There is much debate as to whether Science and Religion are compatible and in particular can Evolution and the Biblical creation account co-exist as valid worldviews or does one negate the other. As far as I am concerned the debate is only a bone of contention for religionists. Science is the study of the natural world. It does not look for supernatural outcomes to its investigations. Religion has for the last 400 years has been continually discounted as a reliable tool to discover anything new. It’s explanations of the working of the natural world are being proven incorrect and Science is filling the gaps it used to dwell in.
When I am referring to the Theory of Evolution (TOE) I am talking about Modern Evolution Theory and not just “Darwinism”. Creation as used will mean the Bible story and Creationism in general.
If I posted this 400 years ago it would read “The theory of Heliocentricity and the idea that the Earth is at the middle of our Universe – are they compatible?” The religious did their utmost to thwart the advancement of scientific discovery. They did not “believe” it was true that the sun was at the center. It was “only a theory” and the scientists behind it were deemed to be heretics. Only as people became educated did they understand it. Now this once special knowledge is deemed almost to be common sense. The churches now accept the Theory of Heliocentricity as being true. That is mighty of them but irrelevant to me because like the TOE it was never a matter of faith. It is only a matter of education. Knowledge is power. They controlled the flow of it for too long in schools and even Universities. Information takes away more power from religion so it will do whatever it takes to keep as much of it as it can. So religions come up with alternative “theories” to counter the modern day heretics.
Even today I still get told by apologists that the Bible knew the world was round. Many have become “Hebrew scholars” and love informing me about the meaning of the word “chug” to insist Isaiah know the world was round. He did not. He “knew” it to be flat as did everyone else at that time.
The same people will then try to argue with me that Intelligent Design is a credible scientific alternative to the TOE and should be taught in schools. They “don’t believe in Evolution”. So they read more biblical science and come up with the idea that their god created every animal including man in his present “form”. I will not discuss I.D. any further but if anyone else thinks it a good idea and has any merit please fire ahead. Maybe the dinosaurs died because they fell over the edge of the planet. These theists are the same as they were 400 years ago. They still maintain their book is the one and only truth necessary and deny the validity of the TOE just as they denied the fact the sun is at the center of the galaxy.
I am not a scientist and do not claim any academic qualifications in this area. Due to my lack of believe in any god or the veracity of written accounts I turned elsewhere for answers. I find that the TOE is a fact because I understand it to be proven. It therefore reinforces my reasons for remaining an Atheist but in itself it did not make me an Atheist. I will reference my replies later to any questions I try to answer.
I consider it fair to say that most Theists deny the fact of Evolution because they do not know it. Those that think they do usually have only learnt it from the science section of the bible or from their local preacher. I have never met a Theist (I mean never) who could explain it to me correctly. I also consider it fair to claim that one does not need be an Atheist to see that the TOE is a Fact.
The Theory of Evolution is the scientific study of how life of earth has evolved over time. To start with we need to get some concept of the time scale. It started about 3.5 billion years ago. You need to stop a minute and think about that. It is almost impossible to conceive of such a scale. Millions of species have lived and died out before man appeared a relatively short time ago. We are about as a modern species for the last 200,000 years. 40,000,000 years before us Mt. Everest rose up and yet 25,000,000 years before that the dinosaurs became extinct. A few billion years further back and our early ancestors were getting ready to crawl out of the sea. Sound as fantastic as other stories? Well yes but all of this can be and has been fully proven. When all the various fields of Science, geology, chemistry, anatomy, fossil studies and especially DNA are taken together we see that all life on Earth is connected. No matter what species we look at once we go back far enough we see a common ancestor is shared amongst us all.
I am not going to further explain the Theory here other than say that the word “Theory” in this case means a body of facts and not an hypothesis that is still in need of evidence to make it acceptable. It is because Evolution is a proven fact that it is deemed to be a Theory.
I fully acknowledge that the TOE does not explain how life on Earth began but that is not what it is about. I also accept that the TOE does not disprove the existence of any particular deity.
However if anyone accepts that the TOE is a fact (which it is) then we humans are descended from other species and if we keep going back we are evolved from simple life forms that lived in the sea. Therefore we could not have been created in human form in one day. Therefore the Christian story of creation is not true. It is a myth like those of all other religions.
Feel free to tell me where you think I am wrong and show me how the bible is right or at least compatible with Evolution. We can discuss the TOE in greater detail and clear up any misconceptions held about it if this discussion EVOLVES.
Hey - Uh, I know, that's what I'm talking about ... Arch ...
Remeber, I'm heterodox ... and pertly.
Somehow, the pertly part escaped my attention --
Fact and fiction are never compatible. Evolution is fact. The bible is made up crap. Unfortunately, the bible is a mishmash of what can be called faction: a hotchpotch of actual historic places and supernatural garbage. Therefore, to some, it gives off a sliver of credibility. And never mind the genocide, rape and general bat-shit insanity.
I have no idea, and will never know, who invented the phrase, "bat-shit crazy," but they were really on to something! Really says it all, doesn't it?
Yup. It encapsulates so much in so few words.
maybe its because one rarely finds just a small amount of bat-shit.
Take a baseball bat and beat the shit out of someone. There's plenty for everyone :)
If you take the theory of evolution literally..there is no mention of a god, adam, eve, or eden.
if you take the theory of evolution as a collection of figurative stories, feel free to inject a god in anywhere you like.
But Robert, wouldn't one then be just as free to insert a fuzzy pink unicorn? And what would be the point?
We (humans) have taken a simple story - a legend even then, that may or may not have had some basis in truth - of a monk who, as fate would have it, inherited his family's wealth, for which he felt he had no need. He took pleasure in giving it away to the needy, and when he learned of a particular man in his village, who had three daughters, the eldest of whom couldn't marry because the father was too poor to provide a dowry, he decided to help them anonymously, and one night, passing by, he tossed a bag of coins through an open window. As the legend goes, the girls had just done laundry that day, and had hung their stockings from the fireplace mantle to dry. The bag of coins landed squarely in the stocking of the girl who wished to be married, and the monk, Nicholas, who after his death would be canonized as a Saint, went on his way.
How many insertions have we made to the story of St. Nicholas, nee Santa Claus? Sleighs, pulled by flying reindeer, elves working year round in a toy shop at the North Pole, Rudolph with his nose so bright? And yet, when children pass a certain age, they are expected to look on that amazing story that so filled their childish hearts with hope and anticipation, as myth and let it go.
It's time for the religious to grow up and let their creation stories go as well.
Here is some really good christian science. Imagine trying to debate with someone with that knowledge and mentality. Jesus wept.
The Theory of Evolution and the Biblical account of Creation - are they compatible?
It's like the whole "scientific miracles in the qur'an" thing. A contradiction of terms.
A snip out of 'The planet of the Apes'?
Before he got religion and guns?