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Can theists really reconcile evolution with their beliefs?

Discussion in 'Evolution Vs. Creationism' started by robtex, Feb 15, 2006.

  1. jewscout

    jewscout Religious Zionist

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    you essentially ask me to quantify what i believe to be the unquantifiable.
    in looking at evolutionary biology, what you have proposed has to exist within "the evolutionary model"

    so many of these questions go to HaShem and our connection to Him.
    The Soul, can not exist within the evolutionary model as it is of divine origin, our "image" of Him.

    in regards to the Afterlife, both you and linwood asked a question. Again, i note the lack of emphasis on the Afterlife in Judaism, however many ideas exist as to what it might be.
    Decomposition is not an issue, as the Afterlife has nothing to do w/ the physical.
    in regards to Linwood's comment, you claim that science has discovered that the "soul" is made up of various functions in the brain, as is love. But, and i guess this is the romantic in me, i refuse to believe that love is only a chemical reaction i the brain. To me love is far more complex and transcendic than a bunch of chemicals. maybe i refuse to see the cold science of it. if that is the case, so be it. That is the same way i see the soul in regards to this question. To me, it is more than that.

    As far as Random mutation. How much of this universe and our own biology, to the very genetic level, do we NOT understand. What we see as random, is only random because we don't see the grander picture.

    I guess i can not reconcile it to your definition of evolutionary biology, as you place that process in a model. So many of these questions are about G-d and our connection to Him, and G-d can not be constrained or confined to any model or equation. If we could do that then He would not be G-d, now would He?
     
  2. Bishadi

    Bishadi Active Member

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    Yes….. but there are items in “origin of species” that if posed in verbatim will not work but the basics of biological evolution, I believe, are absolutely correct.







    1) if life is “light” then maybe your sole is the collective resonant energy, chi, aura, spirit and within your body the collective of this “life” at its peak form within our body is consciousness but all living things have a resonant energy. A sole, as some describe is suspect to interpretation.

    2) All living things have long lived effects upon surroundings and here “after” life but as far as sitting in a lounge chair next to your grand pappy or God… well I do not know one person on the planet that can describe that event in a first position with any reproducible data. Although your seed will carry your dna and can recreate you and your forefathers portion of resonance within your children just as if you have all of your grandfathers in you alive on this earth right now. But how to address sitting at the “right hand of the father” in verbatim… I don’t know other than to say “he helped configure my right hand and I carry his torch.”

    3) I think so, it is the only real example of matter identifying itself and able to create things within a process of thought. We can also enter a state of oneness like the described state of “enlightenment” which is a felt and known phenomenon and as normal as dejavu. In other words our consciousness is the platform that allows this known “zenith” of biological/molecular evolution to be at one with everything and know it.

    4) If God is viewed as a total of everything, so calling him “Cosmos” may work. And in “cosmos” there are fundamental forces of nature that can tip both sides of the scale, black/white, light-emr/matter, all just parts of the total but one cannot be measured or described without the other, so Yes…God in effect created everything in the universe and life is just emr held within a molecular structure all the rest is part of the evolutionary process.







    One of the reasons I like the eastern beliefs so much is that they acknowledge man’s accomplishments and will incorporate freely. It is the self serving inclusion by man, “no additions, no deletions” or this is the “breath” of God, that has oppressed. But is does not mean that some of the original scriptures will not concur with man’s accomplishments or that some of the prophecies have no basis. The old books have many items that can be referenced to this new idea and further run in parallel with many world sects.



    I basically look at theological writings as written ideals created by molecular structures for other molecular structures to illustrate how to get alone and progress.



    DNA represents itself to be just a listing of sequences that would allow a spark of life/light to recreate the machine. One example; if sperm is frozen the life or resonant energy is gone but to defrost it the sperm maintains it ability to complete a reproduction, so divinity to life is suspect, once again; a sequence of “non-living’ dna molecules can be combined to start a living thing to begin developing.



    Just ideas that may offer a scenario to fit your questions.
     
  3. Bishadi

    Bishadi Active Member

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    why would a dying body not be a biodiverse hunk of critters? The energy is being consumed, started with a life form and continues with a life form.

    a thought
     
  4. Bishadi

    Bishadi Active Member

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    Am I doing something wrong, robtex? No comments? At least tell me i am nuts so I can feel whole again :areyoucra :banghead3 :bonk: :(

    I am used to it!
     
