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Source: (consider it) Thread: No evolution please, we're British
Calleva Atrebatum
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Visiting Christian friends over Christmas, the scan of another friend's new (unborn) baby was passed around. Whereupon the wife of this devout Christian couple said, "And how can anyone believe we came from apes?"

I was a little surprised to find any British Christians believing in special creation of species, or literal 6 day creation (ok, to be fair to her, she never said she believed in the literal 6 days thing, but I inferred it)

But I had thought that (apart from a few eccentric communities) British Christians had come to accept evolution and an old earth, and had little or no difficulty accepting that God creating humans in the Imago Dei was compatible with evolution.

Is creationism influential in British Christianity? Are there particular denominations, traditions, regions or demographics where it's significant, and others where it's unheard of? Was my friend a rare example of an eccentric, or representative of a significant trend in some UK churches?

Caveat: I don't want this to turn into the Dead Horse on this topic; it's a specific question about creationism in UK Christianity. Also sorry to ostracise non-UK readers, I appreciate I'm raising quite a narrow question here.

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ToujoursDan

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If I'm reading this article correctly, it looks like about 10% of the UK population believes in creationism. So you must have hit one of them.

BBC: NI tops creationist belief survey

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ToujoursDan

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And from the Guardian:

quote:
The survey suggests there is a widespread lack of religious sentiment across Britain. National average figures revealed that less than a third of adults see evolution as part of God's plan, 89% dismiss intelligent design and 83% reject creationism as plausible explanations for the existence of human life.

The survey reveals a relatively high proportion of people in London who believe in creationism. "Whereas the national average is 17% who believe that human beings were created by God in the last 10,000 years ... in London, that figure is 20%. That may well be due to the growth of Pentecostal churches in London, which are growing at an extraordinary rate," said Paul Woolley, director of Theos.

According to the survey, Northern Ireland has the highest proportion of people who believe in intelligent design (16%) and creationism (25%).

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/mar/02/charles-darwin-creationism-intelligent-design

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Calleva Atrebatum
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Goodness - I had no idea belief in creationism/disbelief in evolution was so high (in the UK.)

The (otherwise very conservative) evangelical church I attended as a teen was very happy with evolution; it read Genesis literally in a sense, but didn't see that as ruling out evolution or an old earth.

[ 31. December 2010, 13:41: Message edited by: Calleva Atrebatum ]

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ToujoursDan

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The Guardian article has a "Belief Map" where it is broken down by region. East Anglia seems to be the most secular region of the country. The north [of England] is less secular than the south. Can anyone explain the regional differences?

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RadicalWhig
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I guess it's like totally another example of californication.

Skateboards, BMX, video games, wearing baseball caps, wearing baseball caps backwards, dayglo socks, shopping malls, trickle-down Reaganonics, ever since I can remember we've been the slow but certain victims of American culture - or rather we've absorbed the worst aspects of Americanism, without the best, just like we've kept the worst of British Imperialness but lost whatever was good about it: the fact that creationism is creeping in shouldn't surprise us.

Dude, I'm like totally out of here man.

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tclune
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Wanting ain't getting. It's a DH: dowsn you go.

--Tom Clune, Purgatory Host

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by Calleva Atrebatum:
...the scan of another friend's new (unborn) baby was passed around. Whereupon the wife of this devout Christian couple said, "And how can anyone believe we came from apes?"

Well, the literal answer to that is: "by looking at pictures of unborn babies of other ape species which look just exactly the same as human ones".

In fact I'd be surprised if your friend could tell an 11-week human foetus from a chimp of equivalent age.

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Amanda B. Reckondwythe

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Or a newborn of the species Homo sapiens from that of the species Gorilla gorilla.

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Calleva Atrebatum
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quote:
Originally posted by ken:
11-week human foetus

I think the scan was a 20 week one; but even then, I expect only a midwife or similar could tell the difference between that and the ultrasound of a chimp, ape, gorilla.

What I wondered was... maybe when people hear the phrase "we came from apes", does anyone actually thing that that means an ape, once upon a time, gave birth to a human child? Since that would be plainly ridiculous, maybe if that's what someone believes evolution to be, it'd be very easy to dismiss it. I dunno.

