Serious Creationism question- Can there be Natural Selection?

A recent thread thread started by WildestBill discussed evolution and G:cool:d.

What I’d like to know, is if we say for the benefit of argument that G:confused:d created humans and animals as we are, does that mean that natural selection doesn’t occur, or that evolution wasn’t involved in creating the extinct animals?

WB has explained his positions, but I’m afraid I’ve been too daft to understand well. I’m hoping for some light to be shed on the shadow of my ignorance.

I just realized a shorter/better way to ask this may be to ask: If Creationism precludes the “ability” (for lack of a better word) of evolution to act in the present or future (or past along side created humans/animals))?


P.S.- I’ve worked as a grad student with populations of organisms, and “artificially” set selecting criteria to alter the population to get individuals that have the characteristics I desire. I’ve done this with prokaryotic & eukaryotic cells, and with mice. How does WB’s type of Christianity explain this?

My understanding is that this is one of the few concessions to rationality your going to see in your basic creationist dogma.

Microevolution is apparently acceptable. For example, in a particularly cold winter the ground may freeze deeper, longer. Smaller groundhogs may be able to tunnel out easier than larger ones. Smaller groundhogs have a better chance of surviving. After a few winters in a row like this, the groundhog population is of smaller average size. This is observable, so the creationist has to make up some shit to explain it.

Apparently this kind of thing is ok. Presumably God has a checklist and each species is permitted to fluctuate within set parameters. How these criteria enforced, I have no idea, but I picture some Fundie Groundhog clergy burning their brethren at the stake for exceeding eugenic parameters, or perhaps there’s a groundhog hell they get threatened with if the get to small.
Does that help?

I believe the standard creationist line is that “microevolution” can take place (change within species, or–to use the proper creationist lingo–“kinds”, which are rather ill-defined groupings) but that “macroevolution”, by which one “kind” is transformed into another, is a no-no. Enough "micro"evolution will, of course, give you "macro"evolution, but even creationists can’t simply ignore things like the evolution of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or pesticide-resistant insects.

And also what Scylla just said.

So it’s moderated evolution? We’ve evolved within limits? Does that mean evolution can continue now without intervention?

Maybe if you convert they’ll stop hounding you. :slight_smile:

Thanks Scylla, MEBuckner

Is the regulation that controls evolution an ongoing intervention by G:eek:d, or is it a result of natural laws we haven’t discovered yet?


Not so fast. Before you can just go running around altering your genome any which way to make selfish little adaptations to environmental nuisances, you’ll have to get those modications approved by God, or his properly designated representative.

I here the paperworks outrageous, and there’s quite a backlog, so if you want that two foot long penis anytime soon, you better apply now.

newbie alert

Okay, here’s my take on things. A lot of Christians can’t accept things like evolution or natural selection because the Bible says six days and whatnot. But this sticks out at me for two reasons. First, it is absurd to think that we can have a God who is powerful enough to create the universe and intelligent enough to orchestrate ecosystems for the benefit of everyone involved but somehow too stupid to use metaphor.

Second, they generally fail to consider the Bible in its historical perspective. Pretened it’s three thousand years ago. You open the Bible and see the following:

"In the beginning, God created an infinitely dense particle that had always existed, and compelled that particle to expand at an unthinkable velocity, creating a variety of galaxies, and God saw that it was good.

And the Lord spake, and eleven amino acids aligned themselves to form a protein, and God saw that it was good. There was a bit more speaking, and the proteins had found their way to cells, which began dividing, and eventually grew legs. And the Lord saw that it was good."

The Bible was written for today’s Christians, but it was also written for yesterday’s Jews. It was never intended to be a book of science, or even a book of history. The Bible is a book of faith and morality. In a world before electricity, molecular physics wasn’t much of a concern.

I’m a Christian. I’m a Creationist. I recognize that as a general rule, “I’m an idiot” would complete the pattern, but I recognize that species change, and that the giraffe with the longest neck gets the most leaves. I believe in evolution. I accept the so-called big bang as a possibility, but I also believe in–and (and I know how cliche this sounds) have a personal relationship with–God.

I apologize if the science in the preceding was shaky, but it’s not my strongest suit.

Actually in real life there aren’t any set laws governing this, so if you want to mutate, go right ahead.

You’ve got long odds against you, but if the mutation doesn’t kill or hinder you enough to inhibit your ability to reproduce, you may be allright. Should it actually turn out helpful, who knows, maybe it’ll catch on. More likely you’ll just die or suffer a bunch, maybe create a hereditary disease!

My best advice would be to remain whatever species you are, and leave the mutating to trained experts.

I know it’s a popular thing to do these days but don’t even consider mutating after you’ve been drinking. You’ll wake up the next morning and realize that extra eye on each buttcheek isn’t really a good idea.

This is more of the “G:(d couldn’t make a book that we would all understand so he made one that the ancients would” discussion. (Not that I don’t enjoy that kind of discussion, too.:))

This is the crux. How are you a Creationist? Does that mean a G;jd initiated plan of evolution? I’m very curious.

Where do I apply?

No, I merely assert that God left out some of the less critical details. My knowledge of the exact manner in which the world was created doesn’t exactly directly affect my daily life. I can go about my business without knowing the exact order in which things happened. It would be highly impractical–at least, as far as the publishing industry is concerned–for God to include, for instance, your breakfast decision for June 12, 1994. He knew it, but it doesn’t have a great deal of bearing on anyone else’s life–yours either, I’d imagine. D’you remember what it was?

