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To those who have a Christian background: How are New Testament theology and evolution compatible? Two problem cases.

Christianity is founded upon a premise that humanity required salvation from Adam’s sin, which doomed everyone. The so-called plan of salvation required a sacrifice to atone for what was believed to have happened in the Garden of Eden. But if evolution shows us anything, it is that the Genesis story is pure mythology. No Adam, no Eve, no Garden of Eden, no Tree of Knowledge, no talking snakes and no original sin. Mission cancelled, Abort! Abort!

Evolution also works against the idea of an eternal soul. In evolutionary terms, a soul would necessarily be an evolved feature. Did Lucy, a tiny hominid who lived 3.2 million years ago, have a soul? Did Neanderthals possess souls? Did early souls succeed, from the beginning, in the same way contemporary ones are assumed to, upon death of the host? Or did they just get 'stuck on the roof,' to quote the great Frisbeetarian, George Carlin? This entire soul concept isn’t supported by evolution. Christians who appear to accept evolution must confront the question: when did God choose to interfere with evolution and begin imparting souls?

p-nullifidian 7 Mar 22
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33 comments

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8

Evolution is truth.
Bible is mythology.

wadr the Bible is not trying to be anything else, imo anyway

7

Ohferpetessake

right? Evabody detests believers--even in the Bible--but evabody buys their interp of It too lol. Isnt "baptizing ppl in the river jordan" tantamount to sedition in a theocracy? Arent we aware that "Messiah, Savior, Son of God, King of kings, Lord of lords," these were all Caesar's titles? And Pharaoh's before them?

@bbyrd009 pharaohs, and other rulers, were thought of as actual gawds...learn some history? Like, "Divine Right of Kings"?

@AnneWimsey Well who’s denying that? The point was that those titles were appropriated?

@bbyrd009 ummm, appropriated from the Gilgamash Epic, maybe...predating Jewish religions by millenia

@AnneWimsey yeh, the abarim guy mentions that, pretty cool 🙂
[duckduckgo.com]
wow, a lot

and yeh i guess the whole mythology is cobbled together from everywhere else, sacrificial sons are nothing new, virgins, all retreads. it is literally in your face with it, the first (second?) five of the decalogue came from Hannibal, King of Babylon, and prolly earlier than that, etc

hannibal? no. yes? diff hannibal? Hammurabi, duh

5

If Adam did not exist, then the sacrifice and atonement of Christ meant nothing.
If the sacrifice and atonement of Christ meant nothing, then there is no need for salvation.
If there is no need for salvation, the churches, churchmen and women are all thieves and liars

Therefore it can be concluded absolutely and with no doubt whatsoever evolution is bullshit

I love you logic, solid as a rock.

priceless 😀 prolly stealin it
so,
No Son of Man may die for another's sins;
I came that you might have LIFE, more abundantly
You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are

respectively.

and evo is in There too bion
"The best cure for Christianity is reading the Bible" SClemens
ps i wouldnt be telling believers any of this if you wanna sell them anything or anything think lol

5

Surely you jest. I believe in talking snakes. Now all we have to do is find out why we have an invisible soul and exactly what that thing is and does.

On the serious side, i do not do what believers do in holding up their scriptures to world events or evolution to try and prove their god. In my church days maybe, but I see now that this is the silliest thing ever.

5

Mental masturbation aside, evolution doesn't "work against" anything. The basic theory of evolution is surprisingly simple. It has three essential parts:

It is possible for the DNA of an organism to occasionally change, or mutate. A mutation changes the DNA of an organism in a way that affects its offspring, either immediately or several generations down the line.

The change brought about by a mutation is either beneficial, harmful or neutral. If the change is harmful, then it is unlikely that the offspring will survive to reproduce, so the mutation dies out and goes nowhere. If the change is beneficial, then it is likely that the offspring will do better than other offspring and so will reproduce more. Through reproduction, the beneficial mutation spreads. The process of culling bad mutations and spreading good mutations is called natural selection.

As mutations occur and spread over long periods of time, they cause new species to form. Over the course of many millions of years, the processes of mutation and natural selection have created every species of life that we see in the world today, from the simplest bacteria to humans and everything in between.
Period. Any speculation apart is just bullshit.

I understand how evolution works, which I accept as fact. The reason I chose to use the term 'works against' is because evolutionary theory was the new idea which jarred the minds of most sincere Christians of the 19th century. And since Darwin, evidence solidifying his theory has come from emerging fields of paleontology, embryology, genetics and plate tectonics, to name but a few. My remarks are not directed at the died-in-the-wool evolution denier, rather toward the cafeteria Christian who picks and chooses what elements of his/her faith are treated as allegory or personification.

@p-nullifidian not a lot of those idiots here.

@Mofo1953 Consider yourself fortunate!

@p-nullifidian we all are.

5

God? Soul? nope. Silly concepts.

4

First you have to prove there is a god. Then you have to prove there is a soul.

Not only do you have to prove there is a god, you have to prove it is YOUR god out of the many that is claimed to exist.

4

I find it hard to engage in this kind of discussion, coming as I do from a background of no religious belief, either Christian or otherwise. I therefore have no need to consider any compatibility between any of the inconsistencies, of which there are many, in the bible. If we accept the science of evolution as fact, that alone must render the Old Testament completely untrue, and if we do that then everything else that Christianity claims must also be questionable. If we accept that creation is a myth then why would we even begin to consider any claims in either the OT or the NT to be true. The idea of a “soul” is antipathetic to all scientific evidence and is no more credible than those “talking snakes”in the Garden of Eden or any other illogical nonsense peddled as “truth “ by Christianity.

4

It is the questions that are important, not the answers, and in fact there are no answers—not in the Bible, not in science.

The enormity of that stark reality might be too overwhelming for many of us to bear, and we tend to protect ourselves with dark glasses.

Please, let’s not fight over whose dark glasses are the correct ones. Let’s not look down on the other camp with an air of superiority and condescension.

More satisfying and productive would be to look inward, study, meditate, and inure ourselves to the stark and staggering significance of the mystery of existence as a consciously aware entity.

Awe, appreciation and reverence are not sectarian dogmas.

Evolution is at least a partial answer. That is why it is a profound discovery, genuinely transcendental and very probably universal. Besides directly contradicting Abrahamic dogma, it is also more profound than anything in these religions.

@racocn8 I agree.

4

All literalism, whether theist or atheist, misses the point.

skado Level 9 Mar 22, 2020
3

Christianity (or theism, depending on the limited scope we're talking about) began on the premise there was an omnipotent mass-murdering psychopath controlling all things, thoughts & beings. It's furtherance, to make it less frightful, more palatable, begat the fables in the New Testament.

Given it's all fantasy, there's no real reason to try to tie evolution to it. Add the genetic improbability of inbreeding repopulating the world after a fantastical flood, the point really becomes moot.

🙂

3

Christianity has a very basic flaw that nobody seems to want to talk about. There was absolutely positively NO CONDEMNATION from the Elohims in the Genesis account of Adam & Eve. So the Gods (plural...not monotheistic until Yahweh the God of war was needed to help them win a major battle) simply gave them a choice but warned them with each choice there were benefits & consequences. There was no judgement/original sin....it simply is not in there in the Leningrad Codex Literal Hebrew. So knowing this...who added it to the modern day bible and why? Who further because of original sin problem which man added, caused a reaction in the religious community, only to offer the solution documented in the unauthored texts of the gospels! (aka...you are a sinner and need a savior!). When is humanity going to recognize the Hegelian Dialectic? Religion and Government have been playing this game on humanity and they keep buying it. Did you just fell for lies..this time?

2

It isn't

2

IF souls existed, why wouldn't other animals have them? Christians might claim that other animals have none, but the Hebrew Scriptures say, "Who knows if the human spirit rises upward and if the spirit of the animal goes down into the earth?" (Ecc. 3:21). In fact, the early Hebrew Scriptures say that "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing; they have no further reward, and even their name is forgotten" (Ecc. 9:5). It was not until after the Babylonian captivity that the scriptures started discussing life after death.

Pagan religions often believed that animals had souls; the Egyptians did. Neanderthals buried their dead with goods, which points to a belief in an afterlife.

Some Christians acknowledge that evolution took place but that god was the moving force behind it. Deists believe that god created the world but then left it alone to develop on its own. Some Christians also acknowledge that Eden is a myth--my Baptist sister thinks it is and she also says that evolution had to have taken place.

2

This is why so many Christians deny evolution at all costs. And, I would think that those who do accept evolution don't take the bible literally.

As far as the soul, perhaps they think it was always there; but, there was no accountability until humans reached the point in their evolution when they were capable of determining "right from wrong."

Determining 'right from wrong' is another can of worms. To most theists, our morality comes via divine command--we just couldn't figure it out for ourselves. Evolutionary biologists and anthropologists know better. Morality is founded upon two main pricinple behaviors: reciprocity and empathy, and rudimentary examples of which may be seen in other animals, including other primates.

@p-nullifidian Yes. To most Christians, the bible is supposed to be the ultimate source of showing us what is right and what is wrong; but it is all over the place. This god, that is supposed to be unchanging, is certainly not consistent.

Rather than seeing that the bible actually shows how views on right and wrong and morality changed over time, they twist their minds into a pretzel trying to explain things away, or they just ignore the bits that they don't like because it all HAD to come from their god--not from humans.

2

I see the fall of Adam in Genesis in exactly the same way and I think its dishonest and disingenuous for believers to see Jesus nowadays as an archetype of perfect man instead of redeemer of Adam's sin.

The ancient Hebrews looked on the human being as a composite of mind and body - nephesh. This meaning held for many centuries, as in 'the ship went went down and 200 souls were lost'.This composite of mind and body was activated in life through God's spirit. When we die, that nephesh dies and the 'spirit goes back to God who gave it' - Ecclesiastes 12:7.

