Is it dangerous to teach evolutionary theory to children?

Thanks. The Nat Geo clip that is highlighted in Biologos front page about whale evolution…I watched only about 10 minutes and in 10 little minutes found it to be incredibly and painfully unscientific. Notice how these scientist described an entire whale evolutionary tree based on fossilized skull…the language that was used to describe the wolf sized animal was incredibly unscientific. Listen to it sometime. He says, “I think it would have had four limbs” “It probably had short fur” And yet the documentary goes on to describe how this animal, which according to the first minutes only had a fossilized skull, was indeed a pre-whale!

If historical science is truly a seeker of truth, then why would this language be such? Why didn’t the paleontologist recommend options for the placement of such a skull? Could it have been a small whale skull that found its way onto land that was once under water? Or could it be a whale like creature that was caught by a carnivore and whose skull was placed where it was found? And why not discuss the reason for the difficulty of fossilization in the first place…how rapid burial via things like flood waters is best for encouraging such fossilization.

For Nat Geo, since the idea of fully functioning animal kinds created by God is not in the realm of possibility in their naturalistic minds, it will fudge evidence to fit the worldview they already subscribe to. They are NOT seekers of truth. They have already subscribed to the only TRUTH they know and that is naturalism. And some want me, a Christian who subscribes to a view that God created kinds with the ability to adapt, swallow and accept these views hook line and sinker??

The other arguments that are on the biologos front page of their website for evolution are also troubling. I live in an 1,950 sq foot house that is framed with 2x4 construction and sided with cedar and I live in a very average community. There are 10,000 sq foot mansions in a neighboring community literally right next door to our community that are also stick framed with brick veneer. Do these two sick framed houses with different sizes and different veneers mean that they must therefore reside in the same community? From this, similarities on bone structure between various species does not logically conclude that they evolved from the same community either. Same with the conclusions about genetics…assumption after assumption to bolster more credit to man and his ability to interpret history and less to God who knows it.

Hi Greg,

I just prayed for you and your family. I am asking that God would provide for all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus, and bring healing to that tendon.

Oh, I am quite sure there will be plenty of construction contractors ahead of me there. And firefighters. And middle-school teachers. The list could go on.

I am just trying to invest the talents God gave me, which happen to be in areas like math, data analysis, and science.

I know you have read I Peter 1:5 before, Greg. We are trying very hard to live this out faithfully:

“make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge”

God’s Word does not say that we should choose faith instead of knowledge. Anyone who claims that we need to choose between faith and knowledge does not understand I Peter 1:5. Would you agree with that, Greg? Neither does it affirm those who would replace faith with knowledge…and trust me, the Christians here at Biologos are not trying to do that. We know that some folks do that, and our hearts grieve. We are endeavoring to obey God’s Word: on a foundation of faith, we are adding goodness, knowledge, and the other virtues.

Now here is where I have to disagree with you, Greg. It is possible, and consistent with I Peter 1:5 many of us in the church should be actively working on this very question.

Your statement also suggests to me that you are still building an understanding of what physics says about time. For example, it is not quantum mechanics that speaks to our perception of time, but relativity. And according to relativity, a frame of reference that is moving at a stable velocity has a stable perception of time. Here on the earth, we are in a stable frame of reference as we revolve around the sun, one lap every 365 days or so, and as the solar system revolves around the black hole at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Thus we can reliably measure time in our frame of reference for as far back as the first revolution of the earth around the sun. The earth has circled the sun about 4.54 billion times.

Wish I had time to write more, but I need to get ready to worship at my church this morning. Blessings on you and the Rogers family!

It takes incredible arrogance for you to decide on our ranking at the end of the age.

