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. John

    If we are going to teach "Creation Science" as an alternative to evolution, then we should teach the Stork theory as an alternative to bioligical reproduction.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:57 am |
  2. Anna2

    JPC, if you look at human development 6000 years ago until today, it IS LINEAR. But what was before that? Were people so dumb that they never thought of making brick houses or wheels? And HOW DO YOU EXPLAIN THE PYRAMIDS that completely contradict to the fact that people had no advanced technology?

    April 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • JPC

      Actually no. I would say that the development of technology is EXPONENTIAL.

      That is, it starts off very slow, then gradually picks up speed. That certainly fits the data in modern times, in which progressively more gets done in progressively shorter periods of time.

      If you extrapolate that backwards into ancient times, it makes perfect sense. It took a long time to "get the ball rolling," in other words. But once it started, it began picking up speed, and we are where we are today.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
    • shofar

      I agree it is Exponential: Just think of a person who was born in 1900 and die in 1980, This person was born in a society with no electricity and in his life time he saw a person walking on the moon. In Just 1 life time.
      If society can be war and decease free for a reasonable period of time, then you'll see the changes more dramatic. About the pyramids, there is no a simple explanation. Certainly it was an advance culture, but not as many egyptologist want to make us believe. The most reasonable explanation was the use of millions of slave and brute force, however, this theory would bring a as conclusion that, during egyptian times , the slaves were mostly Jews and therefore, today Egyptians would have to accept that pyramids were built by jews. In a Arabic society this is a no=no. SO go figure. They are even willing to let you believe in extraterrestrial forces, before admit that the Jews built the pyramids, Honestly what do you believe.

      April 10, 2011 at 1:31 pm |
  3. Jack

    Shofar, you think that Christians have to admit that evolution is the way it happened? I guess you were there to see it, which would make you the Ancient of Days. Would you like for us to start worshipping you now?

    April 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • shofar

      Jack: I see evolution every day, and so do you. Even among humans we see evolution on a daly basis, so what impress me is why you don't you see it.
      Do you want examples of minor cases of evolution among humans? Well, think about why a generation could be taller than other one? Most likely because environmental factors or nutritional factors.
      Why newer generations are loosing their hair younger that older generations? Environmental factors
      Why the wisdom tooth is becoming less present among people? We are evolving
      Do you want another example more technical? How about sickle cell decease. It is well know this is a decease that came from areas with large exposure to Malaria. Sickle decease is a consequence of the human body evolving or adapting their blood cells to prevent Malaria. The Sickle cell trait is an evolutionary proof , beyond any doubt that we evolve everyday.
      Do your research about Sickle cell and you'll see. And it is not a "Black" decease because "White" and "Mix race" people have it. It is a evolutionary answer to Malaria.
      Many, many , many changes in our physiology that can attributed to environmental factors that can rewrite our DNA, or at least trigger dormant genes or not.
      Imagine how fragile we are, when simple changes around us can rewrite our DNA for the next generation.
      Actually, the change can be seen , even in your own life time. As simple as a person who lives in a hot environment would have a very hard time to live in a cold environment. But this is just for a while. We adapt to the new changes and suddenly we can live in a new condition. Incredible is that we can pass that trait to our offspring. This is evolution 101. very simple, very subtle.
      Evolution happens every day and in a very short time, so imagine the changes in millions of years.
      So to your question, was I there? YES! So if you want and that makes you happy, you can worship me

      April 10, 2011 at 1:15 pm |
  4. A. Russel Wallace

    The idea that someone "believes" in evolution is absolutely stupid. Evolution is not something made up by humans thousands of years ago to scare people into following the rules because one might go to hell. Evolution is a theory supported by vast amounts of evidence and continues to be corroborated by the scientific community. Do you believe in gravity? Do you believe in medicine? Or perhaps, most of you still believe the sun revolves around the Earth?

