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'She believes we're decended from apes!'

(195 Posts)
Bumperlicioso Mon 04-Apr-11 21:58:36

Said with incredulous laughter by a very religious acquaintance. Does religion preclude a belief in evolution? Apparently there is nothing to support it according to same acquaintance.

gaelicsheep Mon 04-Apr-11 22:02:13

Without wanting to offend anyone, I'm afraid I do believe there is an inverse relationship between fundamental religious belief and intelligence. Lack of intelligence and/or an enquiring mind would preclude a belief in evolution if they don't understand it.

Middlemarchlover Mon 04-Apr-11 22:03:08

Not necessarily I'm a Christian and believe in evolution. I do believe that God created the world and the organisms within this world, but through the process of evolution rather than Creationism. The story of the Creation is just a metaphor in my eyes, and most of my Christian friends would say the same.

Having just done some work relating to what people believe I have been quite amazed to find that there actually are those mental enough to disbelieve evolution and indeed insist that creationism should be taught in science classes at school.
They all looked fairly normal, as well. Most alarming.

ginmakesitallok Mon 04-Apr-11 22:05:17

Agree with gaelicsheep. (oh - and evolution doesn't mean we're descended from apes...)

pozzled Mon 04-Apr-11 22:07:49

Most of my religious friends have a similar belief to middlemarchlover that God used evolution, or guided it in some way.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Apr-11 22:08:00

I have a religious faith. I am not a creationist. I think there is good evidence that humans and apes evolved from a common ancestor. I think there's a lot of misunderstandings about evolution from all sorts of people.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Apr-11 22:08:40

Oh, and I'm a science teacher!

PunkPixie Mon 04-Apr-11 22:13:35

My Gran accuses me of "going through a phase" when I tell her that I do not believe in the theory of everything the way she does.

She's a hard-line Catholic and trying to talk to her about evolution is like banging my head off of a brick wall (As it is with most things concerning her religion)

I wouldn't even discuss itw ith her if not for the fact that she insists on ramming her bible down my throat at every opportunity.

She can think whats he likes as can the rest of my Catholic relations. I just wish they'd afford me the same courtesy.

TheFallenMadonna Mon 04-Apr-11 22:14:41

I'm also a Catholic...

Unusual for catholics to be creationists IME.

Bumperlicioso Mon 04-Apr-11 22:16:12

I accept that I am probably not well versed in the science of evolution, but it was the incredulity that her friend (also religious apparently) could believe in that sort of thing. When I asked another member of the group, also religious, whether her religion precluded a belief in evolution she said something along the lines of 'I'm cool with evolution' in a way that she doesn't believe in it but she is happy other people do. They were talking about god breathing life into us so when in evolution was that supposed to have happened.

PunkPixie Mon 04-Apr-11 22:16:20

True, Fallenmadonna. My Gran is a very rare and special creature...

Certainly not all Christians are creationists. But some are. I have met a few in the last few days.

ElBurroSinNombre Tue 05-Apr-11 10:45:42

One of the basic misunderstandings or contradictions to me, of the view that god 'allowed' evolution to happen, is that the evolutionary process is necessarily unguided. Evolution relies on random mutations and how well they adapt to the physical environment.

AMumInScotland Tue 05-Apr-11 13:02:47

We've had a few debates on here about it, and most Christians do believe in evolution to at least some extent, though for some it's more in terms of "the changes clearly did happen over time, but God was directing it" rather than really evolution by natural selection.

I think most people who don't believe in evolution at all, have never had a very good explanation of how it works, as their arguments against it are usually nonsense. They seem to be arguing against some weird "straw man" version of evolution which has never been taught in science classes, and only ever described by Creationists in order to rubbish it.

Personally I ^do believe that God "allowed" evolution to happen, but only because God set up the natural laws of physics etc which make the world work the way it does - the process of evolution then followed from those basic natural laws, without any need for intervention. So unguided evolution, but starting from God....

BaggedandTagged Tue 05-Apr-11 13:09:06

One of the basic misunderstandings or contradictions to me, of the view that god 'allowed' evolution to happen, is that the evolutionary process is necessarily unguided. Evolution relies on random mutations and how well they adapt to the physical environment.

Ok, so maybe God pretty much said "as you were" or "let's see what happens with these fish that appear to be growing legs"

I know a lot of Christians and they all believe in evolution and think that creationalism was just a story/metaphor

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Apr-11 13:09:24

I have also met quite a few Catholics who literally believe that God created people as they currently are - Homo Sapiens. This is puzzling, given the hoards of evidence from previous versions like Homo Erectus, Neandarthals (whom we are not descended from) etc.

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Apr-11 13:10:35

Bagged - That understanding of a creator is called "Watchmaker God".

CoteDAzur Tue 05-Apr-11 13:13:29

"Watchmaker God" does not quite align with Christian beliefs, as it does not allow for the thought that God made man in his image, that people were his special creation made to rule the world, that only men get to go to Heaven when they are good etc. It also does not fit in with the belief that God will intervene in your fortunes if you pray hard enough.

PunkPixie Tue 05-Apr-11 13:14:16

CoteDAzur your post describes pretty much all of the maternal half of my family.

Kendodd Tue 05-Apr-11 13:14:32

I'm not religious, but I am unsure.

I believe in evolution(how could anyone not, it happens before our eyes) and I have watched the explanations Brian Cox makes about the nature of the universe of the and believe that. But, there are lots of things he can't explain, what happened before big bang etc, could god be there? I think more likely science just hasn't explained that yet.

As for you friend, I don't think you will ever get her to even consider any other explanation of live on earth.

I think people who don't believe in evolution, at least to some degree, are nutters.

BaggedandTagged Tue 05-Apr-11 13:18:52

Cote- I suppose like with all religions there are degrees, and there are people who believe that every word of the bible is true, right through to people who believe that the moral code is a good one, and that Jesus probably existed but think a lot of the bible was based on knowledge at the time and is probably not right (eg my mum)

Kendodd Tue 05-Apr-11 13:21:52

I had a friend once to believed we are all descended from Adam and Eve and that all the evidence against that was planted by the devil.

newlark Tue 05-Apr-11 13:34:36

Has anyone read Lee Stroebel's "Case for a Creator"? He used to be an atheist but became a Christian (he alse wrote "Case for Christ"). I have only read a little but the gist seems to be that the idea of a creator God and "good" science are not incompatible (and comments on a lot of the "bad" science i.e. non peer-reviewed, incorrect assumptions, selective reporting etc)

Niecie Tue 05-Apr-11 13:39:27

I would say creationists are few and far between and tbh I haven't ever met one despite being a regular church goer. In recent years, my father has decided that Adam and Eve is fact but he has dementia and believes all sorts of things that clearly aren't true so I take everything he says with a pinch of salt. Other than that, no I don't believe that religion precludes a belief in evolution and nor do most Christians I would suspect, certainly not those from the UK.

Science can't explain everything and probably never will but I think we have enough scientific evidence to support the theories of evolution. That says nothing whatsoever about whether God exists though which is an entirely separate question. IMO, not that is relevant, if there is a God he was a catalyst for creation but he didn't create a ready formed world in 7 days.

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