Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

In the beginning (Evolution and religion)
www.economist.com ^ | Apr 19th 2007

Posted on 04/30/2007 1:18:21 PM PDT by mjp

The debate over creation and evolution, once most conspicuous in America, is fast going global

THE “Atlas of Creation” runs to 770 pages and is lavishly illustrated with photographs of fossils and living animals, interlaced with quotations from the Koran. Its author claims to prove not only the falsehood of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection, but the links between “Darwinism” and such diverse evils as communism, fascism and terrorism. In recent weeks the “Atlas de la Création” has been arriving unsolicited and free of charge at schools and universities across French-speaking Europe. It is the latest sign of a revolt against the theories of Darwin, on which virtually the whole of modern biology is based, that is gathering momentum in many parts of the world.

The mass distribution of a French version of the “Atlas” (already published in English and Turkish) typifies the style of an Istanbul publishing house whose sole business is the dissemination, in many languages, of scores of works by a single author, a charismatic but controversial Turkish preacher who writes as Harun Yahya but is really called Adnan Oktar. According to a Turkish scientist who now lives in America, the movement founded by Mr Oktar is “powerful, global and very well financed”. Translations of Mr Oktar's work into tongues like Arabic, Urdu and Bahasa Indonesia have ensured a large following in Muslim countries.

In his native Turkey there are many people, including devout Muslims, who feel uncomfortable about the 51-year-old Mr Oktar's strong appeal to young women and his political sympathies for the nationalist right. But across the Muslim world he seems to be riding high. Many of the most popular Islamic websites refer readers to his vast canon.

In the more prosperous parts of the historically Christian world, Mr Oktar's flamboyant style would be unappealing, even to religious believers. Among mainstream Catholics and liberal Protestants, clerical pronouncements on creation and evolution are often couched in careful—and for many people, almost impenetrable—theological language. For example, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the world's 80m Anglicans, has dismissed literal readings of the Creation story in Genesis as a “category mistake”. But no such highbrow reticence holds back the more zealous Christian movements in the developing world, where the strongest religious medicine seems to go down best.

In Kenya, for example, there is a bitter controversy over plans to put on display the most complete skeleton of a prehistoric human being ever found, a figure known as Turkana Boy—along with a collection of fossils, some of which may be as much as 200m years old. Bishop Boniface Adoyo, an evangelical leader who claims to speak for 35 denominations and 10m believers, has denounced the proposed exhibit, asserting that: “I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it.”

Richard Leakey, the palaeontologist who unearthed both the skeleton and the fossils in northern Kenya, is adamant that the show must go on. “Whether the bishop likes it or not, Turkana Boy is a distant relation of his,” Mr Leakey has insisted. Local Catholics have backed him.

Rows over religion and reason are also raging in Russia. In recent weeks the Russian Orthodox Church has backed a family in St Petersburg who (unsuccessfully) sued the education authorities for teaching only about evolution to explain the origins of life. Plunging into deep scientific waters, a spokesman for the Moscow Patriarchate, Father Vsevolod Chaplin, said Darwin's theory of evolution was “based on pretty strained argumentation”—and that physical evidence cited in its support “can never prove that one biological species can evolve into another.”

A much more nuanced critique, not of Darwin himself but of secular world-views based on Darwin's ideas, has been advanced by Pope Benedict XVI, the conservative Bavarian who assumed the most powerful office in the Christian world two years ago. The pope marked his 80th birthday this week by publishing a book on Jesus Christ. But for Vatican-watchers, an equally important event was the issue in German, a few days earlier, of a book in which the pontiff and several key advisers expound their views on the emergence of the universe and life. While avoiding the cruder arguments that have been used to challenge Darwin's theories, the pope asserts that evolution cannot be conclusively proved; and that the manner in which life developed was indicative of a “divine reason” which could not be discerned by scientific methods alone.

Both in his previous role as the chief enforcer of Catholic doctrine and since his enthronement, the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has made clear his profound belief that man has a unique, God-given role in the animal kingdom; and that a divine creator has an ongoing role in sustaining the universe, something far more than just “lighting the blue touch paper” for the Big Bang, the event that scientists think set the universe in motion. Yesterday America, today the world

As these examples from around the world show, the debate over creation, evolution and religion is rapidly going global. Until recently, all the hottest public arguments had taken place in the United States, where school boards in many districts and states tried to restrict the teaching of Darwin's idea that life in its myriad forms evolved through a natural process of adaptation to changing conditions.

Darwin-bashers in America suffered a body-blow in December 2005, when a judge—striking down the policies of a district school board in Pennsylvania—delivered a 139-page verdict that delved deeply into questions about the origin of life and tore apart the case made by the “intelligent design” camp: the idea that some features of the natural world can be explained only by the direct intervention of a ingenious creator.

Intelligent design, the judge found, was a religious theory, not a scientific one—and its teaching in schools violated the constitution, which bars the establishment of any religion. One point advanced in favour of intelligent design—the “irreducible complexity” of some living things—was purportedly scientific, but it was not well-founded, the judge ruled. Proponents of intelligent design were also dishonest in saying that where there were gaps in evolutionary theory, their own view was the only alternative, according to the judge.