    April 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |
  5. John

    If we go back to the beginning we shall find that ignorance and fear created the god's; that fancy, enthusiasm, or deceit adorned or disfigured them; that weakness worshipped them; that credulity preserved them; and that custom, respect and tyranny supports them in order to make the blindness of men serve its own interest. If ignorance gave birth to gods, then know ledge of nature is calculated to destroy them.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:50 am |
  6. Jon

    Wow. such evidence. so convincing! Jesus would believe this huh? Well, we know the writer of this is no bible scholar. However, you don't need to be a bible scholar to know what Jesus would believe, you would just have to read the bible. Another ignorant scientist trying to convince the world of nonsense. He called it a fact... thats funny, as far as I know it is still the "theory" of evolution.
    "For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." (1 Cor. 1:18)

    April 10, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • PraiseTheLard

      I guess Jon would prefer the myth of god over the theory of evolution...

      April 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  7. Dave in SC

    Jesus claimed to be God himself. If it's true, then it's absurd to talk about what he would 'believe' about something. If it's not true, then he was a lunatic and what he believes about something is irrelevant.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:48 am |
  8. Scienceman

    Since all living things are made of cells, evolution merely describes how cells change over time. What gets lost in this discussion is the seemingly miraculous structure that is the cell. Each cell is like a tiny machine, more advanced than anything modern science or engineering could even dream of. The DNA blueprints for each cell is written in a common chemical language capable of adapting to changing environmental conditions. It house thousands of inter-dependent working parts, is self-replicating, and self-assembling. How anyone can look at this thing as say "oh yeah, that must have just happened by accident" is beyond me. Even Richard Dawkins, the self-acclaimed atheist, acknowledges that he has absolutely no scientific hypothesis for where life came from.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • Colin

      So, "I don't know" does not equal god.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Maybe

      How anyone can look at this thing as say, "this is an ent.ity that demands our love, worship, and prayers" or anything else about its attributes, is beyond me.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  9. R

    1) People do not either believe or don't believe in evolution, people either accept it or not. If you want to use the word "believe" then you have to talk about Santa Claus or the tooth fairy, or God (Jesus, Zeus, Shiva, the flying spaghetti monster, etc).

    2) I am not sure which rhetoric is more dangerous, the one that fundamentalist christians use of the one that this author uses: "...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."

    The reason why statements like these are dangerous is because they insert religious myths while seemingly embracing scientific facts (an oxymoron if you will). Science hasn't proven that there is a god but at the same time it hasn't disproved it. The difference is that scientists go to the lab and do experiments to try to find accurate explanations; creationists on the other hand, find a magic explanation and attribute it to what we don't know yet.
    Yes, evolutionary biology has some holes but it is a solidly grounded scientific discipline whose principles and postulates have been proven without any doubt (btw, there are much better examples than the Vitamin C one). The main problem of creationism is that it stems (and feeds) from the holes of evolutionary biology and this is why no one with more than two neurons take it seriously. Here is a direct quote from a creationist: "Because evolutionary biology hasn't explained everything, therefore God must exist and must have created everything."
    My fellow Americans (and the author of this article), please tell me that you understand why this statement is so dangerous and so wrong.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  10. John

    I am an Athiest. I don't understand religion at all. I'm sure I'll offend a lot of people by saying this, but I think it's all nonsense. (Andy Rooney).

    April 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |
  11. Ryan

    It doesn't matter if Jesus wanted to believe in evolution or not, we have mountains of fossil evidence for it.

    The question this article is really asking is, Would Jesus ignore science?

    Given that science is based on truths of nature, and nature is an extension of God, Jesus would have been a fool not to believe in evolution.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  12. Jesse

    Wow, i couldnt read the entire article, i tried but it was like reading the National Enquirer.
    Good job to whomever wrote it, and for all your assumptioms. I especially like the part where he said that science now knows the earth has been around for a billion years and not thousands like Genisis suggests. Tell you what, You fellas with the science has still yet to prove without a doubt that your science on this subject is solid. A girlfriend once told me that "assumption is the mother of all F***ups. well im Christian and you know what, she was right. I hate the explative but it is very true.
    If you want to feel important, cus your not all that important to explain God's creation and to understand him that well with your piece of paper saying you got thru college. Try figuring out what love really means and help those less fortunate then yourselves, or try going to church that speaks the word of God, and not your word.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |
    • flea

      "You fellas with the science"

      The laugh I needed to start my morning.

      Honestly though, why choose to stay ignorant? If you are that firm in your beliefs and you know 100% they are right, then what is the harm of learning a little biology? A little chemistry? The rules of logic that dictates the world of mathematics?

