Did evolution happen??????????

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Did evolution happen??????????

Yes
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No
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Total votes : 33

Postby parnassus » Thu Feb 16, 2006 3:55 pm

I was talking about how evolution relates to nothingness, and the links between evolution and time.


Reread your original message. That is not what you are saying. You initially declared that time and evolution are intertwined (this I agree with, even though it is stating the obvious rather - by its very definition, evolution means 'change over time') but then you backtracked and implicitly stated that time is not complicit in the evolutionary process, but just a passive 'audience'. Secondly, you do not engage with the questions that you raise. Philosophy requires a balance between logos (logic) and mythos (best translated as figurative interpretation). You offer a diluted kind of mythos, but no logic. You need both of these if you hope to create an argument that holds water. Forget about fancy or florid language; just assemble your facts.
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Postby Goldenhamster » Fri Feb 17, 2006 8:35 pm

All theories, modern or ancient, about the creation of the earth have evidence for and against them and have never satisfactorily been proved or disproved. As Vicky says, there are many more theories than evolution and the biblical creation story and it is more important that we consider what we do with this earth now that we have got it than worry about the finer points of how it came to be.

Science and religion (or philosophy) are two essential parts of thought. Science explains how things happen. Religion / philosophy explain why things happen. They are not necessarily in conflict.
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Postby intowiz » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:17 pm

chocalatefudgecake did you pay attention in science because if you did youd reliize what you orriginnally said was a bit silly (please dont take offence). im not to good at writing things out so heres the basic. we evolve so that we can survive better in the enviroments we are in, monkeys and apes and such primates did have evolved to be primates because it suited the enviroment they were in. for more info go to a library and check it out, its actually quite interesting. by the way how did you think we came about?
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Postby intowiz » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:23 pm

i think that science and religion can go hand in hand but christianitty. theyve always been enemies since science began because christianity couldnt cope with not having over peaples thoughts and still cant. im sorry if ive offended anyone at all but i just wanted to say what i think please dont be offended anyone.
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Postby intowiz » Tue Feb 21, 2006 3:27 pm

control over peaples thoughts sorry missed it out
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Postby parnassus » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:47 pm

i think that science and religion can go hand in hand but christianitty. theyve always been enemies since science began because christianity couldnt cope with not having over peaples thoughts and still cant. im sorry if ive offended anyone at all but i just wanted to say what i think please dont be offended anyone.


I am not offended, but I do think you're wrong. You oversimplify Christianity, for a start. The are over two hundred different Christian denominations and consequently there are many different Christian perspectives on science. Leaders of the early Church did try to control people's thoughts, but that was usually for their own personal gain (many early Church figures extorted staggeringly large sums of money from the people under their jurisdiction). Faith was just a smokescreen and actually had very little to do with it. It was just a means to an end - keeping people under control. The communist governments of Russia and China were/are militantly atheistic in their philosophies, and yet the way they attempt/ed to control people's thoughts is an exact mirror of what went on in Inquisitorial Spain. Yet China is incredibly technologically advanced. It utilises science rather than operating against it.

Secondly, what do you mean by 'since science began'? Science has existed since the dawn of mankind. All human beings are curious and ask questions. All human beings try to create things. This is science in its crudest form. It has progressed hugely over time, but even that progression does not divorce it from most modern Christian thought. I am a Roman Catholic Christian, and the Vatican (church headquarters) has its own observatory staffed by a team of astronomers and astrophysicists. Pope John Paul II held a celebratory dinner party to mark the achievements of Prof. Stephen Hawking. And many leading scientists have been and are Christian. Without Marie Curie (Christian) cancer research would not be where it is today. The pioneering physicist Richard Feynman - Christian. Dr Russell Humphreys - Christian. The Nobel Prizewinning theoretical physicist Steven Wineberg - Christian. None of these people believe in creationism in the literal sense, as you will discover if you read my original message in this thread.

By declaring that Christianity is an enemy of science, it logically follows that you assume Christians to be enemies of science also. And while I was never exactly hot stuff in the laboratory at school, I am not wearing a white frilled bonnet and jogging along through some poky southern American state in a chuckwagon either. I am not offended by the idea that Christians are backward, uneducated power-hungry monsters who aim to control people's thoughts - I've heard it too many times to be offended - but it does get a little tiring.

Someone once said to me, "You're too intelligent to be a Christian." Well, if I'm too intelligent then all those Nobel Prizewinners are really in trouble...

The next question was - what makes planets go around the sun? At the time of Kepler some people answered this problem by saying that there were angels behind them beating their wings and pushing the planets around an orbit. As you will see, the answer is not very far from the truth. The only difference is that the angels sit in a different direction and their wings push inward. - Richard Feynman
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Postby parnassus » Tue Feb 21, 2006 10:53 pm

Ah, I was wrong. I wrote about non-literal creationism in another thread, which I can't find. I will repeat it here.

