Concerns about evolutionary creation article

I’m saddened by this article. This is what happens when Christianity capitulates to the secular academic mainstream belief in evolution.

There are many difficulties trying to look at the Genesis narrative and say it’s poetic and not a historical account of how this world and life on it were created.

If you say macroevolution of species is compatible with Christianity:

-when did mankind appear?
-when did sin occur?
-was death present before the fall?
-when Genesis says God rested on day 7 and the creation of the earth and all life on it was complete, how can one take the position God is continuing to create to this day through the mechanism of macroevolution? Are human beings to evolve into a higher life form? REPRODUCTION of species continues, but creation of new species is not occurring.

There are so many problems scientifically with Darwinism or neo-Darwinism that in my extensive study and reflection for many years has led me to believe it’s not true. It’s 4 am and I’m too tired to elaborate.

The scientific establishment does not want to let go of the theory. The overwhelming majority of scientific academia are atheist. It is more plausible to believe no god exists as this unguided mutation and survival of the fittest mechanism continues. It allows us to be our own God, that is, answerable to no higher authority than ourselves.

Philosophically, I believe God creating using neo-Darwinian evolution would be cruel and repugnant. I believe “evolutionary creationism” is a cop-out preventing the discovery of HOW God created life on this planet.

If something is believable by all branches of “Christianity”, where some of these branches are heretical, that leads me to believe it is most certainly not TRUTH. Trying to promote a Kum-ba-yah moment to unite all Christian denominations sounds “good”, but because it might be believable by most most certainly does not mean it is true.

Thank you for allowing me to express my opinion.

Respectfully,

Loren Nichols, MD

Welcome to the forum, Lorenzo. I moved your comment to its own thread since it introduced a variety of topics. I think you will find that all of your questions have been discussed in depth by many scientists and theologians and it is not a case of Christians who accept evolution capitulating to peer pressure as much as choosing what they think are the best explanations for what we see in the world and the meaning of what we read in Scripture.

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Are you familiar with BioLogos, Loren?

We are an organization who believes that you can have both an orthodox belief in Jesus as well as belief in what mainstream science has to say.

When did sin occur is a hard question, and debated by many all the time! We have a whole category of articles on our website dealing with original sin in light of evolution.

We also have a list of commonly asked question like yours that you might like to peruse.

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Hi Lorenzo.

I’m saddened that you’re saddened. Particularly as I know that nothing can change that this side of the resurrection.

What difference does any of this make to the reality of God in Christ, the saviour of all?

Hello Dr. Nichols,

Welcome to the forum! I’m glad we have the opportunity to talk about important things.

You asked a lot of questions about moral responsibility and theology. It’s a hard question, even with respect to those alive today. We would all agree that a 21-year-old has moral responsibility, but what about a 10-year-old? What about a 6-year-old? A 2-year-old? A pre-born infant?

It seems there’s a gradient of moral responsibility that is traversed from infancy to adulthood. There’s not a single point where one day before, the developing human is not responsible, but after that point s/he is 100% responsible.

I would argue that humanness on the species level operated similarly. Was H. Erectus human? This is debated ferociously! What about Neanderthals and Denisovans? They are certainly much closer to H. Sapiens Sapiens, and they have left a trace in our genome.

In face of this complex ancestry, I find Paul’s speech in Athens quite helpful:

“Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. (Acts 17: 29 - 30)

Paul was not aware of Neanderthals and Denisovans, much less H. Erectus. But theologically, they are unimportant; God overlooked their ignorance. But He will assuredly not overlook ours! He calls us to repent and engage in a faithful life of Christ-following.

There have been atheists in every age, well before evolution was even a viable theory. Here is a short sample of atheists who did not believe in evolution:

  • Diagoras of Melos
  • Democritus
  • Strato of Lampsacus
  • Frederick II Hohenstaufen
  • Rousseau
  • Voltaire
  • Hume

What does the Bible teach is the root of atheism? It is certainly not adherence to science! Wouldn’t it be pride? And does pride need science? Can pride not find support elsewhere? Don’t the prophets point to riches, military power, and physical strength (amongst other things) as roots of God denial?

