Evolution v Creationsim (serious open minded discussion)

<p>Dear Fellow Christians:
I still cannot understand how you are unable to reconcile creationism with evolution. I myself and a Christian, but I believe it is best to keep my science and my religion separate. I subscribe to the doctrine that believes that evolution was "presided" over by god but that it did in fact happen. I think taking genesis as a literal book seems somewhat foolish because it was written to describe the world to a bunch of cavemen jews about 3,000 years ago that could barely understand communication to begin with. Any thoughts?</p>

<p>This is the view taken by many scientists who are also Christians as well as many biblical scholars. A historical-critical analysis of the Genesis account of the Creation story reveals that it may be of the mythological genre; however, it should be understood that myth in this context does not necessarily indicate that it is entirely fiction so much as that its intention is not necessarily that of modern non-fiction (i.e., it is meant more to teach a lesson or pass on a tradition than it is to recount an actual event verbatim).</p>

<p>Tboonepickens, what makes you think that Jews "could barely understand communication 3000 years ago"? They had both oral and written language.</p>

<p>I meant their culture was very primitive, so it would be nearly impossible for someone to explain a modern scientific concept to them. I understand that they had both written and oral language.</p>

<p>To refine my beliefs, I will make it clear that I think that the book of genesis is an account of the original agricultural revolution where people shifted from becoming hunter-gathers to forming agrarian societies.</p>


<p>God made earth, Everything else just happened</p>


<p>If we take Genesis as anything but an actual account of what occurred, then we must take the rest of the Bible in the same light...which weakens the Christian faith entirely. If Genesis isn't literal, then neither is the birth of Jesus Christ, or the salvation offered through His death, nor the promise of eternal life. One cannot have it both ways...one cannot believe in both evolution and Creation, they aren't compatible. Evolution states that our current state "just happened" by chance. Creationism states that we were made intentionally, with a purpose, in our current form. Evolution states that the curent state of the world (man, animal, plant, etc) took billions of years to become what they are now...Creationism states that everything occurred in a 6 day period with animals and man being created as two separate creations.</p>

<p>While the Jews 3000 years ago would definately not have understood nuclear energy, automobiles or the World Wide Web, their understanding of the world was pretty clear. They were building pyramids out of heavy stone. They were creating statues of gold, decorating buildings with gold, etc. I wouldn't call that primitave.</p>

If we take Genesis as anything but an actual account of what occurred, then we must take the rest of the Bible in the same light...which weakens the Christian faith entirely


<p>That is completely absurd conclusion. Did Jesus himself not teach in parables? He used stories to teach a lesson, he did not mean for every one of his stories to be taken literally. Why can the bible not be read in the same way? Saying that one thing in the Bible is not meant to be taken literally, but rather the message behind it is supposed to be what is remembered, does not in any way weaken the message or purpose of Jesus. </p>

<p>There is a really interesting theory from a Rabbi about how evolution and creationism are not contradictory. He is also a scientist and he believes that from the center of the universe, where God is, the creation of the world literally took six days, but from the perspective of here on Earth, billions of miles away from the center of the Earth, it took billions of years to happen, but it was the same time period. I'll try to find it online because it was very interesting.</p>

<p>The parables told by Jesus were clearly described as a story...</p>

<p>"Now learn a parable of the fig tree" Matthew 24:32</p>

<p>"He began to teach them many things in parables" Mark 4:2</p>

<p>"And he told them many things in parable" Matthew 13:3</p>

<p>"And he said to them, 'Do you not understand this parable?'" Mark 4:13</p>

<p>"Hear then the parable of the sower" Matthew 13:18</p>

<p>When a great crowd gathered and people from town after town came to him, he said in a parable" Luke 8:4</p>

<p>"Now the parable is this:" Luke 8:11</p>

<p>"HE also said, 'WIth what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it?" Mark 4:30</p>

<p>"He put before them another parable:" Matthew 13:31</p>

<p>"HE said therefore, 'What is the kingdom of God like? And to what should I compare [same meaning as parable] it?" Luke 13:18</p>

<p>"Then he began to speak to them in parables" Mark 12:1</p>

<p>Every parable spoken by Christ was announced the same...clearly as a parable, a comparison that the disciples and other hearers could relate the concept to.</p>

<p>Genesis states "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." 1:1 Nothing about comparisons, parables, stories...just stated as a matter of fact. </p>

<p>Just as the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was stated as a matter of fact. The great flood of Noah was stated as a matter of fact. There is imagery presented in the Bible, but time and again it is explained as such....and fact is stated as matter of fact. To dismiss the Creation story as imagery just because Jesus spoke in parables is to also dismiss the literal birth death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.</p>

<p>I agree with Nikki. Creationism and Evolution is absolutely contradictory and opposite. I, for one am very upset at the fact that Christians themselves are separated into "fundmentalists", "Theistic evolutionists", "deists" and whatnot these days. I don't think that's what God intended us to do. To come up with such "scientific theories" on how creationism and evolution is complementary are only acts of self-glory.</p>

<p>I'm sorry for sounding too pedantic. But as the title of this thread demands, that is my "serious, open-minded" view.</p>

<p>The problem with that, though, PB & Nikki, is that you are using an English translation to make those examples without (I assume) an intimate knowledge of the Hebrew (and Greek and Aramaic) from which it is derived. Each translation makes changes in line with what the translators believe was meant. If a given passage is of a different genre than the beliefs of that translator would necessitate, it is quite possible that the translator might actually read and translate the passage within that understanding, causing it to appear like something it's not. Is that what is happening here? I don't know... while I have friends and such who read Hebrew and Greek, I myself do not, but my understanding is that there <em>are</em> reasons to view Genesis as more of a legend than a verbatim account of the creation of the world (and I think a smart, inquisitive 5-year-old could come up with a few of them...).</p>

<p>No...I can't think of any reasons - I'm evidently not a smart, inquisitive, 5 year old.</p>

<p>If we were to take the Bible literally, we would be forced to kill those who worked on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2)</p>


<p>Actually, the only way your statement would be true is if one only read the Old Testament. Give the New Testament a read....especially Matthew 12 where Jesus elaborated about the Sabbath, or even Mark 2:27 where Jesus said that the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath. </p>


<p>Based on my biblical studies which included reviewing Genesis (as part of my college degree), the Hebrew text for the Creation story doesn't lead one to believe it is merely a legend. As with other portions of the Bible, the physical authors (those who put the words onto "paper") were not physically there to witness the events but had either reliable witnesses or were told directly by God what to write. Sciences "explanations" of old-aged earth is just Satan's way of confusing mankind. If God says He created everything in 6 days...then He created everything in 6 days, not 6 billion years by allowing man to evolve from amoeba to animal to human being.</p>

<p>nikkiil, what you're saying then questions the infallibility of the Bible. If the Bible is a factual document, every passage written in their must be true. If one part is wrong, then the whole thing comes into question according to your own argument. Why would that quote be less acceptable than any other passage? Why would later passages take precedence? </p>

<p>I'm not trying to goad an argument. What I'm saying is that logically the Bible just should not be taken literally. You look to the Bible for inspiration and learning, but to take every word written in a book over time, with none of it being written by the prophet himself, just does not make sense to me.</p>

<p>"If Genesis isn't literal, then neither is the birth of Jesus Christ, or the salvation offered through His death, nor the promise of eternal life."</p>

<p>The Bible contains 66 books written by a dozen authors over thousands of yearss--some guided more by God than others. Just because one book is poetic and metaphorical does not mean all the others have to be.</p>

<p>Even secular historians can vouch to the birth of Jesus Christ, and I know I can vouch to the change the Holy Spirit has brought into my life. And yet, I don't take the Genesis account of Creation literally. How can this be? Well, I base my faith not on the Bible--but on God instead.</p>

<p>^ in addition. The bible was assembled about 360 years after jesus died by a council called by the bishop of alexandria who did so because there were a lot of blasphemers and no real concrete list of acceptable texts. The bible was further defiled in the 15th century by king jimmy or james or whoever who decided that he no longer wanted the influence of rome within his kingdom, so he translated the bible from latin to english and cut out a few books that proclaimed that to gain wealth is evil because this theme did not fit will within the anglo culture he desired. I would also assume that your christian college does not use a real bible, aka "the bible" but rather uses a crappy King jamesifyed translation of it like the NIV.</p>

<p>I'm an atheist just so you guys know where I'm coming from. Anyways, I'm just wondering if any of you christians believe that god could have caused the "big bang" (created life through the formation of the universe with the "big bang") and used evolution as the mechanism to influence the way life took shape.</p>

<p>TBoonepickens: I'm a senior in high school and not applying to any Christian-by-name schools. And I'd be curious to hear from you what a "real" Bible might be, if the billions in production today are somehow fake. </p>

<p>Angryasianman: That's an extremely common belief among all the Christians I know, including myself. </p>

<p>Remember: Genesis itself seems to favor an indirect form of creation. Genesis 1 itself states, in the New International Version (sorry, Tboonepickens) , "Then God said, 'Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.' "</p>

<p>Additionally, we have, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind."</p>

<p>These lines, even if you don't take them literally (as I do not), would imply that God made the universe through an indirect mechanism. These quotes in Genesis don't show God forming little trees and cows out of clay; instead, they portray Him commanding the Earth (land) to produce such animals. Evolution could very well be that tool. </p>

<p>This explanation runs into some trouble when discussing the creation of humankind, but that's another matter of discussion.</p>