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Theistic Evolution does not work with the bible.
in Religion

By MindMasterMindMaster 18 Pts edited December 2017
I believe that Theistic Evolution does not work with the bible. Persuade me that it does.

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  • I do not have to convince you of a thing. Your judgement is clouded enough as it is, why should I sway you another way?

    Of course the Bible is nonsense but read between the lines and you will find the alien demigods as they teach us the ways of fate and determinism.
  • If a Deists could get a Theists to believe in Jefferson’s phrase (US Declaration of Independence), “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” then “evolution” will become a supplement adding resolution to the Book of Genesis, in our modern day of understanding God’s “Laws of Nature.”   That is, according to a Theists God created everything, including the physical laws of nature. Therefore, the physical laws of nature is the handwriting of God, where the scientific method is a way to read God’s handwriting.

    Such reformation in a Theists’ philosophy, should support evolution between the lines in the Book of Genesis; hence, for those reforming cases a “Theistic Evolution does … work with the bible.”

  • @MindMaster

    Christians whom accept theistic evolution along with the Bible are real life examples the proposition is false.  Obviously, these Christians lean towards a more metaphorical interpretation. I believe the OP must prefer a more literal understanding of the Bible.
  • It would be hard to persuade you, convince you, or even educate you if you are already convinced. That sounds like an uphill battle to me.

    If you are open however, my personal belief is that evolution is possible, even biblically possible. 

    1. We have no idea how long Adam and Eve where in the Garden of Eden. It could have been millions upon millions of years for all we know, allowing plenty of time for evolution to take its course. Yes the Bible states that God created all manner of living things at the time, however it says nothing about whether or not those things are allowed to change, or even 'evolve.' In fact the Bible seems to suggest heavily that 'change' is a central part of God's plan, surely spiritual change is a central part of God's plan. 

    2. This next part is a bit of a stretch, however still interesting. In Revelations 4:7 John sees a vision of Heaven where he beholds all created things. In his description he describes four 'kinds' of animals, and one of those 'kinds' is an animal that has a face of man, but is actually a 'beast.' "Third beast had a face as a man." There is not much in the Bible that suggests the science behind any of the creation, all that is mentioned is that God willed it, so it was done. Of course this is probably because the folks who wrote the Bible didn't even know what science was, and didn't bother to ask scientific questions. Regardless, we do see glimpses in the Bible that at least suggest and can be seen as supportive of the theory of Evolution. You can even make an argument that when God created Adam, he pulled from the 'dust of the Earth.' Why would God do this? Couldn't God just create Adam from nothing because he is God? Maybe God pulled from the 'genetics' of the 'beast with face as a man' to create the first man. Maybe God was the father of Evolution? 

    I happen to be a very rare bread of Theist that thinks science is not the enemy of religion,but rather one day science and religion will co-oexist in perfect harmony and we will not only see that there is a God, but we will understand the 'how' and 'why' behind the creation of Earth and Man. 
  • @Eyes2See

    Nice answer, really! Moses Maimonides would agree with you, "
    Study astronomy and physics if you desire to comprehend the relation between the world and G-d's management of it." That being said, I will be shortly providing Judaism's answer to evolution, and while Revelations 4:7 is a good response, do others of the Mormon faith agree with you? Also, what was the views of Joseph Smith, assuming he had knowledge of Darwin?
  • Hello Judaism, 

    I am new to this site, however I believe I just sent you a friend request, hopefully you receive. I appreciate your comments and questions! I also have an immense amount of respect for the Judea faith. I'm not sure you are aware, but Mormons believe they are actually one of the lost tribes of Israel, Tribe of Ephraim to be exact, and we are tasked with the responsibility of restoring the 12 tribes of Israel as was promised to Father Abraham, and described by the Prophet Isaiah. In other words, you may not hold this same view obviously, however in my eyes, we are distant cousins with much more in common than you might think. 

    To answer your question, the doctrine I mentioned is not one openly taught by the Mormon church, so officially the church wouldn't agree or disagree with me, however I originally learned this concept during my time at Seminary (School of Religion) from an instructor I respect deeply, so it is safe to say I am not the only Mormon who holds this view. 

    As far as Joseph Smith, he only had a 3rd grade education, so it is fair to say that he might not have had a knowledge of Darwin, or of Evolution. Also, Darwinian Evolution was not very popular in America during this time. With that being said, he did seem to have an understanding of Astronomy, history, and medical health that was far, far beyond his time and education. He provided a commandment from God we believe, to abstain from Tobacco, Alcohol, and eating in abundance way before it was scientifically thought to be detrimental to health. There is also phrases in Mormon scripture that describe Astronomy above their time, such as 'worlds without number,' etc. 
  • @MindMaster, it will be hard, but I'll bite. 

