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Why is there religious disdain for evolution?

Personally, I'm not a religious person, but I was raised going to church. As a child, I attended every Wednesday and Sunday and I listened to what the pastor and others involved with the church had to say. This post isn't intended to attack anyone's belief system. Rather I am interested in getting honest answers to an honest question.

Why is there so much religious disdain regarding the principles of evolution? And please, finish reading and genuinely consider what I have to say before hastily responding.

One thing I noticed from my experience with religion is that very few people take every story in the Bible literally. A good example is that of the Tower of Babel. The people wished to build a tower tall enough to peak into heaven. The story goes:

And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.

And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded.

And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech.

So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city.

Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

If one were to take this seriously, would god have allowed the space program, for instance? What about the Hubble Space Telescope?

Given, that some of the stories cannot be taken absolutely literally (which does not forbid them from containing important philosophical lessons), why could evolution not be the creation tool used by god? Further, why should the timescales of a supernatural being be of the same duration as that of yours and mine? For instance, why couldn't 7 "god" days translate to billions of human years?

I recall the old saying, "God works in mysterious ways." Couldn't this be one of those instances? Are you privy to the exact methods used by god?

Do you believe in free will? For instance, do you believe that you could just quit doing anything at all and god would take care of you? Or, do you believe another adage, "God helps those that helps themselves" - which implies the existence of free will?

From considering the big picture, how is free will that much different from evolution? Both are questions of does god control everything absolutely with no wiggle room, or is there room for variation?

With the above in mind, why does evolution have to be incompatible with your religious faith?

Please respond honestly without flaming. Besides, flaming causes high blood pressure.




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GoodSamaritan's picture

Their arrogance

prevented them from obeying God's clear command in Genesis 1:28 to "Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth..." Instead, they were determined to stay in one place and exalt themselves, as you indicated. By confusing their language (but mercifully keeping family groups together), God forced them to disperse as He had commanded.

Ron Paul - Honorary Founding Father

Historical Duplicates of Biblical Events

The following link:
http://dyzio.weebly.com/uploads/2/5/6/7/25676019/5713975_ori...
is a diagram showing two the so-called `dynasty functions' (consecutive rulers and the time-span of their reins), one for the Holy Roman-German Empire (911-1307) and the another one for Jewish Kingdom according to Bible (around 900 BC). Please notice the striking similarities between these two graphs that cannot be random. Clearly, this graph indicates that something must be wrong: either our historical records are corrupted or the Bible itself is corrupted.
In my opinion personal believes are too intimate matters to be discussed in open, especially when we try to support them by claims referring to uncertain resources (such as scriptures). From that point of view it is hard to admit that "evolution" constitutes any other than academic problem. Since scientific theories have tendency to evolve, sometimes very drastically, I am not especially worried about their explanations, which usually change quickly. What worries me is the anger that is generated in this type of discussions.

The above picture and many more similar graphs can be found in the book by A.T. Fomenko: "Empirico-Statistical Analysis of Narrative Material and its Applications to Historical Dating", Kluwer Academic Publishers. 1994.

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
Bertrand Russell

Part of the...

...trouble theologically is to square a world of savage blood, tooth and claw with God initially pronouncing this Creation as 'very good'. It is linked to the overall 'problem of pain' that believers attempt to address in one fashion or another.

As a believer, the only way I can square a God of Love with a world of pain and suffering (which an omniscient God would fully realize in advance) is that it is an overall process of spiritual evolution which results in complete eventual victory over such struggle for all Creation. It is the Platonic journey of becoming, from the Forms into the idealized entities we are meant to be. I don't accept the idea, though, that God is operating some kind of horrendous eugenics program, where He selects some favored specimens and destroys or eternally torments the rest. A God of Love would have more of a 'leave none behind' approach, patiently working to fashion even the hardest spiritual case into a radiant heir of the King.

My faith in a loving God does not rest on there being no messy process -- but a messy ending would mess it all up from my perspective. :) I believe and see scriptural, logical and philosophical evidence that the end of the story (or chapter maybe?) will be 'very good' indeed.

