By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor
America’s Protestant pastors overwhelmingly reject the theory of evolution and are evenly split on whether the earth is 6,000 years old, according to a survey released Monday by the Southern Baptist Convention.
When asked if “God used evolution to create people," 73% of pastors disagreed - 64% said they strongly disagreed - compared to 12% who said they agree.
Asked whether the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, 46% agreed, compared to 43% who disagreed.
A movement called Young Earth creationism promotes the 6,000-year-old figure, arguing that it is rooted in the Bible. Scientists say the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
The Southern Baptist Convention survey, which queried 1,000 American Protestant pastors, also found that 74% believe the biblical Adam and Eve were literal people.
“Recently discussions have pointed to doubts about a literal Adam and Eve, the age of the earth and other origin issues," said Ed Stetzer, president of LifeWay Research, a division of the Southern Baptist Convention, in a report on LifeWay’s site. “But Protestant pastors are overwhelmingly Creationists and believe in a literal Adam and Eve.”
The phone survey was conducted in May 2011, sampling ministers from randomly selected Protestant churches. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percent, LifeWay said.
A 2010 Gallup poll found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form, versus 54% who said humans developed over millions of years.
and like it or not, Evolution IS still a theory. It can't be actually proven. Period. I think we 'evolve' over time, but we did NOT come from the apes.
when you look at what we do, the apes may have evolved from us and are currently a higher life-form than humans, When you think of it, the matrix was right about humans and viruses
It has gone beyond theory, there are many fossils and early bone fragments that provide the physical evidence that we evolved from ape like animals. On the other hand, creationism is pure fantasy.
Actually evolution is a known fact. Ever hear of drug resistant superbugs? They adapted by means of attrition, as all other evolved beings have to resist medication/treatment.
Bottom line. You can have BOTH religion AND evolution. They go hand in hand. What's the problem?
Evolution by natural selection is a FACT. We all know it now. There is no reason to believe in gods and reason is how we find truth. Keep your toys but don't make me play with them...
Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian
10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs - though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.
Bra – frickin – vo.
Forgot one: you watch Fox News,
Letterman would be proud
That is great!
Absolutely terrific (and I'm a Protestant pastor – but solidly among those who believe in evolution and I know Adam & Eve were metaphorical characters, not literal people). My only minor quibble is with point #1, in that being a Christian is not based on knowing the Bible, it's based on the relationship I have with God. And I'm fine with it if you or others believe that my faith is a product of a vivid imagination – it's my faith, and I'm content to live and let live.
Outstanding Sir. An excellent summary if there ever was one. I am constantly amazed by the claim that evolution is a theory. Simply look at the diversity of dogs all of which have been genetically traced to the Wolf. The evidence is overwhelming. There is not a shred of evidence that the Universe was created in it's present state 6,000 years ago. Just myths written by ignorant people with no technology that needed some way to explain things they didn't understand. Poor souls that can't deal with teir own mortality.
those pastors who doubt obviously don't accept the miraculous power of God. They don't accept Jesus walked on water, turned water into wine, cast out demons, healed various obvious crippling diseases. Did Jesus at any time say, "oh by the way the earth is millions of years old." God is a spectacular God of awesome and complete control and power BUT the purpose of the non obvious existence of God and His power is the TEST of FAITH, since no believes if he sees. God has created the atom and the ant and Andromeda, in days. Christians who accept evolution compromise the entire foundation of their faith. The judgement day is a little way off, but you will see it and know it.
Then what created God?
uh um duh..um.. let me guess.. you hadnt considered that?
Choosing between BELIEF in Christian tenets regarding human origins or evolution became irrelevant owing to the field research conducted by Peter and Rosemary Grant. Their work moved the theory of evolution out of the "belief"category and into the realm of demonstrated scientific fact. Read "Beak of the Finch" by Jonathon Weiner which details these findings and clearly points to the way nature achieves the outcomes allegorically presented in the Bible.
In YOUR opinion.
I agree with some of these comments – when taken on the surface my belief in creation and a younger earth does sound stupid....but let’s dig deeper : keep in mind we believe God is omnipotent. Also it is very biblical that God does not want to prove his existence to us...yet. So I don’t think God would allow proof of a created universe...Also look at these two items in the Bible 1) God created Adam as a full grown (aged) man and 2) When Jesus performed his miracle changing water into the best wine the people ever tasted, the wine did not need to age. (thanks for reading.)
"Also it is very biblical that God does not want to prove his existence to us"
ROTLF. If by us you mean 21st century humans, maybe. If by us you include barely post stone age ignorant shepherds of 2000 years ago, no dice. God was showing himself left and right and intervening in their affairs on an hourly basis, according to the bible. It's interesting, and telling, that god prefers the company of ignorant over more educated and technically advanced humans.
With ignorant clergy, like those who reject evolution, no wonder so many Christian churches struggle to survive or adopt "theology lite" instead of shedding theological light. Christianity and science are not inherently opposed to one another; evolution and Christianity are compatible Read Ethical Musings (e.g., http://blog.ethicalmusings.com/2009/05/new-species.html, http://blog.ethicalmusings.com/2011/06/trying-to-make-myth-into-fact.html, and http://blog.ethicalmusings.com/2011/01/another-thought-on-evolution.html) to explore these ideas more fully.
"ignorant clergy" who is man to tell God what he can or cannot due? Have you made anything like a man?
These "ignorant clergy" as you say, stand on the word of God not some limited "scientific" conclusion
Denying reality will not make it go away. Choosing to believe in something for which there is no evidence, and which is in fact impossible, will not make it true. You stopped believing in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy when you realized that their existence was incompatible with the realities of life. How is it that you failed to notice this same incompatibility with the myths of religion?
Because Jesus is not a myth, what he did is proven beyond a shadow of doubt in both the Bible and non biblical writings there are more witness to what He did then any other person in history.
@ch– Please show me all those non-biblical writings you say prove Jesus existed!!!! There is almost NOTHING written by his contemporaries. It's all written decades later by people who never even met Jesus. That's how the whole stupid myth got started.
Sure here are just two to get you started:
Flavius Josephus a Jewish Historian
Publius Tacitus a 1st Century Roman Historian
The truth is very simple, but a real Satan has done a wonderful job at deceiving BOTH sides of the issue! Yes, man is only 6,000 years old and if he were older we wouldn't be 8,000,000 on planet earth but maybe hundreds of billions, ever tthought about that? BUT the earth is maybe billions of years old, is this so hard to understand? There is maybe billions of years between the first two verses of Genesis as the earth BECAME dark and decayed as a result of Satan's rebellion, it was not created this way, "was" should have been translated "became". Then to believe in the fable of evolution is also to confuse real science with science fiction. Take a human eye for instance, all different delicate parts of the eye must all fit together at the same time and if you tell me this evolved as everything else supposedly did, I will think you are freshly out of your respective local sanatoriums, And for those preachers who supposedly think God used evolution to create everything, well they contradict Genesis where there is NO evolution but instant creation after maybe billions of years of planning and divine engineering. Furthermore they don't understand that the fable of evolution was cooked up to try to explain a perfect creation WITHOUT A CREATOR, some even deny this! And there are also voluminous other proofs of God like history written in advance like Bible prophecy but the atheists and false preachers wouldn't know anything about that. But the biggest proof maybe that evolution is a fable is the WHY of things! WHY would everything just happen for no reason? IMPOSSIBLE for the fable to explain that!....
Proof that America truly is the land of the free, home of the brave, and one of the most uneducated populaces in the Western World...
You are preaching the concept of irreducibility of complexity also known as creationism......maybe you should consider that man didn't spontaneously appear in complete form.....maybe man evolved over 8,000,000 ago and that takes some time if you understand the theory of natural selection–but man didn't immediately start populating the earth as a prokaryotic organism, but had to evolve to eukaryotic and so on and so forth. These early organisms didn't have eyes in complete form either-evolution made that possible. I guess you don't subscribe to unborn fetuses having gills like fish and then because of evolution, they gradually disappear because we, as humans, don't need them anymore due to natural selection....
People like you should .....become extinct! You poor, misguided soul.
Please study the Jewish word "Yom" for example Jesus was in the tomb for 3 yom. Then look at your theory of there being a long period of time between days in Genesis
Modern humans have been around for for about 50,000 years. There are a wide variety of reasons why our population is not significantly larger than it is today. Primarily because our early ancestors were nomadic hunter/gatherers who did not have an easy life. Many children did not survive to reproductive age as a result of hunger, disease, and predators. Plus, it's only been the 100-200 years that medical science has allowed more people to survive disease.
Furthermore, your comment assumes that a population will simply grow exponentially. In reality, we can see from most wild populations that there are various factors which will limit the size of a population.
You mean we didn't descend from the first inhabitants of Middle Earth? I had so thought that i was a descendent to the throne of Gondor.. Damn!!!
Something else to consider.. Why *wouldn't* everything just happen for no reason????
You're so right! Maybe I don't understand the theory of natural selection! Maybe it is because it NEVER was true in the first place hey! Another infallible proof that evolution is a fable I didn't mention because they are too numerous is the FACT that NOTHING evolves anymore and EVERYTHING is absolutely PERFECT just as it is! IIF evolution were true we would CERTAINLY find somewhere on planet earth major animals in the process of slowly transforming into different animals, like cows into tigers like those dogs that grew up to become horses. And there are no middle grounds like half-dogs or half-horses for those dogs that made it hey!! NO! Everything is just the way it is as the day they were created! There are micro-variations within species but macro-variations from one specie to another is a fable and NEVER existed. Take a fly and a jelly fish. They are perfectly individual terribly complex creatures like you wouldn't believe and they just happened! You believe anything you want but I don't believe that as I have the ability to think. And the only fossils of animals that can be found are of totally formed and complete animals, which makes sense as they were created! But I learn new fables on this page and it is pathetically amusing!....
The "eye" argument from creationists was never very good, but it is now useless;
"Evolution's Witness: How Eyes Evolved" by Ivan R Schwab (2011 Oxford University Press)
Another 'Doctor'! It's incredible how doctors seem to hate me! I really don't care though! I won't read your book about HOW eyes evolved because they just DID NOT! Everything that blinded minds can write is absolutely of no interest whatsoever to me because MY knowledge is superior to any and all human concocted fables by extremely vain and pompous individuals. What is the difference really between the invisible imaginary forces of evolution and the invisible all-powerful true God? Well, it's just that Gos thinks and acts upon his thoughts. Your evolutionary forces don't think as they are not alive with a brain but they are so bright that they created perfection without even thinking, but just by saying for instance...oh! there is ait! let's evolve birds! Absolutely stupid to think that nothing to create everything!... Where does God come from you may ask, well where do your forces of evolution come from you don't know but you don't seem to really care at all about that hey!... You just don't want a God to exist, that's the bottom line period!....
7 out of 10 pastors are fiddling while rome burns.
3 of 10 pastors are currently diddling someone..
I wrote this earlier to another post ...
Jesus teaches subject, article, outcomes on life and the hereafter. Spiritually righteous outcomes versus spiritually dead unrighteous outcomes. It is difficult and takes courage to live a spiritually righteous Christian life when challenges come upon one’s path. It is easy to take the spiritually dead unrighteous path any time challenges in life get tough. Righteous means what is good for the individual involved, as well as ALL involved. Unrighteous means what is good for the individual only, and caring less what happens to anyone else. Taking a righteous path leads to spiritual growth. Taking unrighteous paths doesn’t allow spiritual growth.
As for the scientific debate. I, as well as other true Christians have always acknowledged how true science is proving Jesus’ scriptures to be true. Science, however, is not an issue with Jesus’ spiritual teachings. Spiritually righteous behavior vs spiritually dead unrighteous behavior is taught by Jesus throughout scriptures as well as His other spiritual truths. It comes down to do you care about your soul and spiritual growth, as well as all others or are you going to hide the spiritual aspect of Jesus’ truth by bogging it down that it must be a debate with science? I’ve never denied science and true science is proving that Jesus truth is not to be denied.
And your comments show you have no idea what science is. Another example of the failure of the American education system.
“Righteous means what is good for the individual involved,”
No,it doesn’t it means if you fail to judge yourself about a matter over a period of time. You need to recognize that an immature person attempt to exalt themselves by criticizing others. This behavior often backfires, not only exposing the darkened heart of the accuser, but also bringing them humiliation. Your posts show your immaturity.
religion thought everything else rotate around earth we where the center of the universe, in there minds only oh before I forget
the bible and it's so called books started out as stories around a campfire other nation's decided to compile these stories and write them down then religious leader's decided which book's would be in the bible... hmm if god wrote the bible why would man need to decide which books belong in the bible? like any book there is always some wisdom written in said book but that doesn't make that book the book that all must hail & bow to!
It is funny how you attempt to quote what "relegion" believed without truly investigating. There are many scriptures that show the earth as revolving around the sun.
For those who say there is "overwheliming evidence" that evolution is true, which I believe to be the case, just evolution within a species a dog has always been a dog they have evolved if you will but never became a horse
@ch– You clearly have no idea how natural selection works to produce evolution. Not the slightest! Get a book by Richard Dawkins and read it.
Really tell me when has any species developed into another? With facts and proof,
Maybe you want use "Ida" but that turns out to just a monkey bummer
How about "Lucy" did you know that the bones for her where spread out over a 1 square mile area? Someone must of been mad at her?
How about Nebraska man a yeah those where just the teeth of pig
Shall I continue?
@ch– I repeat what I just wrote: get a book by Richard Dawkins and read it!!! You don't know what you are talking about. You are embarrassing yourself!!
"religion thought everything else rotate around earth we where the center of the universe"
Yes and evolution believes that out of nowhere non-intelligent cells somehow managed to fuse to each other to create living beings totally adapted to their environment. That some type of missing link that has never been found is the ancestor of mankind. That millons of years ago, creatures morphed into other creatures not to adapt to their environment but by some invisble non-intelligent force called natural selection. Dinosaurs morphed into birds for example and squirrels-type creatures morphed into giant apes, which then became humans. Phew talk about fairy tales, what a bunch of baloney.
I am asking for your proof, you offer your god Dawkins, I still say show me the transitionals. Good luck with that even your god has not found them
@zoft2000– You're another one who doesn't have a clue as to how evolution works. Stop embarrassing yourself and get educated by someone who understands. That person is NOT your pastor! No serious scientist questions whether evolution has taken place.
Denying the existence and relevance of the mountains of physical evidence that prove the reality of evolution will not make it go away. Your inability or unwillingness to understand the basics of how evolution works, and your obvious failure to grasp the time scales involved are a testimony to the problems in education today. If you refuse to even attempt to understand a thing, then you will never understand it. That refusal will have no effect on the validity of the thing you deny.
You are correct evolution occurs within in a species only, there are no transitionals.
"evidence" for example what????? There is NO evidence for evolution outside of a species if you think you have found one say and lets look.
Here is some science for you to ponder how long will blood vessels last after a being dies?? I look forward to an answer.
@NJBob and @Earthling
no rpely ???? Guess it is time to go to work with the other 1%
Telling lies will not impress anyone, and is a false witness. "How about "Lucy" did you know that the bones for her where spread out over a 1 square mile area?" is a lie. You could read the original publication;
Johanson, D. C. and Taieb, M. "Plio-Pleistocene hominid discoveries in Hadar, Ethiopia" Nature 260, 293-297 (1976).
I like to eat my own doo doo!!
You asked, "Really tell me when has any species developed into another? With facts and proof,"
First, I'll bet you don't even know what a species is. You could learn by reading "What is a Species and What is Not" by the late Ernst Mayr, http://www.aaas.org/spp/dser/03_Areas/evolution/perspectives/Mayr_1996_june.shtml
Then read my short article, "Emergence of New Species"
So THAT'S why embryonic humans have gills and tails! AND embryonic chickens have teeth like dinosaurs! Read a book. Try NON-Fiction this time.
That's why I haven't been to church in 20 years. Useless fairy tails intended to control people.
Here's a group of thinkers.
Belief in Creationism is on par with those idiots running around in the woods looking for a Sasquatch. They take some type of myth and use their imaginations to make it real in their minds. They are not stupid per say, but they are lacking something in the realm of discrimination and the ability to rationalize correctly.
"Belief in Creationism is on par with those idiots running around in the woods looking for a Sasquatch"
My guess is that most of our Presidents beleive in Sasquash and so do the people that elected them...
I assume all these Pastors never, ever, fly by aeroplane, or use computers or cellphones. The science that has determined the age of the Earth at about 5 billion years, and the all pervasive process of change by natural selection, is exactly the same science as keeps planes in the air, and makes computers and cellphones work.
You conveniently forgot to mention all the incidents where science/medicine had to recant proven "theories" because it was discovered that the result was determined prematurely, before all of the facts were in. Dare we call it "jumping to conclusions"?
Science provides a theory, builds on it and corrects any mistakes/discrepancies found. It doesn't matter if science/medicine do trials or experiments...we would never have found chemo or the advantages of radiation or the flu shot or vaccinations had it not been for some error's having been made. Look at how far we have advanced in cancer research and cures; look at the number of people not dying from simple colds or diseases; look at the number of people no longer dying of small pox (pretty much eradicated even though it took the unfortunate loss of many lives before a solution was found)...the list goes on. Science isn't perfect but at least it is doing something for the betterment of mankind.
"I assume all these Pastors never, ever, fly by aeroplane, or use computers or cellphones. "
What does that mean that there is no god that we have evolved. My friend evolution has nothing to do with inventions, or knowlege. Man has been inventing things since the day he steped foot on this planet and will probably continue doing so. The bow and arrow and the wheel were great technical achievements in their day. Let's keep things in perspective.
Its a "science of convenience" for all these religion nutjobs... Hey – if they have so much faith, let them jump off a tall building to see if their faith saves them.. after all , if science is nonsense, then so is gravity.. Oh but of course,, *THAT* science is ok.. only science that interferes with thier nonsensical bible , koran etc is not true..
Absolutely amazing the level of brianwashing by the religious freaks out there. Really truly incredible.
This is one of the reasons why Christianity is no better than Islam. Both deny or ignore these simple facts. Human have evolved in the past 2000 years and should have long passed that stage...
You should recheck your facts...It actually takes more faith to be an atheist than a Christian....
"simple facts" for example?
Faith is belief without proof, thus faith has no part in being an Atheist...it does not take faith to say a god does not exist, there simply is no proof for a god. To be a theist requires proof...no proof of a god existing!
oops should have read 'to be a theist requires faith'
Depends on what you are trying to prove and initial suppostion, if you suppose there is a God then you would need proof to deny Him.
@ch: Can you prove god exists?
"Faith is belief without proof, thus faith has no part in being an Atheist...it does not take faith to say a god does not exist, there simply is no proof for a god."
There is no proof of a god in your life so speak for yourself. Not all the people in church are idiots, some of them are scientist, doctors, inventors you name it. Waiting for god to personally make an appearance at your doorstep and say "hello I'm god" is like asking a bit too much. You might as well wait for Jennifer Anniston to make a house call.
once again, provide the evidence that god exists...going to church and reading the buybull means absolutely nothing when it comes down to it...scientific data does not exist proving a god and until it does, the belief in a god is only based on faith (belief without facts). I speak more myself and a great many other Atheists and non-believers. As for the medical doctors, scientists, etc in church...it doesn't mean they believe in the babble...it could simply be that they are there to appease family and keep the peace. There are a great many Atheists who attend church, probably more than you would guess. Only about 8% of the world's scientists are believers in some form of supernatural deity...rather low statistic considering the number of scientists out there.
Poll: 3 out of 10 pastors don't believe their own crap.
Just because they don't believe the Bible is always literal doesn't mean they don't believe in the Bible as inspired by God. I believe in evolution, yet I also believe in the Bible.
Evolution throws the story of creation out the window. No Adam and Eve, no original sin. No original sin, no need to be "saved" or use for a new covenant. Physics shows the creation happened a few billion years ago in a matter of nanoseconds, not a few thousand years ago over a work week. Sociology and behavioral biology show that we are social apes that does best by looking after one another while preforming altruistic acts. No need and proof for a god. Live good, you only have one life.
@Joxer: Wonderful that you believe in evolution but believing in the buybull seems slightly contradictory? Does that mean you believe all the horror of it or only the feel good parts? Do you believe the old or new testament or both? The old testament clearly teaches that evolution is not valid.
Leaves a lot of protestant ministers out of the survey to only include Baptists. Many other protestants out there in other denominations. My own Episcopal Church included as protestant. Most non-fundamental protestants believe in science with no conflict to their religious beliefs.
73% of the pastors polled don't believe in evolution, and think the earth is only 6,000 years old, despite all evidence to the contrary. When someone is this delusional, no data or facts will sway them, so it is useless to try to reason with them. They have inserted their craniums firmly up their keesters, where they find a safe, secluded place to avoid critical thinking. These people should not even be part of the conversation. I mean, the bar has to be placed at a certain level for reasonable intellectual discourse, and these guys are doing the limbo. Absurd is too kind a word.
What I typically find, is that those most critical of the Bible and Christians, arrive at their conclusions by avoiding a study of the very material that they are attempting to discredit. Rather, they use a small number of shallow, prejudicial statements of gossip, which appear on the surface, to make sense, but when carefully evaluated, hold no water. It is similar to determining that all medical information should be disregarded because many people have been treated by bad doctors.
Responding to Terri's comment:
You couldn't be more wrong. In my case, I graduated from Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in 1980. Doesn't mean I also need to commit intellectual suicide.
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.