    Well, I guess we can start with reading Genesis 1.

    In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Heavens would be, for example, space. It doesn’t give a duration that this occurred, so it could have been a mere moment or, if we had experienced it, perhaps thousands, millions or even billions of years. It goes on to describe the state of earth, which was without form and void, consisting of water. This description, actually, sounds poetic in language, but is not poetry, as Hebrew poetry, illustrated by, for example, Psalms, is different. It would be narrative prose. 

    God, then, creates light. This isn’t of the stars nor the sun and moon, but is something of God, marking “days,” and it continues to do so to the seventh day. And this is something to ponder, because we have always used the sun and moon to mark our days and nights, not the light of God. Is this time from the frame of reference of God? It doesn’t make the distinction that it is being consistent or changing. This largely hinges on the term of “yom,” which has many different meanings and is used in different ways through scripture. 

    For example, it could mean an epoch, a year, sunrise to sunset, and other variations. In Psalm 90:4, it is also used to represent a long period of time. In Genesis 2:2-3, it stated God had rested on the seventh day; in considering that we are still in the seventh day, it could, in terms of the other days, have been in reference for long periods of time. And on the sixth day, Adam had to name all of the animals which, if evolution is not to be accepted, would have taken an incredibly long time. 

    Nevertheless, let’s continue reading since the use of “yom” is a different debate. 

    By verses 20-21, we come across this verse (I am using RSVCE): “And God said, ‘Let the waters bring forth swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the firmament of the heavens.’ So God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” 

    Notice the instrument God used to bring forth the creatures of the water and the animals of the air. Water. God had still made them, but he had used an aspect of the earth to do so. 

    Continuing further, we come to verses 24-25: “And God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.’ And it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the cattle according to their kinds, and everything that creeps upon the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”

    Again, we see that God had used the earth to “bring forth” the living creatures. If these durations in time (yom) were lengthy, then it is not implausible that God is using evolution in order to diversify them in kinds and maintain the process of evolution to continue enduring. 

    As @Eyes2See also addressed, there is also the unknown period of time in which Adam and Eve had remained in the Garden of Eden, and (though a bit of a stretch as he admits likewise) Revelation 4:7.

  • @Alaires

    Read the Rambam, Genesis 1 is metaphorical. Also, the Sefer HaTemunah says the universe is 15 billion years old, so no apologetics here! Most of the things you say I agree with, as has traditional Judaism for thousands of years now.

    On evolution, we reach a different conclusion that Christian Creationists. 

    Erubin 18a, the Sages teach us that “Man was first created with a tail like an animal.”

    And in Bereshit Rabbah on Gen. 23:9, it states:

    “Up to the generation of Enoch the faces of people resembled those of monkeys.”

    This is the Jewish belief, it is one that is in harmony with the findings of modern science. There is perpetually no way one can deny the divine authority ​these​ rabbis carried.

    Keep in mind, the Talmud has been penned over 2,000 years ago, long before Darwin! 

    With peace and happiness, 

  • @Judaism, I had actually attempted to read through the different interpretations of Genesis recently, such as it being metaphorical and functional ontology. From what I read, there was a lot of Jewish diversity in perspective concerning it. Is this a reform vs orthodox, etc., scenario? Pardon, I don't know much of Judaism.  
  • @Alaires

    Reform Judaism is a new "form" of enlightened Judaism, or so they thought. It was done out of necessity, to "save" Judaism since many congregants were leaving their values and traditions in order to blend into secular society. This can have its good points, but it nearly destroyed traditional Judaism. To my knowledge, Reform views almost everything as allegorical. I'm actually conversing with a Reform now, and he views the Exodus in this manner. 

    The rabbis did have many opinions on the topic of Genesis. Which sources are you using? Rashi, Nahman?
  • @Alaires

    Those are to name the big giants of rabbinic Judaism. OF course, there are plenty of others depending on which rational you choose to follow. Then again, "both these and these are the words of the living G-d."

    Rabbinic Judaism has just as many ideas as any faith. It can be hard to pinpoint which one to follow, and I usually go by what makes sense to me. There's a good book on the differences between Rashi and the Rambam, for instance. A google search should help you find it as I forget the title. Let me know what you think. 
  • I neither believe God exists, nor believe in the validity of the Bible, but I don't think there is any issue with Theistic Evolution and the Bible.

    If a supernatural supreme being existed, and wanted his words and information to be given to humans; I can't think of any reason what such a being would come up with would look like the Bible. It's too subject to interpretation, and so similar in nature to all other religious books, it appears highly unconvincing as the direct word of God.

    If God existed; the Bible would be a contemporary and historical account of individuals interpretations and understanding of Gods words, and interactions with God: and subject to all the issues and problems with both historicity, source and witness bias.

