Originally posted by Nosrac
Why would Christians even think of believing that evolution happened
if they've read the Bible?
No, I didn't see the movie yet. However, what you said about Christians believing in
evolution struck me odd.
A great many xians accept the empirical evidence for evolution. Nearly as many accept that the current scientific theory of how evolution occurred is correct.
Many of these individuals read the opening chapters of Genesis as a symbolic representation of God creating life via evolution. Others believe that many of the Old Testament stories are myths (with varying degrees of historical fact behind them). In America today, it is a very vocal (and large) minority of xians that reads the Genesis account literally. For these believers, all empirical observation must come under "the infallible Word of God." Thus, all naturalistic interpretations of the evidence, no matter how convincing otherwise, must be rejected if they are perceived to threaten ones literal reading of scripture.
When asked to reconcile their ex-evidence historical claims with what appear to be many and mounting critical inconsistencies, some of these literalist xians will wisely throw up there arms and reply, "God did it!" While not satisfactory for anyone who is not already strongly indoctrinated in that religious dogma, it is at least tenable on the surface. Surely, if such an amazing being exists, that being can alter and manipulate nature to such a degree that any
observation of nature's state can be made consistent with any
other state of nature in the past.
The group that gets into trouble is the one that offer naturalistic hypotheses for how this events could take place. Groups like Answers In Genesis (AIG), the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), and the Discovery Institute (DI), as well as charlatans like Kent Hovind (AKA "Dr." Dino), fall into this category. They make gobs of money peddling anti-evolution propaganda and, what seems to their lay audience, scientific models of xian creationism. The problem for these groups is that while one may evade a single particular inconsistency with an appeal to odd natural events, those appeals bring with them further inconsistencies with other data. In the end, this group only looks extremely foolish (albeit wealthy) as evidenced when brought before the US courts.
So simply put, a xian can read the entire Bible and still accept both that evolution has occurred and that the current theory for how it occurred is to date the best explaination. They may not be able to make such a position consistent with a completely literal interpretation of Genesis, but there is no reason to restrict interpretations of scripture to be literal. Many passages in the Bible are clearly not meant to be read in such a manner. Given that literal interpretations of Genesis are at such incredible odds with natural evidence, it seems reasonable (and if God gave you brain why not be reasonable with it?) to read Genesis as a figurative account.
Final question for you: Do you believe that Catholics are generally xians?