The Seattle-based Discovery Institute, which has spearheaded the American campaign to counter-balance the teaching of evolution, artfully distanced itself from the Pennsylvania case, saying the local school board had gone too far in mixing intelligent design with a more overtly religious doctrine of “creationism”. But the verdict made it much harder for school boards in other parts of America to mandate curbs on the teaching of evolution, as many have tried to do—to the horror of most professional scientists.

Whatever the defeats they have suffered on home ground, American foes of Darwin seem to be gaining influence elsewhere. In February several luminaries of the anti-evolution movement in the United States went to Istanbul for a grand conference where Darwin's ideas were roundly denounced. The organiser of the gathering was a Turkish Muslim author and columnist, Mustafa Akyol, who forged strong American connections during a fellowship at the Discovery Institute.

To the dismay of some Americans and the delight of others, Mr Akyol was invited to give evidence (against Darwin's ideas) at hearings held by the Kansas school board in 2005 on how science should be taught. Mr Akyol, an advocate of reconciliation between Muslims and the West who is much in demand at conferences on the future of Islam, is careful to distinguish his position from that of the extravagant publishing venture in his home city. “They make some valid criticisms of Darwinism, but I disagree with most of their other views,” insists the young author, whose other favourite cause is the compatibility between Islam and Western liberal ideals, including human rights and capitalism. But a multi-layered anti-Darwin movement has certainly brought about a climate in Turkey and other Muslim countries that makes sure challenges to evolution theory, be they sophisticated or crude, are often well received.

America's arguments over evolution are also being followed closely in Brazil, where—as the pope will find when he visits the country next month—various forms of evangelicalism and Pentecostalism are advancing rapidly at the expense of the majority Catholic faith. Samuel Rodovalho, an activist in Brazil's Pentecostal church, puts it simply: “We are convinced that the story of Genesis is right, and we take heart from the fact that in North America the teaching of evolution in schools has been challenged.”

Even in the United States, defenders of evolution teaching do not see their battle as won. There was widespread dismay in their ranks in February when John McCain, a Republican presidential candidate, accepted an invitation (albeit to talk about geopolitics, not science) from the Discovery Institute. And some opponents of intelligent design are still recovering from their shock at reading in the New York Times a commentary written, partly at the prompting of the Discovery Institute, by the pope's close friend, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna.

In his July 2005 article the cardinal seemed to challenge what most scientists would see as axiomatic—the idea that natural selection is an adequate explanation for the diversity and complexity of life in all its forms. Within days, the pope and his advisers found they had new interlocutors. Lawrence Krauss, an American physicist in the front-line of courtroom battles over education, fired off a letter to the Vatican urging a clarification. An agnostic Jew who insists that evolution neither disproves nor affirms any particular faith, Mr Krauss recruited as co-signatories two American biologists who were also devout Catholics. Around the same time, another Catholic voice was raised in support of evolution, that of Father George Coyne, a Jesuit astronomer who until last year was head of the Vatican observatory in Rome. Mr Krauss reckons his missive helped to nudge the Catholic authorities into clarifying their view and insisting that they did still accept natural selection as a scientific theory.

But that was not the end of the story. Catholic physicists, biologists and astronomers (like Father Coyne) insisted that there was no reason to revise their view that intelligent design is bad science. And they expressed concern (as the Christian philosopher Augustine did in the 4th century) that if the Christian church teaches things about the physical world which are manifestly false, then everything else the church teaches might be discredited too. But there is also a feeling among Pope Benedict's senior advisers that in rejecting intelligent design as it is understood in America they must not go too far in endorsing the idea that Darwinian evolution says all that needs to be, or can be, said about how the world came to be.

The net result has been the emergence of two distinct camps among the Catholic pundits who aspire to influence the pope. In one there are people such as Father Coyne, who believe (like the agnostic Mr Krauss) that physics and metaphysics can and should be separated. From his new base at a parish in North Carolina, Father Coyne insists strongly on the integrity of science—“natural phenomena have natural causes”—and he is as firm as any secular biologist in asserting that every year the theory of evolution is consolidated with fresh evidence.

In the second camp are those, including some high up in the Vatican bureaucracy, who feel that Catholic scientists like Father Coyne have gone too far in accepting the world-view of their secular colleagues. This camp stresses that Darwinian science should not seduce people into believing that man evolved purely as the result of a process of random selection. While rejecting American-style intelligent design, some authoritative Catholic thinkers claim to see God's hand in “convergence”: the apparent fact that, as they put it, similar processes and structures are present in organisms that have evolved separately.

As an example of Catholic thinking that is relatively critical of science-based views of the world, take Father Joseph Fessio, the provost of Ave Maria University in Florida and a participant in a seminar on creation and evolution which led to the new book with papal input. As Father Fessio observes, Catholics accept three different ways of learning about reality: empirical observation, direct revelations from God and, between those two categories, “natural philosophy”—the ability of human reason to discern divine reason in the created universe. That is not quite intelligent design, but it does sound similar. The mainly Protestant heritage of the United States may be one reason why the idea of “natural philosophy” is poorly understood by American thinkers, Father Fessio playfully suggests. (Another problem the Vatican may face is that Orthodox Christian theologians, as well as Catholic mystics, are wary of “natural philosophy”: they insist that mystical communion with God is radically different from observation or speculation by the human brain.) The evolution of the anti-evolutionists

Whatever they think about science, there is one crucial problem that all Christian thinkers about creation must wrestle with: the status of the human being in relation to other creatures, and the whole universe. There is no reading of Christianity which does not assert the belief that mankind, while part of the animal kingdom, has a unique vocation and potential to enhance the rest of creation, or else to destroy it. This point has been especially emphasised by Pope Benedict's interlocutors in the Orthodox church, such as its senior prelate Patriarch Bartholomew I, who has been nudging the Vatican to take a stronger line on man's effect on the environment and climate change.

