Monday, 13 September 2010

Why Evolution and Christianity Don't Mix

There is no room for a creator in the material tools of science. No matter how many anomalous discoveries are made from the beginning of time till the end, they will never help prove scientifically that a god may or may not exist. As I have pointed out before, the idea of god is that he/she/it is supernatural. Ergo, god is not of the natural world. No discovery inside the natural world can prove a supernatural conclusion. Now, you can 'read into' the natural world anything you like about god or gods but you may never use natural material to prove a supernatural being.

So far in our human knowledge that we know certain things about the workings of the universe, none of them require a god or supernatural being to keep them going. They all work perfectly well naturally and according to local rules. The idea of laws, rules, etc are only human constructs that assist us in explaining these ideas to each other over time and distance. They do not prove a priori that a 'lawmaker' or 'rulegiver' exists to make them in the first place. But this is neither here nor there it's just something that comes up with religious people quite often.

Anyway, evolution does pose some unique problems for those who hold religious faith, especially faiths that invoke a creative deity of some sort. For instance, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity all say in their books that humans were especially created from "dust", "a rib" or "a clot of blood". However, through extensive research in the past couple of hundred years it is becoming increasingly unlikely that the stories in the respective books are true in any way. They all contradict each other yet equally claim superior ultimate truths. So perhaps one of them is correct, or there is truth in some of them, or they are all incorrect stories. Since we and all creatures emerged through natural selection and speciation as the theory of evolution suggests, then what are we to make of these stories?

How do you personally reconcile biblical stories, and their supposedly divinely inspired authorship, with the contradictory evidence put forth by science? This sort of question threatens to open Pandora's box for a Christian theist. For, if part of the bible is false then how can one show the rest to be true? And when one attempts this, what method of truth criteria are they using, a subjective or an objective one? If it's their own then what gives them the authority to pick and choose in the bible?

If god divinely inspired authors to write down false versions of history then this also throws scepticism into the ring regarding whether that particular god told them anything or if it actually ever existed. Going further, if this part of the bible turns out to not be divinely inspired and invented by men then what protects the rest of the bible from similar scrutiny?

But I think the first few chapters of Genesis and the Torah (i won't address Islam because i am not a well versed in their verses) are more important than people give them credit for. They depict a character called Adam who is purportedly the first male Homosapien on earth, along with his partner Eve as the first female of the species. They interact with their environment and an event occurs, namely the eating of the forbidden fruit, which ends up cursing the entirety of humanity forever (and the whole universe), to sin. Now, science has shown this particular story to be at best metaphorical and not in any way literal or a relief of an historical event. This bare fact does not remove the ethical and philosophical meanings of the story that are probably eternally relevant. Rather, in conjunction with the rest of the story of the bible, the disproving of Adam and Eve as real people in real time, in my humble opinion, threatens the very foundations of Christianity and the theist position. All else in the bible is commentary and rhetoric compared to this problem. I'll explain briefly, here it is:

If Adam never existed and the story of original sin is false then the death and resurrection of Jesus was unnecessary and Jesus was just another man walking the earth like you and me. In other words, thanks to science, it can be shown that Jesus (also god) did not forgive our sins because we never had any in the first place, and we don't have sin today either.

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