Actually many young earthers

support fast evolution (ie fast change over time eg Poecilia reticulata), speciation, genetic shift, natural selection, mutations, and Mendelian genetics.

Biblical Creationists are young earthers, but not all y.e. are

Bible-believing, as your comment seems to describe.

When the description, "after their kind", was used before the modern term, "species", was coined; a clear pattern of certain natural boundaries showed REAL scientists that mutations ONLY occur WITHIN those set boundaries. Despite wild secular-religious and pseudo-scientific theories, no one has ever found anything that they could convince even their secular peers of.

Their faith says, Someday, They Will find that Undeniable Piece of Evidence! Until then, they'll continue to build more elaborate schemes of how it could have happened their way; less doubtful, maybe, than others.

"And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:21

"And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good." Genesis 1:25

"Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come unto thee, to keep them alive." Genesis 6:20

"They, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle after their kind, and every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind, and every fowl after his kind, every bird of every sort." Genesis 7:14

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

I'm not ascribing speciation to mutations

And many young earth creation scientists equate 'Genesis kinds' to the family level of Linnaean taxonomy. And thank you for your Scripture citations. A small cautionary on the translation for Genesis 1:21 is in order since it relates to this topic. The text indicates "great monsters" and not the more modern species term "whales".

Here's Noah Webster, 1828, on "whales" and Darwin's quote

WHALE, n. G., to stir, agitate or rove.
The general name of an order of animals inhabiting the ocean, arranged in zoology under the name of Cete or Cetacea, and belonging to the class Mammalia in the Linnean system. The common whale is of the genus Balaena. It is the largest animal of which we have any account, and probably the largest in the world. It is sometimes ninety feet in length in the northern seas, and in the torrid zone much larger. The whale furnishes us with oil, whalebone, &c. See Cachalot.

Here is Darwin's quote, found in his first edition ONLY:

"In North America the black bear was seen by Hearne swimming for hours with widely open mouth, thus catching, like a whale, insects in the water. Even in so extreme a case as this, if the supply of insects were constant, and if better adapted competitors did not already exist in the country, I can see no difficulty in a race of bears being rendered, by natural selection, more and more aquatic in their structure and habits, with larger and larger mouths, till a creature was produced as monstrous as a whale."

http://darwin-online.org.uk/content/frameset?pageseq=202&ite...

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

Darwin speculated bears becoming whales with enough time

but in later editions, took out that speculation, without any note or explanation.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

"With enough time"

so as a y.e., I wouldn't ascribe speciation to Darwinism or NeoDarwinism.

Speciation is what Darwin's daring leap of faith was all about

spe·ci·a·tion
[spee-shee-ey-shuhn, -see-ey-] Show IPA
noun Biology .
the formation of new species as a result of geographic, physiological, anatomical, or behavioral factors that prevent previously interbreeding populations from breeding with each other.
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/speciation?s=t

There has never been enough time to allow for cross species transitions, simply because there has never been evidence to honestly look for it.

NO huge amount of time is needed to explain changes within every species, but no amount of time is justifiably needed to make extrapolations for Darwin's fanciful notions; because neither he, nor anyone since, has given us ANY proof of transitional creatures, beyond wide speculations, eh?

Faith in Random Chance Ascending to Intelligent Order, over Billions of Years; with No Evidence For, AND Much to the Contrary; is more faith than God would want any of us to place in anyone's so-called science.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

Yes my wording is not clear

What I'm saying is that we have speciation occur quickly without the endless ages and intermediate forms postulated by Darwinism (eg horse and donkey produce mule).

Why is there religious disdain for evolution?

As a "religious" person, a Christian, I will answer by saying that there are different angles to observe:

1) Evolution by itself is not an issue. Organisms evolve. That's a scientific fact.

2) But as to "where did HUMANS come from," the THEORY of evolution is pure silliness and has zero scientific basis. It's obvious that it's a piece of propaganda put out by Satan (who is real, and who is the Adversary to Truth) to deceive people, to cause them to lose faith in their Creator.

God made man in His image. Thus God has a body of flesh and bones as we have. He has an eternal spirit body as well. Jesus had a spirit body before He was born (Ether 3:16). We all do.

Believing that man evolved from lower life forms strikes at the very core of WHO man is. As man is God once was, as God is, man may become.

We are literal offspring of God (Acts 17:29).

As spirit sons and daughters of God, our destiny is to become like God (Matthew 5:48), and to ultimately inherit all that He hath, as the parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us (Luke 15).

Satan seeks to undermine these simple truths by blinding those who haven't come to the knowledge of our true origin.

As far as how long was the creation of the earth and non human life, whether it was a week, or millions of years, does it matter? Certainly it makes sense it took millions of years, but that in no way nullifies the doctrine that we (Adam and Eve and all of us) are spirit children of our Heavenly Father, with Jesus Christ being the Only Begotten Child of God here on Earth.

"It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a rEVOLution before tomorrow morning." - Henry Ford

Evolution theory is transmutation of species, still no fact!

There is fossil and skeletal evidence of extinctions of species, and mutated differences within species that are still alive among us; but there has never been found evidence that shows a trans-species cross-over, no matter how many foundation and government grants are endowed to support their "unbiased" findings.

It's those pesky missing links, among MANY other things, that still keep all those folks with impressive scientific titles spinning to exhaustion with nothing scientifically-solid to display, eh?

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

Easy,,

To me, this whole discussion can be easily explained.
The stumbling block is man’s interpretation of time measure.
We base everything on man’s accepted time concept, which limits knowledge.

Darwin only made an observation of God’s “Tool Of Creation” being God’s time measure is greater than we can grasp. A second in God’s time may be a billion of our years.

Evolution is merely a tool of creation,,,

NOSHEEPLE

The problem with that

If you believe in Scripture is that it plainly says, and is plainly evident, that every species procreates its own kind. You do not get turtles from fish or antelope from mice or man from monkeys. Every creatures, or plants, seed bears its own kind. So evolution does not jive with Scripture no matter how time is measured.

If I may quote Robert A Heinlein

from his short story "life line"

"There are but two ways of forming an opinion in science. One is the scientific method; the other, the scholastic. One can judge from experiment, or one can blindly accept authority. To the scientific mind, experimental proof is all-important and theory is merely a convenience in description, to be junked when it no longer fits. To the academic mind, authority is everything and facts are junked when they do not fit theory laid down by authority. “It is this point of view— academic minds clinging like oysters to disproved theories— that has blocked every advance of knowledge in history."

in my personal opinion evolution very often appears to be only coming from the academic mind.

The intent of the builders of the tower of babel

The intent of the builders of the tower of bable is what got God's attention: "... let us "make us a name," Did they want the credibility of "access to heaven" on their resumes?
The Eastern coastlines of North & South America line up with Africa's Western coastline. Coincidence or strong physical evidence of being separated as described in the tower of babel story?

Even atheist Richard Dawkins admits intelligent design in DNA. We are all aliens "You are IN this world, but not OF this world.

http://youtu.be/DNuUrtrRY7E

Many astronauts are Christians. First Man On Moon; Buzz Aldren a Christian

http://youtu.be/bNv4tRDQ9HM

Read the entire Bible for yourself.
"God helps those that helps themselves" and "Cleanliness is next to Godliness." aren't from the Bible, they are man-created.

Galatians 5:1
It is for FREEDOM that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

God

Created the Heavens and Earth.

What is the fuss about?

donvino

Hi dwalters, question

I'm unclear on the thread purpose. Do you imply you are willing to follow the truth that can be found by observation, wherever it leads? Or are you merely proposing that "evolution should not be disdained" is an unquestionable axiom?

