Poll: Most Republicans Reject Evolution

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Jul 21, 2006
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#81
I think the problem is that people are limiting God to only what we know as humans. God did not speak when he made the heavens, man invented speaking as a way of communication. God does not live in time, and God does not live, he Exists. Therefore, he has no need for time, and no need to create things in any sense of time. People are limiting his creation abilities to the way we know how to create.

The first book of the Bible is not original either. The creation story is not original, and neither is the flood story. Both are based off stories that had already been circulating in the region for quite some time. The stories are merely man's attempt to understand the world around him, and create an understanding of God. They are not meant to be a narrative of how God did what he did, merely why. Information from that time was constricted to what man new about the world around him, which wasn't much. God has no constrictions, he is unlimited, and free to create as he wishes.

None of the stories in Genesis are said to be divine revelation by their author, and even if they were, you think God would try to go about explaining the mechanism of evolution to them?

I think most of people's quarls over religion, which is what this whole argument is, can be simply explained by a lack of understanding of the nature of God.

I also believe that one day, all of humanity will agree on the nature of God, and that day will be the beginning of paradise.
Why do you say that God did not speak creation into existence? This would seem to unfairly limit the mode of His creation.
Why do you say Genesis isn't true? (or true as it is presented?) Could it be that those stories came from the original accounts of what actually happened? I'm not sure why you say that the book isn't divinely inspired or given by God as an account of what He performed. If He wanted us to know how it was done, wouldn't He set it down for us to understand?

I agree that humanity will one day agree on the nature of God, and that for those who know Him, it will be paradise; unfortunately for those who don't, it will be eternal punishment.
 

okstateguy987

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May 7, 2007
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#83
Why do you say that God did not speak creation into existence? This would seem to unfairly limit the mode of His creation.
Why do you say Genesis isn't true? (or true as it is presented?) Could it be that those stories came from the original accounts of what actually happened? I'm not sure why you say that the book isn't divinely inspired or given by God as an account of what He performed. If He wanted us to know how it was done, wouldn't He set it down for us to understand?

I agree that humanity will one day agree on the nature of God, and that for those who know Him, it will be paradise; unfortunately for those who don't, it will be eternal punishment.
consider the language. since we know that the stories are oral tradition first and foremost, that means that they went though several languages before being recorded in Genesis. so which language was the one he used to speak things into existence? also, did only the words he use exist? or did the entire dictionary of words exist? or maybe no words existed at all yet because man had not come along to make them up.

I didn't say Genesis wasn't true. I do believe in fact that the flood story is in part based on fact, although it is grosely misinterpreted today. i think that the creation story is just a story. there are two in the bible, and there are hundreds around the world. the two in the bible are simply two popular stories from the region. the bible is divinely inspired, but only because it's man's attempt to understand God, not because God said so. man wrote the book, and since we all know man isn't always truthful or accurate, it has to be taken with a grain of salt.

what makes you think he wanted us to know how it was done? or even that it matters? surely he thought that if man wanted to know bad enough, then he would use his highly inquisitve nature to figure it out. it really doesn't matter how when it comes to our faith.
 

RxCowboy

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#84
I think it grossly arrogant for us to think that a "God day" is the same as our day.
Ah, my point about hermeneutics (interpreting scripture). You have to first seek to understand what the author intended, and then how the original audience to whom the original manuscripts were given would have understood it. When Moses wrote "seven days" he most likely intended "seven days" and not "seven indeterminate lengths of time." When the ancient Hebrews read or heard "seven days" they most likely understood it to be "seven days" and not "millions upon millions of years." They understood a day to be a day. God told them to rest on the sabbath. They understood this to be every seventh day. The word for "day" early in Genesis and later in Genesis when the law is given are the same Hebrew word. So, it isn't arrogant to think "day" in Genesis means "day." It most likely does.

"And there was evening, and there was morning - the sixth day."

So, if you're going to force millions or even billions of years into the Genesis account, you have to do it after the seventh day. How long between the Sabbath and when God breathed life into Adam's nostrils and placed him in Eden? The Bible simply doesn't say.

P.S. "Day" is pretty much meaningless to God who is ageless and timeless. He is the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega.... at the same time. He wasn't the beginning and will be the end. He IS the beginning and the end. Time only has meaning to us.
 
