Evolution and the Existence of God

Discussion in 'Religion and Ethics' started by antagon, Jun 3, 2010.

  1. antagon
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    antagon The Man

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    Some of my favorite threads here have been on the topic of evolution from both scientific perspectives and examining the implications the theory has with the faithful. I'd like to explore arguments made by proponents of evolution which proclaim that the theory somehow dispels the existence of God. On the opposite end of the spectrum, I'm curious as to what those faithful who contend that evolution is a threat or affront to the existence God base their beliefs on.

    I can't reconcile a mutually exclusive relationship between the theory of evolution and the existence of God, and maintain that there isn't such a necessity between science and religion. Nevertheless, every discussion on the topic amounts to a fresh opportunity for atheists to lay into the religious on scientific bases, and for the religious to confront science with bases of faith.

    Insight wanted:

    How does the theory of evolution sway the plausibility deity or offend some religious communities?
     
  2. Nosmo King
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    Nosmo King Gold Member

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    Good question. But, I'm with you. I can't understand how evolution invalidates the existence of God either.

    The theory of evolution gives mankind a quantifiable basis to understand the development of species. I think some of the faithful misunderstand this. I further think that those faithful find it hard to admit to being qualified as a species and not as the unquestioned masters of life on earth. Being a mammal seems dicey to some religious zealots.

    And it's that pride that prevents them from accepting a scientific explaination of the development of mankind.
     
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  3. CrusaderFrank
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    CrusaderFrank Diamond Member

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    I can reconcile both religion and what passes for "evolution" with the greatest of ease.

    The whole point of the Universe, of creation is our very existence, is our awareness. We're here to experience and report back our findings as we go, we're here to grow and learn. Evolution is the physical manifestation of a beings urge to grow and experience.

    Alligators haven't evolved opposable thumbs or wings because they're fine as they are; if the day ever came that they needed to be more proactive about surviving then some alligator would get thumbs or wings. Since the impetus is not there -- no alligators with thumbs, random mutations notwithstanding.
     
  4. FA_Q2
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    FA_Q2 Gold Member

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    I do not see science ever opposing the existence of God or vice versa. What I believe happens is individuals attempting to blur the lines by describing science with faith. The only people that seem to have a problem with evolution are those that look in the bible and see literal interpretations of how things came to be. This is taking faith and using it to accomplish sciences job and never turns out well. I would infer that it is those whose faith is not strong that cannot accept the bible may not be a specific history book and that causes them have their faith shaken. That will create a very strong dislike of evolutionary concepts.

    Of course, there are always those aesthesis that don't seem to understand that this process also works in reverse. I find it interesting that some use evolution to attack faith since there is nothing in science that can EVER disprove God by the very nature of science. I believe the same is true for those individuals as well. For them, their beliefs are the same as a religion and the existence of any god shakes that faith.

    That is why some attack faith with science, the same reason some attack science with faith - they need to be correct and firm in their faith and the existence of the other threatens that.

    Understand that atheism is NOT a faith in of itself but some have made it a faith. I feel it necessary to point out because every time I go down this path someone feels the need to call atheism a faith when it is not.
     
  5. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    On the other hand, it is not blurring science with faith to acknowledge that religious convictions/beliefs/faith or whatever you want to call it does answer questions that science cannot, and there are billions of question that we cannot answer using science or faith.

    The way I see it, any credible scientist acknowledges that we currently know a teensy fraction of all the science that there is to know and that science is no more adequate to prove or dispute religious faith than religious faith is adequate to prove or dispute science.

    In my world science, incuding evolution, and religious faith coexist together quite comfortably. The way I see it, God was author of both.
     
  6. RetiredGySgt
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    RetiredGySgt Platinum Member

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    For the faithful it has no effect. Evolution in animals is only proven to exist WITHIN a species. There is NO evidence what so ever, of any verifiable scientific proof, that one species has ever evolved into 2 entirely different species or more. NONE. Those are unproven theories.

    One can not compare viruses and plants to animal life they operate on different genetic make ups and function entirely different from one another.

    Evolution with in a species has nothing to do with disproving the existence of God. It is simply a function of Nature which God provided on this planet when he created it and all life there in.

    Now as to the THEORY that evolution does allow for animals to develop 2 or more different species from a single species, even that has nothing to do with disproving God. That would simple mean that is the method God chose to create those forms of life, including the potential for man.

    In Genesis God created Adam and Eve from the earth or a rib. This does not preclude human life from having developed from Evolution. When Cain slew Able he was cast out and went to LIVE with other HUMANS. Yet no where does it say God created them as he created Adam and Eve. Thus we have 2 means of life to have been created. If evolutionary theory is to be believed it has no threat to Religion.

    This could also explain the claim by some that Adam and Eve were created 6000 or so years ago. Though personally I do not subscribe to the 6000 year old theory.
     
  7. FA_Q2
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    FA_Q2 Gold Member

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    Yes, they co-exist quite well. What they do not do is blend. Faith and science are completely, totally and unquestionably separate and must stay that way in order to coexist. That is not to say you cannot have beliefs about the physical world that stem from faith and beliefs about faith that stem from your observations but they are separate from each other. Faith requires NO proof, it is personal and spiritual. Science requires no faith, it is cold and without opinion and requires a fluidity in beliefs and findings. Science cannot prove what is outside of the natural world (aka God) and faith cannot describe science as faith does not require proof or evidence.
     
  8. konradv
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    konradv Gold Member

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    Evolution in animals is only proven to exist WITHIN a species.
    -------------------------------

    So what? That's the exact same thing evolutionists say.
     
  9. Foxfyre
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    Foxfyre Eternal optimist Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I suppose it all depends on what you mean by 'blend'. If you mean that faith is separate from science as a discipline that is taught or from scientific criteria used to support or falsify various theories/concepts etc. I would agree. Certainly neither Creationism nor Intelligent Design should be taught as science.

    But if you mean that people of faith cannot see and understand God (or whatever religious concept) in nature and science, then I disagree. For instance, thinking ID people, of which I like to believe I am one, can easily believe that it is both logical and rational to conclude that there is intelligence behind the order within the universe and the universe itself and that in no way negates the scientific knowledge and theories that we have developed about that. Plato and Aristotle understood that. And more recently Albert Einstein, who did not believe in a personal God, understood and promoted that concept.

    Science should never teach that Creationism or Intelligent Design are impossible or superstitious nonsense or whatever. When it presumes to do so, it becomes non-scientific and assumes a faith based position.
     
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  10. antagon
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    antagon The Man

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    thanks, for the discussion, folks. it figures that the middle-roaders who feel that there is place for religion and science to co-exist would be the ones to voice their opinions. maybe we could get lucky and hear from one of many atheists who've laid an argument against deity on scientific foundations, or a believer who rejects science which they feel contradicts their faith.

    to pick a fight, though, what about areas where these realms do overlap. religious leaders have extended ethical boundaries on science for years. today, hot issues include stem-cell research, which is argued to be capitalization on sin by way of abortion. foxfyre brought up education, with christian fundamentalist leaders demanding that faith-based alternatives to evolution theory take a place beside science. lastly, how about 'playing God'? with genetic research probing deep and wide into ways we could alter the design of life on the planet, even as much as create our own, is there an ethical boundary which science should respect?
     

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