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Can An Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?


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#1 Wallace

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:22 AM

Dennis Venema - Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?

Dennis Venema is a geneticist at Trinity Western University. http://www.twu.ca/ac...faculty/venema/

In this series of videos he discusses whether an evangelical Christian can accept evolution.



#2 AFJ

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:25 AM

Dennis Venema - Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?

Dennis Venema is a geneticist at Trinity Western University. http://www.twu.ca/ac...faculty/venema/

In this series of videos he discusses whether an evangelical Christian can accept evolution.


View Post

My first question is, "Why would you be tempted to believe it in the first place?"

Many of the talk oirigins like rebuttals of creationism are straw men, do not hold water, or ignore important questions creation model scientists have raised. There is plenty of data that does not favor evolution--it basically comes down to your choice of which preconceived model you will use, through which you interpret the data.

As for a direct response to your question. It is no in my opinion. The reason is if you are going to hold to traditional meaning of "evangelical," it means you are fundamental in your understanding of scripture.

First, in a historical context, if an account is an evident, historical narrative (such as Nebuchadnezzar taking Jerusalem) it is historical, not a metaphorical story. Evangelicals realize there are self evident metaphors and symbolism in scripture, but in many cases they are interpreted by other books of the Bible. An example is the symbolism of Revelation, some of which are foundational symbols found in Daniel, where it is already interpreted. Without this knowledge, one can get all sorts of interpretations from Revelation.

Second, in a doctrinal context, evangelicals traditionally hold to what are considered foundational doctrines of "the gospel." "L'evangile" means gospel in French--the good news. The "Roman Road" is often used in evangelism to communicate the gospel--a set of verses interspersed in the book of Romans. They basically communicate that man sinned and brought death into the world, and Jesus came to be our substitutionary sacrifice by his death--so that when we accept him and his work we receive eternal life.

Evolution is diametrically opposed to these foundational doctrines. It basically says that man came by death (natural selection/ billions of years of evolution), while the gospel says death came by man (Adam).

That is why there is a strong encouragement for personal study of the scripture in many evangelical churches, so as to not to be swayed by the ever changing opinions and philosophies of men.

#3 Bruce V.

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:26 AM

Dennis Venema - Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?

Dennis Venema is a geneticist at Trinity Western University. http://www.twu.ca/ac...faculty/venema/

In this series of videos he discusses whether an evangelical Christian can accept evolution.


View Post


Video 1-3 didn't say much.

The point that evolution is tested and has predictive power is absurd. Evolution almost always comes in after fact and takes credit for the finding. Evolution points us more often than not in the wrong direction. For example, evolution did not say the TOL was a bush not a tree, especially at the lower level. The best case for evolutions predictive power is Tiktaalik. The latest news on Tiktaalik shows that time line is off and again evolution has show to almost zero predictive power. link

I couldn't find video 4 or 5.


To the point. I know the Bible is true. If science proves the Bible wrong then I didn't understand what the Bible was saying or the facts will come out later and prove the Bible right. God's word is true and I have found it to be extremely reliable.

#4 Wallace

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 03:35 PM

Each video is linked under the previous one, it is impossible to miss them.

Video 4
Video 5

#5 billygould23

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:02 PM

My first question is, "Why would you be tempted to believe it in the first place?"

Many of the talk oirigins like rebuttals of creationism are straw men, do not hold water, or ignore important questions creation model scientists have raised. There is plenty of data that does not favor evolution--it basically comes down to your choice of which preconceived model you will use, through which you interpret the data.

As for a direct response to your question.  It is no in my opinion.  The reason is if you are going to hold to traditional meaning of "evangelical," it means you are fundamental in your understanding of scripture. 

First, in a historical context, if an account is an evident, historical narrative (such as Nebuchadnezzar taking Jerusalem) it is historical, not a metaphorical story.  Evangelicals realize there are self evident metaphors and symbolism in scripture, but in many cases they are interpreted by other books of the Bible.  An example is the symbolism of Revelation, some of which are foundational symbols found in  Daniel, where it is already interpreted.  Without this knowledge, one can get all sorts of interpretations from Revelation.

Second, in a doctrinal context, evangelicals traditionally hold to what are considered foundational doctrines of "the gospel."  "L'evangile" means gospel in French--the good news.  The "Roman Road" is often used in evangelism to communicate the gospel--a set of verses interspersed in the book of Romans.  They basically communicate that man sinned and brought death into the world, and Jesus came to be our substitutionary sacrifice by his death--so that when we accept him and his work we receive eternal life.

