I know it's rare (!) but every so often you'll find someone who accepts evolution, but who is also a Christian. What I've found is it's better to skip straight to two questions when debating them.

What was the point of Jesus' sacrifice?
Why is there suffering in the world?

Now, no matter how much they try to duck and dive and twist scriptures, they can be shown that the two are not compatible. It's worse than them having to take Genesis as one big metaphor (or mistake, as I like to say). It really destroys the basic foundations of that religion, in a way which effects all Christian sects I've come across.

To show you what I mean, here's two debates I've had on the subject. I didn't have to use all the arguments I have on this (I have a master copy 'essay' I tweak sometimes) , but so far it looks like I have it covered.

I would recommend taking this approach if you think they may be open to reason, or if people reading along may be. It saves a lot of bother going over other reasons why it's unlikely this god exists. This way disproves the existence of the god written about in the Bible in a clearer way.

In this one, it's mostly between Matthew, who comes in at post 8, and myself - Chris J - from post 23 on. I talk to a couple of others there, but he puts more into it.


This is the latest one. Between Micheal Erickson and myself - Chris J again, funnily enough.


I'm still waiting for responses on both of them. Ah well.

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I used to think that evolution was how god made life. It wasn't until I really understood that evolution by natural selection can only happen in the absence of purpose or design that it truly sunk into my thick head that my previous view was impossible. And if God did not make life on Earth, in what sense is he god? Darwin, I could never become a fundy because of you. Nothing I read in the Bible could undo all those dinosaur books I read or the rocks I collected when I was small. Whatever else I believed, it was clear that the Genesis account of creation was false. As the fundamentalists say, if one questions one part of the Bible, then what will prevent a reader from questioning the whole thing? "Nothing," appears to be the answer.

The questions raised by Epicurus still evade a satisfactory answer. An all-loving and all-powerful god simply cannot exist if the world looks the way it does. Even if there is some supernatural deistic being out there, said being is not god in any practical sense.
How far back does Jesus save if you believe in evolution? All the way back to our common ancestor with the ape? All the way back to that lemur looking thing with fingernails?
If we've evolved, where did the human soul and "breath of life" come in? Sometime before or after the Neanderthal?

Aww.. I hope there are Neanderthals in heaven...
It's worse than that. The need for redemption in the first place is predicated on humanity living in a "fallen" state, the old "we're all sinners" thing. If there was no Adam or Eve (or Steve for that matter) then there was no original sin. Since our fallen state is predicated on original sin, we are not all sinners and have no need for redemption.

Of course, the Christian argument assumes that torturing an innocent man to death somehow makes humanity less guilty rather than more so.

I often think there are Neanderthals still on Earth. They have their own shows on Fox News. *Sigh* Will anyone save the souls of all the precambrian bacteria? Say a special prayer for the first self-replicating protein molecules tonight!
I mean.. the whole Christian paradox of a god creating us sinful, not liking our sin, torturing us in hell forever and ever unless we believe in him in the form of his son that died to save us from the sin he created us with in the first place is pretty absurd anyway. This just adds to it.
Reminds me of last night. My aunt kept text msging me even though she knew I was trying to watch the MotoGP race (so as revenge I sent her a link to www.thehun.com and told her it was a picture of a deer I saw in a field last night... but anyway) My aunt kept text msging me, telling me the ridiculous things that Mormons believe in, and I was like "Um.. you believe in a talking snake.. and a world wide flood that killed off the whole world, except the vegetation necessary to sustain the new life that was saved on a 240 ft lifeboat that housed every land dwelling animal and eight humans. In retrospect, how could Jesus reappearing in America and talking to some natives seem outlandish? "
I mean, it's all crazy from the get go. Toss in a belief in evolution.. sure.. why not? Like it would make any more or less sense?
My final philosophy project in college was a conversation between myself an an evolution-believing Christian. I thought the best part of his belief was that God is not omniscient. He didn't have humans in mind. I wish I could ask more about his belief, such as the purpose of sacrifice - and if there was original sin, etc. He definately had a laxxed belief on religion.
It's this kind of thing that makes me think a large number of these 'Christians' are probably just deists - they just don't know the term because people around them are always mentioning a specific god. But if, for example, they've never read a 'holy' book, or don't know evolution and Christianity aren't compatible, or think you can get to heaven just by being a good person, it might be worth getting them to check if 'deist' is a more appropriate label.

It could water down the influence any one religion has, and still let them hold on to their little bit of comfort until humanity can grow up a little. I still think deists are wrong, but they seem to keep their beliefs much more private. They don't act as if they know for sure.
I'd discussed deism with him briefly. I think the only thing that separates his view and deism is that he believes Jesus Christ existed and did what the Bible says He did, which I'm sure he only believes that because he was raised to, and I'm sure he acknowledges this.
Just to play God's advocate here.

Actually its not as rare as 'fundies' would like everyone to believe. The United Methodist Church has come out in favor of evolution and science. Parts of the Episcopal and Evangelical Lutheran churchs as well. Even the last pope accepted the evidence for it. I say.. 'good for them'.


The non-literal interpretation of the creation story in genesis has a long history.... all the way from the hebrew mystics, the christian gnostics, the Kaballists..

Also the role of suffering isn't limited to 'one' view.

The views of christians are many and varied.

The fundies don't like to admit this but its true. They say things like 'They aren't real christians" but that doesn't carry much weight considering modern fundamentalism is a relatively young movement.
There certainly are lots of people who say Christianity is compatible with evolution.

I have to assume it's because they haven't thought about the implications, because in all the conversations I've had on the subject they leave without answering my questions about it.

Don't be fooled into thinking it's a reasonable position to hold because of people 'high up' like Francis Collins and the Pope. I expect they'd be stumped by the questions too.

I'm always open to being shown I'm wrong about this, so does anyone know of someone who's found a way to combine the two without holding contradicting beliefs (I can't remember the proper term for that now, grr!)?
WTF, Doone?
I can't even wrap my head around that concept if it's meant literally.
How do you control your brain to forget and recall on command? I can't even get stupid songs out of my head on the best of days.
This is the one I had in mind, though doublethink is a good one too.

cognitive dissonance 
–noun Psychology.
anxiety that results from simultaneously holding contradictory or otherwise incompatible attitudes, beliefs, or the like, as when one likes a person but disapproves strongly of one of his or her habits.
Origin: 1960–65

I can find statements that are open to questioning, like the beliefs of Collins mentioned in the recent Sam Harris piece - but it's hard to question a reference that can't respond. It needs to be a two-way conversation with someone who accepts the reference.
I'm just talking about the biological evolutionary process on planet Earth. Cosmology and Christianity might be able to mix well, I've not looked into it in any depth.


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