Is it dangerous to teach evolutionary theory to children?


(Greg Rogers) #1

Socratic. Fanatic, you quote a creationist:

And for those who are theistic evolutionists which I could be part of if there was comprehensible and undeniable evidence which I do not see at this point, we should say the following: "Let me leave you with another chilling possibility: What if we teach the next generation that all evidence undeniably proves that evolution of all species from a common decent? And what if we’re wrong? What do you think will happen when those kids find out? …they’ll become disillusioned from the teachings of from the very folks who told them that the miracle of the gospel by a God who gives new birth instantaneously was incapable of birthing life instantaneously in the form of kinds. While we thought we were teaching them to believe in Christ, instead we taught them to idolize our argument about Christ and our argument to go with the cultural flow. We taught them to go with the flow on the back of a view just to appease the secular universities instead of inspiring them to work hard and trust in a God who indeed created the world and to develop and build and promote new universities that are more honoring of God as Creator that are better, brighter and more honest than those who subscribe to a secular, naturalistic viewpoint.

That’s why I want my students to know that there is definitely validity to evolution within a kind but definitely not evidence that evolution via amoral power of energy that created the vastness of beauty, color and creativity of design by our Creator from a common decent. Because the evidence is just not there, it could very well be bogus and it could be a failure. There is plenty of evidence in favor of what some would call micro evolution but very little true evidence that does not rely on pre determined judgements for evolution from common decent. Have faith in the risen Christ, the Alpha and Omega and who made the universe by His Word for Himself and have much less trust in the observations that men (which God calls “sheep” which are really dumb, helpless animals) make that are always skewed by the worldviews that they carry deep in the recessed of their hearts. "

I like better the reformulation of Dr. Woods statement that helps us to keep priorities in perspective.


Disagreement on Evolution with my Husband
(Phil) #2

In the above post, you speak of “undeniable” several times, and I think that is a key difference in mindsets, in the science may be be sluggish to accept, but never is so rigid as to deem a concept undeniable.
However, one key difference in my opinion between EC and both YEC and ID, is that ultimately, EC does not link Bibical truth and Bibical interpretation with scientific thought. While it attempts to reconcile the two, the Bibical interpretation stands alone, and if the science changes, it remains intact.
In contrast, the usual YEC thinking links the two intimately, and often we hear said that the YEC version is foundational,which of course can lead to an erosion of faith if your foundation collapses. I would not paint all YEC adherents with that wide brush, but it is what is out there on popular sites.
ID also tends to link their ideas directly to scripture, though in a more subtle fashion. It still interprets the Bible in way that attaches it to sciencific thought. Again, generalizations are dangerous, as not all do so.

In the end, however, to address your question, I would answer that if everything we “know” is wrong, as some most definitely is, then EC is the least likely the lead the next generation away from Christ, because it has avoided making the gospel dependent on man made ideas.


(Benjamin Kirk) #3

We don’t teach that.

There is a massive amount of evidence supporting common descent that in no way relies on “pre determined judgements,” Greg.

You really shouldn’t be making claims about the body of actual evidence when you’re obviously just passing along hearsay.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #4

I request the moderators to block our friend here for repeated and unrepentant slander of his brothers and sisters in Christ. When he’s ready to spend just a few minutes, or an evening, looking at the evidence he says doesn’t exist (instead of repeating more and more loudly that it doesn’t exist), then you could let him back on.

Just my two cents, but I’m not a moderator


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #5

(He doesn’t seem to even recognize it as slander. He just thinks it’s honest gospel truth that his EC brothers and sisters in Christ are seeking the praise of men instead of God. I have mentioned this before and he ignores me every time as if I’m not talking. I would like him to hear me and recognize that he has offended at least one brother, and apologize as is befitting a man of God. I’m really honestly pretty offended.)


#6

This is great.


(Greg Rogers) #7

All that I was doing was re-phrasing in the opposite perspective the statement by the supposed creationist which was used to bolster evolutionist claims. The Socrates contributor provided this. I have noticed that some have called me a slanderer for providing such dialogue. I have no idea how one can truly be a seeker of truth when there is contempt for honest dialogue between differing mindsets. And I seem to be on my own here as one who does not take any sides amidst many here who do.