And plus, had God included exact details, many scientists may well be out of a job right now. :stuck_out_tongue:

For some reason, I’m not critically concerned with the origins of the universe. I’m more concerned with my spiritual life, social life, amazingly nonexistent love life, schoolwork, work work, and so forth. As a result, I simply leave it as follows: evolution is rather pervasive, and the evidence is such that it’s absurd to ignore it. It is quite possible that the world did come about through evolution, but because of my personal experiences with God, I believe that if that is the case, He inspired it. The part of my brain that I devote to pondering such matters is filled with “The world exists. God did it.” And I more or less leave it at that.

Hope that helps a little.

It does, but I was hoping you’d explain the literal interpretation of the bible. The bible is rife with analogies, but also with apparent specific literal statements. My misreading of the bible does suggest that G:rolleyes:d’s statements about creating animals allows evolution, so I think it’s the timeline that may cause the most trouble (Cecil dealt with the problems of trying to deduce years from the bible, and the different numbers that honored Christian theologians have come up with.) but Jews have been keeping track longer than many, and according to the Jewish calender we’re less than 6000 years from creation (but, then Christians have reinterpreted many of the Jewish thoughts).
[sub]Note-to-self: must remember not to use runon sentences![/sub]

P.S.- Welcome to the SDMB :slight_smile:

There’s one line of thought called Deism that was pretty popular during the eighteenth century. Basically it holds that God started the universe, set some natural laws in place, and then pretty much laid back and let nature do its thing.

I’ve heard people give this a modern slant by saying that creation occurred at the Big Bang. Everything else including life on earth were consequences of that act.

After all, if my recollection is correct, Genesis says the sun wasn’t created until the third “day.” Many moderate to liberal Christians use this to argue that the story can’t be taken literally.

So for people who hold this view evolution is simply the method God chose for creating life on earth.

I suggest that a more proper term for your view is theistic evolutionist. Merely believing in God does not make one a creationist, for this would imply that science takes a position with regard to the existence of the Almighty.

Gremlin: Deists believe that after setting things in motion, God stepped back and now takes no active interest in the affairs of the world. I personally don’t agree. I believe that God is involved in the affairs of the world.

Hardcore, I agree. I am most closely aligned with theistic evolutionism, but generally when I say that people respond with “huh?” Now, I ought to have known that people here would know what was going on, but old habits die hard. Also, I’ve always seen theistic evolutionism as a sort of halfhearted attempt to avoid conflict, which isn’t exactly the spirit behind my beliefs. I’ve always thought–perhaps erroneously–of theistic evolutionists as those who believe the science but want the church to shut up, and that’s not exactly me. I believe in God and Jesus and I believe that there’s a very real possibility that macroevolution took place.

So yes, I am a theistic evolutionist in the sense that I believe that it is quite possible that God created the world by inspiring evolution. I don’t, however, concur with the fundie-tainted definition you presented.

Well, Poster, hate to break it to ya, but I don’t have all the answers. I’m still trying to work that part out, because I hadn’t really thought about it until somebody recently pointed that fact out to me.

For those who don’t know what we’re talking about, there genealogy of Jesus given in the Gospel goes back to David, and David’s genealogy goes back to Adam, so logically if we assign a certain lifespan to every generation, we end up with a certain number that we can count back from the birth of Christ to get to the beginning of the world. That number’s about 6000.

The genealogy of Jesus was included in the gospel, though, primarily for Jews. The old Jewish books of prophecy–Isaih in particular, I believe, though I don’t have the cite handy–had said that the Messiah would be of the house of David. Jesus’s family tree was given for that purpose, to prove that he was of the house of David.

So I think two things on this issue. First of all, most of the time unaccounted for happens between the creation of the world and the creation of man. That represents a big hunk of time (though I don’t personally know how much to the day :P).

Second, it makes sense for the writers of the gospel to skip a few generations in the interest of time and space. All they had to do was prove that he was of the house of David. That also accounts for differences between the two different genealogies of Jesus presented in Matthew 1:1-16 and Luke 3:23-38.

And thanks for the welcome. :slight_smile:

I did not mean to give a fundie-tainted view of theistic evolutionism. I simply was trying to offer a website that gave some detail on the term in case you were unfamiliar with it. I do not agree with the views expressed on the website, nor with their definition of “theory”. It is worth noting that the author of the site, who obviously adheres to a creationist worldview, seems to regard with greater disdain the theistic evolutionist more so than an atheistic one.

I also would like to join the others in welcoming you to the SDMB.

nod I see and have seen that a lot, which, I suppose, is kind of why I don’t see myself as a theistic evolutionist. The fundamentalists tend to see it as being lukewarm–not Christian enough to please God. Personally, I think rather the opposite.

And I didn’t mean to imply that you were a fundie–quite the insult on this board, it seems–only that the definition was. Apologies for any confusion.

And thanks for the welcome. :slight_smile:

Go to harvard or princeton on the web and see if they teach evolution on creationism, now, who do you think is right ?


Well, dude, obviously those schools have been taken over by the e-vil secular humanist conspiracy. So pointing out that they teach evil-lution doesn’t prove a thing!

The differences in the geneology given in the two Gospels cannot be dismissed so easily. The writers contradict each other and both claim to be complete. So the assertion that they “skip a few generations in the interest of time and space” is flawed.

Second, both geneologies trace Jesus to David through Joseph. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought the Gospels claim that God, not Joseph, was Jesus’ father


I wish you’d drop the sarcastic tone. Otherwise, you end up missing facts.

He does have a such a “checklist.” He built it into the genetic code.

There have, for example, been fly experiments in which scientists tried to breed flies with as many and as few leg bristles as possible. After a certain number, there was no further increase (or decrease). The parameters for potential change were in the genes, and could not be exceeded.

We creationists (or at least the Orthodox Jewish ones) believe that the natural laws are part of G-d’s creation as well. So there is no contradiction between saying something happened “naturally” and saying that G-d did it. Only if you insist that it happened randomly would creationists argue with you.