If you are looking to follow truth via observation, I would be surprised to find you holding to a steady-state or cyclical model when scientists seem to strongly support a big-bang or finite-past model. Y'know, God spoke and bang it happened. :) The list of hurdles for evolutionists to overcome has never been met (why is there something instead of nothing, life instead of no life, information instead of chaos, morality instead of amorality, etc.). If you know another way to short-circuit the laws of thermodynamics and achieve every one of these ends in a closed system (or a god-free open system, for that matter), please come to your point. Thank you.

A scientist finally told God he could do everything God claimed to do and was promptly challenged to build a man. The scientist started digging to assemble enough dirt but was interrupted by God saying, "No, go make your own dirt."

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

My overarching point was to demonstrate that

these types of issues could be discussed in a rational way without being dominated by emotionally driven diatribe.

As for the accepted model of the universe, it's an active area of research. While I'm neutral on the utility of String Theory, certain variants that have had success where other theories have failed are tending to point towards a cyclical model - for instance, Brane Theory. These are not just "wild guesses" either. Some of the most intelligent people in the world are involved in their development.

Agree with a kinder and wiser approach

Sometimes written text fails to tell others of our tone of voice, and we tend to typify folks in other camps as all being as awkward as some have been to us. You are asking, "Why is there", A)"religious disdain", and B)"for evolution?", right?

Your question sounds like you are lumping together creationist of all theological backgrounds, including agnostics, and asking why do they hold a common emotional fixation against evolution's calm, rational, reasonable theories?

No matter how many angles have been played with, and no matter how often new theories have been spun, folks with impressive scientific titles continue to cling to their pet theory-of-the-day, and disdain evolutionists of their peers, because the think their preferred theory is more believable than the other guy's, even if only slightly.

Biblical creationist are able to stand outside of evolution theory paradigms, and scientifically examine evidence without their religious limitations.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

You downvoted the definition of the scientific method...

... the basis of all reason and science. Yet, you want to discuss a topic "rationally". Hmmm...

God can do anything

So why can't he make a big bang and cells to form amoeba and anything to evolve into anything? That's the way I look at evolution. God made it happen.

Most of the stories in the Bible are just that. Stories. Lots of historical events really happened, but lots of the stories are told to teach.

The evolutionary conjecture of the "origin of life," to me

is questionable and highly speculative; much as the "big bang" theory is.

However, the integration of Mendelian genetics with Darwin's theory of natural selection has resulted in a prototypical theory of how species adapt and inherit different characteristics overtime which is scientifically valid, although incomplete. There is more that needs to be considered in regard to the evolution paradigm such as epigenetic inheritance and formative causation of systems.

Regarding Babel:

It's widely agreed that the tower in question was a Ziggurat, a form of Mesopotamian temple. The idea was that it was effectively a "stairway" to Heaven from which the gods would descend to interact with man. It was condemned for spiritual reasons, rather than anything else.

I would also like to add:

UPVOTE THIS MAN. The respectful tone and perfectly legitimate question deserves like responses. I disagree wholeheartedly, but this is a perfect example of how people can engage in respectful debate over religiously-sensitive topics.

Because...

...well, I can't really speak for anyone besides myself.

I take issue with capital-E Evolution (the overarching theory that everything came from a common ancestor) for mainly scientific reasons; namely, it doesn't make any sense.

See, anyone who believes in God is accused of having blind faith, but the same can be said about those who believe in Darwinian evolution and spontaneous generation. Observed? Nope. Provable? Nope.

Evidence for evolution:

Fossils - lots of fossils. Some of them appear to be intermediates between different species. This is cool supplementary evidence, but in and of itself is incapable of proving anything to any degree, because there's no way to prove that it is, in fact, an intermediate form.

Observed evolution - yep, we've seen speciation. Without fail it has been instances of a mosquito evolving into a new species of mosquito and similar things. Years of zapping bacteria and fruit flies has failed to produce anything other than bacteria and fruit flies.

In short, it's a perfectly legitimate hypothesis, but I really don't see how it qualifies as a theory; being referred to as a theory implies that it's supported overwhelmingly by objective evidence, but the objective evidence necessary is literally unobtainable by any means, even if it were possible.