    The reason this is important, is that when reading what the Bible says about the origin of the world has to be taken in that context too.

    The Bible can be a real interpretation of individuals interactions with God; and what God has revealed to them: but it could have been revealed in dreams, visions, etc that could be misinterpreted, misunderstood; and altered over the generations of oral transmission and written copies in that time.

    So, the question to ask, is if God was going to create life, could (or would) he use something like Evolution? As an engineer, and someone who has studied evolution, phylogeny and bioinformatics a fair amount over the years, from a technical level, if an engineer were to "design a universe" and it is anything like, say, software engineer: any idiot can simply make a tree, or form a rock. Making stuff whole is neither complex, nor intelligent.

    Being able to create a basic rule, and that rule generate everything, would be the pinnacle of an intelligent design.

    Even right now, the cutting edge of science and technology is not to create a highly complex program that you provide all the information about how to play chess: it's about creating a learning system where you put in place a few trivial rules, and the program itself generates the complexity for you.

    So in that realm, from the matter of intelligence: evolution would be a smarter way to achieve what Christians generally explain is Gods motivations here.

    So, given that something along the lines of theistic evolution is probably the smartest way God could create life; the question becomes how could God do that, and still allow something generally different to appear in the Bible.

    The issue could well be one of context.

    Given the US is generally well eduated, you have a good level of science and technology education, the information people know now and understand about how the world works is incredibly advanced compared to people 150 years ago.

    Many people in the US do not fully understand nor appreciate evolution, and even when it is explained to them, even with our advanced western education, have no grasp of the concepts involved.

    Given that, it's not so far of a stretch to believe that if God attempted to explain how the world worked, and how it was stared to the bronze age barbarians of 6000 years ago, that hadn't fully figured out not to poop in the water you drink from, leave alone had any detailed scientific knowledge to speak of: he would "dumb it down" a little bit.

    Considering that, it doesn't strike me as too much of a leap to think that what is in the bible could be how bronze age barbarians wrote down, and documented about how God explained to them through visions how everyone came to be.

    Obviously; if God exists, etc, etc.
  • @Judaism ;

    This site is sooo laggy for me. Had to pop open a sticky note just to type this.

    I don't have an exact source yet book-wise (I went around from Christianity to Islam since I primarily cover the both of those, and since I'm making an educational platform alongside debate, I haven't had the chance to browse through Jewish books yet). I did, however, download an app called "Sefaria" that does offer excerpts from Rashi and others for every verse (and, in totality every chapter) I'm reading. I'm still ignorant considerably on Jewish theology (like your death penalty one; I was clueless about that), but I've been working through it more recently. 

    For example, the beginning of Genesis 17:
    When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, "I am El Shaddai. Walk in My ways and be blameless..."

    Rashi (exluding the Hebrew): I AM GOD ALMIGHTY -- I am He whose Godship suffices for every creature (Genesis Rabbah 46:3), therefore "walk before Me", and I will be your God and Protector. Similarly, whenever in the Scriptures this Divine Name occurs, it signifies the idea of His sufficiency--but it all depends upon the context as to what the "sufficiency" refers to. 

    Offers Sforno, Ibn Ezra, Ramban, Ralbag Beur HaMilot, Riva on Torah, Siftei Chakhamim, Torah Temimah on Torah, Mizrachi, Malbim, Alsich, Abarbanel, and many, many others. I find it's a very thorough app. Offers works (Care of the Critically Ill, Redeeming Relevance; Genesis), calendar, philosophy. I think it's a neat app.

  • @Alaires

    That's great! I use Sefaria all the time. Did you know, you can also browse other rabbinic works such as the Talmud, countless commentaries, and the Zohar. also is a good site. You can click "view" to see all of Rashi's commentary, though he was mostly practical at times and not mystical as R. Nahman. Here's the link to that as well:

    I'm glad you're learning, if you come upon any blocks on the road, don't feel bad to give me a ring!
  • pocopoco 90 Pts
    I guess my question to you is, why could God not have used evolution to bring us to where we are today?  Why couldn't God have created the universe & all that's in it those 14 billion years ago?  The bible was written not only for the future, but also for the ancient illiterate people to understand the overall message.  The message was to portray a God that created everything, not necessarily by those literal means as depicted in the bible.   Not saying that an all powerful God could not have done it as depicted, but why couldn't God taken His time with creation & let everything grow & evolve into what He had planned all thos billions of years ago? 
  • @poco

    G-d did create the universe 15 billion years ago, see the Sefer HaTemunah and Rabbi Yitzchak of Acco's calculation. The Torah (Bible) was not written for primitive man BY primitive man, it was written for you and me, in 2018, by the Creator.

    The Talmud also hints at evolution.
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