Evolution, Creation, Other, or All of the Above? - Mothering Forums

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Author Topic: Evolution, Creation, Other, or all of the above?
mom2godzillas
Member posted 05-17-2001 09:12 AM
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This is a fascinationg topic for me and I was wondering what other people beleive. it sometimes seems that as a Christian, I'm supposed to believe in "pure" Creationism ( and therefore that Darwin was one step away from Anti-Christ). What I do beleive in is "theistic evolution"; ie,I don't reject what scince tells us abou life on earth but beleive that when we get down to the final "how: we're pointing to God. In fact, it seems to me evolution producing what is has is so unlikely, it couldn't be chance. I know a lot of Judeo/ Christians reject evolution on the grounds of the Genesis accont; after all, the world was created in 6 days. But I don't think "days " has to mean 24 hour periods. After all, this is God we're talking about. What is a day to God?
I have another friend who agrees with me on this and one thing that bugs us is the "bumper fish wars" It os our impression, and if anyone can confirm or deny it, please do, that Charles Darwin was a Christian.
So, what do you all think?


Yammer
Moderator posted 05-17-2001 10:29 AM
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I don't believe that God made the world 5000 years ago and arranged to put dinosaur bones into sandstone merely to draw out the heretics. I think life on earth began as a photochemical reaction in the ocean which sparked into amino acids. The acids became proteins and then organisms and, eventually, Kathy Lee Gifford.
But what made the spark?

It is an awesome concept. Deists believe that a god or gods made life from an intelligent action, not some random collision of molecules. But I, for one, do not feel in any way bothered or diminished by the idea that I am the distant descendent of a spark in the primordial sea. The plan of nature is far beyond anyone's comprehension. Human perceptions and paradigms are tuned to a level of reality which does not encompass the whole universe, indeed, a small fraction of it. We see a narrow band of radiation and nothing larger than an atom. We think that space has three dimensions, that time flows forward, and that cause always precedes effect. In this way, an agnostic can agree with a theist that there are is an infinity beyond scientific understanding. The fact that you and I are here, today, on these Boards, is a miracle however you care to deem it.





mom2godzillas
Member posted 05-17-2001 02:27 PM
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"The fact that you and I are heer, today, on these boards, is a miracle however you care to deem it". So true!!


suseyblue
Member posted 05-17-2001 08:35 PM
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Ok. All great apes except us have 24 sets of chromosones.
The reason is that Chromosone 2, our second largest, is the result of a fusion between 2 medium-sized ape chromosones (there is a pattern of black bands on it that indicates this).

If I may borrow an apt phrase from the present Pope, there was an 'ontological(science of being) discontinuity' between ape & man, when God stuck a Human Soul into animal form. (So there's a gene for the soul near the middle of that chromosone .)

Therefore I'm of the non-creationist bent (even though, Stephan Gould notwithstanding, I believe that there are too many holes in the record to unconditionally endorse all of evolutionary theory) & still believe in the ultimate creation of life by God, and the creation of mankind by God. (I was going to say something unkind about fundamentalists, but in the spirit of ecumenical good fellowship I edited myself. Enough to say that I am not one.)

Incidently, this is *not* stuff that would be fresh in my mind if I was not going over Biology with my dd at the moment. If anyone suspected me of being a closet intellectual, I apologize.

Suse

[This message has been edited by suseyblue (edited 05-17-2001).]



DebraBaker
Member posted 05-18-2001 05:51 AM
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I believe G-d could have created the world through evolution.
I think Darwin's teachings are either evil or potentially evil because they have been taken to discriminate against Blacks and Asians.

If we believe we are evolving beyond what we are now or had been common in the past but the races are evolving away from one another we could justify racist policies. I believe the entire phenom. of eugenics was a direct result of the evil application of Darwinic evolutionary teachings.

To study these things scientificaly is a no-brainer in my opinion.

I don't know why Christians paint themselves into these corners. G-d is much bigger than the box we fabricate for Him.

Debra Baker (He could have created everything in 6 days 5,000 years ago, I just don't want to say he *had* to do it that way, that's all)



Rosebud
Member posted 05-18-2001 06:57 AM
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M2G,
I, too, ponder the universe, but keep in mind that it depends on the variety of Christianity that determines how literally the reader takes the Bible.

If you discuss Biblical theology with anyone who really knows it (which is NOT me, btw), they'll admit the same.

In the words of a not-so-famous singer, "I choose to let the mystery be." (Iris Dement)

I make a few reconciliations between the various theories for the sake of my feeble intellect, and leave the rest to mystery.



steph
Member posted 05-18-2001 07:18 AM
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Fascinating subject! I only recently heard about those who believe that dinosaur bones where put here (supposedly by the devil) to trick people! I thought that was pretty funny! But, back to the subject at hand.... well, I follow Yammers train of thought pretty well... I think science is comming to that place where it merges with metaphysics. Who started it all? Is it a "who"? Like Rosebud quoting Iris Dement, I like letting the mystery be. It's like trying to sort out what is conciousness.... too vast for me.


Mama2Mary
Member posted 05-18-2001 12:42 PM
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I have heard that at the end of his life Darwin took back his theory saying that he was wrong. Does anyone know about that? I was wondering if there are any websites or anything out there with information on Darwin himself...not just his theory.
I myself am a creationist, but I do believe in evolution. What? I believe that God created us and that we were created as men/women...not as apes. I believe that God created apes AND mankind/womankind. He is a very creative God and honestly I wouldn't put it past Him to be still creating. That's were evolution comes in. Perhaps He simply changes a species a bit...lifespan, look, etc. Or perhaps He creates a whole new species and plops them in the Amazon region to be discovered by scientists. I've thought about the whole no such thing as dinosaurs only their bones thing, but I don't know where I stand with that. I mean it could be that God, in His awesome humor, decided to decorate the earth so that it looked older. Isn't that what some of us do to pieces of furniture? Distressed earth? But, I also think it is possible that He created dinosaurs and either evolved them or...phased them out. "Dinosaurs are being discontinued. Orders will be filled as stock remains."

I do agree that whether you believe in evolution or creation, it really doesn't matter. The most important thing to me is to believe in God...and the God I believe in, the God of the Bible, is an awesome God. I wouldn't evolve Him or phase Him out ever!



summermom
Member posted 05-19-2001 05:38 PM
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I think evolution is a work of God!


Yammer
Moderator posted 05-22-2001 04:49 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Mama2Mary:
I've thought about the whole no such thing as dinosaurs only their bones thing, but I don't know where I stand with that. I mean it could be that God, in His awesome humor, decided to decorate the earth so that it looked older. Isn't that what some of us do to pieces of furniture? Distressed earth?
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God is a practical joker, then?

At last, an explanation for church collapses, sharks, leukemia, and droughts.





macsmom
Member posted 05-23-2001 04:21 AM
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Anyone intrested in finding out more about Creationism should research Ken Ham. He's an excellent resource.
I believe in creation. I minored in biology, I studied evolution. There is about as much proof for evolution as there is for creation. It is one of life's great mysteries. And, yes, Darwin did reject his teachings on his deathbed, but evolutionists will never let you know that! I believe in God through faith. I believe in creation through faith. Plus, I don't know how anyone can look at a baby that has just come out of their body and believe that it is the result of evolving over millions of years from a single cell. Life is just to amazing to be an accident of evolution!



cat
Moderator posted 05-23-2001 02:04 PM
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WHAT??!! There were no such things as dinosaurs, just their bones?? IS NOTHING SACRED?????!!!!!


Yammer
Moderator posted 05-23-2001 02:46 PM
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Thanks for the head's up on Ken Ham! Here's what some folks think of this Australian author of the "young-Earth" variety, whose current project is the building of a $14M Creation Museum:
http://www.pblueribbon.net/Analysis.html

http://www.onthenet.com.au/~stear/au...by_ken_ham.htm

[This message has been edited by Yammer (edited 05-23-2001).]