The Bible teaches that God created the earth and all that's in it in seven days, but most Jews and Christians do not accept this as literal truth. Firstly, how long is a day in the eyes of God? The Bible tells us that a thousand ages in His sight is like an evening gone, so it is quite possible that to God one 'day' is the equivalent of thousands of years. He isn't constrained by the human interpretation of time - He stands outside time. Consequently, evolutionary theory is perfectly compatible with Christian teaching, explaining how the primal soup was created by the chef.
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Postby Goldenhamster » Wed Feb 22, 2006 9:14 pm

The hebrew word translated as 'day' in genesis can also be translated as 'age.' Scientists divide the evolution of creatures into chronological bands, which I suppose could be called 'ages.'

I am a Christian, and as a Christian as well as a person, I am more concerned with what humans choose to do with this world now that we have it rather than where it came from. No one can truly be sure how the world came to be because nobody was there at the time and there is no conlusive proof, only evidence. As a Christian I believe that God is all-powerful and that He made the world. My faith answers the question 'why was the world created.'

This is quite apart from my scientific beliefs of 'how the world was created.' I believe that the world was created but am interested in the various theories put forward because couldn't God still have created the world using science? I have not actually settled for any particular theory of how the earth came to be but do not feel that any scientific theory can prove or disprove God's existence.
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Postby parnassus » Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:57 pm

I am a Christian, and as a Christian as well as a person, I am more concerned with what humans choose to do with this world now that we have it rather than where it came from.


Amen to that, Goldenhamster. We are only stewards of the earth and one day we will have to give account for the mess that we have made of it. I am not particularly looking forward to that bout of questioning!
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Postby eDan » Wed Feb 22, 2006 11:14 pm

I heard recently that a faith based coalition was getting together (possibly in the USA I forget) to lobby on environmental grounds. This heartens me as I have heard some Christians use their belief in the afterlife as reason to let this world we are in go to rack and ruin. If there's something I've learnt from these discussions on the forum is that there's as broad a range of opinion within believers of faiths or even just one faith as with practioners of scientific discliplines.

I personally don't believe in creationism or God, and through my belief in "this is what we have" in terms of the Earth and indeed our lives it makes me very conscious that we have to preserve what is available so that we have something good and sustainable to pass on to future generations.
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Postby oreilly » Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:27 am

On a side note, the word used as day in Genesis is meaning a literal 24 hour day. It is same word used for what named the 'light hours', daytime...

The idea that Genesis may be talking about ages doesn't make sense - if that was to be the translation given to it, a different word would have been used, rather then yom, which describes a 24 time.

As well as this, if eveolution preceeded Adam and Eve, then a huge number of statements in Bible are proved incorrect - before Adam and Eve disobeyed God, their state was sinless, and God looked on creation and called it 'good' - the Genesis account tells of a curse in consequence to mankinds sinning, which made creation not good, as we all now experience.

It doesn't fit with God's character that He would look on evolution, the survival of the fittest, the death and destruction, the waste of life, and call that good - espcially when death was the consequence of sin, and happened after mankinds disobedience.

There really isn't room for evolution and Genesis to co-exit, unless you're content with a very poor understanding of both...

Research it! These are certianly things worthy of debate and arguement...
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Postby parnassus » Sat Apr 01, 2006 9:34 pm

Even though we are divided on whether biological evolution actually happened, I think we all agree that language evolves. We can see the evidence of that in literature - read a selection of novels ranging from the sixteenth century to the present day and you will see language shift in action. God didn't hand down a dictionary giving a precise meaning for each word. Human beings confer meanings on those words, and the meanings change over time. Consequently, your assumption that the word 'yom' has ALWAYS meant 'a twenty-four hour period' is to assume that ancient Hebrew was exactly the same as modern Hebrew. It wasn't.

Secondly, consider this. I can say, "I took a bath that day" - referring to a specific event that took place on a specific day. I can also say, "Regular bathing wasn't seen as healthy in Shakespeare's day" - referring to a period of several years. In one case, 'day' is a twenty-four hour unit. In the other, it refers to an era. This kind of extended meaning is found in most languages - including the Semitic ones. I don't know Hebrew, but I speak Arabic, and the two are pretty similar. So how can we know for sure that 'yom' refers to day in the twenty-four hour sense - especially in the light of 'a thousand ages in My sight are like an evening gone'?

It doesn't fit with God's character that He would look on evolution, the survival of the fittest, the death and destruction, the waste of life, and call that good


Firstly, we cannot know God's character in its entirity. We can only know fragments. "My ways are not your ways..." It could be that it is your perception of evolution that is false, and not the concept itself. How is it a 'waste of life' to grow, to change? Couldn't evolution be viewed as a fabulous creative process rather than a 'waste'? Furthermore, 'survival of the fittest' as it is often (mis)represented is not necessarily a fundamental part of this process - if it were, then there would be no dyspraxic people alive today. A dyspraxic caveman probably wasn't a boon to the community. We aren't the fittest, and yet we survive. There is evidence of God's handiwork in our mere existence. My figurative interpretation of the Bible leads me to accept this. While I cannot know for sure whether a young boy called David really fought a giant, I realise that through the medium of this story God is without a doubt saying that the 'little guy' can sometimes win. Jesus taught in parables. What is there to say that the Father doesn't also? Genesis could be an intricate parable.