[ 31. December 2010, 14:39: Message edited by: Calleva Atrebatum ]

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Adeodatus
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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
Or a newborn of the species Homo sapiens from that of the species Gorilla gorilla.

Or, as I once discovered, even the parents, not the newborn itself. I once had occasion to visit a young couple who'd just had a baby, and the baby was quite ill (don't worry - happy ending). And as I sat with them, we lapsed naturally into a few minutes of silence. Dad was holding the baby, and it suddenly struck me that the gestures he made, the way he held the child, even his expression and the non-verbal noises he made to the child - everything corresponded exactly to a tv wildlife programme I'd seen the previous evening about gorillas. I'm a thorough-going evolutionist, and even I was shocked.

There are a lot of very interesting percentages being thrown around in the Guardian survey that ToujoursDan cited. I'm not only surprised at how many believe in creationism, I'm surprised at how many apparently know the difference between that and intelligent design. I'd really like to know what questions were asked.

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Ecclesiastical Flip-flop
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Belief or non-belief in evolution has nothing to do with the Christian Faith. In fact, creationalism is a misnomer; it is not about what method God created, but the mere fact the He did create. Whichever view you take is up to you.

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Martin60
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Just as it's a shame for Christians to be frightened of the Logos' material revelation it's a shame that modern Christians HAVE to be materialists.

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by ToujoursDan:
The north [of England] is less secular than the south. Can anyone explain the regional differences?

I'd imagine that creationism correlates with Islam. Also, as pointed out above, pentecostal Christianity. Both would be religious communities that feel that received opinion in the UK media is much more likely to lecture to them than listen to them: the perception gives rise to a general unwillingness to listen to the lectures.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I'd imagine that creationism correlates with Islam.

How? Islam has always regarded science as one of the two ways in which Allah reveals himself. (The other being the Holy Qur'an - and because Allah cannot contradict himself, any seeming discrepancy is to be held in tension.)

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Louise
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Because there's a major modern Islamic creationist movement, which is in many ways a copy-cat of Christian creationism. It tends to be associated with strands of Wahabi/Salafi Islam which reject the traditional schools of Islamic jurism and qur'anic interpretation, but also and more worryingly with the backlash against secularism in Turkey. The chief nutter who churns out the glossy creationists books is based there- Harun Yahya and yes, it has had a very bad effect on the relationship between Islam and science in that country. Evolutionary biologists in Turkey are now afraid to speak out against this for fear of death threats.

This sort of creationism has made it over here. We've seen it in displays at our local Saudi-financed mosque. It turns up in some Islamic schools here too, but I haven't time to dig out articles on it (Hogmanay being about to kick off up here). You're quite correct that historically this attitude is alien to Islam, but it's taken root and sadly appears to be growing in influence.

L.

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Curiosity killed ...

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quote:
Originally posted by Calleva Atrebatum:
Visiting Christian friends over Christmas, the scan of another friend's new (unborn) baby was passed around. Whereupon the wife of this devout Christian couple said, "And how can anyone believe we came from apes?"
<snip>

I have heard exactly that comment from a work colleague - worryingly, just as we were working out how to teach gestation in humans. That conversation continued, in paraphrase, if evolution had happened, with all the very specialised organisms around, humans couldn't possibly have come from the same evolutionary strand because we are less specialised [brick wall]

quote:
But I had thought that (apart from a few eccentric communities) British Christians had come to accept evolution and an old earth, and had little or no difficulty accepting that God creating humans in the Imago Dei was compatible with evolution.
Same colleague responded with an absolutely appalled silence when I responded, without thinking, to a question as to where the dinosaurs had gone: "they evolved into birds". And I am sure, from other things I've seen, that this colleague believes in an Earth that's 6000 years old.

quote:
Is creationism influential in British Christianity? Are there particular denominations, traditions, regions or demographics where it's significant, and others where it's unheard of? Was my friend a rare example of an eccentric, or representative of a significant trend in some UK churches?
I am not sure how influential this is, but it's something that's very strongly held by this colleague, who also has a passion for youth work [brick wall]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Because there's a major modern Islamic creationist movement, which is in many ways a copy-cat of Christian creationism. It tends to be associated with strands of Wahabi/Salafi Islam which reject the traditional schools of Islamic jurism and qur'anic interpretation, but also and more worryingly with the backlash against secularism in Turkey. The chief nutter who churns out the glossy creationists books is based there- Harun Yahya and yes, it has had a very bad effect on the relationship between Islam and science in that country. Evolutionary biologists in Turkey are now afraid to speak out against this for fear of death threats.

