Evolution: The Threat to Christianity

I can understand this journalist’s perspective.  I thought this was a very astute observation:

So-called “reality TV” has done the world a grave disservice. I don’t just mean because the vast majority of such programs are mind-numbingly tedious, but because they have given people the idea that reality is something that can be decided by popular vote.

And again:

Evolution poses a further threat to Christianity, though, a threat that goes to the very heart of Christian teaching. Evolution means that the creation accounts in the first two chapters of Genesis are wrong. That’s not how humans came into being, nor the cattle, nor the creeping things, nor the beasts of the earth, nor the fowl of the air. Evolution could not have produced a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. No Adam and Eve: no fall. No fall: no need for redemption. No need for redemption: no need for a redeemer. No need for a redeemer: no need for the crucifixion or the resurrection, and no need to believe in that redeemer in order to gain eternal life. And not the slightest reason to believe in eternal life in the first place.

via Evolution threatens Christianity – On Faith – The Washington Post.

I think overall her article was snarky; there are more cordial ways of getting your point across.  Still, the article is interesting and should be read.  You are welcome to disagree, but she is correct that evolution is indeed a fact.  It’s a shame that so many people have been duped by creationists and certain evangelical apologists into believing otherwise.  But belief alone does not make it so.  Evidence is the key.  And evidence is what we have.  Tons of it, in point of fact.  To say otherwise is to show ignorance.  And as the journalist remarks:

Remember that ‘ignorance’ is not an insult, but merely a term for ‘lack of knowledge’. Many of the people who protest so vociferously against the teaching of evolution do not understand how overwhelmingly strong the evidence for it is; and many of those who proclaim “But it’s only a theory” do not understand that the scientific and everyday usages of the word ‘theory’ are very different.

Everyone is welcome to their own opinion, but don’t assume that your opinion will dislodge fact.  Believe what you want, though, because that is also a choice you make, and you are welcome to believe or accept whatever you want.  Just don’t pretend to be able to influence our education system to fit your ignorant opinions.  There is a definite correlation between the 62% of people in this country who do not accept Evolution as it is and the failures of science education in our country.  I don’t allow people who believe in elves to demand changes to our commerce laws to account for the needs of elves; don’t think for a second I’m going to allow your belief in a fictional (but theologically rich) creation story to mess with the education system.

4 Responses

  1. I posted a FB status a few days ago that read something like this:

    “An opinion is worth precisely its weight in evidence. Nothing more. I’m always puzzled by people who think an opinion has value simply by virtue of being theirs.”

    Evolution IS fact. And if we take the model of Christianity being sold in most American churches (The fall, the ultimate sacrifice, redemption, etc,) evolution IS factual evidence that Christianity is factually FALSE.

    So yes. Evolution really is the ultimate threat to Christianity in its current form. Not theism, of course. But Christianity. We need not wonder any more. IF Christianity is being accurately portrayed, THEN Christianity is WRONG. Science has proven it beyond any remote shadow of doubt.

    No wonder Republican Theocrats are so anti-science, and anti-education.

  2. I recall in middle school bringing in a science book I liked to class for the purpose of illustrating the ecological food pyramid and the teacher putting tape over the chapter title, “Evolution”. While on many levels of scientific work evolution doesn’t play a direct part and thus need not be understood, for example, operating a nuclear power plant, there is an underlying notion that if science is so wrong about evolution, it is really not a terribly reliable undertaking. For the more zealous crowd, the failure of science to to champion creationism could only be part of a dark conspiracy.

    That evolution is the ultimate threat to Christianity seems to be more a preoccupation with the religious right and some of atheisms lesser lights. Christianity is now made up of doctrines that someone else probably thought was the ultimate threat to Christianity; the abandonment of kosher laws, the acceptance of the trinity, allowing clergy who had renounced the faith under persecution to return to office, rejecting the authority of the pope, accepting the earth moves around the sun, freedom of religion in a democratic society and so on.

  3. quite true to a large extent. More people accept evolution but as God as the creator or initiator. The percentage of people who deny everything about evolution tend to be the minority.

  4. @Tom
    Just today i saw a poll on TV on peoples attitudes toward evolution in America on an segment discussing Perry and Huntsman’s statements on the issue. A whopping 40% think we were made as is by god and only 16% think God played no role with the rest in-between. Obviously the 40% have an issue comprehending science that is an issue and since they are allowed to vote, convincing them will take some finesse, unlike Klansman they can’t just be ignored.

    for the plurality that believe in god driven evolution, the issue as far as the practical application of science is concerned is related to what point these people feel god gets involved. If you think that God set the laws of the universe to eventually make sentient beings, then I think the problem is largely one of philosophy and advanced physics, Hawkins stuff. If you think god intervened in natural selection to turn monkeys into humans you may be able to do worthwhile work in science, but your fantasy notions may interfere with work in human biology.

    Personally i think the only intelligent personalities in the cosmos are on this end of creation and not at it’s source and that has big implications for or basic understandings of the meaning of life, but I’m fairly content with being in the minority on this.

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