  5. Revasser

    Revasser Terrible Dancer

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    I think when people say "belief in a soul and an afterlife is at odds with the theory of evolution" they are probably making assumptions about what consitutes the soul that others (including theists) may not make.

    However, as far as I know, scientific theory makes no statement either way on the existence or veracity of anything supernatural, as that is beyond the scope of science. Any theory making such a statement would no longer be scientific, no? Or has science embraced the metaphysical while I was asleep?
     
  6. angellous_evangellous

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    The problem is that traditionally Christians have been doing precisely the opposite: making conclusions about the physical via metaphysical rationale, like saying that God created the physical and that there is evidence for such a creation.

    I have a hope for the afterlife by the power of God in Jesus Christ.

    (1) I recognize that my hope is not the product of biological review. It simply is not biologically possible, nor is my hope the product of naturalistic rationale.

    (2) I will address the related assumption that we have a soul or some biological part of us that survives death. I recognize that there is nothing biological that survives death. The Christian prophets say that we will live by the power that raised Christ from the dead, and not by naturalistic biology. I do not agree with Plato that humans have an immortal soul, but that we are a living soul, being mortal, and only the power of God can enable the resurrection of the body.
     
  7. Revasser

    Revasser Terrible Dancer

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    This is true, yes. Religion is not bound by the same restrictions that science is, however. That, also, is a belief that is making claims about the physical world that we can observe empirically and therefore subject to the scientific method. It can have physical, falsifiable evidence presented against it and so is within the scope of science, yes?
     
  8. angellous_evangellous

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    Exactly.
     
  9. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    I didn't reply to it cause you kinda sidestepped the questions with some very poetic and symbolic wording. The issues being.

    reconcilation of:

    the soul which is not consistant with the biological or genetic constriaints of dna composed material.

    An afterlife which conflicts with the biological definition of death

    man as the zenith of creation which is at odds with evolutioniary biology which states evolution is not a finished nor stipualtes there is a zenith

    and the dicotomy of random mutation, particulary genetic drift and the non-compatable concept of " a God guided universe".

    Pretty wording...though, if you haven't written any prose before you should consider it. You have a knack with wording.
     
  10. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    If you believe in God you have two senerios.

    1) God is the head of the universe but he didn't create anything
    2) God is the head of the universe and he created somethings or everything.

    If you take # 2 to heart, meaning you have faith that this is true, than you have to aknowledge evidence for the physical because you and everything around you exists. They may not have evidence or proof but if # 2 is congruent with their faith than the physical "evidence" being the universe around them seems to be the reasonable choice.



    Is it ok for me to take the word "hope" to mean the same as or similar to "faith"? Realize whatever you have have hope for or faith in has to be at the most basic level at least consistant with what we have discovered about outselves as a species. We know, or have evidence for that evoution is the process where new species are made. We know there is nothing outside the system, aka the system acts alone, and we know it is measurable through DNA evidence. The Chrisitan belief of a soul specifically contradicts this notion on two counts:

    1) It is outside of the system of evolution--as it is not an evolved proposition
    2) It is not considered to be dna composed.

    That is a contradiction that can either be reconciled or parts of evolution, specifacally nothing exists outside of the system and dna makes up living things have to refuted. The two are completely incompatable from my vantage point.

    [/QUOTE](2) I will address the related assumption that we have a soul or some biological part of us that survives death. I recognize that there is nothing biological that survives death. The Christian prophets say that we will live by the power that raised Christ from the dead, and not by naturalistic biology. I do not agree with Plato that humans have an immortal soul, but that we are a living soul, being mortal, and only the power of God can enable the resurrection of the body.[/QUOTE]
    If you recognize that nothing biological survives death than you must recognize their is a contraction between the Christian afterlife and the biological standard for death.
     
  11. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    I am not looking at restictions but at contradictions or incompatable notions. If you read the opening post in my personal opinion the 4 mentioned areas of biology are not reconcilable by some religions and I am suggesting that instead of reconcilation that many Christians and other religions either amend or reject evolution completely. As it presented by biology and genetics today, the notion of a soul, afterlife, man as the zenith of creation and a guided univese are not compatable with evolutionary theory.
     
  12. Bishadi

    Bishadi Active Member

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    I see your point and I assumed incorrectly that new ideas were being sought but rather a pretty good set of questions to make someone check their idea of belief.

    O-Tay ... I have no need to test mine .... apparently no one gets it ... your questions are quite easy but I do thank you and this forum because these are items I had not addressed before, especially in the newly coined style, "prose."

    Back to reading ... :D
     
  13. angellous_evangellous

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    God is not a physical being. We can't use any physical evidence to know God or to comprehend God's work. If we use evidence, then evidence must match conclusions. We can't prove that God exists, so no amount of evidence can relate to the power of God rationally. If we talk of God, we must have faith that either God doesn't exist (anti-faith?) or that God does exist. I don't think that your conclusions match the choices that you listed above.

    Not if the object of our hope has nothing to do with our species. If God exists completely apart from humanity, as Christians confess, then no knowledge our humanity can speak to hope. I think that hope exists as a human element that can be studied, but not the relationship of hope and faith with the divine.

    I said above that I don't believe that humans have a soul, but we are a living soul, a special gift of creation. (see Genesis 2:2 7then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.)

    Why would we want to recoincile a myth with science?

    I thought that we have been preaching that from the beginning. Plato thought that our soul survives death. Paul taught that Jesus gives life by the power of God. It is only by means of supernatural intervention of God that we survive death, and that is part of the Christian message.

    Something must be done in order to survive death, and we confess that God changes a person supernaturally in order for this to occur.

    Matt 19


    16And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

    17And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

    18He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

    19Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    20The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?
    21Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.

    2 Corinthians 5:17
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
    2 Corinthians 5:16-18 (in Context) 2 Corinthians 5 (Whole Chapter)

    Luke 20
    27There came to him some Sadducees, those who deny that there is a resurrection, 28and they asked him a question, saying, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, having a wife but no children, the man[f] must take the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 29Now there were seven brothers. The first took a wife, and died without children. 30And the second 31and the third took her, and likewise all seven left no children and died. 32Afterward the woman also died. 33In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had her as wife."




    34And Jesus said to them, "The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage, 35but those who are considered worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage, 36for they cannot die anymore, because they are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons[g] of the resurrection. 37But that the dead are raised, even Moses showed, in the passage about the bush, where he calls the Lord the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob. 38Now he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for all live to him." 39Then some of the scribes answered, "Teacher, you have spoken well." 40For they no longer dared to ask him any question.
     
  14. painted wolf

    painted wolf Grey Muzzle

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    hmm... I'm a Theist and I have no issue with evolution. :D

    1) only man has a soul
    Nope in my faith everything has a soul.
    2) other animals have souls
    if,
    1a) Only man has a soul, what did it evolve from what is it dna composure
    2a) other animals have souls how is it different from man's or is it the same? what is its dna composure?
    I think of a soul more as a consiquence of existing... it isn't a "thing" in and of itself. The part of everything in creation that is connected to creator (and in its way is creator). The part of existance that causes molicules to form, atoms to interact and so on and so forth.

    1) a soul
    everything has a "soul" in my faith.... natually defining a "soul" is next to impossible. ;)
    2) an afterlife
    NO idea... I either have never died or I simply can't remember having done so. To speculate about it is pointless to me.
    3) is man the zenith of creation
    No way, Man is another part of creation no more or less perfect than anything elce in creation.
    4) was the universe or the living things in it created by God
    yes, though "god" may simply be the process rather than a seperate "entity".

    hope this helps some.

    wa:do
     
  15. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    I have no problem reconciling evolution and my religion. Evolution is a fact biologically. However...there, you are only dealing with the physical, so to ask evolutionary questions about the DNA composure of the soul (a non-physical attribute) is really a moot point when dealing with any person that believes in such. There is a distinct separation between physical and spiritual. Evolution is physical fact, soul and after-llife, and reincarnation and the religious experiences or beliefs thereof are spiritual and can have no physical connotations attached to them. Do I believe that man is the "zenith of creation"? No. Because we are still evolving, so how can we stay man forever? We didn't start as "man" and will probably not end as "man" unless we blow ourselves up...which is possible with our stupidity level. The physical process of creation...the planets and spark of life itself may have been instigated by a "Source", who are we to know? I do believe that this "Source" or "Divine" is the essence of the souls that runs through everything. It is the ethereal and astral which we cannot see or rationalize physically. It is what is yet to be understood and achieved. The physical is the tangible and proven science as man understands it at this point in evolution and intelligence.
     
  16. robtex

    robtex Veteran Member

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    In evolution, biology and genetics EVERY living this has carbon in it and every living thing is dna composed. What you are doing when you say "physical and spirtual" is adding componets of your religion to the organic sciences to make it "fit" your religion. The spirtual componets are not recognized by any branch of organic science. The fact that you propose that life can be non-carbon based and non-dna composed irregardless if you attach the word spirtual to it or not conflicts with the organic sciences theory on life.
    But you do attach physical characteristics to the soul and the aftelife and than turn around and say it is undetectable. You say the soul is your personality, and being giving it proporties that science has already assessed to dna coding and the brain. Either your personality, being and "essence" is your brain and dna composition or it is your soul. To say it is both or shared is a conflict of science and spirtuality.
    By what meathod or system is evolutionary biology proven or evidenced and in contrast by what constraints is spirtual belief impossible to prove or even evidence? If the standards are different for assessing why, and more important of one is assessable and inpersonal, such as evolution is, and the other is unassessable yet "personal" why would the one proposed to afford a more intimate relationship not be evidencable by man? As a final footnote not so much to this post but to the thread in general when theists address "non-detectable spirtual elements" I think it is worth posting the link to Carl Sagan's "Dragon in my garage." http://www.godlessgeeks.com/LINKS/Dragon.htm
     
  17. Opethian

    Opethian Active Member

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    I don't believe in souls, I don't even believe in free will. I say that if there was a powerful enough computer and an infinitely intelligent being, it could calculate anything that would happen and anyone's life path (using data from genetics of that person, data from his environment and his memories). Of course, the uncertitude of Heisenberg would make absolute certainty impossible but noone can tell us if it would have an actual effect on someone's life.
     
  18. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    I just have some questions for you. What is the DNA composition of a thought? A dream? ...Point? Not everything about us is physical. You can define thought process in the brain...but try to apply a physical quantity to a thought. Can you find an idea physically in the brain? Can you find inspiration to write a book in DNA code? No. Unless you can label EVERYTHING about us with DNA code, as you so like to point to, you have to admit that there are functions and things about humans that are not physical...but non-physical attachments and attributions to us.

    And as for me attaching physical characteristics to the soul...when did I do that? What ARE you talking about? What physical characteristics does a soul have??? I know of none.

    And as for evidencing anything spiritual...I could do that in person with you...but you would not believe it anyway because your mind is so closed to that you would not accept what you would see or experience and try to find any way you could to over-explain it in terms that just don't work. You would be in total conflict with yourself and that would take a lot of self-reconciling to work through. I could get unrelated people together that have all experienced hauntings and other such stuff...all describing the exact same things and you would chalk them all up to being delusional just to keep yourself "right". So what's the point?
     
  19. Opethian

    Opethian Active Member

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    There is no DNA composition for a thought or a dream. These are all just physical processes going on in your body because of millions of reacting molecules. EVERYTHING about us is physical, there's no denying that. Because these processes are so complicated we have not yet found out how they exactly happen, but trust me, we're getting there. There are no functions or things about humans that are not physical.

    There is no soul.

    There are explanations for all these things. Just because it is extremely hard to find them, doesn't mean you have to appoint them to a spirit or a soul. The gap where god and the spiritual can jump in is becoming smaller and smaller, and there will be a day when it will be so small that it will have become totally pointless.
     
  20. Draka

    Draka Wonder Woman

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    There is no DNA composition for a thought or a dream. These are all just physical processes going on in your body because of millions of reacting molecules. EVERYTHING about us is physical, there's no denying that. Because these processes are so complicated we have not yet found out how they exactly happen, but trust me, we're getting there. There are no functions or things about humans that are not physical.

    When we get there, you let me know.

    There is no soul.

    To your knowledge at this point in life.

    There are explanations for all these things. Just because it is extremely hard to find them, doesn't mean you have to appoint them to a spirit or a soul. The gap where god and the spiritual can jump in is becoming smaller and smaller, and there will be a day when it will be so small that it will have become totally pointless.

    Until you have such experiences this is what you will believe. And it is going the opposite way actually. More and more people are coming forward through the years that admit to something beyond them. You can even take intellectual, educated persons that admit to something beyond as well. There are more books about the paranormal now than ever before. There are respectable tv shows and reporters and documentaries that delve into the realm of the paranormal and investigate all that stuff. Just because you don't want to see it or believe it doesn't mean it's not there.
     
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