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Why do some creationists think evolution = atheism?

Jose Fly

Fisker of men
Several times now, I've seen in this and other forums, creationists operate under the assumption that evolution = atheism, where if a person is an "evolutionist" they must also be an atheist. This is odd, as the data shows that in the developed world, the majority of people who recognize evolution as reality are theists.

Public Acceptance of Evolution (Miller et al., 2006)

Here's the figure illustrating the level of acceptance of evolution in the developed world....

6a00d8341c73fe53ef0105371cade9970b-pi


As you can see, in most of the developed world recognition of the reality of evolution is a majority opinion. Couple that with other data showing that, at the most, atheists constitute ~13% of the world's population, and we see that it is mathematically impossible for even a majority of "evolutionists" to be atheists, let alone all of them.

So why then do so many creationists persist in this falsehood?

I believe it's a reflection of a black/white mindset that is typical of fundamentalist thinking. In that way of viewing the world, complex issues are often boiled down to a simple binary choice. In this case, it's one is either a true Bible-believing Christian, or one is a atheist. Nuances or shades of gray are not considered. I've seen this sort of mentality expressed many times by creationists over the years, where they say things like "If evolution is true, we may as well throw the Bible in the trash".

What do others think?
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
I believe it's a reflection of a black/white mindset that is typical of fundamentalist thinking.
It's not so much that as it is they believe the Bible is the literal and true word of God. Every word in it, they believe it actually happened. So anything that opposes their views and deviates from this strict literal reading is interpreted as an affront on their religion. Evolution isn't what the Bible and God said, so they doubt it. It is also a problem with Christian schooling, where students are taught just enough about science to declare the evolution is "just a theory."
As for why "evolution = atheism," it is simply because they just do not understand evolution or know anything about it really, and they assume it must be atheism because god is not inherently at the center of it.
 

allfoak

Alchemist
I met some people in a religious sect that taught their children that Santa Clause was Satan.
It is called indoctrination.
Our pastor said it and we believe it!
 

Jose Fly

Fisker of men
It's not so much that as it is they believe the Bible is the literal and true word of God. Every word in it, they believe it actually happened. So anything that opposes their views and deviates from this strict literal reading is interpreted as an affront on their religion. Evolution isn't what the Bible and God said, so they doubt it.

Well....that is black/white thinking.

It is also a problem with Christian schooling, where students are taught just enough about science to declare the evolution is "just a theory."

Sure, but being taught that something is "just a theory" doesn't necessitate that that something = atheism.

As for why "evolution = atheism," it is simply because they just do not understand evolution or know anything about it really, and they assume it must be atheism because god is not inherently at the center of it.

But why don't they apply that to everything else in science? Chemistry, physics, geology, engineering.....none of them have God at the center, nor do they incorporate God at all. Yet you rarely, if ever, hear Christians talking about "atheist engineers" or "atheist chemists".
 

pearl

Well-Known Member
I do not believe that science contradicts Scripture, since the Bible is not a book of science. According to one source, Darwin did not believe the Bible, probably referring to the Creation account. Yet he has, through great patience and the most extraordinary example of asceticism, given us the most probable way creation has evolved.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3243818/I-m-sorry-inform-not-believe-bible-Rare-letter-secretive-Charles-Darwin-confesses-atheist-set-sell-90-000-auction.html
 

Skwim

Veteran Member
I do not believe that science contradicts Scripture, since the Bible is not a book of science.
So what if the Bible isn't a book of science? It does, in fact, says things that contradict science. By your way of thinking, the conclusions of science can never contradict any statements coming from unscientific sources.

According to one source, Darwin did not believe the Bible, probably referring to the Creation account. Yet he has, through great patience and the most extraordinary example of asceticism, given us the most probable way creation has evolved.


http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3243818/I-m-sorry-inform-not-believe-bible-Rare-letter-secretive-Charles-Darwin-confesses-atheist-set-sell-90-000-auction.html
Your linked article's claim that Darwin's letter says he confesses to being an atheist is not supported by its content.

"Dear sir,

'I am sorry to have to inform you that I do not believe in the Bible as a divine revelation & therefore not in Jesus Christ as the son of God.

'Yours faithfully

'Ch. Darwin'


.
 

Jumi

Well-Known Member
Ignorance is wonderful in how easy it's to display a few words, isn't it? No one would ever claim evolution equals atheism if they spent any time honestly trying to understand either.
 

9-10ths_Penguin

1/10 Subway Stalinist
Premium Member
Several times now, I've seen in this and other forums, creationists operate under the assumption that evolution = atheism, where if a person is an "evolutionist" they must also be an atheist. This is odd, as the data shows that in the developed world, the majority of people who recognize evolution as reality are theists.

Public Acceptance of Evolution (Miller et al., 2006)

Here's the figure illustrating the level of acceptance of evolution in the developed world....

6a00d8341c73fe53ef0105371cade9970b-pi


As you can see, in most of the developed world recognition of the reality of evolution is a majority opinion. Couple that with other data showing that, at the most, atheists constitute ~13% of the world's population, and we see that it is mathematically impossible for even a majority of "evolutionists" to be atheists, let alone all of them.