Evolution is diametrically opposed to these foundational doctrines.  It basically says that man came by death (natural selection/ billions of years of evolution), while the gospel says death came by man (Adam).

That is why there is a strong encouragement for personal study of the scripture in many evangelical churches, so as to not to be swayed by the ever changing opinions and philosophies of men.

View Post


Could not have said it much better myself, especially the opening sentence. As an evangelical Christian there is no reason that could possibly make any sense. Unless they are totally ignorant to what God has said in Genesis(and throughout most of the Bible) there is no excuse!

#6 M T RIVERS

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:10 AM

Of course an evangelical Christian can accept evolution. What makes someone and evangelical Christian is faith in the death and resurection of Jesus Christ the son of God. It has nothing to do with origins or evolution or worldviews. Being wrong is why we need God's grace in the first place. Being wrong about evolution is not relavent to being born again or saved or an evangelical Christian. The thief on the cross probably thought the earth was flat. Jesus would not hold that against him. The problem is that if they look they will find them selves in an indefensible position. They belive on Jesus for salvation but must reject the obvious straight forward reading of the bible in order to accept evolution. This inconsistency is difficult. I think a better question would be "should" an evangelical accept evolution. the answer would be much shorter. No

#7 Ron

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 05:27 AM

Of course an evangelical Christian can accept evolution.  What makes someone and evangelical Christian is faith in the death and resurection of Jesus Christ the son of God. It has nothing to do with origins or evolution or worldviews

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Actually, that is incorrect. What makes someone a Christian, is accepting Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior (via His life, death, resurrection and ascension to the Father), and obeying His word and commands.

Being wrong is why we need God's grace in the first place. 

View Post


Being fallen Man is why we need God's grace. But, I find these words odd, coming from an atheist. My prayer is that you believe these words, and aren’t just attempting to use them out of context. But, time will tell.

Being wrong about evolution is not relavent to being born again or saved or an evangelical Christian. 

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Actually, it is very relevant. Evolution is nowhere in the Biblical scriptures, and micro-evolution is actually an anathema to the scriptures (see Genesis One etc…). Therefore, “Being wrong about evolution” according to the Bible, is “Believing” in evolution.

The thief on the cross probably thought the earth was flat.

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This is an assumption that you are making based on opinion alone (sans any facts). Therefore, it is no more than a moot point in thr conversation.

Jesus would not hold that against him.  The problem is that if they look they will find them selves in an indefensible position.  They belive on Jesus for salvation but must reject the obvious straight forward reading of the bible in order to accept evolution.  This inconsistency is difficult.  I think a better question would be "should" an evangelical accept evolution.  the answer would be much shorter. No

View Post


The difficult inconsistency comes when the liberal theologian (or interloping atheist/skeptic/agnostic) is attempting to reconcile evolution with Biblical scripture. In their attempt to twist the scriptures to meet their needs, the liberal theologian (or interloping atheist/skeptic/agnostic) must rely on mistranslation, cherry-picking scripture (basically contextual rape and plunder of the scriptures), ignoring historical facts, linguistic facts, and cultural facts from antiquity to prop up their indefensible positions.

I might suggest the atheist look at answer these questions first, prior to attempting to twist Biblical scriptures: http://www.evolution...topic=3001&st=0

#8 Ron

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 05:39 AM

My first question is, "Why would you be tempted to believe it in the first place?"

Many of the talk oirigins like rebuttals of creationism are straw men, do not hold water, or ignore important questions creation model scientists have raised. There is plenty of data that does not favor evolution--it basically comes down to your choice of which preconceived model you will use, through which you interpret the data.

As for a direct response to your question.  It is no in my opinion.  The reason is if you are going to hold to traditional meaning of "evangelical," it means you are fundamental in your understanding of scripture. 

First, in a historical context, if an account is an evident, historical narrative (such as Nebuchadnezzar taking Jerusalem) it is historical, not a metaphorical story.  Evangelicals realize there are self evident metaphors and symbolism in scripture, but in many cases they are interpreted by other books of the Bible.  An example is the symbolism of Revelation, some of which are foundational symbols found in  Daniel, where it is already interpreted.  Without this knowledge, one can get all sorts of interpretations from Revelation.

