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Posts Tagged ‘evolutionary biology’

It can be tough being a Christian. You have to believe all sorts of unbelievable things. You have to go to church every Sunday and listen to some preachy dude beg for money. You have to put up with brilliantly-written, riotously-funny, expertly-argued books patiently debunking your faith. (I suppose this one doesn’t really distinguish you from believers in any other religion.) And you have to tie yourself into knots trying to explain why the latest scientific discoveries explaining how the world works don’t actually contradict your millennia-old, rooted-in-superstition, alternative “explanations” of how the world works.

But you’re not alone in your struggle. The BioLogos foundation is there with you every step of the way (and when you see one set of footprints, that’s where they were carrying you).

Today, for instance, they’re offering “Three Ways to View the Fossil Record [that aren’t incompatible with your religious faith, even though (if you want to get technical) the fossil record isn’t compatible with your religious faith].”

  1. God created each species “individually from nothing” as time proceeded. (Note: not actually compatible with fossil record.)
  2. God created species in “bursts” over time. (Note: not actually compatible with fossil record.)
  3. Evolutionary biology is the proper explanation for the history and diversity of species, but god has been continually doing the work behind the scenes. So, for instance, he’s always choosing which genetic material crosses over during meiosis, and he helps ducks decide which other ducks to rape, and he helps misdirect mooses he doesn’t want reproducing into having sex with horses instead.

Although the third theory is (vacuously) compatible with the fossil record, it presumes a level of perversity on the part of god that’s really more compatible with the jealous, kinky Old Testament god, not the effeminate, hippie New Testament god.

Accordingly, New-Testament-believing Christians might be better served by a fourth way of viewing the fossil record:

  1. Your religion is false.

This explanation does have the drawback of not being exactly “compatible” with the Christian faith. But this is almost surely outweighed by its virtue of being the correct explanation.

Make sure to come back next time, when we discuss “Five (Incorrect) Ways To Explain The Existence of Suffering”!

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Poor Darrel Falk. Not only is he stuck being executive director of the ludicrous BioLogos project, but also his granddaughter has noticed the obvious parallels between the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and Jesus.

This is great for us, however, as we get to read his “yes, we were lying about the tooth fairy, and also we were lying about the easter bunny, and also we were lying about santa claus, but Jesus is totally different and here’s why!” essay.

He makes the following points:

1. Some of the data underlying evolutionary biology is “historical” in nature. Some of the arguments for Christianity are also “historical” in nature. This makes belief in Christianity just as data-driven as belief in evolutionary biology!

2. “There are some theologians who I consider just as brilliant as some scientists!”

3. Not only has Jesus never been “falsified,” there are plenty of good reasons to think he exists. For instance, check out the New Testament book Romans, which (unlike The Da Vinci Code) is too packed with “sincere emotion and veneration” to be fiction.

4. If you don’t read every pro-Jesus book with “the open mindset that is supposed to be the trademark of any scientist,” you’ve committed an “unforgiveable sin.”

Now, unlike his granddaughter, I am not a 6-year-old girl, and so it’s hard to say which of his arguments she will find compelling. I’m guessing she’ll reject the first, as even little girls understand that — while studying history helps us understand evolutionary biology — there is also genetic, anatomical, geographical, biochemical, epidemiological, and current biological evidence. I’m also guessing that she’ll reject the second, as little girls tend to put more weight on the opinions of J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer than the opinions of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Karl Barth. Along similar lines, the Baby-sitters Club books are packed with “sincere emotion and veneration” yet are clearly fiction, making me suspect she’ll reject his third argument. And although his granddaughter sounds pretty smart, a number of the books he propounds still seem above her reading level, making it tough to condemn her for not reading them.

However, although he didn’t mention it in his article, he’s also got a fifth argument in his pocket:

5. If you don’t believe in Jesus, then after you die you’re going to get thrown into a Lake of Fire and tortured forever. It’s worse than anything you can imagine. Remember how bad you felt that day at school when all the other girls were making fun of you? Remember how much it hurt when you fell on the playground and broke your arm? Remember when you had the flu and you kept throwing up everything we fed you and we had to take you to the hospital where they stuck a tube in your arm so you wouldn’t get dehydrated? Remember how sad you were when your dog Pepper died? This is so much worse than all those combined, and if you don’t believe in Jesus you’ll feel it all day, every day, forever and ever.

And I’m pretty sure that this one is the kind of argument that resonates with six-year-olds.

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