Following my comments here, is the full article by Karl Giberson (original column at blogs.usatoday.com) promoting the idea that evolution is compatible with Christianity. Which would lead me to the conclusion that Adam and Eve were not real, I suppose; and that we should not believe the account of creation, that God spoke everything into existence and created Adam and Eve the way Genesis tells it. Oh no, we need to have a more rational explanation for creation, and ignore what the word of God says. We came from apes, of course, and the creation story is just an allegory.
You can accept this evolution theory if you want, but I don’t agree with Dr Giberson. You can either believe in evolution, or you can believe God’s account of creation in Genesis. Either way, it would be nice if more Christian parents knew more directly whether there are any professors at their Christian school teaching evolution as being compatible with Christianity, so they can make informed decisions on whether they will send their children to that school or not.
For me, and many other Christian parents, this is really sad. To think that more and more professors at our own Nazarene universities and other Christian institutions, are basically saying, you cannot trust the Bible completely. They argue, like Giberson, that the fossil record is overwhelming, when in fact it is not. The evidence in creation itself is overwhelming that it came about from the hands of a creator being. The fact is, the evolution theory is full of holes, and constantly is trying to justify itself over time, as more assumptions often get dis-proven. In their haste to come up with more “evidence”, many evolutionists make leaps of faith, ironically, to come up with more evidence of evolution.
The evolution believing Christians bring up a strawman argument, as Dr. Giberson says below, “Putting modern scientific ideas into this ancient story distorts the meaning of the text, which is clearly about God’s faithful and caring relation to the world, not the details of how that world came to be”. Oh really? How did you come to that conclusion about the meaning of the text? From the light of the scriptures, I hope. The Bible claims that it is the word of God, so the word of God says that God created man and woman in the way that it is written. So where in the scriptures leads us to the conclusion that we should only believe certain parts of the Bible, and not all? I would also dispute much more of what Dr. Giberson says, such as: “The “science” undergirding this “young earth creationism” comes from a narrow, literalistic and relatively recent interpretation of Genesis, the first book in the Bible.”
Dr. Giberson laments the fact that in a recent Gallup poll, 47% of Americans believe that “that God created man in essentially his present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.” Let me add another survey result he did not mention: only 9 percent of the Americans asked said they believe that man has evolved from simpler forms of life by a purely materialistic process extending over millions of years.” Less than 1 out 10! I believe that this reflects the fact that even though most people are familiar with the theory of evolution, a vast majority of them do not believe it to be fact!
And let’s accept his claim that the vast majority of scientists, even the Christian scientists, believe in evolution. If so, that does not make it a fact at all. A consensus of opinion does not make something true, does it? Similar to the global warming hoax that has been dumped on us and sadly has fooled so many school children into believing than this planet will burn up in 10 years if we don’t do something.
Dr. Francis Crick, the co-discover of DNA, and an atheist, conceded “the improbability of life’s chance origin simply defies calculation. Crick, an atheist, said: “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle.” (Is God An Evolutionist? Dr. David Menton). The probabilities of the intricate operations of the eye and all that it does to process light and then allow someone to see, being a result of evolution, is unbelievably high. So high that a Cray supercomputer, would take at least 100 years to process and duplicate just part of what the eye does in a matter of a few seconds! Dr. David Menton goes into detail on thiat, and it is just fascinating to me, after reading it, that someone would still hold on to the evolution theory as fact. You can read his full article, Can Evolution Create An Eye?, at my blog, reformednazarene. You will be amazed at the information, and that is just one part of the creation all around us.
Here’s some questions for you then, Dr. Giberson, and perhaps many in leadership positions should be asked these as well, just to see where they stand:
1. Was Adam and Eve real? If yes, did they evolve, or were they created immediately into existence as in the Genesis account?
2. Jesus referred to Adam as a historical figure. Would Jesus deliberately mislead us like that? Should he not have referred to him as part of an allegory or parable?
3. Did the flood great flood occur? Did Moses part the Red Sea? Was Jonah swallowed up by a large whale or fish, and lived for three days inside? Which “stories” should I believe, and not believe? Is God able to perform miracles outside of the scope of human scientific understanding?
4. Romans also references Adam, and explains how sin and death came into the world through Adam. How is that so, if evolution came first, and all that violence and death from all those dinosaurs killing each other happened for millions of years before Adam? How do you reconcile that statement by Paul in Romans chapter 12?
5. Is it not a stretch to believe that the amazingly complex things in this world came as a result of millions of years of simple organisms “evolving” into extremely complex creatures, merely by chance? To think that something as complex as an eye, can just appear after millions of years, poof! just like that?
I’ll give you just one example to ponder on, which I was reading a few weeks ago, and that is the example of the complexity of the eye, and what it does. After you read Dr. Giberson’s opinion below (my comments are in red), look at this and then you decide what you believe: Can Evolution Produce An Eye?
Here are Dr. Menton’s comments near the end of his article:
| The implications of evolution
The Scriptures tell us that “by sin, death came into the world,” and that the “the wages of sin is death… ” Evolutionists, however, vigorously deny that sin has anything to do with death, but rather that death is natural. Life, they insist, would be impossible without death.
Certainly, evolution would be impossible without death. Death, in fact, has been called the “engine” of evolution. Carl Sagan said: “Only through the deaths of an immense number of slightly maladapted organisms are we, brains and all, here today.”
How foolish to think that the almighty and eternal Creator and Sustainer of the universe would have to bide His time, waiting for beams of staarlight to reach the earth.
Evolutionism inevitably breaks the relationship between sin and death, thus negating the need for a Savior who would save us from sin, death and the power of the devil.
Finally, when the Lord returns in glory on the Last Day, and the dead are raised from their graves, will scholars attempt one last naturalistic explanation for even this? Or will we finally concede that God does miracles beyond our understanding? Will we finally be still before the throne of God, and let God be God, though every man be found a liar? We will indeed! (Is God An Evolutionist?, from Issues, Etc, Dr. Davin Menton)
In conclusion, denying the historical account in the Bible will lead to doubting many other accounts in scripture, all based on human reason instead of trusting the scriptures for what it says. It opens up doubt in many minds, especially new Christians, whether any other parts of the Bible are true. If a professor or pastor is willing to say that only certain parts of the Bible are true, where did they get the authority to say that? And if that is the case, then why should I trust in any part of it? How can someone who does not trust the Bible completely, then go on and say to me that I can trust the rest? On what basis, their word? That is the thinking of man at work, believing that he is wise, instead of trusting the word of God. What is your choice today?
Karl Giberson Pushing The Evolution Religion At ENC
We believe in evolution — and God
Nearly half of Americans still dispute the indisputable: that humans evolved to our current form over millions of years. We’re scientists and Christians. Our message to the faithful: Fear not.
By Karl Giberson and Darrel Falk
The “conflict” between science and religion in America today is not only unfortunate, but unnecessary.
We are scientists, grateful for the freedom to earn Ph.D.s and become members of the scientific community. And we are religious believers, grateful for the freedom to celebrate our religion, without censorship. Like most scientists who believe in God, we find no contradiction between the scientific understanding of the world, and the belief that God created that world. And that includes Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
(Illustration by Keith Simmons, USA TODAY)
Many of our fellow Americans, however, don’t quite see it this way, and this is where the real conflict seems to rest.
Almost everyone in the scientific community, including its many religious believers, now accepts that life has evolved over the past 4 billion years. The concept unifies the entire science of biology. Evolution is as well-established within biology as heliocentricity is established within astronomy. So you would think that everyone would accept it. Alas, a 2008 Gallup Poll showed that 44% of Americans reject evolution, believing instead that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years.”
The “science” undergirding this “young earth creationism” comes from a narrow, literalistic and relatively recent interpretation of Genesis, the first book in the Bible. This “science” is on display in the Creation Museum in Kentucky, where friendly dinosaurs — one with a saddle! — cavort with humans in the Garden of Eden. (Good!) Every week these ideas spread from pulpits and Sunday School classrooms across America. On weekdays, creationism is taught in fundamentalist Christian high schools and colleges. (Good!) Science faculty at schools such as Bryan College in Tennessee and Liberty University in Virginia work on “models” to shoehorn the 15 billion year history (questionable) of the universe into the past 10,000 years.
Evolution continues to disturb, threatening the faith of many in a deeply religious America, especially those who read the Bible as a scientific text. (We should read the Bible as God’s word, as it says repeatedly over and over!) But it does not have to be this way.
Such challenges to evolutionary science are paradoxical. Challenging accepted ideas is how America churns out Nobel Prize-winning science and patents that will drive tomorrow’s technology. But challenging authority can also undermine this country’s leadership in science, when citizens reject it.
Darwin proposed the theory of evolution in 1859 in On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection. This controversial text presented evidence that present-day life forms have descended from common ancestors via natural selection. Organisms better adapted to their environments had more offspring, and these fitness adaptations accumulated across the millennia. And this is how new species arose.
In 1859 the evidence convinced many people, but not without challenges. Paleontology, the study of fossils, was new; no reliable way existed to determine the age of the Earth, and the physicists said it was too young to accommodate evolution; and Darwin knew nothing of genes, so the mechanism of inheritance — central to his theory — was shrouded in mystery.
But the biggest problem was dismay that humans were related to primates: “Descended from the apes? Dear me, let us hope it is not true,” allegedly exclaimed the wife of a 19th-century English bishop upon hearing of Darwin’s new theory. “But if it is true, let us hope it does not become widely known.” Uneasy Christians hoped the advance of science would undermine Darwin’s novel theory, which threatened their understanding of traditional biblical stories such as Adam and Eve, and the six days of creation. (The advance of science has undermined the theory of evolution, I believe evolutionists simply are ignoring the evidence!)
In the years since Darwin argued natural selection was the agent of creation, the evidence for evolution has become overwhelming. The fossil record has provided evidence of compelling transitional species such as whales with feet. The discovery of DNA now provides an irrefutable digital record of the relatedness of all living things. (The complexity of DNA is yet another piece of evidence that laughs in the face of the theory that such complex structures came about through random chance, even though the odss were in the trillions of numbers!).
And even the physicists have cooperated by proving that the Earth is 4.5 billion years old, providing plenty of time for evolution. (Can you document this proof? As you know, carbon dating can be wildly off in determining the age of rocks or fossils, and is not nearly an exact system as some might think).
Evolution is not the enemy
We are trained scientists who believe in God, (what about the trained scientists who thoroughly reject your evolution theory? What about them?) but we also believe that science provides reliable information about nature. We don’t view evolution as sinister and atheistic. (Well, it does reject, by logic, various parts of the Bible, including Jesus’s own words, and the biblical teaching that sin and death came through Adam. What about that?).
We think it is simply God’s way of creating. (”We think?”. How about being more sure than that before teaching this to students?).
Yet we can still sleep soundly at night, with Bibles on our nightstands, resting atop the latest copy of Scientific American. Are we crazy? (Do you want me to answer that?:-).
Evolution is not a chaotic and wasteful process, as the critics charge. (Many trained scientists think so).
Evolution occurs in an orderly universe, on a foundation of natural laws and faithful processes. The narrative of cosmic history preceding the origin of life is remarkable; the laws enabling life appear finely tuned for that possibility. The ability of organisms to evolve empowers them to adapt to changing environments. Our belief that God creates through evolution is a satisfying claim uniting our faith and our science. This is good news. (This is bad news; this is a rejection of the biblical account of creation, and a lack of trust in God’s word!).
We have launched a website to spread this good news (www.biologos.org) and — we hope — to answer the many questions those of faith might have. BioLogos is a term coined by Francis Collins in his best seller The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief. Collins, the Christian scientist who led the Human Genome Project, joined “bios,” or life, with “logos,” or word, from the first verse in the book of John in the New Testament.
The project aims to counter the voices coming from places such as the website Answers in Genesis, which touts creation scientists, and the Discovery Institute, a think tank in Seattle, that calls on Christians to essentially choose between science and faith. (Do you consider these “places” examples of crazy people, perhaps even crazy fundamentalists? It appears to me they are calling on Christians to either believe in the Bible, or not!).
We understand science as a gift from God to explore the creation, a companion revelation enriching the understanding of God we get from other sources, such as the Bible.
Many do not realize that making the Bible into a textbook of modern science is a recent development. (I think this argument is a strawman argument also; we just believe the Bible, period!).
Many biblical scholars across the centuries have not seen it that way, concluding instead that the biblical creation story is a rich and complex text with many interpretations. Putting modern scientific ideas into this ancient story distorts the meaning of the text, which is clearly about God’s faithful and caring relation to the world, not the details of how that world came to be.
(Another strawman argument, because the meaning of the text, is what the text says!).
What we learn from science cannot threaten our belief in God as the creator. If God created the universe in a Big Bang 15 billion years ago, guided its development with elegant mathematical laws so that eventually there would be big-brained mammals exploring things such as beauty, morality and truth, then let us celebrate that idea, not reject it.
(So you believe in the Big-Bang also? An incident which itself defies a couple of the very laws of science that even you and I agree with, such as the second law of thermodynamics? How can that be?).
Karl Giberson is a professor at Eastern Nazarene College, co-president of the BioLogos Foundation and author of Saving Darwin: How to be a Christian and Believe in Evolution. Darrel Falk is a professor at Point Loma Nazarene University, co-president of the Biologos Foundation and author of Coming to Peace with Science: Bridging the Worlds Between Faith and Biology.
“The entirety of Your word is truth, And every one of Your righteous judgments endures forever.” Psalm 119:160