The Bible teaches us that God controls the rain and the storm; are we atheists if we believe that the forces of physics described by meteorology provide good explanations of the weather?

Do you believe that the forces of physics explain the weather, Dr. Nichols? If so, how do you square that belief in physics explanations with the Biblical passages about God’s control of the weather?

In the same way that you reconcile meteorology with Biblical belief, you have many brothers and sisters in faith who reconcile biology with Biblical belief. When we ascribe reliability to genomic studies that reveal nested hierarchies in biology, we are at bottom doing nothing differently than you when you listen to the weather report.

I appreciate that you and many medical professionals have been working tirelessly this past year. Thanks for your hard work in the face of danger!

Best,
Chris Falter

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I am saddened by a sector of Christianity which practices such a long term systematic self deception that it jumps so quickly and easily from championing one inhuman insanity to another from human slavery to racism to bigotry against scientists and the work they do to save human lives.

When God spoke to Adam and Eve, bringing their minds to life and making them His children.

The self-destructive habits of sin began with Adam and Eve. The gifts of God are often dangerous for they can so often be used for evil as we see quite clearly in the history of Christianity.

According to the Bible in Genesis 3:22 Adam and Eve were not going to live forever.
So yes, death was present before the fall. That is why Adam and Eve had a word for it. Death is not evil, lying is evil. Death is and always has been the will of God. Lying is the work of the devil and his worshippers.

Because contrary to what is said by Nietche and some of his Xtian admirers, God is NOT dead… nor doth He sleep. The days of God are long, and day 7 drags on and on while God waits for mankind to fulfill the promise of its creation.

The Bible says so. It says we are to be conformed to the image of His Son, which despite the delusions of some so called Xtians certainly isn’t something Christians have done yet.

Incorrect. But the kindergarten picture of the world with only a dozen species stuffed in their toy ark is very very very far from reality. We have identified around 1,600,000 species so far and we continue to discover 200-1000 new species every year, so we estimate that there must be more like 8,700,000 species on the planet. So expecting it to be easy to know when new species are appearing naturally is totally ridiculous! But we have watched it happen in a laboratory.

this is nonsensical rhetoric to support systematic deception. Evolution is a scientific theory which like all scientific theories are constantly corrected to fit new evidence the quantity of which is overwhelming from every portion of the universe on every scale, like God is whispering and shouting at us from every corner and direction of the universe, and it absolutely amazing how some people can shut their ears and eyes to refuse hearing and seeing all of what God is showing us. Evolution is not a text of philosophy by Charles Darwin to be critiqued by Flat Earth crackpots, willfully looking for any excuse they can invent.

Are you talking about the God of the Bible who wiped out all human beings except 8 on Noah’s ark, and who ordered the Israelites to kill babies. Or is this the God of some other religion? As for ME, I can understand the necessity of death for the advancement of life in both the work of God and in the work of many human occupations. I am certainly not going to cherry pick them in order to fabricate a justification for bigotry as you have done.

Indeed! The majority of Christianity in the world has accepted the scientific discovery of evolution and this systematic deception by a particular group of people calling themselves Xtian should not be accepted as any kind of truth.

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Hello Mr. Mckain, you wrote, “When God spoke to Adam and Eve, bringing their minds to life and making them His children.”
I see you have the title 'Scientist and Christian," so I’m going to presume I’m starting a conversation with the correct person…

Do you believe Adam and Eve are the first humans?
Is it your belief that Adam and Eve became sinners deserving of God’s wrath, when their immediate parents did not?
Or do you believe Adam and Eve were Not the first humans, and there were humans before them, but those humans who preceded them were not sinners deserving of God’s wrath?
How did we become sinners?

Hello Mr. Falter, I had asked Mr. Mckain some questions, can you step in to help in the conversation?
Thanks,
Chuck

By sinning. All have sinned. The questions of Adam are unnecessary as he was the first, but not the cause of mankind’s sin.

But what if someone says, “I’m not a sinner, I never was a sinner, was never born a sinner, but I’m a ‘Christian’ and you can’t say that I’m not,” could the questions of Adam come into the spotlight?