And I beg to differ about the mountains of evidence for evolution of the type that is taught in secular arenas that theists indefinitely borrow from. What is the evidence? The age of the earth is evidence enough? I don’t think so. I don’t think it is possible to define the age of the earth because time is such a tricky concept to pin down especially in an age of beginning explorations in quantum mechanics. I have read a number of research topics that provide “proof” of evolution from very simple to complex even on this website and taking as much of an unbiased viewpoint as possible, the evidence and research I see does not prove anything much less bolster macro evolution. All that it does is seem to fit into the box of expectation.

With millions and millions of dollars being spent on research related to evolution of the species in science laboratories across this globe, there will never be even on the table of options the idea that God created kinds as a possible option so the evidence will always be slanted away from this.

I faithfully remain a skeptic to the truths described by man’s observations and more trusting of the precepts found in The Bible. If folks this that this opinion that is brought to this table of discussion is slanderous, then so be it. I have been called worse.


#8

How would you test the idea that God created kinds?


(Lynn Munter) #9

I would like to see this, or know what it is referring to, since at present it has me perplexed.

Overall I must say, I like Todd Wood’s version better.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #10

The difference between Wood’s scenario and yours is … yours is hypothetical, and Wood’s is really happening. Right now.

That said, I don’t share in the animosity expressed against you here, Greg. Where others may view you as a stubborn anti-evolutionist, I think I sense a persistent, but perhaps slightly softening, brother in Christ. You may be guilty of spending too much time in echo chambers of your own, but you are taking the time to bring your views here to a place that is definitely not that for you, and also helps it be less so for the many of us here who disagree with you. Even if that disagreement persists, we can still fellowship in Christ.


(Greg Rogers) #11

I just watched part of the Natural Geographic program Biologos incorporated a link towards about whale evolution. Take a listen to this piece sometime. Paleontologists find a fossil of a mammal with an ear part resembling a sigmoid process which is an ear part found in whales that helps them hear under water. They then use language that undeniably, positively concludes that this MUST be a the forerunner to the whale in the evolutionary chain! From one fossil!

Call me spending too much time in my own echo chambers but I see this to be absolutely no different from these fossil finders concluding that a creature resembling a wolf is in the family tree of a whale over an ear part because the entirety of the worldview surrounding him echoes that this is how it must be so this is why we must conclude such a theory by one such fossil.

I am not softening. The more I see this ridiculous arrogance in the language used by these guys in determining an entire evolutionary family tree from a wolf with a sigmoid process, the more I like those even young earth creationists who declare that God created “kinds” who have the ability to adapt.


(Chris Falter) #12

Hi Greg, While I am glad you are here talking with us, this sentence really does come across as slander. You are speculating as to the motive of your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with you about hermeneutics and science, though you do not know them personally. And you are speaking terrible, dark things about the state of their hearts.

You want to teach your students how to live for Christ? Be a model for them of how to speak graciously to those with whom you disagree.

I really think you can do it, Greg. I think what has happened is that you are just repeating what you have heard from sources you respect. It just never occurred to you that you were repeating slander when you echoed them.

So now you know. I am confident that you will do everything in your power from this point forward to honor God in how you speak about and to brothers and sisters with whom you disagree, and to honor them – or perhaps I should say us-- as joint heirs and fellow workers with you. And in doing so, you will be a living example to your students about showing love even in the midst of disagreements about lesser matters. And the reason I have this confidence is that I discern the work of God in your heart. When you profess your love for Christ and for His body, I believe it.

Yours,
Chris Falter


(Stephen Matheson) #13

Another question:

Is it dangerous to slander scientists, whether or not they believe, by imputing bogus motives to those who accept evolutionary theory while falsely claiming that the theory is not supported by evidence?

Well, if by ‘dangerous’ you mean that it might cause believers to ask whether god makes a difference in people’s behavior, then yes, it is dangerous. Some believers, upon asking themselves that question, will realize that no, he doesn’t, or if he does, it is more often a bad influence than a good one. Those people will then renounce their faith and, in at least one case that I know of, find themselves better off.

So yeah, that’s dangerous to the faith, but ultimately perhaps good for the world.


(Mervin Bitikofer) #14

Nobody is building an entire theoretical edifice on just one fossil, Greg. Sorry if my optimism seemed misdirected to you …

Well, I could be wrong I guess, … But I just finished watching “Finding Dori” with my family and it’s impossible to think bad thoughts about anybody after watching that. You’re stuck with me, man!


