How I'm Changing my Mind about Evolution: The Journey so Far*

London. Yourself?

Oh yes, isn’t that the truth. Sadly, some sections of the Reformed community have become a very hostile stronghold for YEC. And those who speak out in favour of alternative options are then heavily criticised by those sections of the community. As another example, posters on Puritan Forums don’t have much good to say about Tremper Longmann’s views on Adam and Eve either..

I’ll be honest, I find the tone of voice used in some of the Reformed YEC corners of the origins debates extremely depressing. Calvin was a phenomenal biblical exegete and (whatever one thinks of his conclusions) an exceptionally gifted theologian who regularly engaged with extrabiblical material (contemporaries, church fathers, philosophers, etc.). Sometimes he did this positively, sometimes negatively, some times disastrously. Whilst I can’t say what his conclusions might have been, I’ve no doubt that if Calvin had access to ANE literature contemporary scientific knowledge he’d have been engaging with that too.

Since the Reformers didn’t have access to this ANE material, we shouldn’t be surprised that Reformed theologians and scholars who are interacting with it will sometimes come to conclusions not reflected in Reformed tradition up to this point. This should be cause for open and honest conversation and latitude, not theological name-calling and witchhunts!

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Also London, we’ll Greater London I guess! West London to be specific, near Heathrow Airport.

Nice. I’m very close to you then. I’m South West London, a 20ish min drive from Heathrow. What are the chances!

Have you read “The Banner,” the Christian Reformed publication? They sometimes have good articles on this, I think (Calvin College is their flagship higher education institution and they generally accept evolution) https://www.thebanner.org/features/2011/01/speaking-of-evolution

It seems to me that the CRC and RCA have different atmospheres when it comes to creation-evolution discussions than the more New-Calvisim/Gospel Coalition oriented denoms like the PCA, Reformed Baptists, and some parts of the SBC.

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It would be interesting to me to read a thread on the unique advantages and difficulties of melding a Reformed and evolutionary paradigm

Ditto. Maybe I’ll set up a post later if I get a moment.

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@Randy @Christy

I am probably outside any attempts of the classical Christian classification system, raised in the Lutheran Church, currently a paying member of the CofE opposite our house. Not sure about the CRC, RCA PCA and SBC either, but most likely I am a heretic to all of those acronymic denominations anyhow.

I never had any problems with Genesis and evolution as I have thought that the writers of the bible gave a philosophical account of Genesis in the context of a theistic worldview. Instead of describing complicated species interrelationships they gave a poetic description of reality that is accessible even to the illiterate and allows us to build a meaningful relationship with reality. That is what working worldviews are about. The meaningless relationships with reality peddled by modern materialists who perceive themselves as an accident of nature (albeit a lot of children these days truly are) is bound to cause a mental crisis when it comes to a meaningful relationship with reality. Their perception of being the result of not a loving creation, but an accident, together with a view of survival of the fittest as in outcompeting each other makes for a toxic worldview justifying a very selfish behaviour.

My change in understanding of my Christianity and of evolution came following some serious shakeup of my brain in the form of contact with my horses rear hoof. Ever since I understand Christ entirely different and why the horseshoe above your door can be luck. If it would have been on the horses hoof there would not have been any return from that contact. This way it was sufficient to crack the skull that the blood could flow out as not to squeeze the lifeout of the brain cells, and the brain was still left in one piece. However I do not recommend to take such drastic measure to others but hope to give arguments to shake up our thinking instead.

The biggest problem bible readers have with the interpretation of the bible, particularly those who believe themselves to be “skeptics” is our own arrogance when it comes to interpret the story told by those “primitive goat herders” as the late Hitch called them. To me a primitive person is one who thinks of one’s forefathers as primitive because they did not have iPhones.

What should be clear to critical thinkers is why evolution is anything but a random process, but a highly regulated process with a rather long time constant in the feedback loop. After all, to a timeless creator this is not a problem but it leads to incredible fine fine tuning. And, unlike claimed by famous atheists, it does not lead to the development of a crap eye in humans with a better eye given to the squid but an eye precisely optimised for it’s purpose in the environment it is needed to operate in. Only modern secularists would wish to have a squid’s eye, but then “irony mode on:” as the eye is an extension of the brain that goes with it, perhaps their eyes have not yet evolved as far as their brains :slight_smile: “irony mode off”.
“irony mode on again” The same is true for their demand for a seperate hole for feeding and breathing. They should by now have learned not to stick the food up their nose. :slight_smile: And if they really insist on decoupling the tubes leading to either hole completely they have to accept the mucus flow, needed for washing the dust our of the respiratory system of land living animals clean the lungs of land animals, instead of being recycled through the stomach would just run down from their nose. It would make them not only soundbut also look like snotty children :slight_smile: “irony mode off”

So what it takes to accept the process of evolution, for those who are afraid of it, is to overcome the fear of having to believe it to be a random godless process promoting the “law of the jungle” e.g. being the top predator makes you win, and a process that makes God obsolete. Quite the opposite.The law of the jungle is equally misunderstood due to the fascination of humans thinking of themselves as being top predator, not understanding that the top predator is not us but the humble microorganisms, just because we are blind to the obvious in our pride. It’s either them or the mosquito that brings them


Key is to understand what the law is, the law that governs the process of evolution, the law of all laws that governs all existence. Jesus told us what it was, as on it there hang all the laws and the prophets. Survival fitness is the ability to love thy neighbour like thyselves,e.g. thy parents / brothers and sisters and ones children !!!not yourself as in oneself!!!, no narcissism involved. If elements of a system fail to be altruistic, but act selfish, any system will have to eliminate those elements - or get extinguished itself because it becomes unstable. The intriguing thing is that this law is valid not only for biological life but also for planetary systems where each individual element contributes to the stability of the entire system in an extremely fine tuned way.

Hope this is a sufficiently reformed evolutionary paradigm.

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Yep, that’s very much my sense too. I have plenty of kindred spirits in the PCA but not many of them are willing to say so publicly.

@LM77, I’ve noted your suggestions for new CQs. For now we’re up to our ears in much-needed CQ ideas on a wide range of topics, but I get the strategic nature of your request. Perhaps you could PM me your own responses to these questions and we could discuss further. :slight_smile:

Thanks @Kathryn_Applegate, I’d love to. I’ll try and get some initial thoughts to you by the weekend, if that’s OK?