Other countries simply don't have major creationist movements, leading him to ask: "What makes it in the U.S. ... such an issue (over) evolution and Christian belief?"

The answer probably lies in the nation's history, with the settlement by religious groups, he said. Also, public education and religion are more intertwined here than other countries.

McMullin discussed how Christians have tried to explain their origins over the past 2,000 years, using several examples to show that many viewed Genesis as more of a religious lesson than an exact record of what happened.

It wasn't until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century that Genesis started to be taken literally. Then theologians started using nature - and its many complexities - as proof of creation.

Charles Darwin spoiled that through his theory of natural selection, and the battle lines have been drawn ever since.

"It replaced an older view that had sounded like a strong argument for the existence of God," McMullin said.


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Despite movements across the nation to teach creationism in public schools, a science historian said Monday that Christians haven't always used a literal interpretation of the Bible to explain the world's origins.

Tell that to some of the folks on this forum.

1 posted on 05/11/2003 4:38:14 PM PDT by Junior
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To: VadeRetro; jennyp; Junior; longshadow; *crevo_list; RadioAstronomer; Scully; Piltdown_Woman; ...
Ping.

[This ping list is for the evolution -- not creationism -- side of evolution threads, and sometimes for other science topics. To be added (or dropped), let me know via freepmail.]

2 posted on 05/11/2003 4:45:03 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: Aric2000; balrog666; Condorman; *crevo_list; donh; general_re; Godel; Gumlegs; Ichneumon; jennyp; ..
Ping
3 posted on 05/11/2003 4:45:58 PM PDT by Junior (Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.)
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To: Junior
Despite movements across the nation to teach creationism in public schools, a science historian said Monday that Christians haven't always used a literal interpretation of the Bible to explain the world's origins.

What is meant by the term "day" in the parts of Genesis before the creation of the Sun and Moon?

4 posted on 05/11/2003 4:50:36 PM PDT by supercat (TAG--you're it!)
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To: Junior
I know, I know.
5 posted on 05/11/2003 4:54:22 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: PatrickHenry
You know how it is with automatic ping lists...

BTW, what do you want to bet the creos ignore this thread?

6 posted on 05/11/2003 5:01:05 PM PDT by Junior (Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes.)
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To: Junior
Christians haven't always used a literal interpretation of the Bible to explain the world's origins.

Yes, but we're dealing with the snake-handling, speaking-in-idiocy, totally-close-minded, ultra-fundamentalist-without-a-clue, illiterate Christian wunderkinds!

7 posted on 05/11/2003 5:01:07 PM PDT by balrog666 (When in doubt, tell the truth. - Mark Twain)
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To: Junior
BTW, what do you want to bet the creos ignore this thread?

The smartest will stay away. But that still leaves a considerable number who will visit.

8 posted on 05/11/2003 5:03:25 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: supercat
"What is meant by the term "day" in the parts of Genesis"

Sadly, I'm old enough to remember that science taught that "In the beginning" couldn't be possible and a "fact" since the universe is "infinite" -- on-going so to speak. Then we got the "Big Bang" theory and well after that then Christians had to explain what does 'one day' mean in Genesis. OK, who was wrong and who was right about the "Big Bang".

I'm not all that worried about "days" if you need a response I'm sure that many here will help you but I wouldn't let that influence my quest for the truth. The truth may not be revealed in your life-time -- ask and seek answers (YES!) -- it doesn't mean you will get a valid answer though.
9 posted on 05/11/2003 5:06:20 PM PDT by BeAllYouCanBe (Maybe this "Army Of One" is a good thing - You Gotta Admire the 3rd Infantry Accomplishments)
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To: Junior
Uh, so maybe the fact that the Bible tells us God exists, that may or may not just be a story.

These people need to get a CLUE about Christianity. Either that or take off the darn collar and go do something productive!
10 posted on 05/11/2003 5:16:05 PM PDT by txzman (Jer 23:29)
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To: Junior
Why can't schools just explain what creationism is, and it's history. Then explain evolution to the children and it's history. Then explain the newer biochemical theories to the students. That way the kids know itn all, and undrestand the history of ideas.
11 posted on 05/11/2003 5:17:07 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway
Uhm, obviously that would be way too logical.
12 posted on 05/11/2003 5:23:32 PM PDT by ItisaReligionofPeace ((the original))
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To: Junior
Christians haven't always used a literal interpretation of the Bible to explain the world's origins.