This sort of creationism has made it over here. We've seen it in displays at our local Saudi-financed mosque. It turns up in some Islamic schools here too, but I haven't time to dig out articles on it (Hogmanay being about to kick off up here). You're quite correct that historically this attitude is alien to Islam, but it's taken root and sadly appears to be growing in influence.

L.

Sorry - I WAS aware of such a movement but had no idea it had grown so big.

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Stetson
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In this Monty Python skit, a British bishop is recording a radio ad for beer, which involves him describing the creation of the world over millions of years. At the end, the bishop complains that the idea of the world coming into being that way is "not quite creation as we see it".

That's from about 1980. I would take it to indicate that the idea of respectable British clerics disbelieving in evolution was not totally foreign to the Python's target audience at the time. (Mind you, part of the joke seems to be that the bishop's protests are rather half-hearted, and he's more concerned about getting his cheque.)

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Stetson
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quote:
Because there's a major modern Islamic creationist movement, which is in many ways a copy-cat of Christian creationism. It tends to be associated with strands of Wahabi/Salafi Islam which reject the traditional schools of Islamic jurism and qur'anic interpretation, but also and more worryingly with the backlash against secularism in Turkey. The chief nutter who churns out the glossy creationists books is based there- Harun Yahya and yes, it has had a very bad effect on the relationship between Islam and science in that country. Evolutionary biologists in Turkey are now afraid to speak out against this for fear of death threats.

There's also a Hindu(well, Hare Krishna) school of creationism. They do their own research, separate from the Christians, and have actually reached diametrically opposed conclusions.

The Hare Krishnas believe that man is BILLIONS of years old, as opposed to the three thousand years postulated by Young Earth creationists. The point of similarity between the two groups is that they both believe humans were on earth, in their present form, from the very beginning.

link

[ 31. December 2010, 19:21: Message edited by: Stetson ]

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Anglican_Brat
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Technically, we are not decended from apes, but we share a common ancestor, though I read somewhere/heard someone say that we are more closer to chimpanzees than to apes.

Frankly creationism has always struck me of having a little bit of human hubris, as in we aren't like those stupid animals, but special and rational god-like beings. Evolution in contrast, knocks humans off their pedestral. It doesn't IMHO knock God off.

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Calleva Atrebatum
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Thanks for your story Curiosity Killed.

This emoticon [brick wall] is a neat description of how I felt when they said this - especially as the people saying it had the luxury of being highly literate, educated Christians living in a large town in a Western country. I can't believe that in their situation they hadn't access to a good understanding and explanation of evolution.

So is that it? Do people just not understand evolution? Or do they understand it, but still don't believe it? [brick wall] [brick wall]

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Barnabas62
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I'm not sure this helps, but ...

The movement away from modernism via postmodernism included a dethroning of claims for objectivity in scientific finding. Evolutionary understanding can easily be seen as a classic "meta-narrative" coming out of a scientific world view, a really big picture. But what is that really worth? Postmodernist thinking provided a convenient vehicle for all who wanted to be sceptical about such meta-narratives. Just another socially driven, word-driven, power game, folks!

I think postmodernism has lost much of any intellectual cutting edge it ever had, but there do seem to me to have been some pervasive social effects. "This is my truth, tell me yours" is a pretty commonly held view point. If it seems OK to me, what's wrong with that? There is a kind of appeal for tolerance in it, which is superficially attracitve. And it seems to bring with it a kind of rejection of too much analysis. "Boring, boring" is the cry!

Well of course I was brought up in the modernist thought world, so I would say all of that, wouldn't I? But I think the danger is that almost any veneer of plausibility which can be wrapped around ideas will be sufficient for some folks. YEC and Intelligent Design just come apart at the seams when subject to critical examination. But you can buy plenty of books, look up plenty of stuff on the Net, which will paint a very different picture. Who cares too much about provenance of sources, peer review etc?