Thanks Chris: Man was our Pastor hitting on all cylinders this am! God is a great God! hope you had a wonderful service in honor to our King as well.
A couple of things. The passage in 2 Pet I do not interpret as adding to our faith items like scientific knowledge. Instead, faith in some people can be weak and it can be strong in others and Biblical type of faith is ALWAYS defined upon the objective truths around God, His promises and all that is told us by His spokesmen. Show me where you see different? So a weak faith is one that might depend on unbiblical “knowledge” that, as one example, says get theological information in your brain for the pleasure of defeating others in arguments…period. That is a weak faith. A strong faith would depend upon true Biblical knowledge that says that information for information sake is stupid, but information for the sake of KNOWING God for the sake of worshipping Him in Spirit and in Truth is Biblical knowledge that can be trusted and hoped upon and faith is the assurance of things hoped for.

Faith comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God.

You assume incorrectly that this passage is referring to increasing our knowledge about how stuff works etc and I just don’t see this when wearing Biblical goggles that speak of Biblical knowledge. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”…and…“anything that does not come from faith is sin” Faith for the tv preachers is mustering internal energies of positivity for gaining a promotion…Biblical faith is always trusting correct information about God and His precepts combined with trusting it in a way and in the heart motice that is pleasing to God and uplifting to His name…which brings great joy!

About the age of the earth-how sure are you on this declaration? are you 80% sure? 90%? 100%? Time is tricky. It is relative in the scheme of God’s order. I would never ever catch myself making such a declaration when I was not there when God created the heaven and earth and neither were any of us. The idea that God has always existed and exists outside of time is so mind boggling that our interpretation in age issues should be utterly humbly reserved with caution instead of declared with confidence.

Well, my intent was to point to all people, myself included, who tend towards declaring what occurred x number of millions of years ago based on a lot of assumptions. I have endlessly declared on this website that I remain an agnostic towards scientific observations and more trusting of the Word of God that was written by His prophets and apostles who were willing to not only go against the grain of cultural trend and worldliness but who were also willing to die on behalf of God who gave them precepts to share with the world.

If God sent a messenger to ask me how He created life to see what I would say. I would tell them that I lean away from mainstream science because they don’t want to acknowledge the King in anything “scientific” because they say that science cannot tolerate this idea. I would tell them that I lean towards God’s Word when it says that God created kinds. And I would tell them that all of the details in between I just cannot say because I was not there when God created the heavens and earth!

The passage I refer to suggests that those who take the best seat in the house rely on self confidence and self justification and self assurance that causes them to so quickly take that best seat. A gospel oriented individual who neither swaggers or snivels will gladly be willing to take the worst seat because any seat before a Great God is a good one. And he will gladly take a back seat because they are opening a front seat to the confident ones in order for them to find true humility and grace in such a good grace before our God. .

Thanks. It is crazy…God is in the business of humbling and disciplining His servants because He loves us!
So this guy who owes me over $14,000 and is attempting to get out of paying any of this would so severely hurt my family well-being…we live just in an average life financially and this really hurts…Anyway, so I graduated on to another job (after the guy maliciously accused me of wrong doing to justify non payment (first time getting fired in 22 years) that I am working feverishly in order to gain enough work and make up for time lost in order to pay the bills that are being disrupted…And what do I do? I was using a utility knife using my non-dominant hand to cut insulation off a wire and the knife plunged into my dominate hand’s wrist -and DEEPLY. I immediately lost feeling in my thumb and lost the ability to move my thumb backwards fully…I was told by a hand specialist that I needed surgery to repair the severed tendon.

Meanwhile, I have unpaid bills and now, since I rely on my right hand significantly in my work, I would lose another month of work!

But my God is a great God anyway and this has caused me to trust Him more. I trust His Word that says that He cares for us in all situations. I trust he will bring this person to justice. And I did not get that surgery and am trusting Him to help my hand recover as I continue to work slightly lame in my right hand with a partially working thumb…it will potentially be a reminder until I die that this is only a temporary tent we live in!

I know that this is not related to evolution. the only part that may is my wife and my conversation with the resident MD student who stitched me up who said how frustrating it was to him to have 100k in education when he is already seeing some of it plunge into the heap pile as scientific information changes in medical sciences! If science changes in the present, how in the world does it remain so firm about what occurred millions and billions of years, I thought.

