The Link

I haven’t been in the habit of linking to items in the news so much, but this particular story strikes me as important. It is no secret, as I have stated on this blog, that I see no contradiction between the first chapters of Genesis and evolution. They are completely compatible. Furthermore, I believe evolution to be as much a fact of life as gravity. It is the way it is and us arguing about the way it is will not change a single quark. Instead, I think our task  should be to discover how it is through good science, good philosophy, good debate, and the senses and powers of the mind that God gave us. We should be using good science to help us understand the bible better. And we should be using the bible to help us understand good science better. They are compatible and complementary, and you get more out of one when you consider the other.

The cool thing about this new fossil discovery is that it is felt to be at a branching point in the evolutionary tree. That branch is along primate evolution where one trunk divides into two branches. One branch goes down the direction of lemurs and such and the other branch goes to monkeys and humans. There are characteristics that differ among these groups which make them separate and this fossil sits right at the crux of where those two branches diverge. It really is very exciting. I’ll let you read the article to find out the details if you like.

Missing Link Article

The real problem with this debate, evolution vs creation, is very interesting. to me. I see both sides making the same mistake really. Both sides hold fundamentally to their way of considering the world, and it is odd that both sides hold to reason as the utmost value. Creationists hold to the bible as literal (historical vs metaphorical). Why? Because it removes doubt. It allows you to believe in something solid. It relys on reason. And that starts with Genesis. If it is literally  (historically instead of metaphorically) true then we have some foundation on which to base our interpretation of the remainder of the bible. It is logical. Evolutionists do the same thing except that they throw faith completely out. Why? Because is not logical. God and the spiritual cannot be proven to exist through objective data so they are not real. In the end it is the same mistake on opposite ends of the line. And there is a whole lot of truth in the middle that gets missed.

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18 responses to “The Link

  1. We should be using good science to help us understand the bible better. And we should be using the bible to help us understand good science better.

    Hope this doenst ruin the trip lol, But Im going to have to disagree with you. Science and the Bible dont belong in the same conversation, at least not in any way that one will “prove” the other. One is based on empirical evidence the other on “faith”(Non provable). Its a slippery slope when someone from a “Christian” culture wants their holy book to be on par with science. Im not saying it doesnt have some merit in some instances but if you open that door then what stops a Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Bahai, Wiccan,……….from wanting the same footing.

    Religion/spirituality/Philosophy 101
    Science 101

    Seperate classes are the way to go in my book.

  2. Answers in Genesis demands we believe the bible is essential to interpret science (evidence). Atheist evolutionists might posit that science (evidence) must be used to interpret faith.

    I think good science can help us understand Life, and the bible can help us understand Life, and in that they are not mutually incompatible, and each helps us understand the other. But not in a way that one *interprets* the other.

    So in that sense I would agree with TfT’s critique, or perhaps would say that a view of using one to help us understand the other needs to be a bit more nuanced.

  3. John, John, John…tst, tst, tst. Now let’s back up a bit. Show me where I said anything about proof of anything. Show me where I said anything about my particular holy book being on par with science. Show me where I excluded any other holy books. Holy books, all of them, tell us how people have experienced god, how they have related to him. That is valuable on multiple levels. My holy book is the Christian bible, but I have not said anything about excluding the value which is held in the others (notice the little “b” instead of the big “B”). I think science and scripture do have something to say to each other. They do compliment each other. And they do belong in the same conversation. Probably not a conversation about “proof” as you point out, but I didn’t claim that this was the conversation that we should be having.

    Religion/Spirituality/Philosophy 201
    Science 201

    :)

  4. ATTR. Glad to see you back. I agree, nuance, is the way to go. This has to be a delicate balance. But I do not believe that these two realms are mutually exclusive. They both tell us something about this world in which we live, and for that reason MUST be part of the same conversation. However, they show us different things about this world and this life, and we need to be discerning enough to recognize what those things are.

    I don’t know if “interpret” is the right word or not. What I am thinking of is this…A new scientific discovery is made. If I believe in a God who created me and this place, then I believe that this God gave me my attributes as a human for a reason. One of those attributes is my ability to know myself and discover new things. Maybe a new scientific discovery can provide a spark that helps me understand a part of my holy book that before did not make clear sense to me. Or maybe it helps me see something new in a part of that book that I thought I had down in concrete. Or maybe my reading of a piece of my holy book helps me make sense of a new scientific discovery that is not within the realm of outcomes I was expecting. I think these two pieces of life have to complement each other. It seems to me that they do belong in the same conversation.

  5. That kind of makes sense to me. I think particularly of having a sense of awe at the world we live in, at life. Certainly that can point one to God and to appreciating and understanding the holy book, and can work the other way around as well.

  6. I’ll be back later for my rebuttal lol. :>

  7. ATTR. Well said and expresses my sentiments nearly exactly I believe.

  8. Thanks FSR. I think I have to give TfT some credit for that perspective, between his “test everything; hold fast what is good” and a crazy long back and forth he partook in on my blog.

  9. Well then I think ol’ TFT needs to be a bit more gracious in his so-called forthcoming rebuttal which he is holding over my head in an apparent attempt to induce fear and trembling on my part. If he commented on your blog that led to an ah-ha for you that has caused you to come to my blog and confirm something of mine, that sounds like a big happy circle to me that he is trying to turn into a square. Not gonna happen, TFT. :)

  10. separate classes are good to understand the basic arguments, logic, and structures behind the subject. so i agree with TfT there (i like that configuration!).

    but as you study the subjects the more you’ll blend them and blend them in a way that represents a deep understanding… not a passing knowledge. a passing knowledge got us in trouble in so many ways…. we had a passing knowledge of the culture and structure of Iraq and Afghanistan, so when the USA came in with the passing knowledge.. well.. it’s cost a lot of lives to get a deeper knowledge we should have had at the start… plus if we had a deeper knowledge we wouldn’t be there in the first place!

    sorry to take it to politikz, but it was the best metaphor i could think up on short notice ;-)

  11. Doug, just a small point to think about. Using the word “literal” in relationship to the Bible is notoriously sticky. I think I know what you mean when you use the word.

    I would suggest using the word historical vs. metaphorical/figurative when discussing the early part of Genesis.

  12. I’m a bit lost. You say you agree with TFT, Luke, but then you agree with both of us in your comment by essentially stating that yeah, they need to be separate sometimes and then they need to be blended sometimes. So it seems like you agree with TFT. You also agree with me. I agree with TFT too I just think he was taking my post too far. ATTR seems to agree with TFT and with me too. And I agree with Luke. That is quite a bit of agreement flying around the horn. The world must be coming to an end.

  13. Paul. Thanks for the pointer. As you probably know, I am not one to shy away from stickiness, even a big sticky mess. I’ll take your suggestion to heart as not to offend anyone and create unnecessary stickiness. I’ll go back and add a clarification in parentheses. Thanks. Something must have come up at Theology pub which by the way I would love to attend but the timing is really bad for me. I do plan to come to the Monday night group when we get back from our trip.

  14. Gracious?, Grace? Hmm. God almighty I think you have me confused with another Guy who’s name starts with “J”.

    Ok, here we go. I dont agree with your post and heres why.

    “I think our task should be to discover how it is through good science, good philosophy, good debate, and the senses and powers of the mind that God gave us. We should be using good science to help us understand the bible better. And we should be using the bible to help us understand good science better.”(Doug)

    The creator gave us a mind to help us figure things out. Im not so sure the bible is going to help any scientist discover what his brain is trying to discover. Case in point is right there in front of us.

    Genesis 1 …..The creation of the world

    3And God said,(C) “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.

    14And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for(I) signs and for(J) seasons,[f] and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16And God(K) made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18to(L) rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.

    Well Im no scientist, but it seems to me G-d kind of got things backwards here. How can you have light the first day if you havnt created the Sun and Moon until the fourth day?

    Doug, need I go further?

  15. Well yeah. You do need to go further because it seems to me you are reading rather literally (or historically) when you should be reading it metaphorically. All I take that to mean is that God is responsible for creating light. Plus, I think you are jumping ahead of yourself. I would call this the creation of the universe, not the creation of the world and consider the days to represent epochs. So there could in fact be light from the Big Bang before the creation of the sun. And so I feel like that you have just proved my point Mr. TFT. If an individual didn’t already know about Big Bang theory, say 200 years ago, and pulled out his handy dandy bible and started reading the same old passage he had read 400 million times and had an ah-ha moment that maybe this wasn’t talking literally about the first few days of creating our earth and it was talking about something else, you perhaps would have been prompted to ask a different scientific question by a reading of the bible. Toche?

  16. Going to bed. I have to get up early for my last long run before my awesome vacation which starts Friday. So you’ll have all night to rip me up one side and down the other with me not available to defend myself. Rest assured I will be refilled with ammo after my 12 miles in the morning.

  17. Damn Doctors………….Keep getting inside my head. ;)……….Goodnight.

  18. Good morning. Ready to battle. Well I am very well trained at getting into heads. Have done it for decades on the basketball court. Have done it for decades in taking care of patients. And have defended myself for 16 years from a lovely wife who always seems to find the cracks in my own head.

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