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My Take: Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you
The most compelling evidence for evolution comes from the study of genes.
April 10th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

My Take: Jesus would believe in evolution and so should you

Editor's Note: Karl W. Giberson, Ph.D., is vice president of The BioLogos Foundation and is the author or coauthor of seven books, including The Language of Science and Faith.

By Karl W. Giberson, Special to CNN

Jesus once famously said, “I am the Truth.”

Christianity at its best embodies this provocative idea and has long been committed to preserving, expanding and sharing truth. Most of the great universities of the world were founded by Christians committed to the truth—in all its forms—and to training new generations to carry it forward.

When science began in the 17th century, Christians eagerly applied the new knowledge to alleviate suffering and improve living conditions.

But when it comes to the truth of evolution, many Christians feel compelled to look the other way. They hold on to a particular interpretation of an ancient story in Genesis that they have fashioned into a modern account of origins - a story that began as an oral tradition for a wandering tribe of Jews thousands of years ago.

This is the view on display in a $27 million dollar Creation Museum in Kentucky. It inspired the Institute for Creation Research, which purports to offer scientific support for creationism.

And it’s hardly a fringe view. A 2010 Gallup poll indicated that 4 in 10 Americans think that “God created human beings pretty much in their present form at one time within the last 10,000 years or so.” (http://www.gallup.com/poll/145286/four-americans-believe-strict-creationism.aspx)

While Genesis contains wonderful insights into the relationship between God and the creation, it simply does not contain scientific ideas about the origin of the universe, the age of the earth or the development of life.

For more than two centuries, careful scientific research, much of it done by Christians, has demonstrated clearly that the earth is billions years old, not mere thousands, as many creationists argue. We now know that the human race began millions of years ago in Africa - not thousands of years ago in the Middle East, as the story in Genesis suggests.

And all life forms are related to each other though evolution. These are important truths that science has discovered through careful research. They are not “opinions” that can be set aside if you don’t like them.

Anyone who values truth must take these ideas seriously, for they have been established as true beyond any reasonable doubt.

There is much evidence for evolution. The most compelling comes from the study of genes, especially now that the Human Genome Project has been completed and the genomes of many other species being constantly mapped.

In particular, humans share an unfortunate “broken gene” with many other primates, including chimpanzees, orangutans, and macaques. This gene, which works fine in most mammals, enables the production of Vitamin C. Species with broken versions of the gene can’t make Vitamin C and must get it from foods like oranges and lemons.

Thousands of hapless sailors died painful deaths scurvy during the age of exploration because their “Vitamin C” gene was broken.

How can different species have identical broken genes? The only reasonable explanation is that they inherited it from a common ancestor.

Not surprisingly, evolution since the time of Darwin has claimed that humans, orangutans, chimpanzees, and macaques evolved recently from a common ancestor. The new evidence from genetics corroborates this.

Such evidence proves common ancestry with a level of certainty comparable to the evidence that the earth goes around the sun.

This is but one of many, many evidences that support the truth of evolution - that make it a “sacred fact” that Christians must embrace in the name of truth. And they should embrace this truth with enthusiasm, for this is the world that God created.

Christians must come to welcome - rather than fear - the ideas of evolution. Truths about Nature are sacred, for they speak of our Creator. Such truths constitute “God’s second book” for Christians to read alongside the Bible.

In the 17th century, Galileo used the metaphor of the “two books” to help Christians of his generation understand the sacred truth that the earth moves about the sun. “The Bible,” he liked to say, “tells us how to go to heaven, not how the heavens ago.”

To understand how the heavens go we must read the book of Nature, not the Bible.

The Book of nature reveals the truth that God created the world through gradual processes over billions of years, rather than over the course of six days, as many creationists believe.

Evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book.

To suppose, as the so-called young earth creationists do, that God dictated modern scientific ideas to ancient and uncomprehending scribes is to distort the biblical message beyond recognition. Modern science was not in the worldview of the biblical authors and it is not in the Bible.

Science is not a sinister enterprise aimed at destroying faith. It’s an honest exploration of the wonderful world that God created.

We are often asked to think about what Jesus would do, if he lived among us today. Who would Jesus vote for? What car would he drive?

To these questions we should add “What would Jesus believe about origins?”

And the answer? Jesus would believe evolution, of course. He cares for the Truth.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Karl W. Giberson.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture & Science • Culture wars • Opinion • Science

soundoff (3,562 Responses)
  1. Riteye

    Woudl he already know the answer ???

    April 10, 2011 at 9:52 am |
  2. Jenifer

    I believe God created evolution. Adam and Eve was a parable that helped the people of that time, who where not very sophisticated, to understand how important man is to God.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • LetsThink123

      @Jenifer
      Again, I always see believers putting a god in front of every scientific discovery. Why is this? If u were living 1000 yrs ago u would believe that adam and eve was literally true with NO evidence. Now with evolutionary facts, u say 'oh adam and eve is just a parable' and in this way keep re-interpreting everything in the bible to stay relevant. When will u stop doing this? why can't believers just say "based on current evolutionary facts, the adam and eve story is wrong" and just move on. If a scientific theory is shown to be wrong (like newtons gravitational theory) then science discards it. WHy can't believers do the same??

      April 13, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  3. Barnacle Bill

    "What if I told you that there is a THIRD solution that makes sense and nobody has thought of? I am not going to tell you what, but it makes 100% sense and disproves both Evolutionism and Creationism. And no, it is NOT Intelligent Design. BTW, I am in the process of writing a book about it. Would you buy my book?"

    Oh yeah, Anna is smarter than everyone else. Sorry, but that only makes sense to you. No, I would not buy your book.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Anna2

      Funny thing is, you have no clue what it is all about, but you are convinced it doesn't make sense. What does that say about you?

      April 10, 2011 at 1:37 pm |
  4. Trabant70

    There are at least three gods:
    1) The "god of comfort", needed by those that require meaning and can't get it from within, they need a higher power
    2) The "god of the gaps", needed by those that need the intervention of a higher power to explain currently insufficiently understood processes in the real world
    3) The "god of the framework", needed by those who say (as the author herein) that the framework was setup at the beginning by a higher power and is now just continuing
    The first is a feel good story for those in need, the second is pushed back ever since science emerged, the third does not interfere any longer (at least it can not be shown that She does).
    Thus, all of them are inconsequential.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  5. Fuyuko

    Evolution makes more sense than the old adam and eve story. Jesus may or may not have believed in evolution. A lot of what he addressed were issues that were going on in his day. Since evolution wasn't a theory talked about in his day, it wasn't something Jesus was aware of.. These were times where people believed sacrificing children appeased their gods. Scientific knowledge existed, but was limited.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
  6. Catholic Perspective

    John Paul II famously said that evolution is more than a hypothesis – it is not just a "theory" (which in the strictly scientific sense, every hypothesis is only ever a theory.)

    Truth, he also wrote in Fides et Ratio, is never contradictory – faith and reason are like two wings of a dove, working together to produce flight. God created man to use both his heard and his head, not one or the other or neither.

    From a Catholic perspective, this is old news – we've been riding the evolution train and loving it. All truths point to Christ, and we're instructed to not shy away from any truth, whether moral, scientific, theological, philosophical, or otherwise. If anyone lumps all of Christianity under the Creationsim banner I urge them to investigate the Catholic churches position on science.

    Start by youtubing "Robert Barron religion and science"!

    April 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Colin

      The ability of the Catholic to engage in self delusion is seemingly limitless. "All truths point to Christ". What truths? We know that large chunks of the Bible are sheer nonsense. Everytime a scientist or historian proves this, the Catholics claim "yes, we knew that all along". Odd that you spent 2,000 years claiming Genises was literal. Only when Darwin proved you wrong did you change your tune.

      I guess when you claim a monopoly on the truth in the dark Ages, you paint yourself into a corner or two.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Dconsjm

      Silly boy, Colin. No one has Truth. Truth is an ongoing revelation. Don't chastise Catholicism for learning, growing and discovering. I'll wager that much of what both religion and science hold to be true today will evolve over the next couple hundred years. Our understanding will grow.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • Brian in VA

      And the Catholic church loves the evolution train so you can be friends with everyone and sound sophisticated. Ironically, some Darwinists despise Catholics because if they accept evolution, how can they possibly hold on to their faith when the two ideas are so incompatible? To a Darwinist, it's like understanding that a rabbit's foot has no intrinsic luck yet denying that fact and continuing to wear one.

      April 10, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  7. Blake

    This whole article is based on one assumption:

    That evolution is true.
    It's still just a theory based on assumptions.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Eric G.

      Ok...... What is creation theory based on?

      April 10, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Jenifer

      Scientific theories also explain things like gravity. It is much more than mere assuptions.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • TBM

      Belief in god is based on fairy tales and legends. Evolution has survived 150years of scientific scrutiny with many tests designed to invalidate it's main premis. None have invalidated evolution. Our entire medical system is based on evolution.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:03 am |
    • Jonee

      It's a theory based on evidence. A lot of evidence.

      April 10, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  8. robert

    I find it strange that Jesus and Mohammad, who were "sent up", that there is absolutely no evidence of either ever setting foot on this earth. But if they did set foot on this earth, I'm sure that both men were seeking the truth and were trying to do the best they could for the humans at that time. Let me rock your world with a slightly new theory about Jesus...I believe that if he ever did exist, it wasn't because of immaculent conception, it was simply that he was illigitmate and for whatever reason the situation was covered up. The only way we will know the truth is when we find out where the Templars hid his bones. I believe that's how the Templars gained their wealth from the Catholics. I believe the bones are either in the Roslyn Church or hidden away in the Vatican. Make no mistake about it; somebody on this earth knows the truth, and they are doing everything they can to keep it from us. I have more, but that ought to get you started!

    April 10, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • elflander

      @ Robert: Your ignorance is showing.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Steve

      I'm pretty sure Muhammad was a real historical person. That doesn't mean Islam is true.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Luke

      Whoa. You just rocked my world

      April 10, 2011 at 1:26 pm |
  9. Carlton

    All these PHD idiots!!! Some of the most unproductive and lost people in America are those who have PHDs. Know God for yourself and read the Bible for yourself!!! PHDs as well as so many others reality is based opinions, theories, and philosophies of men, and not the reality and revelation of God!!! Once you really know God, you can't be deceived or mislead by anyone or anything otherwise, like these stupid PHDs.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Colin

      Yes Carlton, I agreee. Educated people are a real threat. They should stop studying, we should close down the universities, and all go home and sit on our couches cuddling our Bibles.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Eric G.

      @Carlton: That was funny! Fundies are so cute.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • Jesus

      You are correct. Knowledge, science, and logical reasoning are the enemies of religions.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ahahahahahahhahaha!

      Oh, wait--you were serious, weren't you, Carlton? My bad.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • JPC

      Yes! Let's get to work – you start up the bonfire and I'll start collecting all the books! As you said, there's only one book that people need to read; all the rest are superfluous, so we might as well burn them all to prevent anyone else from being misled by all that evil knowledge!

      Then when we're done burning books we can begin having show trials for heretics like they did with that Galileo fellow, and if they don't recant, we'll burn them at the stake for heresy! (On second thought we should save some books so we have enough stuff to keep those fires going!)

      And then we'll party like it's 1399.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • elflander

      @ Carlton: Please say you are joking.

      Signed,

      Elflander, PhD, Philosophy

      April 10, 2011 at 10:05 am |
    • Dconsjm

      If rejecting the divine gifts of knowledge, reason, science, thought and education is necessary for faith, you can keep your idiot simple religion. I'll hang onto my post-Vatican Catholicism, which believes in evolution and does not reduce the spiritual concept of God to the pedantic and unimaginative.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • purple people eater

      Carlton- I do not agree with the name calling and judgement but I agree with your statement about personal belief. Once you have found what is "truth" as it applies to yourself, I don't know that it is something that can be argued away by someone elses "truth". The wonderful thing about our heavenly Father is that He has given us all "choice".

      April 10, 2011 at 10:52 am |
    • RoseCultivator

      First, it's Ph.D., not "PHD". Second, why do religious fundamentalists despise learning, education and intelligence so much? Is it because ideas and knowledge threaten the inert, fantastical, fairy tale world of the bible?

      It's truly frightening to any enlightened, educated person that fundamentalist fear of knowledge and hatred of intelligence are now a deeply ingrained part of the political discourse in the United States. A culture that encourages deluded, book-burning fools to vote and help decide who should lead and govern is a culture doomed to fail.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • saresudog

      "Once you have found what is "truth" as it applies to yourself," This is where it all begins when we start examining people with mental disorders. They are convinced that their delusions are real even though the sane people around them know for a fact that they're not. Mental much Carlton and purple people eater?

      Most religions are about control. Carlton, you have brought up prime examples of why normal/logical thinkers have been persecuted throughout history. The bible says it all when it states that God put Adam and Eve in the garden with the tree of knowledge, but forbid them to eat from it. Knowledge pulls back the curtain and reveals that the wizard was nothing like you imagined him to be.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm |
    • Jeff

      Poe's law

      April 10, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  10. Jon

    I suspect that as the Creator of the Universe, Jesus has a pretty fair understanding of evolution. The universe is His and He can set it up and manipulate it as He desires. I also believe that He laughs in the face of mocking atheists and might even admit that as a subculture, most of them did crawl from beneath a rock to evolve into the thing that they are today.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Luke

      Yeah, that sounds just like the Jesus of the bible: all arrogant and dismissive.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  11. Barnacle Bill

    "Who created the creator?"

    Chuck Norris.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  12. Nofo

    There is something bigger here. Much bigger than you, much bigger than me.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Jesus

      Yeah, it's all those the Centers in the NBA.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:51 am |
  13. Mike

    Nowhere does the theory of evolution say that there is no God. It just means you believe the universe was not created according to what someone without the knowledge of modern science and facts thought it was begun. Just like the lack of modern linguistic knowledge thought the many languages came from God smiting some people trying to build a tower to God.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Jenifer

      well said, Mike

      April 10, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • LetsThink123

      That's right Mike, science doesn't bother to test anything supernatural like god, or unicorns, or leprechauns. God is not testable and the working of the entire world and universe can be explained without a need for a god.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
  14. Noah Benzing

    No
    .. also, Atheism has killed 240 million people worldwide since 1900.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • TJ

      Simply....well, no easy way to put it...wrong

      April 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Noah Benzing

      Go back to school and come back when you have more tact. I live in ignorance and depravity.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • TBM

      Hmmmm... What history have you been reading.... Must have been written by a christian.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:56 am |
    • Barlingwood

      based on? oh yeah why do I ask, Pol Pot Mao and Stalin were atheists and killed their millions "For atheism" and Hitler was an Atheist too. right? well apart from the fact that Pop Pot Mao and Stalin were probably all atheists as the term is commonly defined, COMPLETELY FALSE. Several leading figures in Pol Pots Khmer Rouge were practicing budhists, like his hideous military chief Ta Mok. Stalin reversed a most of the anti-religious aspects of communism that came from Lenin, and made peace with the Orthodox church to get their support for his war effort. Mao was just a dirty bottomed peasant, I doubt he cared one way or another about religion, and Hitler was most certainly NO atheist, in fact atheists were among the first he persecuted as "Bolsheviks". In Mein Kampf he makes it quite clear that in his own incredibly sick way he believed he was doing the christian gods work.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • Steve

      Uh, I believe you mean Communism, not atheism. I assure you – they are nothing alike... In fact, most of the atheists I know are also those most-opposed to Socialism.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:40 am |
    • John Q.