      April 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Maybe


      And you are as.suming that the Bible is true.... with no proof.

      This "God" at one time demanded, and got its jollies from animal sacrifice, in an oh-so-special ritual right down to the placement of entrails on an altar... but, oops, it changed its mind somewhere along the line.

      This "God" at one time demanded, and got its jollies from having the Jews slaughter their enemies, right down to the suckling babies.

      Your "God" can be anything that you want to as.sume it to be.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:22 pm |
  13. captaincanuck

    for god's sake these are the BEST questions you can come up with, with REAL issues in your country you maintain the religious divisions by asking the dumbest idiotic questions imaginable....you folks need to start taking a CLOSE and self reflecting look on yourselves "what would jeesus drive, would jeesus eat ice cream, etc???" who gives a crap, it's absolutely ridiculous...and CNN calls itself a NEWS organization...pathetic, grow the hell up and ask real questions regarding real issues, NOT questions that simply make you feel good about yourselves.....the myopia is simply astounding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    The THEOCRACY of the USA....mind numbing

    April 10, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  14. Len Arenas

    The first book of the bible, Genesis 1:11, states God's boundary for procreation with the words, "...each species takes after it's own kind..". Additionally, humans were created at a separate event. The bible does not mention evolution by name but a biblical understanding is that it is allowed within species, but not outside it. Science has not been able to come up with even a singular instance of cross breading between species, there work corroborates the bible not oppose it. Some scientist operate outside objective stances when they equate the fact that all life is genetically close as proof of evolution. Instead, in order to operate with objectivity, we must recognize that simple biology alone can not explain the wide different between man and animals. The close genetic makeup of man and animals only serves to negate the argument for evolution since the gulf of difference between them has not been explained.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  15. John

    Faith does not give you the answers; it just stops you asking the questions.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • HC

      VERY well said!

      April 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Aaron

      I am confused by many of the atheists comments on this thread. Most educated Christians I know ask questions of science and the soul. Most atheists only of science. If anything not believing in God stunts your ability to explore all options.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:49 am |
  16. Colin

    The Earth is big. It is 25,000 miles around at the Equator. It is also old, about 4.6 billion years old. We believe that anywhere from 5 million to 100 million species inhabit the planet, of which science has identified about 2 million.

    Over the course of the Earth’s four billion year history, billions of other species have evolved into existence and been rendered extinct by compet-itors or natural disasters, well before the current cast of characters appeared. To say that a being exists that is capable of creating all this and orchestrating its 4.6 billion year pageant of life and death is ascribing incredible age, powers and abilities to such a being. An entire planet, teeming with life for billions of years! It is truly an enormous assertion to credit it all to the actions of one being. One is justified to ask, “What is your evidence for this incredible super-being?”

    Our sun is huge. Stupidly huge. One million Earths would fit inside it. It is so big that, due simply to shining, it losses 4,000,000 tons of mass every second. In a day, it loses 345 billion tons of mass. It has been shedding weight at this prodigious rate for almost five thousand million years. Yet, it is so huge that this is hardly noticeable. In fact, it would take 160 billion years for it to lose 1% of its mass. To say a being exists that is capable of creating the sun is ascribing even more incredible powers and ability to such being. The putative being’s creative abilities have just increased a million fold!

    Eight planets and their moons circle the Sun, along with Pluto, innumerable asteroids, comets and miscellaneous dust and space debris. Four of the planets are enormous, thousands of times bigger than the Earth. Pluto is so far away it takes 245 years to circle the Sun. Jupiter and Saturn are so big as to be circled by their own families of moons, some of which rival the other planets in size. All the planets and their moons (some of which have their own mini-moons) have volcanoes, mountains, impact craters and bizarre formations of different chemicals. This makes up the Solar System, a huge and complex system of circles within circles.

    Assuming there is nothing particularly special about our solar system (and we are increasingly learning that this is so) there are likely about one hundred billion solar systems in our galaxy. That number slips off the tongue easily, but concentrate on it for a second. If each solar system were the size of a grain of sand of one cubic millimeter, they would fill 100 000 one liter coke bottles. Standing beside each other, these bottles would stretch for over six miles – each full to the brim with sand, each grain a solar system (probably) on average as big and complex as ours, resplendent with planets, moons, asteroids and, in some cases, perhaps life.