Second, in a doctrinal context, evangelicals traditionally hold to what are considered foundational doctrines of "the gospel."  "L'evangile" means gospel in French--the good news.  The "Roman Road" is often used in evangelism to communicate the gospel--a set of verses interspersed in the book of Romans.  They basically communicate that man sinned and brought death into the world, and Jesus came to be our substitutionary sacrifice by his death--so that when we accept him and his work we receive eternal life.

Evolution is diametrically opposed to these foundational doctrines.  It basically says that man came by death (natural selection/ billions of years of evolution), while the gospel says death came by man (Adam).

That is why there is a strong encouragement for personal study of the scripture in many evangelical churches, so as to not to be swayed by the ever changing opinions and philosophies of men.

View Post


Excellent post AFJ

#9 M T RIVERS

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 06:29 AM

"Being fallen Man is why we need God's grace. But, I find these words odd, coming from an atheist. My prayer is that you believe these words, and aren’t just attempting to use them out of context. But, time will tell."


These words would be odd indeed from an atheist. I, on the other hand, am a young earth creationist. I believe the bible is literally true. About 6000 years ago at the beginning of time God created everything in 6 ordinary 24 hr days. He destroyed the world that was by a global flood and saved Noah and his family in the ark. I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus. You can not raise the bar and say someone must believe on the Lord Jesus AND renounce evolution to be saved. Our Salvation is based on our accepting Jesus as Lord as you put it. I know evolution is bad theology it is irrational and foolish according to scripture, but it does not determine weather or not one is an evangelical Christian. My reference to the thief on the cross was an attempt at a parallel analogy. I believe there will be Christians in heaven who believed in evolution. They simply are wrong about evolution and the Lord will forgive them. Just as he will forgive all of us who do not understand everything.

#10 billygould23

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 04:07 PM

You can not raise the bar and say someone must believe on the Lord Jesus AND renounce evolution to be saved.

I haven't been on this board long enough to know exactly what people here believe, but I feel confident in saying that most of them are NOT saying you must renounce evolution to be saved. I think you are confusing the definitions here, one could be born again and on his way to heaven through grace but this would not make him an evangelical Christian. The question was, can you be an Evangelical Christian and believe in evolution. Not can you be believe in evolution and still get to heaven.

#11 M T RIVERS

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 05:39 PM

I haven't been on this board long enough to know exactly what people here believe, but I feel confident in saying that most of them are NOT saying you must renounce evolution to be saved. I think you are confusing the definitions here, one could be born again and on his way to heaven through grace but this would not make him an evangelical Christian. The question was, can you be an Evangelical Christian and believe in evolution. Not can you be believe in evolution and still get to heaven.

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I agree the problem may be different definitions of evangelical Christian. Christian is a very broad term meaning a follower of Jesus Christ. Evangelical narrows it some to those followers of Jesus who believe the "good news" from gosple from evangeline. Still this a rather sweeping term. Someone who believes the message of the cross which is foolishness to those who are perishing, and consequently recieves Jesus as their personal savior is an evangelical Christian. To say that an evangelical Christian must be consistent to the literal straight forward reading word of God is an exreamly narrow definition. I hope we don't confuse anyone to think that they can not be saved because they believe in evolution. Once they are born again the spirit may open there eyes to the truth and expose the lies of evobable. but we can not say someone is not a Christian or Evangelical because they have not lined up with the biblical account of creation.

#12 billygould23

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 06:42 PM

Evangelical narrows it some to those followers of Jesus who believe the "good news" from gosple from evangeline.

Not really, an evangelical is someone who spreads the "good news" not just believes in it, those who believe the good news are most certainly saved through faith though.

To say that an evangelical Christian must be consistent to the literal straight forward reading word of God is an exreamly narrow definition.

Why? If you are spreading the word of God and the story of how Jesus Died for your sins on the cross and was raised from the grave, why shouldn't you be in line with the literal straight forward reading word of God? If you are an evangelical Christian, but accept evolution than you are discounting the very story you defend. If evolution is true then there was no Adam or Eve, which means there was no fall of man, so why would Jesus bother coming to live among us? The Bible clearly states in Romans 5:12 that sin entered the world by one mans sin and that death by sin(paraphrase) this is in stark contrast to what evolution teaches.

I hope we don't confuse anyone to think that they can not be saved because they believe in evolution.

I agree 100%

but we can not say someone is not a Christian or Evangelical because they have not lined up with the biblical account of creation.

How so? If you have the ability to study the Bible and be evangelical why can't they comprehend the very first Book of the Bible?? The Biblical account of creation is very important to the Christian faith, it not only shows the glory of God, but depicts the reason for Jesus dieing on the Cross for our sins.

If evangelical Christians want to make it a habit of picking and choosing which parts of scripture they want to believe they are setting themselves up for failure. Discounting to the story of creation means they are cutting out one of the most important Biblical stories recorded.

#13 M T RIVERS

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:04 PM

Not really, an evangelical is someone who spreads the "good news" not just believes in it, those who believe the good news are most certainly saved through faith though.

This is an example of an evangelist making evangelicals


The Biblical account of creation is very important to the Christian faith, it not only shows the glory of God, but depicts the reason for Jesus dieing on the Cross for our sins.

This 100% true abbsolutely! but our understanding of or lack of understanding of creation, the fall, the flood does not prevent us from accepting the grace God has provided. Evolution is irrational, Yet people believe it with out proof. Some Christians believe without knowing why. If they want to be consistent the SHOULD and i emphisise SHOULD reject evolution in light of the clear teaching of Gods word. that does not mean they will. and if they don't they are still Christians our brothers and sisters in Christ.
and one last thing. Do you not know at least one evangelical christian who believes in evolution. I know lots of them. They are real. They exsist. so yes Evangelical Christians can accept evolution.

#14 M T RIVERS

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:12 PM

I am not getting the hang of the quote boxes :(

#15 ikester7579

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:28 AM

Dennis Venema - Can an Evangelical Christian Accept Evolution?

Dennis Venema is a geneticist at Trinity Western University. http://www.twu.ca/ac...faculty/venema/

In this series of videos he discusses whether an evangelical Christian can accept evolution.


View Post


Being that you are atheist and posting this, is to evangelize and convert people to a dual belief system. Because you know in the end that 90% (my estimate) of theistic evolutionists become atheist. Why? Faith cannot have doubt. And God does not put up with people who choose not to have 100% faith, but choose to have doubt instead.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Whorshipping the creature more than the Creator, is a sin as pointed out in verse 25. That is what theistic evolutionists do. When someone knows truth and chooses a lie, and does not repent (abstain from it). But prefers it over what is considered truth (God's word). God considers that a sin.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

This is considered erring from the truth. Which can lead to falling away.

James 5:19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

You can err so far from truth that you need converting back. And soul death is the second death which is the lake of fire.

rev 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.

So if someone wants to risk this, that's their decision. But reading this means that you now know the truth, and therefore there will be no excuse for making the wrong decision.

Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:

#16 ikester7579

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:52 AM

I am not getting the hang of the quote boxes :(

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I sent you a PM on how quote boxes work.

#17 ikester7579

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:59 AM

These words would be odd indeed from an atheist.  I, on the other hand, am a young earth creationist.  I believe the bible is literally true. About 6000 years ago at the beginning of time God created everything in 6 ordinary 24 hr days. He destroyed the world that was by a global flood and saved Noah and his family in the ark. I am saved by grace through faith in Jesus. You can not raise the bar and say someone must believe on the Lord Jesus AND renounce evolution to be saved.  Our Salvation is based on our accepting Jesus as Lord as you put it.  I know evolution is bad theology it is irrational and foolish according to scripture, but it does not determine weather or not  one is an evangelical Christian. My reference to the thief on the cross was an attempt at a parallel analogy.  I believe there will be Christians in heaven who believed in evolution.  They simply are wrong about evolution and the Lord will forgive them. Just as he will forgive all of us who do not understand everything.

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Knowing truth, but denying it for a lie (the way the Bible would word it) is sinning on purpose.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

"Knowledge" of right from wrong is the key. Salvation is not a ticket to sin wilfully.

#18 M T RIVERS

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 05:42 AM

Knowing truth, but denying it for a lie (the way the Bible would word it) is sinning on purpose.

James 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

"Knowledge" of right from wrong is the key. Salvation is not a ticket to sin wilfully.

Do all Evangelical Christians believe the same things. No! of course not. tithing, communion, eternal security, baptism, just to name a few differences. So are any of these issues deal breakers. If a Christian does not tithe are they not a christian. We must avoid the no true Scotsman fallacy. I would love to say no true Christian could possibly accept evolution, but that simply is not the case.

#19 BVZ

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 01:30 AM

My first question is, "Why would you be tempted to believe it in the first place?"

Many of the talk oirigins like rebuttals of creationism are straw men, do not hold water, or ignore important questions creation model scientists have raised. There is plenty of data that does not favor evolution--it basically comes down to your choice of which preconceived model you will use, through which you interpret the data.

