I just read an article in which the author says that it will be good for american churches to accept evolution as an act of god.
He later on goes to say that evolution doesn't necessarily mean there is no god & I agree with that, but then he said something that really bothered me.
There are many different ways that an evolution launched by a god might play out (see myTaxonomy of Gods). One possibility for a theistic (God-based) evolution is a story that would look pretty much like what we see in the 4.7 billion-year history of life on earth. See Michael Dowd's version for more. But the image of the creator behind this process looks a little different than the traditional Sunday school image of God, which is God the dollmaker, who molds each species in their final form. Instead the unrolling creation of evolution requires a much larger God, a creator outside of time who unfolds the cosmos and life and mind an on-going process.
Personally and collectively we are defined by our understanding of where we come from. If we believe in a fearful angry-father God, our society will angry and fearful. If we believe in directionless randomness as God, then our society will be directionless. I therefore seek the largest God of possibilities and growth. The God of evolution may not be the optimal God, but it/he is much greater than the dollmaker God of creationism. I'm betting on the bigger God.
I think that the argument of a god of evolution fails to answer the question of who created god.
I also think that to incorporate evolution into christianity is just taking the facts & twisting the interpretation of the religion around them so that the religion still makes sense. It will do more harm than it will do good.
What do you guys think?
The article states that:
"Both the radical atheists and fundamentalist Christians are drinking the cup of the same error: that evolution = no god. In a weird way the radical atheists and fundamentalists are agreeing with each other, and feeding each other this unnecessary mistake: that evolution must be godless."
At least "theistic evolution" makes a literalist position untenable for all but the mentally ill and the incurably delusional, so in that sense it leads a believer to resort to another kind of God to postpone the inevitable conclusion. And a more agreeable, less infantile God at that, to which then biblical interpretation has to bend.
So I guess in the words of the author a bigger God really is better. Now, I would say, just let them make God big enough so as to entirely disappear, because "theistic evolution" still interferes with rational thinking by insisting on the "and there be dragons" clause for each discernible gap still left open. On the other hand, by doing so they may stimulate science/ scientists to sweep the gaps clean of dragons and magic and fill it with sensible hypotheses that may or may not bear out and expand our knowledge, as about abiogenesis for example.
But it is a hopeful sign that even Evangelicals appear to back away from young earth comedy and are starting to looking for answers outside of genesis.
If you answer by saying "a god of evolution fails to answer the question of who created god", you're committing the same fallacy believers are. Evolution and abiogenesis are two different fields of study. Evolution doesn't have to elucidate where life comes from. That's a common non-sequitur.
Furthermore, theistic evolution is an oxymoron. Anyone who knows the minimum about evolution knows that its main drive is Natural Selection. Once you add a deity into the algorithm, it becomes Supernatural Selection instead. Exactly the fundamental point about Natural Selection is that it isn't guided and has no purpose or direction. It's blind. If there's Natural Selection there cannot be any intelligent mind involved by definition. Evolution intrinsically implies a godless process.
I'm with you on this one Ciro.
Plus, on a side note it would sound like an imperfect deity practicing until it worked out right which just sounds absurd to me.
A remark to that. Yes, strictly speaking evolution and abiogenesis are two different fields of study and natural selection doesn't say or have to say where life ultimately comes from, that's true. But evolutionary processes likely or rather unavoidably in most hypotheses are already at work at the level of chemistry. And abiogenesis is a natural and necessary extension of the whole evolutionary story of where we came from. We don't want a God and a spark as an answer to that part of this big question.
How a God of evolution is created seems to me to be a matter of the evolution of God, which is a process we can see in action here.
Definitely not. I don't think that the methods through which a god guides and gives evolution direction have anything to do with the origin of that god. These are two completely different questions that would have completely different answers, and to answer them, we would need two completely different approaches. One of those questions might actually be answered while leaving the other inquiry unanswered. That's exactly what happens with abiogenesis and evolution. They answer different questions, and while one might be pretty well understood, the other might still not answer its question satisfactorily.
I think we are talking past each other here. I probably should have left out the last sentence. Since humans create Gods and not the other way around by evolution of God I meant the way humans change their Gods to fit their changing demands, and that is an example of guided evolution.
As far as abiogenesis goes, yes Evolution can do just fine without it, what I'm trying to say is that for me and I know I am not the only one, the story of whence we came is not complete without it. And it doesn't stop at abiogenesis or complex chemistry or even stellar nucleosynthesis. For all we know it might not even stop at all.
If you answer by saying "a god of evolution fails to answer the question of who created god", you're committing the same fallacy believers are.
All I meant was that even if you credit a god with evolution, there is still the question of how god came into existence. Never said that evolution has to elucidate where the god or any life came from, just simply asked where god came from.
I must have misunderstood you then. Sorry for that. I thought you were suggesting that a god-ruled evolution should account for the origin of the god ruling it, since you said: "...fails to answer the question...". Well, of course "a god of evolution" fails to answer the question of "who created god". To me that's exactly like saying Evolution fails to explain where life comes from.
Nevertheless if you agree with me on the rest on my previous post, once you have evolution and natural selection, any kind of presumption regarding any deities is completely unnecessary, and even contradictory.
I think we aren't on the same page. What I meant was that having a god of evolution doesn't cover up the fact that there is another question to be answered. Maybe a little unrelated to the topic at hand.
I believe that this person has now officially entered that agnostic zone and is too chicken**it to admit it. This point of view doesn't correlate with christianity, hebrew or islam, or any other religion that i know of for that matter. It's far to convoluted and or vague a concept to base any kind of religion on unless he wants to start his own which would be based on his ideas alone and not the ideas of any established religion (which ironically most do anyway). How can anyone possibly begin to convince others that such a disinterested and detached deity that has created absolutely everything (see countless worlds) give any thought or attention to earth at all, in which case why worship him since we are only one of more than a few versions of the human model to appear on this planet. We are just the current and most recent version. awaiting our eventual extinction just like 99.8 percent of all other life that has already gone extinct on this particular planet.
I think that the argument of a god of evolution fails to answer the question of who created god.
that's not the powerful objection you (or any other atheist) think it is.
I also think that to incorporate evolution into christianity is just taking the facts & twisting the interpretation of the religion around them so that the religion still makes sense.
hardly surprising that religious people will tack on ad hoc features to their hypothesis (god exists) in order to account for the evidence that would otherwise refute their hypothesis. that's how theology works.
they resort to the possible while ignoring that there's no good reason to think it probable.
It will do more harm than it will do good.
in what sense? harm to the religion of Christianity? well. depends on what someone would take to be harm. if people, when learning about evolution, come to find that it doesn't fit with their conception of god they can either change their view of god to account for the dissonance or they can toss god out. surely from the perspective of many the "toss god out" option is more harmful to the religion (to say nothing of harmful to the person, they would say) than is the "twist to fit" option. but, yes, i think in the long run the "twist to fit" undermines key tenants of the faith, and insofar as it does, it's a harmful strategy. because, let's face it: if we evolved from simpler forms then what place for Adam and Eve? and if no Adam and Eve then there's no fall. and if no fall then no original sin. and if no original sin then you don't need Jesus to wash away the stain.