For Father Coyne, belief in man's unique status is entirely consistent with an evolutionary view of life. “The fact we are at the end of this marvellous process is something that glorifies us,” he says.

But Benedict XVI apparently wants to lay down an even stronger line on the status of man as a species produced by divine ordinance, not just random selection. “Man is the only creature on earth that God willed for his own sake,” says a document issued under Pope John Paul II and approved by the then Cardinal Ratzinger.

What is not quite clear is whether the current pope accepts the “Chinese wall” that his old scientific adviser, Father Coyne, has struggled to preserve between physics and metaphysics. It is in the name of this Chinese wall that Father Coyne and other Catholic scientists have been able to make common cause with agnostics, like Mr Krauss, in defence of the scientific method. What the Jesuit astronomer and his secular friends all share is the belief that people who agree about physics can differ about metaphysics or religion.

Critics like Father Fessio would retort that their problem was not with the Chinese wall—but with an attempt to tear it down by scientists whose position is both Darwinist and anti-religious: in other words, with those who believe that scientific observation of the universe leaves no room at all for religious belief. (Some scientists and philosophers go further, dismissing religion itself as a phenomenon brought about by man's evolutionary needs.)

The new book quoting Pope Benedict's contributions to last year's seminar shows him doing his best to pick his way through these arguments: accepting that scientific descriptions of the universe are valid as far as they go, while insisting that they are ultimately incomplete as a way of explaining how things came to be. On those points, he seems to share the “anti-Darwinist” position of Father Fessio; but he also agrees with Father Coyne that a “God of the gaps” theory—which uses a deity to fill in the real or imagined holes in evolutionary science—is too small-minded. Only a handful of the world's 2 billion Christians will be able to make sense of his intricate intellectual arguments, and there is a risk that simplistic reporting and faulty interpretation of his ideas could create the impression that the pope has deserted to the ranks of the outright anti-evolutionists; he has done no such thing, his advisers insist.

Not that the advocates of intelligent design or outright creationists are in need of anyone's endorsement. Their ideas are flourishing and their numbers growing. As Mr Krauss has caustically argued, the anti-evolution movement is itself a prime example of evolution and adaptability—defeated in one arena, it will resurface elsewhere. His ally Father Coyne, the devoted star-gazer, is one of the relatively few boffins who have managed to expound with equal passion both their scientific views and their religious beliefs. He writes with breathless excitement about “the dance of the fertile universe, a ballet with three ballerinas: chance, necessity and fertility.” Whether they are atheists or theists, other supporters of Darwin's ideas on natural selection will have to inspire as well as inform if they are to compete with their growing army of foes.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: creationism; evolution; fsmdidit; fsmlovesyou; invictus; soupmyth; yecapologetics; youcantfixstupid
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-138 next last

1 posted on 04/30/2007 1:18:26 PM PDT by mjp
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: mjp
In the beginning (Evolution and religion)

Didn't read the article - it's starts out wrong. In the beginning, God spoke....... No Religion, and never evolution.
2 posted on 04/30/2007 1:23:13 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mjp

“Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury and leader of the world’s 80m Anglicans, has dismissed literal readings of the Creation story in Genesis as a “category mistake””

Archbishop Rowan Williams is the very definition of a “category mistake”.


3 posted on 04/30/2007 1:27:33 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

And your evidence, aside from a book written by man, is?


4 posted on 04/30/2007 1:31:07 PM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what an Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

It seems to me that both the Anglican and the Catholic Churches, plus many main line Protestant denominations, view evolution as the mechanism of creation and reject YEC. That is also what I beleive. There is overwhelming evidence against YEC.


5 posted on 04/30/2007 1:38:46 PM PDT by doc30 (Democrats are to morals what an Etch-A-Sketch is to Art.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: mjp
The debate over creation and evolution, once most conspicuous in America, is fast going global

There is no debate, merely endless attempts by the forces of superstition to deny science.
6 posted on 04/30/2007 1:39:29 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

These people are looking for evidence to support their tiny four dimensional thinking capability. There are many more dimensions of this universe that we have no capability of understanding until our souls are released from the Bodies. It has always been a battle between God and Satan. This battle started in the beginning of mankind and is the basis for all our history up to now. We have been the pawns, in Satans eyes, and Children in Gods eyes.

Evolution was just another way Satan has used to deceive us as to the truth. To believe in Evolution is a fools journey that has traps all along the way, and the end is to turn away from Christ. Once a person believes in Evolution, this will immediately discredit the Bible for some and diminish its’ importance to the Christian that accepts Evolution as just a way God made man. There are those that actually believe in God, but think that he used Evolution to make man. To believe this puts a limit on Gods power and all powerful Father we know him to be.

The people around Noah wanted proof that it was going to rain. Well, they got their proof alright, however, many failed to even build a rowboat much less an Ark. Once the proof was provided, it was just a little too late when the arks doors closed. :)

This time, the proof will be a lot of heat......lots of heat.


7 posted on 04/30/2007 1:41:31 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

Oh, yes, I agree, I don’t believe in Religion....I believe in Jesus Christ. :)


8 posted on 04/30/2007 1:42:31 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

Oh, good line!


9 posted on 04/30/2007 1:43:28 PM PDT by Tax-chick ("And he had turned the Prime Minister's teacup into a gerbil.")
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: doc30

“That is also what I beleive. There is overwhelming evidence against YEC.”

Jesus taught a literal creation in which man and woman were creaded as such “from the beginning”. You must decided who your final source of authority will be - the Bible or modern theories.

“Science” would reject the posibility of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ outright.


10 posted on 04/30/2007 1:44:40 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: tgambill

“Oh, yes, I agree, I don’t believe in Religion....I believe in Jesus Christ. :)”

You would know nothing of Jesus Christ were it not for “religion”.


11 posted on 04/30/2007 1:49:45 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus
Jesus taught a literal creation in which man and woman were creaded as such “from the beginning”.

Since Adam wasn't created on the first day, how can man and woman have been in existence "from the beginning"? Your argument is subject to the "how long is a day" problem.

“Science” would reject the posibility of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ outright.

"Science" would say there is no evidence of the resurrection. Which is the same thing that "Law" would say. If you reject "science" for that reason, then will you reject "law" as well?

12 posted on 04/30/2007 1:50:59 PM PDT by narby
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: narby
“Since Adam wasn’t created on the first day, how can man and woman have been in existence “from the beginning”?”

Most people understand “from the beginning” is referring to the six days of creation.
13 posted on 04/30/2007 2:04:41 PM PDT by Stark_GOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: mjp
In Kenya, for example, there is a bitter controversy over plans to put on display the most complete skeleton of a prehistoric human being ever found, a figure known as Turkana Boy—along with a collection of fossils, some of which may be as much as 200m years old. Bishop Boniface Adoyo, an evangelical leader who claims to speak for 35 denominations and 10m believers, has denounced the proposed exhibit, asserting that: “I did not evolve from Turkana Boy or anything like it.”

Apparently the Bishop doesn't know that many creationists believe that the "Turkana Boy" IS a "normal" human (even though he is clearly Homo erectus). Of course other creationists think all H. erectus are just apes. Funny that they ALL agree there are NO intermediates, that apes and humans are perfectly distinct, but there are all sorts of fossils for which they can't agree to which distinct category unconnected by intermediates they belong!

14 posted on 04/30/2007 2:06:50 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mjp
“THE “Atlas of Creation” runs to 770 pages and is lavishly illustrated with photographs of fossils and living animals, interlaced with quotations from the Koran.”

Reference to ‘that book’ made that article lose credibility.
15 posted on 04/30/2007 2:07:39 PM PDT by Stark_GOP
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: narby

“Since Adam wasn’t created on the first day, how can man and woman have been in existence.”

I’ll direct yo to the words of Jesus. You can argue with Him.

Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female.”

****************

“Which is the same thing that “Law” would say. If you reject “science” for that reason, then will you reject “law” as well?”

Really?

A Judge looks at the evidence for the Resurrection
http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/lawlink/Supreme_Court/ll_sc.nsf/pages/SCO_young110406

Also...
http://bangordailynews.com/news/t/news.aspx?articleid=148355&zoneid=20

If you are currently uncertain what to believe about the resurrection, or if you are open to that which would further inform your opinion, you should know about Simon Greenleaf.

Simon Greenleaf was born in 1783. As a young man he prepared for a career in law under the tutelage of Ezekiel Whitman, once a chief justice of Maine. He practiced law here in Maine. He was appointed reporter of Maine’s supreme court when it was established in 1820. His own legal reputation and practice grew until he became, quite possibly, the foremost legal figure in the state at that time.

When he was 50, Greenleaf accepted an offer to become Royal professor of law at Harvard University’s Law School, a distinguished post that he held for 13 years.

Greenleaf was granted Doctor of Law degrees by Harvard, Amherst and the University of Alabama. He wrote a highly respected text and numerous papers, played a role in the formation of Liberia’s original constitution, and on at least one occasion appeared as chief counsel before the U.S. Supreme Court.

A chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court once referred to Dr. Greenleaf as “the greatest authority on legal evidence that ever lived.”

At one point in his career, Simon Greenleaf mounted an intensive examination into evidence from the Gospel accounts for the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The result of his work was a published piece entitled “The Testimony of the Evangelists Examined by the Rules of Evidence Administered in Courts of Justice.”

Greenleaf concluded that in any unbiased courtroom in the world, if such evidence were presented, it would be adjudged as absolute historical fact.”


16 posted on 04/30/2007 2:15:14 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: doc30; AnotherUnixGeek
doc30: YEC stands for?????

Does the article not note B-XVI's skepticism (at the least) over the curious notion that men are somehow "descended" from apes???

God said that He created Adam and Eve. God holds considerably higher authority than any scientist. Darwin was a failed (and resentful???) theology student as well as a knee-slappingly hilarious author of fables for the gullible among us.

In charity, we ought to consider that the view of Darwin and others that they are decsended from apes may actually be evidence that they are but they have no business maligning the ancestry of humans as though ours were theirs.

Fr. Coyne should find a new line of work: gardening, or carpentry or cooking or swinging through the treetops with a banana in one hand and a vine in the other or whatever. He is over his head on man's ancestry. When we need "science" to reveal religious truth, we will be sure to let the "scientists" know but they ought, in prudence, hold their breath waiting. If God's Word was good enough for real scientists like Louis Pasteur, then it ought to be good enough for the Darwinist pipsqueaks who never seem to produce work as valuable or practical as that of Pasteur.

aug: Well, then, get down on your knees and worship what you conceive to be "science" almighty. A mighty strange god to have before the one genuine God, but free will is free will. AND, when Darwin died, his personal attempts to deny the Truth, ummmm, ended.

17 posted on 04/30/2007 2:18:07 PM PDT by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: BlackElk
Darwin was a failed (and resentful???) theology student

Neither resentful (he enjoyed his time in Cambridge and maintained contacts there for many years) nor failed (he took a four year "ordinary" degree and passed his finals well in the top 10 percent, 10th on the list out of 178). He just never went on to take up orders in clergy as his scientific career took of, and he found himself loaded down with scientific work, in the wake of The Beagle voyage.

The rest of your sneering screed is about equally accurate.

18 posted on 04/30/2007 2:38:13 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 17 | View Replies]

To: doc30
aside from a book written by man, is

It's takes understanding which you already limited yourself to by "man". Jesus is the Man, The Living Word.
19 posted on 04/30/2007 2:54:12 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: mjp

If, tomorrow, you awoke to find that the Bible had disappeared from history and all of its derivitive ‘religions’ no longer existed in fact or in memory, in what would you believe? By what system would you live your life? No offense intended; just curious. :)


20 posted on 04/30/2007 3:07:12 PM PDT by Continental Soldier
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: mjp

“the pope asserts that evolution cannot be conclusively proved; and that the manner in which life developed was indicative of a “divine reason””

Life ‘developed’ by evolving. What else does develop mean? And if evolution ‘cannot be ... proved’ then to ascribe the manner of evolving to a divine reason is moot. Divine reason cannot cause something that did not happen (cannot be ... proved). Maybe things can develop without changing, but not in my world.


21 posted on 04/30/2007 3:11:16 PM PDT by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: tgambill
It has always been a battle between God and Satan

Exactly. Good vs. evil, all the time, everytime! Satan - the father of lies! He uses lies wrapped up in some truth to deceive. He attracts them with some truth and then he has them. But, then again, we are warned about that in His Word.

actually believe in God, but think that he used Evolution to make man.

They believe in a god but not the God of the Bible! Because they don't believe in what He says. Whatever He creator, He said it is good. God needed help (evolution)! LOL That's those pee-pee brains working!

Once the proof was provided, it was just a little too late when the arks doors closed.

Yeah! They, too, were thinking with their pee-pee brains - it NEVER happened before, so a flood will not wipe us out - can't possibly happen. So they sat around and laughed at Noah and his family for years and years. Not that Noah laughed - he knew what will happen because He believed in God. But the others leaned on 'THEIR OWN understanding'. God's ways are not ours.

This time, the proof will be a lot of heat......lots of heat.

Yes - and for ETERNITY. You just don't burn up and that's it! I'm taking a John Bevere class on his book - Driven by Eternity. So much info that I had no idea about - it's a somber class. They show his CD on this - he gives lots of scripture - so it's all in the Good Book!

Good post. Thank you.
22 posted on 04/30/2007 3:19:25 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek
attempts by the forces of superstition to deny science.

Change that to....deny God as The CREATOR.
23 posted on 04/30/2007 3:21:33 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: tgambill
I don’t believe in Religion....I believe in Jesus Christ.

YES!! The Author and Finisher of our faith!
24 posted on 04/30/2007 3:25:03 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

wrong.......You would know Jesus Christ with or without Religion. Religion has little or anything to do with it.....Religion was made by man as a term and is used to control people....

Don’t forget, the POPE just declared that Babies are no longer in Limbo...:)) I just wonder if he made liaison with before he made that command decision. I wonder what the babies were doing before that. Can you imagine. Just this month in one instant, the Pope makes this declaration and all of a sudden, Babies are moving out of limbo....

The Holy Spirit could care less about Religion.........you don’t need religion to have communion with God.


25 posted on 04/30/2007 3:25:15 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: mjp

Antichrist.


26 posted on 04/30/2007 3:25:21 PM PDT by Doomonyou (Let them eat lead.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

exactly!!!!!!!!!!! and, when he comes back the second time...it won’t be like his first visit. It’s going to get very very ugly for “religious types”, and “Christians who have not really accepted Christ” and all the others to top the list, the NEW WORLD ORDER propoents.....going to get really really interesting.


27 posted on 04/30/2007 3:28:07 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

To: tgambill
you don’t need religion to have communion with God.

Yes - it's all about fellowship with Our God, Our Father. Until one has that fellowship - they don't 'know' Him.
28 posted on 04/30/2007 3:28:22 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

The Bible is written in our hearts.....its not always necessary to have a Bible where we are. Not having a Bible doesn’t mean God of the Bible disappears. His words come with or without the Bible.


29 posted on 04/30/2007 3:32:29 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: tgambill

Exactly! We don’t know the ‘day or the hour’ - but we know ‘the season’. And the things mentioned in the Bible about the last day coudn’t be understood twenty years ago but with technology advances - no more mystery. Ugly indeed! My bags are packed, are yours. :)


30 posted on 04/30/2007 3:34:52 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 27 | View Replies]

To: tgambill
TThe Bible is written in our hearts....His words come with or without the Bible

So well said and SO TRUE! And that can NEVER be taken from us!
31 posted on 04/30/2007 3:38:10 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

well, I have a suspicion that my bags will be either a white robe or jail strips if I’m left back here.....:)) Christians left behind to endure the Tribulation and saved by Fire....will really have a hard way, but, will earn their way to judgment but will be martyrs in his name by example.........


32 posted on 04/30/2007 3:39:58 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 30 | View Replies]

To: tgambill

We are WINNERS either way as this age of Grace is coming to an end! Then a 1,000 year reign with the King of Kings!


33 posted on 04/30/2007 3:46:45 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 32 | View Replies]

To: tgambill
****** “wrong.......You would know Jesus Christ with or without Religion.”

How?

How would you know of Jesus Christ if not from the Bible or from a preacher of some sort?

****** “....Religion was made by man as a term and is used to control people....”

James says that Religion can be good... “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” - James 1:27

****** “Don’t forget, the POPE just declared that Babies are no longer in Limbo...:”

It’s not my job to defend the Pope - but he was addressing a commonly held belief not the dogma of the RCC. (Catholics may correct me on this.)

****** “The Holy Spirit could care less about Religion.”

The Holy Spirit inspired James to write his epistle we referenced above.

****** “you don’t need religion to have communion with God.”

Religion:

1A. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
1B. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Based on the above, which kind of religion are you referring to?

34 posted on 04/30/2007 3:51:01 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 25 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name

This is what I’ve come to understand. Whether you are a pre-Trib or post trib...or whatever, my question is, what difference does it make.

Also, people talk about the “end of the world”..this is a scare tactic. There is the end of the world as we know it in a secular sense. However, it is actually the beginning of an eternity.....not an end.


35 posted on 04/30/2007 3:51:01 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: doc30

Evolution itself has been used for so many just-so stories it is on the verge of becoming a tautology. Since atheists use evolution as an attack on the Bible and conservative Christians, there is more to evolution than a simple “mechanism of creation”. If the atheist crowd could definitively prove false Genesis, then why should they take any part of Christianity seriously?

While the young-earth crowd increasingly grasp at straws, this doesn’t mean we should throw out even a literal interpretation of Genesis entirely. But at the same time this does not mean that we understand the literal meaning of Genesis completely. For instance, due to the fluidity of time as affected by speed and gravity, the explanation in Genesis, even if accurate, may not be clear for quite a while.

While genetics should be the foundation of biology, and I don’t believe that any biologist would say that they completely understand genetics, evolution has taken over as the philosophical “foundation of biology” even while new cellular and genetic mechanisms are discovered today.


36 posted on 04/30/2007 4:01:58 PM PDT by dan1123 (You are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. --Jesus)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: dan1123

“If the atheist crowd could definitively prove false Genesis, then why should they take any part of Christianity seriously?”

Indeed. Why should they?


37 posted on 04/30/2007 4:11:02 PM PDT by gcruse
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

How?

****The Holy Spirit is supernatural. The Holy Spirit talks to us through our thoughts and he writes on our hearts the true word of God when we let him in. How do you think the authors of the Bible wrote the Bible in the first place. The old testament to the New testament, written by man, but his writings were inspired by a supernatural force called the Holy Spirit. Jesus said we would not be left alone, he would send the comforter. God would not has us to depend the possession of a Bible. He surpasses all that. You can take the Bible away, you can burn it, whatever, but the word of God is written in our hearts. One cannot restrict nor shut out the creator. One cannot box God up and fit him into what we would like him to be, just so we are comfortable in our own little made up world.

“How would you know of Jesus Christ if not from the Bible or from a preacher of some sort?”

****Just answered that.....Don’t need a preacher, Pope or Rabbi, or Imam. You can’t limit God to this world. Preachers, Popes, etc.....are nice to have, however, 30% +/- of Catholic priest or whoever are pedofiles...Baptist preachers sometimes “messes” around with the Deacons wife....or underage children as well.....Don’t need a preacher...I can read the Bible and so can everyone else. Don’t have a Bible, I can pray, and God will answer with words to our hearts. Confess only to him your sins, no preacher or Priest or even POPE. Does no good and will go for nothing. None of these died on the cross. They will be judged just as the common criminal as all of us will be judged.

****** “....Religion was made by man as a term and is used to control people....”

“James says that Religion can be good... “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” - James 1:27”

*****It can be good if it is in compliance with the Bible. Mormons have religion...but, I doubt very seriously if any of them will become Gods and inherit a planet of their very own. this is in accordance with the Morman Religion. You can have this in your religion, and written in your own Bible...however, this doesn’t mean it will be true.

****** “Don’t forget, the POPE just declared that Babies are no longer in Limbo...:”

It’s not my job to defend the Pope - but he was addressing a commonly held belief not the dogma of the RCC. (Catholics may correct me on this.)

*****Sure, but, the Bible would address this in Daniel and other verses. It does not make it so because a man proclaims it to be true. What verses or part of Gods word gave him the authority to make this “determination”? If there is an answer to this question. Then, what was the hold up, the Bible was there all along.

****** “The Holy Spirit could care less about Religion.”

“The Holy Spirit inspired James to write his epistle we referenced above.”

*****Sure did, but didn’t say anything about making a religion. He was just inspired to write and testify what the Holy Spirit wrote on his heart.

****** “you don’t need religion to have communion with God.”

Religion:

1A. Belief in and reverence for a supernatural power or powers regarded as creator and governor of the universe.
1B. A personal or institutionalized system grounded in such belief and worship.

2. The life or condition of a person in a religious order.

3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.

4. A cause, principle, or activity pursued with zeal or conscientious devotion.

Based on the above, which kind of religion are you referring to?

*******No Religion as I said before. Religion was a term invented and defined by man. Religion is an institution designed to control and fit mans desires to commune with whatever higher reasoning power they want. So, if this means Scientology....then, this is their religion. Shall we discuss what Christ says about false Gods? The Iron Mountain report (the hoax of the Iron Mountain Report is the claim that it was a hoax), stated that one substitute of War to control people was specifically; among others, was “New Religions and other Mythologies”.


38 posted on 04/30/2007 4:13:06 PM PDT by tgambill (I would like to comment.....)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 34 | View Replies]

To: tgambill

Scare tactic, indeed. “World without end, Amen”.


39 posted on 04/30/2007 4:18:34 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek
How did universe start. Where did the matter come from?Where did the enegy come from? Where did space come from? Sience has no real answers to such questions. If any they are religious in a sense that are to be accepted by faith, and more faith then to believe in a Creator of all things.
40 posted on 04/30/2007 4:19:57 PM PDT by Gregi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: mjp; PetroniusMaximus; All

For those that are interested I have found these videos to be very good.

Is there a Case for the Resurrection of Jesus?
Run Time: (7:30)
http://www.leestrobel.com/videos/Christ/strobelT1184.htm

There are a number of videos on this site.

And some videos from a lawyer and founder of the Discovery Institute.

http://www.veritas-ucsb.org/video/ORIGINS/JOHNSON/Johnson.html


41 posted on 04/30/2007 4:20:32 PM PDT by be4everfree (We're on a mission from God)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Continental Soldier

If tomorrow the collective memory of mankind forgot the Bible and Christianity, then they would have forgotten all that distinguished pagan civilization from ours. That includes Plato and the Prohets and all criitism of the gods. The gods would return in a rush and heap their ancient demands on mankind.


42 posted on 04/30/2007 4:50:02 PM PDT by RobbyS ( CHIRHO)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 20 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus
Greenleaf concluded ...

In the early 1800's of Greenleaf, Harvard and Yale were religious colleges. The world has changed a bit since then.

An honest scientist would have to say that there is no evidence for the resurrection. You may make the point that the law could hold that witnesses in the Bible is "evidence". But they would also hold as equivalent evidence ancient writings about Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Thor, and innumerable others.

If you want to accept the resurrection, I can't say you're wrong. But I don't accept any "evidence" in favor of it either. There are far too many ancient writings with supernatural claims and I have no way to judge which are true, and which are false, so the prudent thing is to reject them all.

43 posted on 04/30/2007 5:32:56 PM PDT by narby
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: narby
***” In the early 1800’s of Greenleaf, Harvard and Yale were religious colleges. The world has changed a bit since then.”

The principles of the rules of evidence and precedent have not. You’re using the worn-out, “if it’s old it must be deficient” argument. Do you feel the same way about the U.S. Constitution???



***”You may make the point that the law could hold that witnesses in the Bible is “evidence”. But they would also hold as equivalent evidence ancient writings about Zeus, Apollo, Ra, Thor, and innumerable others.”

Wrong. Those documents would be subject to the rules of evidence. They would be set aside.



***”There are far too many ancient writings with supernatural claims and I have no way to judge which are true, and which are false, so the prudent thing is to reject them all.”

There are many political positions in this world also - all claiming to be worthy of acceptance. Yet I would imagine you have not applied the above stated principle to your politics and reject ALL political positions!

You HAVE a way to determine what the truth is about God. You have a proposition in the Bible that you can test. In the Bible, God states, “You will find me when you seek for me with all your heart.” Can you honestly say you have done that?

It sounds to me like you would rather not know and that’s why you’ve brushed it all aside. If that’s the case, at least be honest with yourself about it.

44 posted on 04/30/2007 6:51:35 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 43 | View Replies]

To: tgambill

*****” The Holy Spirit talks to us through our thoughts and he writes on our hearts the true word of God when we let him in.”

How do you determine the “spirit” that is speaking to you is from God?

If you define religion as “3. A set of beliefs, values, and practices based on the teachings of a spiritual leader.” Then Jesus certainly DID found a religion. He told his disciples to go into all the world teaching people to obey all the things he taught them.

Your contention that you like Jesus Christ yet despise religion is akin to someone saying “I like Liberty” but then despising all the necessary societal apparatus that secures liberty for you and keeps the country in which you live from descending into chaos.


45 posted on 04/30/2007 7:03:53 PM PDT by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 38 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name
They believe in a god but not the God of the Bible! Because they don't believe in what He says.

That's debatable. Disagreeing with your interpretation of "what [God] says" is not necessarily the same as disagreeing with God himself. Maybe you're the one who disagrees with God, whether you realize it or not.

Besides, even (if not especially) on the most straightforward and literal reading of scripture, it's seemingly impossible to find a antievolutionary creationist who doesn't also adopt and advocate multiple disagreements with "what God says".

For example the Bible gives zero indication that Noah's flood had any geological (as opposed to geographical) significance. You may so suppose, based on (what is strictly in relation to the Bible) an entirely circumstantial case, but it's not based on any Biblical affirmation.

For instance there's nothing in there, not a single word, claiming, or entailing the claim, that vast quantities of sedimentary strata, and the fossils they contain, were deposited by Noah's flood.

In fact there's some evidence to the contrary, such as a few geographical place names (e.g. the Euphrates, IIRC) being used both before and after the flood. This suggests a tranquil flood, that wouldn't wipe out and utterly remake such features as rivers, mountains and the like. But you'll look in vain for tranquil flood theorists out there. Young earth creationists to a man (they're almost all men, btw) propose a Noachian deluge that, unbeknownst to the Bible, did massive amounts of geological work. Creationists who accept an ancient earth tend to accept a regional flood, or some other scheme.

Nor is this the only example. The Biblical language strongly suggests, for instance, that the "firmament" or "expanse" (Hebrew "raqia") that divides the "waters above" from the "waters below," generally the realm of earth from that of heaven, was indeed firm, hard like a mirror of beaten metal, for instance, birds brush their wings against it, etc. (I can gather up the verses for you if you require.)

But none of this Biblical language ("what God says") stops the majority of creationists from gratuitously and utterly unbiblically proposing that the raqia was something airy like water vapor in the atmosphere, or more commonly a specific layer of water or water vapor high in the atmosphere. Again this is mostly young earth creationists. (Others just ignore the raqia altogether.)

There are few (e.g. dinosaur tracks = "manprint" nutter Carl Baugh) who propose that the raqia was made of ice, and therefore solid. But even they, and other antievolutionary creationists, all join the vapor canopy theorists in a further absolutely unbiblical assumption: That the canopy was destroyed and afterward ceased to exist in conjunction with Noah's flood.

Oh, sure, the Bible doesn't explicitly deny that the raqia suddenly ceased to exist then (or at any other time). But again there's absolutely nothing in the Bible to suggest that it did, and plenty to suggest otherwise. All the Bible says touching in any way on the firmament in relation to the flood is that "the windows of heaven were opened" (or words to that effect, I'm not looking up verses just now). That's it! At most this suggests the raqia was NOT destroyed, otherwise why suggest that "windows" were opened up in it to allow the "waters above" to pass through without destroying it? Or the windows of heaven could just be a poetic allusion to simple (if extraordinarily voluminous) rain.

I've studied the antievolution movement fairly extensively. Fact is there is not a single elaboration of antievolutionary creationism that doesn't extensively substitute the "opinions of men" for the actual Word of God (if the Bible is to be taken as such) and doesn't in the process extensively contradict the most simple and straightforward reading of scripture. It just isn't possible to make a fulsome elaboration (that anyone could pretend to believe) without doing so.

46 posted on 04/30/2007 7:49:46 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: Stultis
Maybe you're the one who disagrees with God, whether you realize it or not.

I just read the first line (above) of your post and stopped. No need to read anymore. I'll put it as nice as I can - I disagree with you. And I'll close this by praising The Almighty Creator for Who He is and for His Word!
47 posted on 04/30/2007 8:00:03 PM PDT by presently no screen name
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: AnotherUnixGeek

Do you buy Insurance?? That means you’re superstitious? Christ is the cheapest insurance going.


48 posted on 04/30/2007 8:06:00 PM PDT by gbs
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: dan1123
If the atheist crowd could definitively prove false Genesis, then why should they take any part of Christianity seriously?

Good point! In their way (militantly "scientistic") atheists take Genesis just as seriously as (militantly antievolutionary) creationists do, and interpret it in the same (wooden, simplistic, naive) way. In fact militant atheists and militant creationists agree almost identically on nearly every important philosophical premise in the entire controversy, different as their ultimate conclusions may be. They're really peas in the same pod. They're just at different ends of the pod.

This may surprise you, because you probably think that all atheists are militant scientistic atheists (as offended as you would be if the exactly comparable generalization were directed at Christians) but contrary to most normal Christians, theists, agnostics and even atheists who oppose creationism as science, the real "scientific atheists" WANT creationism taught in schools as much as you (probably) do.

They WANT the controversy. They WANT it to be presented as a diametric and exclusive opposition (pick one and only one). They AGREE, of course, with what you just so much as suggested yourself, that if Genesis (literally interpreted) is false then atheism is the natural conclusion.

Oh, sure, the atheists would want creationism presented as a failed alternative, whereas you would want it presented as a viable one, but the SUBSTANCE of it would be little different. Again just the conclusion differs but the premises are shared.

49 posted on 04/30/2007 8:10:38 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 36 | View Replies]

To: presently no screen name
I just read the first line (above) of your post and stopped. No need to read anymore.

I have to hand this to you at least: That was a most unusual conjunction of intellectual honesty with anti-intellectual bigotry!

But, to be honest myself, it's such an unusual conjunction that I don't necessarily buy it. I suspect that just maybe you read my post and have no good response. But whatever.

50 posted on 04/30/2007 8:14:05 PM PDT by Stultis (I don't worry about the war turning into "Vietnam" in Iraq; I worry about it doing so in Congress.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 47 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-100101-138 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson