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  1. #1
    bandshirts
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    Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Hi guys.

    This is my first op, so I'm going to try to keep it nice and simple, with a narrow focus in this thread on the implication of evolution on the doctrine of Christianity.

    It is my understanding that largely the entire xtian mythology is based on the agreement that, in recent (< 10 000 years) history humans were created as is by god, in Eden, where they committed the original sin and started the story. This necessitated the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and formed the basis for worship of that guy by us.

    Evolution indicates that human beings developed over a much longer time, by natural process. Though this does not step on the toes of many theological ideas, it absolutely can not be compatible with young earth creationism, and has serious conflicts with the idea that there was ever an "Eden", or original sin, or therefore any reason for anything else in that mythology to happen at all.

    There's an argument here for science/religion conflict versus coexistence, but I'll try to stick with this question for those moderate Christians who choose to believe in the Christian myth while purporting to accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution ("god guided it"):

    How do you reconcile the gravity you allow your Christian beliefs to hold, when natural fact removes its apparent foundation?

    edit: I apologize in advance for changing the religion section post count from "1337"

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by bandshirts View Post
    Hi guys.

    This is my first op, so I'm going to try to keep it nice and simple, with a narrow focus in this thread on the implication of evolution on the doctrine of Christianity.

    It is my understanding that largely the entire xtian mythology is based on the agreement that, in recent (< 10 000 years) history humans were created as is by god, in Eden, where they committed the original sin and started the story. This necessitated the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and formed the basis for worship of that guy by us.

    Evolution indicates that human beings developed over a much longer time, by natural process. Though this does not step on the toes of many theological ideas, it absolutely can not be compatible with young earth creationism, and has serious conflicts with the idea that there was ever an "Eden", or original sin, or therefore any reason for anything else in that mythology to happen at all.

    There's an argument here for science/religion conflict versus coexistence, but I'll try to stick with this question for those moderate Christians who choose to believe in the Christian myth while purporting to accept the overwhelming evidence for evolution ("god guided it"):

    How do you reconcile the gravity you allow your Christian beliefs to hold, when natural fact removes its apparent foundation?

    edit: I apologize in advance for changing the religion section post count from "1337"
    The theory of evolution does not preclude the original sin. If we take evolution to be the method by which humans were formed (analogous perhaps to being made from mud) then we can accept that God interacted with the first creatures who were actually human (past whatever arbitrary line in evolutionary development).

    I can't see a conflict.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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  3. #3
    bandshirts
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    The theory of evolution does not preclude the original sin. If we take evolution to be the method by which humans were formed (analogous perhaps to being made from mud) then we can accept that God interacted with the first creatures who were actually human (past whatever arbitrary line in evolutionary development).

    I can't see a conflict.
    Can I ask you to select an arbitrary line in evolutionary development?

    Depending where you decide to put that line, I can imagine a few problems that might come up when considering the scenario as you have laid it out. Maybe you would see the conflict if you carried your theory out by imagining specific values for your variables.

    Anatomically and genetically modern humans are generally accepted to have begun 200 000 years ago, based on evidence from fossil study and molecular biology. Much evolution has occurred in that period of 200 000 years, and it is, thanks to its relatively recent time frame, well studied.

    Let's say we've granted you the generous stretch that is extending the time frame of the creation story and saying "from dust" means millions of years of evolution prior to the emergence of the human. Starting from garden and talking snake with the first two humans, we emerge into a very specific few chapters of genesis laying out generation after generation leading straight into recorded history of civilization in not nearly enough time for any of this 200 000 years of post creation, post eden evolution.

    Secondarily, I have a hard time imagining the new species evolving in Africa one male and one female simultaneously and no more, and this scenario playing out as such. What about the first human children being experts at animal husbandry and agriculture, as seen in Gen. 4? What about the community of pre-humans that Adam and Eve would have belonged to?

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by bandshirts View Post
    How do you reconcile the gravity you allow your Christian beliefs to hold, when natural fact removes its apparent foundation?

    edit: I apologize in advance for changing the religion section post count from "1337"

    You are assuming that all Christians view Genesis literally. The two largest denominations, Roman Catholicism and Orthodox Christianity respectively, no longer view it that way. Rather its meaning is allegorical.

    This allegorical treatment of many books of the Old Testament in no way means that one should view the New Testament allegorically as well in these denominations.

