The Theory of Evolution and the Biblical account of Creation - are they compatible?

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.

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James, I think you would probably be looking for the low fat wafers, called "I can't believe it's not Jesus".

Aw come on, Archaeopteryx.

You know that chicken tastes like tyrannosaur.  Or more precisely like velociraptor.  (I should think you of all of "god's creatures" would know why!)

Seriously, I do use "tastes like tyrannosaur" where others use "tastes like chicken."  I got the best reaction to that line when I encountered chicken nuggets shaped like little dinosaurs at the local Costco as one of the freebie samples; the guy giving out the samples was a young 'un and got a good laugh out of it.  The irony of it was too much to resist; I even bought a box and took some to a skeptics gathering; this crowd of evolutionists definitely appreciated the joke.

How many 3-ft tall archaeopteryx do you think ever had a chance to find out what velociraptor tastes like?

More to the point, the wafer fails your test (as James Cox has attested).  It doesn't taste like chicken, it doesn't taste like tyrannosaur, and it definitely doesn't taste like "long pig" which would be more in line with expectations if it literally turned into human flesh.

And that doesn't matter.  Catholics still believe it is the literal flesh of Jesus (many if not most protestant churches consider the communion a more symbolic gesture).  You are not supposed to chew it or poke it, if it should get stuck to the roof of your mouth, which is why the line "drink the wine, chew the wafer" in Tom Lehrer's song "Vatican Rag" is either scandalous or freaking hilarious (or both) to people raised as catholics.

It doesn't matter. And yes, the fact that it doesn't matter itself makes no sense.  It's theology and it doesn't have to make sense.

It was a common belief in the middle ages that Jews would kidnap consecrated hosts and torture them (yes, torture wafers) at which point they would literally bleed.  As if being responsible for killing Jesus were not enough of a charge to lay at their feet.  This was a part and parcel of the antisemitism of the time.

Much more recently, a college student left a mass without having consumed his wafer; the Catholic League pressured his school to expel him.  In response to this, PZ Meyers wrote several good rants about how it was just a cracker and for Catholics to get over it.  Predictably, that annoyed them greatly, so he arranged to receive a consecrated wafer and himself descreated it, driving a tack through the center of it and doing all sorts of things that would be indignities, if it weren't just a freaking cracker.

Many of the catholics who came to his site surprisingly weren't all that outraged.  They accused him of faking the photographs!  This really puzzled me until it finally dawned on me that they were convinced that no one would actually dare to do that to the body of christ, not even someone who claimed he didn't believe that it was the body of christ (cf. the belief that no one can really be an atheist, Catholic version). Or alternatively that anyone who did do it would be struck dead on the spot, and that somehow even PZ Meyers realized this, chickened out, and posted fake photographs.  The mere continued existence of PZ Meyers was not proof that they were wrong about the wafer--which is in part what he was trying to demonstrate.  To them, it was proof that he had to have faked it somehow. 

I imagine that even if PZ Meyers had film of the entire sequence, from wafer being absconded with by someone pretending to do communion, all the way to his "desecration" of it, the video would be claimed to be faked somehow; if the catholic commenter had actually witnessed the whole chain of events, they'd be convinced it was a stage magic trick somehow (the sort of thing that Penn and Teller do at their show in Vegas), and that PZ somehow by sleight of hand pulled off a substitution.

Logic like that simply cannot be argued with, but not because it is good logic.

Why would anyone torture a perfectly good cracker? Seems to me that being groundup in your mouth, swallowed, and the carbohydrates broken up by enzymes, would be enough! Which might beg the question, 'how would the body metabolize the Body of Christ, if it were real?' Ok, I defer to a previous post, 'try not to make make sense out of non-sense'.

Was having breakfast and well, look at this.....

Nelson on rye?

Recently a character in 'The Big Bang Theory', had a toaster that made Klingon toast. Sadly the characters on the show offer little similarity to the nerds I have known. 

It is possible the term 'nerd' makes certain demands upon the person that might wear the lable. Certain schools might have extensive class time given to 'Nerd Modeling and Socialization', such as, 'Pocket protector design and utility', 'Allowed technical syntax & lexacon', ' Well formed Conversational Calculus', and 'The cultural history of hard Science Fiction and Technology'.

For others, the wanabe 'nerd' might just be expected to show skill in the lab, and not monopolize lab and class time with qoutes from Spock, and technical suggestions from the Star Trek field manuals. Sadly, I seem to be from this catagory...;p)

You might like this from a site I may or may not have a special interest in. (Ahem).

Slice of Toast

If you google "Christopher Hitchens deathbed conversion" you might land on that site too !!  Enjoy.

Quick question, Reg: "local atheist Donald Chapman" wouldn't at all be related to Graham Chapman of "Monte Python" fame by any chance, would he? After all, the nut doesn't fall far from the tree, and it does sound like it would make a great "Python" skit!

Hi there Arch – No, I don’t think that was in the air when the article was written. It got over 100,000 unique hits its first week. However the irreverence is great. The Hitchens conversion story was written long before he passed and got a huge number of hits after the 15th Dec last year. A year already man!!

PS re the picture of the slice of toast  - I think it is the only time I have seen Nelson without the cool shades on!!

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