Evolutionary Evangelism

Caught this editorial on the January 10, 2008 issue of the journal Nature,

“Spread the Word: Evolution is a scientific fact, and every organization whose research depends on it should explain why.”

Here are some tidbits,

But die-hard creationists aren’t a sensible target for raising awareness. What matters are those citizens who aren’t sure about evolution–as much as 55% of the US population according to some surveys.

And because the general theory of evolution (and thus its implications) is only scientific in nature and allegedly does not have religious and/or philosophical underpinnings and thus, assertions in those veins,

Evolution is of profound importance to modern biology and medicine. Accordingly, anyone who has the ability to explain the evidence behind this fact to their students, their friends and relatives should be given ammunition to do so.

Seriously folks, how can evolutionists be taken seriously when they rail against certain meddling religious people when what this editorial shows is that they’re not “above” evangelistic efforts when it benefits their religion?

Since it’s been chic to use the word “Bible-thumper” are we going to see the word “Evo-thumper” enter public discourse?

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22 Responses to Evolutionary Evangelism

  1. j razz says:

    I wonder how anyone could think that evolution is anything more than just a theory? Proponents of the above caliber surely show their cards when it is proposed that ammunition be given to those who are in favor so they can convince those around them of the “value” of this theory.

    Of course, no one is denying micro-evolution (what Darwin observed). It just can’t be proven scientifically that “from goo to you by way of the zoo” is fact.

    I have a theory. This theory of evolution will suffer the same fate as that of the flat earth theory and the geocentric theory. Was it not Columbus, a Christian, who believed the earth was an orb and set sail to prove it in opposition to others of his day?

    j razz

  2. Laz says:

    J,
    This is just my em, “theory” but I don’t think GTE will suffer the same fate as the theories you brought up. Why?

    Because of what the Apostle wrote in Romans 1:18-32.

  3. j razz says:

    Point taken. However, I had two possibilities in mind (1 for sure).

    1. Christ returns and GTE is dead. That’s a given.

    2. Something else comes along that seems to “fit” the models constructed by those esteemed in the science field that “explains” what we see in nature more accurately. (exactly what happened to every other theory that is no longer accepted as viable).

    j razz

  4. onein6billion says:

    “Something else comes along”

    After 150 years and thousands of scientists and hundreds of thousands of published scientific and medical papers in the literature? As Monk would say – “I don’t think so”.

    “Seriously folks, how can evolutionists be taken seriously when they rail against certain meddling religious people when what this editorial shows is that they’re not “above” evangelistic efforts when it benefits their religion?”

    Well, it is a war on science by creationists. Are scientists allowed to “fight back”? Should they try to use scientific truth to educate people? Should they try to get people to vote for a supporter of science instead of a creationist when there are two opposing choices for the Texas Board of Education?

    “benefits their religion”

    This is a serious misuse of the word “religion” in this context.

    I would say “benefits their continued funding to improve the well-being of the human race”. Or would you like medical research to be based on religion instead of science?

  5. onein6billion says:

    Expelled Exposed is now very informative:

    http://www.expelledexposed.com/

  6. Laz says:

    One,
    Your comment could not have described this post’s title any better.

    You see Romans 1:18-32 is an excellent treatise on the roots and motivation behind “Evolutionary Evangelism”.

  7. onein6billion says:

    “Romans 1:18-32”

    Yes, I can see how this would justify religion’s war on science. Back to the Dark Ages we go! Exorcism! Witch burnings! Leeches! Amputation without anesthetics! The Black Death! Polio? Tuberculosis! Theocracy! The Inquisition! And all because of evolution? I don’t think this punishment really fits the crime. But it could be worse – is there sharia in our future?

  8. de1916 says:

    “Expelled Exposed is now very informative”

    As informative as Darwin’s Black Box? Have you honestly read that book with an open mind, or did you read it while all the while mumbling “Richard Dawkins has an answer for this…”?

    I have yet to have seen any work effectively answer the challenges Behe set forth. Either A) they have to explicitly design a solution with no support in empirical evidence (and thus they prove his point by using design) or B) they resort to the Diane Keaton defense “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”

    Here’s a better question: Are you at least reasonable enough to concede that science has waged an unreasonable war on religion? Science cannot “disprove” God’s existence anymore than religion can “prove” God’s existence. That’s the point of faith.

  9. Laz says:

    One,
    Did you at least read Paul’s words to the Romans?

    I hope it is not too much to ask you to consider Ravi Zacharias’ insightful words,

    Jesus’ kingdom was of such nature that it was not procured by military might or power. Its rule is neither territorial nor political. If history has proven anything, it is that the spread of the gospel by the sword or by coercion has done nothing but misrepresent the message and bring disrepute to the gospel.