    Stop and picture this for a moment. Imagine scooping out a handful of sand from the first bottle and looking down the six mile line as the grains of sand trickle through your fingers. Each grain a solar system. The numbers and size are beyond the ability of the human mind to properly comprehend.

    To give an idea of the distances involved in our galaxy, let me change analogies for a second. If each star were a basketball, they would be separated by about 3,000 miles. Imagine each of the 100,000,000,000 former grains of sand now a basketball, separated by 3,000 miles. The scaled down model itself starts to take on cosmic proportions!

    How’s that whole “one being did it” theory going?

    There are 200,000,000,000 known galaxies in the observable Universe. That is to say, multiply the above incomprehensible size by 200,000,000,000 and separate each galaxy by even greater distances. Put another way, for every grain of sand in the six miles of full-to-the-brim coke bottles, there are two galaxies, each made up solar systems that would themselves fill six miles of coke bottles. The numbers we cannot comprehend have just been squared – then doubled. The distances have exponentially increased.

    All of the above only makes up about 5% of the Universe. The rest is dark matter or dark energy we cannot see. There are many strange and weird objects out there – black holes where space-time folds in on itself, neutron stars (a cubic inch of which weighs more than Mount Everest) and exploding suns. Space warps and time contracts. Atoms spring in and out of existence, gravity waves pulse out from violent star collapses, while antimatter spews out around the event horizon of black holes.

    Six days and a talking snake starting to look a little silly? About as silly as Hoyle's storm blowing through a junkyard and creating a Boeing-747?

    Believe it or not however, the god theory has to go even further. We not only assume/hope/wish into existence this most improbable of beings, we then unilaterally decide that it made the whole thing for us. The moon and stars were made “to light the night sky” for man as Genesis proclaims. The infinitely old super-being did all this, waited 10 billion years, created the Earth, then waited another 4.6 billion years, causing life to slowly evolve into humans and then sent its “son” to Earth to talk about sheep and goats in the Middle East.

    Somehow, “oh come on” just doesn't quite capture it.

    One can imagine, if and when we are eventually visited by an alien civilization, one of the creatures staring incredulously at the Vatican and asking its human hosts, “so, you really thought it was all about you?”

    When one actually turns one’s mind to the sheer absurdity of all this, the god theory collapses in a heap. For once actually think about it. Spend five minutes trying to actually conceive of such a being. The powers it would need, the size it would have to be, the complexity it must have, how could it have always existed, and what is its motivation? Would it really care about my secks life or what I did on a Sunday?

    April 10, 2011 at 11:37 am |
    • umbuna

      Nice work, Colin.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:57 am |
    • Megan

      Wow! That data is incredible! But i think you just made a pretty good case FOR a Creator...

      April 10, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • Colin

      @Megan. Audible sigh..... If, one day, we somehow proved beyond all reaonable doubt that there is no god, christians would just claim that "god created doubt." or that "s-a-tan is testing us". Unfortuantely, common sense did not lead you to your supersti-tious beliefs and is therefore im-potent to free you from them.

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

      Excellent, Colin.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
    • shofar

      Colin, I like what you write, but I have to say you are making a good case for a creator. If you were an Ant and see the Empire State building or the Hoover Dam, it would be very difficult for you to think that a being is capable to create this, so this most be a natural creation.
      Based on you logic, If you were an Ant the complexities of space travel would make you an Atheist. It is impossible, but yet is there.
      I believe in Evolution, but I have to concede to religious people, that if there is God, He/She most be very powerful an almighty. That is the main characteristic of being God.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
  17. urantian

    Anyone interested in learning the truth, pick up a copy of The Urantia Book.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • A. Russel Wallace

      Why don't you try picking up, "On the Origin of Species".

      April 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  18. GaryG

    Giberson assumes common ancestry when the acts of a common deisnger could also explain what he's observed. Same data. He reveals his philosophical presupposition. Microevolution is observable and very true. Whether or not macroevolution actually occurred is a question for forensic science. How did first life begin? How do they claim that DNA began without a designer?