In fact, how popular is critical examination, particularly when applied to one's own views? Self-critical analysis may be very popular when it comes to personal relationships, but it seems to have lost power for many when considering big ideas.

And a Happy New Year to you, too!

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ByHisBlood
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Anglican
quote:
Evolution in contrast, knocks humans off their pedestral. It doesn't IMHO knock God off.
Well as long as God doesn't mind people disbelieving the very first chapter of His Word, fine.

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mrs whibley
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YEC views are fairly prevalent in Evangelical circles around my way.

IME, YECs fall into one of two categories: Either they have been brought up believing in this world view, and have seen no reason to change it, or they have converted to Christianity from a position of a lack of scientific background knowledge, and therefore again seen no reason not to accept YEC uncritically. Unfortunately, despite the fact that theoretically the UK is a developed nation and teaches science to all school pupils, evolutionary theory would seem to be either too poorly taught or intrinsically too complex for the uninterested to absorb. I meet people regularly who, despite having passed through the British state school system, think that evolution is a crazy theory that only those with an axe to grind would believe.

I only know one person who has converted their view from scientific evolutionist to YEC Christian as an adult. In her case, it was an important part of her conversion to reject many aspects of her background, and for all I know the Holy Spirit needed her to go down this path more than he needed her scientific expertise!

All this is only really important in that the population at large is increasingly told by the media and vocal Christian groups that to be a Christian you have to reject evolution (and hate the gays, but that's a different DH). Who knows how many people we are putting off exploring Christianity because they think they will have to check in their brains at the church door?

We Christian evolutionists may never convert our brothers and sisters in Christ to our views, and indeed probably don't need to, (which is why we are in DH, after all) but we should get out there and tell everyone else! Time for a bus advert, maybe?

[ 01. January 2011, 09:39: Message edited by: mrs whibley ]

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Technically, we are not decended from apes, but we share a common ancestor, though I read somewhere/heard someone say that we are more closer to chimpanzees than to apes.

I don't understand the last comment: chimpanzees are apes.
We're pretty solidly in the middle of the ape family tree. The latest common ancestor of orang-utans, chimpanzees, and gorillas was (by most definitions) an ape; we're descended from that latest common ancestor; therefore, we're descended from apes (and therefore are apes ourselves).

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Barnabas62
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quote:
Originally posted by ByHisBlood:
Anglican
quote:
Evolution in contrast, knocks humans off their pedestral. It doesn't IMHO knock God off.
Well as long as God doesn't mind people disbelieving the very first chapter of His Word, fine.
What makes you think that? Why should believers not distinguish between truth as facticity and truth as meaning?

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bib
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I believe in evolution but that it was brought about through the hand of God. There is no problem in my mind in believing that God created everything but not in the simplistic way it is described in the Bible.

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
quote:
Originally posted by ByHisBlood:
Anglican
quote:
Evolution in contrast, knocks humans off their pedestral. It doesn't IMHO knock God off.
Well as long as God doesn't mind people disbelieving the very first chapter of His Word, fine.
What makes you think that? Why should believers not distinguish between truth as facticity and truth as meaning?
No, only literal truth is true. That's why Jesus spoke in parables.

[Disappointed]

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Barnabas62
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Here is an interesting quote from Pope Pius XII

quote:
What is the literal sense of a passage is not always as obvious in the speeches and writings of the ancient authors of the East, as it is in the works of our own time. For what they wished to express is not to be determined by the rules of grammar and philology alone, nor solely by the context; the interpreter must, as it were, go back wholly in spirit to those remote centuries of the East and with the aid of history, archaeology, ethnology, and other sciences, accurately determine what modes of writing, so to speak, the authors of that ancient period would be likely to use, and in fact did use. For the ancient peoples of the East, in order to express their ideas, did not always employ those forms or kinds of speech which we use today; but rather those used by the men of their times and countries. What those exactly were the commentator cannot determine as it were in advance, but only after a careful examination of the ancient literature of the East. (Divino Afflante Spiritu 35–36).
And here is a link which looks at various views about evolution within Judaism.

