How do you talk to friends at church about science and evolution?

In the UK?!

Yes, in the UK. There are well educated conservative capitalist Christians here in the UK.

I mean you might be using ‘educated’ in a ‘no true Scotsman’ sense, but I really don’t want to think that about you. Or that you’re making the mistake of assuming that one’s own circles are indicative of the church population.

In Anglicanism I never encountered a scientist, even a physicist, doctor or surgeon who ever expressed anti-evolution views. Or a Roman Catholic. Or anyone with that level of education. Master’s don’t count. Even I nearly have one. Anyone. On any forum. Got any stats? I lie as there was one barking English NASA rocket scientist who did. Where are these people? There’s always Adrian Warnock, of this parish, I suppose. But I’ve not heard him say either.

I unforgivably forget you’re a Brit Liam. Even tho’ it’s obvious from your manner. Norn Iron?

Even charismatic Anglicans manage to be evolutionists. Perhaps they daren’t say what they really think.

I am a very open person. I will sometimes keep my opinion to myself but even then that’s usually just because I don’t feel like spending time to talk about it. Obviously I’ll censor something that are working time and place or if I think I’m just being a prick I’ll usually try to avoid it. I cuss a lot. Even when praying. But in general, despite almost everyone doing it they often act as if they don’t at church or in public family gatherings and put on this censorship show of “goodness” and so I play that game often.

But outside of that, I have no issue being up science, including evolution and biblical criticism, at church. It usually happens because I am talking about nature and toss in MYA dates, basal forms and ect… for the most part as long as I’m not just completely hounding on and on about it they mostly just ignore it or enjoy talking about it also. I got pretty use talking about things I like that others don’t like from being a big horror fan. Numerous times I’ve been in church wearing a bloody disgusting type shirt and mention my plans of afterwards heading to some horror convention. Or often I’ll leave Saturday and drive 2-4 hours a away and get a hotel and spend the weekend at the convention and on Sunday I’ll go to whatever random local CoC is there and it often comes up if I’m from there and I say no I’m here for the horror convention but popped in for service and then will head back out.

But often I’ll also bring up science because I’ll be visitor T some places for a trail, champion tree or whatever I’m looking for. I’ll visit the local CoC and talk about science as the reason I’m there and so on. I find just being honest is the more freeing.

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Hmmm… I think your biases might be showing, mate. :wink: After all just becuse you’ve never met them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. I’ve never met a Tibetan, doesn’t mean they’re out there.

Nothing nearly as interesting Norn Iron, I’m afraid. Surrey (not the nice bits) born and bred, now living in Dorset. Where about’s are you Martin?

Sunny Leicester. But born and bred in Royal Leamington Spa. One of the richest towns in the world. And most violent in the UK. Where there’s brass there’s muck.

I’m sure there are anti-evolution UK Ph.D. and medical consultant level Anglicans and Catholics. But they keep astoundlingly - and very wisely - quiet about it. Apart from the handful or less who end up as YECists in America. Who’s that Norn Iron polymath? Ah yes, John Lennox. The exception that proves the rule. His apologetics fail utterly, as all do, but even he hasn’t come out as an IDo…ist (a foible of a handful or less of UK physicists) let alone a YECist.

(Hey, Don – I sent you a PM.)

Admittedly, I had other Christian streams in mind, but didn’t make that clear.

On this we can certainly agree :sweat_smile:.

Ah HAH! I thought you did. Have other Christian streams in mind. Hence my question about Norn Iron, where there are anti-evolution politicians. There are about a million fundamentalists in the UK and 2% of the population have a Ph.D.; 20,000. In Leicester that means 100. 50+/-50 scientists. OOM and all that. In a city with two universities. Call it 100 to be generous. Ah, divide by 3 for the pluralism. Considering that only 1/4 of the population know what evolution is to any degree I’m not surprised.

What is it with Lennox? My patron saint apologist is St. Puddleglum.

(Last night at my char-evo volunteering church (not that I attend formal services anywhere now) I encountered the twin streams of the demonic and the prophetic (in the the non-preterist sense of my former cult), openly for the first time in years. I was actually asked what my politics were! I could tell, with disdain. My char-evo lite vicar at my other, job church (full of refugees from the other!), where we most recently attended, has invited me for coffee next week. That WILL be interesting : ) )


Alas, not as simple as that.

YEC is still assumed in some denominations in charismatic/evangelical waters. Direct personal examples from within the last three years:

  • My sister’s church in north-west England invited a British CMI (Creation Ministries International) speaker just a couple of weeks ago.

  • Just last year, chatting to a young relative who had just graduated with a a first-class honours degree in a life science, he dismissed evolution with the classic “we didn’t descend from monkeys”; which he had absorbed over his teenage years from his church environment.