In addition, there is the issue of spontaneous generation. Here's what we do know: life, invariably, comes from other life. There has never been a single observed instance of life coming from non-life. Secondarily, the very idea of spontaneous generation is so ludicrously improbable that by all rights it should be viewed as an unusually weak hypothesis. I believe it was Pasteur who scientifically debunked spontaneous generation of life, and nobody has yet debunked Pasteur.

Review:

Fossils provide fascinating supplementary evidence and possible insights into evolution IF evolution is assumed to be true, but cannot in any way prove or even indicate truth or falsehood about the theory itself.

Observed evolution is without fail extremely limited and cannot support the theory itself. The ability to "observe" evolution were it to happen is nonexistent due to time required.

Spontaneous generation of life is a prerequisite for DARWINIAN evolution. Spontaneous generation was debunked scientifically, has not been observed, -cannot- be observed, and appears to be quite impossible or at least astronomically improbable.

None of these are disputed by anyone on either side, I simply compiled the obvious.

Conclusion: Darwinian, unguided evolution is severely lacking in evidence, and should be regarded as an interesting hypothesis awaiting more support.

I don't think Darwinists or atheists are stupid; to think that would be stupid in itself. However, based on all available evidence, intelligent design makes more sense. Note that I.D. does not specify any deity; it merely states that an intelligence was required. This could be anything from God to Allah to Zeus to aliens to Nyarlathotep.

From a -purely- scientific point of view, Deism makes a good deal of sense. From there we're taken into philosophical and historical debate, which seems to me to prove Christianity, but that is dramatically outside the scope of this thread, so I won't elaborate.

How does fossil evidence and speciation,

speciation particularly, support intelligent design versus unguided evolution?

My bad!

I wasn't referring to fossils and speciation when I said that; I was referring to the fact that we've only observed life coming from other life.

My apologies, that was incredibly unclear.

Honestly, when it comes to origins, it's really "little evidence vs. less evidence." I just think the scientific community is - understandably to some degree - biased in favor of a purely naturalistic explanation, no matter how unlikely. To be fair, a few of them have acknowledged it, and I DO understand the argument that science deals strictly with nature, though, IMHO, I.D. as a basic idea falls within that realm.

That is true

It's the goal of science to describe everything in terms of accepted scientific principles and, when something comes up that cannot be explained, to seek more complete explanations.

It is my opinion that science and religion are completely different animals - and that one isn't necessarily levied against the other. Science deals with ascribing physical explanations to observed evidence whereas religion deals with subjects which concern morality and spirituality.

Besides, would the Bible have been such a hit if it read like a science textbook? And, how many papers could one publish in peer reviewed journals if they simply stated "God did it"?

Bingo.

And yet, I would also argue that they actively complement one another. Science is yet another way of revealing God, but in an abstract rather than direct way, the way looking at a painting reveals something about the artist. You're dead on about the Bible being primarily about morality and salvation (and a fair dose of history and poetry, too); besides, why should it be a science textbook when we literally have access to the entire world, THE greatest science book in existence?

The "we don't know therefore God" is generally acknowledged as a bad thing by everyone. There are exactly TWO physical events that the Bible says were from God and God alone - the creation of the universe and the creation of life. It never, EVER "assigns" anything other than very specific events to God. Example, God can use lightning, but lightning otherwise occurs by purely natural causes. It's a very easy trap to fall into, though.

In particular Abrahamic religions, historically, have actually worked together with science REALLY well, particularly Islam and Christianity, due to the fact that they ascribe an orderly, logical nature to God, and therefore to the natural world. Whereas most (Egypt being a notable exception) ancient cultures viewed the world as chaotic and run by fickle gods, Jews, Christians, and Muslims viewed it as a very orderly place that we can make sense of. Only recently have we seen this fake "conflict" between religion and science show up.

Seriously, I can't thank you enough for this thread, simply because OH MY GOSH, we CAN have a civilized discussion on the topic!