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    I'd just like to explain what this is, and how it's explanation is so much clearer and better than some religious preachings that "animals were created by god as they are today".

    Imagine you have a herd of giraffes. They have short necks. This is the start point of the story.

    These giraffes owe their short necks to genes. These genes are stored in the DNA (a long information molecule) in the nucleus of every single cell in the giraffe (with few exceptions). These genes are constantly being changed slightly. Either by reproduction, where two half-genes combine and give you half the genes of your dad and half of your mum, or by mutations (radiation - fast moving particles - can hit the DNA molecule and cause changes).

    Some changes cause there to be giraffes with no necks, and giraffes with long necks, as well as the majority with short necks. In this climate, where the trees are short, the giraffes with no necks cannot reach the branches. These giraffes starve and die. The giraffes with long necks cannot run fast enough from predators, and also die. They do not reproduce (obviously they cannot if they are dead) and so no one gets their mutated genes, which are currently disadvantageous in the climate ("bad" genes).

    One day, due to a climatic change, the area where the giraffes live gets more rainfall and the trees grow taller.

    The giraffes with short necks, and those poor ones with no necks (although they died, they are still being 'made' by the constant changes to the genes) starve. But the ones with long necks can reach the leaves and they do not die. Because they are the only ones left, they eat more leaves and have the energy to run faster.

    These giraffes now have "good" genes, in the current climate. Their offspring will inherit these genes and also have long necks. Of course, the changes contintue to happen, and there are the occasional short necked giraffe and very long necked giraffe born. But so long as the climate stays the same, they will each die.

    Therefore, the giraffe has evolved from having a short neck to having a long one. It's constant trial and error. The trial is the changes to the genes, some might survive, some might not. The error is when they don't. When they do, it's evolution.

    In my opinion this is much more credible than creationism, where, for the convenience of understandability I suspect, a god makes everything like it is.

    Any critisisms from the theists among us?
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    Evolution can cause "discomfort" if you believe that man has a special place in the great cosmic plan!
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    Not neccessarily, you can reconcile the ideas of the bible and evolution so long as you don't take the "seven days" in Genesis literally. Think of each day as a period of time, or geological 'age'...
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    (Original post by Wise One)
    Not neccessarily, you can reconcile the ideas of the bible and evolution so long as you don't take the "seven days" in Genesis literally. Think of each day as a period of time, or geological 'age'...
    Or the whole story as a poetic description of man's relationship with and dependance on God.

    Genesis and popular scientific theory are easily reconciled, as long as you are not a moronic creationist, or a militant athieist such as yourself Mik1a.

    EDIT: By the way, I understand the theory of evolution perfectly well. Perhaps its you who needs to catch up with modern religious interpretation of the Bible, so that you can move on from the view that theists are simpletons who blindly follow their faith despite scientific evidence claiming the contrary; a situation which occured more than 250 years ago with Newton and Copernicus.

    (Original post by carldaman)
    Or the whole story as a poetic description of man's relationship with and dependance on God.

    Genesis and popular scientific theory are easily reconciled, as long as you are not a moronic creationist, or a militant athieist such as yourself Mik1a.

    EDIT: By the way, I understand the theory of evolution perfectly well. Perhaps its you who needs to catch up with modern religious interpretation of the Bible, so that you can move on from the view that theists are simpletons who blindly follow their faith despite scientific evidence claiming the contrary; a situation which occured more than 250 years ago with Newton and Copernicus.
    It is quite evident that the author(s) of Genesis intended to be taken literally with regards to the events outlined in chapters 1 to 3. Only psychoanalysis can redeem those stories by transferring their meaning from conscious description of the external world to an unconscious revelation of the internal world – the mind (Eve coming out of Adam thus as a symbol of spirit proceeding from psyche etc).

    And there is a huge problem for Protestants and Catholics who decide to interpret Genesis symbolically.

    The entire concepts of sin, punishment, atonement on the cross etc depend entirely on the premise that man has fallen from a state of goodness to sin. In reality man has evolved from beast, and that which Christianity calls beast is merely our natural state.