(Mike Carney ) #15

what was said, that a university biology class assumes evolution, all life shares cellular structures, cell chemistry, and the closer mammals get to us, the more similar we are. The point is, do you imagine one day your children will take a university biology class? Geology is similarly unrelenting about the age of the earth, the appearance of different stages. Either they drop out or the follow the evidence. then what becomes of their belief. Is it essential to the message of Jesus? the morality that you encourage them to practice? i wanted my children to go that direction. i did not give my chldlren a smooth theological explanation of how that meshes with the Bible. I did give my example, regular church, find opportunities for community service, try to follow Jesus, but evolution is in geology, to satisfy curiosity. it should not shake your faith.

i am a professional engineer. have seen theories tested - gravity, fluid mechanics, inertia, lot of theories allow us to manage the world, When you say theory of evolution, it helps under stand life, biology, geology, and more. i expect people to argue with my engineering judgement and not get angry. but i don’t find such detachment in the population at large.

as to how it might work. go to museums. maybe there is adult ed classes you could take together. someone else lays out the story, you can discuss.
in a safe manner because someone else owns the arguement and you can both laugh at his/her mannerisms
i really like marriages to stay together. and i really want children to have a chance. do not see a smooth argument guaranteed to work.
separate the two. Jesus from science. Jesus is about compassion, science is about curiosity.


(Greg Rogers) #16

Thanks Chris: I can see how this came across a bit hard and callous and I am sorry. Without excusing myself from the sin of unlovingness in this bantering, I still cannot wrap my brain around how a group that claims to be a Christian group can advertise for Nat Geo which is holistically godless, naturalistic and brazenly arrogant in their unprovable proclamations about evolution and others and then on the other hand call groups like AIG -essentially-unreasoning fools who are ruining people’s chances of coming to Christ because they pay no regard to true science.

I sense in you every indication that you are in Christ. I can call you brother. But you are a single person and I remain very convicted about the direction that TEs are trying to steer the church. I liken this to the evolution of a church we attended years ago that tried to convert to a “culturally relevant” church that turned Scripture study and worship into world history and entertainment. The Sunday, our Lord’s Day, when the sermon prop was a scene from “Wedding Crashers” I knew it was time to the move the family on. And I knew that God was doing a work to change things and He did big time with a wrecking ball action.

Just being honest. I wish this black and white writing could reveal the love I have behind the conviction in my heart about the seriousness of this issue.

I am in the midst of quite a bit of trial…one of the hardest months on record for this Rogers’ family…have a guy who won’t pay a huge paycheck at the tail end of a project we spent a lot of time on and I cut a tendon in my hand…others. I have wanted to attempt contact with this Ed Conrad about the human fossils he found in Carboniferous but just not time amidst all the chaos! And God is still good and I believe He is going to honor the plain understanding of His Word from early Genesis. If and when, we do not want to be the guests at the table who based our intellectual deservingness for taking the best seat at that table to be instead embarrassingly ushered to the back because of a lack of faith which is always founded and defined by God’s precepts and promises in none other than the Bible.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #17

Hi Greg,

Let me clarify.

First off, thank you for addressing my comments. That in itself is progress. And also, good day to you. I hope you have a good Lord’s day with your family.

Now as to the allegation of slander. Please understand: Everyone is entitled to his opinion. Many anti-EC people have come here to the Forum before you, and many have been quite strident in their presentation of their views. One in particular was with us for a long time and was keen on talking about rabbit fossils in the Cambrian until everyone was at their wits’ end. But you know what? I never called him a slanderer. We could never agree on the evidence, but (now, others may correct me, but) as far as I remember he generally steered away from ad hominem commentary. There has been a slow but steady stream of such YECers (and other various folks like one who called himself a “Changing Earth Creationist”; don’t ask…) over the 1-2 years I’ve participated here.

What I find galling is not that YOU YOURSELF disagree with the evidence. And by the way I’m willing to apologize for my allegation that you haven’t spent time looking at the evidence. Apparently, you have put some time into this, and you merely disagree with the evidence you were presented, for various reasons. That’s fine, and that’s your prerogative. So please don’t play the persecuted martyr card here and pretend that I am tarring you for the high treason of not kowtowing to Big Evolution’s wishes. That’s a nice story, but it’s not what’s going on here. No: You are free to believe differently than me and I will not call you names. (…even if I disagree strongly.) Please understand this.

