Why is the creation vs. evolution argument such a deterrent to the Christian faith?

(SeanO) #13

@sdyates5778 So glad that you are growing in your walk with Jesus and in understanding how the Christian faith relates to your chosen profession! C. S. Lewis has a famous quote where he talks about how his faith is what makes sense out of every aspect of life - it is not only something that he understands and believes, but something that helps him understand and see the whole world.

I was taught at school, when I had done a sum, to “prove my answer”. The proof or verification of my Christian answer to the cosmic sum is this. When I accept Theology I may find difficulties, at this point or that, in harmonizing it with some particular truths which are imbedded in the mythical cosmology derived from science. But I can get in, or allow for, science as a whole. Granted that Reason is prior to matter and that the light of the primal Reason illuminates finite minds, I can understand how men should come by observation and inference, to know a lot about the universe they live in. If, on the other hand, I swallow the scientific cosmology as a whole, then not only can I not fit in Christianity, but I cannot even fit in science. If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on bio-chemistry, and bio-chemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of the atoms, I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees. And this is to me the final test. This is how I distinguish dreaming and waking. When I am awake I can, in some degree, account for and study my dream. The dragon that pursued me last night can be fitted into my waking world. I know that there are such things as dreams: I know that I had eaten an indigestible dinner: I know that a man of my reading might be expected to dream of dragons. But while in the night mare I could not have fitted in my waking experience. The waking world is judged more real because it can thus contain the dreaming world: the dreaming world is judged less real because it cannot contain the waking one. For the same reason I am certain that in passing from the scientific point of view to the theological, I have passed from dream to waking. Christian theology can fit in science, art, morality, and the sub-Christian religions. The scientific point of view cannot fit in any of these things, not even science itself. I believe in Christianity as I believe that the Sun has risen not only because I see it but because by it I see everything else. C. S. Lewis

5 Likes
(Shay Yates) #14

@BillO Thank you for the recommendations!

1 Like
(Timothy Loraditch) #15

@sdyates5778 Shay. You are going to get a lot of long answers to this, but the bottom line is that “without faith, it is impossible to please God. Because everyone who comes to Him must believe that he is and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him.” Heb 11:6.

There are a lot of great minds out there and they are not going to figure this out. Nobody can prove God exists and nobody can prove that He does not. The question is do you have faith? If you do, God will reveal everything to you in His time. Guaranteed!

3 Likes
(Timothy Loraditch) #16

If you are interested in what physicists know about time there are three videos on Youtube.com that you will want to see. Alert! This is a secular information source. Sixty Symbols is a series of YouTube videos created by Nottingham University in the UK. They are all fascinating but I think The Gamma Trilogy is the best. Make sure you watch all three of the trilogy to get the full story.

2 Likes
(Matt Western) #17

Thanks I’ll definitely check it out.

1 Like
(Anthony Costello ) #18

@sdyates5778

Shay, great question, and I am thrilled to see you taking the time and effort to engage seriously with the debate over evolution and creation. Although, I might say the more fundamental debate precedes the creation vs. evolution debate, that being the debate between naturalism and supernaturalism. The existence of the universe, or anything material at all, raises the more fundamental question of what kind of being could bring a time-bound, space-bound, finite, contingent, yet incredibly fine-tuned thing like our universe into existence. So, as you pointed out already, once you have a reasonable inference to point number 1, what caused the existence of the universe, then you already have lots of options with regard to how a timeless, spaceless, immaterial, extremely powerful, personal, and necessary being (i.e. God) might work with the matter He has created.

Second, with regard to life on earth, bio-diversity, and human complexity, although you’ve already received a lot of material here to scrutinize, I would strongly emphasize the work of actual scientists in the relevant fields, and would therefore highly recommend looking into the work of geneticists like Doug Axe, physicists like David Snoke, and organic chemists like James Tour. There is a legitimate revolution going on in the natural sciences, and there are Christians in key positions who are moving this revolution forward. Here are some additional resources to supplement your quest for God’s truth:

https://video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=yfp-t&p=james+tour#id=3&vid=e2f2ad07348e95e20329311a39ffb5d0&action=click

I think if you are interested in pursuing science as a career, these are good folks to become familiar with. I would also suggest looking into the Discovery Institute and the work they are doing in every area of scientific research:

https://www.discovery.org

Hope this helps.

In Christ,
Anthony

5 Likes
(gerhard NvC) #19

#TrendingQuestions

Just some points to consider. If someone believes in evolution that person literally speaking believes in the “orderly unfolding of a plan” thus accepts the existence of a plan which in turn implies a plan maker.

Once we can free ourselves from the physical interpretation of Genesis with the image of a Gnome like figure manually making a mud pie human by the riverbank we have to think about the story in a more abstract form. After all, this story was written not as a scientific textbook but as a book to describe reality and to make parts of our universe history accessible to people without any scientific background, in fact without the ability to read and write, so they could relate to it and form a coherent worldview https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=n5hJRJfkUU0 to allow them a meaningful and safe way to interact with reality. It does in no way contradict our more and more complicated understanding of the underlying processes but simplifies them in a fascinating way that allows not only to convey a physical reality but at the same time an emotional reality that we cannot do in a science text book. And if we do science without the love for it for the glory of the lord we have to ask ourselves who we want to glorify with the science we pursue.
So if we look at Genesis from a creators perspective we would have to consider how we would go about such a project. First of all we would figure that we cannot create live as we are alive already. We could however create something that comes alive in the end. Considering the complexity of the task we would know that what we need to design is a process that leads to the desired outcome, so we have to make it follow a rule. The rule that governs the evolutionary process is called “the word of God” , one of the most misunderstood rules of our times. Unlike the “Golden Rule” which puts the internal self as the reference standard the word of God puts the the love of thyself e.g. the love for one another as the point of reference. Survival fitness is not to outcompetes our neighbours but to love them like thyself. This makes evolution an integration function leading to ever increasing complexity and eradicates selfish elements that would destabilize the system.

To end with some philosophical statements:

Life is the ability to move energy at will

ao let us be careful who’s will we do

And

To live forever is the art
To learn to live in Jesus heart

1 Like
(Shay Yates) #20

@anthony.costello Hi there! I am 100% sure that I want to pursue a career in the science field, and I thank you so much for your input and the references you attached!!

4 Likes
(Shay Yates) #21

@Gerhard_G Your statement “if someone believes in evolution that person literally speaking believes in the “orderly unfolding of a plan” thus accepts the existence of a plan which in turn implies a plan maker,” made something within me click. If that makes sense.
I have struggled with my faith for the past four years because of this debate and my refusal to look deeper and stubbornness to make connections until about 3 months ago. And as I take giant leaps in my walk with Jesus I feel like things are finally starting to come together. Thank you for adding your thoughts to this post, I feel like it helped me gain more clarity!

2 Likes
(Anthony Costello ) #22

Shay,

I excited to hear about your interest in science, and would only further encourage you in your academic pursuits! About 50 years ago there was a revolution, maybe more like a renaissance, of Christian philosophy, spearheaded by great names like Alvin Plantinga, William Alston, Nicholas Woltersdorff, Stuart Hackett and others. Now the academies are starting to fill up with all kinds of Christian philosophers, or minimally, theists of some sort. I think the next big renaissance for Christians is going to be recapturing the natural sciences. When you look at the work of someone like James Tour, you will know why I think this is the case.

Definitely check out the Discovery Institute too, they have several resources available. Also, I’ll make a shameless plug for one of my alma maters, Biola University, which just opened up a brand new Science, Technology and Health building, and that offers a Masters Degree in Science and Religion. Something also worth considering.

Grace and peace,
Anthony

4 Likes
(gerhard NvC) #23

It gives me hope as I normally leave people confused :neutral_face:
There is far more to say about the conflict between scientists and theism but that might be seem as to much of a deviation, so I believe it to be core.
First of all science and our religion are based on the acceptance of an ultimate cause and that this cause imposed rules upon reality that makes reality comprehensible to us. Scientific theory, like religion is based on faith, e.g. trust in the truth in the absence of proof. Just that most scientists do not understand that their experiments aren’t proof unless they don’t work. If they work they are only evidence that they might be right, not proof. For the problem of proof read Popper.
To watch the new atheists like Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dawkins or Alice Roberts discus evolution as the explanation for what they perceive as failed design outcomes is priceless considering that they trust their brain to work :slight_smile: but trying to make jokes about such obvious incoherent thinking only got me into hot water here. The problem is to understand the design spec for a particular thing and some people are probably designed as a warning to others on how not to think. They tend to think of themselves as great thinkers but sometimes look a bit like​:lobster:’s in J.Peterson speak :slight_smile:

1 Like
(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #24

Hello @sdyates5778

Science may not be my strong suit (far from it!) but I recently I’ve been quite fascinated with evolution and if it is compatible with Christianity or not.
There are many great Christians who are much smarter than I am that have concluded (with confidence) that evolution is not compatible with Christianity. Here are some great names to check out:
Stephen Meyer, Douglas Axe, Micheal Behe, Jonathan Wells, William Dembski, Phillip E Johnson, and Alvan Plantinga.

Here are some great resources to check out:

Some great books I’d recommend are:

Douglas axe: Undeniable

Stephen Meyer: Signature in the Cell, Darwin’s Doubt, The Return of the God Hypothesis.

Micheal Behe: Darwin’s Black Box, The Edge of Evolution, Darwin Devolves.

Philip E Johnson: Darwin on Trial

Jonathan Wells: Icons of Evolution, Zombie Science.

William Dembski: Intelligent Design Uncensored, The Design Revolution.

Alvin Plantinga: Where The Conflict really Lies: Science, Religion, and Naturalism.

And if you’d like to go even deeper:

This monster of a book is over 950 pages! I ordered a copy and it just arrived a few days ago. I can’t wait to dive in! Good luck!

3 Likes
(Shay Yates) #25

@O_wretched_man I’m so glad that you share the same fascination that I have with evolution and Christianity! Thank you for the book recommendations, videos, and names to look into! I have a tough couple of weeks coming up involving multiple exams back to back, but I will be sure to look into what you posted once my schedule frees up!

1 Like
(Curran Harms) #26

@sdyates5778 The creation vs evolution debate I feel is a false dilemma. In regards to creation, I myself am a OEC. Old Earth Creationist. I believe that the universe is 13 billion years old and our earth is 4.5 billion years old. Translating the word “day” holds 4 different meanings.

1st the word day means “some of the daylight hours”
2nd the word day means “all of the daylight hours”
3rd the word day means “a 24 hour period of time”
4th the word day means “a long finite period of time”

In the book of Genesis we see all 4 versions of the word day used in the creation account. The book of Job was written before Genesis I believe and there is reference to creation accounts in there and as well as in Psalms. In Job 9:8 it says “He alone stretches out the heavens and treads on the waves of the sea”. The big bang states time, space, matter, and energy all had a beginning which coincides with Job 9:8 describing the heavens as being stretched out.

In Psalms 104:5 He established the earth on its foundations; it will never be shaken.
In this verse you clearly see that scripture coincides with science. The laws that govern this universe are fixed and scripture shows it.

You see, in my eyes I believe in dual revelation. God revealed himself to us in nature and in scripture. God makes himself known to us.

In reference to evolution, there is constant change in the scientific community with new discoveries and changes. OEC believe that humans lived from about 150,000 - 50,000 years ago and new science shows that humans came from what they refer to as “y chromosomal adam and mitochondria eve”. The debate of neandathrols mating with humans and being part of the evolutionary paridum is still at debate. Most hominids such as them and other archaic bipedal apelike creatures lack genes such as FOXP2 which is the language gene. Also when other hominids were in existence, they used tools, but there was no advancement, and they buried their dead, but not in a ritual way. It wasn’t until humans entered the world that we see old artifacts of art and burials that were ritual.

Some other Christians do believe in macroevolution and see the evidence a different way. I believe Francis Collins who discovered the human genome is one. He is part of Biologos and they support that God used evolution to create. Ipersonally don’t support that, because of events like the cambrian explosion which aid evidence to life that began or the dead end species of hominids.

But groups like reasons.org can maybe help answer some questions or the biologos organization.

2 Likes
(Curran Harms) #27

@sdyates5778 and @O_wretched_man if you get a chance read Fazale Rana’s book “Who was Adam” It speaks on evolution and creation. Also if you are into science subscribe to youtube channel Reasons to Believe with Dr. Hugh Ross and Fazale Rana.

Were Adam and Eve the first humans topic below:

Sudden Appearance of Fossils below:

Creation and Science below:

2 Likes
(Shay Yates) #28

@Curran_Harms Thank you for sharing! Can’t wait to check it out! And thank you so much for elaborating on some scripture and relating it to the topic, it really helped me!

1 Like
(Curran Harms) #29

No problem, its awesome seeing that other Christians are also into the topics of science when it comes to apologetics.

5 Likes
(Isaiah J. Armstrong) #30

I just recently came across this amazing website where scientists can sign their name if they are skeptical of Darwinism.

https://dissentfromdarwin.org

1 Like
(Stephen Perkins) #31

Theistic evolution is an impossible scenario.
Every effect has a cause.
There has to be an uncaused, first cause.
God did not wish to see animals suffering for millinea to have relationship with man.
Irreducible complexity is a reality!
Any type of life cannot evolve from non-life.
End result…Jesus Christ spoke the Cosmos into
existance!

1 Like
(christopher van zyl) #32

I came across this video today and thought of you @sdyates5778. I hope it is helpful, or at least, interesting.

God bless