Are you a Christian Who Accepts Evolution?

by cofty 85 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Ruby456

    oh please lets not start with playground level insults, whatsahllicalllmyself. I'm taking cofty's OP in a spirit of discussion and openness and it would be great if there was some acknowledgement that faith is the kind of virtue that we all practice and indeed that sometimes faith is misplaced/misleads and that this is so even for scientists. for those who are dogmatic anyway.


    if you identify as a christian but you have accepted that the diversity of life - including humans - resulted from a process of biological evolution could you add your name please?.
    just to be clear i am referring to the fact that our physical lineage could literally be traced back all the way to non-human species.. if you like maybe you could comment on why you see not conflict between evolution and your christian faith.. there is a tendency to conflate evolution with atheism.
    it would be good to show that this is not the case..

    after all many scientists do put supernatural elements into evolution when they insist that the basis of all life is physical stuff. for example, are we to assume implicitly that intelligence and imagination are supernatural? or are we to have faith that intelligence and imagination will one day be discovered to be physical stuff even if there is no evidence that this will so?

  • cofty

    Ruby - I disagree with everything you hve said and would like to explain why but not on this thread.

    Please don't derail it. Thanks.

  • WhatshallIcallmyself

    "...Their work is more objective and trustworthy particularly "...Ruby456

    Ruby this is what you said, thus demonstrating that you think personal bias influence scientific consensus. As I said this demonstrates your lack of understanding with regards to how science works and progresses rendering the rest of your idea pointless to respond to i.e. they are based on a false understanding of reality (based on your latest post, do you even understand what supernatural means?) and you should address that gap in your knowledge first.

    Hardly a playground insult...

  • cobweb

    millions of christians manage to live with the tension between their faith-based beliefs and an acceptance of the facts of science.

    People are able to hold two contradictory ideas in their head at the same time. We were JW's so we know this. It does cause cognitive dissonance though.

    The way i dealt with evolution as a JW was to not think about evolution, thereby reducing the dissonance. I knew evolution was something science accepted and it was at odds with my belief so that meant I had to not be too curious about it, not place much value on it. This is normal for JW's and its quite rare for a JW to really have any scientific curiosity. When a David Attenborough nature documentary was shown, I would mentally filter out the frequent mentions of evolution. It was necessary and i did it subconsciously.

    As you say, there are Christians who do manage to believe in evolution but I think either they must have to make some substantial compromises to their beliefs to make it hold together in their head, are willfully obtuse or ignorant about it, or they don't think too hard about evolution or science in general.

    I don't quite understand how it is possible to value both Science and Christianity highly because it is such a compromised position. How is it possible to truly value Science, the scientific method and believe in evolution while also base ones central core belief on a bronze/iron age book full of supernatural stories which has no evidence whatsoever and clashes with a lot of scientific evidence that exists?

    If one values the scientific method one will take an evidential approach to the world, recognise the cognitive biases and logical fallacies that humans are victim to and try to eliminate these in ones thinking. By recognising and seeking to eliminate these biases and logical fallacies, it follows that belief systems for which there is no evidence will not be valued.

    But I know you weren't talking about value for the scientific method, just about Christians accepting evolution, so i have gone away from your point somewhat.

  • Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho
    Wake Me Up Before You Jo-Ho

    @pseudoxristos Exactly right. You'd have to believe that for over 100,000 years, heaven looked down with indifference, watching homo sapiens flounder, suffering the most cruel existence (expectation of life: 25 years. Infant mortality: rife. Micro organism diseases: terrifying. Primary cause of death: teeth. Earthquakes and volcanoes: extraordinarily common. Fights over land, territory, food, and women: beyond frightening). And for 98,000 years, heaven remained cold and detached. And then, around 4,000 years ago, in really barbaric, backward, illiterate parts of the Middle East (not in China, by the way, where people could read or think or do science), heaven decides "We can't let this go on. We better intervene." And what better way to do so than via a human sacrifice and plagues and mass murder. Real logical thinking.

  • Vidiot
    cofty - "Most Christians don't understand soteriology in that way."

    Most people don't understand "soteriology" in any way.

    Not without looking it up, at least. :smirk:

  • jp1692
    Wake Me Up: once you accept that life evolved, you dismiss Adam and Eve ... [and] ... The whole house of cards collapses

    Wow! What a stunningly concise deconstruction of the fundamental flaws of the the Abrahamic religions' beliefs when examined in the light of a scientific, evidence-based worldview.

  • jp1692

    Actually, Christians DO accept that evolution happens. In fact, they accept a much more aggressive and rapid form of evolution than most biologists.

    Christians (of the fundamentalist stripe that hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible) believe that all of life's diversity came about after the Noachian Flood four thousand years ago. In contrast, evolutionary biologists believe that the same diversity of life is the result of ten million years or more of evolutionary processes.

    The real question is not: Does life change over time? Clearly it does.

    The real question is: How did life originate in the first place?

    Knowing Cofty, these comments and questions of mine may be taking the thread in a direction other than the one he intended.

  • jp1692

    Cofty: millions of christians manage to live with the tension between their faith-based beliefs and an acceptance of the facts of science.

    This is an interesting observation. Anecdotally, and from my experience, I believe there are a couple of reasons for this. One, many people just don't care that much. They don't even realize there are inherent conflicts and contradictions between different ideas and beliefs they hold. And if you point it out to them they don't care enough to consider it because none of it matters that much to them. (This is true for all kinds of differing beliefs, not just religious ones). Most people just aren't that interested in doing the hard work of thinking things through.

    For others, they have struggled with the conflict and have come to accept that sometimes there are things about which we will never have answers; and they have learned to live with ambiguity and unresolved conflicts. It certainly helps if they have abandoned a literal interpretation of the Bible as is clearly the case for many mainstream denominations of Christians.

    It is one sign of a mentally unhealthy worldview that we must have an answer for everything. Black-and-white, all-or-nothing thinking is not good in any frame or context.

  • cofty
    Christians (of the fundamentalist stripe that hold to a literal interpretation of the Bible) believe that all of life's diversity came about after the Noachian Flood four thousand years ago

    Which is outrageously anti-scientific. It is literally impossible for evolution to happen that fast and contradicts everything we know about the history of life on earth.

    The real question is: How did life originate in the first place?

    Why is this "the real question"?

    Christians who take a literalist view of scripture are a small minority - they tend to think they are the only true christians. The fact is that millions of christians accept biological evolution unequivocally and see no conflict with their faith. Francis Collins and Kenneth Miller are two good examples of christians who are also mainstream evolutionary biologists.

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