      That conclusion does not follow. Atheism itself isn't a principle, cause, philosophy, or belief system which people fight, die, or kill for. Being killed by an atheist is no more being killed in the name of atheism than being killed by a tall person is being killed in the name of tallness.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:07 pm |
    • What!!!

      If someone is an atheist and kills someone that does not meant they killed them because the were an atheist. That is like saying Stalin and Hitler killed millions for mustaches, because they both believed in wearing mustaches. And Hitler wasn't an atheist.

      April 11, 2011 at 7:30 am |
  15. Eric G.

    Argument from as-sumption. You need to provide evidence. Please try harder.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
  16. Apotropoxy

    Would Jesus believe in evolution?

    No. Nobody from that era would.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Colin

      well put

      April 10, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Jesus

      Would Santa Claus believe in electric cars?

      Would the Tooth Fairy accept porcelain caps?

      Why not ask whether Jesus ever existed or was "he" simply a concoction put together by Emperor Constantine at the First Council of Nicea, a mix of the Gods Horus and Krishna? Now that question would make more sense.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:50 am |
    • Jenifer

      I think that since Jesus is the Son of God, he DID know about evolution.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • LetsThink123

      @Jenifer
      Nowhere in the bible did Jesus say he was the son of god. What makes u think he was??

      April 13, 2011 at 5:24 pm |
  17. Brian in VA

    Jesus would believe in evolution? Karl W. Giberson, then why does the Bible not describe creation this way? Genesis could have been written to describe a slow, gradual process but it wasn't. There are so many things that break down in Genesis if evolution is true. For example, Genesis describes man and creature as vegetarians before original sin. There are many other examples. Only through extreme hermeneutical gymnastics can you somehow reconcile the Bible with evolution. But if history was not the Bible's main concern, as some have suggested, then why can't we extend this logic to the Koran or any other holy book? By applying this standard to the Bible, you could theoretically reconcile any holy book to evolution. And to any rational person, this is just silly. Either the Bible is true, or evolution is true. Take your pick.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • elflander

      Man, you sound like me 25 years ago.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Paul

      If I were to pick between the scientific theory of evolution and the stories in the bible, I would pick evolution. As mentioned the biblical authors did not know anything about science so how could they possibly write about it. The creation of man did happen from God, but God used evolution as his method of creating man. Period.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • rrb333

      "And to any rational person, this is just silly"
      You think your questions are new but they are not. Like so many other atheist arguments.
      – It is too disgraceful and ruinous, though, and greatly to be avoided, that he [the non-Christian] should hear a Christian speaking so idiotically on these (creation_ matters, and as if in accord with Christian writings, that he might say that he could scarcely keep from laughing when he saw how totally in error they are. In view of this and in keeping it in mind constantly while dealing with the book of Genesis, I have, insofar as I was able, explained in detail and set forth for consideration the meanings of obscure passages, taking care not to affirm rashly some one meaning to the prejudice of another and perhaps better explanation"

      The Literal Interpretation of Genesis 1:19–20 AD 419 St. Augustine

      April 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • Brian in VA

      elflander, as tradition holds it, Genesis was written by Moses. So if God gave Moses a vision of creation, why would He give him a vision that is highly detailed of each thing created on each day instead of an abstract, unclear vision that is compatible with evolution? People were not stupid back then and could have easily understood a slow, gradual process. Again, by applying a metaphorical standard to the Bible, you could argue for any other holy book. Which screws everything up.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Brian in VA

      rrb333, I am not an athiest, I'm a Christian. I am well aware that Catholics believe that evolution and the Bible are compatible. And I realize that the points I'm making are not new because they are pretty straight forward. However, since I am protestant, I do not hold the saints such as Augustine in the same regard as you do. According to Wikipedia,

      "One reason for this interpretation is the passage in Sirach 18:1, creavit omni simul ("he created all things at once"), which Augustine took as proof that the days of Genesis 1 had to be taken non-literally."

      Depending on the strength of the above, and given that Sirach is a book included in a Catholic Bible and not a Protestant Bible, I cannot use the same argument as Augustine did to arrive at his conclusion.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:12 am |
    • Tim

      That's because the story of creation and Adam and Eve is a fairy tale made up by people who were not much more than cavemen.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • LetsThink123

      @Paul
      You said, "The creation of man did happen from God, but God used evolution as his method of creating man."
      Why do u keep attaching a god to every great thing that science finds??
      In the middle ages, when people got sick, the church thought that it was because of demons and so they sent priests over to the sick to pray for them. Unfortunately, most died. Through hard work, science came up with the germ theory of disease to show that it was actually micro-organisms (germs) that cause diseases, not demons. I'm sure that u dont believe that demons give u the flu do u? But i'm sure u believe that the great discovery of germ theory of disease by science that saved millions of lives was actually god's work in disguise; but if god created everything, including germs that could infect humans and cause them to die, why cause the same humans to come up with a cure?
      That's why god doesn't make sense.

      April 13, 2011 at 5:22 pm |
  18. elflander

    There is a great exchange between Christian philosopher Alvin Plantinga and atheist philosopher Daniel Dennett over the question of whether religion and science are compatible. It occurred at a meeting of the American Philosophical Association a couple of years ago. It's well worth listening to–despite the less than stellar audio on any recording I've heard. You can find it by entering their names in the YouTube search box.

    Plantinga argues that Christian theism is compatible with the theory of evolution. As he sees it, arguments to the contrary are based on particular interpretations of either Christianity (e.g., a literal reading of Genesis) or of evolution (i.e., the assumption that it is essentially undirected). What is of particular interest is his argument that the theory of evolution is not consistent with Dennett's naturalism.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:44 am |
    • buckup

      My hypothesis is that any religion that is inherently against physical realtiy and cannot correct for that imperfection is going to get run over by the facts, that is, facts not emanating from people's minds or otherwise manufactured by humans. As a gutless or staunch agnostic (your pick), it is not clear in my mind if that means all religions. I suppose there are people out there that want Baal and baby sacrifices to fix climate issues, but is that the future of humanity? Conserve old religions, bring them back like the dinosaurs. Maybe a second bite of the apple will regain their permanent dominance.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:58 am |
    • elflander

      @ Buckup: I'm sorry, but I'm not sure what it is that you are trying to say.

      For one thing, one might have thought that if something is a "fact" it does not "emanate from people's minds." Aren't facts the sorts of things that await discovery by our minds?

      April 10, 2011 at 10:01 am |
  19. Miffed

    Stupid question. Jesus doesn't have to believe that something MIGHT have worked a certain way, he knows everything because he is the son of God and sits at the right had of the father. In Genesis, the Lord never said anything about evolution, he said that he created man in his own image. Period. No further speculation is appropriate.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • JPC

      " In Genesis, the Lord never said anything about evolution, he said that he created man in his own image. Period. No further speculation is appropriate."

      The Bible also directly says, in a number of places that the earth is held fixed and cannot be moved. Indeed, some of these passages were used in the prosecution of Galileo, for daring to claim that the earth went around the sun.

      Just a few examples:

      1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”
      Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”
      Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ...”
      Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”
      Isaiah 45:18: “...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast...”

      By your above argument, the earth is clearly held fixed in the universe and does not move. (And I quote...) Period. No further speculation is appropriate.

      Or, are we willing to accept that maybe they got some of the physical details wrong, or that they were at least speaking metaphorically when it came to many physical aspects of the universe?

      April 10, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • wonderbott

      I think the author is questioning the theory of Genesis.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • tn8chusrdhd

      Well said! I believe that everything evolves in life. According to their environment changing, God has given every living thing the ability to change and adapt. That is not to say that we evolved from apes. We were made in His likeness.... just as you said!

      April 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • Brian in VA

      JPC,

      You said, "By your above argument, the earth is clearly held fixed in the universe and does not move. (And I quote...) Period. No further speculation is appropriate."

      A Christian could easily argue that the Earth cannot be moved from its natural orbit around the Sun. In other words, it won't just fly out of our solar system and into another galaxy, it is fixed in our solar system around its eliptical orbit. One could easily apply this context whether you like this answer or not.

      April 10, 2011 at 9:57 am |
    • saresudog

      Brian in VA. That is one of my biggest problems with the bible. It can be translated in so many different ways. We have tons of different protestant religions that have fractured from the original because of conflict of beliefs and translation of those beliefs. So a perfect omnipotent being gets upset and gives everyone different languages. He then has a book of instruction that's originally written in another specific language, but has to be translated into many many other languages and humans are left arguing over whether or not the book is being translated correctly. In the end you have an non perfect plan left to mere mortal humans to translate and get everything right...with heaven or h*ll hanging in the balance? Doesn't sound like the plan of an all knowing being who runs the universe.

      April 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • julie

      unless gods image is dynamic, and through evolution has changed.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:13 am |
    • JPC

      Brian in VA:

      Good point, but the simplest, most literal reading (which is what young-earth creationists insist must be used for Genesis 1 and 2, lest we reject the whole Bible) of those passages indicate that the earth itself is fixed and immovable.

      What you're doing is coming up with some wishy-washy, metaphorical exegesis where you replace "earth" with "the orbit of the earth," or interpreting the "fixed" nature of the earth in some non-literal way, in order to contort the Biblical passages to conform to the reality of the universe, in the same way that you can replace "God created man" with "God created man through evolution" and "let there be light" with "let there be a big bang and an expanding universe."

      As I pointed out, those verses, prior to a few hundred years ago, were in fact interpreted literally, and used as evidence against those who promoted heliocentrism, so the literal reading is not modern revisionism, but what those passages were understood to mean by readers over at least 2 millennia.

      So, if one wishes to be consistent, one must either:

      (a) reject evolution in favor of young-earth creationism because of literal reading of Genesis 1 and 2, but also reject heliocentrism and a number of other modern scientific theories which are contradicted by literal reading of relevant Bible passages, or

      (b) allow that many Biblical passages can be (and perhaps were meant to be) interpreted metaphorically, which means they are consistent with evolution, as well as heliocentrism and other modern scientific theories.

      In case it wasn't clear, I vote for option (b).

      April 10, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Brian in VA

      JPC,

      I disagree that I came up with anything metaphorical at all. I did not replace earth with earth's orbit. Look at the verses carefully.

      1 Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable.”
      Psalm 93:1: “Thou hast fixed the earth immovable and firm ...”
      Psalm 96:10: “He has fixed the earth firm, immovable ...”
      Psalm 104:5: “Thou didst fix the earth on its foundation so that it never can be shaken.”
      Isaiah 45:18: “...who made the earth and fashioned it, and himself fixed it fast...”

      Each of these are true within the context I said, of the earth being fixed ***in our solar system and immovable from its natural orbit.*** It would therefore be fixed within the universe in this sense. There was no contortion at all, only added context. You can disagree that my explanation doesn't fit your context, but you cannot argue that it disagrees with the context I said.

      The point of the Biblical authors was to describe how the earth isn't some place where people cannot distinguish between up and down because the'yre rolling all over the place in a vertigo fashion. They were trying to make the point that the earth was intelligently designed along with the rest of God's creation.

      And I don't think it matters if others once interpreted the earth within a different context that went against heliocentrism. You can read something literally and still not understand something. Like taxes, I'm reading these forms literally yet I'm interpreting them differently than others may without careful scrutiny of the context.

      April 10, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Jonee

      There are any number of celestial objects that could rend the Earth from its orbit around the sun. Our planet is hardly immovable, it would just take something big like a rogue planet or star and we're discovering more and more of these all the time. We're certainly under no immediate threat, but millions of years from now, who knows?

      April 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Brian in VA

      Jonee, but that would be speculation. And for a Christian, it seems silly, as it's hard to imagine Christ returning millions of years from now.

      April 10, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Chris Echols

      Do you even know what the "image of God" is anyway? I thought God was a spirit?

      April 10, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
    • LetsThink123

      @Brian
      you said, "Each of these are true within the context I said, of the earth being fixed ***in our solar system and immovable from its natural orbit.***"
      You did add the earth's orbit part! lets not be disingenuous here. If the biblical authors meant earths orbit then they would have originally stated Chronicles 16:30: “He has fixed the earth firm IN ITS ORBIT, immovable.”
      Unfortunately, all the bible talks about when it comes to creation is what the the men who lived at that time could see. What i mean by this is that if u read the creation story in the bible, there is no mention that god created the solar system with the sun in the center, with the other planets, with us in the milky way galaxy, and all the other billions of galaxies. In the creation myth of adam and eve, god created stars after he created the sun, thats backwards! There is no mention that other planets existed either (which men at that time were not aware of).
      I ask you this question, how come the gods of virtually all religions in the world including christianity in their creation stories, only created things that people at that time knew existed (such as the earth, stars, sun, moon) and not about the other planets, solar system, and other galaxies etc...? The knowledge of the gods when it came to the universe was limited to the knowledge of the men who lived at that time. Hmmm.......could these gods be man-made?

      April 13, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  20. Peter

    Just go to the Bible-UFO website. Everything is explained there. Jesus used high technology which we don't know yet. The criation of Adam and Eve is clear today that was genetic manipulation. The Bible mentions a lot of high technology but the people that wrote and the people that translated didn't have the right vocabulary to translate what they saw. The spaceships are called clouds. It is all there. Just read with a opened mind. Jesus is who he said he was and he will do what he said he will do. He is very real and is coming back commanding a fleet of spaceships.

    April 10, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • KJE

      Peter, what is a criation??? Sorry, didn't mean to to put you down for a typo. I am Agnostic and don't believe in the Bible or the theory of Christianity, but I do have a question for you. Could you pinpoint for me the places where the Bible mentions this technology? I have read the Bible about 4 times and studied it at great length and am kind of surprised to read how someone sees "high technology" from any chapter in there. I looked at the website you mentioned and it was not very convincing, actually a bunch of half thought out theories that hardly made sense. If you have anything better please share...

      April 10, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • JUju

      Tim, Adam and Eve are most certainly not a made up fairy tale. They were not created by cavemen. God himself fashioned Adam in his own image out of the dust of the earth and breathed his own breath into him. Eve was created using a rib from Adam and she too was created in the image of God. God spoke the world into existence. He is very much alive today as is Jesus as He sits at the right hand of HIs Father although they a three in one. The spirit resides in all believers. Now folks chew on that for a while. God knows all, sees all, is all powerful There is nothing that is impossible for Him and if I were some of you I believe I would be somewhat afraid of what I was putting down and what I was saying the Lord of Lord and the King of Kings.

      April 11, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Samuel Raines

      @KJE, I do believe he was joking, sir.

      April 12, 2011 at 6:58 pm |
    • Mario

      JESUS is alive right now. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. If you are Jewish or not, you may like the letter to the Hebrews, in the Bible, NT. Mr Dan Gilgoff: review Gospel according to JOhn fuly, at least once. in his own words he says, I AM THE TRUTH.

      April 13, 2011 at 10:56 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.