I agree with you Lynn. Not well thought through. Neither was the Nat Geo video on whale evolution. Neither would be the thought that a dog looking creature that breaths through its mouth evolves into a swimming creature that somehow develops a wind tunnel through its head/back for more efficient breathing…and all by the power of the sun via the processes of natural selection??
I don’t know about you, but this idea is so absolutely and profoundly dumb to me. (please take this not as slanderous but for the sake of thinking through this issue.) Say a whale like creature is breathing through its mouth for awhile…what force causes it to evolve a working wind tunnel through its blow hole? How are the incremental steps that lead to such an item even make sense? …Unless it was designed! A partially formed blow hole passage is of no use to the whale to even scale it on the natural selection cycle…yet science wants to take this nonsense (in my mind) for granted because the God of miracles and transcendence is not allowed in the mainstream science classroom. And then anytime a Christian creationist enters one of these science classrooms, then are ridiculed and labeled as utter idiots. So why appeal to them when we can appeal to the Word of God and the church that stands on it which gives some information about God as creator and leaves a lot out… in order to have wonder and worship of our God who stands outside our realm in mystery and transcendence.

I am breathing through a wind tunnel in my head right now. So is my dog. In fact, just about every mammal I can think of has one: nostrils are very ordinary!

And that’s all a blowhole is: nostrils which have gradually moved up the head until they’re on top rather than near the mouth. I am sorry the Nat Geo program you watched did not mention this in the first ten minutes, but if you were to look up whale blowholes, I’m sure the information would not have been obscure for long.

Tell me, what do you think of the passage in Genesis where God tells the earth to bring forth living creatures of every kind: is this meant to be read as a conflicting statement with the one that follows, that God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind? Or are they two different ways of describing the same thing?

@grog

And yet,here you are, in the one place in the English speaking world known for promoting God’s use for evolution to accomplish His designs.

So how is it that you reject the BioLogos message so?

Your solution is that God did it … and for many of those BioLogos supporters like me, that is my solution as well.

And My solution also explains why all the fossils for whales don’t appear in the same sedimentary rock layers that the fossils for marine dinosaurs appear in.

You have zero explanation for this.

@grog

I think it’s time that you adopted the BioLogos position… it’s the only one that makes any sense.

@Grog,

I don’t think you have a leg to stand on with this objection. All bones fit within a spectrum … sometimes the spectrum is made more complex because we are comparing juvenile versions of an adult configuration.

But if you know Anything about anatomy, a skull is incredibly diagnostic… and provides multiple points for comparison… from type of food eaten, to how the animal balances the head based on its connection to the neck.

Greg, you are just shooting from the hip anything that comes into your mind. And it is pretty much incorrect.
Please stick to what you understand.

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Hi Greg,

Thanks for the gracious reply in a different post. Yes, we had the privilege of honoring our God and King this morning. He was there in His Word, in His Spirit, and in His body.

Here I think you are not fully familiar with a branch of science, this time about biology. Did you know these facts?

(1) Whale embryos have 2 nostrils in the usual location for mammalian embryos, at the tip of the snout. As the baby whale develops inside the mother whale, the nostrils move toward the top of the head. The bottom row of images demonstrate this happening in the various embryonic stages of a whale:

In some species of whales, the odontocetes or toothed whales, they merge to form a single blowhole. In others, the baleen whales, they remain separate, and the adult whale has a pair of blowholes.

(2) When paleontologists examine the fossilized skulls of cetaceans, they observe a gradual movement of nostrils toward the top of the head. Here is a summary of what they have found:

(3) As points 1 and 2 demonstrate, biologists and paleontologists are not relying on a single skull from 60 million years ago as evidence of the evolution history of whales. They have enormous amounts of data that can be classified in nine different lines of evidence. That National Geographic video did not have the goal of discussing all of the evidence behind that evolution; the goal of the video was to discuss the one fossilized skull from 60 million years ago. So I understand how you might have gained the wrong impression.