    It follows, therefore, that the entire Christian theology of salvation collapses when its foundation is removed.

    However, again the rhetoric of salvation, hell etc can be redeemed if interpreted symbolically – i.e. hell and heaven as states of consciousness, salvation as enlightenment, awaking from unconsciousness etc.

    This, of course, is Gnostic Christianity.
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    (Original post by Wise One)
    Not neccessarily, you can reconcile the ideas of the bible and evolution so long as you don't take the "seven days" in Genesis literally. Think of each day as a period of time, or geological 'age'...
    However once you start to alter it so that it still makes sence you have to admitt that its an unreliable source of information and discard it.

    (Original post by Chubb)
    However once you start to alter it so that it still makes sence you have to admitt that its an unreliable source of information and discard it.
    Yes. Christians who believe in evolution simply think the reality of evolution has no impact concerning the concepts of hell, punishment, salvation, atonement.

    But one can’t reconcile those concepts to evolution. Those concepts are based on the notion that man has fallen from good to evil and needs to be saved. Man has evolved from animal so there is no sin, no “laws” broken, no iniquity to be saved from. Ie Orthodox and evangelical Christianity is made redundant.

    Christianity can only be saved in its mystical\gnostic form that existed 2,000 years ago – the form of Christianity that didn’t make the mistake of taking Genesis literally in the first place and so never developed the beliefs about “salvation from sin”etc. The form of Christianity annihilated by the imperial church by the 6th century AD.
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    (Original post by Wise One)
    Not neccessarily, you can reconcile the ideas of the bible and evolution so long as you don't take the "seven days" in Genesis literally. Think of each day as a period of time, or geological 'age'...
    The "day-age theory," one of many reconciliation theories it appears ...

    Been reading about Evolutionary Theory recently from both Creationists and Darwinians. The arguments still rages on! :eek:
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    I guess christians when through this "adjustment to match the scientific proof" stage when they found out the world wasn't flat. Or when they found out that not everything revolves around the sun. In fact, with quite a lot of self-centered claims.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    I guess christians when through this "adjustment to match the scientific proof" stage when they found out the world wasn't flat. Or when they found out that not everything revolves around the sun. In fact, with quite a lot of self-centered claims.
    It wasn't only christians who thought the world was flat...i think the whole world 'adjusted' their way of thinking when scientific discoveries were made. This is still happening now. Atheists weren't born with every single scientific explanation of the universe?!

    It's not as if non-religious people have all the answers. There are just as many gaps in the knowledge of an atheist..it's called being human .
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    (Original post by grace)
    It wasn't only christians who thought the world was flat...i think the whole world 'adjusted' their way of thinking when scientific discoveries were made. This is still happening now. Atheists weren't born with every single scientific explanation of the universe?!

    It's not as if non-religious people have all the answers. There are just as many gaps in the knowledge of an atheist..it's called being human .
    No but the religious people claimed to have all the answers and one such answer was that the world was flat.
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    (Original post by Chubb)
    No but the religious people claimed to have all the answers and one such answer was that the world was flat.
    I don't think it was that religious people had all the answers, however, they instead had the power to make their beliefs about the world common knowledge. It may seem mad to you but using your own perception how can you not conclude (just from looking at the world around you) that the world is spherical? Remember in the 15th century everyone's perception of the world was childlike, and so to have one of your foundation ideas so radically overturned must have been a very revolutionary thing.
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    (Original post by Biggles)
    It is quite evident that the author(s) of Genesis intended to be taken literally with regards to the events outlined in chapters 1 to 3.
    How? Tell me one line/sentance/verse which indicates so.
    And there is a huge problem for Protestants and Catholics who decide to interpret Genesis symbolically.

    The entire concepts of sin, punishment, atonement on the cross etc depend entirely on the premise that man has fallen from a state of goodness to sin.
    Again, you're assuming that the Adam, Eve and the snake thing is literal. By 'the fall' we mean that no matter how hard we try to keep to the Commandments, and to live what one could deem a "Christian" lifestyle, humans are entirely fallible and so to expect any human to acheive this is both unrealistic and unfair. The Adam and Eve parable simply demonstrates that humankind is naturally inclined to sin. So, in order to gain redemption, what humankind is asked to do is:

    1) try to live a life free from sin
    2) where we knowingly sin, repent and try to make amends
    3) hold a belief in Jesus' sacrifice as the Son of God in order to receive the Grace of God and be atoned from our sins.

    As far as I'm concerned, this accords well enough with evolution.

    In reality man has evolved from beast, and that which Christianity calls beast is merely our natural state.

    It follows, therefore, that the entire Christian theology of salvation collapses when its foundation is removed.
    Again, I will point out that the foundation of Christian theology is not Creationism, and very few Christians are creationists. The foundation of Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to redeem humankind of their sins.
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    (Original post by mik1a)
    I guess christians when through this "adjustment to match the scientific proof" stage when they found out the world wasn't flat. Or when they found out that not everything revolves around the sun. In fact, with quite a lot of self-centered claims.
    you have to remember that the Catholic Church of the middle ages was itself ravaged with sin, and made many claims which were indeed untrue. However, to expect middle age "thinkers" to have a thourough scientific understanding of how the earth was created, as well as of its nature, is most unfair.
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    Even if you accept the evolutuion theory you have to accept the many gaping holes in it. Anyone who doesnt is doing the same thing they accuse creationists of doing. The formation of the first cell, as life can only spring from life, is one question. How exactly amino acids were formed? The test that were performed on this were done under conditions vastly different from both current, and ancient atmoshperic conditions and so invalid. What about the all-or-nothing problem which disputes evolution completely. In animals and most plants, organs exist which need every single part to function, such as the double circulatory system in mammals, these are impossible to arise due to mutations so negate the evolution theory.
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    (Original post by grace)
    It wasn't only christians who thought the world was flat...i think the whole world 'adjusted' their way of thinking when scientific discoveries were made. This is still happening now. Atheists weren't born with every single scientific explanation of the universe?!

    It's not as if non-religious people have all the answers. There are just as many gaps in the knowledge of an atheist..it's called being human .
    Not only christians? Is that an excuse for god being wrong about it?

    You and everyone else must remember(s) the story of the church banning scientific discoveries which proved the church's teachings wrong. After the Romans left Britain, university graduates were told by the church they were not allowed to discover new things, but preach the current teachings to other people.

    And you try to make it seem like this is a general thing, not directly involved with religion?
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    (Original post by azim)
    Even if you accept the evolutuion theory you have to accept the many gaping holes in it. Anyone who doesnt is doing the same thing they accuse creationists of doing. The formation of the first cell, as life can only spring from life, is one question. How exactly amino acids were formed? The test that were performed on this were done under conditions vastly different from both current, and ancient atmoshperic conditions and so invalid. What about the all-or-nothing problem which disputes evolution completely. In animals and most plants, organs exist which need every single part to function, such as the double circulatory system in mammals, these are impossible to arise due to mutations so negate the evolution theory.
    How were the first amino acids formed?

    The Earth is 4.5 billion years old. That's 4.5 billion years for a bunch of molecules to arrange into a single, self-replicating cell. We do not know that this happened (some scientists are considering that life 'fell' onto Earth from comets). Still, however they were formed, evolutions must have taken place and is still taking place now, with things such as MDR drugs which never used to exist before medicine became widely used.

    Secondly, do you have a link to and credible (non religious) website that states that the conditions when the first cells are suposed to have formed were (a) actually known by humans and (b) the wrong conditions for the formation of cells?

    And lastly, why can't one animal have a double circulatory system from a mutation? Who are you to disagree? This is entirely possible, and such a change would cause the animal to be so much better in their environment they would almost certainly be the first to survive. Their offspring would have a mix between that and a single circulatory system (perhaps some wouldn't have it, some would have it half and die, and those that had it completely would survive). Besides, such "transition forms" (animal with half wings) have been found in fossils.