Aug 29, 2005
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#85
I can't remember what the term was that a good friend of mine used to describe my beliefs. He was in school at the time and several of us would have discussions about how to interpret versus and such. It was always interesting to see how different ones of us took everything differently.

Here are my beliefs in a nutshell:

I think it grossly arrogant for us to think that a "God day" is the same as our day. If God created everything, then why are we to believe that a day in the life of God is the same as a day of our lives. So the thought of creation in 7 days is amazing, I believe that each day could consist of billions of year. I believe that God did create everything and it evolved from there according to his plan.

David Harrell - Pokes
dwh
Of course all humans anthropomorphize God. We can't help it. It's the only we have to to try to understand what's too big to understand. But at the very least, we ought to be aware of the limitations of our thinking.

If God is big enough to call an entire universe into being, then God can't be expected to limit God's creation to the "earth days" of one small planet orbiting one small star.

God has shown a pattern of revealing God's self to creation in ways that people can have a hope of understanding, but that doesn't mean that God is limited to our understandings. We'd like to have a neat, predictable, little God who can be completely understood in the words of ancient documents (which were passed down via oral tradition for centuries before they were ever written), and because of that, I sympathize with the creationists' desperate desire to pin God and creation down, to make some rules and parameters for God and for our world. But time and time again, God has shown us that God won't be pinned down, that the universe contains mysteries wildly beyond our understanding.

An elderly and brilliant clergyman I once worked for said this to me, and it resonates with me every time I try to enter a discussion about the mysteries of creation: We get so caught up in trying to interpret the written word that we close ourselves tothe powerful presence of the Living Word.

I can't help but believe that God is informing the work of scientists who are striving to understand the natural world at the same time that God is informing the faith and passion commitment of Creationists.
 
Jul 21, 2006
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#86
consider the language. since we know that the stories are oral tradition first and foremost, that means that they went though several languages before being recorded in Genesis. so which language was the one he used to speak things into existence? also, did only the words he use exist? or did the entire dictionary of words exist? or maybe no words existed at all yet because man had not come along to make them up.
Why do the stories have to be oral tradition? Could not Moses have written them down as God revealed them to him? As for what words and language God used to call things into being, I do not know and doubt it matters. He did not feel it necessary to give us that information, so I'm not going to worry about it.

I didn't say Genesis wasn't true. I do believe in fact that the flood story is in part based on fact, although it is grosely misinterpreted today. i think that the creation story is just a story. there are two in the bible, and there are hundreds around the world. the two in the bible are simply two popular stories from the region. the bible is divinely inspired, but only because it's man's attempt to understand God, not because God said so. man wrote the book, and since we all know man isn't always truthful or accurate, it has to be taken with a grain of salt.
What way do you believe that the flood story is grossly misinterpreted today? I'm also not sure what you mean by saying there are two creation stories in the Bible; if you are referring to Genesis chapters 1 and 2, these are complementary, not different stories.
I think you don't understand what "divinely inspired" means; it is the concept that the words written down in the Bible are exactly what God wanted there. It means He has safeguarded what is in His word, keeping it free from error.
what makes you think he wanted us to know how it was done? or even that it matters? surely he thought that if man wanted to know bad enough, then he would use his highly inquisitve nature to figure it out. it really doesn't matter how when it comes to our faith.
I don't know fully why He revealed the creation to us, but I know He has. While I would want to know more of how, He has not given us this information.
Of course all humans anthropomorphize God. We can't help it. It's the only we have to to try to understand what's too big to understand. But at the very least, we ought to be aware of the limitations of our thinking.

If God is big enough to call an entire universe into being, then God can't be expected to limit God's creation to the "earth days" of one small planet orbiting one small star.
Why can we not say that He did exactly as was written? I'm sure He could have done it in six milliseconds, but He stated that He used six days. Why must we make it different somehow?
God has shown a pattern of revealing God's self to creation in ways that people can have a hope of understanding, but that doesn't mean that God is limited to our understandings. We'd like to have a neat, predictable, little God who can be completely understood in the words of ancient documents (which were passed down via oral tradition for centuries before they were ever written), and because of that, I sympathize with the creationists' desperate desire to pin God and creation down, to make some rules and parameters for God and for our world. But time and time again, God has shown us that God won't be pinned down, that the universe contains mysteries wildly beyond our understanding.
Again, I'm not sure why one has to assume that the narrative was passed down through oral tradition and not written down directly by Moses. But aside from that, I think we can take God's word when it comes to revealing Himself, His nature, and His actions. This is not "pinning Him down"; it is simply that the only way we can know about Him is by Him revealing Himself to us.
 