Gallina
Member posted 05-23-2001 03:48 PM
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Oh Boy, I'm really glad this topic came up, cause coincidentally, I got into a really big argument (discussion) with my husband over this only two days ago.
He actually seems to believe that evolution is merely a theory, and a flawed one at that, and it's more likely that everything has always been this way, including us.

And he said I am not educated enough to even properly discuss it, and scientists are just like the Inquisitionists of the days of old who made Galileo recant his blasphemous theories.

This is such a flawed way of thinking, I can't believe my intelligent, well-informed life partner would dare question evolutionary science. He is not a christian, even( and most christians seem okay with the whole evolution thing anyway).

To me, Evolution is the driving force behind all beings, and possibly all matter, and possibly all energy, and simpler arrangements must become more complex with time, things start small and grow larger, babies start from single cells, cakes are made from flour and sugar and puff up in the oven. Evolution is a lovely, intelligent, spiritual thing. Who knows where it will all lead? Amen.



bonita
Member posted 05-23-2001 11:01 PM
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Well, evolution is just a theory, isn't it?


Yammer
Moderator posted 05-23-2001 11:44 PM
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Right.
Specifically, evolution is a theory or proposed explanation about how life on earth presents itself to us as a diverse array of distinct species.

The concept that families of iving things change into more-or-less different versions of themselves over the generations existed long before Charles Darwin sailed with The Beagle to the Galapagos Islands. Darwin's contribution to evolutionary theory was a viable mechanism for how such change might be accomplished.

His theory -- Natural Selection -- is that creatures which are the best adapted to their surroundings prosper the most, and vice versa. Over a long time, nature can be said to have "selected" the fittest current variations of any plant or critter, merely by the fact that their type is around now, and others ain't.

This theory, aside from making common sense, also happens to fit the available facts. Solar radiation does cause genetic mutation. Natural selection does explain why there are fossils of plants and animals for which living specimens cannot be found.

Creationism, on the other hand, merely has the power of belief behind it. If you believe that every word of the Bible is literally true (i.e. Biblical inerrancy), then you have to believe that the Earth is considerably younger than scientists think -- about 6000 years, according to creationist theologicans like Ken Ham. You would then believe that God created all of the varieties of life pretty much the way they are today, per The Book of Genesis.

Any contrary evidence is just ignored or belittled. Carbon dating -- sham. Fossils -- frauds. The most effective tactic is to divert attention from the evidence by insinuating that Darwinist theory is part of a plot to harm and destroy us, the faithful. The things that disturb us about today's world -- homosexuality, abortion, teenage misbehavior, and feminism -- were brought about by Godless Darwinists. If everyone believed in the literal truth of the Bible, on the other hand, an era of perfect peace and harmony would ensue.

It's a nice story. It would be good if proven correct.

However, for some time, the proofs have all been pointing to evolution as having the most going for it in terms of being literally true. Belief in the Bible is not intrinsically more persuasive than the Hindu notion that the world is currently resting on the back of a giant elephant.

This is not to say that Creationists are bad people or want bad things. Quite the contrary. They would aspire to an era of great peace and harmony under God, which would be terrific. However, because God is seemingly too mysterious to take direct day to day control of operations, His word is given through minions. Unfortunately, honest minions are not always distinguishable from ruthless pretenders until it is too late. Consequently, churches are denied political control in all civilized countries.

Again, this is not to say that Creationists are bad for wanting everyone to see things their way. It is a tradition of great cultural importance.


[This message has been edited by Yammer (edited 05-24-2001).]



cat
Moderator posted 05-23-2001 11:48 PM
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Thanks, Yammer, for the links. I found two very interesting things to share.
Let's see...if you want to talk about racism, then read the Ken Ham piece on Australian Aborigines (as much as he tries to deny it). It's just disgusting.

On a nicer note, here's a great quote...
"I will end my remarks with a statement by Kevin L. O’Brien, a biochemist specializing in protein chemistry, and a fundamentalist, evangelical Christian: “As a scientist, I seek to understand the mechanism of the universe, but as a theist, I also seek to understand the meaning of the universe. Therefore I look for materialistic explanations for the former and look for spiritualistic explanations for the latter. Since both involve their own methods in their own domains, I am able to keep both separate even as I use them both simultaneously. So I can be both a creationist and an evolutionist, a Christian and a scientist, without betraying or subjugating one to the other.”

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-24-2001).]



mom2godzillas
Member posted 05-24-2001 10:36 AM
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With respect, macsmom, theistic evolution proposes that evolution is no accident , rather an act of God. Science explains the how, theology explains the why. Cat, thanks for that quote by Kevin O'Brien. I will have to check out those websites


boobybooby
Member posted 05-24-2001 12:47 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by Yammer:


Again, this is not to say that Creationists are bad for wanting everyone to see things their way. It is a tradition of great cultural importance.


[This message has been edited by Yammer (edited 05-24-2001).]


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Is this why people think we witness about Jesus Christ...To get people to merely "see things our way"? Salvation through Christ has nothing to do with a great tradition of cultural importance to me. It is not some simple, shallow triumph to lead someone to God. What is it specifically that people think Christians are trying to do to the world? Because frankly, praying to God for healing of our nation is not such a bad thing.
*edit to add:
Gods laws work, for a million or more reasons that I would never have time to post about, there's no forcing people into following them, that wouldn't be Gods way of doing it. But, we hope, we pray, we profess his name and love, and not in pity or looking down our noses, so that all have at least the option. Creationism is very REAL to me through faith. If some shout "blind faith" because I cannot prove creationism through science, or display it to the naked eye, isn't that similar to denying we posses the abilities of intuition and the unseen many times proven real, as in mothers intuition for example?
posted with love,
boobybooby

[This message has been edited by boobybooby (edited 05-24-2001).]

[This message has been edited by boobybooby (edited 05-24-2001).]

[This message has been edited by boobybooby (edited 05-24-2001).]



Yammer
Moderator posted 05-24-2001 02:04 PM
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The difference is that no one expects intuition to be taught in schools, or to denounce "non-intuitionists" as agents of Satan and avatars of abortion, homosexuality, etc.


boobybooby
Member posted 05-24-2001 03:56 PM
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I don't expect Christianity to be taught in schools, unless I pay money to send my child to a specific religious school. If I cannot afford religious school or we decide it is money we don't want to spend for that, I can always homeschool. Its called responsibility, and I don't rely on the government of all people to educate my kids!
In my opinion, one too many of our public schools have changed from a jovial place of fun and learning of each amazingly individual child... into political, self-serving indoctrinating houses for the goal of turning out non-believers only, or at least believers with no voices. Many, many non-christian beliefs are accepted and promoted in the public schools and the Christian kids get exposed to it everyday. Hmmm, no one feels bad for them, right? But I certainly would not expect a government institution to teach religion in school, only to at least allow it for the kids that want it... some schools do not allow group prayer around here because it is offensive, ridiculous.

I personally don't think non-believers are agents of Satan, good thing, my dear husband is a non-believer! He is the most loving man I know, with the biggest heart in the world. In fact he perplexes me because he thinks and lives like a man of God, but he claims non-belief, a man without eternal life in Christ Jesus. Hmmm, that could be a later topic.

Abortion and homosexuality are not endorsed by God, but I don't look at these two things as reason for hate, punishment, judgement or otherwise. In fact, that action against abortion or homosexuality is a sin indeed.

Satan is a clever one, he uses non-believers and some believers alike to aid his plans. It is a good way for him to keep men hating Gods people. Man is permeable to sin, theres no way we can be free of it completely. As a beleiver, though, we have I guess what you could call the bonus package, eternal life after death, faith and trust in our Savior that his will is a loving will, a gracious will, and a forgiving will. His living word is there as a guide to Holy living, good protection against sin, and wisdom for all men. Alas, again, back to why Gods laws are very fruitful, I can't write an entire book on the message board. (cummulatively, I think I already have )

So, in a long-winded approach, I don't follow the notion that as a Christian I "expect" my way to be everyone's way as well. I feel like God has been dragged through the trenches, many times over, and even by those that claim his name, how sad is that!? I would think twice about entertaining the church or person of "faith" that has no problem hating the non-believer, instead of loving them more! It's like throwing out the baby with the bath water!

