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.

http://www.atheistbus.org.uk/asa-call-it-for-us/?cp=all

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

http://scienceblogs.com/effectmeasure/2009/06/freethinker_sunday_se...

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

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One clear response comes from Dr. Francis Collins. I don't buy the inference that cosmological constants are a wedge that gives god a foothold into a naturalist world view. I have to respect Dr. Collins belief since we cannot falsify his theory today (before 5pm).

From our constant Wikipedia companion ---

"During a debate with the biologist Richard Dawkins, Collins stated that God is the explanation of those features of the universe that science finds difficult to explain (such as the values of certain physical constants favoring life), and that God himself does not need an explanation since he is beyond the universe. Dawkins called this "the mother and father of all cop-outs" and "an incredible evasion of the responsibility to explain", to which Collins responded "I do object to the assumption that anything that might be outside of nature is ruled out of the conversation. That's an impoverished view of the kinds of questions we humans can ask, such as 'Why am I here?', 'What happens after we die?' If you refuse to acknowledge their appropriateness, you end up with a zero probability of God after examining the natural world because it doesn't convince you on a proof basis. But if your mind is open about whether God might exist, you can point to aspects of the universe that are consistent with that conclusion."

Suffering -- no account of intervention directly into human affairs from above so suffering/joy/death/laughs just happen naturally in the universe. Our consciousness let's us remember and feel pain so we suffer.

Jesus sacrifice -- I cannot put words in Dr. Collins mouth BUT even though he calls himself a evangelical christian he MIGHT consider JC a "strange attractor" that sets a chaotic system on a new trajectory.

His book "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief" is way down on my "plan to read soon" list so I will leave a post-it note here rather than commit to a third person defense of JC.

Just my opinion, I could be wrong.
Suffering: it can be said things can be left to nature, but the Christian would still have to say that nature comes from their god. The natural way of things could have been for us to get orgasms when we ate pork. The planet didn't have to be designed, or planned before the start of this universe to have earthquakes, for example. The answer they're forced to admit is that their god wanted creatures to suffer through no fault of their own.

Sacrifice: I know it's not your thoughts, but what you said ignores everything the Bible says about us deserving death or eternal punishment for what our ancestors did. A celestial being died (kinda) and now we might be able to live forever. Nothing about atonement, why a death was necessary, anything like that. It doesn't match the character of God/Jesus in the Bible, so even if it's about some other god by that name, the one described in the Bible is disproved.
Evolution and Christianity aren't necessarily mutually exclusive. I really think a lot of Christians don't understand evolution. I've met many Christians who think that evolution explains how the earth was created, which it doesn't. I've also met people who think that evolution means simply that "man came from monkeys."...Ugh lol...

However, if a Christian is able to accept something reasonable and scientific that doesn't neatly conform with all of his or her own religious beliefs, then I think they are slowly on the way to losing those beliefs, if they're honest.
If Christianity involves Jesus dying for our inherited sins, and suffering occuring as a result of man's fall, then the two are mutually exclusive.
Well, of course. If you really take the religion seriously, the two can't really coincide. People start to pick and choose from their belief, especially when they find it hard to deny science. This is actually one of the main things that led me away from my faith. I couldn't believe in it literally because of things like science, and believing in it metaphorically made it seem meaningless.
If it's not taken seriously, it becomes deism, pretty much. Deism and evolution can co-exist, but when people try to pass off their deism as Christianity, that's not really something I let slide by.

If someone's Chistianity doesn't involve a man called Jesus dying for us, I don't consider it Christianity. It seems to be the very basic thing a Christian should believe. Even though the religion's been split up many times, they all share that belief.
Exactly! I've tried to explain this, but I get tangled. You say it so simply and perfectly!
I found myself baby stepping a friend into talking about Telomeric Fusion and ERV's. I was talking him down from humans lived with dinosaurs because his daughter got a book from her religious school that convinced him of it. It's funny to have these conversations with friends in a non-confrontational way. He says everything evolved except humans because they were created in God's image. I say that there are 66 gens from Adam to Jesus but hundreds of millions of years between dinosaurs and humans. This guy is an engineer and could work through this, but really doesn't have good sources. People whom are believers but possibly open are surrounded by bad information. If you have friends that might be open, a logical friendly discussion might invite more conversation over time, and you'll be able to refute the other sources multiple times logically winning a mind over to science.
I believe in evolution and I fully accept Christians...

have evolved from apes.
Maybe he came from dirt, denial or no, and he is ashamed.
I just don't get theists mixing with evolution. One thing people need to notice is reason encircles any beliefs, not the other way round. So you just can't be both, it's impossible. And if you are a 'deist' and know evolution, you can't be both, either. What kind of god would you believe in? how would you know which one, and even if you're remotely right, that's fuckin presumptuous. this is some mental spiritual security. that's the definition if you believe in 'both'.
I keep trying to twist my mind around evolution-believing Christians and I can't. It seems to me that to believe in evolution and be a Christian, you have to either believe your precious Bible is mere suggestion or metaphorical, or to pick and choose what you believe out of the Bible and what you don't, when the god depicted in there specifically tells you that is a no go. It's completely hypocritical and ridiculous. If you believe in evolution, you can't believe in the Bible. They do not coincide. They do not complement one another. The Bible doesn't even mention evolution. Lots of begatting, but no evolving.

My sister, Christian Extraordinaire, once told me that god making Eve with one of Adam's ribs was not literal. Then what were they talking about? What is the symbolic equivalent to a rib?

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