It includes this arresting quote from Ismar Schorsch, chancellor of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America.

quote:
The Torah's story of creation is not intended as a scientific treatise, worthy of equal time with Darwin's theory of evolution in the curriculum of our public schools. The notes it strikes in its sparse and majestic narrative offer us an orientation to the Torah's entire religious worldview and value system. Creation is taken up first not because the subject has chronological priority but rather to ground basic religious beliefs in the very nature of things. And I would argue that their power is quite independent of the scientific context in which they were first enunciated.


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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Gamaliel
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# 812

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You know what'll happen now, don't you Barney?

BHB will reject the Papal comment because ... well, because it's Papal ... and the Jewish one because ... well, because God wrote the Bible and interpretation doesn't come into it.

[Roll Eyes]

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Amiyah
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# 11989

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I believe in a Creator God, still involved in the world, most of the time. I believe in evolution as well, all the time. Creationism doesn't appeal/stack up. But I can't quite get my mind round how God and evolution go together. This is probably because I don't understand evolution or God properly.

I thought that chance and random mutations were fundamental to the way evolution works? Surely the idea isn't that God pushed the button at the beginning and then waited to see what turned up at the end, and it happened to be humans, but other outcomes were possible? That can't be right?

But if God controlled the process of evolution - determining what happened at each step in the process of evolution - then that's not really evolution, is it? It's just very slow creation??

Help?

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Previously called MirrorMouse

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Martin60
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# 368

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Having my cake and eat it I accept everything between the miracles of life and mind with the exception of humans for the entirely subjective reason that we are just too pretty.

Otherwise evolution, alone, explains the story of life on Earth.

And nowhere else.

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Love wins

Posts: 17586 | From: Never Dobunni after all. Corieltauvi after all. Just moved to the capital. | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Enoch
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# 14322

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I have to admit that I was a bit peeved with the Hosts when this was cast down into Dead Horse territory. I thought, 'this is going to be an interesting debate not about different views on creationism etc but differences between how this whole subject is seen in different countries and different Christian cultures, and why that might be'. That is what I thought the OP was about.

But I was wrong. Hosts you are right. You obviously have sad experience of this.

Going back to the OP though, my impression is much the same as Calleva's had been until the photograph was passed round. Generally, I'm not aware of it being an issue the way it seems to be elsewhere. We seem to have different shibboleths.

I wouldn't, though Toujours Dan, reckon much to the Guardian as having the ability either to conduct a sound survey of religious belief or write a sensible article about it.

For example, unless the differences were explained very carefully, I think most people here would assume that 'Do you believe in Intelligent Design?' and 'Do you think evolution is part of God's plan?' are the same question. After all, I think of myself as a fairly intelligent person, and even I am not sure what the difference is, or if they are different, whether it matters.

I did hear that one of the reasons why creationism might have become such an issue in the Southern USA in the 1920s was that rich people on the east coast were advocating Darwin as authority for survival of the fittest and letting the poor go to the wall - their evolutionary destiny. 'Look, we must be the future because we have succeeded. You haven't. Accept it. Hard luck'. To which the response is 'We don't believe you. We don't care about science or any other 'ism'. Look what the Bible says. We have God on our side. Put that in your pipe and smoke it'.

However, that is not my country, and not part of my history. So I don't have any idea whether there is anything in that explanation.

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Brexit wrexit - Sir Graham Watson

Posts: 7610 | From: Bristol UK(was European Green Capital 2015, now Ljubljana) | Registered: Nov 2008  |  IP: Logged
Soror Magna
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# 9881

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quote:
Originally posted by Calleva Atrebatum:
... So is that it? Do people just not understand evolution? Or do they understand it, but still don't believe it? [brick wall] [brick wall]

You can explain it, but they won't believe it because they are mathematically unable to grasp the vast numbers of organisms, generations, and years involved. That's why the creationist "argument from incredulity" has stood up for so long. A few weeks ago a Shipmate (ken?) demonstrated with a simple back-of-the-envelope calculation that a mutation which is supposedly extremely unlikely is probably happening several times a day because there are just so damn many bacteria everywhere. I'm sure there were some that were unconvinced by that too. OliviaG
Posts: 5430 | From: Caprica City | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Barnabas62
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# 9110

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
You know what'll happen now, don't you Barney?

BHB will reject the Papal comment because ... well, because it's Papal ... and the Jewish one because ... well, because God wrote the Bible and interpretation doesn't come into it.

[Roll Eyes]

Seems likely. But I'm not really writing for BHB. I just thought they were pretty good views from diverse sources. A good view is a good view, regardless of which mouth speaks it. It's a shame not everyone can see that kind of simplicity.

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Who is it that you seek? How then shall we live? How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?

Posts: 21397 | From: Norfolk UK | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
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# 28

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quote:
I thought that chance and random mutations were fundamental to the way evolution works? Surely the idea isn't that God pushed the button at the beginning and then waited to see what turned up at the end, and it happened to be humans, but other outcomes were possible? That can't be right?
Why should "humans" be the destines end result? Surely you don't think that we were modeled _physically_ after God, that God has two legs, and arms, and a long white beard? Would we not as much be children of God no matter what form evolution had cast us into?

Why should God care what shape we evolved into?

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglican_Brat:
Technically, we are not decended from apes, but we share a common ancestor...

More accurate to say that we are apes.

quote:


...though I read somewhere/heard someone say that we are more closer to chimpanzees than to apes.

Yes. Humans and chimps are more closely related
to each other than either of us are to gorillas. That is we share a more recent common ancestor. And all of the African apes, including ourselves, are more closely related to each other than to orangutans.

quote:
Originally posted by ByHisBlood:
Well as long as God doesn't mind people disbelieving the very first chapter of His Word, fine.

The one that says God created us from the dust of the earth? And does not in fact say how long he took about it? Yes, I believe that chapter of God's word.


quote:
Originally posted by mrs whibley:

Who knows how many people we are putting off exploring Christianity because they think they will have to check in their brains at the church door?

Yes [Frown]

The American young-earth-creationist cultists make God out to be a liar. They do a terrible thing by persuading millions of non-Christians that Christians are either liars like themselves or stupid enough to believe such lies. One of the greatest obstacles to evangelism.

A lot of YEC propaganda is so egregiously stupid, and a lot of their tactics have been so blatantly dishonest, that I have trouble believing that all of them really mean what they say. I think many of the YEC leaders really must be in it for the money. Its just another TV scam like some of the fake healers.

quote:
Originally posted by Amiyah:

But if God controlled the process of evolution - determining what happened at each step in the process of evolution - then that's not really evolution, is it?

But that problem exists for anyone who believes that God is the omnipotent and eternal creator. Its teh same as the problem of pain and suffering. Or of sin - does God just allow evil to happen or does God cause it? Or of free will - if God controls the molecules in our brain that we are thinking with how can we say our thoughts are our own? Does God just allow us to think, or does God make us think our thoughts? When a leaf falls from a tree is that the laws of nature which God allows to function independently? Gor is it something God actively does?

Even if the world was only 6,000 years old - or six minutes - that would still be a problem.

quote:


It's just very slow creation??

Sort of. But if God is eternal and not contained in the time and space of the universe, than creation is in a sense instantaneous, not slow at all. God doesn't have to start creating at year 0 and work his way up to whatever the timespan of the world will be, any more than God has to start creating at one end of the universe and work his way to the other. So the universe looks both ancient and huge to us, inside it, but from God's point of view it might be one thing, or one event, or one process, or one action.

I can't resist a quote:

quote:
...and he showed me a little thing the quantity of a hazelnut lying in the palm of my hand and it was as round as any ball. I looked thereupon and thought "What may this be?" and it was answered generally thus: It is all that was made". I marvelled how it might last for methought it might fall suddenly to nought for littleness, and I was answered in my understanding: "It lasts and ever shall, for God loves it". And so has all thing being by the love of God.

In this little thing I saw three properties. The first is that God made it. The second is that God loves it. The third is that God keeps it.