To give you a better understanding of all of the evidence, I offer you a link to a discussion of the nine different lines of evidence.

Again, that is not nine pieces of evidence, but nine lines of evidence. Each line has a very large body of evidence.

If you have any questions about the nine lines, feel free to ask more questions. I am not an expert on cetacean evolution, but I would be happy to help dig up answers to any questions you might have.

I see no indication that the apostle Peter limited knowledge to just one kind of knowledge, and not the whole realm of knowledge. I think you are making an assumption about the passage that is not there. Certainly knowledge would include theological knowledge, but why would it not include knowledge about the creation God made, or even knowledge about transistors, and history, and literature? So I invite you to show me where I might have overlooked, perhaps in the verse before or the verse after, an indication from the apostle Peter that he was only (under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) speaking of a narrowly limited type of knowledge, and not the whole realm of knowledge.

Blessings,
Chris Falter

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Here’s a metaphor for you: 30% conceptual drawings and artistic sketch from the architect with the little people drawn on them for visualization purposes are not the same as plan details that tell you you need a double mat of #4 rebar with rebar every 12" o.c. and a mix design with a 6" slump, right? One of these is conceived to inspire an owner and help him think about the kind of building he wants to create. The other is conceived to help a technician to know exactly what materials to procure and how they fit together, in order to make for a structurally sound building.

When you watch a highly polished National Geographic video, what you’re seeing is an at-a-glance presentation of years of painstaking science boiled down to soundbite length for a popular audience. Just like a tradesman can’t actually build a complicated $20M ground-up commercial building with nothing but 30% drawings, you can’t reconstruct everything that those scientists did based on a National Geographic video. You’re not seeing the years of research and meticulous analysis and peer review (not to mention the PhD training prior to that) that went into the research behind that video. You’re just seeing the barest of sketches of the facts, just enough to inspire young minds — it wasn’t even created to convince a staunch YEC person. So please don’t suppose that you understand how they came to those conclusions.

Mind you, I haven’t watched the video, and I say that with apologies, because where I live the internet is extremely expensive and our family has a policy not to stream videos.

And here I see that your apology to Chris earlier was merely for show.

You don’t know that about the folks at National Geographic. You don’t know to what degree that they’re seeking truth, any more than they know that about you. Are you treating them as you would have them treat you? How would you like it if they said that about you, Greg, that you clearly aren’t seeking after truth? … I mean, given that you’re here pronouncing the foolishness of all their research on the basis of poorly conceived metaphors to the construction trades and overweening confidence in your interpretation of scripture?

Nobody said that, at least not that I saw. We (or I’ll speak for myself: I) just want you to give the evidence a fair hearing before you go on tarring your evolutionary creationist brothers and sisters as overeager compromisers. Look, I recognize that you’re a busy guy. I am too, and honestly if the tables were turned and you were saying, “Hey Wolfe, you need to read this 100-page book by Todd Wood before you claim to know what YEC folks today believe,” then I would be telling you how busy my life is and how I don’t even have time to read books for my professional development, let alone as a curiosity about Young Earth Creationism.

So feel free to say, “I don’t have time to read more than I’ve already read about evolution.” That’s a fair response. But continuing to slander your brothers and sisters in Christ the way you’ve been doing (along with good folks at National Geographic who may or may not be Christian but are trying to faithfully represent what they know about nature)… isn’t really.

Just my $0.02. Have a good rest of your Lord’s Day. With everything you’ve got going on, I pray that it’s restful for you.

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I am grateful as usual for your gracious and helpful reply, not merely tone policing (as I have done) but informing. I really should always check and see if you’ve already replied before I hit that “Reply” button to post… :slight_smile:

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What a very nice, comprehensive and compelling posting, @Christ_Falter

Truly well done!

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Good job. When it comes to whale evolution we have an embarrassment of riches in the way of evidence.

