Skip to comments.Itís time for evangelicals to come out for evolution
Posted on 06/17/2014 6:17:41 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Whenever I engage in conversation with people I meet for the first time I try to avoid being asked the question, What do you do for a living? But if I am asked I say, I am a minister. Generally, the one who asks then inquires, What denomination? or What kind of church?
Here is where I always have to clarify, depending on the most recent news headline involving Christian leaders: I am a Baptist minister, but I am not a science-denying Baptist minister who thinks that dinosaurs lived alongside humans a few thousand years ago.
What a strange irony that a 30-foot-long fossil of an Allosaurus will be on display at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., where museum founder, Ken Ham, recently debated science educator Bill Nye. Ken Ham and his colleagues think it defends the book of Genesis and supplies evidence of Noahs flood. Good grief.
Unfortunately, this is real life, not a Charlie Brown cartoon. According to a recent survey by the Associated Press, 77 percent of people who claim to be born again or evangelical say they have little or no confidence that the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang. And 76 percent of evangelicals doubt that life on Earth, including human beings, evolved through a process of natural selection.
Educated evangelicals know better. According to Newsweek 99 percent of Americas earth and life scientists hold to some form of evolution. Darrel Falk, a biology professor at evangelical Point Loma Nazarene University, told Cathy Grossman of the Religion News Service, that many biblical (evangelical) scholars do not see a conflict between religion and science. He noted: The story of the cosmos and the Big Bang of creation is not inconsistent with the message of Genesis 1.
I suspect that many (if not most) educated evangelical biblical scholars who subscribe to some form of biblical inerrancy (and sign faith statements testifying to that fact) believe what professor Falk believes.
They know there are different kinds (genres) of biblical literature which call for different approaches other than a literal interpretation of the text. They know that the creation stories are parabolic in nature and are not chronicles of history or reports conveying scientific data. They know that these stories are spiritual, metaphorical and theological stories and, while not factual, they certainly teach truth about God and Gods relationship to the world.
They know Ken Hams claim that no apparent, perceived, or claimed evidence in any field, including history and chronology, can be valid if it contradicts the Scriptural record is utter foolishness.
Harvard theologian Harvey Cox tells about the time the student leader of Harvards atheist group on campus took one of his theology classes. This otherwise bright student wrote a very weak paper in which he sought to discredit the God of the Christian and Jewish faiths by attacking and dismantling a literal interpretation of the Genesis flood story. He thought that by proving the story could not have happened the way the story says it happened, he would thus disprove the reality of God.
Dr. Cox said to the student, Dont you know a story when you read one?
Educated evangelicals know that the creation stories were never intended to be history lessons or science reports, because the Bible is not a history or science book.
Educated evangelicals also know:
That evangelical Christians need not fear or deny the enormous amount of scientific data supporting evolution.
That the story of evolution and the biblical story are not mutually exclusive.
That a healthy faith welcomes and is informed by science.
So why do so many evangelicals deny evolution and believe in a literal interpretation of the creation stories in Genesis?
Apparently what educated evangelical professors know and believe is not getting down to the people in the pew.
Why arent educated evangelical pastors teaching their churches these things? Are they afraid of being shunned or looked down upon by their peers? Are they afraid to rock the evangelical boat? Are they afraid of facing conflict in their churches or losing their jobs? Are the professors actually teaching what they believe and know to their students?
Whatever the reasons, its time for evangelicals who know the truth to come out and proclaim the truth. If the truth sets us free, as Jesus said, then many of our evangelical sisters and brothers need to hear a liberating word from their pastors.
OPINION: Views expressed in ABPnews/Herald columns and commentaries are solely those of the authors.
Chuck Queen is pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Frankfort, Ky., and author of Being a Progressive Christian (is not) for Dummies (nor for know-it-alls): An Evolution of Faith.
Evangelicals should do no such thing and I say that as one who believes in the theory of evolution.
Not real concerned about how God did it. I just have faith that he did.
It’ll be a cold day in hell.
I’m so glad I’m un-educated.
Sounds like a defensive buffoon type of preacher who creates his own stumbling blocks and doesn’t focus on what is important.
It’s time for evolutionists to explain creation.
At the bottom it is explained. He calls himself a progressive Christian.
All secular humanists should take the pragmatic, logical step of accepting Jesus as their Savior.
Sure - unlike us knuckle-dragging Neandrathals that actually believe the Bible is the inerrent Word of God....
macro evolution is as much a creation story for athiests as Genesis is for Christians. macro evolution is not science; never has been.
all the greatest scientists from Galileo, Keppler, Newton, Pasteur and onward would laugh at the notion of macro evolution being akin to science.
I iz a evenjellycall, therefor I iz stupid.
Another liar claiming to be a Christian. Hillary said the bible is the most influential book in her life.
“Why arent educated evangelical pastors teaching their churches these things? Are they afraid of being shunned or looked down upon by their peers? Are they afraid to rock the evangelical boat?”
I suspect most are preaching from the Bible instead of discussing science. I no more expect a sermon on evolution than I do a sermon on the health benefits/horrors (depending on what science has concluded that month) of drinking coffee and eating eggs.
you and me both, I’m an uneducated evangelical. This minister is a loon.
I’d use better and more complex words, but I’m too uneducated.
There’s a “great gulf” between a Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and someone who chose to wear their collar backwards as a vocation.
Either the entire Book of Genesis is true, or Christ is a liar and a charlitan! Take your pick!
The dialectic is between evolution and mathematics. Professing belief in evolution at this juncture amounts to the same thing as claiming not to believe in modern mathematics, probability theory, and logic. It's basically ignorant.
Evolution has been so thoroughly discredited at this point that you assume nobody is defending it because they believe in it anymore, and that they are defending it because they do not like the prospects of having to defend or explain some expect of their lifestyles to God, St. Peter, Muhammed...
To these people I say, you've still got a problem. The problem is that evolution, as a doctrine, is so overwhelmingly STUPID that, faced with a choice of wearing a sweatshirt with a scarlet letter A for Adulteror, F for Fornicator or some such traditional design, or or a big scarlet letter I for IDIOT, you'd actually be better off sticking with one of the traditional choices because, as Clint Eastwood noted in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly:
God hates IDIOTS, too!
The best illustration of how stupid evolutionism really is involves trying to become some totally new animal with new organs, a new basic plan for existence, and new requirements for integration between both old and new organs.
Take flying birds for example; suppose you aren't one, and you want to become one. You'll need a baker's dozen highly specialized systems, including wings, flight feathers, a specialized light bone structure, specialized flow-through design heart and lungs, specialized tail, specialized general balance parameters etc.
For starters, every one of these things would be antifunctional until the day on which the whole thing came together, so that the chances of evolving any of these things by any process resembling evolution (mutations plus selection) would amount to an infinitessimal, i.e. one divided by some gigantic number.
In probability theory, to compute the probability of two things happening at once, you multiply the probabilities together. That says that the likelihood of all these things ever happening, best case, is ten or twelve such infinitessimals multiplied together, i.e. a tenth or twelth-order infinitessimal. The whole history of the universe isn't long enough for that to happen once.
All of that was the best case. In real life, it's even worse than that. In real life, natural selection could not plausibly select for hoped-for functionality, which is what would be required in order to evolve flight feathers on something which could not fly apriori. In real life, all you'd ever get would some sort of a random walk around some starting point, rather than the unidircetional march towards a future requirement which evolution requires.
And the real killer, i.e. the thing which simply kills evolutionism dead, is the following consideration: In real life, assuming you were to somehow miraculously evolve the first feature you'd need to become a flying bird, then by the time another 10,000 generations rolled around and you evolved the second such reature, the first, having been disfunctional/antifunctional all the while, would have DE-EVOLVED and either disappeared altogether or become vestigial.
Now, it would be miraculous if, given all the above, some new kind of complex creature with new organs and a new basic plan for life had ever evolved ONCE.
Evolutionism, however (the Theory of Evolution) requires that this has happened countless billions of times, i.e. an essentially infinite number of absolutely zero probability events.
And, if you were starting to think that nothing could possibly be any stupider than believing in evolution despite all of the above (i.e. that the basic stupidity of evolutionism starting from 1980 or thereabouts could not possibly be improved upon), think again. Because there is zero evidence in the fossil record (despite the BS claims of talk.origins "crew" and others of their ilk) to support any sort of a theory involving macroevolution, and because the original conceptions of evolution are flatly refuted by developments in population genetics since the 1950's, the latest incarnation of this theory, Steve Gould and Niles Eldredge's "Punctuated Equilibrium or punc-eek" attempts to claim that these wholesale violations of probabilistic laws all occurred so suddenly as to never leave evidence in the fossil record, and that they all occurred amongst tiny groups of animals living in "peripheral" areas. That says that some velocirapter who wanted to be a bird got together with fifty of his friends and said:
Guys, we need flight feathers, and wings, and specialized bones, hearts, lungs, and tails, and we need em NOW; not two years from now. Everybody ready, all together now:
You could devise a new religion by taking the single stupidest doctrine from each of the existing religions, and it would not be as stupid as THAT.
But it gets even stupider.
Again, the original Darwinian vision of gradualistic evolution is flatly refuted by the fossil record (Darwinian evolution demanded that the vast bulk of ALL fossils be intermediates) and by the findings of population genetics, particularly the Haldane dilemma and the impossible time requirements for spreading genetic changes through any sizeable herd of animals.
Consider what Gould and other punk-eekers are saying. Punc-eek amounts to a claim that all meaningful evolutionary change takes place in peripheral areas, amongst tiny groups of animals which develop some genetic advantage, and then move out and overwhelm, outcompete, and replace the larger herds. They are claiming that this eliminates the need to spread genetic change through any sizeable herd of animals and, at the same time, is why we never find intermediate fossils (since there are never enough of these CHANGELINGS to leave fossil evidence).
Obvious problems with punctuated equilibria include, minimally:
1. It is a pure pseudoscience seeking to explain and actually be proved by a lack of evidence rather than by evidence (all the missing intermediate fossils). Similarly, Cotton Mather claimed that the fact that nobody had ever seen or heard a witch was proof they were there (if you could SEE them, they wouldn't BE witches...) This kind of logic is less inhibiting than the logic they used to teach in American schools. For instance, I could as easily claim that the fact that I'd never been seen with Tina Turner was all the proof anybody should need that I was sleeping with her. In other words, it might not work terribly well for science, but it's great for fantasies...
2. PE amounts to a claim that inbreeding is the most major source of genetic advancement in the world. Apparently Steve Gould never saw Deliverance...
3. PE requires these tiny peripheral groups to conquer vastly larger groups of animals millions if not billions of times, which is like requiring Custer to win at the little Big Horn every day, for millions of years.
4. PE requires an eternal victory of animals specifically adapted to localized and parochial conditions over animals which are globally adapted, which never happens in real life.
5. For any number of reasons, you need a minimal population of any animal to be viable. This is before the tiny group even gets started in overwhelming the vast herds. A number of American species such as the heath hen became non-viable when their numbers were reduced to a few thousand; at that point, any stroke of bad luck at all, a hard winter, a skewed sex ratio in one generation, a disease of some sort, and it's all over. The heath hen was fine as long as it was spread out over the East coast of the U.S. The point at which it got penned into one of these "peripheral" areas which Gould and Eldredge see as the salvation for evolutionism, it was all over.
The sort of things noted in items 3 and 5 are generally referred to as the "gambler's problem", in this case, the problem facing the tiny group of "peripheral" animals being similar to that facing a gambler trying to beat the house in blackjack or roulette; the house could lose many hands of cards or rolls of the dice without flinching, and the globally-adapted species spread out over a continent could withstand just about anything short of a continental-scale catastrophe without going extinct, while two or three bad rolls of the dice will bankrupt the gambler, and any combination of two or three strokes of bad luck will wipe out the "peripheral" species. Gould's basic method of handling this problem is to ignore it.
And there's one other thing which should be obvious to anybody attempting to read through Gould and Eldridge's BS:
They are claiming that at certain times, amongst tiny groups of animals living in peripheral areas, a "speciation event(TM)" happens, and THEN the rest of it takes place. In other words, they are saying:
ASSUMING that Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happens, then the rest of the business proceeds as we have described in our scholarly discourse above!
Again, Gould and Eldridge require that the Abracadabra-Shazaam(TM) happen not just once, but countless billions of times, i.e. at least once for every kind of complex creature which has ever walked the Earth. They do not specify whether this amounts to the same Abracadabra-Shazaam each time, or a different kind of Abracadabra-Shazaam for each creature.
I ask you: How could anything be stupider or worse than that? What could possibly be worse than professing to believe in such a thing?
“Educated evangelicals know better.”
Educated evangelicals don’t believe atheists’ claptrap.
Genesis 3:1 (AMP)
1 NOW THE serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden?
All the information you need to understand creation is in the Bible, as well as a definitive answer to evolution. Rightly divide the Word and the answers are there. True science is not in conflict with God, or the creation account.
The moment you head down the road of doubting the veracity of God’s Word, you are on a dangerous path. If you can’t trust God’s Word, how can you trust Him?
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