    In this allegorical view, original sin is often viewed as pride.
    "I've noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born" -- Ronald Reagan

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    The theory of evolution does not preclude the original sin. If we take evolution to be the method by which humans were formed (analogous perhaps to being made from mud) then we can accept that God interacted with the first creatures who were actually human (past whatever arbitrary line in evolutionary development).

    I can't see a conflict.
    The conflict he is referring to is between the literal interpretation of the creation story and the theory of evolution. One of the cornerstones of evolution is that all living things have common ancestry, and this is contrary to what is written in the creation myth of Genesis.

    I would, however, agree that evolution does not preclude the allegorical interpretation of Genesis.
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by monesy View Post
    One of the cornerstones of evolution is that all living things have common ancestry, and this is contrary to what is written in the creation myth of Genesis.
    Not when one views God as the source of all of creation.
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by bandshirts View Post
    Can I ask you to select an arbitrary line in evolutionary development?

    Depending where you decide to put that line, I can imagine a few problems that might come up when considering the scenario as you have laid it out. Maybe you would see the conflict if you carried your theory out by imagining specific values for your variables.

    Anatomically and genetically modern humans are generally accepted to have begun 200 000 years ago, based on evidence from fossil study and molecular biology. Much evolution has occurred in that period of 200 000 years, and it is, thanks to its relatively recent time frame, well studied.
    Sure.

    Let's say we've granted you the generous stretch that is extending the time frame of the creation story and saying "from dust" means millions of years of evolution prior to the emergence of the human. Starting from garden and talking snake with the first two humans, we emerge into a very specific few chapters of genesis laying out generation after generation leading straight into recorded history of civilization in not nearly enough time for any of this 200 000 years of post creation, post eden evolution.
    But we know that the Bible is "inconsistent" on the generations. For example the Gospels have varying accounts with different names and different numbers of "participants". What this probably means is that not every generation is recorded in the Bible. But there are many Christians (and churches) who don't read Genesis literally.

    Secondarily, I have a hard time imagining the new species evolving in Africa one male and one female simultaneously and no more, and this scenario playing out as such. What about the first human children being experts at animal husbandry and agriculture, as seen in Gen. 4? What about the community of pre-humans that Adam and Eve would have belonged to?
    There are actually passages in the Bible that would suggest that there were other humans around. There's been a thread about this (started by Mr Hyde). I'll try and find it for you and post its link here. The issue has been discussed there at length. From recollection, I opposed the idea

    As for the "one male, one female" issue, if we accept that a human is an animal with a certain set of defining characteristics then there must have been a single one to start with. Sure, that single organism would have existed in a population of "non-human" peers. I do realise that this view of speciation is problematic (as always is with gradual processes; when does a bunch of grains become a pile?) but if we accept this arbitrary line (not ours but God's), it becomes very possible.

    ---------- Post added at 01:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:37 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by monesy View Post
    The conflict he is referring to is between the literal interpretation of the creation story and the theory of evolution. One of the cornerstones of evolution is that all living things have common ancestry, and this is contrary to what is written in the creation myth of Genesis.

    I would, however, agree that evolution does not preclude the allegorical interpretation of Genesis.
    Sure, if the OP is based on a literal interpretation of Genesis then this does conflict with what science tells us about the early days of the world and of life.


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  8. #8
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by bandshirts View Post
    Can I ask you to select an arbitrary line in evolutionary development?

    Depending where you decide to put that line, I can imagine a few problems that might come up when considering the scenario as you have laid it out. Maybe you would see the conflict if you carried your theory out by imagining specific values for your variables.

    Anatomically and genetically modern humans are generally accepted to have begun 200 000 years ago, based on evidence from fossil study and molecular biology. Much evolution has occurred in that period of 200 000 years, and it is, thanks to its relatively recent time frame, well studied.

    Let's say we've granted you the generous stretch that is extending the time frame of the creation story and saying "from dust" means millions of years of evolution prior to the emergence of the human. Starting from garden and talking snake with the first two humans, we emerge into a very specific few chapters of genesis laying out generation after generation leading straight into recorded history of civilization in not nearly enough time for any of this 200 000 years of post creation, post eden evolution.