    By the way, I was not aware that sharia law had anything to do with Christianity. Perhaps some research on your part might do some good, unless your fallacious statement was deliberate, thus only strengthening Paul’s argument in the first chapter of Romans.

  10. onein6billion says:

    “Darwin’s Black Box”

    www dot talkorigins.org/faqs/behe.html
    www dot talkorigins.org/faqs/behe/review.html

    Silly “irreducibly complex” nonsense. The fallacy is obvious.

    “science has waged an unreasonable war on religion?”

    Riiiight. One or two of those 100000 scientists come to your church every Sunday and evangelize for science over religion. And they continue to petition the US Congress to revise the tax-deductible status of church donations. And the state legislatures are considering laws to remove the tax-exempt status of church property. And they keep showing up at a meeting of the Texas University Coordinating Board to try to stop the ICR from having a science degree program when they have all too good a suspicion that the ICR will teach half science and half creationism.

    “Science cannot “disprove” God’s existence”

    Agreed. A supernatural entity simply seems to be unnecessary.

    “Paul’s argument”

    We need to discuss the meaning of the words “argument” and “assertion”.

    “by the sword or by coercion”

    No, by the ballot box. The ignorant are definitely in the majority.

    “sharia law”

    Religion is religion is religion. Why is one better than another? Because one book is more “authoritative”?

  11. Laz says:

    Paul’s entire letter to the Romans is an argument, and your responses only reinforce its validity.

    You’re right, religion is religion is religion, if by religion we refer to man made systems of self-worship (naturalism and its brood) or idol worship (Hinduism, Islam, Paganism). Paul addresses both sets in Chapter 1.

    Pastor John MacArthur spoke of religion (in the above sense) as being man at his lowest, and you know what? He’s right, blogged about it here,

    “Religion is man at his lowest”

  12. onein6billion says:

    and my reply was suppressed?

    ——————————–

    Not sure what you mean -Laz

  13. ginger says:

    you people are all sick.

  14. Laz says:

    Ginger, would you care to elaborate?

  15. onein6billion says:

    “if by religion we refer to man made systems of self-worship (naturalism and its brood)”

    So the question becomes – is “naturalism” really “self-worship”? You have your answer and I certainly don’t have any arguments that could possibly change your mind.

    It’s not my answer one, it is what it is despite our personal opinions on the matter…

    Even if this was true, what would you do about it? Do you want a Christian theocracy? Or do you just want everyone to voluntarily convert to Christianity?

    There cannot be a true theocracy any longer, we are past that, God only dealt with Israel in that way and that was a while ago, no longer. Any system that styled itself a “Christian theocracy” would in fact be anything but “God rules”. It would lapse (as do all man-made systems of governance) into a platform for humans to keep taking advantage of each other.

    It’s not about what I want one, it’s about what God wants. He desires that all come to repentance yes, but that will not be the case and a most horrible fate awaits those who die in enmity with God. Forget all the images of hell that have been caricatured, I gather that in reality it will be much worse than anything we can ever imagine and in ways that are far beyond our capability to imagine. The Christian’s responsibility is to be a witness of God’s grace (as evidenced in his/her own life), conversion is up to God not us.

    So this gets back to:

    “Seriously folks, how can evolutionists be taken seriously when they rail against certain meddling religious people when what this editorial shows is that they’re not “above” evangelistic efforts when it benefits their religion?”

    Of course one answer is money and power. Scientists really do want money to fund their research. And a lot of that money comes from government. And that means political power is involved.

    Tell me about it, I work in academia and money is tight…

    So it really is a war between science and religion and scientists can only be expected to take their side in this war. But I think scientists should be taken seriously because they can make this world a better place. Of course the silly opposite would be called “return to the dark ages”.

    No the war is nothing of this sort. The war is between God and the forces of evil arrayed against Him. That Satan uses “pairs of opposites” –conservative v. liberal, “science” v. “religion”– is true but it’s done to take attention from the real problem: a creation that has been spoiled and the creatures living in it have taken up arms against their Creator. The headlines you read in the newspaper this morning are evidence of this rebellion.

    A “better” place? By whose standards? From what I understand wasn’t early mid-20th Century Germany one of the preeminent scientific nations? I don’t like their leadership’s idea of making this world a better place. It’s not science’s fault of course, the problem lies with fallen humanity, something that naturalism singularly fails to give an adequate answer for except “we haven’t evolved yet” or at least that’s the one that’s been told to me by scientists.