As for a direct response to your question.  It is no in my opinion.  The reason is if you are going to hold to traditional meaning of "evangelical," it means you are fundamental in your understanding of scripture. 

First, in a historical context, if an account is an evident, historical narrative (such as Nebuchadnezzar taking Jerusalem) it is historical, not a metaphorical story.  Evangelicals realize there are self evident metaphors and symbolism in scripture, but in many cases they are interpreted by other books of the Bible.  An example is the symbolism of Revelation, some of which are foundational symbols found in  Daniel, where it is already interpreted.  Without this knowledge, one can get all sorts of interpretations from Revelation.

Second, in a doctrinal context, evangelicals traditionally hold to what are considered foundational doctrines of "the gospel."  "L'evangile" means gospel in French--the good news.  The "Roman Road" is often used in evangelism to communicate the gospel--a set of verses interspersed in the book of Romans.  They basically communicate that man sinned and brought death into the world, and Jesus came to be our substitutionary sacrifice by his death--so that when we accept him and his work we receive eternal life.

Evolution is diametrically opposed to these foundational doctrines.  It basically says that man came by death (natural selection/ billions of years of evolution), while the gospel says death came by man (Adam).

That is why there is a strong encouragement for personal study of the scripture in many evangelical churches, so as to not to be swayed by the ever changing opinions and philosophies of men.

View Post


I think the theory of evolution is a good explanation for evolution as it is observed in nature. For the same reason I think the theory of gravity is a good explanation of gravity we observe in nature. I don't think denying things in the world helps you being a better Christian. Does being a Christian mean that you should not watch out for traffic? Does it mean you don't have to worry about diseases? Or the weather?

You are welcome to beleive that understanding how the world works is a sin, but then why are you using a computer, when computers are a direct result of understanding how the world works?

Evolution is part of the world, in the same way the weather or electricity is. We can either use it to our advantage (like we already are), or we can ignore it at our detriment.

#20 ikester7579

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 03:51 AM

I think the theory of evolution is a good explanation for evolution as it is observed in nature. For the same reason I think the theory of gravity is a good explanation of gravity we observe in nature. I don't think denying things in the world helps you being a better Christian. Does being a Christian mean that you should not watch out for traffic? Does it mean you don't have to worry about diseases? Or the weather?

You are welcome to beleive that understanding how the world works is a sin, but then why are you using a computer, when computers are a direct result of understanding how the world works?

Evolution is part of the world, in the same way the weather or electricity is. We can either use it to our advantage (like we already are), or we can ignore it at our detriment.

View Post


In order to claim what you did, to the extent the theory claims it happened. You would need realtime provable, repeatable processes for each claim. And out of all the claims made, less that five are observable and repeateable.

Empirical: The word empirical denotes information gained by means of observation, experience, or experiment. A central concept in science and the scientific method is that all evidence must be empirical, or empirically based, that is, dependent on evidence or consequences that are observable by the senses.

Now how many of the claimed processes, out of all that are claimed to have happened, meet being: observation, experience, or experiment?

Let's take evolution from animal to human claim.
Attached File  evolution.jpg   12.36KB   31 downloads

1) What part of this process, to the extent claimed, is observable? None of it.
2) What part of this process was experienced by someone? None of it.
3) And what part of the process, to the extent claimed, can be backed up by a repeatable experiemnt? None of it.

In fact over 90% of the evidence is not empirical. It's interpreted evidence parading as empirical evidence. Because if you take away the personal interpretations of each evidence found. And let the evidence stand only on it's merits of being empirical, it fails.

If one here does not think so, list ten real time processes, or the evidence that backs it up. That meets the criteria of being empirical? I asked this same question on youtube, not one person could do it. In fact no body even tried.

So unless the empirical processes and evidence can meet the criteria of being empirical, the claim that this is how the world works, does not work. And because it cannot even meet being empirical, makes it no where near truth. Which makes it a sin for anyone to believe that knows better.

So I'll make it easier to understand what has to be met.

1) Let's say there are 5,000 found evidences of life to have claimed to have evolved. Of that 5,000 types of evidences, how many could one prove to meet the criteria of being empirical?

2) Let's say there are 200 claimed processes of evolution of life. Out of all the claimed processes, which ones meet the criteria of being an empirical process?

The 3 things you have to meet are: observation, experience, or experiment.




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