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So...I’ve been dating a Christian woman. She is perfectly aware of my stance on the supernatural and has described herself as a more “liberal Christian”. The other night we had a discussion that prompted me to ask her views on evolution vs. creation. She conveyed the typical “its just a theory” argument, showing that she was unaware of the distinction between the common misuse of the word and what an actual scientific theory is. I explained the difference but she was still doubting me.
Does anyone have experience with these types of discussions? Any advice as to how to help her understand these distinctions, given her predisposed notion of creationism?

By Singledad764
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7

Good luck with that.

jlynn37 Level 8 Apr 5, 2018
5

It's possible over time she can get through her cognitive dissonance. That is if she is a reasonable and otherwise open minded person. I think of long held beliefs I've had that were wrong, it took me time to process and assimilate a new belief.

Rudy1962 Level 9 Apr 5, 2018
8

Their faith tells them not to accept facts that contradict the truths of their god.

mt49er Level 7 Apr 5, 2018
6

If you're interested, Peter Boghossian has a book that deals with that very subject-how to discuss/debate with believers. It's very effective. He also has YouTube videos that show role plays on discussions. PB also developed an app that guides people through effective conversations.

There's an app for that? Wow

@MrLizard yep.. It's called Atheos. This is what it looks like:

@TravelBug I'm getting!

Have you ever tried his method? (Also note for fun, you're right over the bridge from where Fundamentalism got it's name. But a couple more miles, and the world headquarters of Center for Inquiry exists as a good counter.)

@ChrisLAbbey I see what you're saying. I don't want to behave like a fundamentalist anything. Ugh.?

@TravelBug No, but I see what it seems I implied there. Oops. I was honestly just giving a little local history.

Awesome! Thanks travelbug! I’ll def give it a read

4

does she put out?

Oh boy

what I typed was the very first thought of every man who read the story.

1

My ex wife was a Christian, just as stubborn as a government mule and swore that she had all the answers. If your woman starts to behave like that time to let her go. However if she's willing to learn teach her.

3

Evolution for dummies explains the scientific theory rather well. But, faith trumps, no pun intended, facts and scientific truths.

Clare Level 7 Apr 5, 2018
10

Is she aware that the theory of evolution is supported by evidence from a wide variety of scientific disciplines, including paleontology, geology, genetics and developmental biology? If she still has doubts with this knowledge than I don't think she'll be open to being educated by you or others on this subject until she starts doubting and questioning her belief system.

Good answer

Good answer. I never thought of it that way. If it is the truth, there will be multiple ways to lead you to the truth, each with their own support system of facts.

@Nikonian @Rudy1962 Thank you.

2

Why evolution is true by Jerry Coyne

If she prefers video, "Your Inner Fish" is a good introduction.

@TaraMarshall that's also really good. Neil Shubins book of the same title is great

1

It might help if you break it down for her. Explain how there are observable facts and laws under the scientific theory of evolution and how given those facts, the scientific theory of evolution was purposed. You could also show her how this theory is analogous to the theory of gravity, most people understand gravity to be true.

Mea Level 7 Apr 5, 2018
1

Hopefully, you have other areas of compatibility that goes beyond her belief system.

jperlow Level 7 Apr 5, 2018
7

I sure do and I say NO. Do not go there. I married a Catholic woman who was very liberal and not religious. She also doubted evolution, After the kids came she was a raving religious idiot. The kids had to baptised catholic and attend catholic school.
The point is something so simply put as evolution, it is real. It is NOT a theory, it is a scientific theorem. It is a hypothesis with 99% accuracy. To not accept this as real is like believing FOX news,

EMC2 Level 8 Apr 5, 2018
4

In my experience you can talk and talk to believers about the philosophy of science, how hypotheses remains speculation until there is supporting evidence, that theory really means "fact" in a certain sense. You can describe homologous bone structures, vestigial remnants, fossil records, radioactive decay, genetics, and on and on. It just goes over their heads. They are not interested in changing their minds.

3

One of many reasons I simply refused to date religious people anymore.

3

That too me it would be like me dating a Trump woman. She may be nice but really is missing a few items upstairs. The "core" of a person is can we trust you to believe the truth, such as when you say you did not or did do something, it is the truth. And of course I mean no lying on your part. For her the truth is not part of the core, she is not questioning the real core items of life.
Fake news, fake numbers and some believe this junk

EMC2 Level 8 Apr 5, 2018
1

This could be a great test case; it depends on whether or not you're boinking her. The council of Nicea derived a "creed" w/r/t the salvatory, redemptive, expiative, and unified nature of Christ. The creed was more or less novel relative to many practices of Chritianity during the previous two hundred years. For the sake of argument, let's say the council did the equivalent work of a symposium postulating the existance and properties of Population III stars. Like Nicea, the symposium had no hard observations of these supposedly earliest stars. Unlike Nicea, the symposium was not held under lock and key or at sword point. Unlike the symposium, "publish or perish" had orders of magnitude more importance for Nicea. Each group had a literal and fundamental belief in a text. The symposium had a literal belief in the post-recombination properties of hydrogen and helium. Nicea held a fundamental and literal view of the entirety of the Bible. Both groups supported their positions by information from their texts.

So. Your friend proposes to you a Theory of Liberal Christianity. And again, this all hinges on the boinking. One may accept Jesus Christ as a god in three persons with unconditional salvatory and redemptive power for all who accept him as such and then go and sin no more, except for the boinking. Can your friend support this theory? Is there any backup?

For your part, you can point to the observed facts about what happens when random atoms and molecules crash into each other (they form minimum energy states) and what happens when energy hits a region with abunch of cheicals (they organize themeselves to absorm and emit the energy) and so on down the line to micelles and DNA.

For the symposium, the Theory of Population III stars is in big trouble, at a minimum it's off by about 60% time-wise. So a new symposium can be called and everyone can get to work finding out why they were wrong.

But when the Theory of Nicean Christianity meets the Theory of Liberal Christianity, the response is "you're going to hell" or "We'll kill you" or whatever.

andygee Level 7 Apr 5, 2018

Yeah. But it's also all about the boinking.

@MrLizard so if the boinking is strong I could get her to change her mind? If that holds true, than on some scale I have been able to disprove creationism, thus making my cock stronger than god?
Lol! Sorry had to go on a Dennis Loubet-type fallacy intro there!

@Singledad76 I don't know if you can change her mind, but you can definitely get her to a place where she can think about things a little more objectively. DON'T ACTUALLY TRY THIS THOUGH. I just realized that she could wind up going full Nicean and cut you off until you marry her.

3

My question for you is that could you be with someone who believes that Creationism is the truth? If you like her and don't mind tolerating it, I say keep the peace and do not provoke her religious convictions. People will advise her to let you go.

She may have built up a theological system around her religious beliefs, and challenging Creationism is not a simple conversation on Creationsim vs. Evolution, but really challenging her stance on if her religious beliefs are a scam or not.

That would like be asking if ghosts exist, or if people can be possessed by spirits\demons\devils. It's gonna open up a whole bunch of questions which will get bigger than the original question.

Nikonian Level 5 Apr 5, 2018
1

Unless she is a supermodel millionaire who owns a chain of breweries..... why are you dating this thicko?

5

Richard Dawkins on the theory of gravity seems to always be the best go-to example. "If you doubt it, you're free to jump out of a 10 story window and see what happens."

Malara Level 5 Apr 5, 2018
3

Refer her to the Pope's thoughts on the subject, he believes in evolution. Only in America is there any real traction for Creationism, the rest of the Christian world, except for the rare fundamentalists, Jehovah's Witnesses and such, gave that up a long time ago.

Kimba Level 7 Apr 5, 2018

Unfortunately, many Christians don’t believe the Catholics are “real Christians”...lol! No true Scotsman!

2

Discernment is the key. Does she focus on the dogma of religion? Personally, faith in a "supreme being is not that objectionable to me. It's the silly interpretations of the rules one must live by to belong to that religion that drive us crazy. If she is a "liberal christian" and has numerous likeable traits. Continue the discussion.
I have a science degree but "theory" has levels of truth. I accept evolution but is it absolute truth? I stick to the definition of absolute truth as, a theory that has been validated by recreating in the study the same results. I don't accept the "big bang" theory on another scientific idea, stated simply, matter can't come to existance from a void. Matter is never destroyed just change form. If one doubts a singular theory then other doubt is warranted.
I'm waiting for a logical reason why this all began. Otherwise, I'll hold onto my 0.1% openness to a "god", ancient alien, intradimensional being, ect...having something to do with creation.

1

A scientific theory explains why a phenomenon occurs AND can be repeatedly tested to produce the same result.

Ask her to use theory to explain something from her religion.

Marz Level 7 Apr 5, 2018

And maybe add to that an explanation (theory) of why bread rises and that this is certainly repeatable under the right circumstances. Put it in terms she can relate to in real life.

I’m not trying to start an argument...just get her to comprehend the base understanding of a theory.

0

Why I Am Not a Christian is an essay by the British philosopher Bertrand Russell. Originally a talk given 6 March 1927 at Battersea Town Hall, under the auspices of the South London Branch of the National Secular Society, it was published that year as a pamphlet and has been republished several times in English and in translation.

Russell begins by defining what he means by the term Christian and sets out to explain why he does not "believe in God and in immortality" and why he does not "think that Christ was the best and wisest of men", the two things he identifies as "essential to anybody calling himself a Christian". He considers a number of logical arguments for the existence of God and goes into specifics about Christian theology. He argues ad absurdum against the "argument from design", and favors Darwin's theories.

Russell also expresses doubt over the historical existence of Jesus and questions the morality of religion, which is, in his view, predominantly based on fear.

Jacar Level 8 Apr 5, 2018
1

You have "christian" + "woman", but you are fixating on a small event in the "christian" part, for starters.

Anyway, if you're going to have the argument with her, then have it.

Agreed. have the conversation. It may seem like you are instigating a break up, when in reality, you are setting a precedent to who you are and what you want. If she's religious, it will only grow stronger in time.

Those who guided her into the faith will make sure she doesn't leave it. It has to be of her own will. You can try saving her, but really the choice is hers, and hers alone.

1

Any decent relationship has to be based on mutual respect. Instead of telling her what you think, why not ask her what she thinks and why she believes what she does? Listen respectfully and keep asking until you feel you really understand her position. Then decide in your own time if you can respect that.

Gareth Level 7 Apr 5, 2018
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