Theistic Evolution Questions
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23-01-2017, 10:51 PM
Theistic Evolution Questions
So I know this is an atheist site, and I consider myself an atheist. Since coming to atheist sites, I've learned that many Christians believe in evolution, but the Creationists say you can't be a Christian and believe in evolution. I come from a charismatic, fundamental background where Creationism was taught and I want to try to understand theistic evolution.

What do theistic evolutionists believe about original sin?

Creationists say the Christian God could not have included "death and ghastliness" as part of his creative process. What do theistic evolutionists say about that?

What do they make of Romans 7 where the Bible talks about the world being ensnared because of Adam's fall?

How do they determine which parts of the Bible are considered myth and which aren't?

If there are any theistic evolutionists here who could help by explaining this, or anyone else who cares to elaborate, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.
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23-01-2017, 11:02 PM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
Theistic evolutionists are not, by and large, literalists. They take evolution as is, by insert varying levels of 'god did it' unnecessarily into their world view. For some it's enough that god is responsible for the spark of abiogenesis. Other's treat god as a stand in for natural selection, effectively gutting the core of the theory, and relegating god's plan to the most hands-off and inefficient plan ever.

People compartmentalize all the time. Yes, you can be a Christian and believe in de facto evolution. Nothing about the idea of 'taking Jesus as your personal lord and savior' requires a belief in a literal interpretation of Genesis.

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24-01-2017, 03:14 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(23-01-2017 10:51 PM)phoenix31 Wrote:  So I know this is an atheist site, and I consider myself an atheist. Since coming to atheist sites, I've learned that many Christians believe in evolution, but the Creationists say you can't be a Christian and believe in evolution. I come from a charismatic, fundamental background where Creationism was taught and I want to try to understand theistic evolution.

Creationists come in different varieties too. Old Earth creationists appear to believe in deep time for the Universe but may reject evolution, common descent, or deep time specifically for the Earth. On the other hand Young Earth creationists believe that the universe is less than 10,000 years old while asserting the historical truth of the Bible, including The Fall and a global flood, and rejecting evolution (to varying degrees).

You see the problem with both is that although they may say they reject evolution they are quite happy to cherry-pick those bits of evolutionary theory that they feel fits within their belief system.

For example YECs talk about a very limited number of "kinds" being aboard the Ark during The Flood but in order to fit the history of the Earth into 6000 years, and in order to allow for that limited number of species/kinds to fit on the Ark, or in order to explain the existence of carnivores and other animals that couldn't be part of the Garden, they argue that speciation rapidly occurred after the Fall or after the Flood, allowing the current diversity of life.

So not only are they accepting that evolution took place, they're stating that evolutionary changes (including speciation) took place at breakneck speed within a very short period of time.

That poses yet another problem for them.............so they avoid it by trying t o deny it was evolution. It's also known as sticking your head in the sand.

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24-01-2017, 06:43 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(24-01-2017 03:14 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  
(23-01-2017 10:51 PM)phoenix31 Wrote:  So I know this is an atheist site, and I consider myself an atheist. Since coming to atheist sites, I've learned that many Christians believe in evolution, but the Creationists say you can't be a Christian and believe in evolution. I come from a charismatic, fundamental background where Creationism was taught and I want to try to understand theistic evolution.

Creationists come in different varieties too. Old Earth creationists appear to believe in deep time for the Universe but may reject evolution, common descent, or deep time specifically for the Earth. On the other hand Young Earth creationists believe that the universe is less than 10,000 years old while asserting the historical truth of the Bible, including The Fall and a global flood, and rejecting evolution (to varying degrees).

You see the problem with both is that although they may say they reject evolution they are quite happy to cherry-pick those bits of evolutionary theory that they feel fits within their belief system.

For example YECs talk about a very limited number of "kinds" being aboard the Ark during The Flood but in order to fit the history of the Earth into 6000 years, and in order to allow for that limited number of species/kinds to fit on the Ark, or in order to explain the existence of carnivores and other animals that couldn't be part of the Garden, they argue that speciation rapidly occurred after the Fall or after the Flood, allowing the current diversity of life.

So not only are they accepting that evolution took place, they're stating that evolutionary changes (including speciation) took place at breakneck speed within a very short period of time.

That poses yet another problem for them.............so they avoid it by trying t o deny it was evolution. It's also known as sticking your head in the sand.

The term I would use to describe that is -unraveling.

The New Testament depends on original sin for their Jesus myths to work, but there's a mountain of evidence that shows humans had nothing to do with death or suffering. Their myth is contradicted by every fossil older than human existence.

Gods derive their power from post-hoc rationalizations. -The Inquisition

Using the supernatural to explain events in your life is a failure of the intellect to comprehend the world around you. -The Inquisition
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24-01-2017, 06:53 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(23-01-2017 10:51 PM)phoenix31 Wrote:  What do theistic evolutionists believe about original sin?...

If there are any theistic evolutionists here who could help by explaining this, or anyone else who cares to elaborate, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

I'm no longer in the church but this was a common question in bible study and prayer groups: what actually is original sin?

My answer went something like this:

The story (Garden of Eden, Adam, Eve, talking snake, etc.) is a metaphor and not to be taken literally. It is a recognition that we have an inner animal nature based on our evolutionary past but we, as human beings, are evolving and leaving that animal nature behind.