That indivisibility of mind and body fits well with Dawkins' idea of the mind dying because the brain has died. The door opening up the possibility that the mind lives on is gaining some purchase nowadays as the mind is perceived as outside the brain and the brain takes in these thoughts, processes them in real time, and returns them to the mind in updated form. After death, our mind would remain as part of universal consciousness.

2

You asked a question, you answered it, what else can we add? Lol

2

From my experience there are two main camps. Fundamentalists and everybody else. Fundamentalists do not accept evolution and deny it at every turn. Evangelicals, Baptists, JWs, and most non-denominational churches fall in this category of evolution not being factual. Catholics can fall on either side of this coin as can a few others. The other folk seem to believe that the Bible stories are metaphorical and not to be taken literally. They believe in God but can believe that he used evolution to create a world we experience. I'm sure there are also a lot of people that are somehow in the middle. The non-fundies like the sugar coated stories and usually don't really know that much about the Bible and aren't really interested in learning. Christianity is more of a social club to them. I would guess that there are many in this group that don't even like to have to think about souls and such and just steer clear of discussions that would entail a lot of thought on the deepaties of religion. That has been my experience here but a lot depends on where you live and what religions are prevalent there.

gearl Level 7 Mar 22, 2020

Two camps or one, they all ...

2

No, they are not compatible. One is doctrine, not to be questioned. The other is science which demands to be questioned and tested.
Chalk and cheese.

2

The Christians of which you speak do not confront that question. They choose instead to engage in compartmentalised thinking: they refuse to consider the two concepts in juxtaposition.

Yep and the rest of us don't bloody care because we know there is no logic to chistianity and you can't resolve the delusions of a christian through logic

You may be correct, and I respect your opinion, but I have a number of family members and loved ones who remain where I was, about 10 years ago. Perhaps I am engaging in a fool's errand, but I'd like to think that there are concepts and ideas worth discussing that will create the 'wake up call' I got. That, to be fair, is my motivation for this post.

@p-nullifidian I can go with that: never miss an opportunity to allow other people to think for themselves.

Cognitive dissonance !!

@Moravian Yep! 🙂

1

Just because a story is mythological does not connote that it is therefor not true.

so it may be both true and also mythological i could show you this but you may not be actually interested

True? As in, correct, actual and verifiable? If something is true, it is factual. A 'true myth' is an oxymoron, like 'original copy' or 'definite uncertainty.'

1

Short answer, they aren't in any way.

1

Evolutionary theory destroys the Torah (the Old Testament) starting with Genesis. Let’s not forget the torture porn like Job.

This also included includes all the additional BS books, for example the New Testament, Koran, Book of Mormon.

There are a few (very few) pieces of beauty and humanity in these text. Like a diamonds in a dung heap.

Agreed! I'll keep Song of Solomon and maybe a few poetic lines from Ecclesiastes and Proverbs, but the rest is of no value. If there were any justice in Job, it would have been to expose and strip all power from the two guys who made the bet. But instead of a proper ending to the story--like what happened to the Duke brothers in Trading Places--the Devil and God get away with it, and Job gets a replacement family and is praised for being subjected to unheard of heartache without losing faith. What a crock of shit!

1

The development of modern humans has taken millions of years and therefore can never mesh with a story book version that encompasses only 6,000 years.

ha ok but don't be writing that in stone just yet iykwgfy k

1

After participating in a Yom Kippur chorus rehearsal where my Hasidic friend said "This is the birthday of Adam", I had a thought: That the only way I can make this work with my background in geology, archeology, and paleontology is to conclude that 6000BC is the moment when humans became aware of the Abrahamic God. My friend replied that "I can live with that...A house is only considered built after you turn the lights on." Genesis itself begins with God moving upon the face of the earth and water. Humns experienced God's manifestations up until this point. The secular overprint of priesthoods and religion highjacked an intense awareness into a literal context that would later discredit science. I see science, as a retired scientist, as a method for raising awareness. The idea of "science being a religion" demonstrates circulr reasoning. It declares science to be a belief and then discredits belief. Science is a method, not a belief! Science collects evidence in such a way that it can be shared and others reach the same conclusion. Belief can only be compelled by force. I see belief and science as parallel views of the world around us, and not mutually exclusive. Evolution has been a powerful model for understanding how the world works. I used it extensively for exploring for oil and gas. I have also seen it used for understanding psychology through gnetics and adaptation. I think the emergence of science as a way of empowering everyne was seen as a threat to the religious powers that be. Religions are structured according to the prevailing models of secular government at their time of formation: Judaism seems tribal, Catholicism seems imperial, Protestants follow the business model. Granted Hasidim is mystic Judaism. There are also mystic traditions in Islam (Sufi) and Christianity. These mystics have been persecuted as heretics by the literalists running their respecive instittions. As for myself, I cannot discount the intense experiences I have had that have been more intense than other experiences.

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