  • A couple of years ago, going around a museum with another relative (leader of a church in a major UK evangelical/charismatic denomination), he expressed disdain at a fossil shark-tooth being labelled “50 million years”.

  • A mile around the corner from our previous home is a “Christian School” with strong ties to AiG etc., even though UK schools are (thankfully!) quite tightly regulated in curriculum.

  • Just six weeks ago, a church near to that school hosted an AiG speaker, and then posted “And if anyone tells you that most scientists believe in evolution, Professor Burgess indicated otherwise, but they don’t always admit it. Evolution is rubbish, so we can have confidence in our faith in our God.

And that’s observations from just one, lone individual.

So, very sadly, YEC religion is alive in the UK, and worryingly close to home.


Leicester (Clarendon Industrial Estate) is the registered home base of AiG in the UK: Contact Us | Answers in Genesis

I’m sure you’re right David and it will become the loudest and in fact most dominant voice in UK Christianity; nobody ever went broke underestimating British public taste. The worst are full of passionate intensity, and the internet - advertising - facilitates that like nothing else.

How anyone can get a first class honours in life sciences and be an anti-evolutionist is tragi-comic.

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As a “sorting mechanism”?
We have slightly different methods here, because everyone assumes all christians have the same politics. I’m most familiar with:
K: “Hi, I’m Kendel.” Handshake.
Person at church: “Nice to meet you. Are these girls your daughters?”
K: “Yes. This is Child the Elder. And this is Child the Younger.”
Person at church: “Nice to meet you girls. So, do you home school or go to public school?”
K: “We do both.”


Ah. In Norn Iron (Northern Ireland) the question outside church was always ‘What school dja gota?’. ‘St…’ meant you were RC.

The silent majority are fasc… deeply conservative one way or another here too.


I will sometimes point out that there are two creation stories with different orders and methods of creation. Both cannot be literal history, as they literally disagree. This is Biblical evidence that six days of creation are not what happened. The simple question “was man created after the earth brought forth vegetation or was man formed before any plants had sprung up” either makes the point or requires a denial of what the text actually says.

I will also point out the duplicate passages of 2 Samuel 22 and Psalms 18, which beautifully and figuratively tell of the rescue of David from Saul. That rescue account is not literal history, which is recorded elsewhere. In creation, the literal history is not recorded—just the stylized version.

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I never talk about evolution with other Christians unless they specifically ask me what I think. If they say goofy YEC stuff in a conversation, I just let it go. It has come up sometimes in the context of homeschool materials or things that are being taught to my kids at events they participate in. In that case, I often clarify that we teach the scientific consensus at our house and I would appreciate not being characterized as a godless atheist to my children for doing so, and they should avoid telling them that people who accept evolution reject God. Everyone has been respectful of that. I do challenge climate change deniers and vaccine misinformation because I feel like that science ignorance is actually leading to death.


Welcome to the Forum, Don. I hope you find the discussions both provocative and nuanced, with civility the norm. For this Forum, your question is almost universal; there are a number of areas in which people try to find conflict rather than resolution: evolutionary creation, climate change, and racial reconciliation to name 3. At some generational and cultural level, the polarities seem insurmountable. Finding community and reconciliation in one’s one setting, for me, is quite important, a journey which will never be neatly wrapped up in an ending. Finding fellow pilgrims along the way and being encouraged to deepen my relationship with Jesus has been enough; we journey together. Others are watching, and sometimes asking questions.

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Perhaps you guys know this saying :smiley:
If you want to use your brain, go to university.
If you don’t want to use your brain, go to church. They only use faith.

I wonder if the education of science and faith should start with the training of the pastors in the seminaries. The pastors are the ones who are trusted most by the congregation as they are the ones who usually people respect most in the church. Alas, most of the evangelical pastors including my own believe in six literal days, not by studying what is, but by accepting what has been taught by others without question. Perhaps a course on science is needed in the pastor training as well.

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Interesting thought. One of the things that the science and faith study differs in is what is considered reliable. In evangelicalism, the testimony is most important. The personal testimony, the testimony of the apostles, the Good News, the Old Testament, the New Testament. In science, it is the data, objective and reproducible. It is a wide gap. Perhaps science education in seminary can help pastors integrate the two ways of thinking in their life’s work, but it is difficult.

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I agree. Personally I think that seminaries and Bible Colleges would do well to include some sort of training in science. However, it needs to be done properly. Any training in science needs to include lab work or field work, and courses in mathematics and computer programming. Because otherwise you’re not teaching them science, you’re just teaching them to ooh and ahh over pretty pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope.


“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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