A Conversation for Evolution and Creation - an Introduction and Glossary

Christian?

Post 1

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

I was wondering why Creationism is said to involve belief in the specifically Christian God, since the Biblical account that Creationists rely on pre-dates Christianity by rather a long period.

Is it only Christians who can be Creationists? What about Muslims and Jews?

And other religions? Surely it would be a rather too narrow definition of Creationism if it was limited to belief in the Genesis account. Many other traditions have their own account of Creation.


Christian?

Post 2

Ste

"I was wondering why Creationism is said to involve belief in the specifically Christian God, since the Biblical account that Creationists rely on pre-dates Christianity by rather a long period.'

Excellent point Bels. I think "creationism", in this case refers to the particular brand of fundamentalist Christianity, and has simply come to be known and recognised as this. It would indeed be interesting to hear other religious perspectives. However, this specific debate is and has historically been between fundamentalist Christians and some scientists who have taken up the mantle to defend a solid and elegantly simple theory (even though the burden of proof weighs *very* heavily on the fundamentalist's side).

It's a shame that Josh the Genius has been quiet for a few weeks, we could have done with some responses from him. He has taken leave of us just at the wrong moment.

smiley - cheers

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 3

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

Why Josh the Genius - did he write it smiley - huh

I don't know what you mean by "the particular brand of fundamentalist Christianity" - which particular brand? - but anyway fundamentalism is hardly mainstream 21st Century Christianity. And they are bending over backwards to try and avoid another Crusade. No, the fundamentalists around these days are much more likely to be Muslims or Jews, which was my point.

Australian aborigines have their own version of Creation, as do many other cultures, and I wondered why Christianity should be singled out, particularly since it claims to have superseded the Mosaic law.


Christian?

Post 4

Ste

Josh contributed some entries to this project, which criticised evolution. He disappeared not too long ago though, but hopefull he may return.

"which particular brand?" The brand that thinks God created the universe in six literal calendar days. smiley - smiley Fundamentalism is not mainstream Christianity, I totally agree. That's why I helped to write an entry on this topic, please see the entry entitled "The Mainstream Christian Viewpoint", authored by BillSD.

We are tackling Christian creationism becuase that is the only one who has any trouble with evolution. This project covers that debate. I'd be extremely interested to hear if I'm wrong on this matter. Are there any other religions whose doctrine disagrees with a scientific theory so vociferously?

Are you saying that since Mosiac law has been superceeded with Christianity that the debate is not really with Christians? I'm a little confused on that point. smiley - ermsmiley - biggrin

All the best,

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 5

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

"We are tackling Christian creationism becuase that is the only one who has any trouble with evolution."

Are you sure?

"Are there any other religions whose doctrine disagrees with a scientific theory so vociferously?"

How vociferous does it need to get? Ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem stoning other Jews who do not share their creationist beliefs - is that vociferous enough? I haven't heard of Christians doing that sort of thing recently.

"Are you saying that since Mosiac law has been superceeded with Christianity that the debate is not really with Christians?"

Well, since Christians have 'a new commandment' they are no longer bound by the old. I think that is what Paul tried to put over to the Jews. For the most part they didn't accept it, of course. There are creationist Christians, of course - it just seems odd to me to make them the prime reference point.

I hope that's a bit clearer. smiley - erm


Christian?

Post 6

Ste

Thanks for clearing things up for me smiley - smiley.

Fundamentalism literally means to "get back to the basics", the fundamentals of their religion. This includes the Old Testament surely? If it was irrelavent to Christians totally, it wouldn't be a part of the bible. Does the New Testament totally superceed the Old?

Thanks for the Orthodox Jew example. I was not aware of these worrying events. I see your point that there is more to creationism than *just* Christianity. However, it is only Christianity that has taken it's fight to science. It tries to compete with evolution in the courts, in the classrooms and with science itself with varying degrees of success. It's "research" is from a central propaganda machine called the Institute of Creation Research (not a joke, well in some ways it is). I don't think any other religion comes near this level of activity when it comes to forcing their creation myths upon others.

smiley - ok

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 7

Hoovooloo

"fundamentalists around these days are much more likely to be Muslims or Jews"

What an entertainingly naive impression of the world you have.

http://www.adl.org/poisoning_web/anti_abortion.html

"Terrorism: (n) the systematic use of violence and intimidation to achieve some goal."

The goal: an end to women's right to abortions.
The targets: doctors who perform abortions, and others who work at abortion clinics.
The violence: bombings and shootings, point blank with shotguns or at a distance with high powered rifles.
The casualties: at least three doctors and four other abortion clinic workers, killed for going about their lawful business.
The terrorists: fundamentalists. CHRISTIAN fundamentalists. Including, in one case, a former minister of the church.

Do try to do some tiny sliver of research before assuming that terrorists are only "that lot". As anyone living in Britain over the last thirty years knows, religious terrorism is NOT confined to bearded loonies from the middle east, and if anything fundamentalist Christians are MORE dangerous, precisely because of preconceptions like that.

Paul Hill was a Christian minister, and he calmly shot a doctor and his companion at point blank range with a shotgun as they sat in their car. He then put down the gun, put his hands in the air, and smiled contentedly until and after the police arrived. He's now on death row, but he's happy, because he believes he's done God's work.

http://www.christiangallery.com/hill3.html

THAT is scary, if you ask me.

H.


Christian?

Post 8

Ste

You sound like a man trying to end the debate for good H smiley - winkeye.

Fundamentalism itself is a worldwide problem, and one that is on the rise. Different religions reflect this in different ways. One way Christian Fundamentalists act is to try and force their dogma onto others in the form of creationism.

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 9

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

Hey, simmer down a bit!

You've tried to take something I wrote in the context of the 'creationism vs. evolutionism' debate and put it into a completely different context!

"Do try to do some tiny sliver of research before assuming that terrorists are only "that lot"." - Please don't try to distort what I wrote, or guess at my assumptions! I never said anything at all about terrorists, so how do *you* know what I think about them? When did this turn into a conversation about terrorists?

And by the way, it's all very well quoting web sites, but I don't necessarily believe everything I read in the papers, and that goes for the web too.


Christian?

Post 10

Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

"Ultra-orthodox Jews in Jerusalem stoning other Jews who do not share their creationist beliefs - is that vociferous enough? I haven't heard of Christians doing that sort of thing recently."

You havent have you? Look at Ireland, im sure youll see the ugly side of christianity. Over there, two different sects (dont know which) are going at it at least as badly as in Jerusalem. Throwing rocks at schoolgirls of the other sect, defacing of churches, you name it. Dont condemn others and put yourself above them until ou know the facts next time.

Oh and Ste, could you supply some of that *very* good proof? Im just dying to see it.


Christian?

Post 11

Ste

!!2T4RF06K3R!!, You are obviously unfamiliar with the troubles in Northern Ireland ("two different sects (dont know which) are going at it at least as badly as in Jerusalem"), so you would not know that the violence is far, far less bad. The province is on the road to peace and reconcilliation. I can't believe you confess your own ignorance and then demand others to "know the facts". smiley - laugh

I don't know where I mentioned any "*very* good proof" anywhere, even after re-reading my postings, please can you clarify what you are referring to?

Thanks,

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 12

Hoovooloo

Hi Bels.

What you wrote was "fundamentalists around these days are much more likely to be Muslims or Jews".

In any context, that's something of a contentious statement - one might even say you're guilty of religious stereotyping. I was merely pointing out, with an example drawn from the website of a reputable news organisation, that there are plenty of Christian fundamentalists about if you look. Another example would be the Jehovah's witnesses, people who, on the basis of their religion, will allow themselves or their children to die for want of a simple blood transfusion.