So take this passage, in Romans 5, “For if by the transgression of the one the many died (verse 15)”, “through the one who sinned, for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation (verse 16)”, “For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one (verse 17)”, “For through the one man’s disobedience THE MANY WERE MADE SINNERS (verse 19),” …

…and someone who claims to be a ‘Christian’, saying “Nope, doesn’t apply to me! I’m no child of Adam, I ain’t no sinner, Those verses above in Romans are made up, they’re false, someone must have added them into the Greek text, perhaps some scribe!” (etc. etc.), so, how would we answer them?

Or, not answer them?

Yes. Because I do not believe our humanity consists of merely a biological species and DNA. We are a product of two inheritances: one of the body and another of the mind. DNA only has our biological inheritance. The one for our mind comes to us through language and other forms of human communication.

So yes – Adam and Eve were the first human beings but not the first homo sapiens.

Yes, Adam and Eve acquired self-destructive habits which their parents did not have. Only the abstract notions they acquired from God made them possible. Deserving wrath? Where does the Bible say that God had wrath for Adam and Eve? I do not believe in such an insertion of dubious theology into the Bible.

Yes. We can say as Vinnie suggested in the other thread, that we have the deck stacked against us with the poor examples set by others. We learn largely by imitation. But it is still our own choice to follow in those self-destructive habits.

Sometimes we see a few things that are wrong in what others (including our parents) do, and we fight against those. But there are so many bad habits of thought as well as action that it is impossible to avoid them all, especially without divine guidance. Unfortunately the very first bad habit of blaming everyone and everything but ourselves for our own mistakes made our relationship with God untenable (something which does more harm that good) and we need to live by our own efforts and judgements to learn that blaming others just doesn’t work.

I think lack of repentance precludes being a Christian, but that is between them and God. You have a good point with the verses, but I see the verses on Romans as bringing us face to face with our humanity and our current condition, much like Job , Ecclesiastes and Genesis reminds us we are from dust and to dust we return. It doesn’t mean we personally are literally molded in one step from dust, but that is our ultimate origin and fate. So, being a sinner is like being a being singer: you gotta sing.

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@ChuckM

Indeed. It is only by acknowledging our responsibility for our own sins that we can overcome that which makes a relationship with God unworkable.

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Hi Lorenzo,

There’s one thing that you need to realise here. When you’re dealing with science, you aren’t just dealing with “secular academic mainstream belief in evolution.” You are dealing with hard, empirical facts. And you’re dealing with techniques for studying and interpreting those facts that have been forged in the fires of real-world, hands-on experience. Techniques which very often have to be relied on in situations where getting them wrong could kill people.

For starters, you’re dealing with the basic rules and principles of mathematics and measurement.

These techniques place tight constraints on how we can interpret the evidence that we see in nature. Measurements of radioisotopes, for example, constrain the age of the Earth to within just 1% of 4.54 billion years. Measurements of comparisons of the genomes of humans and chimpanzees, meanwhile, forcefully insist that we and they are related, having diverged from a common ancestor about six million years ago.

As Christians, we need to be honest about these things. It saddens me when I see well meaning but badly informed Christians denouncing hard facts and empirical evidence as “mainstream secular opinion,” or accusing scientifically literate brothers and sisters in Christ of “putting your trust in secular science.”

For many of us, scientific methods and techniques are, to a greater or lesser extent, the backbone of our jobs. We have to apply scientific principles and practices in contexts where getting them wrong could drive our employers out of business and possibly even kill people in the process – if, that is, we weren’t fired for gross professional incompetence and sued out of our insurances first. We also have to take our faith into the workplace and share it with colleagues who are every bit as scientifically literate as we are. One of my colleagues is a former geologist. I can’t exactly tell her, for example, that “fossils are used to date rocks and rocks are used to date fossils” when both she and I know full well that stratigraphy doesn’t work like that in reality.

Yes, there are philosophical worldviews, and yes, they can affect our outlook on life. But we do need to make sure that we are dealing with honest and accurately reported and interpreted facts and information before we start discussing the implications of different worldviews. Evolutionary creationism is simply an appeal for the Church to make sure that in discussions about science within the Christian worldview, it is getting its facts straight. Nothing more, nothing less.

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