    April 10, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • PB

      Ok... clearly you don't know the first thing about evolution and have not studied it in any significant detail. If you want to criticize something please take a course so that you can at least understand it. You said science does not have any idea of how DNA came to be... DNA was NOT the first genetic material on the planet DNA mostly likely came from RNA (auto replicating) this transition from DNA to RNA makes LUCA or the domains bacteria, protists and Archean (depending on which evolutionary theory you are following). There is evidence to support these various theories (if you want to see this evidence grab a introductory university level evolutionary textbook). The evidence for each is not what I would call "strong evidence" hence there are about 6 competing theories with dozens more with less solid evidence. Having said that, all of that the evidence that an all powerful omniscent being made these first organism(s) stands at a big fat 0. That does not make it impossible but very unlikely. The key to all this is that science does not deal in absolutes there are more supported theories and less supported ones, acceptance within the scientific community follows the most well supported theory. No where does science say that there are absolute truths, just better or worse supported theories. Those who tell you that they are absolutely sure of themselves are surely lying because the only absolute thing is that no one can be absolutely sure.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  19. woodsman67

    First ,not all creationists – myself included – believe that the earth is only thousands of years old. This is, I believe, a mis-interpetation of Scripture and a contradiction of much solid and unbiased scientific evidence. So let's do away with that straw man.

    A couple of points: Mr Giberson states that "evolution does not contradict the Bible unless you force an unreasonable interpretation on that ancient book." When the Bible states in Genesis that God created the heaveans and the earth and all living things, that's very plainly stated – hardly a forced interpretation and a clear contradiction of evolutionary theory.

    He also says "Science is not a sinister enterprise aimed at destroying faith. It’s an honest exploration of the wonderful world that God created." I would whole-heartedly concur. Science is (or should be) a quest for truth, and where it and religious beliefs conflict then one or both must be wrong – truth is not relative. He seems to be open to the idea, however, that God actually exists and was the Creator.

    I would ask him, then, how do you think life started? Did it just spontaneously happen without any Divine action, as evoluytionary theory posits? If one believes this, is it based on sound scientific evidence or is it because one's dogma is that only naturalistic processes are acceptable explanations because God is not "scientific"? Saying God created it and then it evolved from there makes no sense from either perspective either. You can't have it both ways and claim to be logically consistent.

    I challenge the evolutionists out there to present the supposed scientific evidence (not just hypotheses) for life's spontaneous origin upon which the whole theory of evolution is tenuously balanced. I won't expect many answers.

    April 10, 2011 at 11:33 am |
    • PeterVN

      woodsman67, your lack of understanding of evolution is both remarkable, and sadly typical of those of your sickenly backward ilk. Evolution does not deal with how life initially began, just to get started. Wrong subject choice you made.

      Now, explain how your perfect, all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful (and completely fictional) "god" created creatures with so many apparent design errors, such as tortuous and fragile nerve pathways, susceptibility to myriad diseases and ailments, and on and on.

      The obvious answer is that your sky fairy does not exist. Get over your idiotic creation fiction and get with the modern world before the US falls even further behind in science.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Colin

      I agree with much of what you said with a couple of important exceptions. First, I agree that scientists do not know how the first organism evolved. But, so what. That no more points to a magig, all-loving being than it does to a Leprechaun. It is not a matter of evolution v. [the Christian] god. It is a matter of going as far as the evidence takes us and then saying "we don't know." Science has no issue with that. But "I don't know" surely does not equal god, or even the plausibility of a god.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:43 am |
    • beth

      You may wish to start by looking at the work of miller and urey, followed by some reading on prions and ribozymes.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • Jason

      The Theory of Evolution does NOT have ANYTHING to say about how life got started. Please know what you are talking about before you start spouting off tired arguments.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:45 am |
    • shofar

      Woodsman you are wrong: Life happened the way it happen. When the author talks about interpretation of an ancient book, he means to take literally the scripture the way you are putting. "God created earth and heavens", that is fine and scientist can not prove this wasn't like that, as long as religious people are willing to admit that evolution was the way how God made it happen. SImple. Scientist can not prove the reasons why God did it, but merely the process.
      The only thing science is doing is telling people just to take the philosophical part, and stop using that to explain the universe, because most likely you are going to have it wrong. Just as you are right now.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Jack

      I witnessed a debate in 1982 between a noted athiestic scholar, Dr. Harvy Binswanger, and a noted Christian scholar, Dr. Norman Geisler, over the existince of God. They gave Dr. Geisler the first opportunity to speak. Dr. Geisler presented a overwhelming array of astronomic, biologic and geologic evidence for creation and the existance of God and then discussed the statistical impossibility of these things coming into being by chance.

      Dr. Geisler was an incredibly kind and gracious debator, but his arguments were like the shock and awe from a thousand hydrogen bombs on the theories of Dr. Binswanger who never attempted to address even one of them. He knew he was beaten before he started and did absolutely nothing during the debate but to dance around the issues and sweat like an embarassed and humiliated child. Dr. Geisler was factual and gracious beyond what most anyone who witnessed the debate could have imagined, but Dr. Binswanger was thorougly stripped of any credibility.

      That's what happens when athiests and evolutionists are confronted on a level playing field. This article is NOT a level playing field because the evolutionist is the ONLY one who has the opportunity to make his case. In fact, making such presentations without allowing the opportunity for the opposing arguments is extremely cowardly.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • JD

      How is that a contradiction of evolution theory? I've never had a problem associating science and religion, especially evolution. The bible stated it took God 6 days to create the heavens and the earth, but 6 days in what time? Because days are only relative to our planet's orbit and rotation; perhaps 6 days to God was billions of years to us.

      Everything started with a big bang, and I believe God pulled the trigger.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Tim

      That's a strawman argument. Evolution is not based on biogenesis. A coherent discussion of biological evolution should occur in the absence of a discussion on the genesis of life. They are unrelated. Change in allele frequency in a population of time, common descent, punctuated equilibria, etc., etc. have no foundation in biogenesis. But, as is typical, rather than debate honestly, the creationist will seek to subvert, misdirect, and misinform. I believe this highlights the point of the article, the creationist is not interested in truth, and arguably Jesus would be. Thanks for supporting!

      April 10, 2011 at 11:53 am |
    • Jack

      Shofar, you think that Christians have to admit that evolution is the way it happened? I guess you were there to see it, which would make you the Ancient of Days. Would you like for us to start worshipping you now?

      April 10, 2011 at 11:54 am |
    • Tim Pearce

      Well, here's an answer Evolution is not a matter of faith. It is fact. Faith is simply the absence of critical thought

      If you actually look at the millions of research articles based on discoveries of fossils etc they all back evolution's proposition. There is zero (precisely) contradictory evidence and zero (precisely) evidence for a God.If this were a soccer match a score of 1 million to nil would be somewhat of a win.

      Science as always works towards steadily more complete answers however we are now at a stage where we have incredibly detailed data for all periods and that data does not contradict evolution

      There is no corresponding evidence for God other than a man-made book that passes on the meme. I challenge you here to find one (just one) peer reviewable bit of evidence outside the Bible that shows God exists and evolution is wrong.

      With reference to your comments, if you are asking "so what started the first DNA" (which it reads like), then you could also ask "what made thie big bang"". This is a self defeating argument for two reasons. Firstly because you confine your own god to the sngularities of those events and secondly because it seems that the whole principle is based on "complex things ultimately needing a creator". If that was the case then you ask "if everything complex neds a creator then who created God?". This is a recursive argument and hence makes a nonsense of the whole approach.

      What irritates me more than anything is the ill-educated assertion that there is no proof. This is a conclusion that can only be formed in ignorance. Ironically Religion is the one area where ignorance is encouraged (often mandated) in the form of "not questioning God".

      The simple answer: Read a book. And this time make it a non-fiction one unlike the Bible

      April 10, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • shofar

      PeterVN : Most likely I agree with you, but two things are bothering me:
      1) The same way religious people can not prove the existence of God, non religious people can not disprove him, so There is at least 50% chance He/She is real. That is a very high probability.
      2) Assuming the existence of God, the reason of his master plan in unknown. Many questions can be place with this logic, such as why God let people people live their lives doubting his existence, or why he let you breathe after birth or things like that. Why don't know, but just because you are alive, that doesn't mean there is no God, you know.

      April 10, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • cjw1618

      You make some good points, but your last question (for evolutionists) is a stupid one at best. You say there will not be any answers, and you would be correct. That is something which is not known.... there are only theories. BUT.... here's the kicker....

      Evolutionists will not claim that they KNOW how it all happened. We do not, and we can admit that. We only KNOW that evolution happens... it is observable. Sure... there may be .00001% that evolution does not happen, just like we may not be having this conversation right now (think Descartes?). But that is foolish talk for our purposes.

      So we've established that evolution does happen, and there is a plethora of evidence to support this. However, we do not know how it all started (yet), and we can admit that.

      Creationists arguement is many times this (as it seems to be the point you're driving at): Evolutionists only have theories on how life started, but creationists have PROOF (the bible)!! However, the bible does not prove anything about the origins of life. It is a story, a narrative which was written by mortal men thousands of years ago. And there is no scientific PROOF which explains how life was started.

      Now... I take comfort in the fact that I can admit I dont know!!!! I do not know how it all started. I feel sad for the closed -minded, ignorant fools who claim that they KNOW, when they have absolutely no proof besides the bible. In the words of Bill Maher (although he was referring to what happens after you die).... he states: And if someone tells you they know, they just know what happens after you die. I assure you they do not. How can I be so sure? Because I don't know, and they dont possess magical powers which I do not." This may not be word for word... but I will apply this quote to the current arguement. I say, "If someone claims to know how the universe started, I can assure you they do not. How can I be so sure? Because I dont know, and you dont possess magical powers that I do not.

      Please, I would like to hear your proof, Mr. Woodsman67, as to how the universe was created. If you are going to argue that it was the god in the bible, I want some secondary sources which support your arguement, AND does not refer to the bible for its information.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Real

      I am an evolutionist and I'll give you an answer to your question: Science does not have the proof of that YET. I emphasize YET because if you have been paying attention to the past century, you will see the trendline that we are moving toward understanding the origins of life... but have not YET found the answers. I think the main problem with creationists is to equate science to the Bible. Science is a work in progress, not a supposedly "complete and free from errors" guide like the Bible (which i would say has plenty of them). I hazard to guess if you are still 20 years old you will be lucky enough to witness science's answer to your question. To put it in another way, imagine what a scientist in the 15th century would answer when you asked him why a person died (of a disease) but bacteria has not yet been discovered. The scientist would have a hard time explaining but that doesn't mean that standard answer of that time (IT IS GOD's WILL) is true. Today you can take a lab analysis and find out what is causing the sickness and get a cure. And you have the scientists to thank for that.

      So you may ask why do I prefer science's explanation to that of the Bible? I see the hard work of the scientists that shows evolution is happening. This is FACT. Organisms changing with their environment and other factors. The HYPOTHESIS of the origin is merely an extrapolation of this fact. I understand they do not yet have proof of this YET that is why they have not proclaimed it as fact. They are only making an intelligent guess. I would also come to the same conclusion AS OF NOW with the data they are presenting. And the other explanation? Well, it comes from a 2000 year old book, contradicted by other 2000 year old books, no updates, can be interpreted in so many different ways depending on how the reader perceives his world (and how science has progressed... I'm sure if you were alive before galileo told you the earth did not revolve around the sun and had only the bible as your reference you would come to the same conclusion as the Vatican who said the sun revolved around the earth.... or that the earth is flat). I think I'll go with the first explanation. How about you?

      April 10, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
    • shofar

      Jack: I see evolution every day, and so do you. Even among humans we see evolution on a daly basis, so what impress me is why you don't you see it.
      Do you want examples of minor cases of evolution among humans? Well, think about why a generation could be taller than other one? Most likely because environmental factors or nutritional factors
      Why newer generations are loosing their hair younger that older generations? Environmental factors
      Why the wisdom tooth is becoming less present among people? We are evolving
      Many, many , many changes in our physiology that can attributed to environmental factors that can rewrite our DNA, or at least trigger dormant genes or not.
      Evolution happens every day and in a very short time, so imagine the changes in millions of years.
      So to your question, was I there? YES! So if you want and makes you happy, you can worship me.

      April 10, 2011 at 12:07 pm |
  20. aatami

    Isn't that the same thing as asking if Pinocchio would believe in equal rights? Come on! Let's deal with reality. the repub/tp are driving the country into the ground and you people want to discuss aesops' fables?

    April 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |
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About this blog

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.