And your skepticism is all very well, but questioning everything you read is as bad as believing everything. What fact or figure could I offer you that you would be prepared to believe? Paul Hill killed that doctor and his escort. If you don't believe that, now, I'm not sure what I or anyone else can do to convince you.

Here's another figure for you to doubt. My extremely out of date Guiness book of records lists the world's most popular religions, according to the number of adherents. It acknowledges that the figures are necessarily inaccurate, because there are in all religions a spectrum of belief, and in the East some people belong to more than one. However, the figures are as follows.

Muslims: about 600 million.
Christians: about 1100 million.
Jews: about 15 million.

And you think that there are likely to be more Jewish fundamentalists than Christian???

Please understand, I'm taking issue only with your statement that fundamentalists are more likely to be Muslim or Jewish. Terrorism is a good indication of fundamentalism (although by no means the only indicator, of course.) That's why I mentioned it.

H.


Christian?

Post 13

Bels - an incurable optimist. A1050986

smiley - ok

I understand.


Christian?

Post 14

Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

Hey ste. Youre right I shouldve known the facts before ridiculing someone else of not.

On a lighter note, (for me, at least) i found where you said that there was *very* heavy proof on the fundies side. Second post on this forum

...scientists...have taken up the mantle to defend a solid and elegantly simple theory (even though the burden of proof weighs *very* heavily on the fundamentalist's side).


Christian?

Post 15

Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

And if you have some of that *very* good proof on you, I would like to hear some.


Christian?

Post 16

Ste

Ah, ok.

I was talking about the fact that they have the *burden* of proof on their side. Meaning that evolution is taken as accepted fact by 99% of the world because there is good evidence and proof to back the theory up. Therefore the fundamentalists have to come up with the proof to disprove evolution. Hence the *burden of proof* is on them. smiley - biggrin

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 17

TheMyriadWhoIsALordOfTheRingsFanatic

"Fundamentalists have to come up with proof"?

This is not true. Faith simply does not need proof. If something someone believes is proved, why would they need to still believe it?

The fundamental truth of it is this:

Faith does not need proof.

Proof negates faith.

I hope that's clear.

Cheers,

Myriad.


Christian?

Post 18

Ste

In any normal circumstance you'd be right. But these lot are attempting to engage science on sciences terms. The debate isn't really theological (apart from when you get down to the root causes of fundamentalism) it is regarding scientific fact.

If creationists simply went around saying "yep, we think the world was created in six literal calendar days!" fair enough, who is anyone to argue? But they don't just say that. They attack a well-established and elegant field of science with lies.

The current scientific fact states that evolutionary forces have sculpted life into what it is today. The burden of proof is on anyone who disagrees with that. In this case it is creationists, who, incidentally, have roundly failed to provide even a smidgen of proof to date.

I feel we're going round in circles here somewhat...

Stesmiley - earth


Christian?

Post 19

TheMyriadWhoIsALordOfTheRingsFanatic

"The current scientific fact states that evolutionary forces have sculpted life into what it is today"

Hello,

A very interesting sentence. You say "current". This is the point. One year scientific fact will state one thing. Then new evidence comes along to disprove it. Who is to say that the theory of evolution is 100% proven? I would think the person who stated this would be a very brave bunny!

Cheers,

Myriad.


Christian?

Post 20

Ste

I agree completely.

Nothing is 100% in anything. To "disprove" evolution (if you thought it was a load of pony in the first place) would take a gargantuan, multidisciplinary effort. You can't just disprove that moths live in the branches of trees instead of tree trunks, you have to see an error in the converging lines of evidence and then systematically dismantle each line from all the various scientific fields.

It ain't going to happen. I work with genomes of cereal crops, you can *see* evolutionary patterns in the DNA. DNA and phylogenetics alone is enough to convince *me*, add this to all the rest of the evidence and the cumulative effect is staggering.

For science to have all these incidences of evolution in front of them and *not* come up with the theory of evolution would be startling. It is suprising that it took so long for someone like Darwin to come along and join the dots really.

smiley - biggrin

Stesmiley - earth


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