So why then do so many creationists persist in this falsehood?

I believe it's a reflection of a black/white mindset that is typical of fundamentalist thinking. In that way of viewing the world, complex issues are often boiled down to a simple binary choice. In this case, it's one is either a true Bible-believing Christian, or one is a atheist. Nuances or shades of gray are not considered. I've seen this sort of mentality expressed many times by creationists over the years, where they say things like "If evolution is true, we may as well throw the Bible in the trash".

What do others think?
Creationism requires theism; accepting evolution merely allows theism. If a creationist is going to become an atheist, accepting evolution is probably going to happen somewhere along the way.
 

Shadow Wolf

Certified People sTabber & Business Owner
But why don't they apply that to everything else in science? Chemistry, physics, geology, engineering.....none of them have God at the center, nor do they incorporate God at all. Yet you rarely, if ever, hear Christians talking about "atheist engineers" or "atheist chemists".
It's because physics and chemistry do not threaten a literal interpretation of Genesis like evolution via natural selection does. I think it was Christopher Hitchens who pointed out that Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin share the same birthday, and we know who greater emancipator was. This is where the "black and white" comes into play, because to such fundamentalists the "word" is entirely true as presented, and this comes about because they shun, denounce, and even throw away outside views (even if it's a Christian author who is of another denomination). To them, you just do not need anything beyond the Bible for life - combine this with a belief in literal interpretation of scripture and being selective and choosy about what information to expose others to and the end result is a shield of dogma that is very thick and very difficult to break through. And then it's not unusual if someone begins to have panic attacks and terrors about going to Hell if their faith wavers, and this fear keeps many chained to this dogma. It's not impossible to get out of, but it can be very difficult, especially if one is born into it and that is all they have known for many years of their life.
 

Jose Fly

Fisker of men
It's because physics and chemistry do not threaten a literal interpretation of Genesis like evolution via natural selection does.

Certainly not in the same direct way, but they do in a less direct way. As you well know, aspects of physics and chemistry threaten young-earth creationism on multiple fronts.

I think it was Christopher Hitchens who pointed out that Abraham Lincoln and Charles Darwin share the same birthday, and we know who greater emancipator was. This is where the "black and white" comes into play, because to such fundamentalists the "word" is entirely true as presented, and this comes about because they shun, denounce, and even throw away outside views (even if it's a Christian author who is of another denomination). To them, you just do not need anything beyond the Bible for life - combine this with a belief in literal interpretation of scripture and being selective and choosy about what information to expose others to and the end result is a shield of dogma that is very thick and very difficult to break through. And then it's not unusual if someone begins to have panic attacks and terrors about going to Hell if their faith wavers, and this fear keeps many chained to this dogma. It's not impossible to get out of, but it can be very difficult, especially if one is born into it and that is all they have known for many years of their life.

Very true, and very well put.
 

The Kilted Heathen

Crow FreyjasmaðR
I think it stems from the mindset that anyone who does not accept their "biblical truth" or believe in their god is an atheist; essentially ignoring all other gods as gods, and all other Christian sects as truly Christian.
 

james bond

Well-Known Member
This is a stupid thread, Jose. You should follow your own advice in the sig ha ha.

Let's bring Genesis into the science world. Then we can talk.
 

Glaurung

Denizen of Niflheim
Several times now, I've seen in this and other forums, creationists operate under the assumption that evolution = atheism, where if a person is an "evolutionist" they must also be an atheist. This is odd, as the data shows that in the developed world, the majority of people who recognize evolution as reality are theists.
Not that I encourage a literal reading of Genesis, but I sympathise with the view that materialism can be a logical outcome of accepting evolution. If the diversity of life can be reduced to a mechanistic process, then it's not a huge logical leap to then insist that life itself can be explained mechanistically.
 

Rapture Era

Active Member
I think it stems from the mindset that anyone who does not accept their "biblical truth" or believe in their god is an atheist; essentially ignoring all other gods as gods, and all other Christian sects as truly Christian.
This is interesting. So how does evolution of molecules to man actually work? What is the starting point that would be the scientific foundation of life?
 

Jose Fly

Fisker of men
I think it stems from the mindset that anyone who does not accept their "biblical truth" or believe in their god is an atheist; essentially ignoring all other gods as gods, and all other Christian sects as truly Christian.

Right....exactly the sort of black/white thinking I mentioned in the OP.
 

Jose Fly

Fisker of men
Not that I encourage a literal reading of Genesis, but I sympathise with the view that materialism can be a logical outcome of accepting evolution. If the diversity of life can be reduced to a mechanistic process, then it's not a huge logical leap to then insist that life itself can be explained mechanistically.

But that's how science works. Scientists "reduce to mechanistic processes" everything they study.
 

Jose Fly

Fisker of men
This is interesting. So how does evolution of molecules to man actually work? What is the starting point that would be the scientific foundation of life?

If you want to debate that, please start another thread. This thread is about creationists' belief that evolution = atheism.
 
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