    (Original post by carldaman)
    How? Tell me one line/sentance/verse which indicates so.
    Oh, ok. So, the Levite priests who wrote (actually, plagiarised the Sumerian account during the captivity in the 6th century BC) sat down and said to themselves, “we know that we’ve evolved from amino acids gradually over 4 billion years but lets write a story that prima facie attempts to describe the creation of the universe and man’s condition using the 6th century BC mindset but actually intent to write about some fuzzy moral story about the consequences of not obeying the big cheese in the sky so that future believers in a religion not yet invented can say when they discover what we know- i.e. evolution – ‘ah ha – there is no contradiction – this story about the creation of the universe and the human condition doesn’t attempt to describe how the universe and we came about – its simply a story about the consequences of not obeying God!’”

    : rolls eyes :

    (Original post by carldaman)
    Again, you're assuming that the Adam, Eve and the snake thing is literal.
    No, I’m assuming no such thing – they clearly are not. It’s the concepts of sin, atonement etc that are based upon a literal understanding of Genesis

    (Original post by carldaman)
    By 'the fall' we mean that no matter how hard we try to keep to the Commandments, and to live what one could deem a "Christian" lifestyle, humans are entirely fallible and so to expect any human to acheive this is both unrealistic and unfair. The Adam and Eve parable simply demonstrates that humankind is naturally inclined to sin. So, in order to gain redemption, what humankind is asked to do is:

    1) try to live a life free from sin
    2) where we knowingly sin, repent and try to make amends
    3) hold a belief in Jesus' sacrifice as the Son of God in order to receive the Grace of God and be atoned from our sins.

    As far as I'm concerned, this accords well enough with evolution.
    No, that’s not orthodox – that’s simply your personal spin.

    “The fall” is the doctrine that man was once created in God’s image but chose to rebel against him (him? Does God have a penis?). This “original sin” is inherited, so goes the dogma. We’ve fallen from grace, says the doctrine, sinful, needing salvation from God’s righteous wrath.

    Problem – there was no fall – man was not created by an angry garden keeper – there was no rebellion, there is no “original sin”.

    The consequence – the entire edifice of fall-sin-judgment-atonement-salvation is based on an error, is false.

    Evolution doesn’t simply not lend any weight to the edifice of Christian theology – it nullifies its entire basis.

    (Original post by carldaman)
    Again, I will point out that the foundation of Christian theology is not Creationism, and very few Christians are creationists. The foundation of Christianity is the belief that Jesus Christ sacrificed himself to redeem humankind of their sins.
    The concept of "sin" was a uniquely Jewish concept that existed before Christianity (it was, of course, inherited by Christianity and Islam). The concept arose out of the belief that man was created good, choose evil and is now in need of salvation from the consequences Adam's actions.

    One doesn't find the concept of sin anywhere else because other religions had different creation myths.

    It is out of this background that the idea that Jesus died to save mankind from God's judgement arose. As Paul wrote, "in Adam all die, in Christ all are made alive" etc etc etc.

    Those Christians who didn't take Genesis literally - ie the Gnostic Christians - never developed concepts of atonment, sin, punishment etc. For them Jesus brought enlightenment, like the Buddha.
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    (Original post by azim)
    How exactly amino acids were formed? The test that were performed on this were done under conditions vastly different from both current, and ancient atmoshperic conditions and so invalid.
    Where did you get that from?! They created an atmosphere of methane, nitrogen and assorted other gases that would have been present during those very early days, and they simulated lightning. Organic compunds were formed that could very easily have gone on to form the amino acids all lifeforms contain today. Of course you wouldn't get all 20 of the aa's present in proteins in one go :rolleyes: but the important point is that compounds were formed that could go on - by reacting, which is what compounds often do - to form the organic molecules we know today. It doesn't require a great leap of the imagination for me to see how life was formed in this way, and evolution follows on logically from there. It does require a massive leap of the imagination, for me, to imagine a universal superpower fiddling around with atoms and magicking life into existence.
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    Evolution = God plays dice
 
 
 
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