What's more, most Christians don't, today. Literal interpretations of oral history and tradition (handed down over hundreds of years) is a tricky business.

13 posted on 05/11/2003 5:25:59 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: Junior
They sure ignored this one, not even Gore 3000 would try to defend this,

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/894768/posts

P.S. Dear Creationists, I still eagerly await you telling me where I can find living dinosaurs, we are looking for a family pet and what could beat a Veliciraptor?

14 posted on 05/11/2003 5:34:00 PM PDT by ContentiousObjector
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To: Junior
re your # 6...

What does it matter? Cognitive recognition of anything will be the same for each of us as consciousness was in 1899...Religion requires the need for self important immortality.... and amusing concept in and of itself.

Religion of all kinds remains the opium of the masses......... and an ocassional horror to civilized humans as now exemplified by the Muslum lunatics and their current display of insanity.


15 posted on 05/11/2003 5:34:14 PM PDT by rmvh
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To: nickcarraway
Why can't schools just explain what creationism is, and it's history. Then explain evolution to the children and it's history. Then explain the newer biochemical theories to the students. That way the kids know itn all, and undrestand the history of ideas.

Nick, you're a wise man.

16 posted on 05/11/2003 5:34:27 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: BeAllYouCanBe
who was wrong and who was right about the "Big Bang".

Science can be wrong for decades. The Bible is wrong forever.

17 posted on 05/11/2003 5:36:19 PM PDT by jlogajan
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To: rmvh
You might want to take another look at 20th century history and fellows by the name of Marx, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao.
18 posted on 05/11/2003 5:38:04 PM PDT by jwalsh07
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To: nickcarraway
You are assuming that public education is a quest for the truth and and open minded forum for ideas.
19 posted on 05/11/2003 5:39:44 PM PDT by JeepInMazar (www.answering-islam.org)
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To: ContentiousObjector
Try the Congo. Really. I dare you check it out.
20 posted on 05/11/2003 5:41:17 PM PDT by JeepInMazar (www.answering-islam.org)
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To: PatrickHenry
The smartest will stay away. But that still leaves a considerable number who will visit.

Interesting logic. Smart people won't visit this thread. So where does that leave you and I?

21 posted on 05/11/2003 5:44:05 PM PDT by JeepInMazar (www.answering-islam.org)
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To: JeepInMazar
So if I understand you correctly, you JeepInMazar are saying that today May 11th 2003 that there are living dinosaurs in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Alright then, lets see the evidence.

22 posted on 05/11/2003 5:44:21 PM PDT by ContentiousObjector
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To: Junior
Either Mr. Williams or the priest is in over his head. Hexaemeronic literature had several levels of interpretation, including the literal since the first centuries. This bit about the 16th century is either a misquote or naive suggestion. One needn't be a scientist or historian to know this.
23 posted on 05/11/2003 5:47:08 PM PDT by cornelis
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To: jlogajan
Science can be wrong for decades. The Bible is wrong forever.

Aptly put.

24 posted on 05/11/2003 5:59:56 PM PDT by stanz (All those folks who believe in evolution should go jump off the flat edge of the Earth)
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To: Junior
I'm a perfectionist. I don't believe in creationism, but I know Darwain wasn't right either. Asking me to choose between those 2 choices is like giving a test and saying 2+2=, Choice (A) "5" or Choice (B) "1".
25 posted on 05/11/2003 6:00:16 PM PDT by Sonny M ("oderint dum metuant".)
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To: Sonny M
but I know Darwain wasn't right either.

How do you "know" this?

26 posted on 05/11/2003 6:42:21 PM PDT by RadioAstronomer
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To: ContentiousObjector
LOL....well.....actually....um......

Let me just put it this way.

About two years ago I met a missionary who had lived in the Congo for about 50 years. He had a lot of interesting stories. One of the interesting facts about the Congo, as he explained it, is that there are vast areas that are unexpolored to this day.

As I understand it, these unexplored areas of the Congo cannot be seen from overhead because of the dense foilage. These areas are dense forest and swamp. You can't go in there because even the smallest boats cannot navigate between the trees. The only way to go in there is by walking in knee-deep to chest-deep water.

The land area that is made up of this terrian is quite incredible as I remember.

Anyway, one of the stories he told was of some scientests who came to research. When they were interacting with some of the local people, the scientists explained one animal that was believed to be long extinct. The locals told them they they still exist and as proof they went and brought one back. The scientists were shocked and to this day this animal, if I remember correctly is in a zoo somewhere right now.

The point being that there are some animals believed to be extinct that may actually be living somewhere. At the time of the story I looked around a bit for some verification of the story and remember seeing some interesting stories from other sources about this kind of stuff.

For what it is worth, that is the point I was making in my previous post. I think you would find it intersting about what may still be living in some yet to be explored areas of the earth.

Enough said.

27 posted on 05/11/2003 6:58:02 PM PDT by JeepInMazar (www.answering-islam.org)
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To: balrog666
I don't agree with the creationists any more than you do, but your post was nothing more than an angry, bitter, hateful swipe from an insecure, center-of-his-own-fearful-little-world, atheist crybaby.

See how it feels, sir?

Not too good is it. And it's not conducive to intelligent dialogue, either.
28 posted on 05/11/2003 7:02:45 PM PDT by Thorondir
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To: supercat
Since in the Book of Genesis Chapter 1, and 2, the term DAY is modified with the term morning and evening, it obviously refers to a lteral day of 24 hours as we know it.

It cannot refer to an indeterminite time period, for that would make the modifiers of evening and morning indeterminite time periods also.

The simplest explanation is often the most accurate, and in this case, it is proven acurate again and again.

Also, Exodus chapter 20:
(Exo 20:11 KJV) For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

If the reference to a 6 day creation is not a literal 6 days, then here where God speaks to Moses is a lie, also.

Those who claim to believe the Bible and evolution cannot answer these things without dismissing entire portions of Scrripture as fiction.
29 posted on 05/11/2003 7:07:38 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: nickcarraway
Because as soon as you choose to explain the differences between Creationism and Evolution, you have to explain why one is wrong, for neither agree with each other.

Creation will win, for the clear evidence approves it, and that will make people think about their maker, then their relationship with their maker, then their need for that maker, hence; people will be forced to acknowlege there is a God they are accountable to, and that will make them think about Jesus Christ.

This will bring about those who clearly reject Him with that knwowlege, those that almost believe, still acknowlege but do nothing with it, and those that think it through and see their need of a Saviour, and then even more who see it all the way through and become committed Christians.

That final last result is the one the state refuses to admit they might actually be a part of in todays world. It used to be promoted, and our own government even ordered the printing of Bibles in Thomas Jefferson's day...but we dont live in that day anymore.

Therefore, because 10% of the school children might actually believe the Bible in it's entirety and come to learn who Jesus Christ is as Saviour, it cannot be taught in public school.
30 posted on 05/11/2003 7:14:04 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: ContentiousObjector
Living dinosaur = alligators and crocodiles.

That was easy. Same with any lizard.

Remember, lizards grow all their life. With the atmosphere that was back in Genesis, and the lifespans we saw from back then, a lizard that lived over 500 yeas in a high pressure atmosphere with constant uniform heat could grow quite massive in it's lifetime.
31 posted on 05/11/2003 7:16:24 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: jlogajan
(2 Tim 3:14 KJV) But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

(2 Tim 3:15 KJV) And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

(2 Tim 3:16 KJV) All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

(2 Tim 3:17 KJV) That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

32 posted on 05/11/2003 7:17:12 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: cornelis
This bit about the 16th century is either a misquote or naive suggestion.

Guess again.

--------------------------

Ever wonder who, where and when your religion came from?
HERE IS THE HISTORIC RECORD

--------- (according to a Jewish source and double-verified in unbiased historical reference books) ---------


If you are Jewish, your religion was founded by God through Abraham about 4,000 years ago.

If you are Hindu, your religion developed in India around 1500 B.C.

If you claim to be a Druid, your religion may have developed sometime around 900 B.C. in Celtic Europe, but was completely wiped out in about 500 A.D. by the Romans, leaving only Roman writings about it; for the Druids utterly disdained writing.

If you are Shintoist, your religion developed long ago and over an undetermined period of time from the primitive animist religions of Japan.

If you are Buddhist, your religion split from Hinduism, and was founded by Prince Siddhartha Gautama of India, about 500 B.C.

If you are Confuscianist, your religion (really a social philosophy based upon ancient Chinese feudal ritual) was founded on the teachings of K'ung Fu-Tzu in China in about 550 B.C.

If you are a Taoist, your religion (really a naturalistic, philosophic way of life) began with the teachings of Lao Tzu in about 550 B.C.

If you are Roman Catholic, your religion was founded by Jesus Christ in the year 33.

If you are Islamic, your religion was started by Mohammed in the area of what is now Saudi Arabia, about 600 A.D.

If you are Eastern Orthodox, your sect of the Catholic Church separated from Roman Catholicism around the year 1,000.

If you are Sikh, your religion was founded in the Punjab region of India by Guru Nanak in about 1500.

the beginning of any established protestantism. If you are a Lutheran, your religion was founded by Martin Luther, an excommunicated Catholic monk in 1517.

If you are Anglican, your religion was started by King Henry VIII in the year 1534 because the Pope would not grant him a divorce with the right to remarry.

If you are Presbyterian, your religion was founded when John Knox brought the teachings of John Calvin to Scotland in the year 1560.

If you are Unitarian, your religious group developed in Europe in the 1500s.

If you are a Congregationalist, your religion branched off from Puritanism in the early 1600s in England.

If you are a Baptist, your religion was founded by a man named John Smyth, in Amsterdam in 1607.

If you are a Methodist, your religion was founded by John and Charles Wesley in England in 1744.

If you are Episcopalian, your religion was founded by Samuel Seabury in America in 1789, when he broke from the Anglican church of England.

If you are a Mormon, your religion was produced by a man named Joseph Smith in Palmyra, New York in 1830.

If you worship with the Salvation Army, your religion was started by a man named William Booth in London in 1865.

If you are a Jehova's Witness, your religion was founded by Charles Taze Russell in Pennsylvania in the 1870s.

If you are a Christian Scientist, your religion was founded by Mary Baker Eddy in 1879.

If you are Pentecostal, your religion started in the United States in 1901.

If you belong to any one of the countless other protestant denominations or "non-denominational" Christian churches, your sect probably began in this century or even this decade as an offshoot of one of the more mainstream Protestant denominations.

If you are an agnostic, you profess an uncertainty or skepticism about the existence of God, or any being higher than yourself.

If you are an Atheist, your religion denies the existence of any higher being and was later officially founded by Madalyn Murray O'Hair, who, according to her son, disappeared with most of the organization's money and without a trace, years ago.
33 posted on 05/11/2003 7:19:06 PM PDT by Thorondir
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To: All
A very few links from the famous "list-o-links" (so the creationists don't get to start each new thread from ground zero).

15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense. From Scientific American
Arguments we think creationists should NOT use from Answers in Genesis.
300 Creationist Lies.

The foregoing is just a tiny sample. So that everyone will have access to the accumulated Creationism vs. Evolution threads which have previously appeared on FreeRepublic, plus links to hundreds of sites with a vast amount of information on this topic, here's Junior's massive work, available for all to review:
The Ultimate Creation vs. Evolution Resource [ver 21].

34 posted on 05/11/2003 7:19:38 PM PDT by PatrickHenry (Felix, qui potuit rerum cognoscere causas.)
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To: jlogajan
The Bible is wrong forever.

You must be pretty sure of yourself if you can make an 'absolute' statement like that.

Every person who has ever taken a course in logic/philosophy should know that you simply cannot prove an absolute statement. To do that, you would have to be omniscient and/or omnipresent.

In other words, you would be God.

35 posted on 05/11/2003 7:22:03 PM PDT by Genesis defender (If religion is a crutch for the weak, atheism is a crutch for the ungodly - D. James Kennedy)
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To: balrog666
Yes, but we're dealing with the snake-handling, speaking-in-idiocy, totally-close-minded, ultra-fundamentalist-without-a-clue, illiterate Christian wunderkinds!

Excuse me!

I do NOT handle snakes.

