Does belief in macroevolution erode social capital?

I thank you for your thoughts about the books of explanation.

I was struck by something the other day.

The Amish don’t allow telephones in homes! It erodes their social capital, their need for face to face interaction.

Creationism’s origins as far as organized creationism are so deeply American.

Equality. Lack of hierarchy and elites. Everyone’s common sense gives direct access to God

A man with a Bible is as good as any amount of education

I took my students through the science hallway at my college to make them look at the posters illustrating the ideal gas law, etc

All the scientists on all the posters are Europeans.

Elites and hierarchies.

I think evolution may erode an American Baptist’s social capital within his church tribe.

Your thoughts?

Note: As much as I know the modern university is a mingling of English and German elements before 1900. The Americans played catch up in science till World War II maybe?


I think it’s a really interesting premise. I would say, generally elite knowledge might be a threat to democracy as a whole. On the other hand, specialized knowledge can be distilled into simpler forms that lay people can understand, but that requires trust in the distiller.

I would guess that as a whole, democracies are founded upon the premise of the Reformation that an individual has direct access and accountability to God without the need for clergy. “They will be taught be God” (Jn 6:45). I think the New Testament promotes a kind of flat community, maybe with some hierarchy (ex. Overseer 1 Ti 3:1).

The idea of evolution may reinforce the idea that the European Scientists (no Chinese?) are the most evolved, and thus promote elitism and hierarchy. This was a central idea of the German National Socialists and the far-right in general in my understanding.


That’s a good observation – I think it matches up with what I’ve seen. Underdog stories are very popular here – we love hearing about how scrappy hope and faith and determination undermine someone else’s status or pride. Though I wonder if that’s more common among Protestants than Catholics. I think that’s one reason I liked listening to Kent Hovind. He gave the impression of a simple man with a Bible up against the big, bad scientific society that was too proud to actually “follow the evidence” and see that creationism was the truth.

In a sense I don’t blame people for being wary of elitism. Especially from a religious standpoint – we have historical examples of what can go wrong when a belief becomes a powerful organization, especially one that’s entwined with the state.

I wonder if more exposure to the scientific process at work would help people.

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That would be within the church, though. The NT says remarkably little about societal government and zero about politics (and many evangelicals in the U.S. are idolatrously fanatical about it!). What it does say is pretty well summarized in Romans 13:1-7, and that is in the context of the Roman government, not one that you would think would be entitled to any respect!


From what I can see, democracies are founded upon the premise that the government is accountable to the people. By extension, people are accountable to other people per the law. It is fellow citizens on the jury, behind the bench, and in the prosecutor’s office.

There is no such thing as “most evolved” in the theory. There is no goal in evolution, so there is no species that is closer to the goal than others. All species are equidistant from a universal common ancestor.

I don’t want to divert from the OP, but it seems to me that this is more of a human failing than solely a religious one. I’m curious, in this vein, why the (apparently anti-theistic) revolutions in China and Cambodia were so much against the intelligentsia–in Cambodia, you could get in to trouble if you wore glasses (and thus appeared educated).

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Yes, I agree. The reason why people should because listened to is that they have something of divine reasoning, or you can just call it “common sense”.

The distance from specie to UCA would depend on what measuring rod one uses I assume? For Spengler (Man and Technics), the measuring rod of superiority was the ability to fashion technology that would make a dominant race. That’s what “social capital” meant to him.

creationism has bern around since at least judaism

i think the opposite is true, darwinism functions as a racial “noble lie” a la plato’s republic to establish a white european dominance hierarchy

it was to take the place of the christian religion hierarchy bc it was founded by a bunch of brown people back when the whit people were still a bunch of savage hill tribes sacrificing eachother to the druidic gods

The earliest Church was communist.

The early Church did not comprise all of the society in which they were living, nor did they legislate that general society’s rules which they were obligated to follow.

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Correct. Like me.

That can be a dangerous belief. We have scores of people dying from a pandemic because they’re too godly to heed scientists,and all the while some scientists are getting death threats (e.g. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Michael Mann). But these scienstist are trying to save us from disaster.


A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle.


A classic! 

No. But they shared.

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Did you know that both Darwin’s grandfather and his wife’s grandfather were prominent abolitionists of their day. Fun fact.


To get back to the original question, I think that is definitely true. At least in my experience, if you make it known that you accept evolution in most Southern Baptist churches, you will be tolerated but it is very difficult to rise in a leadership position in the church ( a situation that suits me, to a large extent). Even though the church may accept you, the nasty talk by Ham and associates serves to create a little doubt and suspicion that says, well, he can be on the maintenance committee, but not sure he is really Sunday School teacher material.
Social capital in any setting is a limited commodity, and I find you have to careful how you spend it. If you waste it on side issues, then when something truly important comes up, your influence may be nil. So, while if anybody asks, I enjoy talking about science and evolution and such, but for the most part do not push it it. I truly feel parachurch organizations like BioLogos are more appropriate to these discussions for that reason, though wish that was not the case.


Yes, I certainly don’t advertise my understanding, and I am not talking about in a Southern Baptist church.

Yes, and how: a theory or system of social organization in which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.

To the OP in general, why would one ask the question? As has been inferred, if one is in an anti-evolution group and the light dawns then inevitably one’s interpersonal relationships, shared sense of identity, shared understanding, shared norms, shared values will become affected: The group will shun you inevitably as social conservatism and damnationism go with creationism.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6

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