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Evolution and religion
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|A Gradual Science|
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Several creationists have argued that evolution is incompatible with religion, or at least their religion. Since they're scientific, logical people, they
reconsider their faith in the light of this evidence deny evolution.
- 1 Without a literal Fall, there is no need for redemption, and thus no need for Jesus or Christianity.
- 2 Problem of evil
- 3 Conservatism
- 4 See also
- 5 References
Without a literal Fall, there is no need for redemption, and thus no need for Jesus or Christianity.
- Precisely. We do not need Jesus or Christianity.
- Christians can agree on the problem of sin's existence without tracing that sin all the way back to a specific historical origin. That is, it is only important that sin exists now; how sin first originated is irrelevant. One does not need a belief in a literal Fall to feel they have sinned and need redemption or a savior.
- Some Christians believe that the initial chapters of Genesis exist primarily to teach theological and moral lessons. On this view, the entire purpose of the story of the Fall is to convey the need for salvation, regardless of the historicity of the events.
- Evolution does not interfere with the idea of a literal Fall - both can be true simultaneously without a contradiction as Adam and Eve could have been real, albeit special, people that sinned against God regardless of whether their origin is a special creation or evolutionary.
- The statement is true. If a certain religious belief is at odds with what is known about reality, then such a belief should be abandoned rather than the knowledge of reality.
- There is no reason that the Fall should be the only sin committed by an ancestor for which descendants are responsible. The children of murderers are not murderers unless they commit murder themselves, so why are the great-great-great-great-great-great-great....grandchildren of people who did something much less bad than murder born allegedly deserving of damnation?
Fallacies contained in this claim
- Argument from adverse consequences and false dilemma (if we accept evolution, we have to dismiss Jesus)
- Red herring (the Fall is irrelevant to evolution and to sin's existence)
- Special pleading (eating the forbidden fruit as clearly the only inherited sin)
Problem of evil
Evolution implies billions of years of animals suffering and dying before human beings appeared. This implies that God is not really a God of mercy and grace, because the suffering was not necessary to create human beings for fellowship with himself. This, in turn, implies that the loving God of the Bible does not exist.
- God has allowed uncounted billions of life-forms (human / non-human animals and plants) to suffer and die in the years after He created Adam. If the benevolence of God is consistent with this post-Adamic (supposedly Post-Fall) carnage, why would God's benevolence not be consistent with any pre-Adamic carnage which might have occurred?
- And how exactly does the destruction of all terrestrial life (animals, plants, people, or otherwise) that was not allowed onto the Ark imply a merciful God?
- This assumes that physical death is morally wrong. While physical death is an uncomfortable concept, it may be an intended part of creation. Remember, God created humanity with a spiritual component, so it's not clear at all that we necessarily were created to be physically immortal.
- If a theory does not fit the facts, it is not the facts that need to be adjusted.
- Creationists assert that this "death and suffering" was not necessary. This contradicts the well-supported concept of selection pressure, and there is no evidence cited to discredit it.
- This claim, like many others, assumes the existence of God, which is a mighty assumption indeed.
- If animals did not die, then what did animals such as vultures, sharks, lions, velociraptors, tarantulas and snakes eat? If not animals, then why are they so well-adapted to eating meat? Why would their diets have changed after the Fall?
- If no animals died, they would eventually overpopulate the planet unless they stopped reproducing. Why would they be given the ability to reproduce then, if God could simply start off with the right amount that could all live forever in the first place?
- Creationists who make this claim seem to forget about the many instances in the Bible where God demands the slaughter of the various enemies of the Israelites, down to the last man, woman, child and beast.
- Yes. So what?
- Also there were no animals before 600-700Ma. The statement "animals dying for billions of years" is wrong.
- William Dembski, in "The End of Christianity: Finding a Good God in an Evil World" (B&H Publishing, Nashville, Tennessee, 2009) suggests that the effects of the Fall could have been retroactive.
Fallacies contained in this claim
- Argument from adverse consequences (if evolution is true, God is not as one wants him to be)
- Biological evolution does not equate to change, but to consistent selection to suit a given environment. In stable environmental niches, evolution by natural selection need not occur.
- Non-biological change (in the cosmos, for instance, or in society or in language or in ideas) does not necessarily equate to Darwinesque "evolution" - despite lumpers' attempts to fail to make this distinction.
- The "unchanging" Word of God evolved (for example, from Old Testament jingoism to New Testament
submissionmeek-and-mild to Koranic submission).
Fallacies contained in this claim
- Straw man
- Argument from adverse consequences - change from the Divine Order represents moral decay and is clearly a Bad Thing.
- Morris, Henry M., 1998 (Apr.). The Fall, the Curse, and Evolution. Back to Genesis 112: a. 
- Grant, Heber J., Anthony W. Ivins, and Charles W. Nibley, n.d. Mormon view of evolution. 
- Deborah B. and Loren D. Haarsma, 2007. Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution 
- Morris, Henry M., 2000 (June). The vital importance of believing in recent creation. Back to Genesis 138: a-c. 
- "The thing is true, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which altereth not." - Daniel 6:12