36 posted on 05/11/2003 7:26:42 PM PDT by Genesis defender (If religion is a crutch for the weak, atheism is a crutch for the ungodly - D. James Kennedy)
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To: Junior
It's a bit of a mistake to single out Biblical literalism as the sole inspiration for creationism. It's mostly fear of rising secularism and some good old-fashioned psuedo-science. And honestly non-Americans who live in anti-GM glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

He's right about Biblical literalism not being a consistent theme in Christianity thoughout it's history though.
37 posted on 05/11/2003 7:27:34 PM PDT by MattAMiller (Iraq was liberated in my name, how about yours?)
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To: Junior
Creationists have yet to refute Last Thursdayism!
The fools will fall before the legions of Geno!
38 posted on 05/11/2003 7:29:11 PM PDT by Saturnalia
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To: RaceBannon; nickcarraway
Creation will win, for the clear evidence approves it, and that will make people think about their maker, then their relationship with their maker, then their need for that maker, hence; people will be forced to acknowlege there is a God they are accountable to, and that will make them think about Jesus Christ.

Race, evolutionary theory, in fact, reveals the Glory of God even more than creationism.

God shows Himself in every era of man, in a particular way, and manifests His Wonder in the minds of every man and woman, in every age.

39 posted on 05/11/2003 7:31:47 PM PDT by sinkspur
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To: Junior
Catholic theology supporter bump
40 posted on 05/11/2003 7:35:55 PM PDT by Varda
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To: RaceBannon
Since in the Book of Genesis Chapter 1, and 2, the term DAY is modified with the term morning and evening, it obviously refers to a lteral day of 24 hours as we know it.

Exactly. I don't see what is so hard to understand about this.

41 posted on 05/11/2003 7:37:10 PM PDT by Jorge
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To: Genesis defender
Sorry, I couldn't help myself. The first thing that popped into my head was Han Solo's line:

"Who's scruffy-lookin'?"
42 posted on 05/11/2003 7:37:32 PM PDT by Genesis defender (If religion is a crutch for the weak, atheism is a crutch for the ungodly - D. James Kennedy)
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To: Junior
Molecular machines

Bacterial Flagellum = Intelligent Design

43 posted on 05/11/2003 7:41:42 PM PDT by slimer
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To: nickcarraway
Why can't schools just explain what creationism is, and it's history. Then explain evolution to the children and it's history. Then explain the newer biochemical theories to the students.

Schools can't cover science or history as it is. They'll never get thru this.

44 posted on 05/11/2003 7:44:01 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: slimer
Please explain the ID test.
45 posted on 05/11/2003 7:45:11 PM PDT by Saturnalia
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To: RaceBannon
If the reference to a 6 day creation is not a literal 6 days, then here where God speaks to Moses is a lie, also.

Yet many of the Church fathers disagree with you. Who is your source?

46 posted on 05/11/2003 7:48:25 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: jlogajan
The Bible is wrong forever.

The Bible isn't wrong. It's just not science.

47 posted on 05/11/2003 7:49:43 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Saturnalia
The fools will fall before the legions of Geno!

D'oh!

48 posted on 05/11/2003 7:53:40 PM PDT by jlogajan
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To: sinkspur
That is blasphemy. Evolution says that God did not make men on day 6. That means men were not created, but evolved. That means men were not created sinless and then sin after. That means the promise of a redeemer is false, and that means Jesus Christ died for nothing.

God revealed Himself as the Bible says, not as men think.
49 posted on 05/11/2003 7:54:55 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: Thorondir
(according to a Jewish source and double-verified in unbiased historical reference books)

...If you are Jewish, your religion was founded by God through Abraham about 4,000 years ago.

...If you are Islamic, your religion was started by Mohammed in the area of what is now Saudi Arabia, about 600 A.D.

Unbiased??? If it's truly unbiased it should be more consistent. So the Islamic entry should read:

"If you are Islamic, your religion was started when the archangel Gabriel dictated the Koran from the original copy which is sitting in Heaven to Mohammed in the area of what is now Saudi Arabia, about 600 A.D."

50 posted on 05/11/2003 7:55:55 PM PDT by jennyp (http://crevo.bestmessageboard.com)
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