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 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 Theory of Evolution 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 Theory of Evolution 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 Theory of Evolution 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 Theory of Evolution 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 Theory of Evolution 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 Theory of Evolution does not explain how life on Earth began but that is not what it is about. I also accept that the Theory of Evolution does not disprove the existence of any particular deity.
However if anyone accepts that the Theory of Evolution 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 Theory of Evolution in greater detail and clear up any misconceptions held about it if this discussion EVOLVES.
“and Homo neandertalensis has been proven to be too genetically different from us to have been our ancestor”.
Where has it been suggested that this was the case? It is known that some non-African Humans have up to 4% similar DNA to Neanderthal man. It was thought that this was possibly due to interbreeding between the species. However it is probably more likely that both we and Neanderthals that this overlap is because we both inherited it form a common ancestor. This ancestor – Homo heidelbergensis existed about 500,000 years ago and it’s evolution over the following 200,000 years could account for this crossover. Both theories are still open but Science will get there. However I do not think Sciecne ever suggested we descended from the Neaderthals. Sounds like more bad science I think. (Sorry no refenences by me but I am sure I can find them if the point is disputed.)
"No one has actually witnessed the birth of a species in the wild, so researchers must come up with clever experiments to see whether differences in ecology, and the adaptations they spur, can isolate species reproductively."53 Dr. Virginia Morell.
This is completely wrong. This shows no understanding of modern Evolutionary Theory. Knowledge and learning should set us free to think and be amazed enough to ask more. Rather than reply with more esoteric Science take a look at this. There are many other examples I can show.
And if you sense that I have "issues" with Creationists - here is one reason why. Enjoy your journey. :-)
I would think it would be refreshing, after living in a world of fantasy for so long --
I hope there is a healthy dose of irritation in the mix, at those who make a living off of misrepresenting evolution.
..perhaps the slow rise of atheism is itself a product of evolution..
I think, therefore I evolve. <------ I just made that up..worthy of a tee-shirt !!!!
Yes, it really is! I like that!
I totally agree. Religion will die out. It is no longer necessary. It is not an instrument of discovery. How much more evolved would we be as a species if we had not had to endure centuries in the dark ages where religion fought all scientific advances tooth and nail. It has become meaningless to enough of us now that it will wither away, hopefully sooner rather than later.
Another video on Science Vs Religion that is well worth a look. Allow 90 minutes
Just finished the video you recommended, of a discussion between Dawkins and Lawrence Krause, and Dawkins brought up the Catholic belief in "transubstantiation."
I was never a Catholic, but I did attend Communion once because there was this little Catholic girl and - bottom line, I attended Communion.
For those who don't know what transubstantiation is, according to the New Testament, Yeshua allegedly broke his bread, gave each of his Homey's a bite, and asked them to do this in remembrance of him, claiming that the bread was his body, and the wine, his blood. During Communion, everyone kneels, while the Priest passes by and places a small wafer on each person's tongue.
Transubstantiation is the Catholic belief that at that moment, the wafer literally, magically, turns into a piece of the body of a first-century dead Jew.
I've devised an accurate test to prove or disprove the validity of that claim - transubstantiation is real, if the wafer stops tasting like a wafer, and suddenly tastes like chicken --
Actually the wafer tastes a little like flat hard tack. Without the wine, it would be truely hard to swallow. But with some sacred bean dip, I think it could catch on. It would be low fat, low salt, and a little crisp, just about right for bean dip, or cheese wizz!
I had never noticed a flavor change during the 'hand off and swallow' procedure. It has been nearly 20 years since my last communion. Maybe I would need a few weeks of confession, before I get the 'tastes like chicken' experience?
I don't need to go to communion to get the really good chicken tenders do I? My home made ones need hot sauce or ranch dressing.......LOL
I believe that Dillahunty actually ate communion wafers with salsa (or was it queso) on his show one time. I don't believe that they had actually been consecrated yet, though.
I have been looking for cheep, low fat, low salt chips, do you know his supplier? Damn I need to check this idea out! I wonder if they can be special ordered with garlic and herb?