Maybe I am living on a different orb over here. This is the message I get from Christ. Many of my Christian friends are in unison with me as well, so tell me, am I posting here from a far away place or what!?





cat
Moderator posted 05-25-2001 09:20 AM
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(sigh) boobybooby, I know you mean well, but...your comments on public school are both unwarranted and insulting to hard working teachers. Try to look beyond the overgeneralized rhetoric for a minute: those are people, human beings, out there in the classrooms teaching kids (and not getting paid very well for it, I might add). The good teachers bring their talents, knowledge and creativity into overcrowded classes, work within parameters given to them that don't always make sense, and generally work their butts off to encourage kids to think and learn within a very imperfect system. That's their agenda. It is NOT their job to create "believers," which I take to mean people who share the same faith that you do. I believe there are people of differing faiths that might object to that!
To me, the problem of politicization in public schools is occurring with all this standardized testing (which Bush is trying to increase and have states comply with in order to receive funding). Talk to any public school teacher (especially those teaching in low income areas serving children from a variety of ethnic backgrounds) about how ridiculous these tests are. But that's another subject...

Sorry to get off topic...and now back to creationism, evolution, and bears, oh my!

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-25-2001).]



boobybooby
Member posted 05-25-2001 04:54 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by cat:
(sigh) boobybooby, I know you mean well, but...your comments on public school are both unwarranted and insulting to hard working teachers. Try to look beyond the overgeneralized rhetoric for a minute: those are people, human beings, out there in the classrooms teaching kids (and not getting paid very well for it, I might add). The good teachers bring their talents, knowledge and creativity into overcrowded classes, work within parameters given to them that don't always make sense, and generally work their butts off to encourage kids to think and learn within a very imperfect system. That's their agenda. It is NOT their job to create "believers," which I take to mean people who share the same faith that you do. I believe there are people of differing faiths that might object to that!
[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-25-2001).]


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I am sorry if my last post was offensive, you were right, Cat, I was trying to mean well... and still be able to share my thoughts. I get the idea... I think. When I post thoughts about God, Christianity, it seems to be rarely recieved with the same amount of accuracy and good vibes I put it out there with. Maybe this is a good place to retire my posts here in the spirituality forum. Any objections?
What I said was I believe that the "schools" are not as good as they used to be. If you go back and read my post I said nothing about the teachers, at all. The teachers are absolutely amazing, wonderful people who work very hard and have to deal with all of the beurocratic political garbage that exists in the schools. I hope that makes more sense, I guess I did not elaborate enough.

In fact my friend is a public school teacher and we talk about the situation in the schools quite often. I respect and amire her deeply so I hope you weren't implying that I think because the school system is failing people that I don't respect the teachers. Absolutely not the case, here. Also she started her teaching job at 38,000 yearly for 8 months of work and a shorter worday than most jobs. She told me that she is very happy with the pay and it seems fair. She will also be able to take 3 months maternity leave right at the beginning of the school year after summer, totalling 6 months consecutive, (if they get pregnant). Maybe all of the underpaid generalizing stuff isn't true everywhere.

Also, what I mean by the schools agenda of only turning out non-believers or believers without voices is that religion of ALL kinds ( & especially Christian religions, only because they are the most predominant religions in the United States), not just the one I practice are discouraged when you walk through the doors of the school. In my opinion the children are expected to leave thier beliefs outside!? In fear of offending others!? It is not the schools job to create believers, I didn't say that, but is is right for the schools to not allow *some* of the kids to practice thier beliefs like group prayer at the school before a football game? Where do we draw the line? For the families that do have strong religious practices using the public schools it is confusing and insulting to the children who are discrimated against. I know we would all agree on that if it were a different issue at stake.
posted with love
boobybooby

[This message has been edited by boobybooby (edited 05-25-2001).]



Michellecat
Member posted 05-25-2001 05:26 PM
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But, Boobybooby, what if say a pagan child wanted to celebrate their religion in the public school system? What if a group of wiccan students wanted to do a ritual for, say, strength and courage before a game, how would YOU feel about that? Would you want the public school system to encourage that as well as Christianity? If not, then you are only wanting to promote Christianity in schools and not religious expression. And that, frankly, is exactly why we have separation of church and state -- so that one's agenda does not discriminate against another's beliefs. Just my 2 cents worth.


boobybooby
Member posted 05-25-2001 06:33 PM
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I did say ALL religions. Jewish, Pagan, Wiccan, ALL religions. That is what I meant. For instance, if I were in India I would insert the word Hindu instead of Christian, if it were being discriminated against in the public schools there.
Am I really unclear about my acceptance and love, best wishes for other religions, merely because I do love mine so much? Part of being a Christian is being careful not to negatively slander other belief systems, while also being careful not to participate in them. Many times, Christ loved most the people who really hated him. There is this stigma attached to Christians that we look down on others and use some kind of exclusiveness in our lives when we relate to non-believers. It gets perpetuated I suppose from some bad churches, preachers, believers that twist Gods scripture for thier own righteousness, and that IS NOT what Christ wants his people to do.

I can't change that Christianity is the most predominant religion in America, and therefore by theory of ratio ending up the one usually the target of religious discrimination in the schools. I don't fear other religions in the schools, it would be utterly discriminatory as well to say that only Christian kids could get together for a prayer and not the others allowed to do thier own ritual. I am not talking about the school enforcing or encouraging ANY religion (including Christianity) in a public, govermental domain. I am dissapointed that the school system allows discrimination of *private worship* within its territory that does not interfere with learning or impose changes to the course of the day, and desires to remove some of the functions of daily Christian rituals that have been going on there for as long as the public schools have been established.
posted with love,
boobybooby



cat
Moderator posted 05-25-2001 09:14 PM
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I really didn't intend to get started on the prayer in school issue. Maybe a new thread on this can be started?
I will say that I do not believe Christian children are being discriminated against in the public school system since there is no prayer of any type from any religion. That seems fair enough to all.

Boobybooby, I understand your point about the change you see in public schools, but it comes off pretty strong when you say that the schools have been turned "into political, self-serving indoctrinating houses for the goal of turning out non-believers only..." Of my teacher friends (who are not paid as well as your friend, sorry to say), I just don't see any of them disseminating any kind of "indoctrination" or agenda. And I introduced the human element in my post since it's easy to look at something like the ps system as a political whole and forget that it's the teachers who touch the children's lives and make a difference, not the bureaucrats. I think we agree on that. As far as the goal of public schools, I think it's to turn out educated kids. (Whether or not it is is a whole other discussion.)

Also, "non-believers" has a negative connotation and carries judgment with it. And I know you're concerned with not judging others. So maybe there's another term to use.

Peace!
Cat

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-26-2001).]



boobybooby
Member posted 05-25-2001 11:44 PM
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Cat,
We could take this over to School Forum but in all honesty, I think it would be redundant. I cannot convince you or anyone that Christian kids are being subject to anti-Christian stuff in the public schools. Maybe someday when I have more time I can go through some documentation and cite it in the school forum somewhere.

Negative connotation and judgement? I just keep getting the signal that no matter what I say it is not correct enough? I am kind of at a loss here and want to stay on but are there a list of special rules that are for certain people and not others? Truthfully I am confused... I use the preface non- to imply something is not rather than is. i.e. non-believer means the absence of belief in something...

