An evolutionary idea:

I beleive I have heard somewhere the idea that God created through evolution, can’t remember where I heard it. It’s a plausible theory to some, I guess. I just don’t agree with it. And you’re right, my faith isn’t subject to scientific verification. :slight_smile:

His4ever, if creationism is a scientific theory then it should be falsifiable and make predictions, so:

  1. what evidence would prove creationism to be false?

  2. what observations does creationism predict?

Some interesting info about the qualifications of Hovind and other creationists:

I thought Polycarp summed it up quite nicely:
When he was talking to Wrenchhead about a “literal” translation of Genesis.

By “selfish” genes, I assume you refer to things, perhaps, like the appendix, that stick around, even if they don’t serve a purpose.

Something doesn’t have to be useful for it to be selected for - it just has to be unharmful enough that it’s not selected against. Sure, sometimes people have appendicitis, but it’s rare enough not to be a huge selective issue. If people had a 25% chance of having their appendix burst before sexual maturity, you’d probably see that “selfish gene” start to go (in a huge timescale).

As far as traits that positively affect your survival - it doesn’t contradict with evolutionary theory as a whole, though it may conflict with the simple “survival of the fittest” mantra. Evolutionary science recognizes that actual reproduction, not just survival, is the mechanism behind selective forces. You could be the most survivable member of your species, and if you don’t attract a mate, it’s meaningless, your genes won’t go on. Or you could have mediocre survival skills but have the biggest, brightest feathers - or whatever attracts a mate - and be heavily represented in the next populations. So long as the traits don’t cause something to die in huge numbers before sexual maturity.

I don’t mean to hijack this on the actual mechanics of evolution - but, and I’m not sure where you’re coming from, your ideas of the “inconsistencies” of evolution may come from not understanding the actual process well.

“The Selfish Gene” is the title of a book by Richard Dawkins in which he argues that genes, not organisms, are the units of selection. That idea is probably what’s being referred to here.

That’s essentially what I was trying to say, I just didn’t say it very well.

Here, this explains what I meant by “selfish genes”

When Arkansas’ “Balanced Treament Act” (to force creationism into the school curriculum) was in court, here’s how some creationism supporters testified:
“No, creation science is not testable scientifically.”

  • Professor Harold Coffin, from Loma Linda University, testified,
    In reference to the Burgess shale formation, said to be 500 million years old by orthodox science, Professor Coffin maintained its age to be only 5000 years, “because of information from the scriptures.:” (i.e., not scientific data).
    Professor Wayne Friar from King’s College admitted that the choice between evolution and creation is “a matter of faith.”
    Margaret Hedder - Vice President of the Creation Research Society - admitted there is no scientific evidence for special creation.
    Ariel Roth of Loma Linda University, when asked if creation science was really science, answered “If you want to define “science” as testable, predictable, I would say no.”


H4E (and any lurkers who disbelieve evolution), may I ask you something?

Let’s just suppose – for the sake of argument – that evolution were proven beyond a shadow of a doubt. By that, I mean that there is no way that you could possibly deny it any longer. Pretend that you’ve now been 100% convinced.

In what ways would this suck for you? What would be the most painful loss in your life due to this information?

No. 7.
Argued October 16, 1968.
Decided November 12, 1968.

What would make it “s-ck” for me would be that it would mean there isn’t a God. That would be the most painful loss there could be. But then some say that He does exist but that He chose to create through evolution so there you go. But no matter what science says or comes up with I will never believe that there isn’t a God.
Call it blind faith if you want.

I think this is a misunderstanding of evolution. Evolution does not touch on the “God” issue in the slightest. I’m a Christian, I accept evolution, I don’t think it invalidates God.

There is nothing in the Theory of Evolution that falsifies God.

Why does evolution have to mean there’s no God, H4E? You have acknowledged that there are people who believe in both, and no one is trying to get you to stop believing in God. Let me say again evolution does not prove that God does not exist. It may show that Genesis is meant to be taken figuratively and not literally, but what’s wrong with that? The Bible is clearly not inerrant. It contains contradictions and factual errors. It was written by humans after all. (Divine authorship is a modern idea). Why can’t you accept that God may have worked through evolution?

Thanks for your honest and prompt answer.

Can we take it a step further? If someone could convince you that God and evolution are not incompatible, would you at least entertain the idea that evolution might be based in fact?

His4ever, the fact is most Christians do accept evolution as fact (Catholics, Orthodox, Episcopalians and numerous other protestant denominations).

Recently an English bishop (CofE) said that creationism was damaging Christianity as it made Christians look like liars and extremely out-dated.

Here in the Bible Belt, fundamentalists think that, unless you believe the Bible is historical fact to be taken literally, you are not really a Christian.

I’ve heard that sentiment (the true scotsman fallacy) on a few MB’s as well unfortunately.

May I commend everyone who is attempting to make clear that there is no conflict between faith in God and acceptance of the theory of evolution. I’m quoting Diogenes in particular, because there are two issues I wish to address that he brought up tangentially:

  1. Originally “inerrancy” meant that the Bible would never lead anyone astray on doctrinal issues – If you asserted predestination or prevenient grace, for example, the Bible furnished cites on which you could depend in discussing those doctrines. Duck Duck Goose did a masterful post clarifying this some months ago that I wish I could find and link to.

Contemporary “inerrancy” doctrine that says that there are absolutely no errors in the (original) Biblical text – any “errors” that somebody finds must have snuck in in the manuscript-copying and translating processes – is a later development in fundamentalist thought.

Since I don’t hold with either one, I don’t have a horse in the race, but I think it’s only fair to conservative Christians generally to draw the distinction between doctrinal inerrancy and total inerrancy.

  1. “(Divine authorship is a modern idea).” Well, no. “Inspiration” has meant many things to many people over the years, but that God inspired the writers of the Bible to say exactly what they did, so that their words are in effect His words and can be relied on as such, dates a long way back. There has always been, though, a significant opposition to that attitude within orthodox Biblical studies. A nit, but one worth picking, since it would defeat some of what you said to have it proven wrong by a cite from Augustine, Cyprian, or somebody down the road.