    Secondarily, I have a hard time imagining the new species evolving in Africa one male and one female simultaneously and no more, and this scenario playing out as such. What about the first human children being experts at animal husbandry and agriculture, as seen in Gen. 4? What about the community of pre-humans that Adam and Eve would have belonged to?
    Fortunatley I do not have to put an arbitrary line on evolution. The revelation of God to mankind and it's choice to ignore that revelation (thus gaining knowledge of Good and evil per se) is the line drawn. The origin of original sin. Your entire post wreaks of Loki's wager regardless. Just because the start of one and the end of another cannot be defined does not mean that there is no distinction between the two.
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Spartacus View Post
    Not when one views God as the source of all of creation.
    Are you trying to suggest that if god created plants and animals, he can be regarded as the common ancestor to all organisms? That would be a classic case of equivocation--the common ancestry explained by evolution does not involve magic. Non-magical common ancestry, (the kind of common ancestry explained by the theory of evolution), is incompatible with the literal interpretation of the creation myth.
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    The theory of evolution does not preclude the original sin. If we take evolution to be the method by which humans were formed (analogous perhaps to being made from mud) then we can accept that God interacted with the first creatures who were actually human (past whatever arbitrary line in evolutionary development).

    I can't see a conflict.
    if God intervened at any point. Then it is no longer evolution but in fact creation. The whole point of Creation is divine intervention in the first place. Whether He spoke us into existence, of tinkered with us from what you view as the evolutionary tree of life, it then effectively becomes creation. This means that either it was something done by evolutionary processes over a long period of time without God intervening therefore not existing at all. Or God created. If God created as you suggest, then the only answer we have to that is the Bible. There are no other written, verifiable histories for the creation of man outside of the Bible. I mean that there are none that stand up to scrutiny as the Bible does.

    So you cannot be a fence sitter in thia matter, either you are pro creation (which you must be able to reference something that proved to you this is true as you view it to have happened, or you are an evolutionist and believe all came about by randome chance. Without a Creator intervening.

    There is no way around this.

    ---------- Post added at 09:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:42 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    Sure.



    But we know that the Bible is "inconsistent" on the generations. For example the Gospels have varying accounts with different names and different numbers of "participants". What this probably means is that not every generation is recorded in the Bible. But there are many Christians (and churches) who don't read Genesis literally.
    please point one out clearly for me. I don't know exactly what you are referring to.

    There are actually passages in the Bible that would suggest that there were other humans around. There's been a thread about this (started by Mr Hyde). I'll try and find it for you and post its link here. The issue has been discussed there at length. From recollection, I opposed the idea
    no, I don't agree with this. Please reference these passages. Perhaps you're referring to Cain going to the land of Nod. Nod means wandering. Cain married a cousin or even a sister. Adam and Eve had more than just three sons... wouldn't you think? If they didn't, don't you think all pof Christianity would've been stopped in its tracks at that very verse? Adam and Eve lived 930 years. They lived 130 years before the fall. Having many children, as God said multiple and fill the earth. The other children aren't important to the message of the Christ and our redemption. Cain was the first born son AFTER the fall. Eve thought he was the Christ, but he was a murderer. Then Seth was the lineage. After the fall every patriarch was awaiting the promise. Reference Hebrews 11.

    As for the "one male, one female" issue, if we accept that a human is an animal with a certain set of defining characteristics then there must have been a single one to start with. Sure, that single organism would have existed in a population of "non-human" peers. I do realise that this view of speciation is problematic (as always is with gradual processes; when does a bunch of grains become a pile?) but if we accept this arbitrary line (not ours but God's), it becomes very possible.
    I think its pretty well documented in mitochondrial DNA that we came from one woman. So no issue there.

    ---------- Post added at 01:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:37 PM ----------



    Sure, if the OP is based on a literal interpretation of Genesis then this does conflict with what science tells us about the early days of the world and of life.
    what a man tells us. Its not verifiable. There's no time machine, only assumptions, theories and hunches, and cave drawings and fossils dead old bones. Then there's the written word of God with a concise history. Hmmmm. Interesting.

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappycomeback View Post
    if God intervened at any point. Then it is no longer evolution but in fact creation. The whole point of Creation is divine intervention in the first place. Whether He spoke us into existence, of tinkered with us from what you view as the evolutionary tree of life, it then effectively becomes creation. This means that either it was something done by evolutionary processes over a long period of time without God intervening therefore not existing at all. Or God created. If God created as you suggest, then the only answer we have to that is the Bible. There are no other written, verifiable histories for the creation of man outside of the Bible. I mean that there are none that stand up to scrutiny as the Bible does.
    Evolution (in Darwinian terms) is the process of species evolving via natural selection. If this was sparked off by a supreme being who created the first self-reproducing molecule OR who simply put all the laws of nature into place while knowing how it will unfold OR who put them into place while choosing not to know how it will unfold, makes no difference. Evolution doesn't claim that there's no God. It never did. Hence a process like this remains evolution (by definition) even if it were started by God.

    And since you're saying that in that case the process could be called creation, you have just agreed with me that evolution and creation are NOT mutually exclusive.

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    No actually what I am saying is that once you decide or state that possibly God started the evolutionary process, then you have to determine what are the characteristics of God. How can you do such a thing? By reading the Bible about Him and determining if your view or theory fits His nature. Unfortunately it does not. So this takes away the possibility of God starting evolution or doing it any other way that would contradict His true nature.

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappycomeback View Post
    No actually what I am saying is that once you decide or state that possibly God started the evolutionary process, then you have to determine what are the characteristics of God. How can you do such a thing? By reading the Bible about Him and determining if your view or theory fits His nature. Unfortunately it does not. So this takes away the possibility of God starting evolution or doing it any other way that would contradict His true nature.
    IF you take the relevant parts of it literally, sure. But that's exactly what we've been arguing in this thread and another thread too.
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    So then how are you to decide what is literal and what isn't? What basis do you use, and what are you measuring it against?

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappycomeback View Post
    So then how are you to decide what is literal and what isn't? What basis do you use, and what are you measuring it against?
    The same thing you might use to decide that transubstiation is a misunderstanding of the Scriptures or that Jesus saying that He'll rebuild the Temple in three days was a metaphor.

    Reason.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    The same thing you might use to decide that transubstiation is a misunderstanding of the Scriptures or that Jesus saying that He'll rebuild the Temple in three days was a metaphor.

    Reason.
    Not to discredit what you've stated, but you're comparing apples and oranges here. Firstly to address Jesus and what He spoke of: He is the Temple, His bride is the church. He was explaining to the apostles in many ways how He is the temple. His death and ressurection was just that. Now on to your reason comment. Please describe it to me how you are using reason when you have a contradiction in play. You are stating that God started things in motion, but have no description of this god ans who he is or why he did what he did. Please show me this alternate god you are talking about.

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappycomeback View Post
    Not to discredit what you've stated, but you're comparing apples and oranges here. Firstly to address Jesus and what He spoke of: He is the Temple, His bride is the church. He was explaining to the apostles in many ways how He is the temple. His death and ressurection was just that. Now on to your reason comment. Please describe it to me how you are using reason when you have a contradiction in play. You are stating that God started things in motion, but have no description of this god ans who he is or why he did what he did. Please show me this alternate god you are talking about.
    No, first you tell me please how in the world God's mode of creating humans would at all impact on God's nature.
    "I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world" - Richard Dawkins

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Allocutus View Post
    No, first you tell me please how in the world God's mode of creating humans would at all impact on God's nature.
    thank you. You have now asked the right question.
    God as described in the Bible is a good God. He is not safe ( as we've read He can strike a man dead.) But he is good all the time. God cannot sin. God doesn't make mistakes, his ways are above our ways. I'm sure you are familar with all these things written of about the nature of God. And possibly that God is love. God first loved us before we were even created.

    God cannot use sin, disease and death to create. Nor trial and error and mistakes. This isn't the nature of God at all as described in His word. The account in the Bible is that after The 6th day all creation stopped. Everything was created in that time frame. After, God said all was very good. This too would be a problem for millions of years of sin and disease and death before the point of God stating all was very good.

    This is what I understand about it. Now, tell me how you understand it to have been done.

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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Quote Originally Posted by snappycomeback View Post
    thank you. You have now asked the right question.
    God as described in the Bible is a good God. He is not safe ( as we've read He can strike a man dead.) But he is good all the time. God cannot sin. God doesn't make mistakes, his ways are above our ways. I'm sure you are familar with all these things written of about the nature of God. And possibly that God is love. God first loved us before we were even created.

    God cannot use sin, disease and death to create. Nor trial and error and mistakes. This isn't the nature of God at all as described in His word. The account in the Bible is that after The 6th day all creation stopped. Everything was created in that time frame. After, God said all was very good. This too would be a problem for millions of years of sin and disease and death before the point of God stating all was very good.

    This is what I understand about it. Now, tell me how you understand it to have been done.
    For the purposes of the argument what do you mean God is love?
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    Re: Evolution precludes original sin, and thus Christianity.

    Love is from God because God is Love. Just as Jesus is the light of the world (meaning universe)). Everything that you can use to define love, in fact defines God. Love is patient, love is kind, slow to wrath, etc.

 

 
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