A Pagan could as well consider me a non-believer, and I would not take that negatively, we just have a difference of beliefs. "Believer" to them might be Paganism, and "Believer" to me might be Christianity. It seems a bit petty that the word is asked not to be used when I see all over this board other words that have been far more negative and judgemental (without retraction). I really hope you will rethink that request, but its no biggy if you don't. (I am curious to know what others think of it though.) If it makes things better, I'll not use the word anymore, I don't want to offend ANYONE and I'll leave it at that, because as I said earlier I am probably going to head back on over to the mama and baby topics instead of spirituality for awhile

posted with love
boobybooby




cat
Moderator posted 05-26-2001 09:20 AM
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Actually, I was going to edit my post a bit this morning regarding the "non" issue (and I will still do that). I've used the phrase "non-AP," so I realized I wasn't exactly expressing myself right. What is more in line with what I was thinking is that the word "non-believer" is just is one of those flashpoint words that has so much emotion attached to it and has been used in a negative, judgmental way for so long. Why not just say the person has a different belief and leave it at that? (I'm saying this in general and not singling you out, boobybooby!)
And I still respectfully disagree with you on the discrimination issue. How is it discrimination when NO ONE is praying in school? If you're talking about what's being taught, then maybe it's not that the subjects are anti-Christian as much as they are something that Christians merely do not believe in. Evolution, for example, is not "anti-Christian" -- it's just a different way of looking at something. You might not agree with it, and that's your choice...and what this thread is about! It seems, in fact, that there are a few Christians who accept both evolution AND creationism.

Boobybooby, I wouldn't want you to refrain from expressing yourself ever. I've read enough of your posts to know that your understanding of your chosen faith is very gentle and sweet. I'll be very honest with you here...I think where you get into trouble is when you repeat rhetoric or what sounds to me like "party line" stuff (i.e., the public school comments) versus simply saying what is really in your heart. For me at least, I see a difference and I always much more appreciate the words that truly come from your heart. They're generally quite beautiful.

Cat

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-26-2001).]

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-26-2001).]



Jaya
Member posted 05-27-2001 04:32 AM
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OK, I have to say that I really don't like the theory of evolution. I am not a Christian, although I did grow up Catholic and even went to an all girls Catholic school. Anyway, I follow a (mono-theistic) religion from India based on the ancient Vedic scriptures (including Bhagavad Gita, which most people know of here in the West). These scriptures teach that God created this world (along with many, many other planets, galaxies, etc) way more than a few thousand years ago. Basically, it says that there are four time cycles of hundreds of thousands of years that continue unlimitedly and throughout that time life on this earth changes, including the size of people and animals. Dinosaurs are thus included in the way that the animals change size etc. Plus these scriptures tell us that there are many more species of life on this planet than the scientests know about. Anyway, it's very complicated and scientfic, and I always think that this is such a logical explaination of things.
I was at the zoo last week with my baby and my niece and nephews. We were looking at the zebras and all I could think of was how incredible they are, and I couldn't help but question the 'theory' of evolution. All of the zebras, peacocks, giraffes, are all such uniquely beautiful and interesting animals which I believe are all created by one incredible designer.

Take even our bodies, for example. After childbirth and pregnancy, I can even respect more about how our bodies are so fine-tuned and excellently set up to do the needful. Some people refer to the brain/body like a computer. To me, the 'theory' of evolution is just like imagining a large modern computer one day appeared in the middle of a forest and had no creator. It's that silly. I heard a story once--a scientest who believed in God once made a large diarama of the universe. He made it move and the planets move around as they do in actuality. Then some of his scientest friends came over and saw the amazing diarama and couldn't believe it. They asked him how he did this complex arrangment of the solar system. He said 'I didn't do it, God did it'. I thought it was interesting.

Anyway, I hope I'm not offending anyone. It's just that the zebras at the zoo really struck me. I'm not trying to get people believe in God or anything, but since others were sharing their ideas...




papabliss
Moderator posted 05-27-2001 07:44 AM
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I am with the Pope on this one. He says "Truth Cannot Contradict Truth.”
Evolution is a theory as most of the rest of science. The single rule that separates science from religion is that in science, you must modify or abandon your theory in the presence of conflicting evidence.

There is direct observable evidence of evolution on the micro world. One example is the resulting “superbugs” developing through the misuse of antibiotics, and there are many other examples as well.

One last thing, we did not evolve from the apes. We could not have since we simultaneously walk on this planet. The real question is if we have a common ancestor?


[This message has been edited by papabliss (edited 05-27-2001).]



boysrus
Member posted 05-27-2001 07:00 PM
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Boobybooby, I understood your posts completely. I think thatg when people (myself included) begin hearingf or reeding something that goes against his or her beliefs, the defense mechanism shoots up and things are not always taken objectively or nin the spirit of loving debate that they are presented. Just continue to speak the truth in love and those who want to accept it as such will and those who don't, won't. Please don't give up though. I love reading your posts and we need you in these forums.
Your hubby has been added to my prayer list.


nursing mother
Member posted 05-28-2001 12:55 PM
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Booby booby, just got on this post and didn't realize there was this big debate going on. To me evolution never made sense. The second law of thermodynamics is that things go from good to bad, all things age, everything in life eventually deteriorates. All scientist believe in this theory..now the problem comes in that evolution is the theory that things have gone from simple or (bad) to better and continuely getting better. We know that is not true. The human race is not continuelly "getting better" We are still as God created. This is just one contridiction in the theory of evolution.
Another issue is that many christian kids are being singled out and made fun of when they speak up in their biology classes. My own son had that experience this year in his 10th grade biology class. Of course evolution was taught as fact, creationisn was mentioned only that "well we have a few christian students who believe in creationism, yet they have no way to prove that they go by only believeing the Bible" My son spoke up and said there is proof of creation but was basically told to "shut up" in class and talk to the teacher about it later. How dare they! Yes I know it was just that teacher, but things like that do happen all the time, I have two teenagers who stand for God in the schools and they hear snide and rude remarks all the time. No I don't believe creationism should be pushed on kids in the schools, but it should be given fair time, as evolution is. Christian kids are being discrimanated all over this country in our public schools, and I think that is so sad.

By the way Booby boody I agree with you in your assessment of our public schools. It's not all the teachers themselves, most of them are dedicated wonderful people, it's this underlineing humanism that is creeping in that we as humans don't need God, we can solve all our problems and and all the answers to the world lie within ourselves.



bonita
Member posted 05-28-2001 07:18 PM
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Nursing Mother, if creationism became a part of the cirriculum in schools, would other religions also need their beliefs taught?


nursing mother
Member posted 05-29-2001 08:16 AM
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Bonita, creationism should given the same time and thought that goes into evolution. Evolution should be taught as a theory and not fact. Creationsim should be taught as a theory and taught as from the Bible. Those who believe in the Bible will accept it as fact, those who believe in evolution will accept that as fact. It takes great faith to believe in either, even more faith to believe in evolution. As for other religions, their "theories of life" can and should certainly be mentioned. Lets just not push creationsim out the the schools. A very high majority of students do believe in the Bible and that God Created the world and all living creatures in 6 days. Why push the theory of evolution on them.


bonita
Member posted 05-29-2001 09:15 AM
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Oh, no, Nursing Mother, I don't think evolution should be pushed on anyone. I was just curious if you thought that other religions and their beliefs on the topic should be taught as well.



papabliss
Moderator posted 05-29-2001 09:39 AM
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I have great concern for children when they are exposed interpretations of science that are not only incorrect, but also a misuse of rules of science. As I posted before in this thread, there are some foundations that must be followed if something is to be a science. If those foundations are violated, then the realm of science has been left and the topic is now part of a belief system.
nursing mother, without going into the formulas, the concept of the law of thermodynamics you are referring to has to do with the net energy in a closed system. While not exactly the same, here is a common example used to teach the concept: if you do not clean up a house, it will go to a state we refer to as cluttered, to dirty, to one of disrepair and finally, given enough time and neglect, the house will fall down, break apart and dissipate into the environment leaving no trace that a house once stood on that spot.

The laws of thermodynamics have absolutely nothing to do with behavior, human or otherwise. The argument you put forth for why evolution contradicts the laws of thermodynamics seems to be based on a moral judgment for what is good and bad. All thermodynamics would say is that if you die (hence no more energy such as food is being put into your system), you will, as you put it, deteriorate.

It makes no difference whether or not someone believes any particular theory, fact or law. The theory will still exist in science until conflicting evidence is brought forth. However, the evidence must fit the rules of science or it cannot be compared to science, just as one cannot use words out of context to quote someone. If it is done, then the entire process breaks down and one cannot trust any of the evidence.

As a former classroom science teacher and current professor of science education, I have a great interest in the creationist argument. I am certain that there is something to it, and while I teach about the theory of evolution with little problem, I end up spending all my time on creationism trying to straighten out the faulty logic and misapplied science behind many popular interpretations of the theory. A rule I teach my students when involved in a discussion such as this one about evolution and creationism is to use the proper tool for the job. If they choose to mix science into a belief system to provide support for a particular point, they must also accept the scientific points that are contrary to their belief, which is something most people refuse to do. Therefore my advise is to know about both sides of the issue, and do not mix them unless they are so comfortable with their own beliefs that they can respond rationally when conflicting evidence is presented.

My fear with your son is that the presentation of his belief or for proof of creation may have included a misuse of the rules of science. If that was done as some sort of protest to the teacher’s lesson, while I would never condone it, I can easily see other students using it as a springboard for poor treatment of the messenger.

To sum all this up, I think the creationist point of view would be best served by a clear message of belief that capitalized on the gaping holes in evolutionary theory. Not by the tactics borne of partisan politics and misrepresented science. If we voted on the issue, it would make absolutely no difference to the reality of what happened and what is happening to life.




cat
Moderator posted 05-29-2001 02:12 PM
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"...now the problem comes in that evolution is the theory that things have gone from simple or (bad) to better and continuely getting better. We know that is not true. The human race is not continuelly "getting better"
Actually, I think it's more about survival of the fittest -- those most able to make the adaptations necessary to continue on as a species. (I don't think evolution is about getting continually "better.") However, where I agree with Nursing Mother is that the human race is not getting better. In fact, I wonder if we are even able to adapt ourselves to living in a world to which we've brought so much continuing destruction -- through war, pollution of our air and water, holes in the ozone layer, nuclear accidents and waste, overpopulation, rapid depletion of our natural resources, extinction of other species, destruction of topsoil through poor farming practices -- in such a relatively short amount of time. In fact, maybe we're on our way out, with this earth becoming uninhabitable for humans through our own actions. And yes, it is up to us to solve our problems and find solutions. We can make changes now. We are solely responsible for what occurs.

If this is the future we're headed for, then it makes all of this discussion pretty unimportant, doesn't it? Believe in whatever you want, but what's happening to the planet now is what's tangible...you can see it, taste it, smell it. What other proof do you need?


[This message has been edited by cat (edited 05-29-2001).]



madison
Member posted 05-29-2001 06:18 PM
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What an interesting conversation mom2gz!
As a non-theistic Christian, I am somewhere in the middle of this discussion as to my beliefs in how the world came about. I DO believe in a Creative Force that is not a theistic patriarchial God. I believe life came about because of this Creative Force (which many religions have defined/described as a theistic god or goddess), which has a bias towards life and order. It IS Life itself. So really I believe in my own brand of "non-theistic creationism" while you believe in "theistic evolutionist" theory!

I think life is an ordinary miracle, but not that we as human beings are the "end product", the height of evolution or the shining star of creation. In fact, more and more I'm wondering if we aren't a cancer on the planet, if our bodies aren't being filled with ill health and affecting our brains and therefore, our behavior. While humans have almost always (since the beginning of recorded history) been a violent species (wars, disputes etc) what has happened to us in the past 3,000 - 4,000 years that has resulted in the screwed up thinking that has us now fouling our own nest so we stand on the brink of extinction ourselves? How many times throughout history have we done this (some believe in a Super Ancient Egypt and Atlantis etc having been cultures that were at least as advanced as ours currently that destroyed themselves)? How many more times will we do this? How long until we learn the lesson of responsibility and simple cause & effect? When will we become good stewards of what we are given?

I believe in the immortality of the soul, that we are souls inhabiting bodies, not bodies that happen to have souls. I view the spiritual realm as more "real" than the physical. I also know there is more going on than I could possibly ever imagine or learn with my limited human brain, as marvelous as it may be. I just have to accept that there are things I cannot explain and understand, but I do push the limits to what I know and want to know more about the way things are vs how they appear to be.

Who knows? I'll probobly know more when I'm dead. Then again, I've been 'dead' many times before and I still don't know how things are.

I know that as a fundamentalist Christian teenager, I believed this way, too - that both creationism and evolutionist theories made sense to me and the goal for me was to find points of similarity between the two and not take either of the two points too seriously. I knew that most of my teachers taught evolution as fact, but that it was called the "theory" of evolution; and I knew that most of my church/spiritual teachers taught me creationist theory as fact. I think most kids by the time they are teens have it figured out that adults don't know everything and basically blow smoke out of their asses regardless of what they are teaching. Maybe I was a cynical teen, but truth is, NO ONE KNOWS for sure...because none of us were there. That's why I don't worry about kids in school being so influenced by one school of thought or another...either they are so unenlightened they'll never worry about such things or they'll end up to be us, discussing it here!

To me the whole creationism vs evolution question is besides the point. We exist. For me the question is: if we believe in Creationism, how can we be good stewards of what God has entrusted to us? If we believe in Evolutionist thought, how can we remember the lesson that those who do not remember history are doomed to repeat it, and live in harmony with the rest of nature for the good of all? It's not where we came from, it's where we are going to that concerns me more.



suseyblue
Member posted 05-29-2001 08:17 PM
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just wanted to add, PapaBliss (and thank you for your enlightening posts), that in my post I didn't mean to imply that we were evolved from apes; I meant an 'apelike common ancestor'. If I wasn't clear, anyone, please forgive me (clarity of thought has never been one of my strong points, sigh.)
suse



nursing mother
Member posted 05-30-2001 09:53 AM
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Your're right madison it takes great faith to believe in either evolution or creationsim. There are huge gaps in the evolution theory, and if a person doesn't believe in a creator ,creationism make no sense. Therefore I think both thoughts should be given in school and let the student decide what makes most sense to them. The problem I have found with my kid's school is that evolution is taught as absolute truth with all those silly charts of man's evolution on the walls and the talk of millions and millions of years. Lets put some biblical stuff on those walls, maybe a verse or two from Genesis about creation. If there's another mainstream opinion of how life began (which I don't believe there is), include that too. Just don't push creationism out of the school, just because it is what most christians believe. I tell my kids that they were created with a purpose in life by a creator who loves them. If you believe in evolution, who must really believe that you evolved from a cell, a fish, crawled on land, became an ape, then progressed to a human being. I personally don't buy it, I want to feel more worthy and believe there is a real purpose in life and that we are all created, not evolved. Maybe this doesn't make sense to a person with a real intellectual mind , but for me it does and makes my kids feel worthy and important in a spiritual way.


mom2godzillas
Member posted 05-30-2001 10:00 AM
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Wow, madison, what a great viewpoint.
I feel a little bad about this thread because it seems to ahve raised a lot of strong emotions and I didn't intend to get people upset-sorry! I think the topic of what kids should be taught in scholls is a good one but maybe a seperate topic?


papabliss
Moderator posted 05-30-2001 10:20 AM
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One of my favorite sayings in a discussion like this is that when the scientists finally scale that last great mountain of the unknown, as they crest the summit, they will see the theologians sitting there on the top eating lunch and saying, “Welcome! What took you so long?”





Ginger in the woods
Member posted 06-01-2001 11:01 AM
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I believe in creation, and I believe it had to make a pretty big bang to get it all started! I dont think evolution should be taught in schools, especially since parents are children's trusted teachers, whereas children change teachers at school year to year. If I'm going to teach my ds creation, and God, and explain things like you can't see wind, but it's there, and then the school turns around and tells him we came from primordial soup, he is going to end up not trusting one of us. And I really hope it isnt me. Because the Evolution theory was scary to me as a child, it really freaked me out, but they had all these books! With Facts! And all my poor mom had was a 2,000 year old book, which wasnt even written in English, so she admitted lots of things were lost in translations over the years. Not looking forward to the confusion this presents my son in later years,~Ginger


Yammer
Moderator posted 06-01-2001 12:51 PM
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Ginger,
Evolution is scary?

