Evolution and God

I was just watching a PBS show on evolution and intelligent design, and it showed several people on the creationist/intelligent design side of things saying stuff like
“I cannot accept that we evolved from monkeys. God made us in his image and we are special”

But this made me think that, if someone truly believes God is omnipotent, surely he could have constructed a physical universe in which the laws of physics worked in such a way as to lead to an Earth being formed, DNA being formed, and evolution working in such a way as to lead to the bewildering array of complex organisms, and, eventually, lead to humans “in God’s image”.

If God is omnipotent, then he could definitely set up everything just so, so that it lead to us being what we are today. In a sense, that might be even more awe-inspiring than simply creating everything as is.

Of course, if you are a biblical literalist, this argument won’t work for you (but then again I don’t think anything as lofty as ‘reason’ will work on a biblical literalist). But for everyone else, this should be something that they should be willing to admit is possible, and a way to reconcile evolution with their belief in God.

I’m pretty sure this sort of idea has been floated around before.

  1. Does it have a name?

  2. Why don’t all non-biblical-literalist Christians use something like this, and abandon the notion that evolution is bad and against their religion? Surely, not all people who are against evolution are biblical literalists.
    As an aside, one of the things mentioned in the PBS show was that several people who were on the evolution side in a court case, received hate mail and even death threats from people who were on the creationist side. What I cannot fathom is how can people be so stupid as to claim to be Christians and send out death threats at the same time? Can’t they see that that is incongruous with the core of the teachings of Jesus? “I love Jesus so much, I’m going to kill you” :rolleyes:

Theistic evolution.

Probably because they still don’t like the idea of “having monkeys as ancestors”. And because it is against their religion; you have to really warp Genesis to make it fit evolution, and the rest of science. Plenty of people do so anyway, because insisting that it’s literally true makes you look like an idiot among educated people.

Being Christian has never stopped or even slowed people from threatening or acting out violence. It’s a nasty religion.

Because that’s perceived as compromise by many at the strict end of the fundamentalist scale.

No, not all. Just nearly all - especially if by ‘biblical’ you actually mean Genesis - there are Muslim anti-evolutionists who adhere to exactly the same subset of beliefs, and in fact use exactly the same arguments (partly because many cribbed them from the Christian creationists).
But there really aren’t all that many people who reject evolution for reasons outside of their particular reading of Genesis.

You mean something like this: Intelligent Design belittles God, says director of Vatican Observatory?

The same or similar position is actually held by a large number of denominations, especially those identified as “Liberal Protestant.”

Yes, and it’s a shame that many members of those denominations don’t realize that. There are, for example, many Catholics who don’t “accept” evolution. And that makes no sense, since their religious leaders do.

As for the “in God’s image” thing, I don’t see why they can’t simply apply that to the human soul. Surely they don’t think God looks, physically, like a human being. We’re not very intelligently designed, after all!

Um, actually this is one of Christianity’s greatest and most long-standing traditions. Let us not forget the Inquisitions.

< deleted: my post was getting off-topic >

I remember reading a thing about this idea in The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins. It certainly is the most logical explanation if you do bleave in god.

Who ever said we come from monkeys is stubborn to the great power of evolution. Humans look more like there background culture and traditional traits. When I look at people on a sociological level the evolution of up right walking beings on this planet comes from intelligent design. All the creatures on this planet have been going threw mass extinction level events for millenniums on this planet. The changes that occur to evolution consists of more then just that one creatures chance. Who believes that one creature long ago developed the strength from it’s own climatically correct chance in ancient history to manifest the worlds Homo Sapiens population today.

Homo Habilis 1.5 to 2 million years ago
Homo Erectus 500,000 years ago
Neanderthal 100,000-30,000 years ago
Cro Magnum 40,000-10,000 years ago
Homo Sapiens —I’m guessing 9,999 years ago till now cause I got this off yahoo. :smack:

But I see peoples faces and some people really do look like pigs, frogs, dogs, cats, and other animals a lot more then the ape creature. Just because the possible chance that apes started to walk up right should not rule out the evolution of other possible creatures that revolutionized the process of human development.

For one reason of this is revolutionary chance of having one “walking upright ape man” finding another “walking up right any other creature able to be man”.

Scientific explanations can not calculate the possibility of god being truly the ultimet question let alone the answer.

The only way any religion will make sense is to return to its core teachings. Why is it necessary to argue about who, what, why, how the world and man came about. Does that really help us build a better world. Jesus’ teachings founded Christianity. Love your enemy, Love one another. It is only when these teachings become paramount again will religion really mean anything.

As for religion killing and harming people, no, religions don’t harm people, people harm people. The first step is to quit blaming others and look at our own thoughts and deeds.

Well, I understand. I mean, religious leaders don’t have a phone they can call God up on; it would be possible to believe that they were wrong on this one. I would say most Catholics (actually, religious people as a whole) pick and choose what teachings of their denomination they believe, and which parts of the Bible they follow. Even fundamentalists. Plenty of Catholics use birth control, it’s not strange that many would reject evolution, regardless of what the pope says.

Do you have any evidence for this? In other words, cite, please?

Are you suggesting that the first individual of a new species would be very unlikely to find a mate?

It is through these explorations that we can have technologies like vaccines, organ transplants, understanding of germs, etc. So the answer to your question is yes. A resounding yes.

When do you think the Inquisitions started?

I believe our world is a simulation of a world where evolution actually took place, so effectively “God” (or rather, Satan) created a world that has the appearance of evolution being real, but very little evolution has actually happened in our reality.

OK, I’ll bite.

Why do you think this is the case?

Why do you believe ‘God’ did that?

Can you think of any possible way to prove such a thing? Because if God (assuming for the sake of argument such a being exists) is a liar (which It is if your hypothesis were correct), then nothing we think we know can be trusted. About ANYTHING. You may as well state that the entire Universe was created with the appearance of great age last Thursday, and have exactly the same possibility of proving it.

Welcome to the SDMB. I’m guessing that English isn’t your first language, and I’m having difficulty understanding several of these sentences. At any rate, you seem to be implying that humans are not primates, and that simply isn’t true. We evolved from a creature that all biologists would call an “ape”, and that creature evolved from another creature that would clearly have been called a “monkey”. Neither of those creatures (ape or monkey) has members of its species alive today, as they have all evolved into different species of extant and/or extinct monkeys and apes. We are, in fact, still an ape species-- with chimps and bonobos being our closest relatives.

As for your outline of our evolutionary history, it’s not a straight line but a bushy structure with lots of species that branched out in many different directions. Neanderthals are not in our line of descent-- rather they are a different branch that died out about 28k years ago. Our own species, H. sapiens came into being sometime around 200k years ago. Of course, you can never draw a line and say this creature is species X and its offspring is species Y. And Cro-Magnon Man is just the European variety of ancient H. sapiens, not a different species.

H. habilis appeared about 2.4M years ago
H. Erectus appeared about 2M years ago (maybe earlier, and maybe some overlap with habilis).
H. Neanderthalensis apeared about 250K years ago
H. Sapiens appeared about 200K years ago

The last two shared a common ancestor about 500K years ago (+/-). And there were many other species (or subspecies) inbetween as well as side branches that left no descendants today (as is the case with* H. Neanderthalensis*).

I can’t think of a single more harmful idea than reverting to old testament law.