    Do you want scientists or archbishops to make scientific funding decisions?

    Scientists of course, archbishops are unqualified to write grants! LOL

  16. onein6billion says:

    “A “better” place? By whose standards?”

    By the standards of the medical profession – prevent or cure infectious diseases, genetic diseases, cancer, etc. One primary use of genetic techniques at present is medical. Go ask a medical research scientist if he accepts evolution.

    LOL, I work with them and not all of them accept “evolution” and you know what? Those that don’t accept it aren’t hindered one bit in their research.

    “He desires that all come to repentance yes, but that will not be the case and a most horrible fate awaits those who die in enmity with God.”

    Silly religious rants almost ignored – can I repent when I see that 18-wheeler coming head on? On my deathbed? When is it “too late”? Why do you have that opinion?

    Because God has shown me to be the case, I’m not asking you to accept it (as in my case, you can’t and won’t outside of a literal act of God), but it is what it is.

  17. onein6billion says:

    “Those that don’t accept it aren’t hindered one bit in their research.”

    Well, fine for them. Are they helped by “intelligent design”? Are they helped by their religion?

    Ha ha ha, “fine for them”? I presume that you expected me to not know any scientists, much less find one who happens to be a creationist. I actually know 2 principal investigators in my building alone. I speak with one of them daily since her group and mine share the same lab space.

    No they’re not helped by ‘intelligent design’. Why? Because they don’t subscribe to it. ID is too ambiguous for us. I refuse to refer to the God of the Universe as merely an “intelligence”.

    Just to clarify, Christianity has precious to do with religion. Christ’s harshest words were towards the religious leaders of His culture. As to my dear sister, her faith doesn’t ‘help’ her design and conduct experiments. Then again, a professing follower of Christ who is a landscaper doesn’t prune using Scripture. The Scripture is not a book of scientific protocols, I hope you understand that.

    Though studying the elegant mechanisms inside of cells does inspire a healthy sense of worship.

    The fact is – many researchers are helped by their understanding and acceptance of evolution.

    Yes, if they’re evolutionary biologists or scientists in related fields. But as having been in academia for almost 10 years, I can say with certainty that much research outside of fields that are dependent on an a priori commitment to evolutionary theory, is not dependent on subscription to a particular theory of origins.

    The research our group has conducted for the last 10 years has not been dependent on evolutionary theory. We have studied several pathways, signaling peptides, nuclear receptors and none of the experiments have been helped or hindered by evolutionary thought.

    I got one of our staunchest agnostic PhDs to admit this through gritted teeth. And that my friend, is a fact.

    “Evolution is of profound importance to modern biology and medicine.”

    Do you believe that this is not true?

    It can be if you’re in the bag already, but then again it is not essential. The aforementioned researcher is also an M.D. and has expressed that evolutionary theory is even more of an irrelevancy in the clinical setting.

    Can you name a major breakthrough that fits what you’re saying?

  18. onein6billion says:

    Remember, this is what science is up against:

    “I wonder how anyone could think that evolution is anything more than just a theory? ”

    So, yes, I think “Evolution is a scientific fact, and every organization whose research depends on it should explain why” is an appropriate response to the anti-evolutionists.

  19. Laz says:

    One,
    jrazz’ statement is invalid only to those whose presuppositions wed them to a naturalistic worldview.

    Prior to my conversion, I would have made a similar statement to the one you just made. My ‘conversion’ started in high school biology and was solidified at college as I earned a bachelor of science in microbiology.

    I wouldn’t have gone as far perhaps as evangelizing for evolution, but I was convinced that GTE adequately explained our origins.

    Well, the person of Jesus changed all that.

  20. j razz says:

    So, since when did I become the front man in the imaginary battle against science?

    I quite like science. I believe it to be a great tool that has been entrusted to us by God; but it doesn’t really matter what I think now does it? What really matters is what is true and factual. Until we can know fully and understand fully, this debate will continue on.

    It is a scary thing when someone oversteps scientific findings by proclaiming a theory to be fact without fully giving credence to possible alternatives that may make more sense giving the data that we currently have when they claim to abide by and in science.

    That would be like me saying I believe in scripture as the source of written truth and then I read a passage that says a prophet is just a man like you and me. However, I don’t like that, so I elevate that prophet to God hood.

    That is what one does when she decides a theory is fact. You give evidence that your agenda does not truly lie with the principles of science, but with the promotion of secularism.

    Consistency leads to respectability.

    j razz

  21. Pingback: Regarding Evangelical Evolutionary Atheist Hypocrites « Jesus Christology

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