Raising Christian Evolutionists

A couple of weeks ago I wrote a post on why parents who teach their children creation science or intelligent design in a way which elevates those teachings to a fundamental of the Christian faith are putting their children’s long term spiritual well being at risk.  In the comments on that post (which were remarkably civil for this topic BTW, thank you to all who commented!), someone asked how I teach my kids to be faithful Christians while also accepting the science of evolution and geology and such.  I think this is a good question and figured I would share how it works in our house. 

The first thing I tell my kids is that God is always willing to meet us where we are.  He doesn’t wait for us to get it all together or have a good grasp of life to reach out and reveal himself to us.  Thousands of years ago the ancient Hebrews had no numbers for billions.  They did not know what elements or atoms or DNA were.  They did not know where sickness came from or what the stars were.  It would have been literally impossible for them to understand a universe which was billions of years old, stars made out of burning gas shining many billions of light years away.  They could not have comprehended that life was composed of atoms linked together into molecules which linked together to make macromolecules which worked together to create all the tissues, fluids and such of the human body.  They could not have comprehended what DNA does, how it replicates itself, how it gets passed down from generation to generation while various mutations occur which can, over time beyond their words to even name, result in a diversity of life they weren’t even aware of. 

In other words, it would have been impossible for the one true God to reveal his role in and purpose for creation to the ancient Hebrews in a way which reflected the scientific reality of this amazing creation.  So he told them a story.  Some call it a myth, an allegory, a metaphor, whatever.  It’s an amazing story.  It tells us everything we need to know about the nature of creation, of God’s role in it, our place in it, the basis for human nature, both good and bad, and so much more.  And it tells us all of that in terms that people -from the very primitive to the very advanced – can readily understand.   No need for an understanding of science or possession of the number zero required.  So, the first thing that I taught my kids is that God met the Hebrews where they were and gave them an explanation which would serve us all well regardless of our lack or abundance of scientific understanding. 

Some people insist that by allowing for something less than the literal truth in the bible, one undermines all of scriptures.  However, it is intolerable to limit God to our understanding of His book.  Our understanding is in turns imperfect, immature, narrow and confused.  To think that the bible must fit with how WE think things should be and then form ideas about God and His ways from this assumption is just wrong, IMO.  Additionally, we need to be humble enough to realize that we are bringing a lot of cultural and philosophical baggage and assumptions to our reading of scriptures.  If scriptures do not change, then they cannot have been intended to convey one meaning to the people for whom it was originally written and something entirely different today.  The creation stories of Genesis are an excellent example of this as ancient Hebrew conceptions of time, the earth and humanity was entirely different than our own.  Insisting that the creation stories of Genesis are meant to be taken literally and that a literal interpretation of them is necessary to the authority of scriptures is an excellent example of us imposing our linear, Hellenistic thought processes to the stories. 

As far as what I teach my kids about God’s involvement in creation, I of course point out that scientists don’t have any good explanation for the first cause which set events in motion.  Secondly, the universe, even with the inherent chaos which exists in it, is an extremely organized place.  Everything runs by rules with one event setting off the next.  This, to me indicates design with God as the designer.  God’s role in creation, as I understand it, was to front load the whole process with the rules and materials needed to bring about His ultimate purpose.  I suppose that the simplest way of thinking of it is as the ultimate game of dynamos or the best Rube Goldberg Machine ever, although I think it’s probably more complicated than that. 

In this view, scientists are involved in discovering the ways of God by uncovering the rules by which He designed the universe to work.  When scientists trace evolution or figure out ways that the first organic molecules may have been created, they are tracing the pathways laid out by God.  If God never has and never does intervene directly in this process of creation unfolding, that only highlights the astonishing feat which only an astonishing God could achieve in bringing life about through this process.  Far from taking away from God, or marginalizing faith in God, the science of the life and the universe reveals how amazing God and His way’s are. 

There’s more to it, of course, but there’s my basic explanation on how I am raising my kids as Christian evolutionists.  Thus far the biggest problems we have had have come from overly strident creationists who have tried to tell my children that faith and mainstream science are incompatible.  The first couple of times this happened, it did cause a real crisis of faith for my oldest son.  He is very interested in science and knows that the evidence for evolution and an old earth is incontrovertible.  So when he was told that he must either choose to believe what he knew to be true about science or to be a Christian, this was a real problem for him.  Thankfully, I found out when these things happened very quickly and was able to talk him through it.  Now, I have instructed my children in how to deal with this stuff.  (Basically say, “I guess we just see things differently.  Say – did you see my new Pokemon cards?” and leave it at that.)

I’m still without internet, so I’m very short on time and haven’t been able to edit this properly.  Please excuse any typos and grammatical errors! 

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27 thoughts on “Raising Christian Evolutionists

  1. Pingback: Christian Times » Blog Archive » Raising Christian Evolutionists

  2. I think that ultimately the conflict that people who fully understand the workings of evolution see between evolution and Christian theology is not related to creation or Genesis 1. It is, instead, related to suffering and mercy. For example, when Darwin considered how cruel nature and natural selection can be, it reinforced his doubt that a benevolent God made or oversees the world or our lives.

    The belief that variation and the struggle for existence accounts for the origin of the species is more compatible with a belief in an indifferent meaningless universe than it is with a belief in the loving kindness and mercy of God. Few people say they stopped believing in God because they realized that we evolved. Much more often people say they stopped believing in God because of the suffering in the world or in their own lives.

    Ironically, suffering turns others towards God. I even know a man who is a scientist, one who completely believes that natural selection accounts for the origin of the species and has based his professional life on that belief, who turned toward God once he faced great suffering in his life. He prays for God’s help and he feels assured that he has received it.

    I guess what all of this means to me, anyway, is that it is good to teach your children about evolution and to teach them that one can believe in evolution and in God. In addition, I think it is crucial to discuss suffering with your children and the mercy and loving kindness of God. I imagine that you are doing this. I hope I don’t sound like I am criticizing anything you are doing. I just wanted to add this thought to yours.

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  4. Thank you for elaborating on this.
    Before I started teaching my kids, I was frustrated by the choices between literal six day creation (which seems to imply that vast swathes of scientific thought need to be blacked out before handing books to kids) and agressive evolutionary thought (which is often used to “prove” the non-existence of God). I think it is a dissatisfaction with this tension that has made ID attractive to many people. Since I now have kids that are older and are very interested in science, it is no longer I topic that I can just brush aside.
    When you have a chance, if you could add any books references that you have found helpful on the topic, I’d appreciate it. This is definitely a topic that I need to do more thinking on.

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  5. Hello.

    This website was just introduced to me by my son-in-law. I hope to be a responder from time to time, as I am a science teacher who teaches this subject. I am looking forward to the interchange!

    Naturewalker

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  6. How refreshing to find someone both religious and scientific.
    People like you are really needed to help weather the storm between fundamentalists and militant Atheists.

    Keep up the good work!

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  7. Dear Rebecca,

    We homeschooled our 3 children all the way through. We began in 1977 and finished in 2007. They are all very strong mature Christians and our best friends. I’m a research geologist and agree with your thoughts. Let me share some of my work with you to further encourage you.

    Our recent research on the Cambrian Explosion at the Burgess Shale site and on a inorganic origin of hydrocarbons points to a ‘blueprint written’ in the inorganic chemistry in the form of catalysts (’factories’). Native nickel, iron (and other transitional metals), reduced carbon and hydrogen in supercritical water (>360 C) is capable of producing virtually any hydrocarbon just as the Germans produced gasoline from coke, nickel and hydrogen in World War II. Around Cambrian serpentinite hydrothermal dolomite vents at the Burgess site you can see life ‘evolving’ in direct response to the changing chemistry of the vent via catalytic reactions. There are two reaction sequences: 1. hydrocarbon and 2. RNA-DNA-life. The hydrocarbon sequence may be the base of the food chain for the biosphere. The bottom line is that the jump from inorganic to organic is apparently ‘programed’ into the universe via catalytic reactions. These catalysts not only speed up reactions but ‘manufacture’ more complex molecules. So if life was ‘extincted’ on planet earth it would start right up again. This has huge theological implications. The matter/time/chance origin for life never was very satisfactory even for atheistic scientists–they often referred to a ‘Ghost’ in the Creation. Here is a mechanism–an infinitely complex blueprint/factory of which some say we are the product. Which interestingly would imply that the blueprint ‘writer’ must have personality. This question, in my opinion, is larger than the question of the existence of God. It is the primary question scientists like Einstein struggle with.

    I’m looking at this problem from a geologic perspective and my group has been privately funded to do research and exploration for the mineral and oil and gas industry for 25 years. The people currently funding us would like us to not publish yet, because there are significant exploration implications. The origin of life implication is a side issue and is not our focus and we are not biochemists, although we are working with some.

    We have hundreds of publications, but have had no academically peer- reviewed publications for about 10 years. Our primary focus has been development of a new igneous rock and mineral deposit classification which implies a 7-layered mantle and provides a great reference frame for connecting plate tectonics to continental geology. Direct application of this model to metal exploration has resulted in the discovery of 20 economic Au-Cu-Ag deposits on three continents (valued at $70 billion)–so it obviously works. I view this as another form of peer review.

    Recently we have applied this model to oil and gas at the urging of Exxon Research in 2001 (they had deep earth mass balance questions) and we soon ran geologically into the interaction of the top of the mantle with the hydrosphere. Some implications of this process include: origin of oil and gas, climate change, and the origin of life. We are focused on the oil and gas exploration application, but have been working off and on with the researchers at the Burgess Shale museum on the origin of life question and an alternative geologic model for the Cambrian Explosion (not a Cambrian sea teaming with life, but life clustered around isolated ‘white smoker’ vents). Out of the group I’m the only Christian that I know of and of course see the theological implications immediately, while the others really haven’t thought about this and I have not pushed it other than in a casual joking way.

    There may be two HC fractionation sequences (Element Magazine, 2006) with the hydrocarbon sequence and the origin of life sequence not on the same fractionation tracks:

    1. Hydrocarbons originating at the top of the lithospheric mantle where ocean water penetrates the oceanic crust hydrating mantle peridotite. This contact of the lithospheric mantle and the hydrosphere is commonly referred to as the Moho. The hydrocarbon type of reaction is the one we are focused on for oil and gas exploration reasons and probably does not lead to life but may be the base of the food chain for the biosphere (see Lost Cities web site).

    2. RNA and DNA type organic molecules may be produced by complex synergistic catalytic reactions (clay, sulfide, transitional metal, catalysts) of the Mg-C charged hydrothermal brines at hydrothermal vents on the Cambrian Sea floor. This fractionation sequence is not as reduced as the hydrocarbon fractionation sequence so oxygen is involved. You have 30 meter diameter hydrothermal Mg-rich brine paleo-seeps at the Burgess. Life was clustered around the seeps and occasionally got too close and was chemically killed and preserved–this is why the soft body parts are so well preserved. Fossilization was not caused by a submarine landslide but was chemical. Evolution of the life forms also closely follows the fractionation of the system up stratigraphy.

    This geology suggests there is something innate in the inorganic that causes organic. Catalysis could theoretically do this. I have talked to enough biochemists to know this is within the realm of possibility. They all have said that catalysis is a fairly new science and there is much we do not know. Complex synergistic reactions take science to the edge of mystery. When you add in the non-ionic supercritical mantle hydration and nano-particles to the mix geologically it all becomes an intriguing story that has not been considered.

    The implications are that there appears to be a blueprint (in the form of catalytic elements and compounds) written in inorganic matter that causes it to become organic and ultimately life. The popular although unsatisfactory idea that with enough time inorganic matter will randomly become life is not needed. You go from the impersonal chance appearance of life to the implication that God designed life into the Creation. You go from Atheism to Theism–more accurately Panentheism (this is not a heretical term). This could even be evidence for a personal Creator denied by both Pantheists and Atheists.

    If we are the end product of the blueprint it logically follows that the blueprint writer had personality greater as ours. This is the most difficult question for man. That ‘God’ exists is not the question, it is whether or not He is personal.

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  8. I feel that it is wrong to indoctrinate children with religious belief before they are truly old enough to understand what they are being told. Look what happens when we tell them that there is a man with a red suit that magically brings them presents. They blindly accept it.

    Children are no more capable of being “Christian” or “Atheist” than they are of being “Republican” or “Democrat.” They simply don’t have the understanding required to make these decisions.

    You can teach them ABOUT Christianity. But to force it upon them is a form of brainwashing… whether you do it consciously or not. They need to be able to make the choice whether or not they accept it. And they should not be guilt-ed into being Christian… that it will disappoint their family if they don’t believe in God.

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  9. I feel that it is wrong to indoctrinate children with religious belief before they are truly old enough to understand what they are being told. Look what happens when we tell them that there is a man with a red suit that magically brings them presents. They blindly accept it.

    Children are no more capable of being “Christian” or “Atheist” than they are of being “Republican” or “Democrat.” They simply don’t have the understanding required to make these decisions.

    You can teach them ABOUT Christianity. But to force it upon them is a form of brainwashing… whether you do it consciously or not. They need to be able to make the choice whether or not they accept it. And they should not be guilt-ed into being Christian… that it will disappoint their family if they don’t believe in God.

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  10. If I may butt in…

    To Sebastian:

    I do not homeschool any children, but I am a science educator. Books that I find helpful to supplement my own knowledge include:

    “Finding Darwin’s God”, by Kenneth Miller
    “The Language of God”, by Francis Collins (less scholarly…more personal)

    Neither are recommended to take the place of any textbooks, but they are excellent additions (particularly Miller’s book) to your home library and your own base of knowledge on the subject. Both speak on the topics of faith and science and how the two can be, and are, compatible.

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  11. If I can suggest a deeper understanding of chance theory and randomness testing. If one looks at chapter 9 page 95 (and onward) in a book called “The G.O.D. Experiments” you might all find it strangely interesting. Now I am a Christian (since being led to God via Christ wooed by God’s Holy Spirit…I just got too curious for my own good and now there is not going back…it just takes too much faith to believe in chance! Frankly, there is a lot of weirdness going on in the science fields that leads me to look skeptical at the education (and PBS TV Shows) as I believe we are being manipulated. Now Schwartz is a bit strange himself and sort of meta-physical and such (I almost expected him to go for an Oweji board. Ya have to get by the first chapters where it is all a bit weird. And in the sand painting chapters what he is really talking about (without saying it) is entropy (2nd law of thermodynamics but in a manner a bit different. Frankly, this guy is interesting! As you dig into this guy he gets you to a point where there is no chance AT ALL…and he just might have a point!

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  12. Hello!

    I discovered your blog through the blog carnival, and find your posts on this topic very interesting. I am a homeschooled high-schooler, Christian, and firm believer in intelligent design. I certainly don’t take offense at the view you present–although I would submit that any “intolerance” in this discussion is coming from the evolutionary advocates.

    You basically stated that the creation story in Genesis was put there to cater to an audience who would have been unable to understand the “true” scientific origins of the world. The creation account is far too detailed to be a cover-up like this. In essence, to say that God did it this way inevitably makes him out to be a liar.

    Throughout your post, I noticed phrases like “God’s role in creation” and “God’s involvement.” How can he be the Creator (as he is called consistently throughout scripture) if he was merely a part of some other force which culminated in the existence of earth? Are we to doubt these New Testament passages as well?

    I would agree that a belief in intelligent design is not essential to the Christian faith (please don’t think I am challenging your salvation). But without it, the foundation for all our beliefs can come crashing down. You seemed to turn this argument upon the creationists, but I failed to see the connection–how can creation science undermine the Bible, which teaches creation science? It cannot be denied that, taken literally (as scripture should be), Genesis teaches intelligent design, and it is evolution that requires an alternate explanation.

    One more note to “Godkillzyou:” To be sure, children should not be “indoctrinated” or “brainwashed,” but rather trained to understand what is right and what is wrong by looking at the Bible. If I were to consistently tell a child that he must never, ever run in the street because he might be seriously hurt, would this be “brainwashing” him, or instructing him? Soon, though, he will understand the reason for this command, and will take responsibility for his own actions. This is why I (and many other Christians) oppose infant baptism; when a child is old enough to understand the commitment he is making, THEN he can be baptized. Everyone has the free will necessary to make the choice.

    I certainly don’t mean this to come across as rude or pushy. Thank you for posting on this topic,

    ~Beth

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  13. Beth,
    thank you for your thoughtful response. I must however, take great exception with the idea that what I say makes God out to be a liar.
    We do not say that Jesus was lying when he told his stories, even though no one claims that they are literal historical accounts of actual events, for goodness sakes! The simple fact that God has provided two substantively differing accounts of creation ought to make it blazingly clear to readers that these are not stories which we are required to view as historical fact. God, of course has many ways of communicating with us beside recounting simple literal historical facts, none of which in anyway whatsoever can or should be used to claim that he is, of all things, a liar much less constructing some sort of cover up. I hope that nothing I said would indicate that I held such a reprehensible opinion.
    Also, your idea about what God’s role in creation means is much closer to the Islamic notion that the rules of the universe are at work only because God is actively and constantly causing them to be. IE the earth circles the sun following the rules of motion and gravity only because is constantly moving it through space in ways which are consistent with the laws of motion and gravity. If God ceased his active role, then the earth would cease to move. The Christian understanding of God and the rules of the universe has always been that God set the rules in motion from which point they functioned without His direct involvement. God still rules the universe and sets its functioning, even though he is not actively moving things about. Likewise, God is creator of all things, even if creation was executed by the material acting according to the rules which He also created. Requiring that God be constantly involved with the execution of creation or that His role as creator is somehow diminished because it acts independently according to the rules which He put in place, is not consistent with a Christian view of the world, although, as I said before, Muslims would be in agreement with this idea.
    Finally, if you are interested, I would suggest that you read my prior post on why I believe that teaching your children creation science and intelligent design in a way which makes acceptance of such a component of the Christian faith is spiritually dangerous. The link to that post is at the beginning of this one. The comments are particularly interesting because many people have found what I am concerned about to match what happens in the real world as well.
    Thanks!

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  14. Pingback: “Expelled” Exposed « The Upside Down World

  15. It is sad that you want to find “reasons” for wanting to distance yourself from God’ Glory and Power…What makes you think that the Hebrews or early people on the earth could not understand creation? Do you think our society is so enlighted that we seem to know it all or are more intelligent than the the Patriarchs of the Bible? If evolution is the answer, how and why do we not see evidence? Why does modern day man have a huge brain and only use 8-12% of it’s capacity? One would think that evolution teaches that all things are progressing towards a more uniform, steady state, since that is what “design” is all about. Yet evolution contradicts itself in the Big Bang theory…It was a bang…everything expanding…I do not know about you, but I observe in nature that when things expand, it tends toward more chaos and less design…

    Where do you draw the line between nice “stories” in the Bible and what is true? Is the Flood a nice story?, what about Jonah and the great fish…Another story? what about the crucifictiona, death, burial and resurrection on Jesus…another story?

    If you can’t get past the first 10 words in the Bible, why bother going forward…How do you make a decision as to what to believe? is it in your “heart’? is it is your soul? is it in your mind? Sorry, but your nice syrupy explanations will fail you based on the truth of God’s word. It is beliefs like yours that slowly chip away at God’s truth…

    Evolution is a theory, and old earth geology is a theory. Not one Scientist can “prove” any of it…You take it on your faith, based your point of view that all these folks just “have to be right”…after all there are so many scientists and they all validate each other…So your faith is based on the “humanistic view” of the world, as most of the basic scientific community. They do not even want to theorize that God can exist

    What is interestin g in your earlier article is that you think that “creation scientists” just punch holes and like to find fault with the “mainstream” scientific community…let’s set aside the money trail and funding sources…why do you think it is so easy to punch holes in the evolution and old geology theories? Why should one try to “prove” a truth, since, by definition, it is unnecessary…

    Show me, prove to me, anything…that is untruthful in the Bible…All I am asking for is one! It should not be that hard!

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  16. 1915: 1.8 Billion people,
    2010: 6.8 Billion people,
    95 years: 5 Billion people,
    2310: 22 Billion people,
    Solution to problem: Stop Creating Babies

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  17. I am a christian and am completely on the fence about literal 6 day creation and evolutionary thinking. And one thing that has bothered me about evolutionary thinking is the entrance of sin. Were we just made with it? When did it enter the world? And if we were made with sin, then is sin really sin? And if sin isnt really sin then why did Jesus truly come? To preach love? We got Ghandi for that. And another thing is when did humans become humans? Worthy of a soul and a personal loving god? If evolution is right, then were the nandertals humans? Did they have souls? What about other human predecessors that were closely related to us genetically? Did they have souls? Or were they just animals sent to dog heaven? These are just things that have been weighing on my mind.

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    • This is complete speculation on my part, but I think that sin could be the result of an evolutionary change. There are scholars who speculate that it was leaving the hunter-gatherer life that is the change which brought sin into the world. So, we don’t know which is really no different than literal creationists either – I just don’t pretend to know what I don’t understand or have answers for.
      Something to think about: we are often told that Adam and Eve were perfect, but a baby that poops on itself if perfect. Adam and Eve were not knowlegable, sophistocated people. They didn’t know they were naked, grabbed leaves and tried to hide from God. These are not the actions of people who knew much about anything.

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  18. Pingback: Why Creationism Does Not Honor God « The Upside Down World

  19. I’d like to make three points:

    I’ll first mention my viewpoint so you know where I’m coming from. I am a Christian who has walked with the Lord Jesus Christ, and through many a dark valley, for about 15 years now. I attend a “non-denominational” church whose views most closely resemble those of Evangelical Christians. Moreover, I have always had a deep penchant for the sciences, particularly cosmology. Lastly, and most importantly, I love God with all my heart, soul, spirit, and strength.

    [1] There is a saying I think most helpful to this discussion: “Missing the forest for the trees.” Turning to Paul’s beautiful passage in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, we see the vital importance of telling others what we believe. But what is most fantastic in this passage is “how” Paul did this. He BECAME LIKE his audience (which necessarily entails first understanding your audience) in order to help them understand Christ and salvation. However, many Evangelicals (those who typically rail against the scientific community) miss this vital point. That is, one critical purpose of salvation is to share it with others by doing whatever possible to help them understand, including becoming “like” the audience. To this end, I ask you to excuse me for rephrasing the passage, from NIV, for this discussion: “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the [atheist] I became like [an atheist], to win the [atheists]. . . . To the [scientist] I became [scientific], to win [scientists]. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” My point is this: by railing against the scientific community and against the work they have devoted their lives to, the fundamentalists only alienate and assure that community’s speedy flight from salvation. And, who is responsible for the failure? Certainly not the scientific community; instead, the responsibility falls squarely on the shoulders of those responsible for the gospel’s communication.

    [2] What is wrong with believing that the way God does things is WAY more complex than we could ever imagine!? Genesis 1 is a little less than 800 words; to say that these words alone reflect how things occurred at the moment of creation is a diminution of God’s majesty. Indeed, even John 21:25 says that if all the complexities of Christ’s ministry had been documented, the “whole world” would not have enough books to write them in. Furthermore, 2 Peter 3:8 clearly indicates we ought not forget that “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.” (Note: he said “like” a thousand years. Thus, it is not a perfect equation expressing one God-day equaling one thousand man-years — rather, it expresses the grand difference between the way God and man appreciate time. That is, one God-day feels about like a thousand man-years — that complexity just blows my mind!!) My point: Genesis 1 is like a recipe card, just giving you the ingredients and instructions, but the recipe card was not designed to explain the complexities of cooking — like the multivolume “Joy of Cooking” is. As the author of the above article explained, God meets us where we are… similarly, when our children ask us to tell them how they came to be, we do not share with them all the raw reality-filled adult details; instead, we meet them where they are, the same way God did/does with his children. Indeed, if the complexities of creation had been detailed “I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” John 21:25 NIV.

    [I only inserted two points because these two points came out to more text than I expected.]

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  20. [I decided to just go ahead and post the rest of my thoughts on this topic. Maybe some poor Christian out there, wrestling with the same thing, can glean something useful from it.]

    [3] One caveat: I personally don’t think I need to swallow evolutionary biology hook-line-and-sinker. There are still gaps in the theory. For example, as far as I know, the evidence linking homo sapiens to the ocean is quite weak. While, however, there is plenty of evidence linking fish to reptiles to birds. And, with regard to animal complexity, why couldn’t God have created a set of animals and then initiated evolutionary change from there? Isn’t it more amazing to believe that God created life to change and adapt to their surroundings in order to survive, rather than simply die off with every new environmental change? Wouldn’t that require a whole new creation every time the creature’s environment changed?

    [4] Concerning humans, science has MOST WONDEROUSLY buttressed the Biblical Adam & Eve account. Science has shown, through mitochondrial DNA, that humans did, IN FACT, originate in the fertile crescent and spread out from there (Ethiopia to be exact, in East Africa). (Note: if humans cannot evolve, then which did God create first: Nubian, Asiatic, or Caucasian. I wager that Adam & Eve looked very different from the ethnocentric medieval paintings.) Moreover, there is a grand theory called the “Great Leap Forward,” which is supported by evidence showing that previous to 50,000 yrs ago pre-modern humans were primitive beasts, similar to neanderthals. However, something mysteriously happened after the 50,000 year mark causing humans to suddenly flower into making fine tools, weapons, sculpture, cave paintings, body ornaments, engage in long distance trade, and begin spreading across the globe (cf. Wiki: Behavioral Modernity). This all reminds me of Genesis 2:7-8, which says that God formed man from the Earth, breathed life into man, and then placed man in Eastern Eden (Ethiopia: Eastern Africa). If you’ll allow me to interpret allegorically, Genesis 2:7 says that man owes its existence both to God and Earth — that is, part of man was created the same as other Earth creatures, except that man was additionally created by God’s breath, which created man’s soul. It was God’s breath/man’s soul which created the new being called human, along with intelligence sufficient for the “Great Leap Forward.” Of course, while no one can presume to know all the details, this is all still marvelous and reflects how truly powerful and complex God really is. But, most importantly, I can also share this evidence with non-Christians to begin establishing the Bible’s legitimacy with them… and eventually Christ’s salvation, pursuant to 1 Corinthians 9:19-23. With all due respect, can new Earth literal creationists do the same?

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  21. Pingback: Fundamentally Flawed Podcast With Rebecca « The Upside Down World

  22. Pingback: Resources for Genesis 2:7 - 8

  23. Both Creationism and Evolution are man made concepts in an attempt to understand and explain our origins. No matter what you believe there can only be one story and I believe that story is mulit faceted. Humans lay out two choices and tell you that you must choose one or the other when in fact everything in life is interconnected. I believe that the theory of evolution is correct and does not necessarily negate the Biblical version of events except where human wish there to be a negation. Most of Genesis supports the sequences of evolution (in story form) up to the point that humans come on the scene. That’s where the two theories (from a human perspective) begin to divide. But I don’t believe there is a division as far as God is concerned I just think that we don’t have all the pieces to the puzzle. In our arrogance (both religious and secular) we think that we have all the answers and set down a either or scenario and both sides are too arrogant to admit that they just might not have all the answers to the puzzle and admit that the two ideas might actually be one in the same from different angles.

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  24. In our arrogance we think that God cannot be a scientist, and Scientists can’t believe in God, and that evolutionists must not believe in God, and Christianity “the religion” (not God or Jesus) has all the answers perfectly when in fact the Bible says nothing about Creationism, it merely says God created man, animals the heavens and the earth and a Creationism theory is built around that . Darwin did not create evolution he he just created the term and he merely discovered the process by which God uses to create and mold the earth and different species. He didn’t do anything but look, listen and observe Gods creation. I don’t believe that Darwin had all the answers either there must be a lot more out there that neither Christians nor Evolutionists have discovered because our brain capacity to fully discover and understand the wonders of the universe is very, very limited and very, very slow.

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  25. For anyone to actually think that we’ve discovered everything there is to be discovered, learned everything there is to be learned about this topic and set down a buffet of limited choices that you must choose from one or the other is a clear sign that we as humans just don’t get it.

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