Which of these theories is scarier:

1. The separate species evolved from ancestor species which mutated under the sun's radiation over millions of years. The successful mutations thrived, the unsuccessful ones didn't. Mutation is ongoing and quite natural. The available facts fit this theory, which does not rule out the possibility that the original spark of life was planted by God.

2. An immortal, omniscient, and omnipotent God created all species 5000 years ago and left fossils in the earth for no reason -- decoration, maybe. He says He loves us, but he has already exterminated nearly the entire animal population of the earth at least once, and presumably he loved them too.

Religion is a beautiful thing, but I don't see how it is less scary than science. In fact, don't religious people kind of like that God is wrathful, vengeful, and scary -- hence the term, "God-fearing"?


[This message has been edited by Yammer (edited 06-01-2001).]



nursing mother
Member posted 06-02-2001 10:52 AM
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Yammer, "God-fearing" does not mean fear as in scared, terrified, etc. It means more of a great respect and healthy admiration for the one who created the universe.
As for the fossils, there is scientific proof of a great flood many thousands of years ago. (You know Noah and the Ark story)
That is when I believe the fossils where formed under great pressure of the earth in chaos. Before that the world was tropical and had never even seen rain. The dating system of all these fossils have been controversial for a long time. Fossils have been created artificially with profound pressure which proves it doesn't have to take millions of years to create a fossil.

As of God's love for the human race. He loved His creation very much, but the people at that time where killing each other off and were very sinful and violent. (kind of like today I guess) God saved the righteous Noah and his family. Yes all life was distinquished accept for 2 of each animal (male and female) and Noah's family. The world went through great turmoil during those 40 days, geologist have proven the fact by studying mountain formation, and such.

I guess you can look at that story as scary, but I would still choose it over evolution which makes me a decendant of monkeys.



Yammer
Moderator posted 06-02-2001 12:10 PM
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Not descendents of...common ancestors with.
Big difference.

Are you telling me that when you see your offspring scuttling along on the ground, hooting and eating bits of food from a squatting position, that you can honestly claim we are not primates!!!



mom2godzillas
Member posted 06-02-2001 03:22 PM
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I think nursingmother has touched on one of the reasons some people seem so violently opposed to the theory of evolution. Every person I know with that belief- and I mean every sinlge one- I have heard say something along the lines of "Don't tell me I'm descended from monkeys and/or slime!". We ARE primates-genetics proves it. I reccomend the book "The third Chimpanzee" by some guy I've forgotten ( I borrowed the book).See suse's reply on this. I don't say this to make you angry, nursingmother. But the evidence is there.
BTW Yammer, I've always said toddlers are proof we share a common ancestor with apes.OOK!



nursing mother
Member posted 06-03-2001 01:40 PM
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Sorry I just can't buy the fact that we are even ancestors of the apes. They say they have proof that we are, but most of the theory of evolution is really speculation and of artists who have drawn upsurd pictures of the evolution of man by a few bones they have collected. To me it just takes much more faith to really believe in the evolution theory than in creation.. Also I've wondered why than is evolution not continueing or is it that the evolutionist believe we are still continueing to evolve. Just wondering.


mom at home
Member posted 06-03-2001 05:33 PM
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Evolution is still occuring. But because our lives are but a blink in geologic time, we aren't going to see this happening.
Also, there are more than just a few bones that have been found that show the process of evolution. There is fossil evidence of many organisms over a long period of time (on the order of hundreds of millions of years) that show their evolutionary changes. And in terms of humans, not only are there fossil bones, but tools that show the evolution of toolmaking as we grew smarter and grew larger brains.

If the earth was no older than 5000 yrs, why would we find the fossils of sea creatures in the high elevations of the Himilayas. What would be the reason by a creator for doing that?




nursing mother
Member posted 06-03-2001 09:03 PM
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Hi Mom2godzillas, I am not angry at all ,you have the total right to believe as you do. I just don't see the "proof" that we are ancestors of the monkeys. Yes they have found bones and stuff, but never a whole person. The artists draw this evolutionary picture of man from a few bones they have found. So much of it is imaginary, what they "think" our ancestors looked like. So much is speculation. Yet they teach it as fact. I will never tell my children life just happen to evolve for no apparent reason. We have been created by an almighty supreme power and given spirits and souls. We have been created in the likeness of God himself. O.K. I've said this over and over, I guess you know where I stand. It just seems to me if people admitted to creation than they would have to believe in a being who created, in others words they would have to admit that there is a God!


Michellecat
Member posted 06-03-2001 09:29 PM
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I've been keeping up with this thread for a while now. It's been interesting. There is one thing I would like to add -- why is it that having an ape as a common ancestor is such a terrible thing? What's so bad about apes?
I am of the belief that each animal has their own wisdom -- and, by the way, humans are animals, too. And we happen to be much more violent and and nasty. We are one of the few species that kills our own species. Apes are pretty peaceful by that standard. Every creature is holy and sacred. We are all interconnected.

It seems to me that the evolutionary theory actually demonstrates how we are interconnected - how every part of creation is part of the god/dess and of each other. We all share a part of the wholeness of the Holy. What's so unholy about that? If we go around thinking that we are so superior to everything else on this planet, then we pave the way for extreme abuse of god/dess' creation. Point in fact, it's already happening.

I think it's about time we all looked at our relationship to each other -- human, animal, non-human -- and recognized our "four legged cousins" as family. Maybe then we'd treat this amazing world with more love. Evolution just demonstrates how "related" we are to everything else on this planet.

Sorry this is so rambling. Had to get it out.

With peace and respect,

Michelle



cat
Moderator posted 06-03-2001 09:37 PM
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Everyone keeps asking for "proof" of evolution, "proof" of our common ancestry with apes (as if studying non-human primates and genetics is not enough). Now I'm hearing all this about fossils being made by pressure. What is THAT? Downright denial of previous phases in the history of this earth? There can't be history before man? Then good-bye dinosaurs! How convenient. And talk about taking the fun out of things...
So I ask, where is the "proof" that the bible is all fact? Because there was a flood at some time? Where is the "proof" that Jesus even existed? Got bones? (For the record, I believe that he probably did exist and was quite a rebel in his time. His life and philosophy inspired a damn good story anyway.)

So what's so wrong with:
a) believing in evolution AND a higher power? (To tell the truth, I don't care how things got started. They did and we're here, and what matters to me is what we do with our lives here and now.) What's so bad about meeting in the middle?
b) sharing a common ancestor with apes? This just reeks of speciesism to me. (So much for the interconnectedness with all life.) What makes humans so much more important other than the fact that we've used our brain power to subjugate and decimate other species? We haven't even been smart enough to not foul the place where we live. Most animals know better than to do that.

(Edited to add: I was writing as Michellecat was posting so gently and eloquently what I also believe. Please excuse my more heated tone -- I just get so worked up about those damned dinosaurs!)


[This message has been edited by cat (edited 06-03-2001).]