Then again, it might not be. All I know is that when I stand before Him, I won't be quizzed on how He created the world. I will be judged on how I treated the world He gave me. So, as I have said earlier, I am only interested in evolutionary theory for intellectual reasons - in the greater scheme of things, how the world came to be doesn't really matter at all.
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Postby chocolatefudgecake » Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:01 pm

oreilly wrote:On a side note, the word used as day in Genesis is meaning a literal 24 hour day. It is same word used for what named the 'light hours', daytime...

The idea that Genesis may be talking about ages doesn't make sense - if that was to be the translation given to it, a different word would have been used, rather then yom, which describes a 24 time.


I'm not sure if it was on here or at school, or somewhere else, but I heard somewhere that ! day for god is longer that 1 of our days, so Evolution could have happened, (even though I don't think it did) aswell as the story in Genesis happening. I would also like to state that there are loads of people who believe that evolution and Genesis happened, and that god made evolution happen.
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Postby mattie » Mon Aug 28, 2006 9:21 am

I personally believe in evolution. Most species are constantly evolving as we speak. I also don't believe in the Adam and Eve story, as I find it too far-fetched.

If I'm honest, sometimes I believe in God and sometimes I don't (I go through spells). I suppose I'm an agnostic, in that I don't believe it can be proven either way. I certainly wouldn't call myself deeply religious anymore. I was a few years ago, but my faith in God is certainly not as strong as it once was. I might still pray, but more to myself than anything else, as I don't believe in the power of prayer, it's just self-reflection IMO.

I don't really see what's so important in faith anyway. Does it really matter if God does or doesn't exist? I can't really be bothered to think about such deep things anyway. What's the point in spending your whole life thinking about these things when there's a chance he might not even exist anyway - no one can say for sure. It's a complete waste of time IMO. I think most people are just interested in the idea of an afterlife if they're totally honest.



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Postby Kentigern » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:12 am

Science and Religion should be and are perfectly comptible.

Both Science and Religion when followed by integrity are searches for truth. Truth cannot contradict truth, therefore it follows that Religion and Science are perfectly compatible, and where there appears to be differences these can be reconciled.

I believe that one can argue for the existance of God. If you think back to the Big Bang, a small ball of matter exploded into what we call the universe today. How did that matter get there? Why does it exist? It may have come from a previous universe, but where did the matter to form the previous universe come from? This is an example of where scientific reasoning reaches it's limits, and one has to acknwledge a mystery. This mystery is God, eternal, never starting, never ending.

I believe that at the big bang (or whenever the universe started) God set in motion a process that would eventually lead to us humans inhabiting the earth having this discussion today. God planned the process. However I don't believe it is true to say that God fired the starting gun, sat back and enjoyed the show. God sustains the universe and takes an active interest in it. Without God's continuing interest there would be no universe.

I think it profoundly matters whether there is a God or not. If there is a God, then that has consequences, and it is worth trying to work out whether he has interacted with human kind. God is much more pwoerful than us, so if he has interacted with humna kind his interactions may have something to say that we couldn't work out on our own. Christians believe that God has intereacted with human kind throughout history, and these interactions are recorded in the Bible. In the Old Testament we see Gods gradual revelation of himself to a particular subset of people in the Middle East. In the New Testament we read about the fulfilment of that revelation for all time and all peoples.

In the Bible God reveals to us commandments. People have a negative view of commandments. They appear to restrict our freedom. Commandments are a gift in my view. They are a recipe for joy and happiness, in this world and the next. They indicate to us what we truely want for ourselves and human kind.

Prayer is all sorts of things. Yes it is self reflection, but self reflection is important. It helps us discover the unique person we really are. This process of discovery can be painful, but it helps us become a better person, and to know our limitations and strengths. Prayer is more than this though.

By praying for others we open ourselves to the needs of others, and make ourselves more aware of the needs of others, and of how we can respond to them. It stops us becoming self centred. Prayer should also reinvigorate us, remind us of God's goodness, and help recharge our batterys.

Often prayer seems to be a case of "Listen lord, your servent is speaking". it should also be "Speak Lord, your servent is listening"! Prayer involves listening to God. This is not easy. Indeed I find it a real struggle! God speaks to us through events, people, and in our minds. We have to listen for his voice, testing what we hear against what we know of God and his ways.

If you want a book to read that I think is helpful in learning about prayer and other aspects of Christian Living, can I reccomend "Finding Sanctuary" by Christopher Jamieson (available in most good bookshops). This book as I recall deals nicely with the question of prayer and what it is about.
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