RxCowboy

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#87
Why do the stories have to be oral tradition? Could not Moses have written them down as God revealed them to him?
There was a large segment of the population, perhaps even nearly all of it, that could not read. So, much of the teaching/learning amongst the ancient Hebrews had to be done orally. However, there was also a priestly class among which were scribes that were responsible for maintaining the ancient scrolls. The Dead Sea scrolls, what fragments we have of them, demonstrate pretty clearly how carefully the scribes copied from earlier manuscripts.

The Bible, scripture, for the believer is how God chose to reveal himself to us, to tell us who he is, and how we are to relate to him. Is he greater and more magnificent than is revealed in scripture? Of course he is. However, we cannot go ascribe to God characteristics that aren't spelled out in scripture, because then we enter a guessing game. Could God do this or that, or be like this or that? Maybe. But scripture tells us what God has revealed of himself, and what he has revealed is all we can know.
 
Aug 29, 2005
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#88
Why do the stories have to be oral tradition? Could not Moses have written them down as God revealed them to him? As for what words and language God used to call things into being, I do not know and doubt it matters. He did not feel it necessary to give us that information, so I'm not going to worry about it.


What way do you believe that the flood story is grossly misinterpreted today? I'm also not sure what you mean by saying there are two creation stories in the Bible; if you are referring to Genesis chapters 1 and 2, these are complementary, not different stories.
I think you don't understand what "divinely inspired" means; it is the concept that the words written down in the Bible are exactly what God wanted there. It means He has safeguarded what is in His word, keeping it free from error.

I don't know fully why He revealed the creation to us, but I know He has. While I would want to know more of how, He has not given us this information.

Why can we not say that He did exactly as was written? I'm sure He could have done it in six milliseconds, but He stated that He used six days. Why must we make it different somehow?

Again, I'm not sure why one has to assume that the narrative was passed down through oral tradition and not written down directly by Moses. But aside from that, I think we can take God's word when it comes to revealing Himself, His nature, and His actions. This is not "pinning Him down"; it is simply that the only way we can know about Him is by Him revealing Himself to us.
I believe that most, if not all, biblical scholars acknowledge that the Old Testament scriptures weren't written down until centuries after the events occured. We're talking about nomadic sheep-herding people who lived in tents. A written form of language and an effective means to transport documents around weren't even a part of their world yet, and there was no permanent place to store tablets or scrolls in the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
 

RxCowboy

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#91
My point exactly. Who wrote Genesis, and when? It was oral tradition until then, and five hundred years is a long time.

The Torah are the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Moses codified Deutero-Levitical law. So, when I said that Moses wrote the Torah, I was saying that Moses wrote Genesis. Moses wrote Genesis, 500 years after Abraham. There was no book of Genesis prior to Moses. The tradition, written and oral, begins with Moses' writing. Moses also established the Aaronic/Levitical priesthood, part of whom had the job of maintaining the scrolls (scribes).

  1. Exodus 17:14 Then the LORD said to Moses, "Write this on a scroll as something to be remembered and make sure that Joshua hears it, because I will completely blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven."
  2. Numbers 5:23
    " 'The priest is to write these curses on a scroll and then wash them off into the bitter water.
  3. Deuteronomy 17:18
    When he takes the throne of his kingdom, he is to write for himself on a scroll a copy of this law, taken from that of the priests, who are Levites.
 

okstateguy987

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May 7, 2007
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#92
Why do the stories have to be oral tradition? Could not Moses have written them down as God revealed them to him? As for what words and language God used to call things into being, I do not know and doubt it matters. He did not feel it necessary to give us that information, so I'm not going to worry about it.


What way do you believe that the flood story is grossly misinterpreted today? I'm also not sure what you mean by saying there are two creation stories in the Bible; if you are referring to Genesis chapters 1 and 2, these are complementary, not different stories.
I think you don't understand what "divinely inspired" means; it is the concept that the words written down in the Bible are exactly what God wanted there. It means He has safeguarded what is in His word, keeping it free from error.

I don't know fully why He revealed the creation to us, but I know He has. While I would want to know more of how, He has not given us this information.

Why can we not say that He did exactly as was written? I'm sure He could have done it in six milliseconds, but He stated that He used six days. Why must we make it different somehow?

Again, I'm not sure why one has to assume that the narrative was passed down through oral tradition and not written down directly by Moses. But aside from that, I think we can take God's word when it comes to revealing Himself, His nature, and His actions. This is not "pinning Him down"; it is simply that the only way we can know about Him is by Him revealing Himself to us.
the stories are oral tradition because that was the from of communicating them back then. we know that the stories are not original because we know very similar stories circulated throughout the region prior to Moses's recordings

the flood story is grossly misinterpreted because strict literalists will tell you that the entire globe was covered in this flood, when in fact it did not happen. there is no evidence for it anywhere on the earth, nor does the bible support a worldwide flood.

the two different creation accounts in Genesis are not complementary, and are in fact different, this isn't hard to discern, just read the passages

i'm not taking the definition for "divinely inspired" from any canon or church doctrine. i'm taking it from a logical viewpoint.

you don't think he's given us the information as to how he created the universe? then what is all this evidence around us? what are all these discoveries being made by all these great scientists?

you seem like a strict biblical literalist, one who only believes what is written in the bible, literally, and everything else must be false because the bible doesn't say so. i used to be like you, however i grew up and realized that that is not the purpose of the bible. that whole viewpoint is simply ignorant, and just a way shelter one's self from reality, i guess because it's scary. grow up and realize that the world is a big place, and not everything can be explained by the bible. the bible is simply a tool for understanding God, and not meant to be a strict guideline for life. the only dependable guideline for life is Love. Love is the only thing that can be depended on to never fail. if you do everything with Love in mind, you can't go wrong.
 

MustangPokeFan

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#93
We have tens of thousands of pieces of empirical evidence that support the theory of evolution. Albeit with holes in it.

Now show me the EVIDENCE in hand, to support the BELIEF of Creationism.
Something a bit more concrete please then the "bible says" or "Well life is so complex that God had to create it". Scientific evidence please.
Fact is all the creationists argue against the EVIDENCE of evolution, but present nothing concrete themselves to support their own belief.
.......and tens of thousands of pieces of conjecture to go along with all those "bones". In my opinion there is more "religion" involved in the "faith" that some put in the evolution hypothisis. As I said, things obviously evolve but the only perceivable evolving we have witnessed is very subtle. Lots of scientists want to make huge assumptions or "theories" with little to zero evidence to back it up.

For those of you who who ridicule the concept of the universe being "created" please just post your personal thesis on the concept of something evolving from nothingness. I'd love to read it. Creationism for me is just an acknowledgment that compared to God, our "Creator", man and his ability to understand how everything came into existence is beyond what our minds can ever comprehend. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to learn and understand all we can.

It cracks me up that some "men" have the narcisistic view that somehow "science" belongs to them and not God. God must say "Oh, I see. You now understand 1/1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 of what I have created for you to enjoy and now you don't need me any more? How nice!"

It just proves that God is a loving God not to just thunk some people out of existence like we thunk paper footballs.
 
