Why is it that Evolution is such a sticking point with both Atheists and some* of the faithful?
* Now I know that vast majority of Christians say they are fine with evolution. Even the last pope before this one said that evolution was the mechanism in which species grow.
But yet then I read data about how 54% of Americans don't believe it and some even advocating young Earth creationism? It boggles the mind.
In southern states this is still a contentious issue, and I am not just talking about the Scopes Monkey trial here, I am talking about school boards just last week still fighting to take evolution off school curricula or put the horribly misnamed "Intelligent Design" on.
Here is the deal. The Theory of Evolution is one of the most supported bits of scientific inquiry there is. There is evidence for it in biology, chemistry, geology, and genetics. If it failed to make predictions or describe the data in any of those areas it can be thrown out. But it hasn't. To be a scientific theory it must falsifiable, that is it must able to be proved false. If a complex animal is discovered in the fossil record that can't be explained then evolution has a problem. The deal is that this has never happened.
Yet there are still groups out there that doubt it's claims. Many seem to think this is an either/or option.
I recall a conversation I had some time ago with someone I had considered intelligent. He said he didn't believe in evolution, he believed in God. I had not realized that they were mutually exclusive.
I could go on and on about evolution here, but this is not Wikipedia. Nor am I Richard Dawkins.
I am though an educator and blogger. So I take it to you, my audience.
What do you all think? Have you ever run into controversy about evolution in schools? Either yourself or your children? For the Christian readers here, how do you reconcile evolution with your faith? I suspect the vast majority of you do, you are just so quiet about it!
I'm a Christian and I have no problem with evolution. I grew up in a nerdy family, raised by biochemists who are also Christians.ReplyDelete
My opinion is that God created evolution right along with the laws of physics and thermodynamics. It's my opinion that he created evolution knowing that it would produce human beings that he could then embark on a relationship with.
I don't think science and religion are mutually exclusive and it always saddens me when they're treated that way.
And hello! New reader. Found you through the A to Z.
Thanks. See that is the opinion I think most main stream Christians have. And Evolution doesn't say where life came from, only what has happened to it once it got started.ReplyDelete
I think it got started a different way than most Christians do, but that is a topic for another day.
Hi Tim, I appreciate you taking the time to stop by my blog and for considering my views of death and life after this one! It is interesting how people with differing world views can look at the exact same scientific evidence and see drastically different explanations. Best of luck to you in the challenge.ReplyDelete
I actually have a post I am working on about this site.Delete
The problem is they are working from a priori conclusions. That is they have a conclusion in mind, they are just looking for data to support that.
The true scientific method is to find the data working for a hypothesis you can prove false.
In order for the folks as AiG to be truly scientific they need to be able to come up with something that would have to be true to hold their own point of view false. That's what scientist do all the time.
I used to have lengthy arguments with a friend of mine about issues like this one. Still do sometimes. We are both Christians, but he is adamant in his belief that the theory of evolution is one of the Devil's many devices to mislead mankind.ReplyDelete
The problem is most Christians out there tend to take the accounts of the Bible too literal, when in fact they should be view as more symbolic with an underlying message. It was after all clearly stated that even Jesus Christ taught in the form of parables, stories with deeper, symbolic meanings than what might appear on the surface.
Thanks for bringing this up, and for checking out my blog too.
No problem. Like I said I think the vast majority are the thoughtful type that see the value in this.Delete
Stories are great. I (and you) write them all the time. But remember there is a difference between them and facts.
I had something of an "issue", but it was rather with creationism, not evolution. The House of Reps in Indiana (state where I live) passed a bill making it possible for teachers to teach creationism along side evolution. I was ready to start home schooling my kids if the school they attended tried to teach them fairy tales in their science class. Fortunately the bill didn't pass the Senate, though just barely. I take serious umbrage with people using my tax dollars to teach their mythology as if were scientifically proven fact. I am as boggled as you as to why so many Americans simply refuse to believe what is put right in front of them.ReplyDelete
I know. And there is an easy solution for this.Delete
Evolution is taught in schools. Teach the bible in church.
Any thought that is so threatened by science should be examined as to why.
Interesting point. I send my children to a Catholic shool. Although I am not Catholic, my husband is and my children are as well. I understand school systems point of view regarding diversity and wanting to do away with certain things like teh Pledge of Allegiance and following specific religious beliefs, I don't believe in doing away with them. Rather, educate children about all religions and the difference. Teach them acceptance but do not steer clear of teaching. Each of us have differing views. Evolution should revolve around accepting one another and gaining understanding and perspective rather than negating or altering. Again, my girls are in a Catholic school, yet, they are taught about other religions and belief systems both in school and out. Greetings from A To Z, ShivaniReplyDelete
I work with a lot of Catholic schools. Most are very progressive in their thinking.Delete
When I was Christian, many, many moons ago, I always believed that God created us but evolution was just an example of the universe being on autopilot since I was taught that he deliberately stopped communicating with us directly. It's very strange to be on the outside of those beliefs and seeing people dig their heels so firmly into being against evolution. I personally think that for *some* Christians a direct challenge to the story of how we got here triggers defensiveness and the "double down" gene - God good, science bad!ReplyDelete
I have no problem with creation and evolution - whilst the account in Genesis paints an alternative view from 'evolution' let's be clear: the Bible is not a Science text book!ReplyDelete
God is probably, by turns, scratching his head and laughing His socks off as we mere beings on this little terrestrial ball argue and pontificate about how it all started and what keeps it going!
As a Christian, I can appreciate the picture-language that tells a story in the early chapters of Genesis, but I also marvel at how God manufactured life-forms in all their diversity and adaptability!
And for all those who say the Bible account doesn't tally with the scientifically-proven geological age of the Earth - hmmmmmm, just how many aeons were Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden before the 'Fall'? Just a thought, is all. Go figure that into the equation! ;-)
(Btw - thanks for calling in at my blog earlier! Happy A-Z'ing!)
SueH I refuse to go quietly!
Sue, in truth I have no issue with the Bible, Koran or Torah. There are thousands of religious texts around the world and each has a different story of creation. That's great. IT shows how we have over time made sense of the world.Delete
But that was then. Now we have better ways.
I am an atheist, but I am not interested in "getting rid of" religion. I like things in their proper place and time.
Great post. You're right about the minsomer "intelligent design". Whoever came up with that phrase has never watched a political debate.ReplyDelete
I don't have a problem marrying faith and science. I write and post often on this very topic. Can science and the supernatural co-exist? Yes!ReplyDelete
Tim, I am enjoying this blog. Good, thoughtful posts. Thanks. I'm working on coming out more about my non-belief without coming off as the Athiest jerk. I find my jerk powers are strengthened by fogged reasons of hypocritical and biased belief systems. If you can do it, perhaps I should have a go.ReplyDelete
I hadn't learned about evolution until a couple of months ago, that's when I really learned the details. When I went to Catholic school they taught us creationism, not even briefly mentioning evolution. And when my science teacher actually did teach us evolution he had to say, "this isn't to interfere with your beliefs." It was like he was afraid of offending someone.ReplyDelete
I once had someone tell me that evolution is only a theory, but creation is a fact. This proved to me only that they did not understand the definitions of scientific theory or of fact.ReplyDelete