Michellecat
Member posted 06-03-2001 09:40 PM
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Well, Cat, it seems we were typing at the same time -- and on the same wavelength, too. Thanks for saying the stuff I didn't!!!!
Peace,

Michelle



daisymae
Member posted 06-03-2001 09:50 PM
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I was skimming through t.v. channels the other night and came across some religious station where a man and a group of teenagers were talking about what is worth using their energy to pray for, and one of them said there is no point in trying to save the whales and owls and whatever, there is no point in praying for animals "because they aren't going to heaven with us." I could not believe it! Everyone was nodding and smiling in complete agreement. It made me sick.
Anyway, I believe the beginning of the evolutionary process was an act of creation by the Universe, which is my word for God or the Great Spirit. And the compassionate, omniscient Universe continues to be a part of everything. Everything has spirit and is connected in the love of the Universe, and there is a master plan always at work.
[This message has been edited by daisymae (edited 06-03-2001).]



boobybooby
Member posted 06-03-2001 11:10 PM
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Why is it that we take what Nursingmother said and assume she meant that being a decendant of monkeys as "specesism, terrible, or more supreme"? I think its pretty aweful how some people take one line out of someones post and get carried away with assuming what she meant. I cannot speak for her, and do I dare say those things about her post, no way!




boobybooby
Member posted 06-03-2001 11:28 PM
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Now for my own opinion, I think that yes we do contain within our brains a primate brain, in fact that have been proven through biological physiology. However, who is to say that God did not create the human with many characteristics and attributes of other species? It gives us a better understanding and realtionship to them and thier needs, yes? Man through his choice of ignorance and sin has been destroying the world, not God. In fact, God gives us instructions to care for all of his creatures and respect them. Some of them he has given to us as food, some as pets, some as enviornmental helpers and there are so many variety of individual, unique and intricately detailed creatures that it would be immpossible for me to be that God did not create all of them, regardless of when, how (by what means of planetary changes and formations) and why he created them. To believe that we simply evolved and thats the whole story seems empty and almost meaningless. To believe that God had a vision of His creations, His world, people and animals; how things would evolve and what changes the world would encounter because he gave man the gift of his own brain, faith, will and thoughts, actions... sounds so much more like the true essence of our existence to me.


veganmom
Member posted 06-04-2001 05:21 AM
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Michellecat-
Right on! I had been thinking about why people seemed so uncomfortable with the idea of being related to other species. I don't really care if people believe in creationism or evolution or both or neither, I just care that their belief system respects other creatures.
If we were made in God's image, then so were all of the other creatures on the earth. We should have respect for them and fulfill our role as stewards (caretakers, not dominators) that God set out for us in Genesis.

If we are a product of evolution, we need to remember that we are only one species out of many; we are not the pinnacle of evolution.



mom2godzillas
Member posted 06-04-2001 12:07 PM
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One thing I wanted to clarify-I don't believe evolution just happened, I beleive God caused it to happen. That's theistic evolution. The evening service at our church has an 'ask the pastor" segment and I put this question to the pastor last night. He felt there is NO reason you can't be a strong Christian AND accept the thepry of evolution. He seemed to himself.


nursing mother
Member posted 06-04-2001 12:17 PM
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Just because I said I don't like the thought of being ancestors with the apes all of a sudden makes me an animal hater? I happen to love animals and have many of my own. Animals should be treated with respect, loved and taken care of as living beings. God created animals for our enjoyment. Believe me I have nothing against apes and primates in general, I just don't believe they have ever been part of the human race. We are seperate beings, created with souls that go on and live forever. I personally believe that when animals die they die. When humans die they have souls that live forever.
I respect those who are out there trying to save animals from extinction, trying to stop the meaningless slaughter of whales, seals, etc.(I wish people would do as much for humans babies, but thats another issue) I believe God is very displeased at how we have mangled the earth and killed off so much of his creation with no reason. But why do people put the animal kingdom above or as equal as the human beings ? Is not a human more important than an animal? Would you risk your life saving a whale or die for it. I wouldn't, but I would risk my life to save a human being. I hope I'm making sense. I just feel so strongly that people are making a mistake when they compare humans to animals.

Please don't make it sound like I hate animals. I just don't want to be compared to one or be an ancestor to one. I am writing this as my beautiful kitty sits and purrs on my lap.



nursing mother
Member posted 06-04-2001 12:42 PM
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Hi, nursing mother again. I just posted a few min. ago then went a re-read the forums and want to say I know no-one called me an animal hater per se. But I guess I took it that way. I sometimes feel like a minority in these threads and tend to get a little defensive. Sorry


daisymae
Member posted 06-04-2001 12:48 PM
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Nursingmother, I hope it didn't seem that I was inferring that you are an animal hater in my post. I for one was not referring to you directly, but rather to the interconnectedness of all animals and humans. I have a very good friend who shares many of your opinions and beliefs(it seems), and also loves animals very much. My opinion: The animal kingdom is equal to human because humans are *part* of the animal kingdom. Humans are not seperate from the animal kingdom, just because we are capable of more. Animals *do* have souls, and I believe those souls go on after death (I cannot imagine a heaven without animals!). Whether you believe in creation or evolution, or creation beginning evolution, the bottom line is a respect for (and showing mercy to) all living things. Re: the people I mentioned from t.v., I cannot believe the amount of disregard shown. Those people believed in creation, but ignored the fact that animals are here for a reason, and it's our disrespect causing their extinction. It's as if some think other creatures on this planet are just God's afterthought. That is the kind of attitude that I don't understand.


suseyblue
Member posted 06-04-2001 11:11 PM
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In 'The Problem of Pain', CS Lewis speaks very eloquently of animal suffering, souls, and heaven. I would recommend it for those who are interested in the subject. I, for one, look forward to seeing some old friends there.
(btw, Michellecat, chimps are ill-tempered brutes! They're no paragons of virtue themselves. I believe they'd eat my baby if they had half a chance!)

Suse



Yammer
Moderator posted 06-04-2001 11:23 PM
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Nursing Mother,
Hey... I hope there are no hard feelings about these doctrinal spats...they are of tangential interest to this forum, which is about our strengths and commonalities rather than our specific ideological rivalries.

I am quite a boor about these issues. I apologize.



nursing mother
Member posted 06-05-2001 09:41 AM
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Yammer, no hard feelings at all, just a few misunderstandings I guess and (confusion) on my part trying to figure out everyones thoughts on this subject.
Daisy Mae, Of course animals were not an after- thought of God. They were created Before man was created. Perhaps man was the after-thought. who knows.

O.k. for the thought that animals have no souls. I was always taught that but I am not sure where in the Bible it states that. I was always told by parents though when one of my animals died that they were in (you know) kitty heaven, turtle heaven etc. That was so comforting as a child to hear that, and that is what I tell my young children. So maybe I do believe there may be animals in heaven ,I guess know one really knows. Its just that Jesus was always addressing people and children when he talked about heaven, not animals.

I guess the one thing that was bothering me the most was the idea that animals and humans are the same and have the same ancestoral background. That really bugs me. But you know I have alot of friends who believe just that. Maybe I am to prideful and want to believe I am special and created by a supreme God in a very unique way (as well as my children) and not just an evolved human who happened to be the ancestor of the animal world.

One other question, It's easier to believe that our kitties and dogs, turtles, and hamsters have souls, but what about all the bugs, worms, or lower forms of insects. Do they have souls too? That seems alittle strange to me. Will they be in heaven also? Maybe there will be newly created animals there? Just thoughts. I am going to do some biblical research about this, because now I am very curious.



papabliss
Moderator posted 06-05-2001 10:44 AM
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Just a quick note about science and proof.
If you are looking for science to provide proof, you are out of luck. Science is a process of working with and thinking about the physical world.

Science cannot prove anything. It merely is a set of process skills that are used to provide a logical framework for an observation.

Once an observation has been made, the rules of science can be used to make a guess about the cause of an observable result, or to observe a process and make a guess as to what the outcome will be.

The reason science cannot offer proof of anything is that there is no way you can have all the evidence about any given topic. The best one can do is to assume that something is a certain way given the current body of evidence, but they must also understanding that there are limitations on the current knowledge and so the current assumptions could be (and probably are) wrong. However, that is the best we can do so that is what we do because it is the nature of science.

