Is Christianity Anti-Evolution?

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Christian apologist Nick Peters is quite relevant to this point noting that the “question of evolution does not matter to the text. Believe it or not, we do not have to choose which side we want to come down on. The Bible doesn’t address the question.”

Thus, if Peters is correctm the Bible cannot be anti-evolutionary if it does not address the theory. This logic is quite straightforward since it would not have, given the reliability of the biblical testimony, suited God’s salvific purposes in describing how the theory of evolution functions to an ancient Moses, especially in a time some thousands of years ago where scientific knowledge of the world was limited. Elsewhere the Christian could point out that many devout, Bible believing Christians hold that God and evolutionary theory are compatible. Not all Christians reject it. For example, world leading geneticist known for leading the former Human Genome Project Francis Collins argues that Darwinian evolution “merely shows us something of how He [God] operates.” Biologist Jeff Schloss thinks that “evolutionary theory is compatible with faith,” while Darrel Falk believes that “Christians should see all of this as the product of God’s masterful plan and ongoing activity.” One could go on here noting prominent Christian thinkers who hold to evolution (N.T. Wright, Tim Keller, Peter Enns, Kathryn Applegate, Dennis Venema, Ard Louis and Jeff Hardin). Several ministries support this view, not limited to but including, Biologos, God of Evolution, and Evidence For Christianity. A further survey publish by the Science Education Journal found that some 40% of Americans said God “guided” evolution to create humans. Peter Hess, the Religious Community Outreach director at Science Education comments: “Theologians, clergy, scientists, and others belonging to many religious traditions have concluded that their religious views are compatible with evolution, and are even enhanced by the knowledge of nature that science provides.” Prominnent Prfessor and philosopher Alvin Plantinga is of the opinion that “The theory of evolution doesn’t say that the whole process is guided by God. Of course it doesn’t say that. But it also doesn’t say that it isn’t. Being a scientific theory, it doesn’t make any statements on that point.”

What this seems to suggest, to me at least, is that not every Christians would agree that Christianity is necessarily anti-evolution. This is also not to give the impression that many Christians are anti-evolution, for there are many that are.

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2 responses to “Is Christianity Anti-Evolution?

  1. Ridiculous! God made, formed, fashioned…created everything! He did not sit back and wait! No mention of evolution, because it directly opposes God and he has left us with the certainty of his power. If you do not believe God made the heavens and the earth, yet you claim to know him…think again. Maybe you have no concept of God at all. Seek him with all your heart and he will reveal the truth to you. The people named in this article…are people. They are not God. Listen to His Holy Spirit and let the Word of Truth be your guide, not faulty men made of dust. Eve ate the apple once, don’t fall for it again!

  2. Apes act sociably toward one another as well as anti-socially (i.e., befriending as well as feuding with each other, hating as well as forgiving–see primatologist Franz De Waal’s studies). And such a mixed bag of behaviors most likely preceded the arrival of species of humans. But if so, how does one interpret “original sin” since the cosmos seems to have been set up with mixed blessings right from the start rather than ever having been nothing but “good.” (Even the human instinct to lash out quickly at things that bother us is a hormonally-based defense mechanism going back in time much further than our species, yet it continues to disrupt plenty of people’s lives.) And God employed a trail of predation and death and loads of extinct species over billions of years before one tiny offshoot of that trail led to humans.

    Also, if God is nothing but goodness, how could even the hypothetical idea of “evil” ever arise inside the creator’s mind, or be let loose in things that arose directly out of His will, His foresight and His power? How can there be room for evil to ever intrude upon a cosmos created and sustained in every minute aspect by a totally good God?

    BELOW ARE EXAMPLES OF THE “MIXED BAG” OF BEHAVIORS OUR SPECIES INHERITED (WAS BORN INTO) VIA COMMON ANCESTRY WITH THE GREAT APES. IN WHAT SENSE DID OUR SPECIES “FALL,” SINCE SUCH A MIXED BAG OF BEHAVIORS LONG PRE-DATES HUMANITY AND CONTINUES RIGHT UP TILL TODAY :

    “Monkeys, apes, and humans all engage in reconciliation behavior (stretching out a hand, smiling, kissing, embracing, and so on), so such behavior is probably over thirty million years old, preceding the evolutionary divergence of these primates… Reconciliation behavior [is thus] a shared heritage of the primate order… When social animals are involved…antagonists do more than estimate their chances of winning before they engage in a fight; they also take into account how much they need their opponent. The contested resource often is simply not worth putting a valuable relationship at risk. And if aggression does occur, both parties may hurry to repair the damage. Victory is rarely absolute among interdependent competitors, whether animal or human.”
    Frans De Waal, Peacemaking Among Primates (see also, Morton Hunt, The Compassionate Beast: What Science is Discovering About the Humane Side of Humankind; and, Alfie Kohn, The Brighter Side of Human Nature: Altruism and Empathy in Everyday Life; and see especially the chapter on “Kindness” in de Waalʼs latest work, Our Inner Ape.)

    “When Washoe [the chimpanzee] was about seven or eight years old, I witnessed an event that told about Washoe as a person, as well as causing me to reflect on human nature. [The account proceeds to describe the chimp island at the Institute for Primate Studies]…One day a young female by the name of Cindy could not resist the temptation of the mainland and jumped over the electric fence in an attempt to leap the moat. She hit the water with a great splash which caught my attention. I started running toward the moat intent on diving in to save her. [Chimps cannot swim.] As I approached I saw Washoe running toward the electric fence. Cindy had come to the surface, thrashing and submerging again. Then I witnessed Washoe jumping the electric fence and landing next to the fence on about a foot of bank. She then held on to the long grass at the waterʼs edge and stepped out onto the slippery mud underneath the waterʼs surface. With the reach of her long arm, she grasped one of Cindyʼs flailing arms as she resurfaced and pulled her to the safety of the bank…Washoeʼs act gave me a new perspective on chimpanzees. I was impressed with her heroism in risking her life on the slippery banks. She cared about someone in trouble; someone she didnʼt even know that well.”
    Roger Fouts, “Friends Of Washoe” Newsletter

    “The happy-go-lucky chimpanzee has turned out to be the most lethal ape – an organized, cooperative warrior.”
    Michael Ghiglieri, “War Among the Chimps,” Discover, Nov. 1987

    “The males from the larger band of chimpanzees began to make trips south to the patch of land occupied by the splinter unit. The marauders’ purpose was simple: to harass and ultimately kill the separatists. They beat their former friends mercilessly, breaking bones, opening massive wounds, and leaving the resultant cripples to die a slow and lingering death. When the raids were over, five males and one elderly female had been murdered. The separatist group had been destroyed; and its sexual active females and part of its territory had been annexed by the males of the band from the home turf.”

    “Mountain gorillas become killers when their social groups come face-to-face…One gorilla group will deliberately seek out another and provoke a conflict…An enormous male left a skirmish with his flesh so badly ripped that the head of an arm bone and numerous ligaments stuck out through the broken skin. Another left the battle scene with eight massive wounds where the enemy had bitten him on the head and arms. The site where the conflict had raged was covered with blood…Fossey actually recovered gorilla skulls with canine cusps from other gorillas still embedded in the skull’s crest.”
    Howard Bloom,The Lucifer Principle

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