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God is not a God of confusion. The suggestion that a dog like creature with nostrils and mouth attached to a wind pipe on the front of his face transitioning to a swimming creature that has the ability to complete alter the pathway of its windpipe through naturalistic processes powered by the sun to the top of its head is completely and total unreasonable and confusing. If a evolutionary theist would suggest that God was there manipulating design all along the way by miraculous intervention after miraculous intervention, there could be more reason for this. This may be Biologos. But as the theory of evolution stands as taught in secular environments, this abandons logic, abandons sense, abandons reason and is confusing. I am not attacking you. I am attacking a godless model of nonsense that (as my opinion) is foolish just to take at face value then paste some God semantics upon and call it truth.

I have said this before-if God was intervening in evolutionary processes with significance-such as in the example of the altering of wind pipe to a different part of the whales body, then the use of science becomes even more cheap than for the creationist who believes that God created kinds in the beginning with the ability to adapt in a natural environment. It becomes cheap because if God is intervening in processes of evolution in every step of development, then science will always be confused about how to interpret existence. Isn’t that interesting? When science is placed as ultimate, it develops unreasonable models. And when unreasonable models have God semantics pasted to them, science becomes cheap and ineffective because one will be confused with where God started and where God ended His processes of development.

I learned evolution in 3rd and 4th grade. It had zero effect on my faith, and I never worried about it until 7th or 8th grade when some people in my church attacked the theory while misunderstanding science. I re-accepted evolution in 9th grade I think, and life just moves on. I can’t say evolution hurt my childhood faith, and I still have faith in Jesus.

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I have a big fat ZERO understanding about how God created all of life minus the plain language that God create kinds of animals and that God created the first humans-Adam and Eve, “the mother of all of creation” God is CREATOR. This theme of God the CREATOR thread runs through the entire Bible. Evolutionary concepts that are developed like as posed in that Nat Geo video are putting together false theories and calling them fact that necessarily push God as CREATOR out of the scene. And they fail the test of reason, they fail the test of thermodynamics, they fail the test of adequate fossil records proving their theories. Why couldn’t we Christians all agree to be simply agnostics to man’s ability to observe with accuracy the terms of our development and trustworthy of God’s Word, leave it at that and then reach the world with the gospel and with love? God will reveal the details on how He created in whole when we get to heaven.

You misunderstand. I am talking about placement of the skull in the rock. So a guy finds a whale like looking skull in the rock and then assumes that since it is on rock and not the bottom of a sea bed that it had to have legs and thus the predecessor to the whale…watch the video-this is what this guy does. They find a skull on the side of a hill, assume it had legs and fur and develop the entire mapping of the whale evolution from this! That is not what I call honest science.

Perhaps I am missing something, but this is exactly what I see in just the first 10 minutes of this program. I chose to turn it off because of the poor scholarship…35 more minutes I 'd be losing brain cells.

But even if such an animal’s skull fossil did have a full body consisting of legs, this is still not enough to convince me that it is a predecessor to the whale. I understand that fossils are rare and all, so why not use more humility before just blurting out a full scale evolution model based on a skull!

You’ve said this a couple times now, so let’s look at what it means. The food we eat is powered by the sun. Wheat seeds are planted, sprout, and through the well-understood process of photosynthesis, grow into tall plants with many more calories than the original seed contained. This is a “naturalistic process powered by the sun.” And yet, Jesus also taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread…”

Must we choose between a natural process and God giving us bread? Must we say that if one is right, the other must be wrong? Or can we understand that both are true?

And would it be fair or right to say that, just because you personally found photosynthesis confusing, it must not be part of God’s creation? I would hate to live in a world where that kind of argument carried weight. The fact is, many people do not find evolution confusing or nonsensical at all, myself among them. I hope you will take advantage of the excellent information about whale evolution that others have provided. I hope that you will ask questions about evolution with an open mind and make the effort to learn the answers.

Nobody is paying me to say that it is a beautiful, well-considered theory with answers to a great many of the questions you assume are arguments against it.

“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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