In case anyone is interested, the 12 commonly accepted process skills of science are:

1. Observing
2. Classifying
3. Communicating
4. Measuring
5. Predicting
6. Inferring
7. Identifying and controlling variables
8. Formulating and testing hypotheses
9. Interpreting data
10. Defining operationally
11. Experimenting
12. Constructing models




daisymae
Member posted 06-05-2001 12:27 PM
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Nursingmother, your comment that maybe humans are the afterthought made me laugh
I'm glad that we are all keeping this discussion respectful and even a little lighthearted. I have pondered the "What about insects?" idea myself. I'd be interested in what you find in your biblical research, if you would like to share.


cat
Moderator posted 06-05-2001 03:15 PM
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My belief is that all living beings have value instrinsic to themselves and they all have an important function in this extremely complex ecosystem of ours. (To me, this necessarily includes insects, reptiles, etc.) I do not believe in the value system applied to other animal species by humans, since this system determines value by how "useful" that species is to humans (as pets, as food, as fur coats, as living laboratories, etc.), rather than respecting their intrinsic value and place on this earth. By extension, it is this same system that devalues mothers, children and the elderly in our own society.
I think Daisymae has beautifully explained the interconnectedness of man and animals, and how all deserve respect. And there is no getting around the fact that we are one of many animal species on this earth -- more specifically, we are one of more than 15,000 species of mammals with whom we share certain similarities.

Nursing mom, consider it this way: *All* species are special and unique creations unto themselves (however that may have come about) with an important purpose on this planet -- that is what we have in common. And that is the beauty of it all.

I also want to address the question of why people who are concerned about animals supposedly aren't concerned with abortion (it's funny, *I've* always wondered why people who are so strongly pro-life haven't extended themselves into animal issues!). As has been stated on another thread, the proportion of pro-life and pro-choice people involved in animal issues pretty much reflects the proportions in the general population. I can tell you that, for myself, when I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons (not wanting to take the life of another living being for food) I also had to apply my ethics about life to the troubling issue of abortion. (That's what happens when you raise your consciousness!) I am also active in other areas such as the environment and social justice and I find that this is true of others interested in animals. I truly believe that if we can respect all living beings and treat them with compassion, then we will respect each other as well and create a more peaceable world.

(To Suse -- while I'm sure that chimpanzees can be louts and surely wouldn't hire one to watch my son, I would venture to guess that they also do not willfully neglect or abuse their own offspring, as humans do. I'll have to scan my Jane Goodall books on that one!)

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 06-05-2001).]

[This message has been edited by cat (edited 06-05-2001).]



madison
Member posted 06-05-2001 04:53 PM
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I'm not sure if animals have souls or not, but I AM sure of the fact that cockroaches are IMMORTAL because they *do not die*. No matter what you do to them...


suseyblue
Member posted 06-06-2001 01:22 AM
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as cs lewis has said (again with him! well, i like his stuff), a hell for humans and a heaven for mosquitos could be very effectively combined.
suse



nursing mother
Member posted 06-06-2001 08:35 AM
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Papabliss, you are so right. It takes great faith to believe in evolution or creationism. To prove science is so hard because of the facts you listed so there is always made up and imaginitive stuff involved. I know that concept drives scientists nuts they seek and seek for total proof of our early exisitance , but rarely find the proof they want. Why than to they deceive others in this evolutionary stuff and teach it and act as if they have total proof of how life begins.
Creationism also takes great faith. We christins have the book of Genesis and the whole Bible in fact that points to a great creator. I like the fact that history has proven the Bible to be historically correct in many ways , yet in other ways it is our faith in God that leads us to believe the creation story.

As of animals being in heaven I haven't found any profound verse that states one thing or another. I think it is o.k. to believe they will be there, but once we are there I don't believe we will be really thinking about our beloved animals, but glorifying in the fact that we are in the presence of the Holy God, our Creator.



Lena
Member posted 06-06-2001 12:19 PM
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Not that you need yet another person jumping in, but I've read this entire thread, and it seems like the prase "teaching evolution as a fact" comes up in many posts -- am I missing something? I don't remember learning about evolution "as a fact" I remember learning about it as a theory that explains the facts...
papabliss and yammer pretty much have summarized my thoughts on the matter.

One other thing-- I might "believe" in evolution, but as a scientist, if a better/modified theory is proposed that explains the known facts better, I will swith to "believing" in that theory, until yet another even better theory comes up.--That's a common approach in science. The problem with creationism, though, is that those believing in it take it a priori as a final truth and are not prepared to change it.

That's why evolution is a scientific theory (not the best one, maybe, with lots of unexplained things, but still a scientific theory) and as such is suitable for teaching in schools, while creationism is part of BELIEF and religion, and is therefore excluded from science class.



alianmama
Member posted 06-06-2001 03:00 PM
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When I was in college, the Christian club was out taking a poll, asked me whether I believed in creation or evolution. I said, "Both." He was stumped; there was no box to mark for that answer!
I absolutely believe in both! All the evidence points to this; it's so obvious! As usual, there is no black or white about it (as with most things, balance is required; yin yan,ya know).
It's obvious a great intelligence was required to create the incredible, no, downright MIRACLES of LIFE. It is also obvious that 99% of human beings are aware of some sort of spiritual power.
So, to simplify, I believe God/dess; the Great Mystery, the Spirit That Is Everything created it all, and within, the mechanisms for evolution (to a degree). That is the simplified version; I also believe that we may not be able to completely comprehend the mystery of existence, and accepting THAT might be the biggest challenge for us humans...

Oh, and the thought that we decended from monkeys/apes- HA! That is laughable, and an insult to monkeys! First of all, evolution is a THEORY, with many holes in it: such as the incredible fallibility of dating methods, the lack of fossils/evidence of the varying stages of evolution of any species...hmmm. a lotta holes and questions in that; but the other reason we didn't descend from monkeys is that we, as living creatures, are not an improvement over monkeys!
Monkeys don't destroy their environment. They don't ingest things that destroy their health. They don't rape, murder, commit incest. They don't beat their wives, fight over who raises children, or indulge in selfish, 'independent' lifestyles. They contribute overall to the web and circle of life, live in harmony with their natural surroundings.

Man descended, perhaps, but not from monkeys. The theory of evolution states that things evolve for the BETTER, and, according to Natural Law, for the better of the ecosystem as a whole. Man has not done either; humans are now at the unhealthiest state in history (think cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness etc.), and have, with extremely rare exceptions, only contributed to the destruction of their habitat. THAT right there is in indication of stupidity, not the so-called superior intelligence we're supposed to have.

Oh my, I've inadvertantly gotten on a rant! Who started all this? Oops- isn't that how man fell from grace to begin with, trying to find someone to blame for that damned apple?? I'm outta here....whoosh!



daisymae
Member posted 06-06-2001 10:44 PM
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Here's something to wonder about: On a nature show the other night, a male koala bear *raped* a female koala!! What the heck?! So much for only humans raping...


alianmama
Member posted 06-07-2001 01:25 PM
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That's interesting; I wonder what the circumstances were or if there was something in the situation that was misunderstood and misconstrued. After all, we don't speak koala. However, I must confess that there IS brutality in the animal world; anybody ever seen what a rooster does to a hen? Eeechhh... or horses? The act of procreation is definitely not always pretty. Damn, that really makes me appreciate the fun I get to have!


Yammer
Moderator posted 06-08-2001 03:16 PM
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quote:
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Originally posted by alianmama:
The theory of evolution states that things evolve for the BETTER, and, according to Natural Law, for the better of the ecosystem as a whole. Man has not done either; humans are now at the unhealthiest state in history (think cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental illness etc.), and have, with extremely rare exceptions, only contributed to the destruction of their habitat. THAT right there is in indication of stupidity, not the so-called superior intelligence we're supposed to have.
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That's not what the theory states at all.

The theory of evolution suggests that diverse species exist as a consequence of mutation and natural selection. Solar radiation produces variations. Natural selection is simply a term for the fact that some variations will prosper and some will not. Over a very long time, entirely new genotypes emerge.

There is nothing that says that humans have to be in harmony with the environment. However, we have prospered. The fact is, we have prospered too much -- well beyond our resources. There are too many of us, so like pigs in a too-crowded pen, we are hemmed in by our own pollution. Our competition for resources is destroying the balance of the ecosystem. The discovery of sepsis and treatments for infection have lowered the death rate, but the birth rate remains largely unchanged.

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