1. Joined
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    21 May '08 03:40
    I have seen/heard statistics that show that the majority of scientists do believe in god. It's also true that the vast majority of scientists accept the theory of evolution to be the best explanation of the evidence.

    A number of the interviews of scientists that believe in god that I have seen have the scientist mentioning that they believe that evolution is simply a process that god put into effect, etc..

    My point is that the majority of scientists have no problem reconciling the belief in god and evolution and recognizing that well, the scientific method is the best way of determining the workings of the natural world.

    The impression I get from many theists on the board is that they seem to see evolution as being distinctly atheistic and in conflict with the existence of god. I think some of us atheists on this board may be to blame since these discussions end up being very much around that topic.

    I guess the question is why do people think that there is this strict dichotomy between the existence of god and science and evolution?

    I want to ask people to please do not turn this into yet another "does evolution happen?" thread, there are plenty of those and that really doesn't have much bearing on the question I'm asking.
  2. In Christ
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    21 May '08 04:301 edit
    I don't believe there is any dichotomy between God and science. I do believe that there is a dichotomy between science and evolution. There is an argument whether evolution is natural or instituded by God; there is an entirely separate argument whether evolution occured at all, thereby making neither of the above true. I believe that the latter explanation is best. I don't think the theory of evolution fits the evidence even if it's given a supernatural origin. As per the topic creator's wishes, I will not argue my reasons here.

    If I have given any indication on these boards that the falsehood of evolution depends on the nonexistence of God, I certainly did not intend to.
  3. Hmmm . . .
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    21 May '08 04:46
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    I have seen/heard statistics that show that the majority of scientists do believe in god. It's also true that the vast majority of scientists accept the theory of evolution to be the best explanation of the evidence.

    A number of the interviews of scientists that believe in god that I have seen have the scientist mentioning that they believe that evolut ...[text shortened]... e are plenty of those and that really doesn't have much bearing on the question I'm asking.
    I’m not sure that the Christian posters on here are a representative sample. The argument (when based on religion) seems to come almost exclusively from evangelical (and fundamentalist) Protestants, who represent neither all of Protestantism nor all of Christianity.*

    With that said, I am clearly not one who can answer your question without speculating about other people’s thoughts and motivations.

    * So far as I know, neither Judaism (even Orthodox Judaism) nor Islam in general reject the theory of evolution; there may be some who do, but I think they are in a distinct minority. Hindus, Buddhists and Taoists have no reason, based on religion or religious philosophy, to reject the theory of evolution.
  4. Cape Town
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    21 May '08 06:47
    For a young earth creationist, evolution is clearly not compatible with their God. Why this often leads them to see evolution as atheist and not another form of Christianity is more complex. I know a young earth creationist who is married to a non-young earth creationist Christian and they have frequent discussions (theological arguments) about it. I used to think that the young earth creationist argument was less logical etc but more recently have come to see that Christianity in general is no more logical.

    Also many people find it hard to understand the existence of complex life and find God a good explanation. They therefore see any competing explanation as a threat to God.
  5. Hmmm . . .
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    21 May '08 07:14
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    For a young earth creationist, evolution is clearly not compatible with their God. Why this often leads them to see evolution as atheist and not another form of Christianity is more complex. I know a young earth creationist who is married to a non-young earth creationist Christian and they have frequent discussions (theological arguments) about it. I used ...[text shortened]... nd find God a good explanation. They therefore see any competing explanation as a threat to God.
    I’ve often wondered why a singular mind (a single god-consciousness) is somehow more compatible with incredible complexity—even at the level of observing the world around me? Quite frankly, multiple minds (many gods) would seem more compatible. Some say that would lead to chaos/incoherence, but there is no reason to assume that multiple gods would not act according to some common general nature, for example.

    [BTW, I’m still pacing...]
  6. Joined
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    21 May '08 07:59
    Why not accepting that god is the creator of DNA, genes, evolution and ecology? I, myself, find the marvel about evolution. To reduce the creation to a mechanical one time event is to belittle god. But to create an evolution of high class, thet really needs a god of class!

    Deny evolution and you also deny gods work.

    But the god of the old testament's god is evil and selfish, he can't obviously not be the creator of such a complicated thing as evolution, so christianity is a mere illusion brought upon peple of other reasons than religious ones.

    There is no god as we know it.
  7. Cape Town
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    21 May '08 08:331 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I’ve often wondered why a singular mind (a single god-consciousness) is somehow more compatible with incredible complexity—even at the level of observing the world around me?
    It isn't. ID of course does not posit a single intelligence. But if given a choice between a single intelligence and no intelligence many people will go for the single one.
    Have you ever seen fractal patterns? When you first see the Mandelbro set in all its glory it is really hard to accept that it is generated entirely from
    Z = Z^2 + C
    And if you had not been exposed to them before you might imagine the existence of a great painter. If you started to worship the imagined painter you would see mathematics as a threat to the painter and take one of two courses:
    1. Deny that the formula generates the pattern. (young earth creationist)
    2. Attribute the formula to the painter. (as FabianFnas does above).
    3. Become an atheist.

    [BTW, I’m still pacing...]
    And I am still congratulating myself for turning your brain to mush and trying hard to believe that it is my brilliant reasoning and not the late hour that is to blame. 🙂
  8. Standard memberPalynka
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    21 May '08 10:241 edit
    Originally posted by vistesd
    I’m not sure that the Christian posters on here are a representative sample. The argument (when based on religion) seems to come almost exclusively from evangelical (and fundamentalist) Protestants, who represent neither all of Protestantism nor all of Christianity.*

    With that said, I am clearly not one who can answer your question without speculating ab ...[text shortened]... ts have no reason, based on religion or religious philosophy, to reject the theory of evolution.
    Exactly. I come from a country who is officially more than 90% Roman Catholic and evolution is accepted by a vast majority. It is taught in schools without even a hint of protest or calls for including creationist or ID "theories".
  9. weedhopper
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    21 May '08 12:10
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn


    I guess the question is why do people think that there is this strict dichotomy between the existence of god and science and evolution?

    I want to ask people to please do not turn this into yet another "does evolution happen?" thread, there are plenty of those and that really doesn't have much bearing on the question I'm asking.
    I wonder the same thing, PPawn. I am a Christian evolutionist and have never felt a "crisis of faith" over it. And as you say, many scientists express a belief in God. Why so many people believe the whole scientific world is essentially godless is beyond me.
    Same goes for Hollywood--I'm sure there are Christans there as well, but you wouldn't know it from some sermons I've heard.
  10. Cape Town
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    21 May '08 12:23
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    I wonder the same thing, PPawn. I am a Christian evolutionist and have never felt a "crisis of faith" over it. And as you say, many scientists express a belief in God. Why so many people believe the whole scientific world is essentially godless is beyond me.
    How do you rationalize belief in miracles yet there is no scientific evidence for miracles taking place? Cant you see how much worse it would be if you believed in large clear miracles which were outright contradicted by the findings of science? If you believed that the Bible said the earth was only a few thousand years old then a scientist who said otherwise is essentially blaspheming isn't he?

    Many religious people see God and his effects in their every day lives. I am not aware of any field of science which accepts that to be the case and looks for or studies it. A scientist typically assumes that there are no 'God effects' in his experiments. Surely that is a godless attitude? Why don't Christian scientists assume that God is fiddling about in just about everything? Why do they always look for natural explanations for any phenomena? The whole 'scientific principle' is based on the direct assumption that God does not interfere in the universe.
  11. weedhopper
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    21 May '08 15:26
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    How do you rationalize belief in miracles yet there is no scientific evidence for miracles taking place? Cant you see how much worse it would be if you believed in large clear miracles which were outright contradicted by the findings of science? If you believed that the Bible said the earth was only a few thousand years old then a scientist who said other ...[text shortened]... principle' is based on the direct assumption that God does not interfere in the universe.
    I don't rationalize my belief in miracles. It's like rationalizing faith--you can't. Faith is the belief in something (often supernatural) without having any logical reason or evidence. You mention the "large clear miracles"? Well, there's the largest of all--Christ's rising from the dead amd His ultimate ascencion into heaven. After He rose, Matthew reported many other righteous dead rose also about the city. I'd say those were large and clear miracles. Elijah calling fire from the sky; the corpse that was tossed on top of Elisha's bones who miraculously came to life upon touching them; Christ raising Lazurus from the grave...wouldn't you say ALL of these "contradict the findings of science"? So would I---where you and I differ is that, at this point you put words in my mouth by saying I would call the skeptical scientist a blasphemer. I most certainly would NOT. You don't have to believe every word of the KJV Bible absolutely literally (apologies to my Baptist brethren 🙂). Nowhere does it say that a Christian must "have faith in Christ and believe every hot and tittle and every event recorded in the Bible to be saved." All a Christian has to do are the furst 4 words of that phrase; the rest is optional. 🙂
  12. Joined
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    21 May '08 15:28
    Originally posted by Palynka
    Exactly. I come from a country who is officially more than 90% Roman Catholic and evolution is accepted by a vast majority. It is taught in schools without even a hint of protest or calls for including creationist or ID "theories".
    That's one thing I do respect the Catholic church for - they do accept the theory of evolution. JP2 made a very good statement about it. He claimed what would be called "Theistic Evolution" which just acknowledges the processes that evolutionary theory shows happens, but claims that it was directed by god.

    Of course that can't be proven, but that's fine since they do actually recognize the reality that the facts present.

    This conflict between ID/Creationism and evolution is primarily an American phenomena and it isn't even a scientific conflict but a political one really since the VAST majority of scientists (95% including non-biological sciences and around 98% when you only include the biological sciences) accept evolution.

    It's been said that this is part of the "wedge strategy" that came from the leading proponent of ID, the discovery institute and it might have some validity to it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedge_strategy
  13. Standard memberforkedknight
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    21 May '08 21:18
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    How do you rationalize belief in miracles yet there is no scientific evidence for miracles taking place? Cant you see how much worse it would be if you believed in large clear miracles which were outright contradicted by the findings of science? If you believed that the Bible said the earth was only a few thousand years old then a scientist who said other ...[text shortened]... principle' is based on the direct assumption that God does not interfere in the universe.
    I'm not going to argue about miracles and scientific experiementation, but I would like to comment about "seeing the effects of God in your everyday life".

    I think of religion not so much a belief that requires me to believe in the supernatural so much and a set of guidelines for having a relationship with the people around me.

    If I see someone forgoing greed and selfishness, and instead showing compassion and generosity to someone in need, that -- to me -- demonstrates God's actions in this world.
  14. Joined
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    21 May '08 22:42
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    I have seen/heard statistics that show that the majority of scientists do believe in god. It's also true that the vast majority of scientists accept the theory of evolution to be the best explanation of the evidence.

    A number of the interviews of scientists that believe in god that I have seen have the scientist mentioning that they believe that evolut ...[text shortened]... e are plenty of those and that really doesn't have much bearing on the question I'm asking.
    I guess the question is why do people think that there is this strict dichotomy between the existence of god and science and evolution?


    Because that's the way we are. We believe what we believe based on the information we possess.

    I don't see a dichotomy between God and science. I think man developed science to discover and explain the universe. I believe God knows everything about science.

    I keep wondering why, if evolution is a viable science, it can't or doesn't address the issue of the origin of the universe. It seems to me that if one traces backward the evolutionary process one would have to explain how it all started.

    Unless one believes it was all always here!
  15. Joined
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    21 May '08 22:55
    Originally posted by PsychoPawn
    I have seen/heard statistics that show that the majority of scientists do believe in god. It's also true that the vast majority of scientists accept the theory of evolution to be the best explanation of the evidence.

    A number of the interviews of scientists that believe in god that I have seen have the scientist mentioning that they believe that evolut ...[text shortened]... e are plenty of those and that really doesn't have much bearing on the question I'm asking.
    Surely the answer lies in the question, in that science is our attempt to explain the natural world around us, and theism is the study of the supernatural. The dichotomy lies therefore in the very nature of that schism.

    The more science can explain, the more theism is squeezed, and so there is a natural animosity or tension between the two.

    I think it is quite possible to live quite happily with the situation, but I'm not sure many can actually rise above it, hence your last point.
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