(Julian of Norwich, spelling modernised)

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

Posts: 39579 | From: London | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Stetson
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# 9597

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quote:
I did hear that one of the reasons why creationism might have become such an issue in the Southern USA in the 1920s was that rich people on the east coast were advocating Darwin as authority for survival of the fittest and letting the poor go to the wall - their evolutionary destiny. 'Look, we must be the future because we have succeeded. You haven't. Accept it. Hard luck'. To which the response is 'We don't believe you. We don't care about science or any other 'ism'. Look what the Bible says. We have God on our side. Put that in your pipe and smoke it'.

Something to that, I think. William Jennings Bryan, who is now best remmebered for his clownish prosecution efforts during the Scopes trial, had a previous history of generally enlightened politics on behalf of those most victimized by capitalism and imperialism, both of which in those days were justified by appeals to Darwin.

And H.L. Mencken, Bryan's journalistic nemesis(and coiner of the phrase "Bible Belt"), combined with ease belief in evolution with contempt for the poor. (In his diaries, he refers to poor southern whites, whom he destested, as "anthropoids"). And he poured hateful scorn not only upon Bryan's creationism, but his support for the economically disadvantaged.

Having said that, I'd rather read Mencken than Bryan any day of the week.

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I have the power...Lucifer is lord!

Posts: 6574 | From: back and forth between bible belts | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
You're quite correct that historically this attitude is alien to Islam, but it's taken root and sadly appears to be growing in influence.

You can, of course, replace 'Islam' in that quote with 'Christianity' (or, even 'Evangelical Christianity') and it would still be entirely correct. I wonder if there's some sociological explanation why anti-science views seem to be growing in influence in different religions.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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quote:
Originally posted by Amiyah:
But if God controlled the process of evolution - determining what happened at each step in the process of evolution - then that's not really evolution, is it? It's just very slow creation??

Yes, I would say that that's a form of creationism. It's a view that falls under a fairly broad umbrella of beliefs that's called "Theistic Evolution" - at one end you have the modern Intelligent Design ideas (in which the steps taken by God to direct evolution leave 'scientifically determinable' fingerprints, or at least some of them do), at the other end you have people who would say that the directing power of God is totally invisible to science and whether or not you accept God had a hand in the process of evolution is entirely a matter of faith. I have a certain amount of respect for the extreme that doesn't have God leaving his grubby fingerprints all over everything, it at least takes science seriously and doesn't try to keep saying science must be wrong.

There is also a strong tradition in theism that states that God has given genuine freedom to the processes of the physical universe, creating the universe with the potential to allow intelligent life to develop but leaving it to the free processes of the universe to determine whether such intelligent life will actually develop - and the form and location of that life. Polkinghorne uses the phrase "Free process" as a parallel to "Free will", except that whereas human free will includes a conscious decision maker the free processes of the universe have no such decision making process.

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Boogie

Boogie on down!
# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by Alan Cresswell:


There is also a strong tradition in theism that states that God has given genuine freedom to the processes of the physical universe, creating the universe with the potential to allow intelligent life to develop but leaving it to the free processes of the universe to determine whether such intelligent life will actually develop - and the form and location of that life. Polkinghorne uses the phrase "Free process" as a parallel to "Free will", except that whereas human free will includes a conscious decision maker the free processes of the universe have no such decision making process.

I agree with this one. I don't think God would mind at all what shape that intelligent life took. I think s/he is the power behind and through the universe - but has given total free will to the whole shebang. That's why we can be conscious of God's presence, because s/he is everywhere imo.

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Garden. Room. Walk

Posts: 13030 | From: Boogie Wonderland | Registered: Mar 2008  |  IP: Logged
mattyou
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# 15646

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quote:
Originally posted by ToujoursDan:
The Guardian article has a "Belief Map" where it is broken down by region. East Anglia seems to be the most secular region of the country. The north [of England] is less secular than the south. Can anyone explain the regional differences?

Dunno, given that the sample size was only 35 in that region (http://www.comres.co.uk/systems/file_download.aspx?pg=404&ver=1) I wouldn't pay it much heed anyway.

[cutting and pasting that URL to follow it takes you to a PDF download, but it has been checked and is as advertised - L]

[ 02. January 2011, 15:30: Message edited by: Louise ]

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TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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mattyou

I can't access the web address http://www.comres.co.uk/systems/file_download.aspx?pg=404&ver=1. [warning- downloads PDF if you click, but file is as advertised- L]

Can you double-check it please (and while you're at it, use the URL button in the Instant UBB code section to post website addresses).

Thank you

Yours aye ... TonyK
Host, Dead Horses

[ 02. January 2011, 15:28: Message edited by: Louise ]

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Louise
Shipmate
# 30

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quote:
Originally posted by TonyK:
mattyou

I can't access the web address http://www.comres.co.uk/systems/file_download.aspx?pg=404&ver=1.

Can you double-check it please (and while you're at it, use the URL button in the Instant UBB code section to post website addresses).

Thank you

Yours aye ... TonyK
Host, Dead Horses

I can by clicking your link Tony, but it automatically downloads a PDF file. The file is harmless and indeed contains the data mentioned, but people should not link to downloads without warning other users that this will happen. Downloads could contain anything or be malicious. I will flag up both links.

Mattyou, please don't do this again without a clear warning that a download is involved. I know it says download in the URL and you didn't make a link, but you should still flag that up. Thanks!

cheers,
Louise

Dead Horses Host

[ 02. January 2011, 15:31: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Posts: 6918 | From: Scotland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ToujoursDan

Ship's prole
# 10578

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Enoch:

quote:
I wouldn't, though Toujours Dan, reckon much to the Guardian as having the ability either to conduct a sound survey of religious belief or write a sensible article about it.
I guess you didn't read either article. [Roll Eyes]

The Guardian didn't do the survey. A thinktank called "Theos" did. Both the BBC and Guardian articles I linked to refer to the same survey.

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"Many people say I embarrass them with my humility" - Archbishop Peter Akinola
Facebook link: http://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan

Posts: 3734 | From: NYC | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
TonyK

Host Emeritus
# 35

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Louise and mattyou - that is real weird! When I copy mattyou's link to the address bar I get a message to the effect that the file cannot be downloaded - but when I click on the address in my post it works!!

I'll never understand the blasted 'net [Disappointed]

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Yours aye ... TonyK

Posts: 2717 | From: Gloucestershire | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Yerevan
Shipmate
# 10383

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The Guardian did a larger spread on creationism (which they seemed to think was purely a Christian phenomenon) in their G2 Supplement a few years ago and that estimated that there were only about 300 hundred 'active' Christian creationists in the UK. Even in the ultra-calvinist independent evangelical circles my sig other grew up in creationism is by no means universal. While creationism does exist in conservative Christian circles here, I don't think its nearly as important or as universal as it would be in the US. IME UK creationists are also much much less likely to actively campaign on the issue. Islamic creationism on the other hand seems to be fairly strong and assertive in some areas with large Muslim populations.
I recently read an interesting book chapter by a popular science writer (whose name I've completely forgotten [Hot and Hormonal] ) about the extent of Islamic anti-evolutionist agitation in UK universities with large Muslim intakes.

Posts: 3758 | From: In the middle | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged
mrs whibley
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# 4798

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Yerevan

Do you remember how the Guardian defined 'active'? That's probably correct in terms of campaigners, although a few more may have discovered the Internet since then; but if by 'active' one means 'proselytising' - i.e. happy to butt into a conversation with an attempt to ridicule or 'refute' evolution, then the number must be at least 100 times that. After all, we've all met a few, and I would say that most non-Christians I know have met at least one (and complained to me about them!)

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I long for a faith that is gloriously treacherous - Mike Yaconelli

Posts: 942 | From: North Lincolnshire | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Yerevan
Shipmate
# 10383

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I've never met a proselytising creationist, either before or after becoming a Christian. And I've met some veeerrryyy conservative Christians. I obviously move in the wrong circles [Razz] Its a long time since I read the article, but IIRC they were defining 'active' creationists as those who campaigned on the issue through letter writing, joining organisations etc, rather than those who happened to hold creationist beliefs. Judging by their account of the UK's one and only creationist museum, which seems to be run on half a shoe string, there isn't much cash behind British Christian creationism. As for numbers, a quick google reveals that one third of Evangelical Alliance church members were estimated to be Young Earth Creationist in 1998, a figure which the Evangelical Alliance believes has fallen since.
Posts: 3758 | From: In the middle | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged



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