Jul 21, 2006
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#94
the stories are oral tradition because that was the from of communicating them back then. we know that the stories are not original because we know very similar stories circulated throughout the region prior to Moses's recordings
I'm sure there were some stories circulating prior to the writing of Genesis; some of them may have even gotten some points right. The point is that Genesis is the writen account that God gave to Moses to write down. Genesis was not based off of oral accounts, but given by God Himself to His people.
the flood story is grossly misinterpreted because strict literalists will tell you that the entire globe was covered in this flood, when in fact it did not happen. there is no evidence for it anywhere on the earth, nor does the bible support a worldwide flood.
I'm not sure how you could say the story is grossly misinterpreted; passages like these seem pretty clear it is a global flood: "I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens.... Everything on earth will perrish." (Gen. 6:17); "I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made." (Gen. 7:4); "[A]ll the high mountains under the entire heavens were covered." (Gen. 7:19); "Never again will all life be cut off by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth." (Gen. 9:11) How would you reconcile these? There are also geologic phenomenon that could be explained by a world-wide flood
the two different creation accounts in Genesis are not complementary, and are in fact different, this isn't hard to discern, just read the passages
I have just reread the first two chapters of Genesis and don't see the contradictions. Can you show some examples?
i'm not taking the definition for "divinely inspired" from any canon or church doctrine. i'm taking it from a logical viewpoint.
Can you cite your definition of "divinely inspired" and your source for the definition?
you don't think he's given us the information as to how he created the universe? then what is all this evidence around us? what are all these discoveries being made by all these great scientists?
It is unclear to me what evidence and discoveries you are referring to. Please cite some examples.
you seem like a strict biblical literalist, one who only believes what is written in the bible, literally, and everything else must be false because the bible doesn't say so. i used to be like you, however i grew up and realized that that is not the purpose of the bible. that whole viewpoint is simply ignorant, and just a way shelter one's self from reality, i guess because it's scary. grow up and realize that the world is a big place, and not everything can be explained by the bible. the bible is simply a tool for understanding God, and not meant to be a strict guideline for life. the only dependable guideline for life is Love. Love is the only thing that can be depended on to never fail. if you do everything with Love in mind, you can't go wrong.
I'm not sure what you mean by "strict biblical literalist" and "believes what is written in the Bible, literally." I do believe the Bible is true. Some parts are written in figurative language, such as Ezekiel or the Psalms. Others, including Genesis, are a narrative, and as such should be taken literally. I don't beleive "everything else must be false because the Bible doesn't say so"; if something contridicts the Bible, however, I do believe it to be false. Everyone must have some baseline they compare to for validity; otherwise, you would drift about aimlessly. What is it that you say the purpose of the Bible is? I believe that I am not sheltering myself from reality, but learning about it from the Bible. As for your comments that the Bible is "a tool for understanding God, and not meant to be a strict guideline for life": the Bible is the tool for understanding God, for it is the only place we have information about Him revealed by Him; in it He also gives guidelines for life, so I'm not sure why these shouldn't be used. After all, the best user manual should be the one written by the One who created the finished product.

I would be very careful with my last statements, if I were you. You seem to have twisted "God is love" (1 John 4:8) into "Love is God." What guidelines has "Love" given? What exactly is this "Love" you are speaking of? Why is he/she/it the only dependable thing?
 
Jul 21, 2006
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#96
apollo, you and i disagree on the most fundamental things, so i'm not going to argue/discuss it anymore
I apologize if I offended you. I was not calling you out, but trying to get clarification. I want to clearly understand your points so I can discuss them as best I know how. I do not doubt that we disagree on fundamentals, and if this is the end of our discussion here, I hope for you the best.
 

ScooberJake

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#97
Therefore, the only concept of a day that He has is the one He gave us in Genesis chapter 1, verse 5.
Not true. Try these:

For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night. (Psalm 90:1)

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. (II Peter 3:8)

I also believe in a non-literal creation. I think that by default we should read the Bible literally, unless there is a darn good reason not to do so. So regarding the current issue, we have two choices. One is to take Genesis 1 as literal, and to believe that the world is only 10,000 years old and God has set everything else up to look like it is older, including burried dinosaur bones, so that Creation intentionally misleads us. The other is to say that maybe our literal reading of Genesis is incorrect, and that the Creation of the universe is not something that can br written in a few verses, but that Creation actually leads to the truth, to God. In light of the above verses and many others regarding God's creation, I choose to believe the latter.

However, I don't think it is that big of a deal. I certainly don't fault anyone for taking God literally at his word. My wife believes in a six-day creation. It is not a problem. But I also find it rather unhelpful to try to tell another Christian that he is a deist because he believes differently than you on a non-core issue that the Bible is not 100% clear about anyhow.
 

ScooberJake

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#98
I also believe that one day, all of humanity will agree on the nature of God, and that day will be the beginning of paradise.
OKStateGuy, I think you have some interesting views. But I don't understand this one. How will it help for humanity to agree on the nature of God? Does our agreement on God's nature make it so? What if we agree on the wrong God?