The "kicking out of the Garden" had nothing whatsoever to do with a real place. It was a metaphor for human beings evolving sentience: we realized our inner nature, we knew we were going to eventually die, we began to understand right from wrong. The "tree of knowledge" was the knowledge of ourselves, that we were (and are) fundamentally animals.

We need Jesus because, basically, we can't do this by ourselves. We need divine guidance, we will fail otherwise.

Does that help?
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24-01-2017, 07:29 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(23-01-2017 10:51 PM)phoenix31 Wrote:  What do theistic evolutionists believe about original sin?

As a theist, who accepts evolution, I believe we were created into a fallen state. Rather than starting at some point of perfection and falling into it. Others theist who accept evolution might hold that it originated when we begun to perceive a distinction between good and evil, that our self-awareness, was the source of it. As far I see it man has always been a sinner.

And I also don't imagine that the folks who wrote the book of Genesis, saw themselves as having some sort of vision as to what took place thousands of years before them, and decided to pen it down. Rather they were conveying their own human predicament, in a narrative form. To share that self-preception, which they valued with their subsequent communities.

Quote:Creationists say the Christian God could not have included "death and ghastliness" as part of his creative process. What do theistic evolutionists say about that?

I'd point out that there's no real way around that, death and ghastliness exist as part of our created order. An omniscient and omnipotent God, would have known what the end result, of the world he was to create would be, and all things would have stemmed from his will, including the existence of death and ghastliness.

Quote:What do they make of Romans 7 where the Bible talks about the world being ensnared because of Adam's fall?

I think the world is ensnared and fallen.

Quote:How do they determine which parts of the Bible are considered myth and which aren't?

Same way I distinguish between hyperbole, sarcasm, metaphors etc.. in every day human communication. The communities of the bible didn't have different genres of writings, a separate philosophical writings, or separate fictional, and historical writings, they were all just lumped into their texts. They also weren't concerned with passing on a literal history, as they were in passing on the meaning of history. Our own basic obsession with literalism, is more a product of the scientific age, than in the ancient past. And much of our own misunderstanding comes from projecting our present proclivities on to the past.

I personally have never read the book of Genesis as a literal historical account, even as a child. I enjoyed stories, and read it as a story, without much consideration of it's historical or non-historical merits.

But i'd say one way to draw such distinction is by empathizing, trying to put yourself in the shoes of those writings these stories, what where they trying to convey and say, where they trying to pass on a series of historical events and happenings, that I am suppose to remember, where they trying to convey a meaning I'm suppose to take to heart, etc...

It perhaps comes easier to me because I'm not obsessed with the idea of literalism, as fundies, and some atheists are.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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24-01-2017, 08:01 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
For a while, I was a SAP. Extraneous variables multiply without bound, however.

If you're scientific, evolution tends to reflect QM in validity; along the lines of "most successful scientific theory;" evolution's issue being rending god superfluous.
(24-01-2017 07:29 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(23-01-2017 10:51 PM)phoenix31 Wrote:  What do theistic evolutionists believe about original sin?

As a theist, who accepts evolution, I believe we were created into a fallen state.

Intelligently designed badly. For when intelligent design is not goth enough.

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24-01-2017, 08:03 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(23-01-2017 10:51 PM)phoenix31 Wrote:  So I know this is an atheist site, and I consider myself an atheist. Since coming to atheist sites, I've learned that many Christians believe in evolution, but the Creationists say you can't be a Christian and believe in evolution. I come from a charismatic, fundamental background where Creationism was taught and I want to try to understand theistic evolution.

What do theistic evolutionists believe about original sin?

Creationists say the Christian God could not have included "death and ghastliness" as part of his creative process. What do theistic evolutionists say about that?

What do they make of Romans 7 where the Bible talks about the world being ensnared because of Adam's fall?

How do they determine which parts of the Bible are considered myth and which aren't?

If there are any theistic evolutionists here who could help by explaining this, or anyone else who cares to elaborate, I would really appreciate it. Thanks.

The TE that I have interacted with tend to have their own unique rationalization within their theological beliefs in order to make any science compatible with their religion. They tend to be in conflict with the creationists as much as anyone else over evolution, but they also have to defend their theological interpretations to other theists. That part I find rather boring because it is basically a conversation about who's mythology is better than the others when I think they are both equals.

As for how they determine any of this, I am sure that they would say it is mostly from their faith in divine guidance. They think their god is telling them what is and isn't to be taken literally in the bible.

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24-01-2017, 08:05 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
"As a theist, who accepts evolution, I believe we were created into a fallen state. "

Translation: god made it look like he fucked up when really we fucked up. Not only did he make us all fucked up, but he made us look fucked up in a way that is compatible with evolution being a process devoid of intelligence or divine guidance. He probably did that just to fuck with us

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24-01-2017, 08:22 AM
RE: Theistic Evolution Questions
(24-01-2017 08:03 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  The TE that I have interacted with tend to have their own unique rationalization within their theological beliefs in order to make any science compatible with their religion.

I've long tended to have a better relationship with those theists who've developed their own "personal relationship with god" than the other kind. For example, Girly. Tongue

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