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CherryRed's avatar

How does your belief or disbelief in god effect your understanding and acceptance of Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection?

Asked by CherryRed (50points) December 8th, 2008

I’ve been studying Darwin Theory of Evolution by natural selection this semester. My class and I have had a lot of debates. One question our teacher asked us is how our belief in god effects our understanding or acceptance of Darwin. One girl in our class believed we were all the decendance of Adam and Eve. What do you guys think of Darwin and God?

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22 Answers

cdwccrn's avatar

I can hold in tension in my mind the ideas of creationism and evolution. I think truth can be found in both theories.

PupnTaco's avatar

Evolution is no longer a theory, it’s been proven and demonstrated. Now, human evolution as a primate is still an ongoing understanding but it’s accepted by 99.9999% of the scientific community.

I don’t believe in a “god.”

cdwccrn's avatar

Dave, thanks. I knew that “theory” wasn’t a perfect choice of words. I do believe in God, AND I believe in evolution. That was my point.

PupnTaco's avatar

That was actually directed at CherryRed but thanks. :)

syz's avatar

If someone believes that the bible is a literal truth, then I can’t see how they could possibly believe in evolution. But ask the girl in your class how we all descended from Adam and Eve – how many children did Eve have with her sons? How did they decide which brothers were going to sleep with which sisters?

cdwccrn's avatar

Not everyone interprets the Bible literally.

AstroChuck's avatar

Everything is theory until it is proven wrong. That being said, I accept that evolution has happened, and continues to happen.

I’m also atheist.

MissAnthrope's avatar

Funny you should ask this, I just wrapped up a post on this very topic on this thread.

I’m not an atheist, I consider myself religious and spiritual, and I do hold some beliefs about a higher power. On the flip side, I am a biologist and I find the facts to be very convincing. Just some food for thought, who’s to say that God and evolution are mutually exclusive? Perhaps our timeline or interpretation of the Bible is off (we are fallible humans, after all). Perhaps God or some higher power set the ball in motion and evolution is a product of a grander plan.

I spent a year in a French Catholic high school, where periodically, we had speakers from various religions come to class. I asked the Catholic priest about how he would explain evolution, given that it’s becoming increasingly obvious that it does and has happened. His answer? That God gathered the energy to create life on Earth, and just got things going so they could run their intended course.

So, personally, I don’t think religion should have to be at odds with evolution. If evolution is real, then perhaps we have to adjust our thinking in terms of faith and religion.

As a side note, the word “theory” can be misleading and it often gets misused by those wanting to discredit evolution. The word “theory” has a number of distinct meanings, in different fields of knowledge, depending on their methodologies and the context of discussion. Scientists would generally intend the first meaning (below) when talking about “the theory of evolution”.

* (n) theory (a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena) “theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses”; “true in fact and theory”

* (n) hypothesis, possibility, theory (a tentative insight into the natural world; a concept that is not yet verified but that if true would explain certain facts or phenomena) “a scientific hypothesis that survives experimental testing becomes a scientific theory”; “he proposed a fresh theory of alkalis that later was accepted in chemical practices”

* (n) theory (a belief that can guide behavior) “the architect has a theory that more is less”; “they killed him on the theory that dead men tell no tales”

SuperMouse's avatar

I’ve always thought nothing + nothing = nothing, therefore something had to put the process in motion, that something is what I think of as God. Believing this, I have no trouble reconciling the idea of evolution with idea of God.

cdwccrn's avatar

@alena and supermouse: I agree with both of you!

AstroChuck's avatar

@SuperMouse- Billy Preston would have agreed with you.

seVen's avatar

I accept science but only proven science that I can receate in a lab, not some theory where links are way omitted to take it seriously. I believe in God and the Bible can be proven by archeology and science and historic facts.

Perchik's avatar

@Supermouse that’s how I see it too. Something started the process.

I believe that God started the process and continually shapes everything that evolves. God exists outside of space and time, therefore I believe he did “create” the universe and he is still creating the universe. The reality IMO is that God is so hard to grasp, that we tend to limit him to human capabilities. For a human to “create” something, it takes us a finite period of time, with work involved. For God, I believe that He created the universe in zero time and infinite time simultaneously.

SuperMouse's avatar

@Astro, Billy has always been one of my favorite philosophers.

MissAnthrope's avatar

@seVen – Are you saying evolution hasn’t been proven? If lab results are mandatory to convince you, what about all the DNA work done, linking us and other animals to each other?

laureth's avatar

My religious disbelief really doesn’t affect my giving credence to the current theory of evolution (which has been refined since Darwin’s time).

tonedef's avatar

Also, @seVen, saying “the Bible can be proven” is like saying “Great Expectations” can be proven. “The Bible” is not one statement that can be tested using the sciences you referred to. Which parts of the bible? There are thousands of stories and anecdotes and events.

The ones pertinent to this discussion, the first couple pages of Genesis, not only lack any evidence in any field of scientific study, most scientific discoveries are wholly incompatible with these events.

MissAnthrope's avatar

<3 tonedef.

fireside's avatar

I believe in God and I believe that science and religion are both attempting to explain the same things, but this is built upon the fact that I view the Bible as an interpretive tool, not a literal one.

TheKNYHT's avatar

This is going to peg me as an outdated dinosaur I know, however I am a Biblical literalist, I believe in a 6 Day creation, I believe Adam and Eve were real (Jesus Christ mentioned them, but not in any allegorical sense) and I don’t accept, but I do understand the theory and theoretical process of evolution.
The so-called war will rage on, but I predict it will be resolved by a synthesis of sorts, namely theistic evolution. That is, God using the process of evolution to form the universe. Having studied the Bible for over 25 years, I see the biblical account of creation, and evolution as mutually exclusive.
So, paint me politically INcorrect, and let’s play some more shall we? :)

AstroChuck's avatar

If you believe God is using evolution as a tool then tell me why would He choose a process for life that would make His very existence irrelevent? Is He trying to hide His existence from us?

subramanian's avatar

When I am a non beleiver in god there is no dispute in accepting the Darwin’s theory as he had provided sufficient evidence as to how the genes mutate and form new species with the passage of time.
Darwin’s theory of evolution is in very much agreement with the vedas in principle. So, even a strong beleiver in god has no reason to oppose Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural selection. For more details visit:

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