What I find galling is that you continually portray OTHER PEOPLE as being little sycophants running after the accolades of Harvard professors, eager to twist our time-honored faith once handed down to the saints to suit the fancies of the spirit of the age, drooling over research dollars, happy to treat the Bible lightly and to exalt science to the position of Ultimate Arbiter of Truth.

Everything I have bolded here implies negative things about your brothers and sisters in Christ, but most especially the talk about “appeasement.” This implies that people have not done their homework and are more concerned with what others think than with what God thinks. You have been saying similar and worse things about us ever since you started on this Forum. What this fails to recognize is that most of us, if you listen to our stories, have suffered considerable social consequences in our dearest Evangelical social circles and sometimes in our families for what we believe. With some notable exceptions, we have spent most often many years in a slow and painstaking engagement with the evidence both scientific and Biblical in order to arrive at the position we find ourselves in today. But no, if you listened to Greg Rogers, you would think we just up and decided one day that science trumps the Bible and that whatever is modern and hip and fashionable must be more correct than those silly authors of the Bible. And we did that not because of any evidence but because we were tired of fighting the good fight, because we wanted above all to be relevant, because we didn’t want to lose our tenure or not get published, because we were starstruck by Richard Dawkins.

THAT is slander.

In my ideal world, I’d like to hear something like this: “I see what you mean, AMWolfe. You know what… I don’t know you and honestly I don’t understand why someone who has committed to follow Jesus above all else would accept ideas that seem to me to be completely opposed to the Bible, but I’m hearing what you’re saying and I’m willing to stop talking in this way about brothers and sisters I disagree with. I understand that it took most Evangelical evolutionary creationist folks a lot of time and careful thought to come to this view, even though I still think they’re dead wrong. I realize that they think they’re continuing to honor the Bible above science, even though that seems, to be honest, pretty goofy to me. I’m willing to stop assuming they had bad motives in the choices they’ve made, because God calls me to love them as I love myself, and heck, I don’t want them talking about how I believe the way I do just because I’m fawning after my favorite rock star pastor and afraid of the condemnation of my fellowship and my family.”

Don’t worry, though; I won’t hold my breath.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #18

I just read this conversation with @Chris_Falter after writing my comment. I apologize for assuming that you wouldn’t apologize, and am heartened to see you speak in this way. I share a concern with the negative aspects of running after cultural relevance. Not only does the pursuit of cultural relevance contort our faith, but ironically, from all I’ve seen and read, the present generation is looking for authenticity and looking to root itself in tradition, so the search for cultural relevance is in fact self-defeating, as well as corrosive to the tradition of the Church.

I pray that the owner you’re working with pays his bills and that God will mercifully heal your injured hand. As I mentioned early on in your engagement here, I worked for several years in construction management and, while I was never a business owner myself, I can certainly empathize with the havoc that that wreaks on a company and on its owner’s family. May God lift you up and strengthen you and your dear family and bring you peace in the midst of these challenges.

Sincerely,
AMWolfe


(Lynn Munter) #19

Just earlier today, I happened to click on an AIG article to see what they had to say about the asteroid impact that marked the end of the dinosaurs. Quite casually in one sentence, they mentioned dinosaur tracks, some of which went uphill, which were probably from dinosaurs running from the flood.

Let’s think about this for a second. How are dinosaur tracks preserved? Usually, they dry out and are covered with other sediments. But how could they possibly have time to dry or even fail to be washed away if they were on a hill in a violent rainstorm? The fact that no one apparently thought this through at all before writing and publishing it on their website says a lot about their regard for true science.

Here’s a link which shows what a well-thought-through and supported argument should look like.

http://paleo.cc/ce/tracefos.htm

I’m not here to call anybody names or impugn their motives. But evaluating the strength and level of detail supporting their arguments, especially as regards science but also as regards their theological arguments, is not only good but vital to having a good, productive conversation which moves towards truth rather than spinning everybody’s wheels. I am sorry you had a bad experience at your old church, that sounds like they were not taking things seriously and I am sure that could not have been pleasant for you. Hopefully things will start to look up for you in the future.


(Andrew M. Wolfe) #20

Yup.

This is indeed laudable and appreciated.

Granted! However, I think you’ll agree that that fellowship is strained by a persistent disconnect where bad faith motives are constantly being assumed and projected, over and over and over again. N’est-ce pas?

Anyway, I appreciate your perpetual optimism, Mervin. :slight_smile: