Catholic: with Questions about Evolution

Alan R. says:

I am Catholic and am open to evolution as a possible theory. My question is three fold:
1. If evolution is the effect on living things to real environmental changes over time in which the living being passes on beneficial traits that perpetuate and alter the species, what was/is the evolutionary benefit of large % of rational beings desire to know the truth about everything but believing in a supposidly fictional god?
2. Is this differentiation between believers and non-believers the begening of seperate species?
3. Will there ever come a time when athiests reach the conclusion that if morality can possibly evolve, that they can get ahead of the evolutionary curve by eliminating the competition for resources and eliminate the competition i.e believers?

If this line of questioning is to long, feel free to simplify it.
Peace be with you,
Alan R.
P.S.
It seems like most of the questioners and commentors are very civil which is nice :)

28 Responses to Catholic: with Questions about Evolution

  1. neodecaussade says:

    Dear Alan R.,

    Catholics believe in evolution. You should get onboard the evolution wagon.

    Today, more than a half-century after the appearance of that encyclical, some new findings lead us toward the recognition of evolution as more than an hypothesis.* In fact it is remarkable that this theory has had progressively greater influence on the spirit of researchers, following a series of discoveries in different scholarly disciplines. The convergence in the results of these independent studies—which was neither planned nor sought—constitutes in itself a significant argument in favor of the theory.
    – MESSAGE TO THE PONTIFICAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES: ON EVOLUTION Pope John Paul II 1996.

    • Alan R. says:

      Hello neo,
      Evolution was brought up when I was learning about what the Catholic Church teaches before I entered about 3 years ago. If I remember correctly, one was free to believe it to be a proven theory or not. One could also believe in the Genesis creation story as literal. I am not apposed in any way to what is true about natural selection though I am no expert on the matter. Thank you for the reference to the writings of Pope John Paul II.
      Alan R

      • neodecaussade says:

        Dear Alan R.,

        Thank you for explaining your recent conversion to Catholicism. I have worked for years with converts through RCIA, and I know everybody’s experience is different. I believe that you need to find somebody in your area who understands Biblical textual criticism. Your Bible questions need to be discussed within the light of this science.

        The U.S. Center for the Catholic Biblical Apostolate (1312 Massachusetts Avenue, N.W./Washington DC/20005) maintains an updated listing of available resources for Catholic Bible study. Typically Catholic parish representatives write to learn the many available helps for developing Bible study and Bible teaching in accord with our long and rich Catholic tradition.

        DIVINO AFFLANTE SPIRITU is an encyclical written by Pope Pius XII in 1943. It outlines the need to increase Catholic Bible literacy and the use of textual criticism. I really encourage you to seek out a genuine Catholic explanation for your questions.

        – God bless,

        • Alan R. says:

          Dear Neodecaussade,
          My experience entering the Church was beautiful. I still miss RCIA. Thank you for helping others enter…beautiful are the feet of them who bring the Gospel of Truth.

          I apologize to anyone that may have taken my questions on this forum to mean that I question the teachings of the Chruch about the nature of man and how we are to understand evolution correctly.

          Was there something that I wrote that caused you concern?

          Peace be with you,
          Alan

          • neodecaussade says:

            Dear Alan R,
            I was just trying to be helpful. There is no concern with what you wrote. Evolution is a source of contention in many religious circles. Asking questions about evolution is a healthy activity. Many Catholics try in earnest to help others, but because they are only informed by the priest during Sunday homily their knowledge is not as deep as it could be. I don’t profess to have any answers, but I will lead others to documents and data to allow them to be better informed. Hopefully I was helpful to you.
            – God bless

            • Alan R. says:

              Hello Neo:
              You were helpful. I was more concerned that somehow I was inadvertantly expressing an opinion contrary to the teachings of the Chruch. The main reason I have been asking questions on this forum is because now that I have begun to learn what the Church teaches, I forget what it was about my former beliefs that seemed so compeling at the time. Now I am trying to learn again not so much about the theory of evolution per se but how it fits into a persons view of human nature and all that implies. Others that have responded back to my questions have been very patient in explaining what they believe and helping me work through the mental process of understanding what implications evolution has for morality and for that I am grateful. I am interested in any authoritative documents you recommend.

              Peace be with you,
              Alan R

  2. Adam Benton says:

    1. Evolution picks traits which confer a survival advantage. This has led us to accumulate a plethora of “mental shortcuts” that speed up processing and allow for faster responses, but this sometimes comes at the cost of accuracy. For example, we have a disposition to pick out faces but this can lead to us to see faces where there are none. Children have a deference to authority so they can learn the skills needed to survive, but this means they can be fooled by adults. So long as the benefits of these shortcuts outweighs the costs of these mistakes then our species will retain them

    Religion appears to stem from similar “mistakes” in the mental shortcuts. So long as it does not harm our chances to reproduce these shortcuts (and mistakes associated with them) will continue to persist in the population. As such religion may not have been directly evolved for and does not have to have any direct benefit.

    However, some suspect that religion was not simply neutral may have had a benefit and so evolution spread these shortcuts (and the associated mistakes) throughout the population. Such potential benefits include reinforcing community, enforcing co-operation and so forth. That said, the jury is still out on whether this is the case.

    2. Sympatric speciation refers to when one group of individuals in a population don’t mate with the rest of the population. This results in them evolving along a different trajectory to the rest of the population, ultimately causing them to split into a new species.In plants this might happen because the two groups flower at different times, preventing them from interbreeding; in birds it might be because the two groups don’t find each others’ mating call attractive. It might happen in humans if enough believers and non-believers refuse to mate with each other for a very long period of time.

    Thus believers and non-believers could diverge into different species but I believe this to be very in likely. Firstly because it would require near universal compliance for thousands of years and getting everyone to do the exact same thing is very hard. Secondly humans have already demonstrated a tolerance of each other, regardless of beliefs. Many believers and non-believers start families and as long as they continue to do so there will be no divergence.

    3. Co-operation is one of the best things we have going for us. Together we can do far more than we can individually. Indeed, as individuals we would likely perish. We need a functioning, co-operative society to survive and so eliminating a large proportion of individuals who make up that society is just shooting yourself in the foot. Further, others may be less inclined to co-operate with you knowing that you’d happily kill them if it benefited you which would.

    In the short term you might get some benefits, like being able to steal the stuff of the victims, but in the long term co-operation (and not murdering) wins.

    • Alan R. says:

      Hello Adam,
      Thank you for writing back to me about my questions. If possible, I would like to respond back to you first to make sure I am understanding what you meant and secondly to ask some additional questions about some of the points you made.

      “1. Evolution picks traits which confer a survival advantage.” When you wrote this, it may have just been shorthand for the natural mechanisims that cause a species to evolve, but I wanted to see if you meant that there was an active agent actually picking traits.

      I agree that there are mental shortcuts that aid in filtering information and decision making. Would I be correct in understanding that religious beliefs may have begun as a way to filter stimuli and then develped over time into an experience of the real presence of another being. For example, thunder may have caused fear in early man, not the sound so much as the lack of an explination of its cause which the the mind to filter it as an act of an unseen being which over time came to be understood as what is now call God?

      I am trying to create a mental picture as I type about this scenerio and I am open to your thoughts or correction if I get off track. I’m picturing the population of early man perhaps not quite differentiated by rational vs non rational distinctions. Some would have no mental question about the sound of thunder (or another example is fine), some would have a question about the thunder but not be frightened by not knowing the cause while others would be anxious at having an experience that they could not explain. So I guess I’m picturing a population with very subtle distinctions:
      a. some not quite rational
      b. some rational but not anxious about the unknown
      c. some rational and anxious about the unknown
      B and C stop mating with A?

      Perhaps on this, there is already a clearer understanding of that early population and what it may have been like. I’m really just trying to form an image to start from to see how such a mental shortcut that is flawed develpes into religion that can effect how large groups think and behave.

      I guess a side question would be what is it about the unknown that would cause anxiety in early man…perhaps that anxiety in early man is now just felt as curiosity?

      #2. I see what you are saying about it being unlikely that belief vs nonbelief would be a cause of species differentiation.

      #3. This is the question I’m most interested in. I aggree that cooperation is beneficial. What I am wondering about is at what point does a portion of mankind believe that because morality may be a product of evolution that they look at the world and say “cooperation is working to well. We have to many people some of which want to kill us and the technology to do it is developing faster then our ablitiy to constrain it. We are not bound by any moral law so we should eliminate the threat”

      The world may not be in a state now where many people would take that route, I’m picturing a more dire situation, polution, food and water shortages, constant conflict. If there is enough fear and hunger, what is to prevent an outdated morality from being set aside?

      Thanks again for answering my questions on the original post. I am interested in your thoughts or clarification.

      Peace,
      Alan R.

      • Adam Benton says:

        1. Yes, that was simply shorthand for the biological processes involved. You’re the second person to be confused by my phraseology recently so I’m probably going to have to find a better way of explaining it. Perhaps “evolution results in the spread of traits with a survival advantage?”

        At any rate, most researchers think religion is a by-product of existing mental shortcuts and not a neurological or biological trait in of itself because it can be gained or lot quite easily. People can stop (or start) believing in religion throughout their life and entire populations can become secular over just a few generations. You’ll find it a lot easier to “convert” than stop using other mental shortcuts such as recognising faces or picking out patterns; suggesting they are distinct phenomenon. Religion is a by-product of neurology and biology, not a specific neurological or biological trait (of course it still is ultimately biological in the sense that your thoughts are just neurons activating, but hopefully you understand what I mean).

        Which brings us to the scenario you propose. The key question is what biological traits must the population have to give rise to religion? Pattern seeking, surely, along with a deference to authority. Fear of the unknown is also probably important, as you suggest. People are more likely to attend church during times of economic uncertainty after all. There were likely many more too. However most of these traits have been present in one form or another for the entire of humanity. The story of human evolution is the amplification and alteration of existing traits, very few have evolved from scratch.

        As such the population where there are the three different groups of people likely never happened. Rather you had a single group gradually improving and gaining cognitive abilities until they crossed a threshold; a point at which religion could now arise. And then it did.

        2. Yay consensus. Come, join the hive mind. You will be borg!

        3. Evolution has resulted in a basic morality to foster social cohesion, i.e. that “gut instinct” you have that something is bad. However, those innate feelings often aren’t sufficient to create a complete code of ethics. We have not evolved the ability to come up with a fair system of trade tariffs, for example. As such we have to use reason, logic and philosophy to come up with a better system of ethics than the one we evolved. Therefore, even if atheists were able to shrug off the gut feeling of right and wrong we have as “simply evolution” we are still bound by a moral law. The social contract we created to govern our culture.

        And should we break this contract then what’s to stop the other things it governs suddenly not applying? If an atheistic government suddenly starts killing people, how do I know it won’t come after me next? The gloves are off at this point and I suspect anarchy would quickly ensue. Indeed, the vast majority of such governments have quickly fallen.

        Plus there’s all the benefits of co-operation I mentioned earlier and the fact that engaging in such behaviour means we sacrifice empathy (as has been mentioned by other commentors). Empathy is the glue that holds cultures together and should we start to tear it down no good will come of it. Darwin himself wrote that, whilst it may seem rational to kill off the sick to aid evolution doing so would be sacrificing the “noblest part of our nature.”

        Whilst there may come a time when anarchy befalls the planet, governments fall and there is great wailing and gnashing of the teeth I don’t see any reason why the ensuing carnage should be divided on religious v secular lines. In a world were most of the prime real estate has been lost to global warming, is ideological position really the thing governing my behaviour? I would’ve though survival would be more important.

        • Alan R. says:

          Adam,
          Thank you for responding to my long comment. Of all that you wrote in your last reply, paragraph 3 is the one that I have been puzzeling over. What is the crossing of that rational threshold like? Is it sudden or is it believed to be so gradual that the line between rational and non-rational is blurred? I think I am overly tired…I’m having difficulty not picturing rational thought almost like a different species of thought if that makes sense. I can picture scales evolving into feathers but it seems like there is a total different quality to rational thought that it is hard for me to picture the bridge from non-rational to rational. I guess what I’m asking is what is the type of thought that is more than non-rational but less than rational?

          I will check back to see what your thoughts are. My brain is tired :)

          • Adam Benton says:

            I was referring the development of religion there, not the origin of rational thought per se. To understand that you have to remember that rationality is not a new development; a wide range of animal species can solve problems. As our cognitive capacity developed and improved so did this rationality, until it became such a useful tool that it dominated our lives.

  3. The Atheist says:

    1) I agree with Adam Benton: the survival advantage to belief in gods is in the strengthening of tribal cohesion. Authoritarianism is an advantage when directing tribe members to selflessly defend, attack, and to otherwise to cooperate. Tribal leadership is strengthened by ultimate unseen authorities (departed ancestors or various gods) who can help or hurt, reward or punish… and who happen only to communicate with the tribal leader.

    2) I agree with Adam Benton on this one as well: speciation occurs when groups drift genetically apart over a long enough period of time so that members of one group become genetically incapable of reproducing with members of the other group. It seems very unlikely that belief about gods will ever be a strong enough separator to prevent interbreeding, any more than intelligence level, wealth, talent, or any number of differences that inspire some people to classify others into “separate” groups.

    3) Morality, while it does evolve, is rooted in empathy. Throughout history, attempts at genocide have been perpetrated by ruthless leaders who lacks a normal level of empathy. Psychopathy is the lack of an ability to empathize. Atheists are less likely in my opinion than other groups to blindly follow a psychopathic leader no matter how charismatic he or she might be, since atheists are more inclined to question the leader’s authority rather than being swept up in his or her charisma. It’s this inclination to think for themselves that makes atheists poor candidates for going along with mob mentality or for blindly following a ruthless, charismatic leader.

    • zJustin says:

      I really like the examples given in #3 here. Humans, just like any organism compared to others in their own species, have a diversity of characteristics and traits. One particular trait that sets atheists apart, and probably one reason we’re atheists is having a personality that naturally questions authority. Different levels of questioning authority would result in critical differences in survival fitness from both an individualistic and group angle. In order for any group to benefit as a group there needs to be a guiding force, someone to organize, plan and allocate duties. I think a majority of individuals have a natural propensity to follow, but what about the rebel; the one who questions whether the intent of the leader is truly to benefit the group? If someone gains a leadership role but lacks an altruistic intent and ultimately sees his or her followers as slaves, the rebel wins. In each instance, the environment is different and that plays a vital role too in the success or failure of the group, dissenting individuals or groups and the resulting choices they make.

    • gram says:

      I agree with Adam Benton and The Atheist, but I’d really like to add that there is eventual worth in the concept of religion if all of the false pathways are eliminated and it becomes a wholly magic free and radically different thing. Eventually we hit upon a correct and advantageous explanation, but only after religion in general (and anti-religion) has caused tremendous amounts of needless emotional and physical suffering. It is a natural inclination of any sufficiently aware species to solve that riddle of their existence and find an explanation for continuation and purpose exceeding the bounds of space-time. This is not just achievable- but done in my opinion. This will soon become apparent, but the topic is too involved for the immediate thread.

      • carlosmoya79 says:

        In other words, there is eventual worth in religion as long as it is Not Religion At All. The whole magic and false pathways thing is an integral part of the very definition of religion.

  4. gram says:

    Wow Alan. I’d like to address my answers in a different order. There is no possibility that belief or disbelief in God will cause a new order of human being. We will continue to interbreed because generations change their beliefs despite the sincere want of parents and society.
    Catholics are free to accept evolution provided they affirm that God initiated the process. Atheists cannot eliminate theists or vice versa. The most likely projection for the future of human belief is reduction of the faiths and skeptical humanism to obscurity. The majority will believe that we naturally continue through recurrence and that God is entirely unnecessary to the process and a liability to right actions. Do you want to know more? I’m an expert on this topic.

    • Alan R. says:

      Hello Gram,
      thank you for writing back. I do want to know more. I’m not sure why if evolution is in fact the cause of the development and differentiation of species, why faith which is a driving force to behavior could not potentially lead to a new species. Perhaps with apes it was hunger that led to the behavior of leaving the trees. Perhaps with man, it would be faith that or lack of it that led to a pattern of behavior that was advantagious to the species?

      • Gram says:

        The answer to this was given earlier on. A belief isn’t sufficient to irreparably separate one group of people from another. Add to it the chaos factor in free will (choosing a belief) and accelerated world exchanging of ideas and I think you will see that a pattern of allegiance to one belief won’t result in a physically different kind of being. But failure to extract ourselves from a multiplicity of disparate and conflicting beliefs might.

        If the world keeps going as it is there is good likelihood that we could see a mass die-off of humanity and a significant reduction of human stature over time in response to our dwindling food resources. Conversely, if a belief of superior proofs and rewards could achieve world majority opinion and act to unify humanity in common purpose we could see a lessened effect from the coming storm: one where we might better weather it and thus save mankind and civilization.

  5. Alan, with regard to your questions:

    1. See Michael Shermers 15 minute speech at the Oxford Union. Look it up on YouTube please as I don’t think WordPress let’s me post links.

    2. No comment.

    3. Morality doesn’t evolve, it is discovered. In this day and age we now think in terms of the suffering of living beings as opposed to divine commands. Certainly ancient peoples may have had a more primitive version of morality – warped and incomplete. Morality is a field of knowing that we have got better at defining and understanding. The crimes committed in the name of “God” in the Bible are no less immoral back then as they would be today, and more-so given “God” should know better.

  6. zuma says:

    What did Pope Pius IX want Christians to do towards those fellow Christians that support all things were the divine work from God through evolution?
    The following is the extract from Catholics and Evolution, wiki:
    On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, during the papacy of Pope Pius IX, who defined dogmatically papal infallibility during the First Vatican Council in 1869–70…..
    ………………..
    ……………….
    ………………..
    On God the Creator, the Vatican Council was very clear. The definitions preceding the “anathema” (as a technical term of Catholic theology, let him be “cut off” or excommunicated, cf. Galatians 1:6–9; Titus 3:10–11; Matthew 18:15–17) signify an infallible doctrine of the Catholic Faith (De Fide):
    1. On God the creator of all things
    1. …..
    2. …..
    3. …..
    4. IF ANYONE SAYS THAT that finite things, both corporal and spiritual, or at any rate, spiritual, emanated from THE DIVINE SUBSTANCE; or that the divine essence, BY the manifestation and EVOLUTION of itself BECOMES ALL THINGS or, finally, that God is a universal or indefinite being which by self-determination establishes the totality of things distinct in genera, species and individuals: LET HIM BE ANATHEMA.
    5. …..
    Comment upon the speech from Pope Pius IX as listed above and observe carefully those letters that are in capital letters.
    As the phrase, If anyone says that…the divine substance (could be God)…by…evolution of itself becomes all things…let him be anathema, is mentioned in his speech above, it seems to be that he discouraged Christians to have faith in evolution. The phrase, finite things…spiritual…the divine substance, as mentioned in his speech, could refer to God in which Christians support the divine work of God in evolution. Thus, the phrase, the divine substance…by…evolution…becomes all things, could be interpreted as these Christians should have supported that God by evolution that becomes all things. What did he mention about these people? Let him be anathema. Excommunicate!

    • Alan says:

      Hello Zuma,
      Thank you for the reply. I believe that what is being defined above is not about evolution per se but on the nature of God not being subject to change as an eminent being but a separate substance from created things. There are documents promulgated by the magisterium related to evolution as a theory. I accept with the certainty of faith what the Church teaches, but we are able to stay in communion with the Body of Christ when our questioning relates to how these truths are to be understood, not whether they are actually true. I am interested in further comment…as long as it doesn’t include me being ex-communicated :)

  7. zuma says:

    The discrepancies between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth:

    The scriptural verses about the beginning of the earth:

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    As the phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that the earth was initially covered with water.

    As the phrase, let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies that land should appear lately. If the land should appear first, there should not be any reason for the scripture to mention with the phrase, let the dry land appear. Besides, it would not be possible for the scripture to mention with the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered unto one place, if the land should have appeared before the existence of sea. Even if one might assume that land and sea water would coexist in the beginning in the creation of the earth, why should the scripture mention with the phrase, Let the dry land appear, as if that there was no land initially on earth?

    The following is the extract from the website address, http://www.scientificpsychic.com/etc/timeline/timeline.html , pertaining to the evolution of the earth:

    4650 mya: Formation of chondrules in the Solar Nebula
    – 4567 mya: Formation of the Solar System
    Sun was only 70% as bright as today.
    – 4500 mya: Formation of the Earth.
    – 4450 mya: The Moon accretes from fragments
    of a collision between the Earth and a planetoid;
    Moon’s orbit is beyond 64,000 km from the Earth.[33]
    EARTH DAY IS 7 HOUR’S LONG[34]
    – Earth’s original hydrogen and helium atmosphere
    escapes Earth’s gravity.
    – 4455 mya: Tidal locking causes one side
    of the Moon to face the Earth permanently.[30]
    – 3900 mya: Cataclysmic meteorite bombardment.
    The Moon is 282,000 km from Earth.[34]
    EARTH DAY IS 14.4 HOURS LONG[34]
    – Earth’s atmosphere becomes mostly
    carbon dioxide, water vapor,
    methane, and ammonia.
    – Formation of carbonate minerals starts
    reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide.
    – There is no geologic record for the Hadean Eon.

    My comment: As listed above, the earth day was 7 hour’s long in 4450 mya and yet in 3000 mya, its speed reduced to 14.4 hour’s long per earth day. Thus, the spinning speed of the earth was super fast prior to 4450 mya since it took 7 hour’s long to finish its full day. In such a high speed, all the substances, such as, sea water, would fly out of the sky. Or in other words, sea water should not be in existence in beginning of the evolution of the earth.

    As listed above also, earth’s orginal hydrogen and helium atmosphere would escape from the earth’s gravity in 4450 mya. Considering the environmental condition if the whole earth was filled with water, it is impossible for the earth to emit hydrogen and helium when the land was covered fully with water.

    Besides, the rapid spinning of the earth in 7 hour’s long prior to 4450 mya would cause sea water to fly out of the earth.

    The above show the contradiction between the scripture and the scientific evolution of the earth.

  8. zuma says:

    Was the earth formed through several destructions that were brought forth by volcanoes, meteorites and etc.? Does it differ from scriptural point of view?

    Scriptural verses about the creation of the earth:

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.”

    Genesis 1:9-10, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    The phrase, the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters, in Genesis 1:2, implies that the scripture supports that the earth was initially covered with water. As the phrase, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together…and let the dry land appear, is mentioned in Genesis 1:9-10, it implies the appearance of land lately. Thus, the scripture supports that the land was not visible on the surface of the earth since it was covered with water.

    As the scripture mentions that the earth was covered with water, it is unlikely that volcanoes could be visible at that time since they should be under the sea water. As all the mountains were in the sea as mentioned in Genesis 1:2, how could the earth be under-attacked by volcanoes? As all the lands were in the sea water as mentioned in the scripture, how could the earth be under-attacked by meteorites? This is by virtue of meteorites would simply drop into the sea without any strong impact upon the land of the earth.

    The following is the extract from the website, http://www.universetoday.com/76509/how-was-the-earth-formed/ , in which contradiction has been found against the scripture:

    ‘This first eon in which the Earth existed is what is known as the Hadean period, named after the Greek word “Hades” (underworld) which refers to the condition of the planet at the time. During this time, the Earth’s surface was under a continuous bombardment by meteorites, and volcanism is believed to be severe due to the large heat flow and geothermal gradient. Outgassing and volcanic activity produced the primordial atmosphere. Condensing water vapor, augmented by ice delivered by comets, accumulated in the atmosphere and cooled the molten exterior of the planet to form a solid crust and produced the oceans. This period ended roughly 3.8 years ago with the onset of the Archean age, by which time, the Earth had cooled significantly and primordial life began to evolve.’

  9. zuma says:

    Scientific evolution of the earth contradicts the scriptural view of God’s creation:

    The following is the extract from the website, http://www.bobthealien.co.uk/earthform.htm, under the subtitle, Four billion years ago, seems to support the presence of the sun prior to the formation of the earth:

    ‘This is an artist’s impression of what Earth looked like 4 BILLION YEARS AGO. The planet has no oxygen in its atmosphere and no ozone layer, so poisonous ULTRAVIOLET RAYS FROM THE SUN HIT THE SURFACE DIRECTLY….”

    The website, http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/earth/earth_timeline/earth_formed ., under the heading, THE EARTH FORMS, seems to imply the simultaneous formation of the sun and the earth:
    ‘THE EARTH IS thought to have been FORMED about 4.6 billion years ago by collisions in the giant disc-shaped cloud of material that ALSO FORMED THE SUN. Gravity slowly gathered this gas and dust together into clumps that became asteroids and small early planets called planetesimals. These objects collided repeatedly and gradually got bigger, building up the planets in the Solar System, including the Earth’

    My comment: Genesis 1:3-5, “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” (King James Version)

    Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.”

    Genesis 1:3-5 should undoubtedly refer to the creation of sun since the phrase, God divided the light the darkness, is mentioned in Genesis 1:4. As Genesis 1:4, the creation of sun, is mentioned after Genesis 1:2, the creation of the earth, it implies that the sun only existed after the creation of the earth. Even if some would assume that the creation of sun should fall within day four, the creation of sun was still treated to be after the creation of the earth since Genesis 1:2, the creation of the earth, is mentioned before the day four.

    Some might argue that the arrangement of creation in Genesis 1 should not be in sequential order. However, there is no reason to assume that the scripture would support the sun could be created prior to the earth since the phrase, the earth was…darkness….upon the face of the deep, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2. The word, darkness, in Genesis 1:2 implies the absence of light on earth. As long as there was sunlight on earth, the entire darkness on earth should not be present. As the word, darkness, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies the non-existence of sun or else the earth should be filled with some brightness. Thus, the scripture supports the sun was created after the earth and yet scientific evolution supports otherwise. Besides, the arrangement of creation in Genesis 1 should be in sequential order.

    The following is the extract from the website, http://www.mcwdn.org/MAPS&GLOBES/Earth.html, to support the earth was a ball of white gases with extreme heat:

    ‘The earth was formed in the same way as the sun, planets, stars. At first the earth was a hot glowing ball of white hot gases with a temperature that was millions of degrees Fahrenheit. This was caused by particles of gases being drawn together and compressed, giving off a lot of heat. This happened millions of years ago.’

    My comment: Genesis 1:2, “And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon THE FACE OF WATERS.”

    Genesis 1:9, “And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.”

    As the phrase, the face of waters, is mentioned in Genesis 1:2, it implies that the earth was initially filled with water. As the earth was covered with water initially, it would be impossible for the earth to emit gases since all its lands were under water.

    It is irrational to assume that active volcanoes might erupt in the water or the earth could be in molten stage. This is by virtue of any of these disasters would cause the earth to be shone with brightness especially the presence of larva. The word, darkness, as mentioned in Genesis 1:2 rejects the possibility of the earth in molten stage or the presence of eruption from volcanoes.

    The following is the extract from the ninth paragraph of the website, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2008/apr/28/starsgalaxiesandplan… :

    ‘Early Earth was a very different place to the planet we inhabit today. Initially the planet didn’t have a crust, mantle and core, and instead all the elements were evenly mixed. There were no oceans nor continents and no atmosphere. Meteorite collisions, radioactive decay and planetary compression made Earth become hotter and hotter. After a few hundred million years the temperature of Earth reached 2,000C – the melting point of iron – and Earth’s core was formed.’

    My comment: As Genesis 1:2 supports that the whole earth was covered with water, it opposes scientific evolution of earth that supports the non-existence of ocean.

    As Genesis 1:2 mentions that the earth was filled with darkness and water, it is impossible for the earth to become hotter due to the absence of sign that the earth was in molten stage or the sign of larva from the eruption of volcanoes. The presence of eruption of volcanoes or the earth in molten stage would cause some brightness on the earth.

    The following is the extract from the twenty second paragraph under the heading, How our earth was formed (Apr, 1923), from the website, http://blog.modernmechanix.com/how-our-earth-was-formed/ :

    It- is reasonably certain that the earth at first was very hot, hot enough to be molten all the way through. Its surface was a sea of melted rock in which great flaming tides hundreds of feet high raced twice daily around the globe. Gradually the rock grew cooler. It hardened. After awhile there was a solid surface crust. And slowly, after many millions of years, this crust grew cool enough for water to collect in hollows on it and to stay there. The first oceans were formed.

    My comment: As Genesis 1:2 mentions that the earth was in darkness, it is irrational to support that the earth was in molten stage due to the absence of sign of brightness on earth.

  10. zuma says:

    The doctrine of evolution contradicts the books of New Testament:

    Provided with environmental factors that would be suitable for apes to be transformed into human beings in the past, many of them would evolve into human beings at that time. There is no reason to assume that there would only be one man to be evolved from evolution if the environmental condition would turn up to be suitable for apes to evolve. If human beings flourished in the past were the result of the evolution of many apes, the origin of human beings could not be traced back to one man, i.e. Adam. The sin of Adam would not affect all human races if their forefathers could not trace back to him but to another human being that would have been evolved from other apes. Why is it that Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22 mention that all fall into sin by one man? Thus, the doctrine of evolution does contradict Romans 5:12, 14 & 1 Corinthians 15:22.

    The following are the extracts:

    Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:”
    Romans 5:14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

    1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

    If human beings were evolved from apes, did Jesus die for apes also as they were the forefathers of human beings? Why should Jesus Christ not die for apes when human beings were evolved from them?

    Was Eve formed from Adam?

    Genesis 2:21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;

    Genesis 2:22 And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

    Genesis 2:23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

    1 Timothy 2:13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

    If 1 Timothy 2:13 should be interpreted literally, why shouldn’t Genesis 2:21-23 be interpreted the same literally since both of them agree that Adam was formed prior to the existence of Eve?

    Besides, there should not be any reason for 1 Timothy 2:14 to mention the word, Adam, if this word in the book of Genesis should not be interpreted literally. As the word, Adam, is mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:14, the book of Genesis should be interpreted literally instead of treating it to be a non-existing event. The following is the extract:

    1 Timothy 2:14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

    If the first human beings were not made by God but evolved through nature, why should the word, made, be mentioned in Matthew 19:4?

    Matthew 19:4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,

    Matthew 19:5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?

  11. zuma says:

    Is gap theory or the so-called, Lucifer’s flood, justifiable from scriptural point of view? Was there any living creature during or prior to the event in Genesis 1:2?

    The gap theory or the so-called, Lucifer’s flood, that could be located in the website, http://www.gotquestions.org/Lucifers-flood.html , states that it supports another human races without souls that have no connection with any genetic mutation with the plants, animals and human living today could have existed during or prior to the event in Genesis 1:2. At that time, Satan was a ruler of the earth and sin entered into the universe as a result of its rebellion that caused God to execute His judgment with pre-flood as mentioned in Genesis 1:2.

    Genesis 1:2 And the earth was without form, and void; and DARKNESS [was] upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

    The word, darkness, in Genesis 1:2 rejects the possibility of any light on this earth. As long as there was sunlight, the entire earth at that time should not be in darkness. As the earth was in darkness, the sun was not created at that time.

    As we know plants needed sunlight to perform photosynthesis. Without sunlight, carbon dioxide could not be able to divert to oxygen through photosynthesis. Without sunlight, all the oxygen on this earth would be diverted to carbon dioxide due to the respiration of all living creatures even if oxygen would have existed in Genesis 1:2. How could there be any animals, especially another human race, to be able to survive in Genesis 1:2 at the absence of sunlight since they needed oxygen to breathe in? How could animals be able to evolve from one to another at the absence of sunlight for a prolonged period, such as, million years, due to oxygen would entirely be consumed without a chance to be diverted to oxygen at the absence of sunlight? Thus, it is impossible to have another human race to have existed in Genesis 1:2. As it is impossible to have another human race to have existed in Genesis 1:2, how could it be that Genesis 1:2 was treated to be God’s judgment in bringing flood?

  12. 1. “If evolution is the effect on living things to real environmental changes over time in which the living being passes on beneficial traits that perpetuate and alter the species, what was/is the evolutionary benefit of large % of rational beings desire to know the truth about everything but believing in a supposidly fictional god?”

    Evolution is merely the change in genes in population groups of organisms over time. Many things change the genes and the changes are not always useful or beneficial. It is just change. Sometimes a change is not a good change but also not significant enough to really influence survivability of that variation that lead to that change. Our predisposition to think of abstract things like gods might just be a byproduct of having a more advanced brain. It is certainly not universal that this leads to a belief in a god. Some use this ability to be creative without using a god to fill in the blanks in one’s understanding.

    There may also be a benefit to social creatures to have a capability to believe in some absolute authority to dictate rules. This works well in creatures such as the savage bronze-age humans. Modern humans, however, have figured out that they can derive morals and rules from purely secular mechanisms like empathy, consequentialism, and logic. Instead of merely following orders, which is actually not being a moral individual, modern humans can assess morality on their own, debate morals, and change moral ideas as the times change. It is a good thing this is true or we would still go by what the Bible says and think slavery is perfectly normal and OK.

    2. “Is this differentiation between believers and non-believers the begening of seperate species?”

    Different species cannot procreate with each other. That is what defines a specie. Reproduction. Beliefs have no influence on reproduction mechanically, though we may find non-believers hesitant to breed with believers for intellectual reasons. But this would still not qualify as a speciation event as the two types can still breed, even if they decide not to. As many theists become atheists after applying reason and honestly looking for evidence, the genetics of a theist is not different from the genetics of an atheist. As an atheist might have at one point been a theist and vice verse, this is obviously true as otherwise one’s genes would have to change if their beliefs changed. And even if there was a gene that made certain people more prone to use logic and reason for foundations of belief, there is no reason to expect that gene to be connected to any other gene that might prevent procreation with individuals that base their beliefs on misconceptions, emotions, and interpretations of personal experiences. There might, however, exist a selection pressure that makes rational logical humans survive longer than individuals that do not use rational thinking. The latter is likely to make other mistakes that could lead to a shorter life if they are willing to believe in things without justification. The idiots that take the Bible seriously when it talks about surviving venomous snake bites is evidence for this. Obviously, such individuals are so irrational that they literally kill themselves. The people that are this messed up in their reasoning ability live shorter lives than people that do not test such ridiculous Biblical ideas. Thus the ones that live longer likely procreate more, and pass on their genes more often. But again, there has not been any gene identified that relates to being a moronic irrational Biblical literalist. They are most likely the result of indoctrination and poor education.

    3. “Will there ever come a time when athiests reach the conclusion that if morality can possibly evolve, that they can get ahead of the evolutionary curve by eliminating the competition for resources and eliminate the competition i.e believers?”

    Believers are not competition that hinders morality as believers do not practice morality. They are merely obedient followers of rules that they do not dare question. That is, they are not making moral assessments of actions but are following the dictates of a higher authority. If believers start assessing their own actions they might become competition, but if they are engaging in actual moral decions and not just doing what a book tells them to do, they are no longer any different than atheists. All humans have this capability, to assess actions based on reason, empathy, and consequence. And many believers are starting to turn away from being simple sheep and just doing what someone else tells them to do. In fact, if any Christian believer is anti-slavery, they have already made their own moral decision on that matter that contradicts the position of their own god. If any Christian believer is accepting of homosexuals, they are making a moral decision on that position too that violates the rules set down by their god. So there is indeed hope for humanity and competition does not seem to be a problem here. Rather, it seems as time passes and humans become more empathetic and rational, old bronze-era prejudices and practices seem more and more immoral, and in need of a serious overhaul.

  13. De Ha says:

    1
    you’re assuming philosophy is a completely different mechanism than just thinking. Why?
    2
    that’s just stupid
    3
    Morality DOES evolve you idiot! it’s called the Moral Zeitgheist. for example, slavery is now a bad thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: