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Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age
January 10th, 2012
04:18 PM ET

Survey: U.S. Protestant pastors reject evolution, split on Earth's age

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.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Evangelical • Science

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soundoff (6,504 Responses)
  1. opinionatedc

    To believe in evolution would be to believe that one day the Gorillas you see at the zoo would one day become humaniy, when I see one of these creatures CHANGE to a human than I will believe in EVOLUTION!!

    January 21, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Eric G

      You do not need to believe in evolution theory, but you do need to have a better understanding of it. Evolution theory proves that gorillas and humans share a common ancestor, not that we evolved from them.

      Your position is based either in ignorance or dishonesty.

      Please try harder or stay in the shallow end of the pool while the adults talk.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • mandarax

      No, that is not remotely what it means to believe in evolution. Does opinionatedc stand for opinionated cretin?

      btw, I will believe in creation when I see a giant pair of magic lips blow life into a clump of dirt and make it turn into a human.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Individuals do not evolve, populations do. You will never see an individual organism change into some other species.

      January 21, 2012 at 3:31 pm |
  2. Bumper

    Angel:

    Ultimately, God created Heaven and the Universe.
    The way He created the Universe was through a process of fast and slow, micro and macro, simple and complex adaptation processes. In aggregate, the entire process took place over several billions of years. Darwin's evolution is false and incomplete because he only considered the slow, macro and complex evolution of Nature. However, with a complete theory of complex adaptation, we can describe the unfolding process for virtually all of the known inorganic and organic systems, and not just "living systems".

    January 21, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Eric G

      Sorry Bumper, logic foul on the play....

      You are making claims of action for a variable (your god) that you have not provided any verifiable evidence proving existence. You must first prove that your god exists before you can attribute actions to it.

      Please provide your evidence for verification.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Sharp

    The Christian Religion has absorbed many competing beliefs many times during it's history. The most famous is the Christmas Tree, taken directly from Druidism. There are many influences from the catacombs when we worshiped side by side in hiding with Dionysians, Mithras & others. There are clear influences of the ancient Egyptian Religion. The Christians were astute enough perform marriage for Roman soldiers; who were forbidden to marry but of course longed for families. Christianity will absorb science soon enough. It is a huge meal & will take some time.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  4. ANGEL

    This is a very touchy subject and I didnt think to much about it until i talked to a friend of mine. About 17 years a friend of mine actually said the same thing that these Pastors believe, and she said, the earth is only about 6000 years old and the scientists are lying; my mouth just fell open because I thought she was ridiculous. She was dead serious, and there wasnt a thing i could say to her to make her think otherwise. Now i can only imagine that how the more serious believers think and feel!! There is a special on the discovery channel where they actually talk about time and humans perseption of it. The show was basically saying the human mind can only grasp what we see and some other amazing stuff, so since we, as humans, at this time, dont really understand what time really is about, we cannot discredit any theory!!!!

    January 21, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Bumper

      LOL! The earth is NOT 6000 years old!! This has already been discredited by physical evidence from the Big Band Theory. God didn't just make the earth look old to fool everyone. That is convoluted Sarah Palin type thinking. Angel: did we coexist with dinosaurs too? I bet dinosaur bbq tasted really good.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  5. ALBERT

    Albert Einstein: God is a Product of Human Weakness
    The word god is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weaknesses, the Bible a collection of honourable, but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation no matter how subtle can (for me) change this.

    if this being is omnipotent, then every occurrence, including every human action, every human thought, and every human feeling and aspiration is also His work; how is it possible to think of holding men responsible for their deeds and thoughts before such an almighty Being? In giving out punishment and rewards He would to a certain extent be passing judgment on Himself. How can this be combined with the goodness and righteousness ascribed to Him?

    January 21, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Bumper

      Einstein was so full of himself!! What an arrogant comment! He was not really as smart as you think. In fact, he spent the later part of his life wasting all of his time trying to discredit quantum mechanics and he hired mathematicians to do all of the work. Well, you know what? He failed miserably.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Bumper: Please answer the question.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by Bumper is a bifurcated instance of the ad hominem fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      January 21, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Bumper

      Albert:

      This one is way too easy. Yes, every human action, thought etc.... is indeed knowable to God. We as human beings are endowed, by God, with free will agency. Therefore, are thoughts and actions are not the direct workings of God and we are subject to reward and punishment accordingly.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • ALBERT

      @Bumper LMAO, You are full of craps! :D

      January 21, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  6. Shawn Irwin

    There are about 7,770,000 species on the earth. If there are 90% insects, and we consider them to be all very small, (which we know they are not), we could say that each pair, in order to fit on the "ARK" would need 4 square inches for two of them, plus their food for 40 days. Since 12 inches squared = 144 cubic inches, 144 cubic inches / 4 cubic inches = 36 per square foot. We know that, the insect population is about 80 – 90% of the entire 7,770,000 species, so making a conservative estimate, we will say it is 90%. 7,770,000 * 90% = 6,993,000 insects. 6,993,000 insects / 36 insect per square foot = 174,250 square foot needed to house all of these insects, and their food. Now the animals. 7,770,000 – 6,993,000 = 777,000 animals. We will again be conservative, and say that each animal requires only 3 cubic feet living space and three cubic foot for 40 days supply of food. 9 cubic feet total for each pair of species. They say the average size is actually that of a sheep, which would be more like 9 cubic feet for the two sheep alone. So, 777,000 animals x 9 cubic feet = 6993000 cubic feet required to house them. Now we will take the total needed for the insects and the total for the animals and add them together. 6,993,000 square foot + 174,250 square foot = 7,167,250 square feet needed on the whole "ark". (We will not even count the space needed for the humans, breathing space for all of the animals, and space needed for the structure of the "ark" itself.) Now the dimensions of the "ark" are well known. The length of the ark – 300 cubits, its breadth 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits". This is equivalent to a length of 450 feet, a breadth of 75 feet and a height of 44 feet (assuming an 18" cubit); or 500 Feet, 83 feet and 49 feet (if it was the Egpytian 20" cubit). (We will use the larger size, just to give the bible thumpers a better chance) 500 x 83 x 49 gives 2,033,500 cubic feet. But wait, we needed 7,167,250 cubic feet! That is 3.5 times more space needed than the "ark" provided! And, we did not calculate for breathing space, space for humans, or internal structure of the ark itself! So, bible thumpers, please tell me, what did "god" do, shrink the animals?

    January 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
  7. Shawn Irwin

    Given that they are parasites who prey on the ignorant, and that these parasites would be homeless if everyone actually read about evolution instead of taking their word for it . . . . there is clearly a motivation for them to deny evolution.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:00 pm |
  8. Bumper

    momoya:
    What you describe is an inductive frame or puzzle that is incorrect. I've stated that the theory is wrong based on scientific grounds and the paradigm is flawed too. Replace the inductive paradigm with deduction.

    Mike:
    Yes, your point is valid. We do have to look to other fields for substantiation of Darwin's theory. In fact, if you look at my other blog postings, that's what I did until folks started to complain about cherry picking. Physical and computational sciences do vehemently discredit Darwin's theory.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Erick

      Bumper re "Physical and computational sciences do vehemently discredit Darwin's theory." I am a "physical and computational" scientist, or rather, a Physicist and Computer Scientist, and I vehemently disagree with you. Such sciences overwhelmingly support refined versions of Darwin's brilliant theory.

      Either give a citation to a paper from a refereed journal or just spare us your ill-informed comments.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • momoya

      Bumper, I know what the creationist argument is; that's why I outlined it in my post, and why you replied as you did. I understand your position, you do not understand mine. The picture that emerges from the data does NOT line up with any creationist models that the christians hypothesize. You guys blame the picture emerging from the puzzle because you don't like it. As I said before, science can't cram in the evidence where you feel it should be, and it doesn't ignore evidence that slides perfectly into a slot within the paradigm. As Dr. K has admonished, if your paradigm describes the known facts in a better way, then do the research and publish your work.

      As to your incorrect analysis of inductive/deductive work used by biologists in more fully describing evolutionary theory, Dr. K. has set you straight on that account. Why are you ignoring the facts that obliterate your arguments?

      January 21, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • What IF

      It seems as if @Bumper has a Bible-thumpers mindset regarding Darwin's theory. Darwin, as far as I know, was the first to do in-depth studies and to publish his findings regarding evolution (he was not the first to hypothesize those ideas, however). No scientist thinks that Darwin is inerrant and "inspired". No scientist thumps "On the Origin of Species" as immutable gospel.

      Darwin did not cast his ideas in stone. It was more like, "This is what I have found. Go to it, folks."

      January 21, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  9. momoya

    Bumper, I typed this up for "great" below. I hope you don't mind this bump for your benefit.

    @great. You are not looking at the whole picture. Science has proven evolution, although there may be some places where the theory could be improved slightly depending on incoming data. Think of it like a great big puzzle that you don't have the box top for. Let's go with a thousand pieces. Now, imagine that you begin putting the puzzle together, but the pieces are scattered all throughout your house and they take a long time to find. After a long while, a picture begins to take shape. Let's say that it seems to be a picture of many, many frogs–or whatever. Now, you don't have all the pieces, but each new piece either defines a part of a frog, or completes a frog.

    Here's the important bit. Your pieces are all over the puzzle, but in every place you have a section, corner, bottom, middle, side–everywhere, it's all frogs. It's reasonable to assume that the missing pieces are not parts of camels, yes? To utilize this analogy, creationsim says that the missing pieces are not even puzzle pieces, but dice, coffee cups, and petunia pedals, and we haven't even been putting together a puzzle, but fancy pudding cream.

    Evolution IS the puzzle. It's an explanation of the current data, as interpreted by the current data to the degree that that data holds within the larger scientific puzzle. Yes, there are pieces of the puzzle missing, but that doesn't mean its a coffee cup instead of picture. Adding missing pieces will help define the theory more, because of the shape of the holes. If you don't like the picture emerging from the data, then ask your god for some explanations or something–its not like we can cram the data just where you like it and ignore it when you want us to. Get real.

    January 21, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  10. Bumper

    facepalm:

    That's absolute BS. You simply have no legitimate refutation to my latest argument that essentially dismantles Darwin's theory within the field of biology itself.

    January 21, 2012 at 1:34 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Yup, tens of thousands of scientists have got it wrong, but Bumper just dismantled decades worth of work in a single sentence. Sigh. It's hard to debate someone that doesn't even understand their own theories. My argument – using only biology – (remove the femur = no walking) blew your "refutation" out of the water.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:39 am |
    • momoya

      Bumper, you preach down according to your set-in-stone beliefs, and you do not communicate with the people who are attempting to dialogue with you on various points. What are you afraid of? Why can't your ideas withstand simple discussion?

      January 21, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • Mike

      Why do you only want to look at the field of biology? Shouldn't you look at all the evidence in all the fields or have you already come to your conclusion and only want to look at the information that proves you right?

      January 21, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  11. Bumper

    The fossil record could in principle be slow evolution, but since there are counterexamples such as the human eye, Darwin's theory is indeed false.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Please, oh wise one, tell us why the human eye is a counter example.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:53 am |
    • Bumper

      Because it is an example of an organ of complex irreducibility that could not possibly evolved from slow and gradual processes like the fossil record. Darwin himself admitted that his theory was hinged upon slow and gradual processes. Any counter example fails the entire idea.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Q

      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB301.html

      January 21, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • *facepalm*

      Seriously, bumper, just pick up a basic book on evolution some time. The human eye is a great example of evolution. We can see clear examples of light sensitive cells in a variety of different organisms. The eye is a fantastic example of evolution. The eye is also far from perfect – it can only sense a fairly narrow range of eletromagnetic radiation. Again, you're only exposing your own ignorance of basic science.

      Here's a quick thought for you – if evolution is wrong and we've been designed, why would we have been designed with an organ that provides little to no benefit, is entirely unnecessary, but on occasion fails and kills us. Design flaw?

      January 21, 2012 at 1:14 am |
    • hikertom

      There are many creatures such as worms and sea stars that have simple eyes that can only detect light and dark.
      There is no reason why the eye couldn't evolve over time like any other organ.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:15 am |
    • Dr.K.

      Dearest Bump,
      1) Please stop using Darwin as the ultimate authority on evolution. As has been pointed out many times, any first year graduate student in biology knows far more about evolution than Darwin ever did, because unlike religion scientific knowledge is cu.mulative. So, don't refer to what Darwin thought, address what modern geneticists, paleontologists, biologists, etc. think.

      2) that irreducible eye canard is tired, old, and thoroughly discredited (both academically and in the courts – see Kitzmiller vs. Dover). There is a very wide range of functioning eyes in the animal kingdom that clearly indicate that cells that are sensitive to light can work in a number of ways. They range from very simple to very complex and they are all effective. Besides, you are more entertaining when you are being creatively crazy rather than regurgitating the official creationist propaganda.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:17 am |
    • Bumper

      The eye was formed through the complex adaptation that included computational rules and fundamental elements, but not Darwin's theory. Complex adaptation allows for both fast and slow processes.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:20 am |
    • Bumper

      Wrong, evolution was defined by Darwin and not some modern snotty nose college students. The problem is all of them are too dim to present any formal refutation of the theory.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:23 am |
    • Bumper

      Wrong, evolution was defined by Darwin and not some modern snotty nose college students. The problem is all of them are too stupid to present any formal refutation of the theory.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • HellBent

      If the eye was formed by a complex adaptive system, then it is, by definition, not irreducibly complex. Please make up your mind.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:25 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Bumper, In the scientific process, a theory is initially postulate by someone, but then is continuously reformed over time. You seemed to have completely missed the point of the post you just replied to. People have refuted and updated Darwin's initial theory. Modern day college students learn about the whole theory – Darwin's initial hypotheses and the current understanding of the theory.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:28 am |
    • Bumper

      Sure, but I'm not cherry picking here. We are constraining the rules to the limits of biology itself. So, by fundamental rules and elements.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • Dr. Gary Hurd

      Re: E y e evol ution,

      The foll.owing is a nice little pa.per de.scri.ing first the most likely dev elopm.ental/evo.lutio.nary path for ma.m.malian eye evol.ution si.mply ..linking kno.wn exis.ting types of eyes. Their res.ult is that as few as 100,000 gen erations fr.om.ba.cte.ria to mam.mals would easily be ade quate.
      Nilsson and Pelger,
      1994 "A Pes.si.mistic Estim..ate. of the T.ime. R..equi.red for an. Eye to E.volv.e" Procee.dings of the Roy.al Soci..ety 256: 53-58.

      T.he next ...article doc uments a ve ry neat critter that has 24 eyes of 3 very diff erent k ind s. A nd, it has no b rain.
      Dan-E. Nilsson, Lars Gislén, Melissa M. Coates, Charlotta Skogh & Anders Garm
      2005 “Advanced optics in a jellyfish eye” Nature 435, 201-205 (12 May)

      This rec ent book foll ows the evo lu tion of eyes in many diff erent phyla. Schw ab uses de velopm ental, genetic, and pr otein data. It is also beau tifully illu strated.
      Ivan R Sch wab
      2011 “Ev olution's Wit ness: How Eyes Evo lved” Oxford University Press

      Well the text is sufficiently mangled to p a s s s the stupid CNN nannybot

      January 21, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • FYI

      'doc.uments' was your gremlin there...

      January 21, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • Nonimus

      This seems to be a good reference:

      "Evolution of the vertebrate eye: opsins, photoreceptors, retina and eye cup"
      Nature Reviews Neuroscience 8, 960-976 (December 2007) | doi:10.1038/nrn2283
      Trevor D. Lamb1, Shaun P. Collin2 & Edward N. Pugh, Jr3
      (http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v8/n12/execsumm/nrn2283.html)

      January 21, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  12. mendrys

    Too bad for the 54% who don't believe in the 6,000 year old earth. Because it shows that they probably have critical thinking skills it probably also shows that they may have other doubts about the Bible. If so, according to the pastor of the Calgary Baptist Church, then they are going to hell if they have even the teeniest doubt about the KJV Bible being the only true divine work of god and not a collection of poorly translated bronze age texts.

    January 21, 2012 at 12:41 am |
  13. Suzanne

    And this is why people are turning away from the church...

    January 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm |
    • Erick

      As they should. And that is great news.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  14. Jon

    I guess all those hominid fossils showing gradual development of the human species were planted by satan. All that Carbon dating and other radiometric dating showing the earth is millions of years old must also just be satanic trickery. I think "Young Earth Creationists" must be largest group of crazy conspiracy theorists on the planet - and all just so they don't have to question any literal word of their 2000+ year old inconsistent bible.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm |
    • great

      You do realize there are major holes in the fossil record, right? And to those people that throw out evolution as 100% fact. There isn't a scientist that can claim evolution is 100% real. There is some truth to micro-evolution as we can see those. But there is absolutely no proof of macro evolution- creation of a new species from an entirely differrent species. There is simply no fossil evidence of this ever occuring. And the fact that so many people take evolution as absolute fact is a result of a terrible educational system. It falls right in line with the teaching that everything came into being by chance...

      January 20, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Great, you do realize there's major holes in every record, right? Even in known history, there is a poorly known gap in Mesopotamia between the Akkad Dynasty and Ur III. Does that mean that Mesopotamia ceased to exist for a while and the God made a new, different Mesopotamia?

      Closer to home, what was Abraham Lincoln up to when he was between 6 and 8 years old? Don't have a record of this? Well, he must have gone away and God made a new Abraham Lincoln about 2 years later. There is not a continuous record of anything, including life on earth. We fill in the gaps using observations and logic. Well, some of us do.

      You may not see a comment from me for hours or days. When you do eventually see one, maybe God made a new me, because clearly if there is no continuous record I couldn't have changed into the current me in the interim.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • Q

      http://www.talkorigins.org/indexcc/CB/CB910.html

      January 21, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • momoya

      @great. You are not looking at the whole picture. Science has proven evolution, although there may be some places where the theory could be improved slightly depending on incoming data. Think of it like a great big puzzle that you don't have the box top for. Let's go with a thousand pieces. Now, imagine that you begin putting the puzzle together, but the pieces are scattered all throughout your house and they take a long time to find. After a long while, a picture begins to take shape. Let's say that it seems to be a picture of many, many frogs–or whatever. Now, you don't have all the pieces, but each new piece either defines a part of a frog, or completes a frog.

      Here's the important bit. Your pieces are all over the puzzle, but in every place you have a section, corner, bottom, middle, side–everywhere, it's all frogs. It's reasonable to assume that the missing pieces are not parts of camels, yes? To utilize this analogy, creationsim says that the missing pieces are not even puzzle pieces, but dice, coffee cups, and petunia pedals, and we haven't even been putting together a puzzle, but fancy pudding cream.

      Evolution IS the puzzle. It's an explanation of the current data, as interpreted by the current data to the degree that that data holds within the larger scientific puzzle. Yes, there are pieces of the puzzle missing, but that doesn't mean its a coffee cup instead of picture. Adding missing pieces will help define the theory more, because of the shape of the holes. If you don't like the picture emerging from the data, then ask your god for some explanations or something–its not like we can cram the data just where you like it and ignore it when you want us to. Get real.

      January 21, 2012 at 2:04 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Bumper, You still haven't answered my question about the fossil record. Do you dismiss it as false and a deception?

      January 21, 2012 at 3:01 am |
    • Bumper

      Ashtray:

      No, I don't discredit the fossil record. It is an example of mostly slow macro evolution. The discovery of Ardi was an awesome result.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  15. Bumper

    Darwin's theory is a false scientific theory. Several of you have accused me of cherry picking ideas from disciplines to formulate my own conclusions. I obviously disagree with that statement, but let me give you a concrete example that fits squarely within the realm of biology and a major tenet of Darwin's theory itself. Even Darwin himself claimed that evolution is a slow and gradual process and if it could be proven that any complex organ existed with irreducible complexity, his theory would be false. Well, let me tell you, since that claim, many examples of irreducibly complex organisms have been found. One example is the human eye itself. Every component of the human eye is important, and such a system could not have possibly evolved over slow and gradual processes. Even if one integral part is missing, the system fails. Once again, the theory is false and notice I didn't say anything about fundamental particles, computation or the Big Bang. However, do notice that I have pointed out that my correct theory of complex adaptation does take into consideration both slow and fast processes and this makes more sense since many systems are in fact irreducibly complex. I think even Darwin would agree with me on this point because we was quite nervous about finding counterexamples to his theory.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • ashrakay

      For the record, because we seem to be going around in circles, are you saying that fossil record is false or a deception?

      January 20, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • ashrakay

      And... as has already been pointed out to you, you are confusing cosmology, abiogenesis and evolution... please pick one and make your point so it can be refuted with the science that pertains to that specific field.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • Mike Buehler

      If there are so many holes in evolution why do all the scientists in other related fields (geology, biology, geneology, ect., ect., ect.,) agree that evolution is a reality. Don't you think there would be at least one field that would disagree with evolution if it was even half as flawed as you claim? For your opinion to be taken seriously one would have to believe a grand conspiracy throughout the science community worldwide. And even if evolution was proven false, it would still not prove creationism true without evidence to back it up. Creationism is NOT a theory, it is not even a hypothesis, it is an assertion.

      Name ONE thing that was asserted by any religion that was then proven true without the use of science....you can't.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Dr.K.

      Mike, yes of course all scientists are in a conspiracy. We gather in a secret lair carved inside a mountain in the Alps and all several million of us from around the world agree on what data we will fabricate and what stories we will tell in order to keep our jobs. That's how we keep the global warming thing alive, too. It's easy because scientists by nature are such conformists, and so willing to agree without argument. The hard part is keeping the middle school science teachers in line. We do that with cookies. They love cookies.

      January 20, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • Bumper

      Ashtray:

      Wrong. The latest argument was based purely on biology and not the other fields you mention. Clearly, Darwin's theory is being naturally selected.

      January 21, 2012 at 12:54 am |
    • ashrakay

      @Bumper, You're right, I was including some of your other posts. This one is specific to biology. So my question still remains, do you disregard the fossil record as false or a deception? Your perspective on the eye is really interesting because you present it as if the eye were the most perfect thing on the planet. Of course it is complex but it fails on so many levels. The photoreceptor i.e., eye is actually quite limited in it's ability to perceive light. They eye can actually only perceive about 1.5% of the full light spectrum. Add to that it's many failings within that range and you find that the eye is an extremely flawed tool for perceiving the world around it. Who knows the countless missing elements that cause the eye to be limited in the way that it is. To you the eye seems wonderful, but you must recognize that your perspective is completely relative. Can you see the flaw in your logic? We are in fact using a failed system of vision when we rely upon the eye.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:18 am |
    • Bumper

      No, vision works, but if you remove an element from the system, it fails.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:27 am |
    • *facepalm*

      @Bumper – remove my femur from my leg and I won't be able to walk. This does not refute evolution. You seem to have missed the point of irreducible complexity. If you're going to spout off easily refuted creationist talking points, at least get them correct.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:30 am |
    • tallulah13

      Bumper, your lack of comprehension doesn't mean that evolution is false. It just means that you don't understand it. Don't mistake your personal ignorance with truth.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • Nonimus

      This seems to be a good reference:

      "Evolution of the vertebrate eye: opsins, photoreceptors, retina and eye cup"
      Nature Reviews Neuroscience 8, 960-976 (December 2007) | doi:10.1038/nrn2283
      Trevor D. Lamb1, Shaun P. Collin2 & Edward N. Pugh, Jr3
      (http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v8/n12/execsumm/nrn2283.html)

      January 21, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  16. Kathy

    The confusion is over language. Did God create the earth in 6 literal days? YES Did God take millions of years to Create? YES. Time is not static, as confirmed by Eistein's special theory of relativity. God can compress and expand time. God created the 'net' of time, the fabric of our universe called gravity.
    Can we ever truly understand God? No. We are not infinite and cannot compress eternal omnipotence into our limited brains.
    Ask God to reveal some of Himself to you. Let go of dogma and narrow thinking and He will be that still small voice. Look at the Bible as a seeker, and you will find in the allagory and poetry the presence of eternity. Kg.

    January 20, 2012 at 9:24 pm |
    • Bumper

      Hmmm. you seem to contradict yourself. I don't like that.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • ashrakay

      Sorry, I missed the part of the bible where god can compress time. Theoretically, time from the big bang expansion is an instant—but matter in the universe is caught in the arrow of time, which means that things are subject to fall into entropy. This movement toward entropy is how we measure time cosmologically. If the bible said, that everything in in the universe was created in one instant, it would make more sense than saying that everything was created over 6 days. The fact that something had to be created over 6 days means that the creator must be subject to the laws of entropy. The laws of physics trump god once again. That being said, if god actually did compress time/space the universe would be presumably much, much older than we think it is now. Since the fabric of time and space would have been compressed light would have already reached places that were in close proximity at the time of compression and then when space was decompressed again, it would have to begin the journey all over again. This also wouldn't add up to the basic laws of physics as stars have a particular lifespan that can be calculated based on the mass and burn rate. Stars would be burning out a lot sooner than they have thus far.

      Lastly, you say god cannot be understood, but you have no problem making up attributes for him. Also, how can you know that it was god who did these supposed things and not zeus?

      January 20, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Or possibly you are trying to fit a god into a reality that doesn't need one.

      January 21, 2012 at 1:57 am |
  17. steve

    The only reason that about 90% of these pastors voted the way they did ...........to do otherwise would be employment suicide. The vast majority of evangelical pastors with any education at all believe in evolution and in the 4.5 billion year old universe, but they need a job just like you and me.

    January 20, 2012 at 8:07 pm |
    • momoya

      How much did you pay for those rose-colored glasses? I assumed that the pastors polled did not have to share their answers with their congregations. I believe the poll, and the results are sad.

      January 20, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • ashrakay

      13.7billion year old universe... without agreeing with your original point.

      January 20, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • great

      Macro evolution as a theory is not true and cannot be proven by one single scientist. The holes in the fossil record are far too large to allow for this type of evolution. I will agree and say that micro evolution has some truth to it and is happening. But to claim evolution is the cause of man simply isn't true. How do you say life began on earth??

      January 20, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • Q

      Nothing is "proven" in science, only supported by evidence. "Proof" is only available in formal logic and mathematics. You clearly have no familiarity with the fossil record. Macroevolution is a scientific theory supported by the concordant temporal relationship of forms in the fossil record. To say you accept microevolution, but reject macroevolution is akin to accepting inches exist but insisting they cannot add up to miles...

      January 21, 2012 at 1:13 am |
  18. Marlena

    I'm a Christian, no doubt. But I also believe in common sense. I heard it best on Friends, ironically–"Hey, everyone was convinced the earth was flat until someone took a boat trip." It's true. I believe science and religion BOTH only know a tiny of drop of all the truths in the universe. If I believe that God is all-knowing and all-powerful (and I do), then why doesn't it also make sense to believe that he had a hand in evolution. Why do science and evolution have to be mutually exclusive things?

    January 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Marlena

      Excuse me–I meant to say evolution and religion (not science).

      January 20, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Sharp

      To me it is even more miraculous that God took billions of years slowly & patiently building all the life of this planet. Then relatively quickly he created us his sons & daughters; his greatest creation. Created not only to be his stewards but also so intelligent that we can see & marvel at the perfect creation. And even more wonderful he most certainly has created brothers & sisters scattered among all the stars of that creation whom we may one day greet & meet. The Bible is wonderful but it is not the only story God has told us.

      January 20, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
  19. HawaiiGuest

    Meant to write "Science never claims to know everything".
    My bad.

    January 20, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  20. Sunnylovetts

    Because evolution is one of Satans ploys. It works wonders at drifting people way from thier true creator, and makes man feel like he knows everything. Its very pathetic. I know God made everything.

    January 20, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Science never claims to know anything. To first call pathetic those who have never claimed to know everything (scientists, evolutionists), and then immediately claim to know better is arrogance at its best (i suppose worst). Tell me do you believe that you know everything about the history of the world from your bible? If so how is that any less pathetic that what you claimed of evolution?

      January 20, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Meant to write "Science never claims to know everything".
      oops

      January 20, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • momoya

      If evolution is a lie then god shouldn't have left so much proof for it lying all around the place. Misleading others and then punishing them for going along with the evidence is stupid. A god who uses entrapment doesn't deserve your worship.

      January 20, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Sharp

      Of course God made everything. The flaw in your thinking is that you forget that God made & transcends time. He could have made everything in a fraction of a second or taking billions of years. It is a non issue. You & the church yearn for power in this world. That is a sin.

      January 20, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
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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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.